Max The Iguana

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Martin Hash
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Max The Iguana

Post by Martin Hash » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:04 pm

My Brother-In-Law, Steve, has had a slew of exotic pets. For reasons that only he can understand, he gave a pair of small iguanas to my oldest son, Heath, when he was about 12. Even today, as a grown adult, it's unclear if Heath has the time or inclination to take care of an iguana, and that certainly wasn't the case when he was a kid. Predictably, no one fed the iguanas, and though they are strict vegetarians, one bit off the leg of the other, probably out of starvation. The crippled one soon died.
Iguana Young.png
Though the stereotype is that boys like lizards & girls like unicorns, my daughter, Heather, 10 at the time, didn't mind a tortoise or two, and an iguana that needed to eat fit her repertoire exactly. I don't think Heath even noticed he'd lost iguana ownership. For the first several years, the iguana had no name but eventually it became too big for it's 50 gallon aquarium, and soon after, Heather starting calling him “Max.”

Luckily, we moved to a larger house that had an unused Third floor, so Max had 1000 square feet of floor space all to himself, plus his own bathroom. He grew into a big guy, 5-feet long at the tip of the tail, and lived on a cat-tree under a heat lamp. Unfortunately, he used to get his long claws hung up in the carpet on the cat-tree so all of his toes were broken and pointing sideways. He would slap his tail at everyone except Heather, who could easily pick him up for his weekly shower in her bathroom. All of Heather's girlfriends & boyfriends knew about Max but they just excused it as a Hash idiosyncrasy so didn't think it too odd. Somebody would occasionally leave the doors open to the Third floor, and Max would come down two sets of stairs to frighten guests. We would have to wait for Heather to get home to pick him up & carry him back up to his cat-tree. One time, while changing the filters on the furnace, Max got into the attic and was lost for several weeks but we left the cover off until he came back for his shower.
iguana-31.jpg
Eventually, Heather went away to college with the rest of our kids & my wife, Gwynne, volunteered to take care of Max... But Max wouldn't eat. It went like that for months, the food Gwynne put out would just rot. Max got thinner & thinner; finally he was so weak, Gwynne could pick him up & take him to the vet. The vet said that Max had a condition that is somewhat common among iguanas: if they are raised by a single person, and that person leaves, the iguana will no longer eat. The vet had no suggestions on how to save Max's life. Gwynne was distraught. She wouldn't call Heather to come home from university just to feed a lizard, so Gwynne tried to feed Max by hand. She bought him special organic food, and coaxed morsels of soggy mango down his throat, but Max was finished eating forever. Max died. I rolled him in a rug and ignominiously threw him out in the big dumpster at the office. Gwynne just told Heather that Max had died, she never told her why. (I hope Heather doesn't read this.)
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TheReal_ND
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Re: Max The Iguana

Post by TheReal_ND » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:19 pm

Max was a good pupper

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Re: Max The Iguana

Post by Speaker to Animals » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:37 pm

Damn. Sorry. I love iguanas.

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Re: Max The Iguana

Post by Speaker to Animals » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:40 pm

I had a savannah monitor lizard that I had to surrender to a pet store because I was deploying to Saudi Arabia and he would attack anybody but me, and my girlfriend refused to take care of him while I was gone. I hope he didn't stop eating. I loved that "little" guy. I was the only room in the barracks that never had mice.

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Re: Max The Iguana

Post by heydaralon » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:17 pm

Monitor lizards are pretty cool. My cousin had one in high school. I believe those things keep growing forever. Komodos are pretty fucking awesome, though I don't think they'd make great pets, unless you are a bond villain.
Shikata ga nai

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Re: Max The Iguana

Post by Speaker to Animals » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:24 pm

Savannahs are basically like mini-komodos. I didn't know that when I got him, and my commander was eventually going to make me get rid of him when he got to like four or five feet anyway.

They do not like people other than the one who feeds them. It's really weird. He would just hang out wrapped around my shoulders, but if other people tried to touch him, he would take some blood.

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Re: Max The Iguana

Post by Speaker to Animals » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:28 pm

Check this guy out:




Beautiful.

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TheReal_ND
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Re: Max The Iguana

Post by TheReal_ND » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:29 pm

I want a lizard now

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Re: Max The Iguana

Post by heydaralon » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:34 pm

dat tongue...
Shikata ga nai

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Re: Max The Iguana

Post by Speaker to Animals » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:35 pm

Lizards are actually great pets.