Puff H. Bailey's "new blog" (belated)

It has fairly recently come to my attention that it's something of a tradition around here for each beardie or family of beardies to have their own thread, so here goes nothing...

Brief review, as I've mentioned most of this in other posts -- Puff was about a year old when we got him from a local rescue around 4 1/2 years ago, and we all seemed to adjust well at first, but the following year was a bad one for all of us...

One story I have never told, because it is a very painful memory for me and one that I am not proud of :oops: :cry: , is that in the summer of 2014, I had what was probably a "nervous breakdown", and became convinced that I could no longer take care of either of our reptiles (we also have a corn snake), nor could I let my husband do it, and I railroaded him into taking them to the local animal control facility on a Friday evening after he came home from work. (No one can talk sense to me when I get like that, and all I could think of was that I had to get them out of here while they were still in good health.) Fortunately, Anchorage has an excellent animal care and control facility. They were there for about 40 hours and my heart was broken. On the following Sunday morning I came to my senses and realized that I was either going to have to give up on them forever, or let my husband help me take care of them. He has always been willing, but I'm a control freak and had been insisting on doing everything myself. So we had a hasty discussion and made plans for me to teach him how to do what I'd been doing and no longer seemed to have the energy to continue to do myself. Then we rushed back down to the animal control facility just as it opened for business in the morning, hoping they would still be there. They were, and we brought them back home. My husband, true to his word, has been doing most of the hard work to care for them ever since, and thanks to him, we still get to keep them and I still get most of the cuddles -- not fair to my husband but he doesn't seem to mind. They are ours for life now, and I have realized that we passed the point of no return when we brought them home. I don't think I had previously realized how much I loved them until that horrible 40 hours when I believed that I would never see them again, and without knowing if they would ever have another home even as good as the one they've had with us.

As I have also said elsewhere, Puff was diagnosed with adenovirus at the end of that year, and was pretty sick for a while, but eventually pulled through, although his appetite and activity level has never come quite back to what it was before that. For the most part, he's been doing fairly well for the last several years, and things have been better.

Latest escapade (just so this won't start out as a total downer):

Recent Saturday afternoon: Puff is pancaked out under the heat &UV lamps in his tank, and "Daddy" sits down at a nearby table with his laptop, all ready for a nice little session on the internet, and plugs in an external tabletop mouse because he prefers that to the hokey little touchpad on the laptop. All of a sudden, Puff goes nuts and starts doing his little dance, the one that usually means, "Get me out of here! I see something I want on the other side of the glass. :blob5: " So "Mommy" (that's me) takes him out and brings him over to the table, because I have my suspicions. Sure enough, he goes after the mouse cable. Probably thinks it's a worm. So Daddy decides to take advantage of the situation and grabs Puff's salad, hoping to use the old bait and switch trick to get the little wannabe carnivore to eat some veggies. Puff is having none of it -- Daddy slips greens in his mouth while he's busy chewing on bugs all the time, and Puff is wise to that. So I put him back in his tank, but Daddy isn't giving up yet, and brings the mouse over and dangles the cable on the other side of the glass, while trying to slip Puff a leaf on the inside of the tank with his other hand. Puff avoids the leaf, but succeeds in banging his nose on the glass trying to get at the mouse. At this point, poor hubby gets the order to cease and desist from his naggy wife, followed by the lecture that we do not want to use inedible, non-digestible objects to trick Puff into eating greens, as I do not want to have to replace a chewed up mouse cable, or worse yet, we definitely do not want Puff swallowing bits of it. It's ok to try to spoon feed him worms using collard greens for the spoon, but not this, and blah, blah, blah...

Bottom line, no permanent damage done to the mouse cable, the bearded dragon, or to Mommy and Daddy's marital relationship. Just another fairly typical Saturday afternoon at the Bailey's... :mrgreen:


BD.org Addict
Awesome! You got Puff a thread! Your stories with couch potato corn snake is welcome too. I do it for Kane though it's Broly's thread more.

Sorry to read about 2014. That wasn't a very good year towards the end. I lost my 10 year old dragon that year. Beginning of 2015 sucked but I won't get into it.

Glad you got to keep them. I get so wiped out myself. Wish I could sleep in winter I hate cold! I struggle to get up in cold.


Juvie Member
YAY a Puff thread!! :blob8:
That sounds like a rough time, but I'm so glad you have them all and found a way to make things work together. And how funny Puff wanted to eat the mouse cord! He should try his veggies instead, a bit healthier :wink:


Gray-bearded Member
Original Poster
Yes, that was a bad year for us in lots of ways -- also the year my father in law was diagnosed with Parkinson's and dementia, and the last time we visited him at his own house before he went into a nursing home. Troubles always seem to come in bunches. :( But at least we got through that year with our own little family intact. :)

My husband and I both think that maybe the bears have the right idea -- as well as some of these beardies who get really serious about brumating -- go to sleep in the fall and don't get up again until spring, if you can get away with it. :roll:

Squirmles the carnivorous couch potato snake was a little less carnivorous than usual for his regularly scheduled feeding this last weekend -- only two mice, large ones at least. And sometime yesterday he hauled himself down to the cool end of his tank, so I hope he stayed warm enough for long enough to get some good digesting done. I don't worry too much if he eats a little less than usual, only if he doesn't eat anything at all for several months, unless it's in the spring when he goes hormonal, hyperactive, and anorexic. I've learned to expect it then.

(BTW Kami -- I love to hear about all your other critters too.) :D

During the first year we had him, Puff used to attack his salad like he was afraid it was going to get away, but ever since he got the adenovirus he seems to have decided that he's supposed to be a strict carnivore. Who knows -- antibodies are proteins, so maybe he feels like his immune system needs more protein to keep the virus at bay? Wild speculation on my part. :? We do manage to get a few greens into him once in a while, but he'll always go for bugs instead if he has a choice.

He went crazy over the mouse cord again this last Saturday, and it wasn't like he was hungry. He was nicely stuffed with crickets at the time. I took him over by the window and cuddled him, and managed to distract him for a little while.

My husband and I were both almost too wiped out to do a proper bedtime cuddle last night, even though he got to come home from work a couple of hours early (comp time because they can't afford to pay him for overtime on a previous day). Hubby finally brought beardie in the bedroom for a short cuddle, but for some reason Puff doesn't settle down as well in the bedroom as he does when we sit in a chair in the living room. In the summer I blame the window by the bed, but there's no more light coming in that window at bedtime nowadays.


BD.org Addict
So I'll tell you my critters here. It would get way too long on my thread.

We have two hamsters they're syrian one male and one female. They have their own cages. Male: Kirk (Star Trek) female: Ash (Evil Dead movies).
Two guinea pigs both male Simba and Kion from Lion King and its tv show Lion Guard.
Fish: four spiny eels. mom, dad, son and daughter. We have a guppy fish tank, african dwarf frogs and five snails. We have a saltwater tank.
Dogs: Quill and Badger. Badger is a service dog, Quill is an ordinary dog.
Cats: Cj and Dewey. Dewey is handicapped, can't walk well so food and water is closer to him. CJ is a hunter and he stays inside and kills wild mice if they get in.
Reptiles: three leopard geckos, one tokay and one gargoyle geckos, one skink (Capaldi) and two beardies sleeping.
African grey: Victor hes 8 yrs old. Came from a nice family.

That pretty much covers my daily chores to everyone.


Gray-bearded Member
Original Poster
You have yourself quite a zoo! No wonder you're wiped out at the end of the day.

Between my husband's work schedule and my lack of sufficient energy, we're maxed out with only two reptiles, as well as Puff's little entourage of live crickets and roaches.

Two naps yesterday, one mid morning and one late afternoon, and then I barely managed to stay up for a little TV watching and beardie cuddling after my husband got home from work (for example). It's pretty pathetic. :oops: No snake cuddling just yet -- still waiting for the first poop after the latest meal, and don't want it to end up in my lap. :wink: Lately, Squirmles has been pretty good about pooping in the water when he gets his bath too -- even better than Puff sometimes. :roll:


BD.org Addict
Haha I know the feeling! However, with Broly we don't know when he'll go. He's a giant butt. It's not his fault...his loop of henle is all messed up. Thanks to someone inbreeding his parents to get their hatchling all messed up inside. Pinworms did the rest of the work messing around with the GI.

I fall asleep at odd times. Last night for example...I had my meltdown. It got triggered. I fell asleep by 8 and missed two TV show I usually watch. I'll have to on demand them.
My nephew doesn't go to bed that early and he's 7! I think he goes to bed at 9.

Yup my zoo keep me occupied. Tom already had geckos when we moved in together. We got our skink because someone let him free in the wild. It's not Australia so bad choice. I had the guppy, frog/snail and saltwater tanks. I also already had a hamster, so did Tom. We both bought Kane together. Quill is his dog and the cats we saved. Horrible story to the kittens and rather not go into it. They're cats now but yeah. Pretty wiped out and the last of the energy is to the hamsters food and cage cleaning (if it's the day to do it).


Gray-bearded Member
Original Poster
I don't know anything about Puff's parents, but so far he hasn't turned up with any noticeable genetic anomalies. He did get medicated for some sort of parasites when we first got him. I think it was pinworms but I'd have to dig up his medical records and take a look to be sure I remember correctly. One other false alarm sometime later, but it turned out to be cricket eggs. :roll:

Sorry to hear you had a meltdown. I get them sometimes too and my poor husband has to put up with me being a raving "female dog" (if you know what I mean), and other times I just get too tired to do anything so I go to bed in the middle of the day, and sometimes I lay there and cry because of all the stuff that's not getting done. Then I wake up in the middle of the night and if I can't go back to sleep I try to find something quiet to do -- gotta use what little energy I have whenever I have it, otherwise it tends to evaporate and I don't get it back later if I try to save it up. No rhyme or reason to it. I just have to do the best I can to do what I can when I can, and my husband helps me with the rest.

I was lucky enough to find good homes for my cats and ferrets before I married my husband, because he's severely allergic to anything with fur, except that he did test negative for gerbils. I had one when we were married, but he died of old age during our first year of marriage (he was about 4 years old and that's a ripe old age for a gerbil), and we didn't have any pets for several years until we got the snake in 2002, so he's 15 years old now, and then we became a two reptile family when we got Puff in 2013. I was going through menopause so it was my last chance to have another "baby". :wink:


BD.org Addict
Yeah, you can read my thread why my meltdown was triggered. I had to word in a way with no cursing. Cursing makes me feel better but fortunately I handled it. It's so significant so I can't be sure why it was triggered. I guess just talking to people. A lot of people. Then the one person ruins it.

I don't cry bout unfinished chores..I scream about it. It's been like that since I was 10 years old. My parents tried to stop it. I've tried jobs before ages 19 and 22. I had separate jobs. I got so upset with rude people that I lashed out and got arrested. My second job I dealt better with meanies but I just screamed instead of hitting. Yeah...deemed Im no longer to work. My "self control" habits arent suited for the real world. I got on disability when I was 27. Sorry to ramble on about this just thought you should know the whole story of how and why Im on disability. I don't scream much nowadays because I get it done. Sometimes theyre not done and Tom nice enough to get it done.


Gray-bearded Member
Original Poster
My last crying and screaming fit was triggered by some bogus charges on our credit card, but what really pushed me off the deep end was when I couldn't find the phone number to call in all the fine print on the statement, and in the meantime my husband was trying to find a phone number on the internet and grab the statement so he could handle the situation. He finally realized his mistake: Don't Try To Take Away My Control When I'm Freaking Out :angry5: , and backed off and let me have a "time out" and cry for a while, :cry: then I willingly turned the problem over to him and let him make the phone call because I realized that it needed to be done and I was in no condition to do it, and oddly enough I was then able to participate in the conversation to get it all straightened out after all, once I had a chance to calm down.

Sometimes I can figure out what my "triggers" are, other times I don't have a clue. So I don't always know how to avoid them, nor do I always know how to pull myself out of it when I need to. Sometimes it just takes some time, and I have to accept the fact that I'm not going to be much good for anything for a while. It often helps a little to remind myself that it won't last forever, and that I may feel better and be able to get up and do something that needs to be done in a few minutes, or a few hours, or a few days... :roll: but that makes it pretty hard to make any plans.

We are always behind on the household chores but the critter care gets priority and usually gets done mostly by my husband. The vacuuming is another story -- both of us are allergic to dustmites and our house is full of them, and we even have a robot vacuum cleaner. You'd think we'd be able to get it done. I know it's been too long when I start picking up dust bunnies off the floor with my bare hands and putting them in the trash, and when the dust bunnies start evolving into dust buffaloes... :p

At least the reptiles don't get neglected, thanks to my husband, and at least they don't seem to be disturbed when I have one of my crying and screaming fits -- they both seem to be able to sleep through it, or else just give me The Look :|. My husband has also noticed that cuddling them seems to calm me down, so I guess maybe they unofficially qualify as "emotional support animals". :?

We're planning a run to the pet stores to get frozen mice for the snake and live roaches for the beardie this morning -- a chance for me to get out of the house for a little while if I can manage to stuff my fat lazy body into some decent clothes -- otherwise (if it turns out that I'm not up to it) my husband will have to go by himself and hopefully I'll have enough energy to fix him up a cooler for the mice and a warmer for the roaches. Outdoor temperatures are at refrigerator levels here nowadays -- too warm for frozen mice and too cold for live roaches. :wink:


Gray-bearded Member
Original Poster
So we had our first measurable snowfall this last weekend, just a light dusting. They're predicting temperatures just above freezing and snow turning to rain in the next few days, so we're probably going to have a sloppy slippery mess all over the streets and sidewalks. Normal for this time of year here.

Pretty busy week. Got off to a rough start but the weekend got better. I missed a dental appointment on Tuesday afternoon due to depression and fatigue, but my husband had the day off on Wednesday (state holiday) so we tried to catch up on some things with limited success. Not much luck at the pet stores -- they were out of the right size frozen mice and the roaches were several weeks old, but some of them were still alive so we bargained for a discount.

Things got better toward the end of the week. They had a game night Friday evening at my husband's church, and I actually managed to have enough energy to go with him when the time came, and we learned a new card game and had fun. I had my choice of putting the reptiles to bed two hours early before we left or letting them stay up for probably no more than one hour after we got home, so I went with the latter option. Puff was still awake when we came home and hubby wanted to watch the late news, so we managed to do our bedtime beardie cuddle in front of the TV.

Squirmles is getting ready to shed. The snake books say that they look lackluster and shabby when they're about to shed, but Squirmles is beautiful when he goes through the pre shed phase. His normally bright red-orange color turns pastel, and his normally red eyes turn sort of lavender-mauve. Squirmles didn't read the snake books so he doesn't know that he's not supposed to be beautiful when he's shedding. :wink: He's clearing up now and turning back to his normal color, so I expect the skin to come off any day now.

Saturday morning we did another run to the pet stores on the other side of town and had better luck -- the right size mice and fresh roaches. All stocked up now, except that Puff finished off the last of the crickets. He also pooped in his terrarium while Squirmles was getting his bath (Puff's bath was supposed to be next), and my husband tried to apologize for "missing the deadline", but I insisted that it wasn't his fault because we didn't know when the deadline was and we had done our best to get started with the baths after getting home from the stores, and we couldn't expect Puff to hold it until we put him in the water. When ya gotta go, ya gotta go. So we cleaned up the mess and Puff still got his bath for hydration. We explained to him that he can only get out of his bath early by pooping in the water -- he doesn't get to skip it by pooping in his tank, especially if he fails to stay out of his own mess. :roll:

Back to a more "normal" schedule this week (whatever that is :lol: ), and trying to catch up with laundry and some of the other stuff I've gotten way behind on, but at least the reptiles have what they need. :)


Gray-bearded Member
Original Poster
Hectic weekend this last time around, but we managed to get all the critters taken care of. Squirmles finished a nice shed and put away several mice, and Puff got his crickets and roaches after being nice enough to poop in his bath while we were changing out the stuff in his tank, so it stayed nice and clean in there until Monday when he didn't do so well about waiting for his next bath, and Mommy was too tired to clean it up until Daddy came home. All better now. :)

Halloween came and went without much fanfare at our house, except that we watched a few spooky shows on TV, and the reptiles laid around basking and digesting. We locked up and went to bed early. No trick or treaters around here. You know you're getting old when you look forward to a dull evening... :|


Gray-bearded Member
Original Poster
So we barely managed to get all the critter care done this last weekend again. Daddy did the run to the pet store for crickets and roaches because Puff had finished off almost all of them last week. Mommy wasn't up to the trip but managed to get all the crunchy creepy crawly critters settled in their new homes when they got home from the store. This time of year we have to transport them in a "cooler" with some little air holes drilled in the lid and a hot water bottle inside so that it becomes a warmer, otherwise they're liable to freeze to death during the trip home. Puff watched all of these activities with intense interest and then gave us The Look ("When are you going to feed me some of those?") Unfortunately, Mommy and Daddy were both too tired to do anything else at the time, so we had to take a nap, and by the time we got up and got moving again, it was getting too late to feed anyone and still have enough time for them to digest before bedtime, so Daddy went out and shoveled snow -- at least one of us did something productive...

Home from church early on Sunday so we could catch up on all the critter care that didn't get done on Saturday, but fortunately things went a little better and both reptiles were comfortably stuffed by the time the weekend was over.

Last night hubby stayed up a little longer to watch the late news after I finished my nightly beardie cuddling and went to bed. I had to laugh when the weather forecast came on and I heard him say "snow." :| The way he said it, it might as well have been the other 4-letter "S" word... Welcome to Alaska in November. :mrgreen:

No major plans for anything but a quiet Thanksgiving at home, unless we get a better offer from someone in the extended family. I don't have the energy to cook up the big turkey dinner anymore, but I'm at least hoping to make up another batch of Repashy Grub Pie so that Puff will have some of his favorite treats available. He goes totally nuts over that stuff. :mrgreen:

Happy Thanksgiving to all the rest of the beardies and their human slaves and families. :D


Gray-bearded Member
Original Poster
Sad news -- Squirmles died this last weekend. He had just eaten two mice on Saturday, but then coughed them back up and probably died shortly afterwards. We found him dead when we returned from church on Sunday afternoon. We took him to the vet this morning and she found no heartbeat and confirmed that he was gone and not just in a deep coma. (I have heard horror stories about reptiles appearing to be dead, being treated as such, and then "coming back to life," so I wanted to be sure.) We're having a necropsy done, just in case it was something that may pose a threat to Puff, and just in case it was something preventable that we need to know about so that we can avoid making the same mistake again. We should get the results tomorrow.

I am glad that we were able to take care of Squirmles until the end of his life, and I like to hope that he had a good life with us. He was 15 years old.

Meanwhile, Puff got some extra cuddles because we both felt the need to cherish the one we still have.


BD.org Sicko
Staff member
=( I'm sorry to hear that. I hope it wasn't caused by anything that could be harmful to Puff. I'm glad you were able to give Squirmles a good life.

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