Defiance – At It’s Cutest

He is quiet, but we do communicate. I speak his silent language and he knows what I mean when I’m silent too. We sometimes have that with our animals, don’t we? For me, my Bearded Dragons have had that special something (as well as a few others).

Lil’ Murph: “Are you talking about me?”

You have no idea the amount of yard work (& interior improvements) I’ve done since we moved here nearly a year ago. Murph makes me take longer (& needed) rests outside, in part because he is precious & deserves it & the other part, because he defies me when he knows it’s time he should go inside so I can complete more chores. The house should have come with disclaimers as follows:


° You will see craftsmanship that makes you scratch your head!

° The house is sprinkled with electrical work that will make you wonder, “Did a grown man do this and how did he survive?”

° You will make continuous tiny discoveries so annoying that you will say unwanted words aimed at the kind previous home’s owners – either silently or aloud.

° You will never be truly finished with yard work. Ever. – – By the way, there are beautiful & beneficial plants that just fall over and grow lying down that you have to fix and HUNDREDS of flowering bulbs you need to give away or dig new homes for to transplant elsewhere.

And finally,

° You and your lizard will love the views, all the sky there is to see, the butterflies, and the abundance of wildlife – you’ll see it might be worth the troubles.

I think Lil’ Murph knows when I’m annoyed. He does not like it. He feels that energy. He either gives me a certain look or I’ll look at him and see the look in his eyes or tenseness in his posture.

Then, I feel bad for exposing him to negativity. He doesn’t deserve feeling my bad shi**. So in that event, he makes me stop, scoop him up, breathe and re-evaluate what’s important in the moment.

See, lizards are good for us!!!

LIl’ Murph

I believe Lil’ Murph knows what I’m conveying to him when I speak and also when I squeal from his cuteness or funny behavior too.

Even, I think he knows I am loving him when we’re laying on the floor together and he decides (with his little bell on) to bolt far away & I giggle on and on! Why…?

Because I just got this level view of his legs & feet pitter-pattering at a turbo-charged speed as he jingles all the way away from me!! The light shines through from underneath his belly & thighs! — oh man, it’s cute stuff!! Tap ‘jingles all the way’ to watch a video of Murph (caution: I’m in there baby-talking to him)!

I tell ya, I wish I could put those 12 seconds of enjoyment on a loop!!

Lil’ Murph

He is so peace-filled even when he’s being defiant. A defiant lizard

you may wonder, “Is that a thing?”

Well, Example A: Murph wants to go under a bush. “No, Murph, you can’t go in there.” I pick him up, I place him a foot (0.305 meters) or 2 away & I turn him around.

Now, He can go any direction except behind him, right? One might think, “Oh, that’s just a dumb lizard – a cold-blooded creature – They don’t have logical thinking, or even motives.” Wrong!! What does he do? He turns around & quickly aims for that bush!! (What the… ?)

“Murph, you have everywhere else to go! What is so intriguing about this spot!?!”

Now repeat this 5 times or so!!

I then find myself needing to scoop him up, this cute, little rebel and leaving the area with him because he refuses to give up or give in = Defiance.

I love that about him!

Example B: I’m going to take you back for a moment to where we lived last year. We always used the back door near the driveway.

There was an ally behind and beside our house. They T’d right there (some windy or eerily still nights, it could have been said Hacate visited there (it was the HecaT :), there was a dog care place there, the pack inside barked in the dark & I was on high alert).

So, picture this: I’ve just taken Murph and his dog brother on a walk. Murph, my little Zen man, is a perfect angel (except when he wanted down to poo), while resting peacefully at my shoulder the entire trip.

Next, we turn the corner and he sees his back yard. “Oh hell no!” He’s not having it, and even more not so when we reached that “T” I told you about!!

He lets loose his grip on me and drops. I know as soon as he jerks his head in refusal that he is about to attempt a vertical fall to the ground.

Do not underestimate the intelligence of lizards!

Like I stated, I speak his language. I catch him every time. He squirms and squirms. I place him down and he walks any direction but homeward. This has sometimes kept me 10 minutes to travel the remaining 30 feet or so to the back door. After all, I have a couple of items with me that I carry on every outing, add to those, a dog, poo bags from the dog, Murph’s and the dog’s leash to keep untangled, a rebellious lizard with claws, and he and the dog are trying to go in different directions!!

At our new home we have 3 doors and no sidewalk. I don’t mind walking in the street, but I won’t do it with the sweeties, so I walk them a couple rounds around the property.

Maybe you guessed it, Murph knows all 3 entrances & more times than not, he puts up a fight within a certain distance of each.

Either that, or, he reads my mind, He knows – he completely senses that was the last trip around & that we’re going inside. At which point he is in refusal mode, considerably far from any door. As I stated, he knows what I mean when I’m silent.

Still, he eases my frustration and even when he is causing a difficulty, he continues to bring me joy because he’s so darn cute & funny when he does so.

Come here my little rebel!

Update regarding Gypsy, our raccoon – as you may know, I could not and have not found a home for Gypsy. She is named, she is loved. You can learn her story here: I Guess We Have A Raccoon and here: Murph & Gypsy

I declare, watching videos of raccoons of all ages does not do them justice! I cannot believe how cute they are and how many sounds they make from babiness to adulthood!! the sound of her feet galloping crossed the floor is awesome! She gives kisses too! You cannot know the depth of this cuteness until one is in your life. I promise. To be with one of these characters from the time when they are needy babies intensifies this cuteness as you care for one and watch it grow into a fluffy wide-bottomed little rascal.


Gypsy is healthy and crazy and gorgeous. I guess with us, here remains her home. She has her own room now. We have sacrificed an entry room to be all hers due to her size. I had to remove my decorations because coons are smart, curious, and will eat the damn house if they get bored!

Today a couple of glass shelves were removed & stairs were installed for her since she kept climbing the wooden corners to the top shelf of some built-ins and then could not get down. A door was installed between the entry room to the kitchen so she can be closed into her room. I try to get her outside with a collar and leash, but she does not like it outside.

The older she gets, the more she wants to be inside. She scratches at 2 doors to get back in. If she goes into heat and gets mean, we sadly may have to say “Goodbye, stay safe, we love you.”

In that case, I am trying to acclimate her to the outside and teach her food is here until she can find it on her own. I’ve been told some get mean and others do not. I hope I don’t have to release her because she truly loves her home inside.

Sweet Gypsy

When Gypsy is in her room, Murph gets to roam the living room. I no longer keep them near one another and try to divide my time equally and lovingly between the 2 of them. But Murph will always be my special Love and of this he is aware.

If you wish to donate to help care for Lil’ Murph and keep us going, please visit our home page at thank you for any and all of the support you give. Warm wishes from us.

“Give me Lizardry or give me Death!” – Dawn Renée


  1. Beautiful narrative and lovely pictures Dawn…pets need their own space and have their own way…to attract attention…they all have a mind .
    God bless you 🙏🌹🙏

    Liked by 2 people

  2. (Good grief, now she’s got a raccoon, too! She’s as crazy as I am.)
    You know and I know that there’s a lot that goes on in a lizard’s head–and in his heart–that most people just don’t see… because they don’t look.
    I wish I had a picture to show you of my iguana cuddling with his dog friend and his cat friend on my bed, one winter morning. And he knew which cats and dogs were good and which were bad–he was never wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You nailed it – I’m wacky! Have to keep the dog away from the raccoon & the raccoon away from Murph! Whew! That is most accurate, they don’t truly look at the lizard to see they do have feelings and thoughts and preferences.
    I really wish I could see that scene forever imprinted in your heart. I forget who has done your book illustrations but, maybe they or someone could paint or draw the scene for you as you describe it with any photos of any of them you may have. If ever such as a thing is done, I hope to at least see that. I’m always delighted what you share about your Iguana. I’m happy he had a loving family. Murph dislikes a particular family member and loves his human brother maybe more than he loves me : ), has always been comfortable around his dog brother.


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