Month 17 – Breakthrough of Understanding

WOW! I have to write that this was the first time Angel sat with me, by her own will and allowed me to massage her neck and love on her. She sat proudly on my chest and sat with me for at least 10 minutes.

I have been working with her in the morning when she awakes and in the evening before she goes to bed, trying to snuggle with me and let me show her affection. She has nothing to do with it unless I hold her under the covers, OR if I take her from her bed in the early hours and bring her under the warm blankets, when she awakes she sits with me and while under the covers she would let me gently stroke her. But never before has she sat near me, in the open, with the freedom to leave, and allowed affection!

One thing I did change in my behavior was the reaching over to pet her and kiss her while she sat on her bed in the window.

Each time I did it, she cowered like I was going to hit her, so I avoided this for a long time. And if I just tried to kiss her, it was a pull back and turn away.

I examined what I had been doing in the mirror and it was abet frightening. The large hands and the moving lips and kissing sound. So I decided to put my hands behind my back and just touch her with my nose without making a sound. And it worked! She allowed it and began to expect my greeting.

She realized I was trying, that my behavior had changed and she in turn is allowing me to give her affection! It is an awesome breakthrough for both of us.

She has been eating a lot again and growing like a weed. Last month she learned to go in to potty in the shower when I am not here. She usually waits for me, but if not here, there she goes up and over and into the shower. She had been going by the toilet or in front of the shower. I placed her water bowl in there, and I think that could have been her motivation.

We went to LLL Reptile yesterday. They were amazed at how big and beautiful she has become. I bought her a new Power sun bulb, the other one had almost 6 months on it, It hasn’t been on 12 hours a day, so it is probably good for another 3 months, so I will bring it on our vacation and leave it there for our visits there, this way I don’t have to keep packing it.

Speaking of vacation, it is just 11 days away and I can’t wait to see my family. I am going to bring g a piece of net to enclose the deck so I can feel comfortable leaving her outside.

Well, we are on our way to the produce market now, she is a regular purse rider now and she is just my awesome girl that I truly love!


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.