The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

You know how I was all excited about the reduction in the number of pets at our house?  Down from two very very noisy guinea pigs to a single very quiet guinea pig? (And no, I can not account for the change in the single pig's noise level - it's possible she is still traumatized by the absence of her friend or maybe she was just complaining about how obnoxious the other one was all the time.  Not sure, and no, I don't really care.)  So yes, I was pretty excited.

But I guess the universe felt a change in cabin pressure at our house and couldn't handle it.  

I don't think I have mentioned that for three solid months - and I do mean SOLID - my son Cap has been obsessing about getting a pet.  A pet reptile.  I don't know if I can convey to you the level of obsession we were dealing with here.  I have heard more than you will ever know about reptile pets.  I can say that Cap probably did more reading and studying than he has done ever in his life.  That boy KNOWS about reptiles and how to care for them.  The problem was...well, there were lots of problems.  Partly - and I may have mentioned this before - I have noticed how when my kid gets a pet I suddenly have a lot of pet care to do.  Also, I wanted Cap to save up some money on his own to pay for a pet.  And also....what he really really wanted the most of all was a caiman.  Do you know what that is?  It's not a lizard.  Or a snake.  It's a crocodilian.  And we are NOT getting one.  It only took a month or so to convince Cap that a caiman was really not going to happen, though I don't really think he ever really saw the light as to why this was not reasonable.

So he moved on to iguanas.  That was a little better, but still, those things get to be about 6 feet long and can have nasty temperaments.  And need a bit more space than we have, although Cap was completely willing to turn our back porch into a tropical aquarium for large lizards.  After another month of hourly conversations about lizards, he finally moved away from the iguana idea.  And onto something called a tegu.  I don't even really know what that is, and I don't really want to know.  All I needed to hear was that it's a four-foot long beast that Cap intended to let roam free.  In his mind, that solved the "we're not spending thousands of dollars on a lizard enclosure" issue.  And did I mention that they are carnivorous?  Yea.  That too.

After more conversations about reptiles than I can count, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea.  I said, "Cap, how about this.  Instead of saying absolutely not to any type of lizard ever, you get a smaller-scale lizard that you pay for, you care for 100%, you clean up after absolutely all the time, then I will know that you are a responsible pet owner."  (Note how I didn't say, at any time, that we could then consider a bigger lizard.)  He was slightly crushed at first that I was absolutely saying no to a tegu, but he began to see the upside of this.  And I was thrilled with my brilliant plan because I thought it would take him months to earn and save money, to find the right lizards, to get the equipment.  

May I just say that it took all of three days for Chase to be offered a short weekend job that earned him more money than he has ever earned in his life?  And that he has a buddy at school who just happened to be trying to sell two bearded dragons along with quite a lot of equipment?  Oh yes.  Three days.  And suddenly my brilliant plan of making him work and save turned into two lizards arriving at our house the day before Thanksgiving.

So...I'm not going to lie. I can not deny that I am an animal lover.  I'm the one who still has pretty much my very own pet guinea pig.  And these two lizards are actually really super cool.  Cap has been diligent in caring for them, cleaning up after them, chopping salad for them and even bathing them.  Yes.  Bathing.  Apparently it's really good for lizards.  And Troy and I have read with Cap lots about these lizards and invested some of our own dollars into making sure they're getting the best care we can give them. Yes, we're kind of suckers.  But they are cool animals.

Their names are OmNom and Samantha - inherited names, but I think Cap is sticking with them.  They are really fun lizards - very active but not all skittery.  They are completely willing to be held and don't run away.  They are pretty calm and are active during the day.  They only require two full aquariums and three different types of light sources each to keep healthy and you know, Cap can start pitching in on the power bill.  Okay, they're awesome, and it's so fun to see Cap happy.  His lizard obsession is currently sated, praise be.  The only issue is finding lizard sitting when we go out of town.....anyone up for this weekend?

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