Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

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Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

Postby marhvee » Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:26 pm

Hi, all. It truly pains me to admit this, but I've been recently looking into rehoming my beardie.

I have anxiety and depression, and a little over a year ago, I looked into caring for a pet who might help with my mental health. I came across beardies and thought they were perfect, and I know for some people, they are the perfect emotional support pets. I did my research on husbandry for half a year, made sure everything was set up correctly, and bought my gorgeous yellow and orange hypo trans male beardie who was 6 months old at the time.

He came with some problems -- he was previously in a home where he was attacked by a larger beardie and subsequently suffered from some wounds. Luckily, they've all healed up by now, though he was still rather underweight and had intestinal parasites. I did everything in my power to raise him up to be healthy, and he's gained twice his original weight under my care and is now a healthy weight of ~485 g. I've also had him treated for his parasites, so he's doing quite well now. He's so sweet and friendly despite his past; he's truly an angel, and I'm so proud of how long a ways he's come.

However, during this time, I came to a heartbreaking realization that he might not be the pet for me. My anxiety has become overwhelming while caring for him, and while I understand that it's normal for new beardie owners to feel anxious, I've cared for him for over 5 months now, and I seem to be getting worse. I am also starting graduate school soon, and I know that I will only become more stressed from here on out, so I am worried that, combined with my mental illnesses, I won't be able to care for him as well as he deserves. I'm ashamed and disappointed in myself, but it's the truth, and I believe that he may have a better life with someone who will be more relaxed around him and will offer him better care than I can.

I'm so sorry, to him and all the loving and responsible beardie owners out there. I knew going into this that caring for a beardie is not easy, but I only thought that my mental health could be impacted positively rather than negatively, and I am truly, truly disappointed in myself. Please believe me -- if I ever take another bearded dragon into my care, it will be much farther down the line when I am fully confident I can care for one, and I will take my mental health concerns into account.

I am still deliberating on my decision, but I thought I'd put this out there, in case anyone might be looking to adopt a sweet, friendly sub-adult beardie. I live in Southern California, and if I do decide to rehome him, I am more than happy to allow him to be adopted with his entire setup, supplies, and feeders free of charge as long as he's going to a loving and experienced/knowledgeable home. That is my number one priority. If I ultimately decide to rehome him, I'll make a proper post in the 'For Free' section, but if anyone is interested, please feel free to reply to me or PM me, and I am happy to tell you anything and everything I know about him. If anyone has advice regarding how best to rehome (via what platforms, which rescues are the best/most reputable in California), please let me know as well. This is the hardest thing I've ever had to consider doing, and I want to make sure I'm doing the right thing for my beardie, because he deserves only the best.

Thank you so much for reading. Here are some photos of him and his setup:

[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

Postby Tinasdragon » Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:47 pm

I'm new and no expert, but it sounds like you took really good care of him and are putting him first and trying to find him a great home, I don't see that as any kind of failure on your part whatsoever, if anything you helped him get better and got rid of his parasites and now are finding him a good home, so you basically fostered him. Good luck with graduate school and I hope everything works out for you! 💚
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Re: Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

Postby claudiusx » Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:49 pm

Hi there,

I'm sorry you feel that way. It definitely can be a bit anxious worrying about them, and worrying that you have everything setup right. But try to take a deep breath and realize what you've accomplished so far. You've overcome his wounds, you've overcome parasites, and you've overcome the steep learning curve of getting his setup proper! He's done good and so have you!

He looks very healthy and happy. Try to give yourself some credit, you've accomplished a lot with him :)

If you do decide that it's best to rehome him, know that we all completely understand. We've all been at points in our lives where things were just too hectic.

Feel free to post in the for free section if you do decide to. Where in Socal are you? You might be near me.

-Brandon
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Re: Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

Postby marhvee » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:02 pm

Thank you so much for the kind words, they mean so much to me right now. I've been almost nonstop crying for the past few days, but I know I need to prepare myself to do what's best for him, even if just the thought of him leaving me cuts deep.
claudiusx wrote:Hi there,

I'm sorry you feel that way. It definitely can be a bit anxious worrying about them, and worrying that you have everything setup right. But try to take a deep breath and realize what you've accomplished so far. You've overcome his wounds, you've overcome parasites, and you've overcome the steep learning curve of getting his setup proper! He's done good and so have you!

He looks very healthy and happy. Try to give yourself some credit, you've accomplished a lot with him :)

If you do decide that it's best to rehome him, know that we all completely understand. We've all been at points in our lives where things were just too hectic.

Feel free to post in the for free section if you do decide to. Where in Socal are you? You might be near me.

-Brandon

Thank you so much, Brandon. I really am proud of how much he has recovered, and even though the vet costs and nursing him back to health were hard, I don't regret for a second raising him up to be where he is at now.

I currently live in Redlands, about an hour away from Los Angeles.
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Re: Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

Postby AHBD » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:57 am

I agree with what the others so beautifully wrote about you + your care for the dragon. :) Just wanted to add that if you think maybe it's actually more upsetting for you to give him up them maybe you might consider keeping him , seeing that he's thriving for you now. Just another perspective.
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Re: Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

Postby marhvee » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:29 am

AHBD wrote:I agree with what the others so beautifully wrote about you + your care for the dragon. :) Just wanted to add that if you think maybe it's actually more upsetting for you to give him up them maybe you might consider keeping him , seeing that he's thriving for you now. Just another perspective.

Thank you for bringing that point up! I had a thorough discussion with my family, including my sister who is a reptile keeper herself. I've now seen how my symptoms manifest under stress, and while I had hoped that I might be like others and find busying myself caring for a beardie to be therapeutic, unfortunately I'm the type that tends to shut down. While it is upsetting for me to give him up, it is even more upsetting to think that he'd be receiving subpar care while I'm in school.

I also have a crested gecko who is thriving and a bundle of energy, and I am taking comfort in the fact that I am confident that I can care for him well. He'll be here to stay, sticky, jumpy feet and all. <3
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Re: Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

Postby AHBD » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:36 am

So you have a little velvet crested friend. :) They are sweet little beings, they don't know how cute they are ! So that was great, having a discussion with your family that will help you to figure out what the most logical decision is for you . Best wishes for all involved !
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Re: Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

Postby marhvee » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:55 am

AHBD wrote:So you have a little velvet crested friend. :) They are sweet little beings, they don't know how cute they are ! So that was great, having a discussion with your family that will help you to figure out what the most logical decision is for you . Best wishes for all involved !

Indeed, he is so stinking cute, and I'm sure caring for him and seeing him leap around will help ease the heartache. <3 I'll do my best, thank you so much!
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Re: Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

Postby marhvee » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:32 am

Hi, all, I have some good news -- I just called my beardie's breeder. He understands my situation and is happy to take my beardie back, and he's reassured me that he will rehome him to a good owner. I trust him, as he was the one who rehabilitated my beardie back when his wounds were at their worst and he screens potential owners to the best of his ability.

I'm planning to take him in tomorrow, and while I'm overcome with emotion because it's really happening, I'm so relieved that he'll be in good hands. <3
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Re: Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

Postby claudiusx » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:43 am

Hi there,

That's good news. I was contemplating speaking to my wife about it since you are decently close to me but I'm glad you feel comfortable and confident in your decision! :)
It would have taken a bit of convincing on my part anyways so it's all good :D

Who is the breeder?

I'm glad that it's all working out for you. And I know you'll feel much better with him going to the breeder since you trust him/her.

-Brandon
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Re: Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

Postby marhvee » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:59 am

claudiusx wrote:Hi there,

That's good news. I was contemplating speaking to my wife about it since you are decently close to me but I'm glad you feel comfortable and confident in your decision! :)
It would have taken a bit of convincing on my part anyways so it's all good :D

Who is the breeder?

I'm glad that it's all working out for you. And I know you'll feel much better with him going to the breeder since you trust him/her.

-Brandon

Hi, Brandon,

The breeder is a small, local breeder, so I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post his name on here. However, if your wife ever decides she's interested, you're more than welcome to PM me and I can provide you the name of the breeder and where he's located, as well as his contact information!
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Re: Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

Postby ComicBookMama » Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:12 pm

marhvee wrote:Hi, all, I have some good news -- I just called my beardie's breeder. He understands my situation and is happy to take my beardie back, and he's reassured me that he will rehome him to a good owner. I trust him, as he was the one who rehabilitated my beardie back when his wounds were at their worst and he screens potential owners to the best of his ability.

I'm planning to take him in tomorrow, and while I'm overcome with emotion because it's really happening, I'm so relieved that he'll be in good hands. <3


As a fellow struggler with anxiety and depression, I really feel for you - I just posted about "beardie anxiety" last week on this forum. Anxiety and depression can get absolutely awful sometimes, and it IS very normal for those of us with anxiety to shut down in self defense - and with grad school and a life full of responsibilities, it's no wonder you're feeling it. Let me just say that I completely understand feeling overwhelmed with the care of a fellow living creature, and that you are doing exactly the right thing for yourself and for your dragon. You have not messed up, failed, or done anything other than act with consideration and love - you are taking care of yourself and of your little one in a responsible and careful way. I wish I'd come upon your post sooner, but you have a wonderful thread full of support here and I'm so very glad you posted to this forum. Please take good care of yourself, and try to find some comfort in knowing that you've done the right thing.

~Chris
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Re: Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

Postby marhvee » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:23 pm

ComicBookMama wrote:As a fellow struggler with anxiety and depression, I really feel for you - I just posted about "beardie anxiety" last week on this forum. Anxiety and depression can get absolutely awful sometimes, and it IS very normal for those of us with anxiety to shut down in self defense - and with grad school and a life full of responsibilities, it's no wonder you're feeling it. Let me just say that I completely understand feeling overwhelmed with the care of a fellow living creature, and that you are doing exactly the right thing for yourself and for your dragon. You have not messed up, failed, or done anything other than act with consideration and love - you are taking care of yourself and of your little one in a responsible and careful way. I wish I'd come upon your post sooner, but you have a wonderful thread full of support here and I'm so very glad you posted to this forum. Please take good care of yourself, and try to find some comfort in knowing that you've done the right thing.

~Chris

Hi, Chris!

I do remember coming across your thread and wanting to comment on it, but it's been a bit of a haze this past week. (And also, as this mental health duo would have it, anxiety stopped me from commenting in the moment, and depression made me forget to comment in the long run. They are truly a combination.) I really admire all of your efforts and care you've put into Figment, and seeing your posts really puts me at ease knowing that others struggling with similar mental illnesses are able to care for their beardies well. It gives me reassurance that although now is not the right time, perhaps someday I will be able to provide the care that a beardie truly deserves.

Thank you so much for your kind words -- I feel stronger with the support I've received on this forum, and I really can't thank everyone enough. I'll do my best to take good care of myself in the coming days. <3
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Re: Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

Postby Drache613 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:29 am

Hello Diane,

I am so happy that you were able to contact the breeder & he is willing to help out. :D
He will be going to a good home then. Will he keep him long, or does he have a person
in mind already?
I am sure that in the future, you will be a dragon owner, again.

Tracie
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Re: Considering rehoming -- mental health taking a turn

Postby marhvee » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:50 am

Drache613 wrote:Hello Diane,

I am so happy that you were able to contact the breeder & he is willing to help out. :D
He will be going to a good home then. Will he keep him long, or does he have a person
in mind already?
I am sure that in the future, you will be a dragon owner, again.

Tracie

Hi, Tracie!

I believe he will be caring for him until he finds a good owner who will take him in. That was the situation my beardie was in previously -- I struck up a conversation with the breeder at a reptile show, but my beardie was not actually at the show, I had to inquire about him. I imagine he'll be in much the same situation again, where he will stay with the breeder indefinitely until he finds a good owner.

I hope to have the joy of being a dragon owner in the future as well! They are such beautiful and amazing creatures. <3
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