This one has been a long time coming, but we’re seriously considering adding to our family. No, we’re not talking about another child. Rather, we’re considering getting a bearded dragon for our reptile-loving eight (soon to be nine) year old son. After a few years of lobbying (on his part) and stalling (on our part) we’ve decided that he’s ready for the added responsibility of caring for a lizard.
When he was three or four years old he absolutely fell in love with reptiles, and his passion for snakes and lizards has only increased in the time since then.
On his first day of kindergarten, his teacher gave them a rundown of what they’d be learning. She then asked if anyone had any questions. His hand shot up and when she called on him, he asked “Are you going to teach us about herpetology?” She didn’t know what to say!
A few months later, he was being evaluated for inclusion in an intellectually gifted program. At the end of the interview, the psychologist was making small talk as our son headed for the door. When she asked him which kind of reptiles he liked best, he responded without hesitation… “Snakes, how about you?” She thought for a second and then responded, “I’m not sure. Frogs, I guess.” He stopped dead in his tracks, turned slowly and said (ever-so-politely) “Frogs aren’t reptiles. They’re amphibians.” He ultimately got into the program, primarily on the strength of his aptitude for science.
And nowadays he now spends much of his spare time outside catching Anolis lizards and blue-tailed skinks.
Returning to the matter at hand, we actually considered getting a corn snake, as our son is particularly ga-ga over snakes. We also considered a leopard gecko, but they’re nocturnal and often inactive during the day. We ultimately narrowed in on bearded dragons due to their docile nature, diurnal behavior, and inquisitive personalities.
We’re currently in the process of researching exactly what it is that we need to raise a happy and healthy bearded dragon, where best to procure said lizard, etc. We’ve been to a couple of stores in town (the only two stores that sell reptiles) and we weren’t particularly happy with what we saw. At one store the enclosures were filthy, whereas the enclosures at the other store looked clean, but the one bearded dragon that they had in stock looked pretty sickly. Right now, we’re leaning toward purchasing directly from a reputable breeder — there’s at least one within driving distance, and numerous others across the country that offer overnight shipping.
So there you have it… It won’t be long until we’ll have to change the name of this site to Raising4Boys+1Bearded Dragon. 😉