This week, I'd like to introduce to you our very first reptile Pawsome Pet of the Week! Shirley is a one year old, female, Bearded Dragon who lives in Michigan. Her doctor thinks she might actually be a male dragon, but Shirley says she disagrees. She claims that if she were in fact a boy lizard, she'd just change her name to Sherman.
|Shirley as a baby lizard.|
Shirley's ancestors are from Australia, but she came from PetSmart. Apparently, Bearded Dragons have only been in North America for the past 20 years! I asked Shirley what makes her a Pawsome Pet... or in her case, a "clawsome" pet!
"I'm a dragon! How clawsome is that? My mom thinks I'm clawsome because I like to cuddle. But I also like to run in the opposite direction from her when I'm outside getting some sun. Fast too! You should see me go!"
Shirley enjoys a number of activities including getting a tan, eating, and hanging out with her furry family members.
"[I enjoy] Sitting in the sun, definitely. Oh, and eating worms and crickets. Mom keeps trying to make me eat salad, but … blah. Really? Anyway, when I can't get outside, Mom lets me run around the house, just in one room, where I can lay in a sun puddle by the patio door. I like that. Sometimes I hang with the cat, Jessie. She's okay. We like each other, as long as I don't climb over her. She gets upset with me with I do that and hisses and shows her teeth.
Oh, and the dog .. I gotta tell ya. I scare him! Imagine that! I'm all of 17 inches long, and he's a big, bad dog! And I scare him! It's hilarious. Especially when I jump down onto his back from the couch. I don't care. Doesn't bother me none. :) "
Shirley the Bearded Dragon enjoys good cuisine like any fine animal might. She doesn't especially like salad, but who can blame her when there are tasty bugs around to eat? Here's a list of her favorite foods -
"Crickets, wax worms, and mealworms. I mentioned earlier that mom wants me to eat my greens. I found some wild greens outside that I like, at least. I'll also eat baby food. Mom gives me the green kind … peas or green beans or something. She's tricky like that."
This dragon also has a couple of special abilities. Her special abilities include a convincing "stink eye", flexibility, and turning herself into a pancake.
"I can give the best stink-eye you've ever seen. I give them to mom when I want to come out of my tank and she's ignoring me. I can stare at her for hours (literally) until she feels bad and finally comes and gets me out. It works every time!
I'm very flexible. I can sleep in the strangest positions, as long as it's not on my back. I can't breath right if I'm on my back.
I can also make myself flatten out like a pancake. I do that when I'm outside or in a warm spot so that my body can take in as much sun or heat as possible."
Because Shirley is such a lovely lady, I wanted to know what her favorite thing about herself is.
"I would have to say, humbly, of course, my color. In the summertime, especially, I turn a beautiful orange/pink. Everyone tells me they've never seen another Beardie with the same colors. That makes me special, right?
Plus, I'm smart. I know my name and I understand what "go outside" means."
Indeed it does, Shirley! I agree that her color is gorgeous. In addition to having beautifully colored scales and eating a healthy diet of insects, Shirley gets to enjoy a little R&R when the Winter months come along. I sometimes wish that I could sleep for four months like her!
"Oh yeah! Over the cold winter months, I slept for 4 months! I woke up 3 or 4 times just to stretch and have a look around, but since it was still cold outside, and not much sun, I would just go back into my upside-down basket and go back to sleep. Mom kept the temperature in my tank just right, so I could pretend to be back in Australia. It was nice.
I didn't even lose any weight that whole time, even though I didn't eat a thing. When my metabolism cools down, I don't need food. Just a little water from time to time."
I believe that Shirley is most certainly a Clawsome Pet! Special thanks to her for allowing me to interview her.
Shirley does not have a personal blog, but her Mom sometimes talks about her and other lizards at Animal Bliss. You can also find Animal Bliss on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure you stop by and say hello!
And as always, come back next Friday for another Pawsome Pet of the Week!