I got these guys about 6 years ago. They are collared lizards, a common desert lizard. For 6 years they entertained me with their running, jumping, climbing, hunting, cricket eating antics. They were a few years old when I got them, I dont know exactly, but they were probably approaching 8-10 years in age lately, very old for that type. These guys were some of the most fun pets I ever had. I could sit and watch them like watching tv and it was relaxing for me. When they hunted they looked like mini-dinosaurs gobbling up some helpless human in Jurassic Park. I know they were just lizards and not some furry dog, but I loved them.
A few months ago they both started getting really sick, basically just from general old age. They both started losing weight. The female, which we called mama, died a few months ago.
The larger male, dada, just kept hanging on. Eventually he developed a prolapsed colon and started really losing weight and was down to literally skin and bones, but just kept hanging on. He is a tough bugger. I knew it was time to help him move along to lizard heaven and stop suffering. A good friend of mine owns a vet clinic and I took him to her clinic and she was going to take care of him for me. Here's where the story gets weird. Instead of doing an injection type euthanasia, she overdosed him on some anesthesia chemical that you breathe in your nose. This can take a while, so she let him breathe it for a long time until he was nonresponsive for a long time. Then she made little clay footprints (like they do for all patients lost at that clinic) and put him in the fridge. I picked him up that night and took him home. I decided to take him out of the box to say my goodbyes again. I set him on the towel to say goodbye. He started breathing. Uhm yeah. breathing. It startled the heck out of me. Yeah, he's a trooper for sure. So you see lizards are cold blooded and this type actually brumates (hibernates) in the winter and their body functions slow WAY down to almost nothing for months. If you warm them back up they then return to normal levels. I think this is what happened, he basically went dormant first, and then since he wasnt breathing much anymore due to that, he didnt inhale anymore of the anesthesia. I called my friend and she said I could take him back to the clinic and they would do a proper shot to take care of him, but it was really late at night and I didnt really want to pack all the kids in the car to go back. He was breathing but he was not conscious. In cold blooded animals, freezing is considered a humane method of euthanasia. They go dormant and their systems slow down so much and they are asleep and then eventually it slows to a stop. I was kind of freaking out at this point so Andrew said he would help me take care of it and he took the lizard and put him in the freezer for me, because I just couldnt do it. So anyway, after much ado, we sent Dada lizard on his way to lizard heaven to be with his Mama.
It's just weird, there's this whole corner of the house where their huge terrarium is that seems so dark now without their blaring heat and UV lamps on all the time. I don't know what to do with the space. Then yesterday I got some cat food at PetSmart and didnt leave with a bag of live crickets. That just felt odd.