Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Circle of Life

So we had this lizard. Yes, had. He is no longer with us, both in the literal and figurative sense.

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.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for visiting me Deb :)
I'm still at it! Giving it my best.

Tenakim said...

Am I allowed to think the story is funny or are we still in the mourning phase?

And Eggroll- genius name!

Under the Influence said...

I'm with Tena - let me know when I can laugh without it being insensitive.

I'm glad you mentioned the Nike shoe box because I was wondering what size of lizard Eggroll was.

Under the Influence said...

Oh, and you know I am all for the kitten!

Kristina P. said...

I'm pretty sure if he had a Snuggie he would still be with us.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Well told story, I'm saving my grin for after mourning as well. And can I just say that Eggroll is an awesome name for a lizard? if you get another you should name it Eggroll II.

Anonymous said...

1000K? On a lizard?

Yeesh. Even if we were stinkin' rich, I'd still be more than a little reluctant to spend that kind of money on a lizard.

Plus, think of all the Diet Dr. Peppers I could be buying with that amount of money!


Oh, wait. I guess that was a little selfish of me, eh?


Beth said...

Poor Eggroll.

Note to self: If reincarnation is real, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT come back as a lizard. :)

Susan Berlien (warmchocmilk) said...

Pet Death is no fun. We just said goodbye to "Billy" the goldfish a week or so ago, had a nice memorial service.
I'm with ya on the Lizard euthanasia...good choice.

golden girl said...

R.I.P. Eggroll. A fun name for such a great reptile. Was he buried in the Nike shoebox?

kys said...

Great name. I can't get past $1000 for a lizard. Poor Eggroll.

mama-face said...

Can I laugh at your pain? Good, cuz I just did.

You could have used dry ice...let me know if you need the recipe.

gah. gross I know.

Jenn@ The Crazies said...

Oh so sad.... we have gone thru this with 2 lizards, a turtle and a few fish... the freezer is somewhat humane also...:(

CaJoh said...

The closest thing to an exotic pet was my sister's boa. She brought it down to school with her and it escaped into the walls of her trailer in the middle of summer. We never saw it again, but my sister says she did smell it once.

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

Eggroll...what a totally creative name!

I'm sorry for your loss!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

It' sick that I'm LMAO at this.
RIP, Eggroll.

♥georgie♥ said...

I am so sorry for your loss, we have a snake and I must admit I was a lil envious of your diagnosis...does that make me a horrible person?

Lee of MWOB said...

Okay seriously. Paying the $49 and running line just got coffee all over my keyboard!! You just gave me a good morning chuckle. You and Eggroll. I can just imagine your dude at the exotic pets office staring at the ground when the news broke. This whole scene with the iguanas wearing Santa hats was painted perfectly....and I am laughing.

Poor Eggroll. May he rest in peace. I can't believe you didn't write his death date. You just gave him a month. Oh I know, he's just a lizard. :-)

Harlene said...

Did you really keep a straight face thru all of this?

You are amazing!

Jenners said...

I'm feeling a little guilty to be laughing at this ... but it was a lizard. it is just hard to get worked up over a lizard.

Heather of the EO said...

How horrible am I? I laughed through this whole post.

it all started with the name Eggroll, and then I just couldn't be stopped.

I'm still laughing...and Ryan keeps asking me what's up. So I said "a dead lizard." I'm horrible.

Sera said...

Awww...I love the name Eggroll! I'm so sorry he got so sick. Poor little guy.

We had a couple of lizards. They were both male and they liked to hump each other and lay on each other. It's just pitiful to watch them when they get sick and die.

The one got real sick before he died, so we put him on a tree outside our old house so at least he could experience some freedom in his last moments. I'm sure a bird got him before too long, but it just seemed like the thing to do.

You are so dang good at telling stories. :)

Sassy Britches said...

First off: "Eggroll." Very classy.

Secondly: Poor little guy.

For thirds: Ahahahahahaaaaaaa!

Brenda Jean said...

Would everyone hate me if I said that I probably wouldn't have taken him into the vet until it was too late? I know, I'm a nasty mom. Maybe that's why I only have cats and they fend for themselves. I feel them. They are lucky I feed them after all the puke and poop I've had to clean up.

Em said...

Lord I'm a cold woman because I'm laughing!!!

Eggroll? I love you.

Find a writing competition now and enter this piece - freakin' comedy gold. And that's not just because I hate all things slimey.

Summer said...

Oh my word, freaking awesome Deb!!!

We aren't much for pets....so we'd be the same way. No judgement here. =)