Just One Lizard:
An Origin Story
"Just one lizard," she said. "It's just one lizard."
My wife and I had been discussing the introduction of a new pet into our lives for several months. She was strongly in favor of it, I less so. She had always wanted a gecko and I was all too familiar with the costs and responsibilities of pet ownership.
We had both grown up with pets in our families. For her it was cats, dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, fish, mice, tree frogs, and anoles. For me it was cats, dogs, fish, birds, hermit crabs, and an iguana.
My mother was a wildlife rehabilitator, so I saw my fair share of unusual critters too. (Ask me about the time we had an injured swan in our bath tub.) A word of warning for the inquisitive: no matter how cute squirrels are as a baby, they always turn wild. There’s no loyalty among them. I even rescheduled one of my final exams my junior year in high school because I couldn’t squeeze it in between bihourly squirrel feedings.
Despite our new pet debate remaining unsettled, we had managed to acquire two different tanks (one a 10 gallon, the other a 12”x12” cube), a couple heating mats, and a UV light fixture. (Some of you will see where this is heading.)
So there we were at the pet store watching the leopard geckos in their tank. My wife looked at them, then back at a me. “Just one lizard,” she said, her eyes pleading with me. “It’s just one lizard.”
“Ok, just one lizard”, I said.
“Just one lizard”, she repeated. “Oh, and that one too”, she added while pointing to a green anole.
And that’s how we got our first two lizards as a family.