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Claud's Crew! - New Girl In The House! - New Pics

Welcome to my journal for my crew! This will be the thread I post all my pictures and updates in regards to my crew! This is going to be like a journal of sorts. A tool I can use to look back on and see how I was doing things, and important events that have occurred for my crew! I really like being able to go back and look at things like that.

To start off with, since all my dragons had a thread previously, they will all get their own post under this to kind of catch up to where things are right now.

A bit about me (EDIT: Ok it's a lot about me now..)

I've had dragons for almost 20 years now. My first dragon was named Shredder. Information was so scarce back then, and I was so inexperienced, Shredder didn't last long under my care. He was housed on walnut shell, typical petstore setup (you think they are bad nowadays, think back 20 years ago) and I honestly don't remember much else about how i cared for him besides the fact that I had grown attached to him. After shredder died, I dedicated a good portion of my free time to learning about dragons. I knew I wanted another, but I didn't want him to suffer the same fate. I read, I learned, I talked to other owners that I would meet at petstores. I read every caresheet I could find online. I even talked breeders ears off when they'd let me. I got another dragon eventually, Hawk. And then another, Buttercup. Then I rescued Scorpio. And shortly after that, I saw a runt in a petstore that I bought, Rusty. For awhile, this was my crew. They all lived for 5 or 6 years. Their care wasn't perfect, but it was better and I was learning and growing as a dragon keeper.

One day the petstore owner and I were talking, and he wanted to give me his dragon. He didn't want to take care of her anymore. I had never taken in an adult dragon. I had always only had babies that I raised myself. I wouldn't have said yes if it wasn't for the fact that I wanted to stay in good with the petstore owner (this came into play massively a few years later)
So, now I have a 3 year old dragon, who I named Naughtica. Her name is based on Naussica, a character from a movie (she was the start to how I name all of the rest of my future dragons, after hayo Miyazaki film characters). Around the same time I got an adult Male, Spyro. I don't remember exactly how I got him, but I believe also from a friend I had met at the petstore. He was trying to produce white dragons (back then they were basically unheard of, and light grey hypos were the closest most people had gotten to that) and spyro was a light-grey hypo.

Naughtica and spyro were the only two dragons I had for a few years now. Around this time is when I also found this website, and my knowledge, care, and love for this hobby grew immensely. I loved being surrounded by people who understood. I loved being able to talk dragons all day long if I wanted. And I loved being able to help people. Obviously in the beginning, it was me being helped. But I soaked it all up like a sponge. I loved it.

Eventually I decided I wanted to breed. So, Naughtica and Spyro were put together for a week. And, it was successful. It was honestly a lot of fun, it was scary, but it was rewarding. Coming home that one day and seeing that a few hatched was one of the happiest moments of my life. I was so filled with joy and excitement.
But now a new learning curve. Caring for around 20 baby hatchlings. And it was a learning curve for sure. I was not at all prepared for how much they eat. I wasn't prepared to separate ones that started to get picked on. For that reason some lost parts of tails, some lost toes. One even completely lost a foot. But, i grew and I learned with later clutches.

Remember wanting to stay in good with the petshop owner? It came into play now. His shop was how I was able to sell my babies. It was either just my town, or the time, but he basically couldn't keep dragons in stock. Worked out great for me, and great for him. I had a solid consistent place to sell my babies to, and he had a reliable person to buy from.

I only did that for about two seasons before life changed and breeding as a hobby was no longer a viable thing to do. Spyro had died a year or two later. I really don't know how old he was.

But Naughtica was going strong. And a few more years passed and I had bought Kiki. I had always had a thing for red trans, and Kiki was the perfect girl to fit that bill. I had gotten over breeding and just wanted a dragon or two of the "higher end" morphs to enjoy. By this time I was very active on this site, and Naughtica and Kiki both had their own threads here (I will link to later). So did Calcifer, a uromastyx that I had bought from that same petshop I used to sell to. Naughtica was getting pretty old at this point. But, my care and knowledge had grown so much that I knew she was gonna be with me for the long haul, and that's what I was hoping out of kiki and calcifer. These three were my new crew. I was happy with everything I had.

Long story short, life got in the way again, and my crew had to be put under someone elses care. They were entrusted to my family. Unfortunately, that didn't work out well at all. And I feel awful. They were not taken care of properly. They eventually all passed. Naughtica was around 12 I believe. And I have no doubts she would have lived even longer if she were to have been under my care, I just wasn't able to.

It took me a long time to feel like I could get back into this hobby. One thing never left me, and that was my love for this hobby, and my love for these creatures, and my love for talking anyones ear off about them that will let me.

And here we are today.

-Brandon
 

Claudiusx

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MrSpectrum":yxz9zwe8 said:
Funny, I don't recall Gandalf being a Hayo Miyazaki character...
From the one picture, it also appears (could be an illusion) that Gandalf is the flattest beardie I have ever seen.
Oh it's her unofficial middle name now lol! Now that you mention it, she is actually a pretty flat dragon... hmm I never really noticed. She must do all her digesting and fat storage in her throat LOL.

That enclosure for Tombo is only the second one I ever built. I'm not very proud of it. I made a few mistakes that I've fixed in newer designs. The one I'm making right now for suki and Mei is the double stacked maple I mentioned. I gotta update that thread too in the diy section. Spoiler, I only sprayed 1 coat of poly on Sunday ;)

MrSpectrum":yxz9zwe8 said:
I also appreciate that you've kept things real by including the bad with the good.

Very nice narrative.
I didnt know if I should to be honest. Not because I'm ashamed of it or want to hide the truth, but more so because I didnt know if anyone would even care LOL. But like I mentioned, I want to use this thread more so for a journal to look back on. Time clouds details. The best thing I ever did was make naughtica kiki and calcifer a thread. I find myself still going back to them here every once in awhile just to revisit the past sometimes. And I know that one day I'll appreciate that I did this too.

-Brandon
 

Claudiusx

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possumpeg":uxqjabzs said:
Wow! You really do have quite a story to tell! I'm so new to this whole thing, and I'm always concerned I'm going to say something really stupid. I lost my first beardie Chip to the unsupervised dog and a screened enclosure. I never thought I could love a reptile, but I cried like a two year old. I have been so super diligent with Cheddar and although I would love to have more, I think at this point I just want to make sure I have a firm grasp on how to care for them properly before I get another one. Cheddar is so beautiful, I would love to breed her, but I'm glad I read this first! Thanks for the experience and all the beautiful baby pics! :D

Dang I'm sorry to hear about your first. Yeah, you can get really attached to these creatures. Most dog and cat people dont understand that. But they can dig big ol holes in our hearts just like dogs and cats do for so many people.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing too! :)

-Brandon
 

MrSpectrum

Gray-bearded Member
claudiusx":1u57xwoa said:
MrSpectrum":1u57xwoa said:
I also appreciate that you've kept things real by including the bad with the good.

Very nice narrative.
I didnt know if I should to be honest. Not because I'm ashamed of it or want to hide the truth, but more so because I didnt know if anyone would even care LOL.
People care. My guess would be that most first-time pet-owners (regardless of species) make some mistakes--I know I have--that's human.

I never related what happened to the original Mr. Spectrum. (Please recall that I was like... 10). I had him in a large cardboard enclosure on the back (southern exposure) porch, where he got natural light & UV. I fed him crickets, meal worms, and small grasshoppers (his fave), and misted the box (plastic plants) several times a day. Everything went fine until early September, when he somehow escaped. I searched that porch high & low, tearing everything apart--to no avail. He was gone. I was inconsolable. Winter came & went, and the following spring, while cleaning the porch for summer, I picked up a bag of empty bottles, and there was the black shriveled up remains of a lizard. I dropped the bag & freaked.

I still have no idea if he dehydrated, starved, froze, or if it was just his time (he was quite large for his species, so he could have been an old man for all I knew). My hope is, naturally, that he didn't suffer.

Not quitting, picking oneself up and trying again is hard part, whether it's conscience, self-image/esteem, peer pressure... whatever. Even in those instances when the vet tells us we've done everything right and nothing wrong, we feel guilt/responsibility when an animal crashes.

I think it helps folks to realize they're not the only ones--even the "experts" (no-one in-particular) run into bumps in the road, setbacks... whatever. It's... inspirational (in a secular sense).
 

Claudiusx

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I do think probably a lot of us can relate. None of us were ever perfect with our first pet. And some of us paid the price for that. Others were lucky and find help or advice before it's too late. It's part of the reason I like to help out here when I can. We both know the feeling of losing a pet and feeling it was all our faults.

Thanks for sharing too! :)

-Brandon
 

MrSpectrum

Gray-bearded Member
claudiusx":5fx4ezhj said:
Yeah, you can get really attached to these creatures. Most dog and cat people dont understand that.
Are you going to start something again :)
(I'm definitely a "dog person") :D

I've had... (Egad, this isn't going to be easy...)
Goldfish--Cleopatra & Marc Antony--age 3 or 4
Turtles, various--ages 5 to 10
Guppies... age I forget
Those little fish with the iridescent stripes... age I forget--I just remember having them.
Various box, mud, & snapping turtles--ages 10 - 12 (or so)
I couldn't say how many frogs & toads--none survived very long--always felt bad about that.
6 dogs between high school & now--the last 2 have been uncertified therapy/service dogs.
One cat--early '80s--until my allergy to cat dander raised its ugly head--rehomed.
3 or 4 hamsters--all died of natural causes (hamsters only live for 1000 days or so)
4 guinea pigs--Chewy (after Star Wars) then Crunchy (because it went with Chewy) Later on we got Little Annie Fanny & Wicked Wanda (figure it out; I was in my 20s). The first 2 died of natural causes (died in my hands) the latter 2 were rehomed after several years.
1 rabbit--the one from Monty Python & the Holy Grail (no joke--she was the nastiest rabbit anyone ever met)--rehomed

I think that's everybody, but it's possible I may have forgotten/missed a few... :dontknow:

I/we loved them all. Those that passed (except maybe the frogs & toads :dontknow: ) brought tears. No question the mammals have been the hardest, and the BD will be a "hobby" but I'm sure I'll become attached. IME, the sense of loss is proportional to the emotional investment and how long they're with us.

YMMV
 

Claudiusx

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Oh boy haha! I think I worded my thoughts wrong lol.

I meant dog and cat owners who have never had other pets. The uninitiated if you will :laughing6:

-Brandon
 

MrSpectrum

Gray-bearded Member
I hope you realize I was jerkin' yer chain... :roll:

IME, some people who've never had any kind of pet/animal in their lives at all may not "get it" but cat & dog owners generally do--those people are CRAZY! :laughhard:

Seriously, I think people who have an attachment to any animal are empathetic to others' attachments to other kinds of animals. This is not an absolute, of course--always exceptions--what the heck is WRONG with those people :mrgreen:
 

BlueDragon09

BD.org Addict
Hey,

I made mistakes too in my first few years of owning a dragon. I used sand, uvb coil and colored light. I found more info as time went on and got a white light (my first beardie went blind so he went by scent his entire life) and tube uvb. Lasted 10 1/2 yrs this way. I changed everything for him and now my 4 1/2 yr old is using tile, tube Arcadia 14% and a white light. Im never going back 15 years ago. Information was terrible back then. If I knew what was needed then he probably would have lived longer than 10. My 4 year old is having the time of his life now I would love to get him to 15 years old or longer.
 

Claudiusx

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BlueDragon09":10pfn1kp said:
Hey,

I made mistakes too in my first few years of owning a dragon. I used sand, uvb coil and colored light. I found more info as time went on and got a white light (my first beardie went blind so he went by scent his entire life) and tube uvb. Lasted 10 1/2 yrs this way. I changed everything for him and now my 4 1/2 yr old is using tile, tube Arcadia 14% and a white light. Im never going back 15 years ago. Information was terrible back then. If I knew what was needed then he probably would have lived longer than 10. My 4 year old is having the time of his life now I would love to get him to 15 years old or longer.


I hope he does! I hope my crew lives a long time too! My daughter will grow up with them she's only 1 right now. How cool would it be for them to be here for most of her non-adult life! :)

We've come a long way as a community in regards to care. I'm excited for what the next 10 or 15 years will teach us and what we will learn.

-Brandon
 

Claudiusx

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The wife wants a dog too. I do too if I'm honest but the responsible side of me is saying we dont have time for one right now. The other side of me says though I'm ok with getting a dozen more lizards LOL.

Pics incoming.

-Brandon
 

Claudiusx

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So I was up right as their lights turned on today. So what better thing to do than wake up to a camera in your face? Let's see of these guys are morning dragons... lol.

31715-2800489781.jpg
Tombo doesnt care. Time is merely a roadblock in his quest to devour anything and everything that could be construed as food. This is where he sits when he wants food...... 30 seconds after waking. LOL.

31715-4074193230.jpg
Suki just wants to warm up. And her face would lead you to figure shes not a morning dragon lol.
31715-9586711991.jpg
Dark and pancaking to warm up.

31715-3207445792.jpg
31715-1368714893.jpg
Definitely a 5 more minutes type of girl. She reminds me a lot of kiki. Kiki had a blue washcloth which was her blanket. She'd almost demand that I'd cover her with it each night. She literally wanted me to do that. She would stare at me as night approached. if I didnt do it by night time shed thrash about in her tank. Once she was covered she'd sleep. Except Kiki would stay under the blanket 3 hours into the day if I let her. But I could always tell she enjoyed it and was at peace as her colors were always so calm under her blanket.

Anyways,
31715-3706929204.jpg
Mei still hasn't shed her cape, but I imagine I'll come home to it being off today or tomorrow. Excited to see her. I'm expecting a bit of blue but we will see.

And of course, we have Moro. Queen of "the look" honestly I've never had a dragon with so much personality like this. So many nicknames.... LOL.
Things start out innocent enough
31715-5009932178.jpg
But then....
31715-1578529431.jpg

Definitely not a morning person hahah.

Tombo is the only one and it's only because he is a bottomless pit.

-Brandon
 

MrSpectrum

Gray-bearded Member
claudiusx":353z768m said:
honestly I've never had a dragon with so much personality like this. So many nicknames.... LOL.
Honestly, I'll take your word for it. :laughing6:
I believe you--it's just that, from the pictures (please don't anyone take this the wrong way), they kinda all look alike to me... expression-wise. Seriously, I can't discern any difference(s) in their facial expressions. I'm guessing there may be some anthropomorphizing going on, but hey, we all do it to some extent with whatever critters we keep. Our (human) minds just work that way. :lol:

Personalities, definitely. I think that's just part of the diversity of life, and what makes/keeps having animals in our lives interesting & fun. 8)
 

Claudiusx

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It's in the eyes chico.

And if I'm honest with you, I dont see a problem at all with anthropomorphizing. If it doesnt cause harm to the dragon or the person, I see no issue. No harm no foul. It does seem like your favorite word lately though. Thata why I made that comment about you acting all hard right now... but wait LOL.

Plus, pictures dont always catch the action or behavior that is exhibited with the so called looks lol. You'll see when you have yours. But yes definitely, I can bet that the majority of owners will say that each of their dragons have their own personalities. at least owners with multiple dragons to compare to.

The more you're around them and your particular dragon, you'll pick up on cues or looks that aren't normal, or are only displayed during certain circumstances.

I know the phrase is dont knock it till you try it, but maybe in this case, don't doubt till you try it? :laughing6:

Anyways, you keep throwing that talk around you'll make us all sound like crazies! :p

-Brandon
 

Claudiusx

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Just to elaborate a bit further on that, you really do get to know your dragon after awhile. You know what their face usually looks like. You know how squinted their eyes are, and you learn that certain things change these outward behaviors and appearances. They are subtle, but you notice them because it's your dragon and you know your dragon.

I really haven't had any other lizard pets besides calcifer my uro. I will say that dragons are much more expressive. and maybe more expressive than other reptiles you've kept. Calcifer would behave different during different situations, but beardies seem to have a lot more depth to them than just that. Hence the facial expressions or the other little subtle things.

With my uro there seemed to be just basic emotion. Tired, energetic, happy, mad. Beardies for sure have a lot more depth than that IME.

-Brandon
 
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