Pet of the Week: Elvis

By Karin Krisher

It’s been a little while since we featured Twister as our pet of the week. Now, it’s our other web designer’s pet’s chance to be in the limelight. Alek’s bearded dragon, lovingly dubbed “Elvis” brings something different to the Pet Naturals’ table.

“I have always wanted a lizard, but my parents would never let me get one,” says Alek. “When I had the opportunity and financial resources to take care of one, I jumped right on it.”

As a bearded dragon, Elvis has quite different needs from our mammalian friends. Alek was prepared for those needs, and they may have even contributed to his decision: “I specifically wanted a lizard that came from an arid climate because I am fascinated by and love the desert,” he says.

In terms of care, that desert environment translates to Alek’s purchase of seriously bright and constantly shining UV lamps and Elvis’s regular diet of crickets and leafy vegetables like dandelion greens. All around, his living cost is about $20.00 per week.

Those expenses don’t yet include veterinary costs. While Alek is interested in taking Elvis to an exotic animal vet, he hasn’t found one yet and continues to search in the area. As Elvis’s expected lifespan is around 12 to 18 years, he’s got a little time.

A lizard might seem like a funky choice for a companion, but Alek also has a hamster who keeps to himself, so he’s used to the passive companions that let their personalities develop on their own. To that end, Elvis has grown immensely in the seven months since his birth.

Says Alek, “He actually has a very animated personality. He is very curious and loves to watch me while I am on my computer. I have just started to acclimate him to the world outside his tank and he really likes adventuring around the family room. He also has a very structured schedule. He wakes up around the same time in the morning, goes through his daily routine, and then when it turns 8 he makes his way up to his hammock and goes to sleep.”

It sounds like Elvis is a pretty easy pet to care for and a good companion, too. Alek’s friend once referred to his little buddy as a “boss,” and we couldn’t agree more. Any lizard who regulates his own sleep schedule regardless of light, hangs out in a hammock and eats crickets is cool by our standards.

The only thing left for Elvis to do (aside from be formally introduced to the hamster with whom he shares his home and owners) is learn some tricks. Alek says he would ideally teach him to respond to voice commands, but doesn’t think that’s in the dragon’s future.

Still, we are talking about a dragon here. Anything could happen.

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