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Posted by IGUANA JOE on April 10, 2003 at 15:15:11:
If we think way back, prior to owning a reptile (or iguana, in our case) some of us may remember listening to some owners' stories on how cool this animal is, how fun it is, "it's like owning a dinosaur", pretty easy to keep, cheap to purchase as bubblegum.
Some of us may have gone into th reptile hobby because we had this "National Geographic" image of what owning an exotic, large reptile would be like. Thank goodness we researched and found husbandry information...even if a lot of it was not very correct over 10 years ago.
Shift to the mid-90's. Everybody starts connecting to the internet...even iguana owners. Melissa Kaplan has already an impressive website on Iguana Care, Socialization etc...
But some onwers have their "cool" websites on their "cool" iguanas, full of "cool" stories to tell. Kids and teens log on, read this stuff, and get the idea that the iguana is the coolest friggin' pet in the world that can only eat lettuce and rest on a hot rock. (The same applies to monitors etc...)
It seems to me that people unwillingly may send the wrong message about keeping a potentially large reptile at home. They mostly tell glowing stories about their iguana, or monitor...which may misguide future owners into thinking they're getting a cold-blooded cat with scales and a tail that can whoop some serious @$$. The cool factor is sky-high, but the realisic view is forgotten.
Even Hatfield's book can be somewhat misleading. As much as I love that book, it has to some extent way too many cute and personal stories about child-like iguanas. Though the author mentions these are not the norm (I think he does), these stories can nonetheless give a false impression that the same can be achieved with any iguana purchased for $20 at the petshop.
In other words, some people at times forget that iguanas are iguanas, no matter how tame or "human-like" they can be.
(Anthropomorphism anyone? LOL)
Why am I talking about this?....well... Jane (aka jiffypop) mentioned to me a post on the Monitor forum where there was a fuss about letting monitors be monitors, or "dog-tame" them. And the general reply was "if you want a dog-tame animal, get a dog".
So that got me thinking. Are some iguana owner's stories or pictures misleading some buyers? (youngs in particular)
Because after all, not all 100% of iguanas are potty-trainable, tameable, or even downright likeable. Not all will let you dress them like reindeers and take a pic with Santa.
The achievement of bringing a wild, exotic, cold-blooded animal into one's home, and be able to actually form a bond of trust and understanding, as well as some slight degree of domestication, can be overwhelingly joyous. So much that a person wants to share it with the whole world.
What do you think? Is the majority here like the varanid folks, or are we a bunch of anthropomorphistic "hippies"? LOL Kidding!
For the record, I am convinced that my dog is a human child trapped in a terrier's body. Hahahahahahaha!