My story into this hobby...with the obligatory research speech.

If I really started at the very beginning of this process I guess I'd start many months ago when I first had the initial idea to get a reptile as a pet. My family members rolled their eyes and made their usual comments about how I'm the weird one in the family. I just grinned in agreement. Searching good first reptile pets, the common bearded dragons and leopard geckos came up and I thought about those for a really long time. I knew my life was going to be incredibly busy (we're talking 90-100 hour work weeks) for the next 6 months, so obviously this whole thing got put on the back burner - for both me and this future hypothetical pet.

As the craziness calmed down, I started to realize a lot of things about my life. I truly didn't enjoy my job anymore and was definitely getting burnt out by it even when I thought I still liked it. I often felt like every aspect of my life wasn't turning out how I wanted it to be. With that comes a lot of feeling like something is missing. I quit my job with no clue what was to come next. I didn't have another job lined up, I didn't have a single idea what I was going to try next, but I knew I had to make some changes if I was going to establish the kind of life that I want to live. Since I was a teacher, I was lucky enough to have a few paid summer months off to unwind from the school year (SO necessary if you ever teach kids...) and to try to start piecing these things together. The desire to get a reptile pet just sort of hit me hard, for lack of a better description. I started doing more research and learning everything I could about the various animals people keep.

Now to REALLY get to the point... I have been on the forums on this website, as well as reading up on many other websites and watching the limited quality YouTube videos on chameleon care for a few weeks now. Don't forget...I'm not working right now. When I say a few weeks now, I've really done A LOT of research. Like any chameleon owner will advise, if you are considering getting a chameleon, do your homework and seriously dig into what all it means to 1. prepare for a chameleon, 2. get a chameleon, and most importantly 3. maintaining a chameleon. There are way more details to all of this than anyone can imagine when first starting. I do plan to get into a lot of these details in my entries later on.

Reasons I chose a veiled chameleon over other reptiles:
1. Enclosure. Their enclosures are meant to mimic what their habitat would be like in the wild (go figure!) which is a humid forest like setting. While keeping live plants is actually one of my weaker spots in preparing for my cham, it has always been a goal of mine to get better at keeping house plants because I LOVE the greenery. I grew up with plants all over the house and so I wanted a way to start incorporating this into my life.
2. Handling. Chameleons aren't known to want to be handled, and a lot of people say things like, "It took me some time to get used to the fact that my chameleon doesn't want to be handled but 2-3 times a week..." and I wonder if they did their research? By this I really mean, did they think about what kind of person they are? Because it's one thing to know all about a chameleon, but another thing ENTIRELY to know yourself well enough to know what you actually want out of a pet. I pet sit for cats and dogs all the time and when that week is up I am SO ready to go home and sit on my couch without an animal all over me. I like my space. A LOT. So do chameleons! How perfect, haha.
3. Feeding. I'm not afraid of bugs....sort of... I should out right admit this will be an adjustment for me. I do plan on having a system where I don't have to touch crickets and worms directly at first. I know myself well enough to know that I'll get used to it pretty quick (especially with the help of those plastic tweezers). It will be a goal of mine to be able to hand feed my little guy, but if it doesn't happen it won't be the end of the world to me. Also, though, I just love science and so being a part of this food chain process and gutloading the feeders to have them ready for your chameleon is just a fun part of the process.
4. VEILED. I'll have to be super blunt about this decision. I love that panther chameleons are super colorful, but I don't want to shell out the money for them quite yet. I also just don't like the horns on a Jackson's chameleon. Call me frugal or shallow, but this is how I got on the veiled chameleon train.
5. Low Maintenance. I know, say whaaaaat? What I really mean here is compared to a dog or cat... Once you have everything automated (in my opinion it's just the way to go no matter who you are...), and once the chameleon has reached a certain age I can feel comfortable going on my weekend trips and not having to ask someone to come feed him. I'm still young and I like my weekend trips a lot. However, when he's a baby I'll need some help, but that's temporary and I can make sacrifices for this commitment.

I promise to post pics as soon as I get MY new little guy! For now I'll have to do with google images... *sigh.*

Until next time,
Allie

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