Sunday, August 15, 2010

Why an iguana?

You have no idea how many times I get this question asked. To be honest, it came as a surprise to me as well. When I was in first grade, a guy came to visit our school, and he had loads of reptiles with him. I remember the python or maybe it was a constrictor, all I recall was a huge snake and a massive tortoise. I was fascinated by the snake and how it felt to touch her.
Fast forward 18 years later:

I just separated with my boyfriend, moved out of our flat and rented a place on my own. It felt quiet and l thought I'd love to have a budgie since I grew up with tame, absolute extraordinary ones. I love birds, they seriously crack me up.

So I went into a Zoo shop to gather information about prices, cages, etc. I looked at them, smiled and turned round to see what's behind me. BANG! Believe it or not, it's exactly how it happened and I still have this scene in front of me: The second I turned I stared at a little green dragon, it stared back an blinked. That was it - I was in love.
I said, 'You're Oscar, and you are mine!'
Don't ask my why that name, it was the first thought that came to my mind when I saw this mini dino.
Green Iguana was written on the viviarium. I turned on my heels and went to ask the Shop assistent what a Green Iguana is and that I just fell for it, head over  heels. She was brilliant. First thing she said, was that they become huge and require a lot of room and knowledge, she handed me a book to read in while I was there.

Did her efforts to put me off help? No, certainly not. In her defense, I think I was lucky and so was the iguana. A lot of  shops don't care if the animals live or die, as long as they get their money for them. A sad reality. Many other people tried to talk me out of it, suggested I should get a bearded dragon. Though I love them and one day I will get a pair, I only had eyes for Oscar. And when I got her home, yes, her (it's impossible to tell the sex when they're babies just by looking at them), I promised her to look after her well  until she dies. Though I made a few mistakes, she became 15 and was the most special iguana known to mankind. She died two years ago. And I miss her a lot.

I will post my experiences on a regular basis in order to help people understand their animals, learn from my mistakes and to rise awareness for the resposibilities that come with keeping iguanas.

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