Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Dragon

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Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Dragon

Postby ComicBookMama » Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:22 pm

I just watched a great video on YouTube called "10 Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Tegu" and thought, Hey - that would be a great topic for discussion on the forum! As a relative newbie, my personal list of things-I-wish-I'd-known grows daily... but here are a couple of mine to start off, and I hope the veteran posters jump in and add their experiences.

Things I Wish I'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Dragon

Pet Stores are NOT the Best Places to Get Your Beardie.
I don't know why I didn't think this part through, because I'd never buy a dog or cat from a pet store... but even though I adore my Figment, a part of me really wishes I'd chosen to buy from a reputable breeder instead of a Big Box Pet Store. Part of it is ethics; I know that animals in pet stores are mass-produced under less-than-optimal conditions, and buying from a pet store only promotes that kind of factory-farm breeding. Part of it is the uncertainty; you'll never know exactly how old your dragon is, and you'll likely find out the hard way if they didn't get proper care at the store... parasites, MBD, all that lovely stuff. Part of it is pure vanity; you can't get the really pretty, vibrant beardie colors from a pet store, no matter what the tag on the cage says. And part of it is just wanting to do right by a fellow animal lover, the side of me that says, You know, breeder X really loves her beardies and works to make sure she's producing quality dragons for people who love them, too. It's just right to support that sort of small businessperson. So yeah, though I couldn't be happier with Figment, I'll be getting my next beardie from a reputable breeder.

You Will Become Obsessed With Poop
I've owned rats, gerbils, cats, dogs, birds, and fish - and nothing, short of my firstborn son, has made me as obsessed with looking at poop as this bearded dragon. You will question the size, the color, the smell, the texture, the density, and the frequency of the poops. You will stare at the poop. You will closely examine it. You will photograph the poop and post it on this forum, demanding, Does this poop look normal to you folks? Why? Because you can't really tell if your dragon is feeling well or under the weather just by looking at him. Poop becomes your gold standard for determining overall health and wellness. That, and the fact that you will spend a good bit of your dragon time cleaning up those poops, pretty much assures that you will be forming a fairly intimate bond with something you never thought you would, or could, care about.

40 Gallons is the Minimum, But Not the Optimum
If I hadn't read Brandon's, aka Claudiusx's, care guide on this site, I'd probably be beating myself up right now over having settled for the minimum sized tank... but I have, and I know that beardies can live a full and happy life in a 40BR tank. That said, when I can afford it and have the room for it, I'll probably be upgrading to a larger tank. Why? Because it's the kinder thing to do, if it's possible, for a fellow living creature who's going to spend most of his waking life in a glass box. I'd go stir crazy if I was confined to my small bedroom for too long, so I assume that the same is true of my dragon. And while he's still in his 40BR, I'll make darned sure that he gets plenty of time outside the tank to stretch his little lizardy legs.

You Will Spend An Insane Amount of Money on Bugs
I am now a fixture at my local Petco. I walk in, and the first staffer who sees me heads straight for the cricket bins. They know my order before I have to even ask. And at this point, three months into owning my beardie, a sizable chunk of my monthly credit card bill is cricket sales to Petco for about $20 a pop. Considering that I'm in there twice or three times a week, that's a pretty hefty chunk of change to feed a lizard. And that's not counting the mail order dubia roaches, superworms, BSFL, and other goodies I get to provide variety in my feeding. Greens? Pfft. I don't spend a pittance on greenstuff for Figment. It's the bugs that are making me question my monthly pet budget, and making me wish I had the time and effort needed to farm the darn things myself. Because, o fellow newbie-to-dragons, unless you raise them yourself and until your dragon grows into being mostly vegetarian, you're gonna plunk down a TON of money on bugs.

You Will Learn to Love the Roaches
I am a convert. I didn't think I could possibly stomach having 200+ roaches in my home, let alone handle them and care for them (I blame an early trauma involving cockroaches and a box of popcorn) - but I now have them delivered to my workplace so the box doesn't sit out in the heat or the cold, and I can't do without these wonderful feeders for my dragon. While I still feed crickets for variety and convenience, I have been converted mainly by poster KarrieRee's unceasing promotion of Dubia roaches. I hope she makes a post on them, because nobody, but nobody, can sing the praises of Dubias like KarrieRee. I won't even try.

Jump In, Fellow Posters! I hope this thread cotinunes!
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Re: Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Drago

Postby HippieLizards » Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:12 am

Ayy, this would be a great topic! :) Your post pretty much sums up all the more important ones I'd certainly wish to know before, but Here's a few of mine:

Being a O̶w̶n̶e̶r̶ (*Ahem*, Royal servant) of a Beardie is a lifelong party, and EVERYONE is invited to it. Being a Beardie owner will change you, for the better and for the worse, Your family and friends will change too, And know a LOT more about beardies then they'd expect. My mom went from being pretty meh about animals to now adoring over many a Beardie, to giving my scaly crew many photoshoots, And to wanting to adopt Every. Single. Dragon. On Craigslist. and occasionally randomly messaging me asking if I'd be up to take in another one because she's found a free Beardie listed. It's fun.

My siblings (who always loved animals too) are becoming just as knowledgeable as I am, and then proceed to tell all their friends about all the amazing dragons and animals their big sister keeps, I even once overheard my sister telling some of her friends about one of the dragon's most recent poops and on another occasion telling her friend about ALL the basic and important care needs for beardies and to never house them together.

And my brother once told off his friend for calling a venomous snake poisonous, and then proceeded to explain rather in depth about why snakes aren't poisonous and other common reptile misconception. (Proud sister moments :) ).

Basically, getting a Beardie is like a Amazing virus that infects every single person that you know (and random strangers in the grocery store) about beardies and loving them. There's no escaping it either. No matter who you are, You will hear about my lizards one day, at some point, in random conversation.

Sand is the Arch nemesis

I never knew one of my enemies... would be sand. But honestly, Its true. I have developed a good sense of detecting sand over time, wheather it be on a dragon, in a photo of a tank, or just basic description, I will find that sand. And if you do have it in your tank, I will give you a 30 minute talk/PowerPoint presentation about the dangers of sand and loose substrates and why tile and paper towels and linoleum are awesome. This photo sums it up well: [Click image to enlarge]


Who knew I'd spend $50+ on roaches and worms? past me would've just laughed if I told myself I'd one day be dropping big bucks on roaches and worms to feed to lizards, and that I'd even try breeding the roaches at one point.
But seriously though, Duuude bugs are expensive.

You will soon come to know EVERYONE at reptile expos, you know everyone, and everyone knows you. I always attend every of my local repticons that comes to my city, and after a while I've gotten to know pretty much almost everyone, I've made some reptile keeper friends, and I now know who to go to for the best supplies, best animals, and best advice for care and etc. And who not to go to. And honestly the repticon community has really been a lifesaver for me as a reptile keeper, It's the best place to go and get the supplies you need for good prices, get the best animals, Make fellow reptile keeper friends, Show off your scaly crew, have fun, and especially get expert level advice on your animals from highly experienced veteran keepers to help better your knowledge of these awesome animals.

If Someone has a Beardie, You will gain expert levels of interrogating them to find out if they're caring for their dragons right.
When someone I know tells me they have a bearded dragon, I will always, ALWAYS Ask them about their setup and husbandry and how the dragon acts, just to make sure they're doing it right, and if they aren't, I usually kindly give them a long informative explanation of what they're doing isn't the right way and point them to the better care methods.

No matter what, I want to make sure every dragon I know is cared for correctly and is happy and healthy.

You somewhat become a spokesperson for Beardeddragon.org
Along with the previous thing I mentioned, I almost always will tell any Beardie owner I know about here, There is no end of me constantly throwing out my praises for this website, and how amazing it is and how much of a lifesaver it is. Any new owner I meet, boom. I tell them to go to beardeddragon.org. I practically have the URL memorized at this point.

Eventually I want to just get one of the site hoodies and just put a post-it note on it saying "visit here" and just wear it around everywhere so everyone can see.

Seriously though, Alex (Beardie), Sponser me. Pretty Pleaase! Or at least make business cards that I can hand out to the masses. :lol:

These are all of the ones I can think of right now, I'll probably post a few more later though. :)
Slave and Personal janitor to Five Beardies, one Crested gecko, one leopard gecko, three Betta fish, a Cat, a Ball python, and a community fish tank. (R.I.P my precious Thor, Cisco, & Ruby. You three will always be in our hearts).
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Re: Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Drago

Postby Claudiusx » Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:38 pm

That they are like Lays, you can't have just 1! LOL

At least I can't.
Help

-Brandon
Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
Click here if you use a Sunblaster fixture - IMPORTANT
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Re: Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Drago

Postby DorgEndo » Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:07 pm

My personal learning experience with Devlyn is that dragons can be so different from each other. I had a bearded dragon growing up, so my parents did the planning and getting of supplies when I was only 8, my part was feeding and cleaning at the beginning. You see, there was some pride I had, I thought sure I know this. I've done this before. Brumating for example, okay dragon sleeps a few weeks. But no. Maybe King George growing up only slept a few weeks, short enough that even a child could be patient with waiting. Then Devlyn is working on her 3rd month of brumating going for the world brumation champion title. Never assume. Each dragon will show you their own pace or personality or preferences. The human needs to be flexible and ready for all outcomes.
Devlyn my beautiful bearded dragon, approx hatch 8/18, mine since 2/19. Kitty Greysie born 3/06. Lttle rescue Charlie the American grey tree frog, found 11/18. Lots of house plants, I like cacti and succulents.
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Re: Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Drago

Postby HippieLizards » Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:08 pm

claudiusx wrote:That they are like Lays, you can't have just 1! LOL

At least I can't.
Help

-Brandon

LOL, now that is true.... I started off with just one, ...now I have five. I have officially earned my status of crazy bearded dragon lady at this point. :mrgreen:
Slave and Personal janitor to Five Beardies, one Crested gecko, one leopard gecko, three Betta fish, a Cat, a Ball python, and a community fish tank. (R.I.P my precious Thor, Cisco, & Ruby. You three will always be in our hearts).
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Re: Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Drago

Postby Claudiusx » Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:43 am

HippieLizards wrote:
claudiusx wrote:That they are like Lays, you can't have just 1! LOL

At least I can't.
Help

-Brandon

LOL, now that is true.... I started off with just one, ...now I have five. I have officially earned my status of crazy bearded dragon lady at this point. :mrgreen:

:? Dang I didn't know the number for crazy was 5 :oops: I guess we are part of the same club LOL! :mrgreen:

On another note, one thing I really wish I knew about before getting a dragon - This site. Would have been a God-send when I got my first dragon. But, it has at least encouraged me to do thorough research on any creature I get, well in advance of getting it.

-Brandon
Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
Click here if you use a Sunblaster fixture - IMPORTANT
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Re: Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Drago

Postby BeardedDragonSteve » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:18 am

HippieLizards wrote:Ayy, this would be a great topic! :) Your post pretty much sums up all the more important ones I'd certainly wish to know before, but Here's a few of mine:

Being a O̶w̶n̶e̶r̶ (*Ahem*, Royal servant) of a Beardie is a lifelong party, and EVERYONE is invited to it. Being a Beardie owner will change you, for the better and for the worse, Your family and friends will change too, And know a LOT more about beardies then they'd expect. My mom went from being pretty meh about animals to now adoring over many a Beardie, to giving my scaly crew many photoshoots, And to wanting to adopt Every. Single. Dragon. On Craigslist. and occasionally randomly messaging me asking if I'd be up to take in another one because she's found a free Beardie listed. It's fun.

My siblings (who always loved animals too) are becoming just as knowledgeable as I am, and then proceed to tell all their friends about all the amazing dragons and animals their big sister keeps, I even once overheard my sister telling some of her friends about one of the dragon's most recent poops and on another occasion telling her friend about ALL the basic and important care needs for beardies and to never house them together.

And my brother once told off his friend for calling a venomous snake poisonous, and then proceeded to explain rather in depth about why snakes aren't poisonous and other common reptile misconception. (Proud sister moments :) ).

Basically, getting a Beardie is like a Amazing virus that infects every single person that you know (and random strangers in the grocery store) about beardies and loving them. There's no escaping it either. No matter who you are, You will hear about my lizards one day, at some point, in random conversation.

Sand is the Arch nemesis

I never knew one of my enemies... would be sand. But honestly, Its true. I have developed a good sense of detecting sand over time, wheather it be on a dragon, in a photo of a tank, or just basic description, I will find that sand. And if you do have it in your tank, I will give you a 30 minute talk/PowerPoint presentation about the dangers of sand and loose substrates and why tile and paper towels and linoleum are awesome. This photo sums it up well: [Click image to enlarge]


Who knew I'd spend $50+ on roaches and worms? past me would've just laughed if I told myself I'd one day be dropping big bucks on roaches and worms to feed to lizards, and that I'd even try breeding the roaches at one point.
But seriously though, Duuude bugs are expensive.

You will soon come to know EVERYONE at reptile expos, you know everyone, and everyone knows you. I always attend every of my local repticons that comes to my city, and after a while I've gotten to know pretty much almost everyone, I've made some reptile keeper friends, and I now know who to go to for the best supplies, best animals, and best advice for care and etc. And who not to go to. And honestly the repticon community has really been a lifesaver for me as a reptile keeper, It's the best place to go and get the supplies you need for good prices, get the best animals, Make fellow reptile keeper friends, Show off your scaly crew, have fun, and especially get expert level advice on your animals from highly experienced veteran keepers to help better your knowledge of these awesome animals.

If Someone has a Beardie, You will gain expert levels of interrogating them to find out if they're caring for their dragons right.
When someone I know tells me they have a bearded dragon, I will always, ALWAYS Ask them about their setup and husbandry and how the dragon acts, just to make sure they're doing it right, and if they aren't, I usually kindly give them a long informative explanation of what they're doing isn't the right way and point them to the better care methods.

No matter what, I want to make sure every dragon I know is cared for correctly and is happy and healthy.

You somewhat become a spokesperson for Beardeddragon.org
Along with the previous thing I mentioned, I almost always will tell any Beardie owner I know about here, There is no end of me constantly throwing out my praises for this website, and how amazing it is and how much of a lifesaver it is. Any new owner I meet, boom. I tell them to go to beardeddragon.org. I practically have the URL memorized at this point.

Eventually I want to just get one of the site hoodies and just put a post-it note on it saying "visit here" and just wear it around everywhere so everyone can see.

Seriously though, Alex (Beardie), Sponser me. Pretty Pleaase! Or at least make business cards that I can hand out to the masses. :lol:

These are all of the ones I can think of right now, I'll probably post a few more later though. :)

*Cough Cough* Slave *Cough Cough*
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Re: Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Drago

Postby Gormagon » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:01 am

Another thing I wished I new before getting a dragon is that I had the ability to speak the dragon language just by observing. You all know what I am talking about, don't deny it, LOL!
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, guess again. You are now a slave!!!
RIP Peaches 10-1-18 Forever in my Heart
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Re: Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Drago

Postby HippieLizards » Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:03 pm

BeardedDragonSteve wrote:
HippieLizards wrote:Ayy, this would be a great topic! :) Your post pretty much sums up all the more important ones I'd certainly wish to know before, but Here's a few of mine:

Being a O̶w̶n̶e̶r̶ (*Ahem*, Royal servant) of a Beardie is a lifelong party, and EVERYONE is invited to it. Being a Beardie owner will change you, for the better and for the worse, Your family and friends will change too, And know a LOT more about beardies then they'd expect. My mom went from being pretty meh about animals to now adoring over many a Beardie, to giving my scaly crew many photoshoots, And to wanting to adopt Every. Single. Dragon. On Craigslist. and occasionally randomly messaging me asking if I'd be up to take in another one because she's found a free Beardie listed. It's fun.

My siblings (who always loved animals too) are becoming just as knowledgeable as I am, and then proceed to tell all their friends about all the amazing dragons and animals their big sister keeps, I even once overheard my sister telling some of her friends about one of the dragon's most recent poops and on another occasion telling her friend about ALL the basic and important care needs for beardies and to never house them together.

And my brother once told off his friend for calling a venomous snake poisonous, and then proceeded to explain rather in depth about why snakes aren't poisonous and other common reptile misconception. (Proud sister moments :) ).

Basically, getting a Beardie is like a Amazing virus that infects every single person that you know (and random strangers in the grocery store) about beardies and loving them. There's no escaping it either. No matter who you are, You will hear about my lizards one day, at some point, in random conversation.

Sand is the Arch nemesis

I never knew one of my enemies... would be sand. But honestly, Its true. I have developed a good sense of detecting sand over time, wheather it be on a dragon, in a photo of a tank, or just basic description, I will find that sand. And if you do have it in your tank, I will give you a 30 minute talk/PowerPoint presentation about the dangers of sand and loose substrates and why tile and paper towels and linoleum are awesome. This photo sums it up well: [Click image to enlarge]


Who knew I'd spend $50+ on roaches and worms? past me would've just laughed if I told myself I'd one day be dropping big bucks on roaches and worms to feed to lizards, and that I'd even try breeding the roaches at one point.
But seriously though, Duuude bugs are expensive.

You will soon come to know EVERYONE at reptile expos, you know everyone, and everyone knows you. I always attend every of my local repticons that comes to my city, and after a while I've gotten to know pretty much almost everyone, I've made some reptile keeper friends, and I now know who to go to for the best supplies, best animals, and best advice for care and etc. And who not to go to. And honestly the repticon community has really been a lifesaver for me as a reptile keeper, It's the best place to go and get the supplies you need for good prices, get the best animals, Make fellow reptile keeper friends, Show off your scaly crew, have fun, and especially get expert level advice on your animals from highly experienced veteran keepers to help better your knowledge of these awesome animals.

If Someone has a Beardie, You will gain expert levels of interrogating them to find out if they're caring for their dragons right.
When someone I know tells me they have a bearded dragon, I will always, ALWAYS Ask them about their setup and husbandry and how the dragon acts, just to make sure they're doing it right, and if they aren't, I usually kindly give them a long informative explanation of what they're doing isn't the right way and point them to the better care methods.

No matter what, I want to make sure every dragon I know is cared for correctly and is happy and healthy.

You somewhat become a spokesperson for Beardeddragon.org
Along with the previous thing I mentioned, I almost always will tell any Beardie owner I know about here, There is no end of me constantly throwing out my praises for this website, and how amazing it is and how much of a lifesaver it is. Any new owner I meet, boom. I tell them to go to beardeddragon.org. I practically have the URL memorized at this point.

Eventually I want to just get one of the site hoodies and just put a post-it note on it saying "visit here" and just wear it around everywhere so everyone can see.

Seriously though, Alex (Beardie), Sponser me. Pretty Pleaase! Or at least make business cards that I can hand out to the masses. :lol:

These are all of the ones I can think of right now, I'll probably post a few more later though. :)

*Cough Cough* Slave *Cough Cough*

*Cough Cough* Same difference. *Cough Cough*
claudiusx wrote:
HippieLizards wrote:
claudiusx wrote:That they are like Lays, you can't have just 1! LOL

At least I can't.
Help

-Brandon

LOL, now that is true.... I started off with just one, ...now I have five. I have officially earned my status of crazy bearded dragon lady at this point. :mrgreen:

:? Dang I didn't know the number for crazy was 5 :oops: I guess we are part of the same club LOL! :mrgreen:

On another note, one thing I really wish I knew about before getting a dragon - This site. Would have been a God-send when I got my first dragon. But, it has at least encouraged me to do thorough research on any creature I get, well in advance of getting it.

-Brandon
Yup, that or when you have to rearrange your room/give up some furniture in order to fit in new tanks for your ever so growing beardies.

And indeed! This site would've been such a lifesaver before getting Cisco, I wouldn't have made so many mistakes early on, but then again your mistakes can be your best teachers.

But really, I wish I found this site before getting Cisco, It would have been so much easier and better. And Cisco wouldn't have had to endure staying on sand and eating spinach and lettuce for the first month Before finding this site..... (man I cringed just writing that, Seriously, what was past me thinking?!)
Gormagon wrote:Another thing I wished I new before getting a dragon is that I had the ability to speak the dragon language just by observing. You all know what I am talking about, don't deny it, LOL!
Now that is true, After getting beardies I've gained Hawk-eye vision for watching dragons to notice if there was anything different with them or in their personalities/behavior.

I hope I'm not crazy, But It really feels like they can express so much just from doing so very little. Like I'll just look in on every one each morning and watch them for a bit and I can almost instantly tell if they're feeling happy, lazy, sad, or mad and etc, just by watching their faces and body language and it's like I just immediately know. I hope I'm not the only one who does this though. :|

It's like us Beardie owners get a sixth sense for this kinda thing lol.
Slave and Personal janitor to Five Beardies, one Crested gecko, one leopard gecko, three Betta fish, a Cat, a Ball python, and a community fish tank. (R.I.P my precious Thor, Cisco, & Ruby. You three will always be in our hearts).
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Re: Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Drago

Postby ComicBookMama » Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:37 am

Get an Enclosure With Front-Opening Doors
Short and simple: I'm wishing I had every time I have to clean or handle my dragon. It's just easier having front-opening doors, rather than having to move all the lights, take off the lid, reach inside... plus, it's hard to avoid coming at your dragon from above with a top-opening enclosure, which makes them nervous. So... another item on my wish list for my next tank!
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1.0 dogs - Ariel
1.0 cats - Skimble
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Re: Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Drago

Postby HippieLizards » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:32 am

Man, I wish I could get one of those tanks, It would make life a lot easier. I love the exoterra tank I have for my crested Gecko. :)
Slave and Personal janitor to Five Beardies, one Crested gecko, one leopard gecko, three Betta fish, a Cat, a Ball python, and a community fish tank. (R.I.P my precious Thor, Cisco, & Ruby. You three will always be in our hearts).
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Re: Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Drago

Postby DragonPete » Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:48 pm

Beardies are like grandkids (or kids), no one else is as interested in them as we are! 😆 Unless they have 1 too.
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Re: Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Drago

Postby ComicBookMama » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:16 pm

DragonPete wrote:Beardies are like grandkids (or kids), no one else is as interested in them as we are! 😆 Unless they have 1 too.


So, SO true! Though I do have a friend who is absolutely fascinated by the fact that I have a Beardie. We spend a lot of time discussing Beardie behavior and lifestyle. And of course my students want me to get a Beardie for the classroom, or make Figment into a class pet, too...
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
1.0 Bearded Dragons - Figment
1.0 dogs - Ariel
1.0 cats - Skimble
1.0 husband
1.0 son
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Re: Things We Wish We'd Known Before Getting a Bearded Drago

Postby DragonPete » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:44 pm

ComicBookMama wrote:
DragonPete wrote:Beardies are like grandkids (or kids), no one else is as interested in them as we are! 😆 Unless they have 1 too.


So, SO true! Though I do have a friend who is absolutely fascinated by the fact that I have a Beardie. We spend a lot of time discussing Beardie behavior and lifestyle. And of course my students want me to get a Beardie for the classroom, or make Figment into a class pet, too...

I think I've bored everyone crazy with pics, like a 1st time grandma. 😆
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