Murphology

Morphology: The physical characteristics, structure, or form of an organism. Examples include how long the tail is, are they fat or skinny, do they have overlapping scales, do they have big or little scales.

source: http://tolweb.org/onlinecontributors/app?service=external/ViewTreehouse&sp=l2495

(a glossary of words and terms)

Murphology: Lil’ Murph is nearly 20″ long and 4″ wide, his tale is 10 3/4″ of stated length. His bloodline may consist of German giant morph and possibly a Sandfire ancestor a couple generations ago, or a very yellow family member. He is mostly brown, but you can see in some photos a considerable amount of gold. Murph’s irises are gold, often appearing brownish/red. His scales overlap (don’t they all?) and are perfectly sized everywhere, also he is perfectly plump!

20180830_161302Lil’ Murph’s alright. He’s just relaxed by the cuddle from which I just lowered him.  UPDATE:  Yes, Murph is still eating only smoothies by syringe and occasionally cooked chicken (plain in water and a little olive oil).  No, I haven’t fixed this, I am not ‘The Lizard Whisperer’!  He’s been like this since I left the country for a couple of weeks. It is now his preferred method of food-intake. I must make delicious smoothies! I try, I set before him a medley of produce and snacks. He will not eat until I baby him with hand-feeding. Some folks may suggest to keep leaving fresh food available. If he’s hungry enough he’ll eat it. No, no he won’t!! I have done this. Knowing he’s hungry and will eat his smoothie, I eventually just give him what he wants because he refuses to eat like a normal lizard, all self-sufficient-like. I cannot find an expert on this predicament of mine. Murph reached his adult size. He is 2-ish years aged. I hope we enjoy one another for many more years even if I must hand-feed him 2 to 3 times daily. 20180911_105741

I have however, found experts on everything else. Enough to make me feel stupid. But, it’s okay. I may not be all-knowing, but I am capable of keeping lizards alive and loved, happy and ridiculously pampered. One knowledge-infused book is simply titled: “The Bearded Dragon Manual”.  Herein one will learn the variants of colors and sizes in breeding are called ‘Morphs’.  Also, in selective breeding, to achieve red, orange, or yellow saturation in Beardies’ colorations is hyperxanthic. Then, there is the knowledge contained within that typical Dragon owners need to know as well.

Here is a link if you’re interested in learning more about these beauties.:

In the top photo of Murph, you will see little spots on his thighs. Here is info on what they are:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Femoral_pore

2018-11-25_09-12-26Aawww!

20181124_184758Sometimes Murph enters his hide and pouts on his stuffed Chameleon.

“Give me Lizardry or give me Death!” – Dawn Renee♥

 

 

 

Will Lizard Companionship Be A Joyous Happening In Your Home?

Consider the following….

20180715_173241Why Murph……..why?20180716_170739

*This post is for someone whom contacted me with specific concerns regarding lizard ownership. I hope it helps my friend and others (and lizards somewhere) too.♥

20180609_183025 1) Does Lil’ Murph make you smile? 

  2) Maybe another type of lizard makes you smile every time you see that species…

Green and Gray Bearded Dragon(this photo by Egor Kamelev: https://www.pexels.com/photo/green-and-gray-bearded-dragon-751698/ )animal, blur, close(source: pixabay.com )Veiled Chameleon(this photo by Egor Kamelev)

I’ll not mention the exact species shown, because I’m not always super sweet. I think actually, it will help you see all the beautiful variety and options available if you do a lot of research. I will say the credit I copied and pasted from it’s website source for the 1st photo (under Murph’s 3 pics) is an incorrect description.

Just look at those faces! Um, and wee wittle toes! And..those cute lippies!!!! And their everythings!!!

*Proper grammar and sentence structure, as well as correctly spelled words are no more in my world where lizards are concerned. In fact, new words somehow evolve from the murky depths of intense cuteness. As such, these new words are often accompanied by high-pitched squeals and grins so large it’s amazing any perceivable word could be squeezed out between my teeth!

Consider #3) Is there a great fear (due to an immune disorder or other reasons) of  Salmonella exposure?

Chances are, Salmonella will be found if you have a fecal exam performed on your reptile. Here is one piece of reading material, but please simply use the internet or books to gather information until you feel comfortable in your decision of lizard ownership either way.:

http://www.cfsph.iastate.edu/FastFacts/pdfs/salmonella_reptile_F.pdf

I must say, I’ve said (or typed) this before: I don’t have all the answers, I am still learning, and always will, I’m sure. I may not be doing things perfectly, however, my lizards love me. They’re happy, healthy and clean. I say this because I treat my lizards like family, not animals that are owned. It is said you shouldn’t kiss lizards. Well, I know how to keep lizards clean my way, so they get kisses. We both love it! Those darn cute lippies, ya know?! I’ve been the Mommy of a Green Iguana (yes, the big, big kind) and 2 Bearded Dragons for a total of 11-ish years (not including salamander ownership as a wee lass). Thousands of kisses and as many cuddle hours later, I’ve never gotten sick by them. If you’d like to know my bathing and enclosure system for clean cuties, and have not read about them as of yet, please see these:

*Let me say, depending on circumstances, the lack of peace-of-mind regarding possible contamination throughout the home will make reptile ownership stressful. That isn’t beneficial for the family or reptile. In such a case, perhaps it is best to love lizards from afar.

Little Known Fact: Lizards Need Blankies

A Substrate Alternative For The Pampered Lizard

Choosing A Home Within Your Home For Your Scaly Companion

Take my cage idea & make it your own, make it better. You can build one more tall than wide with wood and screen if floor space is an issue. If you use wood, no splinters for your lizard or yourself please. Please don’t use treated lumber, it contains arsenic, chromium, and other bad things.  Make sure your lizard has sturdy objects that will get him or her up and down safely. Among all their needs being met (helpful links for lighting, temperatures and diets are scattered throughout my archives), please give them something soft to curl up to. Trust me, scaly things appreciate soft comfort too.

Many helpful people have donated time to the well-being of sweet lizards. “The Bearded Dragon Manual” (also in ebook form) is good reference material. Oh man, it made me realize how much I did not know! I use paper clips to mark pages I may need to return to later.

Consider #4) Do you have a human or animal in your home that may injure your lizard when you have it out of it’s cage to enjoy some freedom and/or time with you?

Some other tidbits: If other lizards are like mine, they need time with you every day or they may get depressed. Once you know a lizard’s personality and common behavior, you will recognize physical signs of stress or sadness. My opinion is they need at minimum, a similar amount of time that one dedicate to dog ownership, i.e. petting a dog, talking to, feeding, watering, and walking a dog.

If you’re not home at a decent morning or evening hour to turn their lights on or off, purchase a timer to do that. If your house is colder than say, about 70 degrees at night when the other lights are off, you can purchase a night light heat bulb to keep them from getting too cool. Consider your lizard’s sleeping spot & bulb placement so that they aren’t heating up directly under it, especially during brumation.

If a poo occurs in an undesired location, let bleach soak there a couple minutes & rinse well. If color protection is a must, wipe away poo well with tissue or paper towel, then soak area with rubbing alcohol for a few before dabbing with paper towel. If you use a rag, or sheets or any cloth for lizard-related substrate or otherwise, keep a separate hamper or box for his or her dirties and do that load by itself when there’s enough to merit washing a load. you can let a washer fill partially with water then add roughly 1-2 cups of bleach to that water, then add load. Probably, you won’t need to use fabric softener, the less chemicals, the better.

Here’s something probably not thought of often: If you throw a poo-covered wad of tissue in the trash instead of flushing it, consider covering it with other trash so that if a fly, gnat, or other winged home intruder cannot walk their little legs all over it and then walk along your counter tops, thus cross-contaminating your surfaces without your knowing.

Consideration #5) Do you have a little extra money for light replacements? Uvb needs replaced every 6 – 12 months even if it still lights, full spectrum bulbs only need replaced when they burn out (they need both). Can you afford food and any needed vet visits for the life span of your desired new friend, etc.? 

After the start-up, lizards usually are not expensive to have, especially as they get older and desire less living food and prefer more produce.

#6) Do you have time and love to give a sweet lizard for as long as she or he lives?


 

“Give me Lizardry or give me Death!” -Dawn Renee

Mom Never Met Lil’ Murph

Debra -Wesley-Obituary

….She departed her earthly home on June 22nd, 2017.

Jane, as she preferred to be called, enjoyed writing poetry and had two works that were published. She also enjoyed coloring, bowling and playing games of all kinds with family and friends. She was an admirer of American Indian heritage and enjoyed an array of music including the oldies, chirping birds and surprising to many, Metallica. She even attended a Metallica concert with her daughter….1992.

Jane loved all animals and enjoyed going to the zoo, carnivals, pow-wows, and dining out with her husband. She also enjoyed shopping with her daughters and grandchildren. Amusingly, in later years, Jane and her mother discovered that they nearly always donned similar attire to attend church without previous planning. Jane was preceded in death by her mother and father, her step-father….

*Where there is …. above, it is an omission. No need for all the rest here.

     Mom would have loved Murph! He has character and a loving spirit! Years ago, when she and Dad would occasionally make the 40 minute or so trip to visit, the first thing Mom would do, naturally, is hug me & a grandson or two (now in their 20’s) if they were visible. The 2nd priority was to use the bathroom. The next thing she’d do is ask, “Where’s my baby?” She was referring to Copper, my first Bearded Dragon (you can learn a wee bit about her here). photo My Mom loved that little girl. She held, cuddled, and kissed her just as I.

 *Informative note: Spikey things can be quite cuddly!

     We lost Copper 1/4/14. An awful winter storm was approaching that night. She was held by 3 family members as she left this world. Sadly, Mom wasn’t one. Our loss left me in a pit of despair. I didn’t work for a week. I couldn’t shop for produce without thinking of Copper. Her essence could be felt when entering the house for months. She was my companion (& my 1st truly life-imacting loss from Death). She slept on the pillow with me every night (do not try this at home).

     I’d wake in the middle of the night only to cry myself back to sleep. It was heart-wrenching to keep her body cold until we could drive the streets to a certain crematory (where she was cremated with her blankie and a teddy). Some may find this odd & I’m fine with that.

      In all this, I forgot my Mom was sad too. She’d call sounding so caring, to check on me because I wasn’t making any phone calls and the roads were hazardous for a week or more for travel. I confess, if I had my Mom in my life again, I wouldn’t be so wrapped up in my own duties and concerns that I’d neglect her need for me as well.

     I called Mom and Dad nearly every day except during that sorrow, and at the end of Mom’s life. She was no longer home with Dad where he could answer the phone for her. She could no longer answer the phone beside her in the room which became her living quarter. Sometimes I’d call anyway hoping the ring would connect our souls.

     I still call my Dad at home every day. Of course, in my eyes, I can’t seem to do enough for him (same as I feel about Mom) to satisfy my own level of care-taking and thanking him for being so great! We just celebrated his 83rd birthday! Mom waited until after his birthday last year to leave here.

     Dad still doesn’t understand my love for scaly beauties, but is happy they give me joy. Mom loved all animals. I found a picture of her with a Boa Constrictor on her shoulders & a wide smile on her face!

      I would have taken Murph to meet Mom in that place, wherein sadly was the last room she saw. I brought Murph to his new home 4/23/17 to live with me. Mom wasn’t well by then, she needed medical experts near at all times. but had moments of absolute coherency and sweet Lil’ Murph in her hands would have made her face light up. I just know it. The place she stayed allowed rare pet visits, but probably only of the typical sort.

     I considered sneaking Murph in under my sweater or just telling the staff a lizard is entering the building & that’s just how it is. I didn’t because long road trips stress him. Copper loved long trips, I took her with her bag of blankies and food (yep, like a diaper bag) to visit people and Mom often. Murph likes very short driving trips only (but long walks). I’d pluck Mom from the facilities when I could to get coffee or food, go on drives, take her home to visit Dad & the cats or to my place. After I adopted Murph, leaving the facility with her was no longer an option, so she & he did not have the privilege of meeting one another.

Mom, meet Murph, your new grandlizard.20180327_131840

I hope for you happiness wherever you are, sweetest Mom and Grandma♥

 

 

you can see here how Lil’ Murph in my life is good for both of us, & how I needed him the night Mom died:
“Lizards Are A Girl’s Best Friend!”

I love you so very much Mom. You’re not being here doesn’t always seem real. I wish i could see you. I wish we could call each other again. I wish we could play Kismet. I hope I’ve done right by you. You didn’t deserve pain of any kind. I hope you are happy and loved and free. Please forgive me for my faults. You are the most loving mother a girl can have. Thank you Mom.