And for all of you curious reptiphiles and reptiphobes, here's how it all went down...
I guess first, I should provide a little background info, just to get PETA all nice and worked up. A general unspoken rule in our house is any mammalian member of the family will receive appropriate basic veterinary care. If, God forbid, something catastrophic were to happen, well, we'll just cross that bridge when we get to it.
Now, if you reside in our home and are not a mammal... Well, be happy you have a warm place to live and keep an eye on the cat.
And so it went, until this past week when our poor Chinese water dragon, Eggroll, starting acting sort of strange and slow. But the funny thing about reptiles is they'll do that before they shed, or when they are cold. So, we kind of just ignored the weirdness until yesterday. My husband decided to seek medical care for him, which just had disaster written all over it from the get go. His point was a good one, however. His thought was that if it was something simple, and fixable, why not? It was better than just watching him die. So we loaded the lizard in the car, and drove him to the exotic animal clinic.
The whole scene was a riot (until we got to the part about Eggroll's terminal illness). It was exactly how you would picture it... Lots of good-natured weirdos, lots of photos hanging on the walls from appreciative former patients (turtles in Santa hats, iguanas posing with kitties, etc).
Well, the Dr. examined Eggy and pronounced him gravely ill with pneumonia, a skin infection, and possible organ failure. Her treatment plan consisted of immediate hospitalization, tube feeding and iv antibiotics. Basically, lizard life support. To the tune of $1000.
I felt like the worst person in the world when I asked sheepishly if there was a "Plan B". My husband, by the way, was too busy staring at a spot on the ground and fiddling with his car keys to help me out.
Luckily, the vet was really understanding and presented us with an Euthanasia Plan. Now, I don't mean to sound heartless, but it was pretty hilarious. We could be there with him, if we so chose. We could take his little remains with us, or have him cremated. I think we could even select some sort of commemorative urn for his ashes.
In the end, we chose a clean cut of the cord, if you will. We said our solemn goodbyes to the little wheezing lizard in the orange Nike shoebox, paid our $49, and ran.
We got home and broke the news to the boys. Despite months of basically ignoring the poor animal, they took it very hard... Until I told them we could go to our vet's office tomorrow to look at a stray kitten that's in need of a home.