||Two years old|
||Englewood, Florida, USA|
was given to my by some good friends (Charlie and Tammy) at my
50th birthday party. They wanted to know what I wanted for my birthday
and I said a lizard. They thought I was kidding. I was not. Sambo was so
small he could fit in the palm of my hand.
He lived in a fish bowl for three months, then into a ten-gallon tank, then
into a 55-gallon tank. At one years old and 28 inches long, he got
control of the patio and the house. Sambo is now 5 feet 1 inches long
and twelve pounds.
When I got Sambo, I read all that I could on how to take care of him. I
spent every free moment holding him and hand feeding. I have enjoyed
learning about his care, habits, facial expressions, likes and dislikes.
I would sit for hours and stroke his back as he sleeps. I did trial and
error with the foods that he could have, to see what he liked.
I have seven heating pads throughout the house and patio and two heat (sun)
lamps. He is truly a free roomer and king of my house. Sambo has been
potty trained at the age of eight months to go in a large shallow box lined
with a towel. The towel is replaced daily. Once in a while he misses.
When Sambo was small he liked to climb all over the patio screen. At one
year old, he discovered the Christmas tree. At 1 1/2 he got into the
dog's food. ( no no!) Now that he is larger, it's closets he likes to
get lost in. About a year ago, Sambo went into the closet to check
things out. He got behind the folded sheets and I could not find him for
three days. My house is now lizard-proof and there is no place he can hide
without his tail hanging out. Now he likes hiding in a storage shelf in
my computer desk. He can always be found by his tail.
I have a special place for Sambo on the patio. Food, water, full sun,
heat and a full view of the back yard. This is HIS place. I love showing
him off, take him for a ride in the car, or a walk around the outside of
my home with him held on my shoulders. The kids love to hold Sambo,
women will pet him, but men shy away.
When I come home from work, Sambo greets me at the patio door, I let him
in, give him a hug and then he heads for the front window for some
afternoon sun. This is a daily routine. Fruit is usually served at this
Sambo gets a scrub down in the bathtub at least three times a week. He also
enjoys sitting on my shoulders when I am in the hot tub.
Sambo sleeps on a heating pad - on top of a pillow next to mine.
Sometimes I am woken up in the night with him nudging his nose into my
neck and cuddling. He is my green pet, my green dog!
I would not recommend an iguana as a pet for a child. The care and work
that is involved is too much for children.
My sambo has been a wonderful pet and I am still very careful of the
untamed side of his nature, his bite and strong tail.
Sambo will continue to grow with good care and love, he will be the
best pet I ever had and the most unusual.