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I am a 42 year old woman that is about as happy and content as one person can be. My husband of 21 years and our 15 year old daughter live on five and a half acres out in the country. We moved from the city four years ago and never looked back. I homeschool our daughter. We also love our animals. Our daughter has a miniature horse and two rabbits. We also have a border collie, two cats (again), two pot belly pigs, four peafowl, three emus, 2 llamas and an undetermined number of chickens, lets just say ohhh about 200. I have many breeds, from layers to fancy chickens. I love poultry shows, I love fowl in general as I have come to find out through having more than just chickens. Chickens will always be my first love though. I do show some of my birds occasionally.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dragon

Dragon

This is Dragon. I know some may not see an iguana as a very cuddly pet, but every animal has its way.

We lost this dear wonderful lady yesterday. She was an astounding 15 years old. That is very old for an iguana in captivity. We have had her longer than we have had our daughter Shelby!

Don't fret too much. We will miss her, but she lived a good life and it was her time. Her death came as no surprise. She stopped eating over a week ago. She lost all her muscle mass over three weeks ago. We knew it was coming and her time to leave us was near. She passed peacefully.

We used to take her to the Petsmart sometimes when we lived at the old house. That always turned heads. We could only take her in the summer when it was warm though...as reptiles dont have any way to regulate their body heat and the only way to keep her warm outside of her heat lamp and heat rock was to take her out on warm days.

She had a leash...yes she had a harness. We would take her for walks out on the grass from time to time.

In the summer she had a large cage that she managed to escape on one occasion...scared me to death...we looked and looked for her. We found she hadnt gone far at all...she was in that big old tree in the front yard (at the old house) looking down at us probably laughing in her reptilian way at the silly humans looking for her. Ian had to get a ladder and perch precariously on the top of it, but he got her down. She clung to the branch reluctantly.

She loved to have her bumps rubbed. She had raised bumps on the back of her neck.

She had a rough start in life. Way back when, Ian and I went to go to the grocery store for a few things. We had a sickly cat and figured she would not bother Dragon, since she didnt feel very good. How that cat dragged that poor lizard out of a coveredtank I will never know. The top is covered by a wooden cover. But she did, had that lizard out on the floor and had really torn her up good. Dragons eye was turned back, her thin ear hole covering was ripped open, she had numerous puncture wounds and scratches. We sat vigile with her over night keeping her warm with her heat rock.

Well she made it through. Her eye got better and her ear hole healed up and recovered itself. We werent sure she would make it, but she sure did.

Then came a whole other set of problems. She was reaching an age to produce eggs. Reptiles are like birds, they will produce eggs whether they are mated or not. Difference being reptiles expell their eggs all at once. Our girl was getting bloated looking and we were afraid she had become eggbound. (Not being able to expell the eggs).

I searched and searched for a vet that would take her. No regular vet wanted to touch her...but on the northside of Atlanta I finally found a vet that specialized in reptiles and birds. Thank goodness. We made an appointment and went right in.

With Xrays the doctor saw at least 25 eggs, and yes she was indeed eggbound. She also had a kidney stone that would only get worse with time...so they were to remove that while in there. She was spayed so there would be no further problems.

The doctor was very impressed with Dragons bone structure. More often than not people that get these animals do not adhere to their diet requirements. They think lizards are easy keepers, and they are in some ways. They must have the right amount of calcium in their diet though. Too much will cause calcium deposits and kill them. Too little and their bone structure suffers, some will have no bones in the their toes or hands...things like that. Dragon had bones all the way to the tip of her little toes. So we had been doing right by her.

800 dollars later...we were out of there. Sheesh that was one expensive vet visit. But as you can see, she was worth it, she lived a long long time.

Anyway...I wanted to do an entry about good old Dragon. She was a good old gal.

14 comments:

robinngabster said...

Dragon~ hope you are basking in the sun somewhere and getting your bumps rubbed often.  :)  Nice story, thanks for sharing.

breakaway1968 said...

What a sweet story!  She had a great home and was content!  You guys did good!  

mumma4evr said...

good bye Dragon
Becky

wwfbison said...

She is cool looking!  I'm sorry she passed away but like you stated, it surely sounds like she had a wonderful life with you guys and beat the odds more than once.  Rest in peace Dragon.
Lisa

ally123130585918 said...

Kelly I hope Dragon is basking in the sun ~ somewhere over the rainbow ~ You cetainly did give her a good life and she did survive a lot of hazards especially from the cat ~ what a good long life she had ~ Ally x

madcobug said...

I am sorry that you lost her. She did have a good life with you though and survived several bad times. Helen

gen0507 said...

Kelly,
I'm sorry about Dragon, but I know she was very happy with you.  I know you took very good care of her.  You take good care of all your animals.  Any animal would be lucky to live with you.

Hollie

mcknansmom said...

so sorry about Dragon.....It is hard to lose a pet.  even when you know it is their time.  
so what happened to the cat that attacked her?

solace223 said...

She is absolutely one of the most gorgeous igauna's I've ever seen.  I'm sorry for her passing but glad she had such a wonderful life with you.
Jamie

plieck30 said...

Thank you for sharing this story. It was very interesting. You are so good with any kind of animal. I'm sure Dragon was happy with you. Paula

geocachelinda66 said...

She seems like she was a great pet.  So sorry about her passing though.  I always thought an iguana would be a fun pet.  Linda

deshelestraci said...

Oh, sorry to hear she died.  Sounds like she was a nice pet for you guys.  15 is old!
Traci

malagutigrrl said...

This is what I saw!  One day when I lived in Nashville, I was driving home from work and saw a rather large one of these walking across the road.  It disappeared into the grassy median.  I pulled over and waited for the traffic to pass so I could cross (I backed up quite a bit waiting for this guy to cross) but by the time I got to the median I couldn't find him anywhere.  
How do you loose an Iguana?
I've got a lepard gecko that's really cool but tiny by comparison (although big for a gecko).  Unfortunately he doesn't talk.  But if he did, he'd probably be trying to sell me insurance!
:)
mj

nelishianatl said...

I am so sorry about what I said when I saw Dragon.  It wasn't nice.  I asked me husband to never, ever buy me one as they scare the you know what out of me.  And I threatened him a strange dinner if he tried. lol But after what all you went through for her, I kinda feel different.  For yours. I still don't want one personally.  Please forgive me for mouthing off about what I didn't know.  Her life and her death has kinda won me over.  And honestly I am sorry for ya'll losing her.  That's a long, long time to have her.  You did A LOT of things right for her. I know you'll miss her and having her around.

Nelishia
http://journals.aol.com/nelishianatl/PrayingandBelieving/

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