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.