Friday, November 16, 2012

Fuego, the old man.

Tough to wrap my head around it but Fuego's first birthday is this coming Sunday according to the hatch date given by his "breeder". I've owned him for the last 7 1/2 months and can barely remember a life without reptiles and especially my dragons. Planning to swing by Jabberwock Reptiles in Winchester, MA on Sunday to buy silk worms as a birthday treat for him and maybe buy some squash to add to his salad as I haven't done that in a few months. Hoping my limited picture editing skills will allow me to put a "then and now" composition of him together that I can post on the 18th. To say that he has exploded in size is an understatement...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I am no longer with RRUS. Won't go into details but that caused quite a shake-up for me, and I suppose my animals, but the dust is beginning to settle and I am looking forward to future opportunities in the herp world.

Regardless of that ending, I was able to ship Vader to his new home Monday into Tuesday. If you haven't experienced it firsthand, shipping a live animal is absolutely terrifying. Luckily he arrived in New York in perfect condition and seemed un-phased by his overnight adventure. His new mom is smitten and I can't begin to describe how happy I am to know Vader is happy and will be well loved. Makes rescuing so very worth the effort and occasional heartbreak.

Otherwise, everything with the animals is fairly quiet. Katara is still battling a RI and is on antibiotics for a month. Hoping this is the last of it for both of our sakes. Fuego turns 1 on Sunday and continues to explode into a full-sized dragon which still shocks me considering how tiny he was when I took him home in April. Memphis is in his adult tank and seemingly content (still not a huge fan of being handled) and Severus refused a few meals but took a mouse last night so hopefully he was just being stubborn and this doesn't become a pattern for him.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Severus (the) Snake and a New Home for Vader, Maybe?

The newest addition to "the zoo" is a normal male Western Hognose snake that I named Severus. He's only been here a little over a week so I'm keeping handling to a minimum so I don't stress him out unnecessarily. Per the breeder's advice (Top of the Hill Herps), I waited a week to feed him so he got his first f/t small pinkie mouse this evening. Imagine it will take time for me to get used to handling the dead rodents but just happy that he ate it within an hour of me putting it into his enclosure. Like most snakes, Western Hognoses won't eat when agitated so the fact that he took the mouse so quickly means I must be doing something right. 

As far as the rest of the critters I am currently waiting on two applications to be returned on Vader. I've been trying to get the guy adopted for months so really hoping one of these pans out or I may end up welcoming another permanent member here which I would rather not do until I buy my own place next year. Everyone who happens to read this please send positive vibes that one of these two people is the right home for my handsome boy.

On top of all that, Katara and Pacino are still showing signs of having URIs so waiting on a different type of medication and hoping it works more effectively than the last. I think they both want to brumate (a hibernation of sorts) but can't allow them to do so until they are feeling better so at the moment forcing them to bask, eat, and poop which is less than glorious but necessary for the time being. If this new medication kicks their URIs, Pacino will be available for adoption once I can get a clear fecal and a little more weight on him.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

RRUS at New England Reptile Expo

The New England Reptile Expo in Manchester, NH was beyond nice enough to allow Reptile Rescuers of the United States to have a booth at their event free of charge so myself and two other rescuers spent most of today representing our organization to the hundreds, if not thousands, of people that came through the doors between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM.

We had a binder of animals for adoption as well as those in recovery, a board showing common illnesses that reptiles suffer from improper care, a quarter drop game, t-shirts for sale, and of course we all shared information and stories with those who stopped by our booth to chat. In those conversations we encountered a lot of people who have taken in reptiles in need, found some who may want to volunteer with us, and even started the foundation of a network with another rescue which could greatly help both organizations. All in all a very successful event for us in my opinion.

RRUS will also have a booth at the Massachusetts Reptile Expo in Braintree, MA on October 27th and we hope to improve our presence with a few additions to our booth.

On a more personal note, saw about twenty animals I wanted to take home but restricted myself to one. He's settling in so no pictures until next week once he gets a chance to relax.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Where were we?

Holy goodness, where to begin. Maybe some bullets will help.

  • Daisy is now being fostered by another rescuer and is doing well
  • Pacino was diagnosed as having a URI and the beginning signs of MBD (on top of being skinny) so he's on an antibiotic, liquid calcium, as well as liquid probiotics and a food supplement as he continues to refuse his salad
  • Still trying to find a new home for Vader but am continuing my work on socializing him until that happens
  • Katara also had a URI for she is on medication and being a grumpy face per usual
  • Fuego has almost literally exploded in size so I am cutting back on his protein to help thin him out a bit
  • Memphis has grown as well and in a few weeks will be moved to his "adult tank"
I know those are short bullets but it translates to a lot in real life. My mornings consist of making salads, administering medication, and misting tanks all before I eat breakfast and go to work. Upon my arrival home I do more feeding, usually some poop cleaning, baths, and then take care of the nocturnal creatures who are Memphis (crested gecko) and Vader (leopard gecko). Imagine this might sound like I'm complaining but this "work" honestly makes me immensely happy and I can't wait to add more critters to the menagerie. 

Oh! The rescue will be filing the paperwork for our 501(c)(3) status this weekend. I cannot express how happy this makes me and how proud I am to be a part of this organization.

Also, apologies for the seemingly random scattered photos but hate all text entries. Hopefully you don't mind too much...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Rescues X Two

I meant to post this earlier but who knew how fleeting my free time would be juggling a full-time job, a zoo, a boyfriend, a social life, and online classes. Trying to work on my time management skills. Need to, actually.

Last Sunday, I drove about 45 minutes to pick up two dragons from someone who was going to college and could no longer continue to care for them. I met up with his father who was kind enough to meet me halfway between our respective homes and along with the dragons donated their tanks, lighting, and accessories. We managed to smuggle it all into my little Beetle and off I went back home with two new bearded dragons in tow.

Once I got home, I finally got a good luck at the pair and was taken aback. I was told they were healthy (the people did care for them greatly) but there were obvious signs these guys hadn't been receiving proper care. The girl, now named Daisy (seriously, who names a female dragon Godzilla...), was the worst of the pair. Despite being seven years old she's about the size of my eight month old Fuego, her hips and spine are visible, and her jaw is obviously deformed from MBD. Despite this, she is by far the most absolute doll of a dragon I have ever encountered and I can't wait until she fattens up and gets into a better state.

The male, now Pacino, has a much better body condition but he's still short for being six years old and his head seems massive and disproportionate to the rest of his frame. This poor guy is a bundle of stress and tends to panic whenever I have to handle him regardless of how brief. Luckily for me, he doesn't show aggression so giving him time to settle in and calm down a bit and keeping interaction as short as possible for the time being.

Bowel talk here so feel free to stop reading if you get squeamish. So far, only Daisy has pooped and that was only one small, not well formed fecal that she did inside of her tank on Monday which had pieces of undigested beardie bites which were fed by the previous owners. Despite baths every other day, I haven't gotten anything else out of them despite trying belly massages so if there's nothing tomorrow will mix in some olive oil and see if that does the trick. I know, owning reptiles is very glamorous and you can't wait to follow suit. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Just a Little Rant...

As a rescuer for the reptile rescue, and a volunteer at an animal shelter, I have heard every excuse under the sun for people surrendering their animals. Sometimes, the people have valid reasons and I will never fault a person who is forced to give up an animal for reasons beyond their control and my heart breaks for the pain they must be suffering.

But, I am beyond tired of all the Craig's List ads I have been seeing where people "don't have time for their -fill in reptile here-" so they are rehoming it for usually an insane fee. 

Most reptiles don't require a lot of handling; it's one of the benefits of owning them. How do people not find 20-30 minutes each day, or even every other day, to take a snake out and let it curl around their bodies or explore a safe space?

I work full-time, am taking classes towards my MBA, volunteer at the animal rescue, see my friends & family on a somewhat regular basis, and I still magically find the time to make sure all of my animals are fed, all their cages kept clean, give them some outside-of-tank-time, and even managed to squeeze in additional moments with Katara who currently needs to be syringe fed and given almost daily soaks.

It's not easy. I miss some sleep here and there. I might have to skip out on a night out from time to time. These are my animals. I took them in and I can bother to take the time out of my schedule to meet their limited requirements.

Please, if you are thinking of getting a pet take the time to research what they need and ensure you can fit them into your lifestyle so someone like me doesn't have to take over your responsibility.