Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Jumping On My Soapbox With Wanda
Wanda was dying of metabolic disease when I got her. She was only about a foot long, her mouth was stuck together with a sticky substance so she couldn't eat--she was so sick! The owner was going to turn her loose in the desert, which would have surely been the death of her. After a visit to a vet, I gave her special shots with a teenie-tiny needle and blended food in the blender so I could feed her with a syringe. Wanda required special lights and heat, something that requires a real balance, and she hadn't been getting it.
She got better after a couple months and I kept her for about eight years. It was fun to include her in our family Christmas cards and children always wanted to see her and hold her. I'm not sure how much feelings iguanas have for their owners, but I "bonded" with Wanda just from the special care she required. I would wrap her in a towel and hold her on my chest to feed her. When she was done eating, she'd slowly close her eyes and settle in to sleep. Bobbing her head at me was as close as she came to recognizing me as someone special in her life. She grew so big (over four feet) that I just couldn't keep her any longer. A vet with a very large reptile home was willing to take her from me and though I was sad to see her go, it was the best thing for her.
Hold on while I climb on my soapbox:
Iguanas should not be pets unless the owners are well trained in caring for them! The pet stores sell cute little four or five inch green iguanas to people who have no idea how large they will become. Parents buy those little critters for their children with no long term perspective. Iguanas don't stay small if you leave them in a small container--they will outgrow it or die under those conditions. Iguanas need their living spaces to be larger than they are, which means a four foot iguana would need at least a six foot space. Their razor sharp teeth can rip your finger off or worse if they bite you. Iguanas can also carry salmonella, so it is extremely important to wash your hands after holding them. It was an adventure I wouldn't have traded for anything and I really loved that iguana with her misshaped jaw (from the disease), but I would never purchase an iguana from a pet store or anywhere else.
Whew! Okay, that was quite a climb down from my soapbox, but now I'll go sew a block or two and get back to quilty-type posts.