My “Unusual” Pet

I love animals, that’s no secret. I have kept and owned pets, 9 times out of 10, cats and dogs. As of right now, I have two pets, a 12 year old dog named Dixie and a 7 month old hyper kitten named Bella. Now I don’t usually play favorites with my pets, but I have had Dixie for all 12 years of her life. I have no idea why, but all the animals I have ever owned, have “chosen” me as their human. Who trains who?

But today I want to talk about the ONE exception pet I have owned. Again, not to play favorites per se, but this animal sticks out to me because it was my first “official” pet, meaning my sole responsibility. When I was 19 or 20, maybe a year or so younger, I owned a pet lizard. I had a Bearded Dragon named Gex. If you have never seen a Bearded Dragon before, which I find hard to believe seeing as they are sold in literally almost every pet store, I suggest looking one up. These things are AWESOME! Not only awesome, but friendly as anything!

Bearded Dragons, in my opinion, are the dogs of the lizard world. Some animals want nothing to do with you, like say a crocodile, kind of a weird example, but you get my drift. Bearded Dragons, if raised properly and socialized like any other pet, actually WANT to hang out with you. They want to be involved in your life. I was informed that Bearded Dragons, or Beardies as we call them, are easy to care for and the friendliest of any reptile. Well as it turns out…that’s a half truth.

While Beardies are among the friendliest animals you will ever meet, intimidating as they may look, they are not the easiest to care for. They require a heat spot to bask, a kind of big enclosure, and a lot of crickets and meal worms. Not to mention fresh cut greens.

All those negatives are some reasons why you might be discouraged from getting one of these amazing pets. BUT for me, the pros for sure outweigh those cons. Gex was a great companion. Like, if you held her, she wouldn’t run or bite. She would just sit…and sit…and sit… Really the only downside to holding Gex, or any Beardie from what I have heard and read, is their tendency to poop on you…and it smells…a lot.

We had a custom enclosure that my dad built when Gex was full-grown. It was almost big enough to the point where I could lay in it. Having said that, the maximum size of a Bearded Dragon is around two feet. So the enclosure to animal proportion was a little one sided, but better safe than sorry. Gex’s favorite thing to do, apart from interacting with me, was chasing crickets. I mentioned Bearded Dragons are tame. Gex was so tame, I could feed her meal worms out of my hand and not get bit. Oh, and that’s the other thing. Unlike some other lizards, take an Iguana for instance, Beardies rarely, if EVER, will bite. Gex only bit me once and that was my fault. When she was a baby, Gex tried to run under the hutch where all the electrical wires were. I grabbed her by the tail, she turned around and nipped at me.

So if you are still asking what’s so cool about Beardies, the best is yet to come. As a defense mechanism they puff up and inflate their chins to look big and tough, hence the name Bearded Dragon. Oh, and one other thing. If you get a female, like I had, they will actually wave at you. No joke. Females will take their right front leg and “wave” in a circular motion. It’s hard to explain. Just go look it up on YouTube. It’s FANTASTIC!

So to wrap this post up, I adore Bearded Dragons and would love to get another one at some point in the future. So do you enjoy reptiles? What is your favorite animal? Let me know in the comments and I’ll catch you next time!


Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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