Print Story Another new addition.
By nightflameblue (Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 10:27:08 PM EST) (all tags)
Many months ago I was asked if I wanted to take on the responsibility of a "rescue" Leopard Gecko as the person who originally rescued it wasn't sure he was capable of taking it on. Turns out, he couldn't give her up once he had her, and decided to do the research he needed to do to take care of her. All of my research didn't go to waste, as I passed along what I had found in my preparations.

Yesterday, I received a phone call late in the evening from this same person.

He has an acquaintance that has a very strange habit of taking in an animal, taking very good care of them for about a week, and then losing interest. And by "strange habit" I mean, anger inducing in such a way that it makes me want to put him in a cell somewhere and lose interest.

But I digress. . .

So, said acquaintance had somehow come in possession of a Leopard Gecko some months back and had since lost interest. Knowing our mutual friend was a Leopard Gecko owner, this jackass. . . er, um, I mean, person, contacted him and asked if he wanted another. He instantly thought of me.

Through a series of phone calls back and forth, I agreed.

It wasn't until I went to pick up the new member of the family that I realized just how bad it's life had been to this point. In the smallest tank an adult should ever be kept in, a single hide on the "cold" side of the tank, large crickets crawling everywhere, oh, and the fucktard, I mean person decided to unplug the heat source once he decided he had lost interest. So our new baby was living for who knows how long without heat. And the larger crickets are known to nibble on geckos when they sleep if they are left hungry in the enclosure.

By the time I got the new family member home things were closed up for the weekend, so I'm stuck with what I have available. Thus far, all available evidence points to our new baby having never had vitamins or calcium, both essential to Leopard Geckos. The water was filthy. The bowl was cleaned and clear, fresh water put in. The enclosure in a mess, obviously not cleaned in some time. We did a quick cleanup got the "heat lamp" that was sent along running again, and let our new critter warm back up to a decent temperature.

Oh, the heat lamp provided is actually just a 100 watt regular standard light bulb in a shop light.

Son of a . . .

Tomorrow, I go with a list on a little shopping trip and get this shit straightened out. Appropriate sized enclosure with proper hides on warm and cool sides, plus a humid hide, which has apparently never been provided. Appropriately sized crickets for a food source, vitamins, calcium, proper heat source, timer on a good lamp for day/night cycle that actually IS a day/night cycle. Appropriate "flat" water dish instead of this whatever the hell you'd call that's in there.

Sorry, I appear to be a little aggravated. Don't even get me started on what this mental giant did when he had a dog. Thank dorg someone with half a brain took the dog from him before he did any lasting damage. Unfortunately, I'm not yet certain that's the case this time.

Our new baby has lost its tail at some point and regrown a partial one. I've been very cautious about handling so far, trying to make sure he/she is comfortable for the night until the new enclosure is prepared, so I haven't had a chance to check claw damage from the course carpet the previous caretaker slapped in there because it was easier than finding an appropriate substrate. He/she moves around fairly well, and appears to be sleeping very peacefully now that the enclosure is fairly clean and temperature regulated on some level, even if it's not perfect. Once we get proper food in there, if eating commences and I can check him/her out looking for any obvious signs of injury. If eating doesn't commence, vet trip. It's possible a vet trip will be in order anyway, if anything seems amiss.

Mrs. NFB, in typical Mrs. NFB fashion, went from "ew lizard" to "how dare that bastard not take care of our baby" as soon as mommy mode kicked in. A creature passes the threshold, and no matter the species, that is her child from that point forward. It worked with the cats, despite the fact she's a dog person. It worked with the fish. And now it's worked with a reptile.

We're still working through our own anger over horrible pet ownership issues. Some people view living things as if they aren't. We can't comprehend that.

Provided our new kid doesn't have any permanent issues, our anger will pass quickly. It will take more time if there are permanent issues, but it will fade.

The important thing today is that we have a new pet. A new pet that will be cared for.

< Tick tick | Attn LHuSi/TFL infidels >
Another new addition. | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)
It's cute how the lizard merits by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #1 Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 11:58:35 PM EST
more TLC from you than the crickets.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

He's a chrodatist, do you have a problem with that by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #2 Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 04:37:05 AM EST

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i'm sure that by misslake (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 12:15:50 PM EST
he's given his new cricket Eloi a nice mason jar mansion with a cloth tied over the top and some crumpled up newspaper and several slices of apple.

and that he's not telling them what will happen when the reptile regains enough jaw strength.

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once upon a time, by misslake (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Oct 27, 2009 at 06:46:31 PM EST
i found myself in a simmilar situation.
the gecko i gained custody of was sluggish and had also lost it's tail and then regrown a partial one.

"dromie" regained her strength rapidly. the part of her tail that had regrown was always crooked at the point where i gained custody, before that point there had been no insect or calcium based food, and the tip of the tail was tiny and deformed as a result. the rest of the tail grew in fat and straight after i "gut loaded" the crickets with kale and carrot and doused them in vitamin powder before feeding. i also fed her 2 or 3 times a day at first, to make sure she ate each cricket before it managed to clean all the calcium powder of itself.

this story has a sad ending, dromie got so much better, so much stronger and faster than i imagined a lizard could be that she escaped from the cage a year after i got her, and then lived out the rest of her days roaming the shawshack in horrible freedom.
every so often you'd see a picture frame move and the lizard would appear momentarily behind it before miraculously (in a sort of change in quantum gecko states) vanishing and reappearing next to the bookcase. if you got close it would vanish again. she was impossible to recapture, impossible to lure back into her cage. (i had a phd who had spent a year in the jungle capturing geckos for his  research in as an expert and even he couldn't get close)
after 5 months loose in the house the sightings reduced in frequency, and then eventually stopped.

dromie's flat dry corpse was found much much later, after the dissolution of the shawshack.

not sure if this is a cautionary tale, about not letting your gecko get too healthy for fear it will never want to be your friend, or a tale of encouragement, that with proper care even disadvantaged geckos can live full lives after being fed properly and cared for with love.

best wishes for you and your lizard overlord.

Wow. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 06:45:52 AM EST

Sorry to hear about that. Some people have house geckos that live for years roaming free-range, but it's sad to hear of one escaping and then not making it long-term.

On the bright side, this is a Leopard, which means there won't be any wall climbing action. Leopard's are also slow movers for the most part. And we're going out of our way to develop a trust relationship, as much of one as you can with a reptile. We're already at the point where if I speak softly to it, it'll relax and let me pet its head, so the general hope is that, even in the unlikely event someone's dumb enough to leave the lock open, recapture will be quick and easy.

I think right now our new pet is very wore out from what it already survived. The crickets have been disappearing in the night, and we've seen several mealworms consumed. Outside of that, it's pretty much been laying on the warm side of the tank with its belly pressed to the floor. Probably feels good to finally have some heat after who knows how long without.

We've got it's old home converted into a cricket tank, with a specialty gut-load cricket food provided in quantities to make sure the crickets are providing nutrition. Mealworms are dusted with calcium. Crickets will be dusted with multi-vitamin couple times a week. The little lizard does appear to enjoy interacting with the other pets through the glass, so there's entertainment for it when it's awake. With any luck, health should make a sharp improvement.

Thanks for the good wishes.

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Another new addition. | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)