I consider myself a Dog person; I need the dependency that dogs bring. When my dog pasted away I didn't know how to fill the void. I had my Chihuahua for 15 years, we practically grew up together and now my best friend was gone. I didn't know what my next move would be but I knew I needed a best friend. I looked around different pet shops; different breeds but I just couldn't connect the dots. One day I went to pick up Chinese food at strip mall by my house and I noticed a Reptile Pet Shop. I decided to stop in with no intention of every purchasing a Reptile.
To me reptiles were cold, could not associate and all they wanted was food from me, I really didn't see them in a very good light. I went in anyways because I was curious and I wanted to confirm my assumptions. I went in and the first thing that hit me was the smell, WOW! What was that? It was reptile smell! Something completely foreign to me. I looked around; I saw snakes, lizards, turtles and spiders. The whole time I was there I had goose pumps and a stranger tingling sensation all over my skin. At some point I was sure this place was not for me and I could not understand why people were interested in Reptiles, I knew at that moment this was not the pet for me. Well, what do you know I walked around towards the front of the pet shop and I see a tank full of tiny little lizards and I thought how cute!
I asked the pet shop attendant about the little lizards and he told me “These are Bearded Dragons" and I thought what a name, kind of scary. The attendant asked me if I wanted to hold one and I thought I was going to die, naturally I declined. I left the pet shop feeling a little better I thought huh, those little Bearded Dragons are extremely cute, I wonder if they bite.
I kept visiting the Reptile Store and staring at the tank with tiny Bearded Dragons, I kept thinking about it and one day I decided I'm going to pet one. I asked the attendant who now knew me by first name and had granted me visitation rights if I could hold one and he almost fainted. I wish you could have seen his face; he was so confused, I had crossed over to the other side. He reached in and selected what seemed like the smallest Bearded Dragon in the tank and laid it on the palm of my hand. I thought I was going to die when I felt the rough skin and the spikes on the side of the face. In a split second the tiny Bearded Dragon looked up at me and I swear I heard it say “mama. " I was in love!!!
I started to negotiate, I needed a tank, lights, sand, food, a rock, a perching branch, etc. this little girl was going to have the best condo in town. Mr. Pet Shop Attendant set everything up for me, got everything together and sent me on my way. I got home set Ophelia up in her new deluxe condo and got on the Internet, I need to know everything there was to know about Bearded Dragons, I wanted to be the best Mom in Bearded Dragon World.
Here are some of the things I found are truly important if you decide like me you want one of these beautiful and gentle pets.
The lighting is extremely important, you need UVA and UVB. In simple terms you need a light to keep them warm and you need a light that provides sun rays. Basically you need to provide them with a habitat that is similar to their environment. They will use the heat lamp to assist them with there body temperature and with there digestion. They will use the Florescent looking light for the sun rays. There are many types of heating elements you can use, a Hooded Lamp, Heating Rock, Ceramic Heat Emitter, Heating Pad, etc. what's important is that you provide them with a source of heat. Along with that if you select sand, which is the way I went, the sand has calcium which is a supplement they need. In my opinion since Bearded Dragons are from the Australian Desert I felt that sand would be closer to there natural habitat but you can use wood chips, newspapers, etc. And finally Food, what I have found to be best food for my Bearded Dragon has been a combination of Crickets, Super worms, Wax (Only as a Treat) Worms, Romaine Lettuce and Shredded Carrots.
She bathes once a week which helps her with her shedding and it also assists her with her digestion.
My Ophelia (By the way a reference to Shakespeare's Hamlet) is now 2 ½ years old and when ever I walk into the Reptile Pet Shop people are amazed with her. She has an orange color to her, she's big and chunky and very alert.
So if you are like me and decide to cross over to the other side, I highly recommend the gentleness of a beautiful Bearded Dragon!
Meet My Ophelia at You Tube and Visit My Website @ http://www.reptileheatingpad.com