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Made in the USA - Freedom Breeder
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Posted by iwana on May 10, 2003 at 13:33:14:
Here is a brief history of how Frasier ended up coming into our lives. :-)
It all started when my husband, Justin, and I (actually, we weren't married then) went to a reptile show in Toronto, Ontario in April 2000. We were going with a group of people merely for the pleasure of going somewhere with several fellow herpers and to look at lots of beautiful animals, with no intention of getting any critters (yeah, right).
Well, at one point, we ended up walking by a vendor who had several containers of newborn veiled chameleons (about 4 days old). We immediately became intrigued by these adorable little critters and wanted to get a closer look, so we took the lid off one of the containers. Immediately, the one little chameleon at the very top stood up on its hind legs and had its front legs outstretched toward my husband, who offered a finger and let the little critter climb up. Needless to say, my husband was immediately enchanted. Can you say "Hook, Line and Sinker???"
As experienced herpers knowing all too well that impulse buys are a no-no, that you need to research your animals and set up a proper home for it before getting one, etc., we bought the chameleon and brought it home... LOL My husband was beyond all reason at that point; his heart was set on bringing the little creature home and was going to do whatever it took to make a home for it -- *him*, as it turned out.
So, my husband diligently set up a 20-gallon terrarium with a live pothos, a dripper bottle and a separate set up for crickets along with some vitamin supplements, along with a name for his new beloved pet -- Ulysses. (He came up with this name because Ulysses was seemingly fearless, wandering everywhere without hesitation.)
Here is a pic of Ulysses the day we brought him home:
Here is a pic of Ulysses at one month:
While it was very difficult for Justin to find pinhead crickets here in Vermont, he found the smallest size available to feed Ulysses, who ate quite enthusiastically and grew at a steady rate. However, by the time Ulysses was nearly three months old, he started showing signs of MBD -- a shaky gait and soon after that, caved in ribs (seemingly broken).
We immediately brought him to a herp vet, where he was officially diagnosed with MBD and was given a calcium and vitamin injection. A mere few hours later, we found Ulysses lying on his side on the floor of his enclosure. He had seemingly died of heart failure as a result of calcium deficiency.
Justin sat quietly for several minutes, holding his little friend and stroking him, a look of complete sadness and disappointment on his face, until finally, he went out to find a suitable burial spot for him. After some research on the internet, we concluded that the calcium deficiency was probably a result of lack of UVB -- while his cage was not set up with a bulb, Justin did take Ulysses outside every day for natural sunshine, but evidently, this was not sufficient. We also concluded that it might have probably been a result of the prey items being too large, so Ulysses couldn't get all the nutrition he needed during such a critical stage in his growth.
So while Justin went back home to Vermont for the week -- I was still living in Montreal at the time -- I ended up making a deal with a rodent supplier I was setting up a web site for. You see, this vendor came to the reptile show with us and had bought baby chameleons from the same vendor we bought Ulysses from, thus I came up with an idea. In exchange for the work I would be doing on his web site, I requested a payment of one of his now 3-month-old male veiled chameleons.
The following week-end, I surprised Justin with the new cham in a complete set-up (20-gallon terrarium, plants and UV bulb), with a little note "from the chameleon", explaining that he was Ulysses' brother and that he knew Justin tried his best to take care of him and that it wasn't his fault his brother died, and that would he mind taking him home so they could both help each other get over Ulysses. (Yeah, I know, it's really cheesy, but my husband was pretty happy! LOL)
Soon after, this chameleon was christened Frasier and the rest is history. Hopefully, this gives you a better idea as to how much it means to Justin that we discovered our mistakes (more of them!) and had a chance to rectify them. It is mostly thanks to you guys!
Well, so much for a "brief" history... LOL Hope you guys enjoyed it nevertheless. I just really felt like sharing it. :-)
Julie, Justin and a now very happy Frasier :-D