Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mr Pickles

Mr Pickles, beloved pet iguana, 2003-2013
Although he had a very tough beginning, Mr Pickles surely lived long enough to enjoy comforts that most exotic pets don't survive to see.  He came to me in January 2004, bought from a pet store for a few bucks in Las Cruces, NM.  He and I had many disagreements about things, but I admit I was probably way too relaxed with his care.
Fastforward to our trip to Washington in 2006, Mr Pickles became very ill with MBD and fractured several bones including his jaw.  He recovered but we still saw the affects of this last until his final day.  He was always smaller than he should have been, and he had that terribly silly looking overbite.  Today I feel the pain of his loss, and I question whether I did all that I could to give him a happy life.  As a pet mother, I know I made mistakes with him and I regret that, but I don't regret keeping him and caring for him because I knew I could do better than most others.  Caring for an iguana is not easy.  Especially one that gets ill quite often.
Mr Pickles had been deteriorating in health for the past 6 months from an unknown illness. I assume it was some type of cancer based on all of the symptoms.  He passed away in his sleep last night.  This morning he was laid to rest in the back garden with a bushel of strawberries (his favorite thing in the whole damn world).
I can honestly say I learned a lot from Mr Pickles in the 9 years we spent together. I learned that all things in this world deserve our best, even the things that bite and scratch us.  We have to be good and strong people to take all the lashings from our pets in order for us to help them have long and happy lives.
I learned that I could not mold his needs to fit mine and the only I could succeed would be to shape myself to fit his needs.  I did just that and everything was smooth sailing from there.  As a pet parent you have to make sacrifices and you have to be motivated to give everything you can to your pet.  Pet parents must be driven to success by being active and attentive.  You have to find answers when you have none.  All you need is love...? NO! You need strong conviction to be the best.  You need to instill healthy habits in yourself and you need to teach healthy habits to your pets!
Thank you, Mr Pickles, and rest well my little green biter.

This loss has left an empty space in my heart.  Maybe after some time has passed I can move on and welcome more furry babies into my home.