Then and now

Beardie name(s)
Lemon
I was just feeling a bit nostalgic and looking through old photographs of Lemon from when we first got him - he will be 2 in October and we got him at about 3 months old as a Christmas gift for my then 12 year old son. I'll be honest when I say we did not have a clue what we were doing when he first came home and we took the advice of the reptile shop we purchased him from. Which, of course, included the dreaded Bearded Dragon starter pack....

Looking back at these early photographs now has absolutely horrified me! His original setup included a red lamp, a coil UVB, stick on thermometer and green sand! It makes me shudder.

I found this site within a couple of days and immediately took on board every bit of advice and information I could. Within days his lighting / heat was changed and the sand was removed, digital probe thermometer added etc. After a couple of months (of saving!) we purchased a much bigger Zen enclosure for him and moved him in.

Lemon has literally thrived since those early days and I am so grateful for every single person in here who gave advice and guidance in those early weeks (and ever since to be fair!). It is so worrying that when doing early research about getting a reptile for my son, the information available very much describes bearded dragons as 'easy starter reptiles' and this is so misleading! It was honestly like getting a newborn baby those first few weeks and we literally worried about everything. Still do!

I'm quite conflicted if I am honest - had we realised at the time just how much work (and how expensive!) it was going to be, I honestly don't think we would have got him. But I am SO glad we did - as it is one of the best things we ever did. I feel so fortunate that we were in a position to be able to immediately improve his husbandry and give him the spoiled dragon life he deserves, but it makes me so sad that so many owners, with really good intentions and a lot of love to give are so misinformed at the point they take on these lovely creatures. If I hadn't found this site then I know for a fact that Lemon probably wouldn't be thriving as much as he is.

So, no real point to this post really other than thank you to everybody who has ever helped with my many questions. And for anybody reading this who may be considering a beardie - try not to be put off by all the conflicting info out there BUT do make sure a beardie is the right choice for you. They are not like goldfish! I felt awful when first seeking advice on here, and very much like I was a bad owner as literally everything we had prepared for him was wrong. But it is a learning curve, and I am now even at the point where I sometimes can help others. I think it will be many years before I would consider myself a competent beardie owner though, and I learn something new pretty much every single day!

Attached are a then and now picture - only the now picture is in his enclosure as I can't bring myself to post his green sand / red light pictures 🤦‍♀️😂
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xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
He is a very lucky boy to have gotten a home with someone that could/did do their due diligence. To many are not that fortunate. He looks amazing btw 🙂
 

Hazel_Basil10

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Hazel my female two year old beardie
That was my beardie. When I got my bearded dragon because she was returned 3 times so she was on a kill list if not taken to a new home in three weeks. They gave me a Coil, the world's smallest tank and suggested Foods that Beardies were not supposed to eat. Four days later I found this website and now my beardie is turning 2 in November and is Healthy as she can be!
 

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