Facing adversity part 2 

Posted: October 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

EPHESIANS 4:2-3 Always be humble and gentle.  Be patient with one another,  making allowance for each others faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves United in the spirit,  binding yourselves together with peace.  

I am not perfect.  People are not perfect.  It is not my job to seek out things that benefit me-it is,  however,  my duty to seek out a relationship with Jesus,  to seek out the Holy spirit and to better myself for others.  It’s going to be messy,  I’m going to mess up but it’s about everyone else-not me.  No. Matter what society tells me,  we live in a me me me society.  

A while back I opened my heart to a feeling I was feeling-I was personally feeling invisible in my church,  feeling as if I’m annoying,  feeling as if there is cliques going on all around me.  Why do we do church?  It all comes down to the good news for both Jew and gentile.  And the church,  which is people not a building,  was messy from day 1 and is still a great big mess today.  And that’s OK!  I can’t even imagine how fun church was after Jesus death when Jews and gentile had to mingle.  They were totally different and they clashed.  Today people still have issues.  Because we are human!  There’s still issues with Ra e,  background,  culture barriers,  denominations,  politics,  people who don’t practice what they preach,  society status etc.  

It’s not,  nor has ever been about me and the enemy lies and he is good at it.  He’s good at making me feel left out,  making me feel invisible,  making me feel like I should not share or talk because I will be judged, making  me feel entitled.  

We are ALL going to get off did,  we are ALL going to get gossiped about,  we are ALL going g to be misunderstood,  we are ALL going to mess up.  We are ALL going to get heartbroken.  Because we are ALL imperfect.  

Someone is going to complain about the music. 

Someone is going to complain about the sound. 

Someone is going to complain about your kids behaviour. 

Someone is going to avoid you. 

Someone is going to accuse you of something. 

Someome is going to complain.  

I complain.  You complain. I’m not perfect.  You are not perfect.  

If you go back to my previous blog it probbaly sounds like I’m complaining.  I faced anxiety after posting it and I’m going to face anxiety for posting this too.  I’m not sorry for what I wrote because I needed to write it.  And maybe someone got offended by what I wrote-maybe I was even wrong with what I wrote-but it needed to be written so that I can personally heal and get out of a run I’ve been in for a very very long time. 

I’m not going to wait around awkwardly for people to come to me… Oh no.  I’m going to bring my awkward strait to them.  God sends the most awkward people to me and gives me the gift of tolerance and patience… A gift to this day my husband does not understand.  If he can give me tolerance and patience for some of the most awkward people then he can grant strength to my church congregation to.  I have the capabilities to fish out people too and be an encourager to them and invite them to hang out.  Because in the end it’s not about me and never has.  It’s OK for me to have feelings and it’s OK for me to vent to God-because truth be told when you start turning all your venting to God that’s when he’s able to change YOUR heart and you’d be surprised at what follows.  

Don’t leave a church because you get hurt by someone just keep putting those roots deeper in the ground… And be a flower in the drought.  

Facing Adversity 

Posted: September 30, 2016 in Uncategorized

When adversity comes,  our roots need to get stronger.  Just like a plant,  when there is drought or bad weather the plants natural reaction is to strengthen their roots.  Sure the branches might not look so great time to time,  but underneath the soil,  the place we can’t see,  the roots are getting deeper and larger… If plants and trees do not do this the next drought or storm will likely take them down.  

I could explain adversity but I figured maybe I am best to be open about the adversity I am facing,  most of it likely because of how my mind works and perceives things.  I’m surely not the only one who feels the way I feel.  But even through challenges somehow,  someway,  even though I feel I have reached my limit and I want to throw the towel in,  I’ve been unknowingly conditioning my roots.  

I’m tired,  I don’t feel important,  and when I do feel important I feel guilty.  I feel guilty because maybe I’m forcing my way into the spot light,  maybe I should be quieter and just kind of do stuff in the back ground.  Maybe offering things or forcing myself to talk to people just isn’t the right thing to do.  Then I go back to hiding and I feel like a waste of space because I’m not doing much.  I’m kind of stuck… I’m guilty for standing and listening to peoples conversations,  I’m guilty for being outspoken and I’m guilty for being anti social at times.  I can’t win.  And it bothers me every day.  

Do people talk about me behind my back?  Of course,  it’s human nature,  it happens in the church,  the workplace,  on Facebook and in the public.  I’ve been betrayed by people I respect and look up to and it hurts deeply.  I’ve had people get me in trouble on purpose instead of gracefully correct me and be an accountability partner…Ive had people go around gossiping about how I’m a show off,  or I’m dirty (yes I shop at Foodland covered in bug poop because that’s my job)  or I’m off my rocker etc.  

But here’s the kicker,  the last year I have felt absolutely worthless inside my own church.  I can understand why some people leave,  humanly speaking,  if someone keeps hurting you or judging you,  that’s a human right.  You have a right to huff on right out the door.  But for a while I simply forgive,  vent to my husband because that’s what wives do right?  OK it’s what I do,  my husband is my best friend.  I Grumble,  somewhere God reminds me that I’m not alone in this and nobody is perfect, and I go on with my week.  

I could up and leave,  and often I’ve wanted to.  I’m going to be honest here… I have wanted to walk out of my home church for a whole year now.  When I talk to people I get the impression all I’m doing is annoying them.  When I ask for help… My husband and best friend are the ones who listen.  When I invite people out to do stuff they are always too busy.  When I stand around in the hall I may get a hello,  sometimes I do get people talking to me for a few minutes but the majority of the time if I stand silent and watch everyone is deep in conversation and if I don’t actively hunt someone down to talk to I will stand there for what seems like eternity feeling invisible.  When I do seek people out I legit feel they are annoyed with me.  I have no time to express any of my feelings to anyone because… Well… Everyone is busy so the best thing for me to do is put on a smile and pretend I’m OK.  I’m not… Because I don’t feel like part of the community anymore I feel like a number.  Want to know who talks to me the most and always has time for me?  My non church going friends!  When I actively invite People to do stuff my atheist friends are always there so guess who hasn’t docked much spiritual time with other Christians?  Me.  I’m slipping in the cracks but if not for God’s grace holding me I’d be gone.  

That’s my adversity.  But maybe people are just busy.  Maybe people just don’t notice.  Probably there are people who feel invisible too.  And it’s likely it’s all in my head… Because that’s just how I often think and perceive things. I’m still standing being obedient to where ever God is leading me watching as members come and go many who leave in a huff and puff because someone upset them.  

But I’ll end this post with this.  The thing about plants is the more you uproot them the easier it is every time.  But the more you transplant a tree the more dwarfed the roots get each time.  Eventually fruit stops being produced.  This happens in life too.  Marriage,  relationships,  churches,  jobs etc.  People hop from church to church everytime they are offended and guess what?  It gets easier each and every time but eventually if the person doesn’t take a stand (that actually takes effort)  and plant their roots they WILL fall when the storm comes and they will dry out when the drought comes.

Im facing a drought.  My leaves are dry and falling,  my branches are snapping,  and even if a forest fire wipes me out somehow,  someway,  and I don’t even know how I’m doing itz I chose to just keep digging the roots deeper and deeper.  So even if I’m wiped out on the surface I can grow back.  

I feel this way,  I’m being super venerable sharing this.  I’m wandering a wilderness right now and I’m tired… Maybe just maybe I’m not alone in this adversity.  

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It has gotten to the point in my house where nobody bothers to question me about what pets I currently have. For 2 years I dealt with arguments like “You can’t get a snake it will do this and it will smell and you will decrease the value of your home and it will eat your kid.” You are right I shouldn’t get A snake…snakes are like lays Potato chips once you get the first snake you cant stop at one. Same goes for Spiders…there’s just so many to choose from and they are so easy to care for.

But here is the newest endeavor and one I researched for years. I know that there is no such thing as a tea cup pig, pigs do not stay under 20lbs unless they are starved. But there is such thing as Micro pigs…but they aren’t as “micro” as they turn out to be. They look uber cute as babies but micro pigs can grow the size of a medium to large dog and this is STILL considered mini. Why? Farm pigs are huge, you don’t want a 600lb porker in your home. Julliana and Pot Belly pigs which are a smaller hobby breed are domesticated pigs, and even one the size of a great dane is tame if you raise it in a home. I nearly adopted one it was 250lbs and the previous owners had him inside, he was fixed and updated on shots and kids used him as a bean bag chair but of course I wasn’t allowed to adopt Pumba…I hope that big porker found a loving home and lots of bean bag cuddles.

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Here are some basics facts about my new adventure. Her name is Matilda, she is a mini pig and the largest she will likely get is no more than 75lbs and that’s reaching. She is 14 months old, has been on a steady diet of pot belly pig pellets and junk food and is only 20ish pounds…possibly 25. Her mother is only slightly larger. Because she isn’t a farm pig but a hobby pig she eats a special diet that doesn’t make her grow to top size quick like farmed meat pigs are grown on. Pigs shouldn’t be starved nor should they be over fed…a pig with fat forehead where the fat over laps the eyes is an over fed pig. Its not healthy for a domestic pig you plan to own for 15 years.

Mini pigs need a fresh supply of water at all times, they eat twice a day and get a few treats in between. They choose a spot to do their business and can be rained to use a litter box or go outside. They are easily leash trained. They sometimes walk nicely just like dogs but for the most part they just enjoy rooting around outside taking their sweet time. So far cleaning up after this pig has been nothing…she pees on a tray which we clean right as soon as we notice and her poop is easy to scoop up and throw out or simply flush down the toilet. You would think with a pig you would have a messy home, turns out I actually clean more with the pig because I don’t want her getting into stuff…

*pet cleaning hint* cleaning pet areas with a mix of lemon juice, your fave essential oil scent and vinegar is great for removing stains and smells. Another thing I use is Laundry scent booster beads that I dissolve into a spray bottle and use as a room and floor spray, this ensures visitors do not smell that lingering animal smell we have other small mammals and these methods greatly work

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Matilda did not get too much socializing, she had been with a family for a few weeks and before that lived on my friends farm. In other words she was not house trained as a piglet but even with that history she does let us know when she needs to go potty so she can be taken outside. She only took a few days to get used to everyone and now gets super excited if she hears anyone’s voice. She absolutely loves chin and belly rubs, she will flop and sleep anywhere we lay a blanket down and she likes to get tucked in at night. And because of her I have been paying even more attention to all my other critters and I spend twice as much time with my daughter doing things that do not involve the TV or xbox. So all in all having this unconventional Piggy is great! And I can’t wait to blog about her progress.

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Project Charlie Brown

Posted: January 17, 2016 in Uncategorized

Sometimes I wonder if I can even make a slight impact when I come up with little ideas and passions, but then I am reminded of a very good analogy that I base my life on when it comes to helping others or paying it forward.  I’m sure many have heard of the “Starfish analogy” but in case you have not here it is:

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While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.

He came closer still and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

The old man smiled, and said, “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”

To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, “But, young man, do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

So Now I am going to talk about a little project that my little heart desires, I got the idea while putting my Christmas decor away, I decided that my little charlie Brown Christmas tree (yes I have one and the base broke so the poor thing is sitting in a vase) should stay up all year to remind me that good deeds and paying it forward should not be limited to just Christmas time.

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We see miracles happen around Christmas when people in need are abundantly blessed by the generosity of so many. Everyone feels great they helped someone and they can go another year feeling good. But what about the rest of the year? Are people as generous? If you do a little research its easy to find that Food Banks are very low in January and practically have to beg for more donations to feed those less fortunate. Having to rely on a foodbank can happen to anyone, not just those who continuously rely on them but for those who had hours reduced at work, or have been laid off or find themselves down on hard times.

So this is what project Charlie Brown is all about. Right now I’m only focusing on my community. I do not have the resources to help every star fish on the beach but if I can even make a small impact on one…it matters. They matter. If I can get a few people to help then bonus. What I am doing is simply attempting to fill a small hamper or gift basket for 1 family in need each month and finding a person or family in need of a blessing through the grape vine…everyone knows somebody so it cant be that hard to locate a need. Instead of a food hamper any monetary donations I get will go towards a food gift card so that family may purchase some groceries. And the baskets are filled with all sorts of goodies (Because lets face it…getting a random goodie basket is awesome) things from bath products, beauty products, jewelry, clothing, accessories, chocolate bars, treats, etc etc etc. (Filling baskets for women, men, children, babies and teens once I have a basket filled it will go out to someone)

If you are reading this blog and you are not in my local area I encourage you to adopt this project in your area…and if you cant find the time please at least consider a few donations to a local shelter or food bank. If you happen to actually know me and you are interested in helping (and $1 goes a long way trust me) simply get in contact with me and I will give you more details and will update all those who have helped out. I don’t know how big this project can potentially get, but I’m just taking that little step of faith and just going with it. Lets make 2016 awesome.

 

 

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Snakes certainly are not your typical everyday family pet, but with the popularity of the reptile trade snakes are becoming more and more common in households due to their easy to care for nature and the fact they are hypoallergenic. And if you are a snake lover such as myself, once you make the first snake purchase you just get addicted. But with snake ownership comes many snake questions from those who simply do not understand snakes. I figured I would answer the top 10 questions or comments I frequently get.

 

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  1. ARE YOU CRAZY? I have been “Crazy” for a long time and crazy before I even got my very first snake. Are snake owners crazy for owning snakes? Well that’s a tough one to answer…I suppose we are unique and perhaps a little different because our family pet of choice is a slithering reptile but in fairness I could say the same to poodle owners or Chihuahua owners or people who own those cats that only like their owner and will tear a visitor to sheds should they try to pet them. So my answer is yes I am a little crazy but for more reasons than owning snakes.

2.ARE THEY LEGAL? In most places yes, in my township I could own pretty much anything, in some other towns or provinces/states certain species may be illegal to keep. It all depends on municipal bylaws. There are reasons in each area as to why some snakes are banned (And yes some are actually because the law passer simply hates snakes)  some places have size restrictions or breed restrictions. It is very easy to find out if snakes are legal in your area.

3. Are snakes dangerous? Some yes, others definitely not. I have had more serious injuries from my cats than I have ever gotten from a snake. Certain criteria need to be met before a snake is considered a hazardous animal. Size, Temperament, venom. Venomous snakes are a given, yes people do own them and yes its dangerous, common sense can tell you why. There are certain breeds that have temperament issues and are more likely to attack than other species, however, it is still possible to own a specimen that is notorious for striking or coiling that happens to be a puppy dog snake. Size also determines risk, the bigger the snake the more damage it can do. Anything over 8 feet is strong enough to leave a nasty bite (Although the worse this does is cause mechanical wounds and Ive never heard of anyone bleeding to death from a bite) and a large snake is strong enough to coil around an adult human and knock them out or strangle them. Once a snake gets that large there are certain safety measures to always keep in mind, a 2 person rule (Supervision while handling or feeding) and a proper escape proof enclosure. Escapes often happen do to negligence. Can people still enjoy owning a large snake? Absolutely so long as they follow responsible pet ownership…the same rule applies to dog owners.

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4. Can a snake Eat a person? After arguing with many people because they were told or they read a false article on the internet (Because the internet never lies) NO snakes do not eat people! Yes I have been asked if my ball python can eat me. Yes I have been told by many that if a snake stretches out beside you they are sizing you up…FALSE FALSE FALSE! Snakes stretch beside people because humans are warm, snakes like warm. Snakes DO NOT size up their prey…they see, they smell they strike plain and simple. If you smell like a rat you could get bitten but the snake will soon learn that you are not in fact their lunch.

5. Can a snake eat my cat? Can my snakes eat my cats? no. Can a Burmese python eat a cat? Yes. Don’t place cats in Python enclosures? Even if a snake CAN eat a cat they;d need to be desperate to want to eat a cat, a well fed snake is not going to go after something that doesn’t smell like their prey. Is there still a risk? There is and yes here are stories of cats and small dogs getting eaten by large snakes. Right now my cats can do more damage to my snakes than my snakes can do to the cats. Being responsible I obviously don’t place my cats in their enclosures.

 

6. Can a snake Kill a person? My snakes physically cant. (Other than cause a heart attack on someone who’s terrified) but as previously stated a venomous snake or a large snake can potentially kill a person. For the record there are more Dog related deaths than snake deaths ever recorded.

7. Won’t your snake choke you? Maybe if I let it? The only snake I own with any strength is a 5 foot long Crawl Cay boa constrictor which is a dwarf species. And even with his strength he is very easy to pry off myself. I do let all my snakes wrap around my shoulders because I know they are not strong enough to murder me.

 

8. Do your snakes try to bite you? Never been bitten by any of my snakes but I have been bitten by other snakes and honestly, its like getting scratched by a cat…except cats hurt more. There is actually more concern for a snake if they are biting and not letting go, if they are pried off a person their teeth can get damaged. Most snakes, however, strike due to defense or accident (Thinking you are food) they will nip and quickly retreat. Your first reaction is usually shock “Did that snake just strike at me?” followed by little pin pricks that may bleed a little. But honestly if bites are a huge concern don’t own anything with teeth.

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9. Are snakes Slimey? No they are not slimy or slippery. They have scales which make them smooth to the touch but they do not feel like frogs or fish.

10. Do any of your snakes show aggression? Some have given off warnings of aggression but none have shown it. If a snake becomes irritated or scared they can show signs such as certain body movement or hissing. I have been peed on, I have been hissed at, I have had snakes get surprised and back off, I have been struck but not bitten. Could any of them ever act on aggression? Possibly, any animal can. Is it likely? Not really. I have still picked up a hissing snake, because I know where to grab them, I know what to expect and I know/am prepared for if they do bite. Most aggression comes from within an enclosure, some snakes have feeding responses that make them strike at anything that moves within their home. None of mine have strong feeding responses…I’m lucky if they decide to eat. The correct answer to this question is ANY animal can show or act on aggression be responsible with ALL animals.

CYIO0E6WcAAMjQl Thank you for reading, Hope you learned a few things about snakes. Encourage everyone to do research you never know, you may just fall in love with these magnificent creatures. Most fears are based off the unknown once someone is reassured its quite easy to over come a fear of these cool beasts. I too was once hesitant on handling snakes, I never got the chance to hold one until I was 18 years old and that was when I fell in love. I got my first snake, a Normal Ball Python when I was 26 years old. (I am now almost 29) and my collection has been growing since. Check out care sheets online to see how easy it is to care for beginner snake species you never know, a snake may be for you.

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Happy new year 2016

Posted: January 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

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Well 2016 is here and I didn’t really write any resolutions this time,  but like every year I hope to improve many things.  I’ve had ups and downs in the last few years but here we are we made it through 2015 in one peice.  Victory.  Today marks a new day,  a new year… Traditionally a new start but a new start can happen at any point in the year,  I will likely have many new starts this year but I do not know what they may be yet. 

Last night for new years Eve we stayed in,  we actually stayed up this time.  The last 8 new years eves we have pretty much skipped and in fact last year we went to bed,  woke up at 2am, muttered “happy new year”  and went back to bed.  Last new years Eve I only had 2 pet snakes,  I’ve acquired a whole wack more in 2015 so my house has exploded into a zoo and I couldn’t be more happier, we have taken in elderly animals that have lived their life out here or are still living their lives out.  It’s heart breaking to lose pets and it’s bound to occur with the number we take in but I am so happy with the fact we gave them love as they aged and many of our critters are still young and yes I will face more heart break but I take it a day at a time.  There is always room for a little critter in need. 

To start off 2016 we headed off to visit with a few friends who we have known since highschool.  It’s quite awesome to still keep in touch with highschool buddies.  It’s a blessing to have Facebook and keep tabs on everyone.  We had a wonderful coffee date with our friends Lisa and Mandy and can’t wait for more hang outs. 

We hope to visit more family and friends this new year as both of us now have vacation time we have to actually take so why not spend it with great friends? 

Speaking of coffee,  apparently Starbucks lattes give me anxiety attacks… Honestly anxiety is a horrible feeling and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy… I don’t even know who my worst enemy is lol.  I’m sure some people out there can’t stand me.  That’s totally OK though.  But if it weren’t for the lovely 90s hits we blasted in the car I’d have curled up on the seat and cried but I pushed through and sang along to all the lame 90s hits… Oh what a decade that was.  I’m feeling old now. 

As much as I would love everyone to enjoy this blog I must warn some I will post snake pictures often… I know some of my family have blasted me for this but snakes are a huge part of my life and well I’m blogging about them 🙂 I’m not being rude or inconsiderate and it hurts when I get angry emails and messages about someone accidentally viewing one of my pictures.  I’m not sorry for having a passion that doesn’t harm anybody. 

And one more thing before I sign off.  I’m trying out a secret mission project,  I want to see more pay it forward initiatives so all year I’m collecting items for needy people or families.  I’m trying to keep it as anonymous as possible so most times I won’t post about it other than to encourage others.  I’m turning my porch into a drop off location and leaving my Charlie Brown Christmas tree up all year 🙂  I think this year will fly by so better start now.  Can’t wait for the ups and downs of 2016. 

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And I’ll leave you all with a snake.  Vader the super pastel ball Python.  Also known as Mr.  Snake Eyes according to my daughter. 

The Loss of a Pet

Posted: November 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

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Many of us have had to face the loss of a beloved pet. We can’t prevent age or genetic diseases or cancer or even accidents. Being an owner of multiple critters I face loss alot, some of my mammals just dont have long life spans and sometimes I pull the short straw and end up with a male tarantula (short life compared to females) YES I would cry over the loss of a spider I’m just that soft hearted.

One thing that bothers me as a reptile keeper is some people have their opinions and when your pet snake or pet spider dies (Or in my case I just lost a wonderful member of my family, our Uromastyx Maynard whom we spoiled and loved very much) and some of the most hurtful phrases are said “Good one less stupid snake in this world” “It’s JUST a freaking spider get over yourself” “I would stomp on your pet if I ever saw it.” Although I’m used to this talk it’s still pretty hurtful especially when your beloved pet passes on.

It would be totally cold heated to laugh if someones cat or dog died so why is it OK to laugh at someone’s reptile, bird, bug or amphibian dying. It’s not just me that has been the blunt of an attack it’s pretty much anyone in the reptile community who faces a loss. I mean is it too much to ask that you keep your opinion to yourself while we face loss? Trolls are one thing but close friends and family it’s just unacceptable.

Let me tell you a little about my sweet Maynard. I only had him 9 months I don’t know how old he is I just know that in the 9 months I have had him I have experienced great joy. Mali Uromastyx are more than just typical lizards, these little guys have so much personality and love attention. Every day when I walked into my reptile room I was greeted by the happiest Lizard in the world, he just wanted more veggies or a little bit of attention. He played with toys as if he was a cat, he didn’t like being picked up at first but recently he became very comfortable with handling. We don’t know what happened one minute he was ok the next he was gasping for air, shaking, convulsing and totally disoriented…it could have been a stroke or a neurological issue that just happened we will never know but tragedy struck and within hours his health took a downhill spiral and he passed on. All the people that he has brought laughter and joy to are devastated. You see lizards aren’t just icky reptiles…and snakes aren’t just things that don’t feel and can’t possibly bring joy into someones life. Yes I will have to move on but let me mourn at least for a day or 2. Nobody judges people who’ve just lost Fido so Don’t judge someone who just lost an exotic pet.

I feel empty. I can not replace Maynard. I lost a rabbit in June and I know I can’t replace her either. But my home will always be a place where I will take in critters in need of a home. And while I am sad over the loss of Maynard I know I have a whole slew of other critters who need my love and attention right now. Yes even my snakes and spiders.