Month 18 – Creating a Star

Summer is in full swing and how can things be better for an iguana? Angel is finally getting up early with the light of day and can’t wait to get outside as soon as she can. With her cage attached to the house, she can come and go as she pleases, at least when I am at home.

This delights her and finally, after 1 and a half years, she has claimed my home as her home, her territory. In the afternoon she wants to patrol the area. She knows where the mirrors are, thus, where all the “other iguanas” hang out. She finds pleasure in this and now since she is larger and can’t get into the small hiding spots any more, I just let her explore.

She is reached the age of understanding and is aware of the rules of the house. The only “no’s” she gets now is when she pushes her territory by climbing on things she can’t climb. She wants to walk thru her territory everyday about 2-3 pm. By giving her freedom to roam, I am showing her trust and respect.

She locates the usual suspects (reflections of herself in the mirror, or a plush alligator that I have on my bed) and beats them up, or tries to. It is a necessary instinct that I let her play out. I think it’s good to release those hormones and establish a feeling of authority and dominance in her home.

She is of the age to begin training. I am going to work with her personality and let her talent evolve around that.

She just learning to cuddle, but only allows me to hold her with gentle force, after all, I need a share of affection. She falls into the zone for a minute or two and I in time and with age, she will appreciate having the love and caring around her.

One thing that I am proud of her is understanding “easy”. I took her to a friend’s open house and she was amazing. One “easy” and she calmed and let me hold her as I visited for more than 15 minutes. Even when we explored the home and grounds she never fussed to get down. She just knew from my energy and thoughts, that this was a time to behave. She was amazing!

Training is underway now and the effort is paying off. She is now knows the iguana common commands of Come, Chase, Display, Attack and Easy. This means she is ready for her next step. The movies.

Month 22 – Angel turns Three!

Angel is Three years old!!!

Wow, what a difference I see in my girl after 2 years. Not only has she grown into a young adult, she is amazing me with her new found appreciation of affection.

She has grown like a week and is now about 14″ from snout to vent and about 8 pounds. She is definitely a young adult now. her intelligence is expanding and her personality is much more mellow.

Today she willingly came to me and snuggled up on my chest in the car, laying her head on my cheek. Tonight before bed she allowed me to wrap her in the electric blanket and snuggled and slept with me before I put her to bed. She had really come full circle and FINALLY is craving affection from me.

It’s not to say she still doesn’t have a mind of her own, no she is a wild natured, I want to do this now, type of iguana. Her mind is active and on alert and very, very curious.

The weather has been cooler and the sun is not shining on her cage, since it is on the north side of the house. This has caused me to not allow her outside. She has not taken it well and many days I return at lunch and she is back in bed. Even when I leave and come back early, I find her back in bed by 2pm. There has been a time change though, so 2 is really 3, but even still, I thought I had been getting her used to it.

But today, I moved the cage back and worked on making her tunnel 4 feet long. I added a board for support and let her outside. Thought it was only 72 and cloudy at times, I allowed her to bask in the real daylight and she was a changed girl. It was even hard to get her in to warm at 3. Moving the cage out will work, but it still too cold to leave the window open when I leave at 7am, so for 3 days a week she will have to wait until noon to have a change for outdoor fun.

We did a quick trip to Reno to see my family and she saw falling leaves for the first time. The weather was uncommonly warm so she could go out and play for a couple hours during the day. She was fascinated and amused by the sound and sites of falling leaves.

All the time I think of Babe and feel his presence. I know he spirit intertwines with hers. As I feel her cuddle and relax with me, As I sing his favorite songs and she melts into my arms like he did, I know his presence is with me.

Angel was the iguana meant for me, I wish I had come to realize that sooner, but I was stubborn and afraid of making a mistake. God had a plan and she was a part of it.

No matter what happens in my life, it is so nice to have an anchor like Angel. When I am sad, she seems to sense I need her and though I may need to wrap her tightly in a blanket to bring her near, she sees my tears and willingly tries to cheer me up by being submissive and well behaved.

I take her out a couple time a week to the beach or bay and sit and enjoy the boats as they come and go. She enjoys her outings, her break from the 3 days laying in the window in solitude.

For her birthday I redid her closet shelf where she sleeps. A small task ended in a half a day of trial and error, but finally I figured out a way to lower the shelf about 3 inches so she would have more head room. Not being good at engineering, it took me time to figure it out. My first idea didn’t sit well with her, she preferred the heating pad to lay on and the memory foam mat curled up the sides with the heated throw above her for radiant heat. I put the heating pad on for 2 hours, warm her up and leave the heated throw on all night to give her warmth from above. Once an iguana is warm, it doesn’t take much to maintain the warmth, so it works well.

So, that is the progress of 2 years. So much to be happy about in my life right now. I struggle with keeping positive and moving forward.

My iguana manuscript has been on hold until I completed my dad’s 90th birth day party, which was a big success.

With this entry into Angels journal, I hope to ignite my will to finish and polish content. I am leaning towards a series of chapters rather than a book. I think I am a short story writer, not a novelist, so maybe the only way I can start to get my content out there.

I am hoping Angels journey will help other reptile owners and the even non-reptile owners that there is so much more to these amazing creatures than most know.

Month 23 – Angel’s Second Christmas!

Christmas with Angel has been amazing. This is her Second Holiday in Reno and she is well adjusted and actually loving her window view now. She loves the 24 hour attention, since I on my work days, I work in the room with her on my computer.

She still refuses to eat much, which seems to be a regular trait when traveling here. It is also winter and come fall their eating decreases to nearly nothing.

She has been spayed and this is her first year without laying eggs. I feel that my decision was right and I am happy to report her behavior seems to be the same.

I see an increasing enjoyment of cuddling and petting, which was non-existent just 6 months ago. She is starting to want a pre-bedtime pet of a few minutes, in fact, she seems to be fussy and restless if I don’t indulge her and pay her attention before she seeks shelter in her upper cubby on the bunk bed.

Her average day begins with a gentle wake up. I notice her peeking her head out about 9am and she enjoys to lay in the warmth of her electric blanket for 30 minutes, before I gently remove her. I take my time and speak softly to her as I give her my hand and encourage her to climb out. Many times she refuses and snuggles back in., I oblige her sometimes if I am not in a hurry to get her up.

She has always had a tendency to sleep 14-16 hours a day. I don’t know why, but I just let her. I let her have her way and live life the way she wants, with the only exception being her diet.

I do spoil her with some non-native foods, such as bread, but in small amounts. Her bread is a training tool for me, a reward that she responds to.

At noon, it is potty time and she is brought down and allowed to walk back to the bedroom and in to the shower. Sometimes she makes her way in by herself, but most of the time she needs guidance. Due to her lack of enthusiastic eating, her poo is small and hard. I give her acidophilus, a 1/8 of a pill and open her mouth and make her take a bite of greens with a mixture of that and some Repti-cal vitamin and calcium powder.

At about 2 pm it is time to roam the house and I encourage a walk downstairs and to the living room. She usually looks around and eventually finds a hiding place under the couch. The days are short and the weather is cloudy and dark and it natural for an iguana to want to take cover.

I will bring her back to her window, let her bask and rest.

After the solstice I noticed she began to want to stay up later. Almost immediately, she began to stay up until dark, it must be an inborn instinct of knowing the days are getting longer. I don’t know how but it seems to be something internal.

She climbs down and at this time I take the opportunity to hold her and cuddle her. I stay in a bunk bed and the ladder to her upper bunk is positioned nearby. Sometimes she rests with me for 5 minutes, sometimes 20, but when she has had enough, she beelines up the ladder and cuddles in behind her cubby. She doesn’t go in the cubby, she feels safer on the other side of it.

Feeling safe and secure in really important to her. When I think of how she had no privacy in the shelter years ago, I realize how scared she must have been, thinking of the night janitors and how they would turn the lights on and all. This little girl has come along way!

February 2017 – Young Female in mating season

Not only is Angel growing in size, she is growing in her determination to be a leader. She has a mind of her own and now that mating season is in full swing, her instincts are driving her to explore and for me that means getting into things she shouldn’t. The sweet little girl that stayed in her spot in the window all thru the fall months is now restless and continues to irritate me . After being left alone during my work day, I come back to a trail of thing in disarray on the floor, damaged, broken and although I want to yell, I have to force myself to gently show her what I am angry about and give her a firm “no’. I Stress that it should be a very firm no, something that will sink in her mind, thought at the same time I don’t know if she can be expected to disregard her instincts during the mating season. The exploration and beating up of her reflection in the mirror and window is a natural response during these months, so like with my Boy Babe, I may just have to ride the tide and accept this behavior.

What I can’t except is her unwillingness to sleep in her cubby where it is warm. Coming home and finding a very cold iguana that is chilled to the bone is asking for an expensive trip to the vet up the road. That is not OK with me.

Ever since I came back from Reno after Christmas, Angel has not wanted to cuddle in her space in the closet. At first she seemed scared. I wasn’t sure if I had put it together right. Was the blanket on the bottom or overhead? I had forgotten and when we left she was all about getting in at night and going to sleep. Every day when I returned she was there, warm and toasty and I was very happy about it.

Now every day she destroys the nice cubby I built and only twice have I found her where she should be when I return from work.

Yesterday I lost it. I noticed she has been climbing on the shoe rack on my door and I had pulled back the barrier to my upper shelves, since I wanted my closet back the way it was.

I came home to hats and shoes all over the floor and my perfectly placed closet was left in the wake of her destruction. Far in the corner, tucked in by my converse high tops was that little rascal, freezing cold and looking at me, like…I am in so much trouble. And she was.

After a loud scolding, I placed her in her cubby above my clothes and thought she would welcome the warmth. But no, she proceeded to be fussy and rebel and we fought for an hour or so.

At 11pm, she still hadn’t warmed up, so I brought her to be to cuddle in for the night. She seemed ok with that, but by this time she was zoned out and when an iguana is zoned, you can do about anything with them, since they are in a light hibernation state.

So today I work and at lunch I will re-assess the area. I think I’ll simplify the design, remove things she may not like and just place the heat throw down with pillows on both ends of the closet. I will have to iguana proof my shoe rack with slippery plastic cardboard and pull out the shelving guard so she can’t climb up. I hope this works.

In Reno she has her cute cubby on the bunk bed and loves that. But here she chose the closet. She willingly goes up the ramp, so if I can at least get her up there by herself when I am gone and turn on some warmth, she should be ok until I return at the end of the day.

I remember I adopted her in January and bedtime was an issue for quite a long time, until she chose her place in the closet.

She may be getting too big. If it continues I may have to let her have her way but I hope this is just a temporary thing. Only time will tell.

So for now I am blaming it on mating season. The weather has been cold and rainy. She has been cooped up for a while. I allow her an hour of house roaming, and she is sure to check out all the iguana hiding spots. She is determined to go out on the patio and wants to climb up in the arbor and over the fence to the neighbors. Is she looking for love?

She is spayed now, no more egg laying for this little girl, but even without ovaries, it seems her instincts are active. If there is a mirror she can climb up to, she will.

Tomorrow, if the weather is over 70, I’ll take her out for a walk at the beach. I’ll try giving her some exercise, maybe she is just not tired enough to sleep well, after all she gets up at 7am and goes to bed at 3-pm, that isn’t a long day for a lizard. Babe stayed up till 8pm with me most days.

One thing I notice is that male or female, their temperaments are very similar. It is only that Babe was much more aggressive and without mating with his stuffed dinosaurs or alligator, could be labeled as vicious, though that wasn’t it at all. He was just being a male during mating season, so misunderstood an iguana can be.

Now with my girl, I have to realize the same. She wants to wander and explore this time of year. In the wild she would have mated by now and be taking a journey, looking and fighting for territory and “her” place to lay eggs, and then wander back for the journey home. So I can’t deny her a small token of this.

I wish I was more creative and could build her things she would want to climb, things to keep her entertained. I have found that the best thought out plans, don’t always work and that the simplest things please her more. Perhaps a piece of carpet on my book shelf, leading up to a high corner in the room would intrigue her. If I place a mirror there, she will surely want to guard it. It may give her some excitement and intrigue. A cat tree would be welcomed for her, but then another ceramic heat bulb and uvb would have to be placed there as well. Perhaps a motion detector would be the key to this. I can’t wait for the day for cordless electricity. I would love a nice professionally made unit that hid all the lights, but it is a sacrifice I make for her.

OK, lets think about a cat tree and another set of lamps. Perhaps it would work well in the summer in her cage but what about keeping it clean? But in the early morning hours, she could on it outdoors in the spring, allowing her to stay warm under the lamps until the sun comes out. It is seeming more promising.

Well, it is a plan, Coscto has them for $70 and I can return it if it is not welcomed warmly. I have the fixtures, just need the bulbs.

When I think of it, it may be the best thing for if she gets used to it here, Just a thought. Well, tomorrow is my weekend, lull let the spirit move me and see what God puts in my brain.

May 2017- Angel the Explorer

May 2017 Angel the explorer

What a difference I’ve seen in the last week of May, leading up to June. Angel insisted on rubbing her nose on the glass to get outside in the yard from her lounging area in my room. Over and Ove again, she tried to push thru the glass. I finally got fed up and realized my “no’s” were going “no” where. So I pushed open the glass and pushed her out with a good-riddens. Of course this meant watching her and iguana sitting for an hour or so.

Amazingly, she was happy the first hour, just lounging and observing the yard from her comfy observation deck.

When she did leave to explore, she just wanted to take a walk around and ended up making a loop, and headed for the arbor in the corner. After she had a long walk, I brought her in and took her for a ride to get her mind off the yard.

But her persistence of exploration continued through the day.

Brining her home and allowing her to roam from the garage east side around to the back yard seemed like a good thing to do, but I got distracted and let her roam unattended for 10 minutes. Usually she is a slow mover, but she was a mover and shaker yesterday. By the time I went out to check on her progress of travel, I realized she was not in sight.

Knowing her only too well, I looked up at her ultimate goal of the tree covered arbor and there she was, smack dab in the middle of it.

Making good use of a 10 foot ladder and a push broom, I was able to get her to move to the opposite end and get her down, thought it took a big effort. She is getting stronger and the day is coming where she may be able to out power me when her claws are clamped down and I can’t get a good hold of her. Yes, my girl is growing at a fast pace, and my once cute little iguana is growing in to the big kind of lizards. This is why you train them, and take time to tame them with kindness and patience. Instinct will kick in and you will be in a pickle if you haven’t’ taken the time to cuddle and handle them frequently.

Though, remember it is never too late. If you find yourself with a wilder, unhandled, once unloved iguana, the best remedy is night cuddles, taking them from there bed at night and cuddling them next to you in an electric blanket. Make sure the first thing they see is you. Take the time to pet and stroke and talk gentle to them. You will be amazed at how sweet they are and how much of a difference there is with your relationship. The will actually begin to like and appreciate the mornings together, event thought removing them from a deep sleep in the night may be hare.

Back to angel, she spent the entire day traveling about the yard, I took her for various ride and we had fun.

She slept like a baby and today I plan on another day a exploration and adventure for her. May is a great time to be an iguana!

June 2017 – Angel is starting to cuddle!

Let’s see. . . how long has it been? I have had angel for a good 2 and a half years now. This is her 3rd summer in Reno and she has matured into a fine young adult. She finally trusts me so much that she will allow a cuddle at night. It has taken time. I remember a year ago, as I started to bring her close before her bedtime and she would allow me a minute or two of holding her close and petting her.

Yesterday she didn’t want to stay in bed. The days are getting longer and yesterday she pushed her bedtime back to 6pm. I brought her close and watched the news with her as she snuggled close. She attempted to fall asleep, but when she awoke she was startled out of her calm zone and into reality. She didn’t like that she fell asleep outside of her cubby.

But she remained next to me willingly and cuddled for an hour! This was a milestone!

Last night I brought her into my bed in the early morning and she cuddled on my arm. She is still there as I write this.

As I watch her progression, I see the once wild and scared little lizard is finally maturing into a wise girl.

In the yard she is trustworthy. She is less likely to climb those big trees. They aren’t as appealing to her as they used to be, it is a bit harder to climb with her size and weight increasing.

She knows the yard well, but still wants to explore the back evergreens. Most of the time she is happy chilling on the bridge and she usually beelines up to the deck to relax.

I have a net over the top that protects her from hawks and I keep cardboard up to lessen the ease of going down the stairs or jumping onto the tall vine maple. She seems happy here, with a view of the yard, it is like being in the tallest of trees.

Yes I love my little girl. She still has her fear of hands and being grabbed, but I work with that and give her space. I find if I put my hands behind my back and just use my eyes and soft voice, with rub of my head against hers, she realizes my intent is merely love.

I think she is about full grown now. Oh she will gain more weight, and bulk out, but I think she is going to remain about 4 and a half feet. That’s fine with me, I used to love Babe’s size, but it would be harder to fly with her. God has his ways.

 

August 2017 – Summer Travel to Reno!

Summer travel to Reno! August 2017

Here we are in Reno again. I live with my friend Karla and it is so nice to have a roommate like her that calms my anxiety as she drives us to the airport. I am so thankful for her!

As you can imagine, it can be intense,  traveling with an iguana, but after nearly 22 flights, Angel and I are pros at it now. It was a day flight vs an night flight,  but she is so good at flying now. I believe she actually looks forward to it. S

he is getting so big, that I began to worry if she’ll fuss about getting into her 20×20 box, but this girl loves to cuddle in!I really believe that she knows when she gets in the box, she’ll somehow end up in her other home away from home.She doesn’t struggle or fight, she willingly snuggles in and curls up. She prefers the front bin A the best. When I pick her up there is no anxiety or tension. She just looks around, smells the air and allows the cargo crew to swoon over her and pet her.

 

In Reno she is a new lizard. She loves sleeping in the bunk bed over my head, and the 100 degree days that bless us in the summer. She is now trustworthy on the deck, relaxing on the lounge, viewing the yard and nature below. She loves that I am always home and relishes all the attention she gets!

But this time she had a major shed that made her quite irritable. When an iguana matures, it’s really important to not let them slip away from you, and by that I mean, get the upper hand and think they are the alpha. In Angel’s case of shedding, that is what she was acting like.

Reno has dry weather and humid weather is easier on them during a shed. I make up for this by showers and a rub of hair conditioner and baby oil on her. She dislikes water and must have had a bad experience in her life from someone hosing her down. I have to comfort her by holding her at times or covering her face from the water drops.

During this shed she displayed her “don’t touch me, leave me alone, get away from me” attitude.

I understand why, cuz I am consonantly rubbing off the shed and picking off a piece now and then. At the shelter, many of her spines fell off due to lack of blood supply cuz no one took the time to help her with her shed. It is important to pay attention to your iguana at shedding time, and especially during a full-body shed. They don’t shed like a snake, they shed little by little, the eyes being the most sensitive and bothersome. They are most appreciative of help and this is a great time to bond. You must be gentle and use a very soft, wet towel to soak the area and then gently rub it off. And I mean GENTLY!

During this time angel’s attitude had to be kept in check. A firm voice when she began to act up and acceptance on my part that there would be no lovey-dovey handling. She would want her ground, and I had to stay mine.

When an iguana gets older, you have to make sure that you maintain the alpha position. You can’t let this get away from you. I find the only way to stay close at this time it to remove her from her bed in the middle of the night and bring her to mine. I turn on the electric throw on low, make a well between 2 pillows and place her in it. She is quite fussy the first few nights and it is hard to get her settled back to sleep. But once she falls asleep, and wakes up near you, it changes everything.

The once fearful and scared and leave-me-alone attitude, is now calm and secure. It further demonstrates to her that there is nothing to fear, that I am her friend, that she is worthy of sleeping next to me, and allowing me control is not a bad thing.I reward her in the morning with a treat of whole wheat bread and a few grapes.

Her shed is nearly over now and she is a changed iguana again, sleeping peacefully next to me as I type up this blog to the world.

December 2017 – Christmas Vacation

Angels progress is amazing. She is so intelligent and I need to make more of an effort in training her now.

We are in Reno and life if not as fun for her in the winter as in other times of the year.

She is lounging much more, laying in the window and watching the world go by.. I let her roam thru the house abit in the afternoon, to stretch her legs and have some stimulation, though there isn’t a lot going on. I take her for car rides when the sun is out and the temperature is acceptable.

I have to supplement her with acidophilus to keep her stools soft. Her eating has dramatically decreased, which is par for traveling and the being the winter. She snuggles in early into the top bunk, which she loves. She usually goes to bed about 3-4pm, which is quite early for a lizard, but it is the way she has always been. I relate it to being in the shelter so long and on her own when she was young. It must have been difficult, finding safe lodgings when she was just a little thing. She just loves to cuddle in and absolutely hates to get out of bed in the morning…ha! Don’t we all!!

She is just becoming a young adult. Needing a lot of baths in the dry weather. She still has some skin issues from her time in the shelter

I have been busy for the last two months preparing my book for publication and kindle.

My goal for the new year is to devote more time to her and continue with my Iguana Whisperer Series.

 

January 2018 – My Girl!

Angel has really turned into my girl! It is winter, maybe that is why the cuddling continues to warm my heart! We spent a month in Reno and she was hesitant of the house when we returned. My roommate Karla commented on her size when we returned, and yes, she has grown a lot!

The first week back she was found hiding in cold places. She seems to be fearful of her snuggle space. I tried turning the light on in the closet and this didn’t seem to help. I decided split up my lunches and this seemed to help. She wanted me help in going to bed, maybe my protection from the imaginary iguana in the closet. So she would go to bed at 2:30pm…crazy girl, but I obliged her.

Now back for nearly a month, she is back to normal and anxious to get outside as soon as she gets up in the morning. It is cool, so I put down a heating pad. She is finally accepting her territory and is being trustworthy outside on her lounge. Even when she gets down, she heads for the back door, which is impressive.

I don’t trust her alone outside yet, I still have to be watching her from my room. Trees are being trimmed tomorrow. It will be a big change for her and me. Hoping they do a good job, since it is our Zen den.

Overall I find the middle of the night move working well to help tame her, by this I mean taking her from her bed and bringing her to mine in the early morning). It is working well, waking up next to me, with her little head on my arm. Cuddling her in when I get up to go to work. Lots of one on one time and a bit a singing. Her favorite song right now is “It had to be you!

February 2018 – Angel accepts her territory

Well, it is obvious now that Angel has accepted our home and yard as her territory. This is great because it means she will stay here and guard it. She is not into running away and finding another place to call hers

Now that she is content and a young adult, she is a slower moving girl. I only find her jittery when she gets spooked by something.

That can be an obvious cat in the yard, or something I consider imaginary, like a bright color that catches her eye or something she just takes as a threat, like her reflection in the window.

I had the trees trimmed…finally and it is awesome out there in the yard. If she does decide to climb the tree, I now can find her and have Ramon! Ramon trimmed my trees and climbs up with spikey boots. He is available when that time comes. So, here is the answer I may need someday. The only issue I see is that angel is afraid of the camouflage attire, so that would have to be altered, and if she would be afraid of a stranger, I don’t know.

He trimmed my pom-pom and I am going to make a cover for it so she can climb and be protected from any predator in the air.

The tree trim has given me a new lease on life and I am welcoming in the coming spring to dress up the yard with healthy greens and snacks so she can begin to live in the yard more often.

Being territorial is a big plus with the iguana. This doesn’t mean they don’t need supervision, but I can give her an hour or two on the weekends. Want to address a new enclosure for her as well.

I saw branched wrapped with rope. This will allow her to grip and me to create new elements for climbing and intrigue…exciting time for us!

September 2018 – Finally my dream girl!

It has been 4 years since I walked into the shelter and found my little angel. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would adopt her. The fear in her ran so deep and she was petrified of human touch and interaction.

Fast forward 4 years and the change in the last few months have been epic. Is it safe to say the 5 years is the turning point of an iguana? That they have reached a level of maturity and there brain is finally developed? I say YES!

With her size and weight change and her scales harder and firmer and more protective, she had turned the corner and let her guard down, at least with me. Perhaps it is because of her hard armor that makes her feels stronger inside

Seeing that her body was changing into a mature iggie, this spring I realized it was time to adjust my handling of her.

I began carrying her on a small pillow to give her more stability and she appreciated the kindness. I raised my empathy for her and respected her needs more. Once again, she appreciated my understanding, respect developed more as well as our bond.
Today, no longer does she draw away from me as if she is afraid of being hit or pounced upon. Her trust is evident and truly, she is my girl.

It was a major step for her to truly trust me. It was evident for so long that she may have began her life with small children or owners unaware of how scary it is to be so small have large hands control you in a unthoughtful way. I wasn’t sure if her trait of total fear and mistrust would every leave her, but I have proved it is possible, with time, respect, and love. My balance of discipline and freedom has worked.She is now trustworthy to be left outside with supervision in “her” lounge area, and harness and leash when roaming and exploring “her” territory.

Angel is finally my girl!

November 2018 – Angel Turns FIVE!

My Angel turned Five today and we had a great day. Started with a nice breakfast with asparagus candles and a treat of pumpernickel bread with black beans sprinkled with her special supplements.

I adopted Babe when he was about 5 years old and adopted Angel when she was about one. Her wild and terrified behavior took years to overcome, and sometimes instinct takes over, she gets spooks and bolts for cover out of a deep fear.

But now, I believe five is the age of maturity. The brain is developed and there is a sense of confidence that brings serenity. Perhaps it is because they are large, their skin is thick and scales are sharp. Perhaps the experience of their younger years has deposited wisdom within.

I see she is territorial now she owns her yard and when she explores it the purpose is to insure all is clear of completion. I trust her more, knowing she will sunbathe and at 2-3 she will want to explore and that is when I have to bring her to a secure place in the house.Being November, it is colder now, the sun is not in the best location and her basking spot is only sunny a few hours and not always warm.

All in all, Angel is now my girl and I am very happy & in love with my big green girl. She has become a show stopper and she is getting abit too big to ride on the dash of my small car. I love her and I think she appreciates her life with me more and more everyday.

August 2019 – New found freedom!

Finally, I put in my time and can change my career course! I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life so I can finally focus on Angel, work with her and accomplish my writing goals! So, so exciting for us!

Being home all the time now she is loving the constant one-on-one, she can bask freely in the sun and is loving her new found freedom. Angel’s  birthday is in November. She’ll be six. Finally an adult, her territorial instincts are well in tact. She is happy and though she still wants exploration, she is content with life in our home and with me.

I am able to watch her and watch, observe and work with her more. She loves the attention and really loves to learn. She is intrigued by what I try to communicate and is eager to understand. Iguanas like to interact, but it has to be a fun thing.It is an exciting time for both of us!

October 2019 – Fall and the Female iguana

Fall and the female iguana – October 2019

Fall with Angel is abit different than with my male Babe. She has opened my eyes to the differences and variables there are in an iguana. My thought that they all are hardwired the same has been shattered.

Babe was a male and I understood his seasons, but Angel is teaching me that she, a girl, is slightly different. Her schedule begins sooner than babes.

Approaching the autumn solstice, her eating began to change. She is now skipping meals, dining lightly a few days then about every three days she will feast with zest and zeal and devour about half a collard green bunch. She has cravings for black beans and still can be coaxed by her occasional piece of bread.

I notice her dewlap is starting to give off a scented odor, like Babes, but a bit more sweet. I believe this is an attraction scent, for mating season is approaching.

Being a girl, it is hard to recognize the mating season, only by her shed revealing beautiful colors on her skin.

Babe used to go to sleep at dusk, Angel has always gone to bed early, even in the long summer months, and she likes to sleep much more that she should. It’s as if in the wild she would take cover when the sun is still out, about 3-4pm, and find a secure place to sleep. She has to have a small crawl space, even if I make a tunnel out of a piece of a foam mat, she will try to squeeze behind it. She likes the safety of being pressed against on both sides. (I once had an iguana that was wild that would sleep between the headboard and the wall, so this must be a natural instinct.)

I have begun bathing her more often now. She has always had skin issues because of her past and the fact that she just has a fear of water in general. Baths used to be Babes favorite thing. Soaking so long I would have to continue to add hot water to keep it warm. Angel on the other hand just fights it. I have to be near her comforting her and reassuring that she is safe and I am right here by her side.

She is turning six in November. Her scales are beginning to become thick and sharp. With her size she is braver and only once in a while, something spooks her into a flurry of run or be eaten. Last week a Godzilla movie was on, I think she saw the Japanese monster or heard the sound and she went flying out of my arms, running so fast her feet kept slipping on the floor, her heart was pounding, her breathing frantic. It took me awhile to calm her down. I hope the site didn’t last in her memory long. I try to watch out for things like that, no Godzilla movies should ever be one when a lizard is around!