Steve's Story and New Home

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Steve's Story and New Home

Postby SilverGravity » Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:37 pm

[TOPIC AUTO-LOCKED DUE TO INACTIVITY]

So, I think a lot of you know Steve, my rescue from my school. I'm glad to say after months of caring for him he's gotten so much better and as of today he went to his new home at Happy Herps Reptile Rescue! Not going to lie, I cried when I gave him up. I'll miss that little guy. So, I thought I'd outline his story for both me and all of you guys to see! You can see his ER thread where a lot of progress took place here!

He was apparently dropped off at my agriscience program at school by a student who didn't know how to care for him but I don't trust anything that the teacher who was caring for the small animals told me. He actually wasn't in terrible condition when they got him, his tail and hips were still full and round. The teacher, we'll call her Mrs. D, didn't give him proper temperatures, lighting or anything. It was far too cold, he stopped eating and soon lost weight and got very ill. Mrs. D said she knew he needed a UVB light but would only get it if he survived because they were so expensive, even though he couldn't get better without that light. She also told me they had no money for vet trips, which was a lie as I learned after talking to the headmaster about him. Soon he began flipping and was very unresponsive, you could do anything to him and he didn't even open his eyes. They even thought he died once. It took weeks for me to be able to take him home as the students take home the animals during breaks so they get care. He was very underweight at less than 232 grams, less because it took a couple weeks to get a scale and by then he had already gained some weight, was dehydrated, couldn't walk or stand but instead shoved himself around, unresponsive and hardly moved, possible worms and stuck shed. Later on he got plaque build up on his teeth due to a soft diet of reptaboost as he wouldn't eat greens, likely because he didn't recognize it as good because he apparently only ever ate crickets for his 3 years of life.

It took a long time but he began shedding, his black beard which had remained for weeks no matter what I did went away and instead he only blackbearded when he wanted to be out of the tank, he started walking though not gracefully, started to eat his greens by himself so reptaboost was no longer needed, and even started chasing crickets though he never did catch them on his own. He even got all the way up to 260 grams for weight! Then I found a rescue he for him, Happy Herps Reptile Rescue in Rhide Island, and that's where he is now. I wish I could have kept him but I have school again and I didn't have the time to hand feed him every day or keep up with care. I'm glad to say the lady who picked him up seemed very nice and even said she's okay with updating me every once in awhile so I could see him still!

Now on to the story through pictures!

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Here is his when he had just come in, not in terrible condition but not good by far.

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Looking pretty thin, not healthy. Flipped over constantly, I had to fix him every time I went to ag and every time I left.

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After hounding the teacher caring for him for a long time, he finally got a UVB light! A terrible one, but he was right under it as soon as he knew that UVB was there, the poor baby needed it.

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Finally took him home! He was stressed and puffed up like a balloon. At this point he had MBD, dehydrated, couldn't walk, and was severely underweight at 232 grams, and that was after I had him home for a couple weeks! At school I'm sure he had been even less than 232.

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He seemed to like his log until he flipped over. Cue many different basking platforms until I found one he was good with.

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A silly dragon gets stuck.

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Waiting outside for his first vet trip! He enjoyed basking as we waited. They were very unhelpful and expensive and suggested putting him down. Did not happen.

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A happy dragon getting some UVB outside since we didn't have a new Reptisun for him just yet- it took weeks for it to be successfully delivered.

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He fell asleep in his water dish...why buddy.

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Silly dragon gets stuck version 2.

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I got told to put him on grass instead of a towel outside and he enjoyed it a lot more- until he decided he had enough and blackbearded. He had to go outside every single day for weeks.

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What a messy creature. He loved his reptaboost at first- he ate it quickly and wanted more.

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Looking better! He was feeling strong enough to support himself enough to pick his head up!

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More outdoor time, looking even more alert and happy!

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At least he tried to get on his basking spot.

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His face shed and around his eyes turned orange! Very worrisome until I got some responses that it's normal. Even now they flare up orange when he gets excited or stressed out! Strong emotions cause strong colors.

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On our way to the second vet for deworming meds! Turns out he may never have had worms to start with, but I'm glad we did it and I'm pretty sure he doesn't have them.

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What a grumpy child.

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What is this, a cat?

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One of many failed attempts at a picture of his plaque build up. He only ate soft foods, so plaque was building up.

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Tall dragon and sleepy dragon.

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Starting to shed his back!

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Yet another cute picture.

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He looked ridiculous until the shed came off- then he looked great! His colors have started coming in again!

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A not-so-wonderful picture of his vent area finally shedding and showing new scales rather than the nasty old ones he had, some of which you can still see. Also a femoral pore learning experience- didn't know they popped plugs out and he scared me when one looked damaged.

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Most his shed is gone and he's a sleepy dragon.

Then the most heartbreaking part of this whole experience:
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All from today on the car ride to meet Jennifer, the lady from the rescue. It was hard not to cry. I did cry. I wanted to talk to her more but if I opened my mouth I was sure I would start sobbing so I didn't say much. She seemed super nice and even drove an hour to meet us so we could cut down on driving time, though we did end up driving an hour and 20 minutes to get there. Her meeting us part way was very helpful. She was glad to see him and told us he'd get to go outside a lot until it got cold. Then they left, and I started sobbing. Got a frosty from Wendy's after that.

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I couldn't bear the idea of never seeing my scaley baby ever again after spending every day with him for months so I asked if I could get updates and pictures every once in a while and she said yes luckily. Here he is after a bath to help with that shed and looking like he's settling in already!

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He even fell asleep hugging his new rock hide.
Last edited by SilverGravity on Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Steve's Story and New Home

Postby Gormagon » Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:50 pm

That was awesome, thank you for sharing this. I was wondering how things were going. You did good kid, kudos.
SLAVE TO A KIND BUT, DEMANDING MASTER "PEACHES"
The wonderful world of bearded dragons is a magical land of mystery, enchantment, cuddles, love and, worry! A mysterious realm where things always seem to change in an instant and, the moment you think you have it all figured out, the rules change! You think you own your dragon?, Ha Ha....guess again..... Like it or not, you are now a slave, lol!
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Re: Steve's Story and New Home

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:39 am

I'm so glad you were able to give him care and get him back up on his feet. I hope he continues to thrive with the rescue and eventually finds his way to a happy forever home =) Thanks for taking him in and giving him such good care. You made a big difference and that's very important!
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Re: Steve's Story and New Home

Postby AHBD » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:28 am

I know you've heard this a lot....but you really did a great job with Steve. He has a chance to live a decent life, maybe not as long as he would if he had a good start, but at least to be comfortable and cared for. This nearly brought me to tears too, I hate good byes. But how nice that you will get updates, and Steve seems to be in good hands. :)
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Re: Steve's Story and New Home

Postby SpacialCoogs » Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:09 pm

This made me cry. I followed your whole journey and I'm so glad Steve is in good hands. It's bittersweet that they aren't yours but what you did was amazing. Good Job Silver.
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Re: Steve's Story and New Home

Postby SilverGravity » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:28 pm

It really is bittersweet. If I was an adult and had a job and my own place, I'd have kept him, but I have no room or time or money for such an expensive and time eating dragon sadly. I hope he gets a good home once he's fully well again, even though I don't get to know where he goes, which is pretty sad but makes sense. I love the little guy and love that he's got a great home now that has a ton of time and everything they need for him, but it's bittersweet that the home isn't with me. I thought all this time I'd be perfectly cool giving him up to someone if he opportunity came along because he cost me so much money, stress and time out of my summer but once I was actually giving him up I knew I could have kept him and been happy even with all the work and stress. I don't think I realized just how much I loved him until the thought of never seeing him again was a very real possibility. And thank you guys for all the kind words, it really means a lot to me. Got myself sad again reading through this post :')
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Re: Steve's Story and New Home

Postby SteelFox » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:36 pm

I'm so proud of you for all that you did for him! Great job! I understand how hard it was for you to give him up too but thankfully it was to a rescue and not back to the school.
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Re: Steve's Story and New Home

Postby VexLight » Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:36 am

I am so glad Steve was saved and help. I want to snuggle and help him too.

Must have been hard taking care of him and having to let go though.

I know I don't know you very well but I am always happy to offer digital hugs to anyone who like and/or needs them
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Re: Steve's Story and New Home

Postby SilverGravity » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:38 am

It was. Luckily he's in a good home now. Thanks for the digital hug <3
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