I've always loved reptiles—well, I've always loved exotic animals in general. As someone who has spent large amounts of time, energy, research, and money into caring for these creatures, I have come up with a foolproof way of integrating a new species into my collection. Here are the five steps that I take before deciding to bring home a new companion and the five steps that keep my companions happy and healthy. Keep in mind, these steps work with all animals regardless of species. I'd take the same five steps into consideration when getting a cat or a dog—just as I would if I decided to bring home an iguana.
Let's face it rats have a bad rep. They are seen as pests and vectors of disease, and haven't really been able to recover their rep since... well... the black plague, I suppose. BUT domestic rats are intelligent, loving, and very clean. People always gravitate towards rabbits or guinea pigs as a small house pet, but rats outdo these two twice over. I've owned them all, cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, you name it, and I've probably picked up its poop at some point. By profession, I am a pet sitter, so every day I'm looking after a fur family. Since owning rats, however, I'm completely converted. Most rat owners will tell you how much they adore their bucked toothed fur children, but I'm here writing a whole article on it, I'm that passionate, and I assure you with a good reason for carrying on. Let me bullet point it off for you:
I am willing to bet that we all follow at least one famous pet on Instagram. Whether it be the pet of a famous person, or one of the most famous animal actors in history, there's got to be at least one on your list. My Instagram suggestions know me so well that it doesn't even bother suggesting anything to me that isn't either creative writing or a cat. That's why I'm elated to share with you the famous pets of celebrities, so that you too can enjoy a life of luxurious fluff.
The Beast of Gevaudan was a man-eating wolf-like animal that killed over around 100 women and children and wounded 49 back in 1764-1767. The way this animal killed these was by tearing out its victims' throats, most of the victims were partly eaten. Most of the eye witnesses who were able to describe the beast as having formidable teeth and immense tail. They also said that the beast, on many accounts, was wounded but not dead, these injuries included shots at point blank range. This is what made many believe that this animal was a werewolf. Most people wanted to believe that it was a mythical creature rather than believe it was just a wolf because they could not kill it.
I once had a gerbil named Jeffrey and we all called him Jeffy. He was an albino gerbil who had the run of the house. You couldn't help but love the little guy because he was so fun to have around. He was a sweet boy. Smart and I mean smart. He was so smart that he knew how to get out of his tank and leave it. I've awoken to hearing him run around his tank in the middle of the night and climbing up on his water bottle, trying to get out. This goofy boy knew how to squeeze himself out and didn't care if the height of the tank was far off the ground. He'd make to the floor and run around as if he owned the house. You would think a gerbil wouldn't be so smart, but they are. They are capable of learning quickly, especially when you're not home to stop them from leaving the tank. Jeffy decided that during the day when everyone was away, he'd climb out of his tank and go exploring around the house. At which time, Dollie, the only dog we had at the time, followed him into the master bedroom. He hid in the closest and Dollie lay there, watching him. This little sweetheart waited until someone came and got him. When my Mom and Dad came home, they weren't sure what was in the closet because of Dollie. So they opened the closest door and to their surprise was the silly gerbil, standing on his hind legs, looking at them. Apparently, Jeffy had braved through the house, all the while, keeping Dollie on her toes? Who knows? He was all right. But he sure loved to tell his "mate" Peanut all about his adventure to her. Jeffy was so bright that he would actually be the only gerbil allowed free roam. If he got himself under the washer or dryer, he'd come out for peanut butter. He always had to have peanut butter as a treat! He loved it. Jeffy was a great father and Peanut was a great mother. I went to breeding gerbils for the local pet store in exchange for food, bedding, toys, and sometimes, they'd give me money. The babies were handled daily so they were always hand-trained and used to people. I even babysat Peanut's litter while she got free time from them. She would often check on them, then run around. They'd always fall asleep in my hands. So, they were used to my scent and warmth. It was something nice. The downside with Peanut was? She bit me all the time. Jeffy lived longer than any gerbil around. He lived for six to seven years and Peanut lived for five years. They were given a lot of enrichment, love, and food blocks, seeds, and yogurt treats. Even wood blocks to chew on for their teeth since they grow. You won't find another couple of cute gerbils like Jeffy and Peanut.
So a little while ago I made the decision to get another pair of Axolotl. The first pair worked out well, but for a multitudinous amount of reason, they died. When I looked through the internet for new axolotl, I found something interesting. I found someone selling week old axolotl larvae (the term for newly hatched axolotl) for sale. I thought that this would be a fun adventure for me. Raise a new pair of axolotl. The challenge turned out to be more then I thought it would be. I thought I would make this care guide to go through the things I wish that I had known when I got my little ones. Here is what I learned.
I love frogs. They're so beneficial and plus they're cute. Keeping bugs away. Every year, I would get visited by a frog or frogs. When Allie, my bearded dragon passed away, a month later, a toad paid a visit to me, every day. I looked up the mystical facts about frogs and toads visiting after a death. Well, the toad signaled that I was being visited by Allie's spirit. Whenever I would come visit her grave in the backyard, the little toad was there. It didn't flee. It stayed around for the whole summer. This year, a tree frog and a toad visited me again. This time, I was able to handle both without having them pee on my hands. All toads and frogs pee when nervous or it's a defense against predators. I have been told not to handle toads because they have warts and can cause warts. Well, thankfully, it hasn't been the case with any frog or toad. I've rescued both toad and tree frog from spider webs.One particular tree frog always seems to trust me and they even traveled to the stores with me. One day after a shopping trip, he had sneaked into the trunk of my SUV. I took him back to where I had believed he should be. The next day, he was stuck in between the plastic sheeting and door. It seems he liked to be warmed up and given the same love I gave to Allie. When he was done with getting warmed up and loved, he would leave. I think he was a miracle frog and visited every night, climbing on my windows. The toad didn't return, but the tree frog always did pay a visit either to eat the bugs or to send a message.
Four years ago, I rescued a bearded dragon lizard named Alice. Alice turned into Allie. Allie was a sweet bearded dragon lizard. We didn't know her approximate age so we were told she was seven to nine months old. While I didn't have enough information on her, I dived right in to a world I didn't know anything about bearded dragon lizards. There is a lot of conflicting information about them and due to that conflicting information, I didn't know if I was doing everything right. When I asked her previous owner about what she ate, she told me to look it up and that was it. I went website to website, looking for information, looking for things she would need for a happy long life with me.
I have six rats; five girls and one boy. They all live together in their double Critter Nation cage. My boy is neutered so he can live with the girls. His name is Vlad and he is an albino rat. He is lazy like a good boy usually is. Then there is the youngest girl. Her name is Basha and she is an Agouti Berkshire rat. She might be slightly more cute because she was born without a tail, but we won't tell the others we think so ;). Then there is Fluffy. She is our crazy girl. She is blue and has curly hair all over. Then Ivonne; she is a black Berkshire girl. She is the boss and the mastermind behind all their naughty behavior. Then there is Corrine. She is our pretty grey variegated girl. She loves food slightly more than all the other rats. Rat number six is our girl Odette. She is a cream color and a variegated hooded rattie. She is so sweet and loves to give kisses all over the place.
Raccoons. Love them? Let me tell you more. Hate them? Let me change your mind.