“Why your ten-year-old should have a crested gecko,” PowerPoint by Laurel

Do_you_like_animals (1)

My 10-year-old daughter made this PowerPoint presentation in less than 30 minutes. “Reasons your 10-year-old should have a crested gecko.” I’m tempted top give in, simply because of the creativity that went into this. 

In case you don’t know, my husband is a vet, and that typically means you have lots of animals. At one time we had two bearded dragons, Igor and Tony. We also had a white rat named Snowbell. I was assured all care of animals would not fall to me. Alas, that was not to be.

My husband went back to school to become a veterinarian while our four children were quite young (actually, our fourth was born during his vet school years). Previously we had two dogs, Boomer and Brandy, who had died of old age. We wanted another pet, but I was not keen on a new dog at that time.

One day my husband came home from work and said there was a breeder who offered him either a baby boa constrictor and/or baby bearded dragons. My first question was, “And how big does the snake get?”

“About six feet.”

“Ah, and where would we keep said six-foot-snake?”


“And, just curious, if the snake got out, could it kill the baby?”

“Uh… yes…”

We didn’t get the snake.

Instead, I was talked into two bearded dragons.

Reasons for getting bearded dragons (as told to me years ago)

1. They’re really docile, when they get scared, they freeze, so they won’t bolt.

2. They live to be like 10 years old.

3. Yes they eat crickets, but you won’t have to do any of that.

4. They’re really cool!

5. I want a pet, please, please, please, please…

(Okay, number five didn’t really happen, at least, not like that exactly.)

And so arrived Igor and Tony to our home. While the two-year-old is holding the lizard with one hand and sucking on her other, I am told, “By the way, did I mention they have salmonella?”

Sure enough, two months go by, and our two-year-old becomes extremely ill. After four days of keeping nothing down, we go to the hospital, where we discover she is dehydrated, and, you guessed it, has salmonella poisoning.

The pediatrician says, “Technically I’m supposed to report all cases of salmonella.”

I’m like, “Those lizards…”

However, we decide to keep them (everyone else decides), with the guarantee that we will get rid of them if it happens again. It didn’t happen again.

So over the course of the next seven years, I cleaned our rancid aquariums at least once a week, more when they had parasites. I held them while they had medicine shoved down their throats. I went to the pet store on a weekly basis for crickets, and then had to feed and water the crickets, because they need to live before they’re eaten. And the stench! Okay, I may be exaggerating slightly (not really), but in the end, who was it who bonded with the lizards? Me!

After seven years, when I decide I no longer want to handle their care, I was the only only one upset. (The kids might have been a little upset.) Fortunately we found them a good home in another pet store owner who rescues bearded dragons and other such reptiles. (Probably six-feet boa constrictors, too.)

Snowbell the rat’s story? I’ll save that one for another day.

The point is, in this PowerPoint presentation, she addresses the cricket issue, she said she suggested waiting until next year, because in a year from now I’ll be better from the shoulder surgery. I mean really, you’ve got to give it to this kid, kudos for creativity!

Sure, she has a way with animals, but still!

Sure, she has a way with animals, but still!

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