Honey, I’m Home!

- The Unorthodox Behavior Of Special Lizards - 

Did you know lizards may develop separation issues? They may react emotionally and physically to their loved ones being away!

I wish to share the following because A) so many of you care about Murph, and B) because I want others to know this can be expected when parenting lizards. There are times to address possible physical issues, and there are times we know our lizard will be fine when they have us back. It’s tricky, so let me explain…

Please, don’t rush out and try to medicate your lizard for mental issues. πŸ™‚ It simply takes a tiny bit of time. Time for you to return, and time speaking to & holding him or her to get things back to the comfort zone they know & apparently appreciate.

I had to travel again & leave Murph at home half of the weekend and into the week. I had to leave the state. I didn’t call his caretaker to speak to Murph so he could hear my voice, like I told him I would do. Yes, that’s right – it’s like that between Murph and me.

The morning I left after waking him early for ‘lovins’. He loves this new pillow. He is still sleepy, but I can see this realization on his face: “I know something’s up, Mom, and I don’t like it one bit.”

When away from people & traveling long enough to do so, I communicated daily via text with the fabulous caretaker/babysitter for Murph, Gypsy (the raccoon) & the dog. I didn’t intend to lie to Murph about calling, I ultimately attended more things than expected. We visited with people we knew from our home state, socialized with a kind & cool bunch from New York a couple of nights (dig their accents), we met a dog from Boston, and nice people from many other states.

Although there was much enjoyment on the trip, there were strict schedules to follow, and it was all draining at times. I regret not calling. I apologized to Murph. Upon arriving home, all I felt like doing for 2 days was to sit down. Instead, I resumed what needs tending. I must be aging against my will.

Murph stressed the sitter. Despite her attempts to console him & sit outside with him (she sent photos of their time together), he began to decline food almost instantly, and never did poo. In fact, he didn’t poo for 6 days! He finally ate his first good-sized meal of baked chicken, carrots, & a grape the day after my return.

I texted her to let her know Murph ate a meal, & texted again the following day after he did a major poo and had a bath. She cares that much, she wants to know he is alright. All this is from a wonderful woman who was once terrified of lizards! Copper (Murph’s sister) changed her feelings towards lizards, and Murph has won her heart.

Lizards can’t cry & they don’t throw a temper tantrum (that I know of). They are not drama queens, but will absolutely show us when they are displeased. They who nourish a loving relationship with one of these beings will learn what this looks like.

So, these are some ways to know if your lizard is strongly attached to you, incase you weren’t sure. If you don’t have a sweet, helpless lizard, pretend that you do for a moment, or read the following while considering how you would feel if this were happening with any animal you love.

  • You receive a call from the person(s) you entrust with the life of your lizard while you are away from home. You are informed that your lizard will not eat. Said person is attempting to hand-feed your lizard with 6 different delicious foods, and it’s just not happening.
  • Your lizard won’t get out of bed (the sleeping spot of the enclosure), even when the lights are on & the drapes are opened so your lizard can look outside.
  • The awesome caretaker even sits outside with your loved one, holding him or her closely, but the feelings your lizard is experiencing resumes once back in the cage.
  • You eventually receive a text, your lizard won’t potty – it’s been days (when once a day or every other day is normal).
  • Your lizard has become depressed & lethargic.

Now, that sweet lizard may experience all of these or some of these reactions. At this point, when we’re heading into an amount of days that it becomes worrisome, I would recommend to someone that they get that darling to the vet. If the lizard is not in brumation, it may have parasites, deficiencies, or be ill. If your lizard doesn’t behave this way, it doesn’t mean you aren’t special to them, lizards simply are not all the same.

I showed Murph the Begonias before heading inside.

On the flip side of that, you may know your lizard. Maybe you & your lizard have already gone through being apart, and you did the extreme worrying experience. Now you know not to worry yourself sick if your lizard ceases bodily activities for the few days you are away. You may be concerned your lizard is committing slow suicide (so to speak) by completely shutting down, all you can do is get them love as soon as possible, if the latter here is the scenario.

I know my lizards will be fine since I’m usually only gone 2-4 days at a time, providing the caretaker(s) follow lighting & other instructions. I could set the lights on a timer, but Murph needs held and hand-fed (because he is stubborn) anyway. I seldom travel, and I know what to expect. I still worry because I know my babies are not happy. So when I return, I spend much time getting them to realize Mommy is home, getting them to eat & poo, and prove I loved them even in my absence from them.

A goodbye snuggle after he walked a few trips with me to load luggage into Merlin (my vehicle. : )

See, my lizards, Murph & Copper apparently, nearly or entirely ‘plug up’ when I’m gone. Nearly nothing goes in, nothing comes out.

So, if you have a lizard or get one, know this may happen. Don’t stress it too much, but don’t let symptoms go on for a long time. You can, just to be sure, have your lizard get an exam to know it’s in perfect health before you travel. This sadly, may require a blood test (you know, with a needle). If you travel only a few days at a time, I’d suggest to not stress your lizard with constant vet trips.

If, however, you leave multiple times yearly for extended periods of time, a wellness ckeck for the lizard may be a good idea. Honestly, someone who is gone that long, unless your lizard loves the other people that care for him or her, may need to consider if having a lizard is good for the lizard.

Went here, saw this sign yonder way
…and admired the Green Iguana atop that tree on the left. I doubt he receives enough friendship, but gets plenty of strangers looking at him.

I didn’t tell Murph that I was in, at, or near this Lizardville. I didn’t tell Murph I saw another lizard. Wasn’t my fault. I was a ‘ride along with’ not a decision-maker.

I could agree that “Home is where you hang your hat”, but, currently to me, my heart has 2 homes, half resides in an area within the city from my youth, the rest is here where I am with Murph & Gypsy (except from the previous city where we lived, a family of squirrels, some birds, & a few trees too took another little piece of my heart. They still have it somewhere). There really is no place like home(s). Lil’ Murph makes home more rewarding. It feels so good to come home to hold him. I wish you knew how cuddly he is.

Something I saw while separated from Murph ( I liked leaving it dark, as it was when I took this photo)
Those monolithic carvings are said to weigh roughly ten tons individually.
Plaques surrounding the entire fountain named more than 5,000 men and women soldiers dead from 7 wars.

The sculptor of the statue above, has created amazing pieces! Some are of Indians (American). I was thinking how good it is none of his work was destroyed in riots (that I am aware), & what a shame it is that my fellow countrymen have destroyed or damaged monuments & memorials.

It is my strong belief that sculptures & monuments to or of particular individuals, are not only sharing the creativity & determination of the creator of the piece, but it’s significance lives in only the good things accomplished by the individuals immortalized in bronze, granite or some other media substance (that’s how it is in my country, anyway, & some others too). So, even if a particular individual of stone didn’t live up to some perceived ideals, what have they really done for the good of humanity, nature, or otherwise?

The good is there, otherwise the statue would not be there. With libraries on nearby corners, as well as at our fingertips, we can know the good things that people have done. Stupidity & ignorance are not the same. Those who destroyed much property during the riots are ignorant of the deeper meanings in things – they simply do not know, maybe they don’t care either.

I propose a statue of Murph, not to idolize him, but in remembrance of a most special being who has won the hearts of every family member & stranger who has met him. He has you readers who either care about him or have had their opinions of lizards change from fear, or disgust, or a lack of compassion regarding lizards, to being less fearful or disgusted, and even doing a complete 180Β° transformation – seeing through sweet Murph, that lizards can be cute, and every one of them is a sentient being on this planet.

Who agrees with me?!?! Does anyone know a talented sculptor …who also will donate the piece? : )

Oh…people!

My trip was memorable, but I certainly am happy to be with Murph & Gypsy too.

Beautiful Murph
Sleeping Beauty, Gypsy

Please visit our homepage @ lizardplanet.com and tap that menu icon for tips on caring for lizards. Visit the contact page if you need advice regarding lizard care, or need assistance with adopting a homeless lizard to love (names & e-mails are never shared). We humbly accept Paypal donations to aid in Murph’s care, first & foremost, & then help us to pay for this website. Sharing us on social media may help us too. And of course, you can bounce around in the archives for more Murph! Thank you for being with us here.

“Give me Lizardry or give me Death!” – Dawn RenΓ©e

11 comments

  1. No sculptor in my circles, but a quote came to mind when you mentioned there is a difference between stupidity and ignorance. Someone once said, “Ignorance can be cured; stupidity is terminal.”
    And one of the greatest minds of all times noted, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” (Albert Einstein) πŸ˜‚

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  2. Murph looks like a well-oiled and cared for lizard. However I must question what you said about feeding him cooked chicken? Murph is a Beardie isn’t he?

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  3. My phone does that to me too often : ).
    I know someone that would appreciate that mistake because he’s often teasing me about having fried lizard for dinner.

    Murph is a Beardie, however, he no longer (mostly) desires living food. Although they are omnivorous, as Beardies age, they most often become more herbivorous. That works for me because I always disliked watching tiny critters be eaten alive, or finding myself feeding & watering a cage of crickets & superworms.

    Murph, however, requires more protein than is found in his veggies & fruits. He loves chicken torn into tiny pieces. It is cooked on the grill or baked in a cast-iron or stainless steel pan (I don’t trust non-stick coating chemicals) with water & a bit of olive oil only. It’s good for up to 4 days when kept refrigerated.

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  4. I understand they eat mostly veggies as they get older, however i was surprised to hear chicken was what you fed them. My Beardie loves live food, but i don’t feel the same. So i give him a product by Zoo MED called can o crickets and they are safely pre-killed. I didn’t know it was safe to give bearded chicken

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  5. Wasn’t safe for the crickets πŸ™‚ but hopefully being freeze-dried happens quickly!
    That’s where it gets tricky. He won’t eat them. I have Fluker’s brand. I bought a feeding dish that vibrates. It makes food move to be more appealing to lizards. Placing the crickets on it worked I think 3 times. He just doesn’t like them. I’ve had 2 Beardies that enjoy chicken, Murph has enjoyed it as an occasional meal for a couple of years now.

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  6. Thank you, Moni. It was. I was surrounded by characters! Even on the coach bus one night, a group of people sang a happy ditty I think ive heard only once in my lifetime. I wasn’t sure I wanted to exit the bus. I nearly wanted to convince everyone it was a great idea to take it around another time.
    Murph & I are both happy πŸ™‚
    Love back

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