Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kevin, the bearded dragon

We had a nice Thanksgiving this year. We usually go to a big potluck Thanksgiving meal with fellow graduate students, but many of the grad students we used to celebrate with have since moved away and the others we know were away for Thanksgiving. This year, we went to our neighbors who live a few houses down from us. They have a three-year old son who also goes to the same daycare as Olsen. Olsen and Ben are best buds, and it was great to celebrate the holiday with good friends.

Olsen and Ben getting ready to eat
Here they are waiting for their feast.

Every year, we like to see what kind of deals there are for Black Friday. We were looking at the PetSmart ad to see what we could score for Lucy. I saw that leopard geckos were 50% off. I jokingly said we should get one. We have a friend (who has since moved away) who has one, named Quiggy, and every time we would go to her house, Olsen would ask to hold her. Adrian, Olsen, and Lucy headed off to the store. They were gone for a long time. They came back with a bearded dragon!

Kevin stretching out
here is Kevin, the bearded dragon

Adrian explained that he got a 40 gallon vivarium so that Kevin could turn around when he gets bigger. Apparently, bearded dragons can get up to two feet or so. Here is a video of a two-year old bearded dragon catching crickets to give you an idea of size. I oscillate between "how cute and funny" and "uh, that is a big reptile that I'm not sure I want on my shoulder."

I did some reading about beardies that night and learned that they really do sound like the ideal reptile pet for kids. They are very docile and tolerate being held (some even argue that beardies enjoy being held). I also learned from reading forums on that reptile folk are very funny about their beardies. People really cuddle with them. One person wears two shirts and puts their beardie in between the shirts to keep him warm in the winter, ha ha ha.

Anyway, I did more reading and learned that all reptiles can shed salmonella and the CDC recommends waiting until children are at least five to have a reptile pet. We were being careful and kept hand sanitizer by the cage, but I felt too worried about it since Jovie is so little and puts her hands in her mouth all the time. I know it's rare to contract salmonella from a reptile pet if one uses common sense, but I decided I didn't want to stress about it, so we took poor Kevin back on the 2nd day. Olsen was okay with taking Kevin back but he does still talk about "my lizard." Yesterday, he was playing with his wands and instead of turning Jovie into a frog, he turned her into a lizard "like my lizard," he said.

We will probably end up getting one of these when Olsen is eight or so.

Olsen loved Kevin
Olsen holding Kevin

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