In memory of Louis the lizard



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Louis the lizard, a companion of mine for 14 years, helps out with some computer work.
My pet bearded dragon Louis died today.  We had been watching each other grow for half of my lifetime.  When I first met Louis he could curl up with everything from his head to his tail in the palm of my hand - not that he was likely to stay there; he was a feisty little guy.  I still remember the day when he darted off my hand and ran under a bookshelf.  After removing all the books from the shelf to retrieve my pet, I vowed to keep a better watch on him.

Louis munched on kale and crickets and grew quickly to nearly 2 feet.  He watched me graduate from high school (and eventually graduate again, and again).  He waited patiently during a period when I became more interested in girls than in him, I think knowing all the while that I would soon discover that he was something of a chick magnet.  Louis may have helped me woo my herpetologically inclined wife, and he adjusted easily to sharing me with her when we all became one family.
My bearded dragon Louis watches me grow my first beard, perhaps with some amusement.

As Louis grew older he still enjoyed plodding around our home, but became increasingly fond of finding bizarre places to take a nap.  On several occasions we found him snoozing with his head stuffed into a shoe.

Ahhh, doesn't get much more comfortable than this does it?
Even in old age, Louis would be jolted back into his youth by the sight of a dandelion flower, or by a bath in an overturned frisbee filled with warm water.  Even when he could no longer catch crickets (or even immobile vegetable food) he could still spot a dandelion from across the room.
 

Louis was more than a pet - he was a patient ambassador to countless people, both kids and adults who had never met a reptile up close before.  While sometimes daunting at first, this gentle reptile waited while humans mustered the courage to feel the texture of his rough back, hard head, smooth belly, or spiky yet yielding beard.  His beautiful soft eyes even won quite a few hearts from fear over the years, and encouraged people to engage nature in new ways.
Louis has a snooze in his favorite cave, which Kiri and I built as a 'date' in our early days.
  I've come across quite a few bearded dragons over the years, but none that I have liked as much as Louis.  Over more than a decade he has been there for the biggest challenges, and most joyful successes of my life, and I'll never forget this special pet:
We'll miss you Louis!

2 comments:

Behn and Meg at: September 18, 2012 at 7:38 AM said...

A fair and loving tribute to am important member of the family. RIP Louis!

Samantha at: September 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM said...

Written so poetically, I honestly almost teared up. I know I would have cried if I knew him personally. What a special guy!

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