Striker & Eri

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Hi there.
I've been visiting this forum for some time now, and I've noticed other people have 'mini blogs' about their Bearded Dragons on here, so I figure it's about time I introduce mine; Striker and Eri.
Thanks for reading, there's lots of pictures at the end! :D

This year I turned 25. I was planning to have a quiet birthday at home, and no presents. I didn't think I needed anything.
A few weeks before my birthday, my ex (who's a close friend of mine) asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and refused to take 'nothing' as an answer. He told me to think about it. I thought about it for a while, and recalled recent conversations of him convincing me to get a pet. He knows how bad my depression can get, and had noticed it acting up recently. He also knew how much I missed his (and his brother's) cats. He knew I needed a companion, but in the house I live in, I can't have dogs, cats, or rodents because the landlords are allergic, birds are too noisy, and I wasn't feeling up to having fish tanks again. However, at one point the landlords and I had discussed reptiles. The only rule was no snakes...
I poked around on Craigslist for a while, still more whistful dreaming than an actual plan. I had wanted a Mali Uromastyx for several years, but they are really expensive, and I didn't have anything more than a 15gal tank at home (left over from when another ex and I had 4 wonderful fish tanks) with a metal screen top.
I had had some experience with beardies and other reptiles, but wasn't sure if I was really ready to take one on as my own.
I swear I was just browsing and dreaming when I came across an ad from a young man about to go to college, looking for a good home for his beardie and all accompanying equipment. It was a very decent price for everything advertised, but still pretty expensive. Then I saw the pictures of Striker, and fell in love.
I immediately texted him back saying, "I know what I want for my birthday; a bearded dragon!"
We talked it over, and I spent the next several days communicating with the young man from Craigslist, and determining whether or not this was really happening. We worked it out that my boyfriend would pay a portion, my friend would pay for the other portion, and I had a little extra birthday money from my parents that came in handy for a few extra supplies.
The week before I took Striker home, I got to visit him, and this young man did an excellent job showing me the basics of Striker's care. It seemed like, although there were other people interested in Striker, he had already picked me to be Striker's next human. I started doing a lot of research, and reading posts on BD.org, and learning as much as I possibly could. The week after that, I took Striker home, and he said goodbye to his boy. :( (I still send pics and talk to him on occasion... In fact, I will link him to this 'blog' post.  ^.^ Hi!)
On the car ride home, I was already starting to learn about Striker's personality. He was chilling on my shoulder calmly, and enjoying the sun. Suddenly, he bolted into the carrier, and took the hugest, smelliest poop I'd ever seen come from such a small animal!! So thankful he didn't do it on me!
That night he fell asleep on me, and his little beardie claws had a permanent death-grip on my heart.
Since then, I've continued to learn about his character, and more about beardies in general, and falling deeper in love with my little buddy. He loves exploring my house, and I find he crawls into the oddest places to catch quick naps. He loves 'helping' me fold laundry, listening to music, and making leaps that scare the life out of me from the couch or bed. He wakes me up every morning with his glass dancing, begging to be let out to cuddle and explore before breakfast.
The landord's kids, and the kids she looks after, are fascinated by him. I constantly get asked, "how's the lizard?" There have even been a few times where the kids have held him and fed him. He's really patient with the kids, even the youngest one, who's about 2 1/2, which makes me feel more secure for when I'm ready to start my own family. I wouldn't want to give up my pets.
He's just over 9 months old now, and he certainly keeps me busy. :)

On Monday, my boyfriend and I visited a local pet store to pick up a new basking bulb for Striker, as I'd been being my usual worry-wart self and noticed his temps were getting lower than I'd like them to be, since it's getting colder outside, and thus colder in my house.
We made our usual stop to check out the other animals, and we saw a baby beardie that didn't look so good. He was really tiny, under four inches, and at best guess, was probably about three and a half weeks old. He was not being given the proper light or heat. They were trying to feed him dry pellets, and no fresh greens. The lady at the pet store said she hadn't seen him eat yet, and he was lethargic and had trouble keeping his eyes open. They had gotten him in on Friday, and he hadn't been quarantined, either (I've been doing it at home, having had experience quarantining birds for my aunt's aviary. I figure the rules are the same).
They had another young guy who was already showing signs of aggression, too.

We finished our shopping for Striker, and before we were ready to leave, I told my boyfriend that I was either taking that baby home, or I was going to call Urban Safari Reptile Rescue.
I was in the middle of writing a post for their Facebook page when he stopped me, and gave in. Remember that leftover tank? I had been saving it for a couple anoles to help me 'babysit' my orchids.... Guess that'll have to wait. :)
We just bought an extra UV lamp and tube, some repti carpet, and tiny crickets, and we were ready. Was it a coincidence that they had a 20% off sale on beardies?
I named him Eri, short for Eripio, which means 'rescue' in Latin. Obviously Eri isn't sexed yet, but 'he' is better than 'it'. I must admit, I am secretly hoping 'he' is a 'she', even though breeding won't be for a few years, if ever, and I know females are more work...
Eri's been slowly eating a few crickets here and there, licking water from his leaves, and taking the occasional pellet (prepared properly, not dry). He could still not care less about greens, but maybe soon.
He started a voracious shed within a day of coming home, and is starting to explore his tank more and more.
He's still sleepy often, and I do worry about how much he's eating, but we'll take it in baby steps.

I introduced him to Striker (through glass, obviously). Striker is definitely jealous and gives me the cutest pouty face when I'm talking to Eri or dealing with his tank, right next door to Striker, but separated by a piece of paper (so Striker doesn't drive himself mad trying to get at his snack-sized 'brother'.)

I have the feeling Striker's rolling his eyes at me gushing over them, as he watches me type this from his perch on my shoulder. I never thought I'd get so good at catching escaped crickets, or even be ok having them around, be worried about when the next poop comes, dance with a reptile, wake up in the middle of the night to check temperatures, or have my heart melt while 'cuddling' with something so spiky and scaly!

I'm so thankful for my babies. I've become a full-blown beardie slave, and I'm loving it. :)

Enough rambling. Here's the pics:
If anyone has any idea of what breeds these guys are and can let me know, that would be awesome. Personal curiosity than anything else. :)

The day we picked Striker up.
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Drying off after one of his first baths with me.
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He's not a fan of bathtime.
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Outside catching some rays before summer ends.
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Checking out his new hygrometer.
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How he wakes me up in the morning.
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How he wakes my boyfriend up on weekends.
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Playing video games with my boyfriend.
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Why his other human named him 'Striker'.
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One of his favorite hidey spots in my house. He always opens his eyes when I try to catch him sleeping.
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My little rock star.
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My favorite poses. Look at his pretty colours!
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Pretending to be camera shy. He looked at me when I stopped snapping, and posed again for another few minutes. :p He's a little diva.
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Meeting Eri for the first time.
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Eri on his new log.
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Eri in his dish.
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Eri and his breakfast this morning. Didn't eat any, though. :(
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Eri napping on his big rock after a big poop. He has the same habit as Striker of waking up whenever I try to catch him sleeping. You can see his sleepy eyes, though. :)
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Strangely enough, they also poop
At the same time of day, within half an hour of each other, so daily tank cleaning is, relatively speaking, a breeze. (Sorry, TMI. Guess only herp lovers would be excited about that stuff... Lol)
That's all for now. Thanks for checking us out! :)
 

BlueMorpho

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Hmm. The two videos didn't post. I'll have to figure out how to get that working and add them next time. :)
 

BlueMorpho

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Tonight's dinner time was a real 'family moment'.
My boyfriend tried to get the little guy to eat while I took care of my big boy Striker.
Eventually (after I had made multiple attempts throughout the day), Eri finally ate a total of 4 crickets.
I'm starting to get really worried about it... He's eating less every day. 13, 6, now 4. He didn't take any pellets, and ignored the veggies, as always. :p 
He does take drops of water I dab on his nose fairly readily, though, and vet trips will be soon.
After dinner, I picked Eri up to put him back in his tank while the boyfriend got Striker's crickets ready. (our feeding routine is greens, then pellets (some nights, not all), and then live food for dessert.)
When I picked Eri up, he surprised me by crawling up my shirt, and tucked himself under my hair while hanging onto my necklaces.
This was the fastest I'd seen him move!

My cool new pendant. My baby. :)
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I guess he was telling me "it's bedtime".
I think my boyfriend got a little jealous. Then again, he later quipped, "He eats for me!" :p

Soon after Eri was safe in his home and finding a comfy place to bask, it was bathtime for Striker, followed by a few dry-off snuggles and running off to explore for a few minutes before he was put back home to bask, too. He ended up having a nap.
He knows he'll get to hang out with us again before bed. :)
I finally managed to get a picture of him sleeping!
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Striker sulking before dinner. He had been begging to be let out, and when I was too busy at the time to let him out, he crawled into his cave and piled sand in front of the door (this odd behaviour happens often with Striker, I've found more so when i forget to turn the radio on during the day, or if I don't take him out as much as he wants). This was what I found when I lifted the cave. The "go away, I'm mad at you," face.
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Also, I think we've discovered that my baby boy might be a girl..
Apparently myself and Striker's previous owner were looking on the wrong side of the vent to determine. I had read "above the vent" was the place to look. This was how Striker was oriented when I checked. 
See? He has balls!!
Can anyone tell me for sure? Not really sure how care for a girl differs.
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Spikey92

Juvie Member
Hey,

First of all thanks for sharing your story with us :)
Your little guys are really cute and adorable :)
But are you using sand as substrate? I recommend removing it asap and buy some nice tiles or Repti Carpet etc . Ive heard only Horror stories about sand and its really dangerous(any kind.Even if its "special repti sand".
Im not really experienced with sexing Beardies but I think you might be right.Even though he has "balls" your supposed to pay attention to his tail where you can see one bump which indicates a female.(actually your supposed to lift the tail while taking the picture.dont know if it makes a difference though.)
 

BlueMorpho

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Thanks for the reply. :)
I'm only using sand for Striker (the older one), and it won't be for too much longer. I also never feed my beardies in their tank, they're always out, on my lap, or in a feeding tank. Im home with my babies all day, and I clean the sand very meticulously. I scoop (with a fine strainer) twice a week, I bake it once a week, and I've already replaced it once since getting him. Hopefully I will be able to get tile or something soon. Thank you for the concern, though. I appreciate it. :)
Striker also LOVES to dig!! Kinda don't want to take that away. Lol.
I posted my gender question on another thread with different pictures, and it really does seem like Striker's a girl. Vet check soon, so I'll know 100%.
Still not really sure how to prepare for a girl in puberty.
 

jezwolf175

Sub-Adult Member
I just caught up on your thread. It was great that you took in little Eri from the pet shop. I love the name as well. Beautiful dragons through and through. Eri may not be eating as much due to relocation stress. My Fafnir didn't eat so much until after two weeks. He scared me so much because of that. Now he's eating like there is no tomorrow. Well hope to hear more adventures from Eri and Striker.
 

Spikeshuman

Juvie Member
Can't really tell if Striker is a boy or girl from the pic you posted. If you post another.. with Striker flat on a table or something.. and lift his / her tail at a 90 degree angle.. one of us should be able to tell you if you have a boy or girl. When you lift it.. there will either be 2 bumps and a little indent in between above the vent ON the tail.. or just one central bump.. on the tail above the vent. Hope that helps.
 

BlueMorpho

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Heya, thanks for the response.
That pic was showing how Striker was oriented when we first checked. We found out recently that it was the wrong way. I posted pics in another thread. I'll post link and pics here, though...
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=181203
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General consensus seems to be that Striker's female.

I got Eri eating a few greens, and he took a formula of chicken baby food, pedialyte, and reptical/reptivite. He actually seemed to really enjoy it. Making progress. :)
 

BlueMorpho

Juvie Member
Original Poster
It's so odd adjusting to calling Striker my girl. Lol.
Until now, Striker has been, "my little boy," "my prince," "my handsome guy," "my big boy," "my little man," "Mister Striker," "scaley dude," and so on...
Striker's previous owner was happy when I told him I'm keeping her name the same. I still think it's fitting, and she often looks at me when I say her name. I don't know if she actually recognizes it or if she's looking at me just because, but I'm sticking with Striker. :)
 

Spikeshuman

Juvie Member
The lady at petsmart told me that our beardie was a boy.. so my son named her Spike. When I began looking into beardie care I came across a very informative video on Bloodbank dragons website that told me my poor Spike was a girl!! We had her about a month at that point and her name was set.. so Spike is still Spike. Fast forward to 4 months later.. my son STILL says him.. his.. dude.. even though he knows shes a girl.. so don't feel bad!!
 

BlueMorpho

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Lol, as long as she's loved, I don't think she'll mind being called a boy. :p It's such a hard habit to break. Lol.

I got Eri eating today!!! He had lots of greens and ate 10 crickets! Still not a lot, but WAY better. I think the baby food formula worked, because he was perky and active all day. I'm so excited, and I'm worrying a lot less. He even chased a few crickets instead of waiting for them to come to him. He seems to be doing a lot better. Maybe he's adjusted. :)
 

ohmybandit

Sub-Adult Member
You have some gorgeous beardies there :)
I'm glad you got Eri to eat! Mine was such a brat about crickets when she was little. She wouldn't move. They all had to come to her (with my help of course, good thing she got my fear of most bug out of the way... :lol:) Ever think about trying dubias/ starting a colony? Mine took to those immediately lol I also thought mine was a male until this site. I'll admit I was a little crushed at first haha my boyfriend and I still called her a him for the next two weeks.
 

BlueMorpho

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Hi, thanks :)
I have looked into dubias, but I honestly don't think I could handle roaches. Lol.
I also live in a basement suite with not a lot of space, and I don't think I'd be able to provide for a colony. I would also worry about what the landlords would think. Currently they're happy with me having the lizards (as are their sons), and don't mind the crickets as I keep escapees under control and am not breeding them. But I don't think they'd have the same opinion about cockroaches... And I'm not super keen on handling those, either...
If the store I get my feeders from ever gets them in I might try my guys on them, but it would be more of a treat than a staple. Crickets and worms I can definitely handle, though. :p
 

Spikeshuman

Juvie Member
Be careful with that.. I let Spike taste Dubia roaches.. and now she refuses to eat crickets. She starved for a whole day before I gave in and switched out the crix with roaches. She was so hungry she dived face first into the bowl and went nuts!
 
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