I’ve Made 3 Appointments For Lil’ Murph

…And The Doctors Are Earning Their Places On My S*** List!

First of all, Murph is alright. My concerns are a couple of things, that of highest woe, is that he has occasional, minor muscular twitches. This can be a symptom of the onset of metabolic bone disease. I do not understand if this is so, because:

  • His diet is diverse.
  • His uvb bulb is replaced every 6 months (and has a surplus ready when needed). I mark the next replacement date on the calendar 6 months from each time it is changed.
  • Murph is also at the proper distance from this bulb in regard to his species and the emissions output (based on my research), he is 10″ from the 10.0 T8 fluorescent bulb.
  • Here is just one example emphasizing the above, see chart here: https://image.chewy.com/is/image/catalog/231167_PT8.AC_SL1200_V1659548073.jpg
  • He has his UVA bulb (and a surplus).
  • He receives his calcium and vitamin powder.
  • His basking area is at approximately 92°F, give or take a few depending on the surrounding room temperatures (although appropriate, this guy doesn’t like to be that warm, and scoots from it, if I keep it too hot, he won’t stay there at all – stubborn little rebel).
  • He gets a lot more time in the natural sunlight than most pet lizards.
  • In totality, he should be acquiring the hours and scope of light required for proper health.
  • On the side, he regularly enjoys what I call “spa time,” when he rests in the sink under a tiny stream of warm water, like a mini hydro-massage. After some time, I plug the sink, trapping shallow water, and checking the temperature very often, for a soaking, but he prefers the stream. When he is finished, he looks up at me or attempts to climb out. If I attempt to take him out too early, he resists and pushes himself down onto the sink, refusing to raise up for my access to scoop my hand beneath his chest to raise him!

“Please get my towel.”

I dearly, deeply love, and pamper this boy in all the ways that I am capable. So, it doesn’t make sense. Perhaps his phosphorous is out of whack. I don’t know. Our goal is to educate people about lizards, understand them and better care for them, appreciate the beings they are, and if we’re truly successful, convert the masses to love lizards too! I’m not a lizard wizard. I don’t have all the answers. Which is why I am seeking a professional!!

But that is becoming a tricky accomplishment! There is a severe shortage of exotic animal veterinarians, and I may be burning bridges!!

Please, if you know someone who wants to become a veterinarian and loves the exotic animals, tell them they are desperately needed in that line of care.

We’re in what seems to be our own geographical oddity. We moved to another city in 2019 (population: less than 20k, from a smaller footprint of a city, if you will, but of nearly the same population). Although the city limits here are across the street, we’re nearly 15 minutes from shopping, dining, vets, and more, yet an hour from anything else! What the… how?! It’s like an obscure Twighlight Zone scenario.

The veterinarians here only care for the common dogs and cats. There are probably vets for horses somewhere around here. Strangely, we’re an hour from many common banking branches – in any direction! We’re an hour from a Putt-Putt course, to the north & to the southeast, an hour from the ol’ neighborhood within the city where I spent much of my life (population: near 1 million), we’re an hour from many things, fine and not. The nearest exotic animal vet is an hour due north. The other nearest option is an hour away, east by southeast.

Murph does not like long rides or watching the scenery (as his sister loved to do), he wants to be held or lay upon the floor. Yes, he is stubborn and rebellious, but he only likes adventures on his own terms. Maybe he cannot rationalize that the speed and being near those “big trucks” is relatively safe. I made an appointment for Murph at the vet’s office that is north of here. It’s a safer trip, destination, and generally a more relaxed drive. Drove all that way with an upset Murphster for nothing!

Upon arrival, my first impression was that I could not enter the examination room with him because of Covid (even after all we now know in mid-2022). Murphy is not comfortable with people and animals he does not know. When told that I can indeed take him to the back waiting room and stay, we stayed. I am not about to let Murph be examined or poked with a needle for bloodwork or a shot, without his knowing Mommy did not abandon him to cruelty!

Once inside, the lobby/front waiting area seemed a little dirty. Okay, not a big deal. Maybe they are busy and under-staffed. Afterall, Earth is over-populated with lazy nitwits, a good number of whom do not desire to be a productive, self-reliant individual and prefer to rely on family members and/or the government for their food, manicures, cell phones, and whatever else (yes, some have no choice, but very many choose to be victims and dependents). Many places are struggling just opening each day.

After some moments, I used the restroom (it was a bit of a drive). There was grime against the cove base! Okay, commercial mops do not truly clean floors well. Yet, for appearances sake, couldn’t someone spend 3 minutes with a scrubbing sponge along the edges of the floor? Okay, maybe not, if they care well for the little creatures, that’s most important, right?!

So, we get called to enter the back room where Murph will be seen. But wait, we now must wear one of those “free” masks handed over with bare, possibly germ-covered hands! Boy, it’s a good thing that the C-bug viruses know to not enter that door leading to the exam rooms along with the wind when it is opened, that the vet will be safe as long as everyone wears a mask in the rear of the building after being maskless in the front for 15 minutes!! HEY, WHERE’S MURPH’S LITTLE LIZARD MASK?! These masks are the surgical masks that the viruses flow through because they are so small, the very same masks that surgeons wear for the simple prevention of bodily fluids entering an opened individual, such as mucus from one of those creep-up sneezes that the surgeon may have, likewise protecting the surgeon from a blood squirt from within the patient.

I will also mention that one employee there had her mask under her nose so that she may breather easier, and another had a large cup beside her. Boy, it’s a good thing those C-bug viruses do no harm when one unmasks to sip or eat!! They were safe behind the plexiglass sheet with the gap underneath to accept payment methods. It’s also pretty cool that the survival rate of the infected for healthy individuals is so high that many people will get the C-bug many times – almost like our common flu!! It’s also interesting that masked adults go shopping with their unmasked children (who touch many, many things) and will not be infected by their kids at home! This is the most interesting, released lab test ever!

Oopsy, I didn’t entirely intend to rant. Anyway, upon entering the examination room, it too was as the rest of the place. I am not a clean freak, and I know successful medical procedures have taken place in less-than-desirable conditions, but I was simply surprised. I also expect professionals to be clear-thinking individuals who do not inconvenience their clientele.

Based on the uncleanliness of the place and their personal mask mandates, which they have every right to have, but which made no sense to me, we walked out of the examination room without meeting the vet, and simply stated upon our departure, that we are not supporting their business. I do not feel good about their scheduling us in, and not acquiring due profit for that time slot, but it is what it is.

Thus, I scheduled an appointment at the place Copper went, the location east by southeast of us. The vet is knowledgeable, she has been doing good work for many years! They now charge a deposit that is non-refundable if the appointment is cancelled too close to the scheduled time. I had to cancel Murph’s appointment the same morning that I had scheduled it weeks ago. I understand why they do this, and now I’m out that money. So, I rescheduled and paid another deposit. I called the morning of to be certain the doc was in, and all was good to go. One hour (ish) later… We walk up and was immediately stopped by a woman in scrubs. She wore no mask, meaning she was inside with no mask. So, tell me how this makes sense:

  • “Can I help you?”
  • Why yes. “Murph has an appointment.”
  • “I’m sorry, it’s ‘curbside’ only.” (Meaning that everyone stays in their cars or outdoors)
  • As I subdue my irritation, “Don’t you think you should tell people that when they call to schedule a visit?”
  • “We do, and it’s stated on the website.”
  • Um, no you don’t. If our readers this far are keeping track, I called 4 times in total. “No one said a word to me.” How is she going to tell me what I was told by someone probably other than herself?
  • “I apologize for the miscommunication.”
  • There simply was no communication. It isn’t missed. It never existed. Also, when I type the business’ name into the search engine, an option to call them pops up. For convenience, I tapped “Call.” I didn’t need to visit the site (or so I thought).
  • “We drove an hour to get here, we can’t go back there with him?”
  • “I’m sorry, it’s curbside only.”
  • What are you a politician? It’s a yes or no question.
  • “Look, I’m not mad at you, I’m just disgusted that we drove all this way because no one informed me this was curbside care.”
  • “I can have someone come out and talk to you…”
  • Interrupting her from frustration, and flipping my hand up toward the vehicle, “I don’t need anyone to come talk to me.” It isn’t going to change anything.
  • As a small audience of onlookers patiently wait in their vehicles for their pets to return, I walked down the steps and away (semi-respectfully) with Murph in his blankie (for comforting purpose) in my arms.
“You wanna fight about this?”

I nearly called shortly afterward to suggest it is fair that I receive my deposit. Frustration became anger, so it was not a good time to have a discussion. I’m now out that money as well. Today, I called and spoke with the same lady with whom I executed the scheduling and cancelling (whose name I could but won’t state), in an attempt to receive that last deposit. I felt it unjust based on the circumstances, that I was not informed I could not remain with our Murph, that I was entitled to reimbursement. If I had been properly notified, we would not have made the trip, considering the insane number of other things needing tended to at home (like ripping out more of the ill-built front porch & much more). I wouldn’t have an accumulative loss of $50 US, and I would have driven to God knows where else to get Murph seen by a doctor. Guess who answered the phone! The same woman I had spoken to on each calling occurrence prior to the um… miscommunication!!

I decided that anger begets anger, and I would approach this with a sense of calm. I would not achieve my goal with a bad attitude. Well, I didn’t achieve it anyway, despite my charm, sweet voice, calm demeanor, and all the respect I could muster : ):

  • “Hi. May I please speak to someone capable of reimbursing a deposit?”
  • “Sure, when is the day of the appointment?”
  • “Well, I’m sure everyone knows of this, I’m the lady that found out it was curbside care the day of my lizard’s appointment.”
  • I explained how I was not informed during each and every call made that “curbside” was the case.
  • To which she replied, “Well, it depends on who you speak to.”
  • &*$%# Okay, deep breath – and under my breath, “It was you, &*&%#!!” 4 times! 4 times!
  • I explained how I took my previous Bearded Dragon to this vet (who was nearly on her deathbed due to her breeder’s lack of knowledge), and the reason I simply could not let Murph be seen without me. Long story shortened: My last Beardie had to receive a calcium shot in the tail. When that happened, she ran across the table into her Mommy’s arms because it hurt, and I was all she knew. She felt that I loved her and was her protector!! That was literally as saddening as watching your child look at you with pain and confusion, not knowing why they just got jabbed with needles (for a vaccine others declare is needed to become a member of society and enter schools)!! And so, considering that Murph may get stabbed, I simply couldn’t leave him alone with a stranger. I also told her what was spoken to and from the lady I encountered.
  • “Okay, please hold a moment while I speak with the owner.”
  • “Alright, thank you (spoken with sincerity).”
  • I wait. I look at the birds at the porch with cautious optimism, trying to manifest my goal into reality. I then pass the time and tell the Wren how cute he is. I discuss with the Starling that “You can’t build a nest there (under the slightly raised metal roofing from the tear-out job, that is about to be sealed up), that’s a terrible idea. I don’t know if they heard me through the storm door. And, also, I can’t be certain that un-named woman didn’t just have the phone muted.
  • She returns. “I’m sorry, because your time slot costs us, because we didn’t fill that slot with another patient, we can’t return your deposit.”
  • [swallowed cursing] Costs?!? If I were notified, I wouldn’t have cost you anything!! However, because I was not notified of your curbside s***, I am at a loss of 25 more bucks, stressing my sweet lizard for over 2 hours, precious fuel, and, and over 2 hours I could have spent accomplishing other things. Top that off with Murph needs a flippin’ doctor AND I had to pee 3/4 of the trip down there!!
  • “I called a total of four times, because no one said anything, it’s my fault I didn’t visit the website?”
  • She then said, and this isn’t verbatim, but basically, in kinder words, that I may just have to suck it up and expect to leave Murph with people, without me, to get him seen.
  • “I understand. Thank you for your time.”
  • &*$%#

Am I wrong? If we can (with our little comfort masks) stay with our children in a doctor’s office, why is there this crap with our animal children and dearest friends?! When Murph’s dog brother was taken out of his misery (which also should be a right for a person of sound mind, by the way), on January 20, 2022, there were no masks, we loved him, cried, and petted him until he was gone. No one died of Covid or the flu. The place is 15 minutes away. I know they are all okay! What is it with these exotic animal vets?

Would you leave Murph with these illogical people?

“I want outta here.”
Just chilling
Murphy and his Grandpa
“Yes, I am the sweetest boy.”
“Mommy thinks I am so handsome!”

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


  1. That was so infuriating to read. Poor Murph. I have actually billed doctors for making me wait too long. I billed the city for my time to do extra paperwork because of their incompetent employees. It’s ridiculous that these people feel our time and trouble is worth nothing and their time and poor service is worth everything. COVID has become the greatest excuse for shitty service. It’s ridiculous. You need a vet that will make house calls. Not likely these days. I really hope you figure something out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for that. I’ve been questioning myself if I should yield to this crap for Murph’s sake, but I have hope there are individuals with more sense out there. People must stand up to this nonsense.

    I have not known anyone to do what you’ve stated. That is a commendable and justifiable act.

    Yes, truly it is ridiculous, time is every one of our precious & irreplaceable commodity.

    I agree, that woman came out with no mask on her face, around her throat, or anywhere on her person, that tells me they choose to not deal with the public & extra bathroom use, they’re not fearing their loss of health & lives in there.

    I will update.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. wow, this was a long read. No I wouldn’ leave my pet with people like that, no matter if it would be Murph or my dog. No way. Can’t understand why people still believe in this mask thing.
    I wish you’ll find a responsible and good vet. toi toi toi.
    love to you ♥♥♥


  4. It is long. Thank you for your time invested here. I truly don’t expect anyone to read it all, but it is certainly appreciated. I have other things to do, I suppose it was similar to writing of my “Ggrrr” in a journal without the journal. It is helpful to know others feel the same way. I question myself, whether I am correct in my behavior and resistance in the matter. Thank you, very much. Toi toi toi & ❤️ back, our friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OMG Dawn. What horrible experiences and when you’re upset about Murph to begin with. Dirty vet? Curbside, money grubbing vet? You need to move again. Come to a big city with more options. I’m wondering if human health care would be any better. I understand that “exotic” animals aren’t always on a vet’s list (my iguana), but they should be able to help you. Terrible treatment. I hope Murph is okay and that you can find someone who is clean, mask wearing and intelligent. Hugs to Murph and it’s awful that you had to go through this, driving with him and everything. Let us know how he’s doing.


  6. I hope Murph is okay! Having just spend the most frustrating weeks I can ever remember trying to just schedule a procedure. It took a month. The front staff messed it up and now they won’t return calls. Unbelieveably frustrating, so I fully hear and feel your and Murph’s pain. I hope he recovers on his own. Did I mention my grandsons just got a Bearded Dragon named Penelope? Us dragon people need to stick together….


  7. Stupid phone… We moved so my sons could grow up in a smaller, much safer city. That city began to change. There was a triple homicide around 2 corners from our old house after we moved, and that neighborhood was really okay! We really don’t want to have to shoot anyone in self-defense : ), so we came here.
    Mask or no mask, that’s an individual’s choice, but, I should not be stopped from being with Murph the entire time! When I went to the vet here to retrieve our dog’s bed after he was “taken out of his suffering,” I asked if they could recommend a vet for my dragon. They of course, told me of the 2 places I already knew of, the places we went. Sigh.
    You have an iguana?
    I absolutely will hug Murph for you. I’ll share pics of our next vet-seeking adventure.
    Thank you, friend.


  8. That is nuts. Either they too are understaffed, or are unprofessional & just collecting their paychecks. Somebody needs to own up to this and make it right to you. I hope you are alright. I am trying to heal him and consider how to manipulate balances of phosporous, calcium, etc. within his intake (incase that’s the problem). I’m going to grab the thermometer gun from the garage to test his thermostat’s accuracy. I think I will give him frequent massages of his little arms, legs & back, try to get those healing energies a flowin’.
    Wishing you the best outcome with all you are handling.
    And, no you didn’t! You have a grandlizard!! You’re going to be buying tiny pink tutus, itty bitty stuffed animals, crickets for Christmas…. haha.
    Amen, Dragon People power! [Giggle]


  9. Wow, you have really been thru the worst situations with these vets. My closest exotic vet is an hour away too. I hope this all gets resolved and he’s ok.


  10. You also are an hour from one, sheesh! We need more of these people! I hope so much that you are happy with Geyrie and Tony’s doctors. They look so sweet and deserve the best.
    Thank you. Another screwy aspect of this, I called 2 places with similar names such as “All Animals Veterinary Clinic,” and they say, “Oh we don’t see lizards.” False advertisers!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The reptile hobby seems to be picking up all over the country from things I see on different FB groups. You would think more kids studying to be vets would see that and want to work with these interesting animals. On the FB groups I belong to, so many people say the only exotic vets are 1-2 hours away.


  12. Sigh. How can more people not adore sweet, quiet, and cuddly lizards?! There are so many people caring for cats and dogs, it seems statistically, there would be at least 10% of vets or shelters to care for the other beautiful animals. We do live near a shelter that has taken a turtle, a rabbit, and ferrets, but they can’t stay long because the expertise and care is targeted at the furry friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We volunteer with a reptile rescue and that’s fun for us, and educational for the public. They take a lot of their reptiles to different venues and we go to show them to the public; we discuss rescue, some husbandry info and also try to reduce some fears that people have, especially about the snakes.

    I do wish there were more exotic vets. It seems there are not enough of them anywhere across the country.


  14. That is so great! Perhaps I have missed the name of the reptile rescue facility, if you mentioned that. I’m assuming they are a 501(c)(3). I was looking through many organizations people can donate to through their Amazon purchases with “Smile.” I went through pages of options and found nothing so far that specifically helps reptiles. Hamsters (which is cool), but not our scaly pals.

    Yeah, there is a vast market for more exotic animal vets.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. They are reptileinvasion.com a 501C and she does have it lined up with Smile! They have snakes and so many kinds of lizards; beardies, tegus, several kinds of iguanas, a Sudan plated lizard, chameleons, 2 uromastyx. They are great people who take very good care of animals surrendered to them in different ways. They are near an exotic vet and their reptiles have good lives.


  16. They are good people who do amazing things. My son and DIL and I go to the shows to help show the reptiles to the public, let them hold them, etc. To educate about reptiles and also about the importance of rescue. It’s fun; I really enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

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