Week 4 – Trying to Please Her

We have good days and bad days. The bad days are usually when I’m pushing it, when I think she understands me and she just isn’t there yet. I seem to take 2 steps forward and one step back.

Her drive is strong she obviously has an alpha type personality. I have to let her think she is control in order to bring her around to my way of thinking. Things have to be handled in a way that she feels like the alpha, at least to some degree.

She is very protective of her territory, when my hand enters the cage she gapes, pulls back her tail and takes on a threating pose.
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I will stop, show her the greens and make a kissing noise. I associate the kiss as its ok, I love you, don’t worry. I will withdraw my hand, look at the greens and then to her. I continue to try, it takes a few tries, finally she will allow my hand into her space, but I do not look at her, I look at the food dish.

This is a big improvement. Picking her up is still difficult. You can’t let their threating behavior win, so you need to follow thru with whatever you’re doing. In the shower she is learning to allow my wrist under her and she will climb on my arm. This is the goal and it is coming to be, it will just take time.

101_3141As of now, she is housetrained but I have to bring her to the shower. She’s beginning to know the lay of the house and knows how to travel back thru the house to her enclosure.

She is annoyed by seeing her reflection in the glass enclosure and is beginning to want to fight the “other iguana”. So, she has chosen to sleep on the bottom of the enclosure, wedged in the back behind the decorative pieces of wood.

I added heat rope on the glass at the bottom so she would have warmth during the night. I taped it down with a special shiny silver tape used for heating ducts. In the process, I forgot how the wood was on the bottom and she didn’t like the change.

So the last few nights she has been leaving the enclosure to sleep on top of the couch behind the cushions, which is OK with me, I can use the electric throw and it works well. I actually like it because she is warmer. My main issue is that I constantly have to walk thru the house to check on her during the night. Would eventually like her to be in my room.

Being a rescue, she has some health issues to overcome and I am hoping she can overcome them on her own. Usually 2 weeks of warmth and frequent soaks in warm water can boost their healing process. Iguanas are quite apt to healing themselves. I did buy a new UVB fluorescent (36″ t-5 5.0) and increased her basking bulb from 100w to 150w. I try to keep it at least 18” away from her branches. I am hoping to see an improvement in color and health. I so want her to be green again.

I also want her to be able to sunbathe outside. I tried to make a cage from large screens, decorated it nicely with live plants, but she wanted no part of it.

She just kept hurting herself trying to escape. Rubbing her nose and damaging her face more is not an option so I had to tear it down. I was SO disappointed because it took me SO long to build. I really lost it and yelled at her for being so unappreciative. Shame on me. She has such a strong will and is so headstrong. I have to be the more patient one.

It’s just that I know how important real sunshine is for her. So, until I can come up with a way to build something she’ll like it’ll be sunbathing for short supervised intervals on a harness and leash.

Outings have been a big hit and have proven to be the best bonding times. I disliked the string harness I bought and made my own harness with leather.


I’m confident she cannot escape this one. The store-bought string one, is hard to adjust, it can be tightened too tightly or too loosely. My design is fairly secure and using a long retracting leash, she can easily travel 15 feet and enjoy a bit of the outdoors.

I am super careful; I need to be aware of our surroundings. I keep an eye out for large birds, dogs and joggers. The boardwalk at the beach is out of the question right now but I relish her first day at the pier.

I have chosen a nice secluded park at the entrance of the bay that few people visit. I prefer to take her here. The sights and smells of the ocean, Right now she takes me for a walk, or should I say a run. It is a hilarious site, running at full speed with a nearly invisible lizard on a leash. It won’t be like this forever, has to enjoy the antics of her youth!