The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

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The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

Postby Poggerna » Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:18 pm

Been meaning to start up a topic here for a while to both document my, as of this writing, 4-month-old beardie, Ardbert (or Ardie, as he's affectionately called) and share some funny shenanigans we get up to that aren't necessarily caught on camera. Life was pretty hectic the past month, alas, between a new baby dragon and personal things, so I unfortunately missed my chance to live post.

Thankfully, I do keep an Instagram for Ardie compiling the choicest photos and some commentary, so I'll put a link over here (which can also be found in my signature): https://www.instagram.com/lizardoflight/

Anyways, a little background on his name: Ardbert is the name of a character from the MMO, Final Fantasy XIV who has become a pretty big comfort character for me, especially after the reveal that he's the Warrior of Light's (player character's) soul (fragment) counterpart in a parallel world where he is one of their Warriors of Light. Eventually in the story, he would serve to play a crucial role in saving your soul from being overwhelmed and you rejoin as one entity.

Okay, funny enough: the initial Morph Market listing (which I was browsing with the intent to just get an idea of what colors/morphs I like) that caught my eye wasn't Ardie himself so much as his brother, who had a more peachy hue against dark tan. But 2 hours after I inquired after him, he was sold. Disheartened after being all excited, I poked around the breeder's other listings and immediately a similar looking boy caught my eye. He was a much brighter orange/tangerine, but he still had plenty enough natural browns mixed in. And then his description, of being a curious fella who loves climbing around and exploring, just immediately hit the right chord for me.

The original name I had in mind was "Emet-Selch" (another FFXIV character; specifically the villain for Shadowbringers who is VERY relatable in many respects), but it just didn't feel right for him (or his brother, whom I was considering and made the connection for). Then I realized "Ardbert" is perfect! And that's the story of how I decided on a name before I finally got him. Took about a week before I could make the transaction, but it just solidified even more to me that he was "The One".

On September 28, 2020, which is also my birthday, I made the transaction. On October 2, 2020, Little Ardie arrived safely to my door from FedEx. And boy was he so true to his description, because he started investigating his enclosure not longer after he was put in. He was not scared of my little Chihuahua when she barked at him and scratched the glass (still had my Thrive then and it was on the floor). In fact, he actually seemed drawn to her and scratched back at her on the glass on Day 2. Of course I just had to let him out since he wanted to so much, and those two were fast friends. :lol:

It's been over a month now, and he's STILL an adventurous spirit, always eager to run straight towards any nook and cranny that looks interesting to him. In fact, he's exploring my desk as I write this post and I had to pause a few times to move him from the edges. XD

I have a few more fun stories to share, but I'll leave it at this for now. And also this little name inspiration edit I'm a little too proud of despite the simple work:

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Re: The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:26 am

I'm glad that it worked out and Ardie arrived well and with an adventurous spirit! I look forward to hearing more stories about him. I didn't realize Final Fantasy went beyond VI :lol: :oops:
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Re: The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

Postby Poggerna » Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:23 am

CooperDragon wrote:I'm glad that it worked out and Ardie arrived well and with an adventurous spirit! I look forward to hearing more stories about him. I didn't realize Final Fantasy went beyond VI :lol: :oops:


HAHAHAHHA, as a matter of fact, XVI is in the works right now if you want to look. I'm surprised you didn't know about VII though since that one's the big iconic one everyone thinks of when they think of Final Fantasy (i.e. Cloud and Sephiroth). :lol:

Anyways, I'll see if I can get more posts in later! :mrgreen:
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Re: The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

Postby adambeck » Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:39 pm

Love the backstory and the name! I'm sure you and Ardie will have many great adventures together and become the best of friends. Would love to hear more stories about him too.

Also, Fifa (our bearded dragon) says hi! :D
❤️ Bearded father of Fifa and creator of two popular coloring books for fans of bearded dragons: Bearded Dragon Daydreams and Bearded Dragon Fairy Tales, available at booksellers worldwide. (They're cricket-crazy cute and fun for all ages!) ❤️
https://www.instagram.com/bearded_dragon_daydreams
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Re: The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

Postby Poggerna » Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:32 pm

Thank you, Adam!

Okay, so just a bit ago, I realized for certain that Ardie has definitely been blackbearding at his reflection on the tank wall by his hide/basking rock for these past couple days. Not the first time he’s acknowledged his reflection, but this is the first time he’s shown any signs of stress (the random stress marks I see him with lately could possibly be related too). So of course, I tried to minimize the reflection by taping a paper towel outside against the wall.

Success! Or so I though when he quickly lost interest in the wall and moved down to scratch at the front of the terrarium for the first time in his new Exo Terra enclosure. But after I had to shuffle things a bit to clean off and remove some poop on the rock and paper towel in the cave, he just beelined over to the opposite side of the tank after I put everything back and started relentlessly glass-surfing (as in, full on scratching and running back and forth; a first for him here) while blackbearding.

So I took him out to see if maybe he just wanted out, and of course he just started running around, tasting everything, and looking everywhere for presumably the “other dragon”. orz

I’m going to guess this is probably the beginning of puberty for him because until this point, he’s only ever black-bearded on two occasions: once when he got scared of a cloth I tried to give him as a blanket, and once when I tried to help him get some shed off his chin (yes, big no-no, I’ve learned my lesson since). I still have yet to see him ever head-bob and he’s never arm-waved either.

Funny enough, the first time I saw him blackbeard is also a story I wanted to share here. Basically, on Day 3, being a totally noob beardie parent and having too weak of an MVB (85 watt Powersun, oops) at the time, I got worried about him being too cold at night because he was scratching at the substrate in his hide at night and we didn’t have a CHF then. So I thought I’d give him a soft dish rag. Left it on top of his rock while he was up on his branch. Cut to 30-60 minutes later, I went down to check on him.

There he was, sitting erect on top of the cloth.....and the corners of his beard were solid black. He did NOT look happy at all. After a few minutes of panicking that I made him mad somehow, I realized maybe it’s the new object, i.e. the dish cloth. As soon as I took it out from under him, he suddenly CLUNG ON to my finger for dear life and wouldn’t let ago until I took the cloth out of sight. X’D

That confirmed it for me, and also cemented him permanently in my heart because OMG he sees me as a source of safety. QwQ

I realized after the fact that I was very stupid about giving him a microfiber dish cloth, which already sticks in an annoying way on human skin and so probably got stuck to his scales like Velcro and he thought he was getting eaten as he wasn’t big or strong enough to pull himself off like I would. :|

Anyways! That’s the story of the first time I ever saw him blackbeard.

Back on the current situation at hand, do you guys think he’s starting to hit puberty? I’d read that males may start glass-surfing when the hormones kick in, and he’s a couple more weeks shy of 5 months.

I’m probably going to work on making the glass less reflective regardless. ORZ
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Re: The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

Postby Poggerna » Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:01 pm

Ardie just climbed up to and fell asleep on my shoulder for the first time, even burrowing a bit under my sweatshirt and hair (and tried with my turtle neck, lol). I think my heart melted. ;w;
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Re: The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

Postby Poggerna » Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:56 am

Oh dear....Ardie willingly chomped on the roughly 2x2 in piece of collard dusted with bee pollen, but he turned his nose on silkworms and phoenix worms.....and I'm out of dubias as of a few days ago.

I really hope he isn't hunger-striking because new dubias won't be arriving until some time next week (at best). This is what I get for overestimating how many of them I had. :oops:

EDIT: Thankfully he at some phoenix worms a few hours after this post. Still ignoring silkworms, which is weird since I thought he loved them but ate less because I give him the biggest ones I can. Left some on a plate for him though; 2 large and 3 mediums/smalls.
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Re: The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

Postby Poggerna » Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:51 pm

Yeesh, I can’t tell if Ardie was legitimately on a Dubia strike (he refused to eat any of his remaining feeders yesterday and only ate the trashy Petco Dubia last night) or if he was legit just super stressed by his reflection. Today, he wouldn’t even eat the Petco Dubia (lol, “medium” when they’re barely 1/2”) along with literally anything else including greens. Scared me all day and I spent it taking him out and trying to comfort him with cuddles and exploring.

Every time he went back into the viv, he started glass surfing before long despite all my attempts to cut down reflections. Then the 1” dubias FINALLY arrived and he quickly chomped down 3 of them before apparently getting full. Not sure if he was legitimately not interested in the small supers or just full (he wouldn’t even eat the freshly molted white dubia, and he normally makes room for those) but he was VERY HYPER.

Started immediately glass surfing, and I became convinced he just wanted out so I ditched the paper towels covering the cool end and took him out. He spent a good while running back and forth along the same short stretch of hallway. :lol:

But I think he finally burned off all his excess energy because he’s been contentedly basking in his tank since I put him back in.

Dang, I think he’s training me well into his beardie slave. ;w;
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Re: The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

Postby Faith331 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:44 pm

So glad I stumbled upon this forum AFTER beating Shadowbringers main story. lol..
I considered naming mine Emet-Selch also, but it didn't fit either. Ardbert is an adorable name though! I went with Zuko for mine since he's red and feisty... and a dragon.

Zuko won't eat dubias in his enclosure. I have to take him out of it. He'll hunt crickets in it all day long though.

Glass surfing can be caused by boredom or stress, from what I've read. Also, at a local reptile store, a beautiful girl was glass surfing, but she just wanted to hang out with me for a bit. I of course told the girl at the counter, in case the beardy was stressed. So he was probably bored.

Good luck getting him to eat more consistently!
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Re: The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

Postby Poggerna » Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:46 pm

Hiya, Faith! Zuko is such a cute name! I love how we were same brain cell on Emet-Selch, lol! Do you happen to be on Crystal by any chance? As for hunting, Ardie's fine either chasing his roaches in the tank or on the floor outside, hahahahaha. He likes to work for his food. B)

Anyways, Ardie's lost 10 g and I'm sad. :cry: It's making me paranoid on whether or not I made the right decision ordering 1" dubia for him (some of them I'm pretty sure are at 1.25 X-Large) but he legit has no problem at all eating or digesting them in the past and seems to relish chewing them up thoroughly. Just 3 of them fills him up though, and I'm really anxious if that will be sufficient or not.

He's still refusing any other feeder (can you believe he doesn't even want supers at all? maybe they're too small though, idk) though, and one of my silks cocooned today (I cut it out when I saw the cocoon was thin and caterpillar still in there, but promptly regretted it when I realized it's likely mid-pupation and looked so disoriented....) so I may just give them to one of my dad's co-workers who keeps a lot of reptiles because Ardie is NOT going to finish off 30+ jumbo silkworms even if he miraculously regained his taste for them. I think I'm going to stick with the pods even if they are more expensive because I clearly suck at bulk. orz
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Re: The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

Postby Faith331 » Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:34 am

Sadly, I am not. I have my main on Primal and a secondary on Aether.

Loss of appetite, but he's not shedding. How are his poops? Could he have parasites? Could he be impacted?

Other than the food issue, is there anything else different about him? Also, how is he enjoying his salads?
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Re: The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

Postby Poggerna » Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:21 pm

Faith331 wrote:Sadly, I am not. I have my main on Primal and a secondary on Aether.

Loss of appetite, but he's not shedding. How are his poops? Could he have parasites? Could he be impacted?

Other than the food issue, is there anything else different about him? Also, how is he enjoying his salads?


Aww, bummer, lol. Would have been fun since I play as male Xaela and I've officially designated my Wind-Up Ardbert minion as Ardie's in-game avatar. So I'm a hooman playing a lizart and he's a lizart playing a hooman. :lol:

And his weight is back; ate 4 large roaches and finally ate some of his supers.

He pooped 3 times a couple days ago, so I'm not concerned about that at the moment. :lol:

As for salads, he's hit and miss with them. About 50/50 chance he'll eat it each day. Hilariously, when he was being super picky days ago, he legitimately chose his greens over the other two feeders (phoenix worms and silkworms). When he does eat, he generally eats a large 2-in chunk.

But yeah, I'm putting it off to another phase since he's perfectly fine and as energetically adventurous as ever. And he's regaining his weight after he got his giant dubias. He loves his buggies big, lol.
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Re: The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

Postby Faith331 » Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:32 pm

Poggerna wrote:
Faith331 wrote:Sadly, I am not. I have my main on Primal and a secondary on Aether.

Loss of appetite, but he's not shedding. How are his poops? Could he have parasites? Could he be impacted?

Other than the food issue, is there anything else different about him? Also, how is he enjoying his salads?


Aww, bummer, lol. Would have been fun since I play as male Xaela and I've officially designated my Wind-Up Ardbert minion as Ardie's in-game avatar. So I'm a hooman playing a lizart and he's a lizart playing a hooman. :lol:

And his weight is back; ate 4 large roaches and finally ate some of his supers.

He pooped 3 times a couple days ago, so I'm not concerned about that at the moment. :lol:

As for salads, he's hit and miss with them. About 50/50 chance he'll eat it each day. Hilariously, when he was being super picky days ago, he legitimately chose his greens over the other two feeders (phoenix worms and silkworms). When he does eat, he generally eats a large 2-in chunk.

But yeah, I'm putting it off to another phase since he's perfectly fine and as energetically adventurous as ever. And he's regaining his weight after he got his giant dubias. He loves his buggies big, lol.

Yeah, mine won't eat the bugs if they're too small.

Also, I was a female Xaela up until very recently, but I wanted the hair, shoes, and face that are Viera only, so now I'm a giant amazon :C

I never have a problem getting Zuko to eat greens, ever. He's pickier about bugs and the environment he eats them in.
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Re: The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

Postby Poggerna » Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:41 pm

Ardie finally ate the supers today, lol! As a midday snack, but he ate at least 8 of them regardless of size. I think it’s good that Zuko already has a preference for greens as long as you can get him to eat his protein while he’s still growing. Ardbert doesn’t dislike his veggies, but he’s more particular about variety in general. Though, he doesn’t seem to care for mixed greens, so I may see if the nearby Kroger has smaller packs of beardie staples (sadly I haven’t been able to provide as much variety as I’d like on account of Ardbert’s habits and having to pick things my family and I can eat if Ardie won’t. :(

And hey, Viera are good; I’m glad SE at least gave them lapine faces and a default “claw hand” posture similar to male Miqo’te’s since no actual claws or bunny feet because if model restrictions. v.v

Also, ever since having Ardie, I’ve realized Au Ra are absolutely bearded dragon people. :lol: :lol: :lol:

I mean, not even just because the boys have scale beards; we also have the LEGGIES. And being super extra, just like bearded dragons. 8)

So we ARE dragon people! Just BEARDED dragon people instead if any actual relations to dragons. -w-

(my apologies to every non-14 fan who is confused by our nerd talk)

I really ought to get a photoshoot of my toon with my Wind-Up Ardbert and Ardie in front of the screen. :lol:
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Re: The Unending Journey: Ardie and Me

Postby Faith331 » Thu Nov 19, 2020 4:56 pm

Poggerna wrote:Ardie finally ate the supers today, lol! As a midday snack, but he ate at least 8 of them regardless of size. I think it’s good that Zuko already has a preference for greens as long as you can get him to eat his protein while he’s still growing. Ardbert doesn’t dislike his veggies, but he’s more particular about variety in general. Though, he doesn’t seem to care for mixed greens, so I may see if the nearby Kroger has smaller packs of beardie staples (sadly I haven’t been able to provide as much variety as I’d like on account of Ardbert’s habits and having to pick things my family and I can eat if Ardie won’t. :(

And hey, Viera are good; I’m glad SE at least gave them lapine faces and a default “claw hand” posture similar to male Miqo’te’s since no actual claws or bunny feet because if model restrictions. v.v

Also, ever since having Ardie, I’ve realized Au Ra are absolutely bearded dragon people. :lol: :lol: :lol:

I mean, not even just because the boys have scale beards; we also have the LEGGIES. And being super extra, just like bearded dragons. 8)

So we ARE dragon people! Just BEARDED dragon people instead if any actual relations to dragons. -w-

(my apologies to every non-14 fan who is confused by our nerd talk)

I really ought to get a photoshoot of my toon with my Wind-Up Ardbert and Ardie in front of the screen. :lol:

Well, I'm actually an Au'ra.. it fits me the best.. but now my character isn't.. lol

He eats plenty of protein, I just have to set the mood right. Once I do, he chows down. Every morning when he gets hungry, he eats as many bugs as he wants, and then we go into the kitchen. He hangs out on the table while I put together his salad. Then, he takes a couple bites and promptly poops on the table. I, of course, sterilize the table after cleaning it up, but I'd rather he pooped on our marble table than in his enclosure. The rest of his salad gets munched on during the day, and at night I give him as many bugs as he wants again.
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