Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Final Farewell

Yesterday was a very bad day in the Hardy home; we had to say goodbye to a pet.
When Michael and I were first married we were living in an apartment that said NO to a pet. We were really aching for a friendly face to come home to and decided to make a trip to a pet store. Our intentions were to get a little Green Anole (lizard) because we knew he would be quiet (so no one would know about him), easy to feed, and would keep us company. While we were at the pet store we saw a large class case filled with $20 iguanas; we were intrigued. After some reading and thinking we ended up bringing home a baby iguana and we named him Uncle Rico (Rico for short).
For those of you who don't know, we sure didn't, iguanas are HIGH maintenance. They have to be in high humidity, high temperature environments. Their cage needs to be twice the height of them (including tail) and wide enough that they can sit on the bottom of their cage. They always have to have clean water and fresh greens so they remain happy. If you get them as babies you have to hold them almost every day so they will get tame. One way to help is to bathe them, which you have to do anyways, and often clean out their cages. But, through the hard work, the whips of the tails and the "vicious" bites you end up with one of the most loyal and best pets you can ever have. We had not quite reached this point, our little guy was still aggressive but he loved us and we loved him.
Not long after we had gotten Rico we bought him a bird's cage. It was tall and gave him a lot of room for climbing. He would often sit on the side of his cage for hours and hours just sleeping and enjoying life. He always would have a hard time getting down because his little toesies would get caught on the side of his cage but he always made it. He enjoyed cucumbers over anything else but it would make him super bloated so we only gave them to him every once in a while. He was starting to get big and was becoming more and more used to us. Even though he would run away when we tried to hold him he really did enjoy being held and rubbed on the top of his head. Unfortunately, we will never get to hold our scaly friend again.
Yesterday I sat down on the couch enjoying a bowl of Honey Nut Cherrios. As I often do, I looked over to see how our little buddy was doing. He usually looks at me in fear and whips his tail but this time it was different. Rico was at the bottom of his cage, in obvious pain, because his knee had been dislocated and the rest of his leg was only hanging on by a little bit of skin (sorry for the details). All we can assume is that as he was coming down the cage his little toesies got stuck and he tried to keep pulling and the knee dislocated. In order to fix our little guy we would have had to spend hundreds of dollars that we just don't have. So, even though there were tears in our eyes and sadness in our hearts we had to put our little friend down. It's so stupid because he was just a stupid iguana but he was our pet and our friend. We will forever miss our little Uncle Rico.