I've taken care of animals for families while they are on vacation since I was a kid. The next door neighbor's toy poodle, Muffin, practically became my dog one summer while they traveled to who knows where. The old lady down the street who had 11 cats paid me to clean her 20 litter boxes a couple of times a year.
In more recent years I've taken care of horses, cows, goats and chickens while folks were away. But I'd never had the opportunity to care for a reptile until this week.
I'm not scared of most reptiles - frogs, turtles and lizards are awesome in my book. Snakes are only ok if they don't surprise me and stay nicely in their tank.
My running buddy's daughter needed someone to care for her bearded dragon, George, while they were away this week. I was more than happy to play zoo keeper. I was psyched to feed him each morning - to watch him eye up his meal worms or crickets, then snap them up and crunch them in the blink of an eye was so cool. Should I be concerned that I had enjoyment of watching him eat living things? I was surprised how responsive he was when I talked to him or said his name.
So I can add lizard sitting to my list of animal experiences. What's next? Sheep? Hogs? Ducks?
Kev's family has what I call a "bad tooth gene." Root canals and the like are a part of dental visits for his family. I asked my dentist about this trend, fearing that this was something I had to look forward to as I got older. He assured me that some people are genetically disposed to such tooth drama. I am one of the lucky ones who can skip a few cleanings and the world doesn't end. While my family has horrible hearts and bad circulation - I got good teeth so I can smile while I have a heart attack.
Roxy has the bad tooth gene. No matter how hard we try to keep them clean, they just end up rotten. So when she went on a hunger strike last week I knew I had put her dental off too long. She ended up losing 5 teeth! And when I say losing, I mean Dr Hottie Sr said they basically fell out. I wonder if there should have been a discount?
Now poor pitiful Roxy is milking the fact her mouth hurts. She will eat, but only if hand fed. And handing her raw chicken gizzards one-by-one at 5:30a isn't fun. I figure I can indulge her for at least one day or at least while her little mouth is swollen. I will draw the line at pre-chewing her food for her like Alicia Silverstone.
This morning we took the girls to walk at my favorite place - the greenway trail in Boone, NC. This is the same trail where i was stopped 6 years ago and asked - "Is that one of those high-speed dogs?"
The unseasonably warm weather (I ran 9 miles in short sleeves!) and mountain breezes excited Seka so she kept up for the 2 mile walk without much protest (and a rest at the half way point). Roxy was psyched that there were so many people out and about and they were all there to see her. She play bowed and smiled at everyone. We even learned a bit about ultimate frisbee as we watched the App State students play on the fields near by.