Pet of the Day

April 13, 2001

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SnapDragon, the Pet of the Day
Name: SnapDragon
Age: One year old
Gender: Male
Kind: Bearded Dragon
Home: Mantua, New Jersey, USA
 
   SnapDragon is more than just your average, everyday lizard - he is also an ambassador! Snap entered my life a year ago when I decided my first grade classroom needed a pet more interesting than fish or hermit crabs. After doing some research I settled on a Bearded Dragon, known for its tameness and relative ease of care.

    When Snap arrived in my classroom he was a tiny pipsqueak of a dragon, only a few inches long. My students were immediately enthralled, but my coworkers were less than thrilled - at first. After a week or two in the classroom, Snap soon had an audience every afternoon at feeding time. The 'eeeeeeeeews!!!!' of my coworkers soon disappeared and more of them started stopping by 'just to check on Snap!'

    Snap was more than just a fixture in the classroom, he was a learning experience. My students learned about his care and his natural habitat, we kept journals on his growth and feeding habits, and my students also learned responsibility in caring for him. My kids also learned that reptiles are not 'icky' or 'gross', but fascinating in their own ways. None of my students will ever grow up fearing reptiles, and for that I am grateful to Snap. Snap was also amazingly tolerant of my young students. He didn't even blink at the sight of 20-odd first graders rushing up to see him, and would often lounge on my shoulder for hours as I taught lessons or wandered the halls at school. For Halloween he even tolerated a set of felt dragon wings, for his costume as a real dragon.

    These days, Snap has grown from his original 5-6 inches to a whopping foot and a half, and weights in at over a pound. He is the King Dragon of my lizard family. I soon realized that Beardies are truly addictive, and my household is now home to six other Beardies, and one Frilled Dragon. Snap has outgrown his habitat at school, so his ambassador job has been taken over by two of my smaller dragons, Loiosh and his brother Aylee. Snap is enjoying his retirement, and is being spoiled to his heart's content. SnapDragon, Loiosh, Aylee, and all the rest of my lizard friends can be found at Here there be dragons.

    (For more photos, don't miss their photo page.)
 

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