When A Dog Just Won’t Do, Get A Dragon

We have a new addition to the household and I (along with the entire family) am in love!

Meet Mango the Bearded Dragon… I now count myself officially amongst those who can use #MotherOfDragons 🙂

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We’ve had Mango about a month, after much debate about what type of pet we might get. All the usual suspects were way too tricky for us. There could be a dog, of course, but we aren’t fenced for a pooch nor could we decide what type of dog we want. My youngest son wanted a Pug, the eldest wanted something like a labrador or retriever. Hubby was thinking ‘Boxer’ and I was keen on a Beagle. We also wanted a rescue dog preferably, rather than a puppy…

That brought us to getting a cat… I’ve never wanted a cat until I moved into our new house about 5 years ago in a part of town where we are close to the bushland and there is a rule that you cannot have cats. Well, the minute we moved in the house, guess who wished she had a cat??

We thought about turtles, or fish… but that seemed a little bland. I’m not sure you get much back from a fish and you can’t pick it up or cuddle it.

My youngest son (Mr 9) then decided he’d really like a gecko. So we looked into it. You need a licence for reptiles in WA, and the people we spoke to said: “Do you really want a gecko? You won’t get much out of a gecko? All he’ll ever want to do is run away from you. What about a bearded dragon?”

A bearded dragon!!?? Well, that sounded far more adventurous and awesome than a gecko (no offence geckos). So we started looking at ‘beardies’ and we found Mango. Mango is a WA native – a Western Bearded Dragon (Pogona minor minima). I think if you have both minor and minima amongst your scientific name, well, you wouldn’t want to have small-dragon-syndrome if you get what I mean!

He’s about 13 or so centimetres in his body with a much longer tail… and he tolerates us most adorably! We can hold him and while he’s not much of one for returning a cuddle, we still think he is very cute!

As a #MotherOfDragons at my ripe old age I’m discovering that I need to get involved in the feeding of Mango, and our little mate likes live crawly things… like crickets, grasshoppers, moths, and all manner of flying things that don’t sting… and cockroaches. Cockroaches!!

The other day, I went out into our garden looking for some grasshoppers for Mango and yes, I was THAT crazy woman, terribly undignified, doing a kind of jump-squat-grab motion out on the verge, chasing grasshoppers. It’s worse than fishing. I never caught a thing…

But luckily, we can buy Mango’s food in a plastic container… then my job is to keep the food alive. I’ve discovered I can pick up crickets in my bare hands. I even today touched a cockroach! They’re called ‘woodies’ so they’re not those yucky big cockroaches I routinely do my best to eradicate in the house. If a cockroach can be cute, I guess these guys are kind of cute.

They are however, still food for dragons.

So as always, it’s fun and games at our place… I’m not sure my mates will visit for a while now I’ve put crickets, cockroaches and ‘bare hands’ into a sentence. For now when there is cockroach wrangling to be done, I take my plastic cockroach container outside in case there is a mass exodus of cockroaches IN THE HOUSE. At which point, I think it will be me giving the place over to the dragon and the pests… and I’ll go find a nice dry spot somewhere out of the way till all the beetles are gone!

xx Lily

5 thoughts on “When A Dog Just Won’t Do, Get A Dragon”

  1. Congratulations on the new member of the family!!! You’re the first person I know to have a bearded dragon as a pet! I love his name and I’m admiring his beard and general handsomeness. I’m also in awe of you for handling a cockroach! #seriousrespect 🙂

  2. Hilarious way to articulate such a decision-making process & bug capturing episodes ;’ – )
    Let’s hope they never encountered chemicals outside. Mango is so precious! It’s always relieving to know a sweet lizard will have a loving family!! I hope you have many happy years together. Many don’t know reptiles can be rescued from organizations just as our furry friends.

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