||Ten years old|
||Lake Mills, Wisconsin, USA|
can't pass up the chance to introduce my sweet Ukki. He is a ten-year-old
male Ball Python (Python regius). There's nothing special about his
coloration or markings, though I still find him to be incredibly handsome.
He is indeed my first snake, I got him shortly after my grandmother passed
away as a means of coping with my depression that was brought on by the
loss. I consider ball pythons to be among the easiest snakes to care for -
they are hardy animals, that with their needs met, will live twenty+ years. The
only drawback is that as a species, they can be picky eaters.
Ukki's name is a result of my feelings when I got him, as well as a
pet-name that my boyfriend went by for many years (Ukki-kun). The Japanese
meaning is "gloomy," while in Finnish it is "grandparent." I had lost my
grandmother and, as I said, was depressed when he came into my life. He
turned me around - just holding him was enough to make me feel better about myself.
He is a wonderful pet, and an even better education animal, as we have
found out since becoming members of the Madison Area Herpetological
Society. Due to his smaller size, people can more readily pet and hold him
than they would a seven-foot long boa. He is much less intimidating... besides,
who could resist a dapper gentlesnake? :)
This is like a puppy for my family (my son is very much allergic to dogs
and cats). The thing that makes Ukki special is that he is always eager to
be held, and not just by myself. He loves to be loved on, and will even
allow us to dress him up, as it were. Here you see him dressed as a dapper
gentleman snake! He has been with me through many difficulties and I would
consider him to be the most loyal of friends. When mourning a loss, he
manages to perk me up with his dorky little face and the flick of his
tongue, usually right into my ear. He makes me smile every day, just by being Ukki!
Talk about today's pet in Pet Talk!