My water dragons, and the Scoop on Tricia...
I am the proud Keeper of 5 water dragons (they think it's the other way around though...shhhh don't tell them!). I spent about three months reading books, posting questions on rec.pets.herp, and speaking with several other water dragon owners that I had met on the net. After learning all that I could about keeping water dragons I went out and purchased my first two dragons in September of 1995.
Rogue is a female and Night is also a female. Night and Rogue were quite skinny when I got them but they are now doing well, and eating well. They live in a 6 x 3 x 2.5 vivarium that has shelves for them to bask on, two basking lamps, two full spectrum UVB fluorescent lights, a ceramic heater that is controlled by a thermostat, live plants, lots of vertical and horizontal branches, and a pool with a waterfall, filter, and external drain. Rogue is now 7.25" svl and 27.5" stl, and Night is 6.5" svl and 24.25" stl. They're growing!
I received my second pair of water dragons Mid-December, 1995. Yes, you caught that did you? I "received" them from another water dragon owner that I met on the net. A very nice man I might add! :) My two new dragons were 12 and 14 months old, and were soooo small when I got them! The 12 month old was 2.75 " svl and 9.75 " stl, the 14 month old was 3 1/8" svl and 11" stl. They are just about perfect! They lived in a 30" x 19" x 12" tank, with a fluorescent UVB light, two basking lamps, driftwood, a human heating pad under the tank, fake plants, a large water dish, and astroturf with bound edges as substrate but now they live in the larger vivarium with Rogue and Night. The two young are now approx 3.5 years old and they are now 6.75 svl and 24 stl, and 7 svl and 25 stl respectively. They are both female.
Cupid arrived in June of 1997. I had initially believed Night to be male, Although she looked female she definitely acted like a male. She participated in true mating behaviour with the largest female Rogue. Literally gripping her crest and getting into the male mating position. She did this for a period of a week or two in the second year that I had her. So you can see why I thought she was a feminine looking male? :) Night decided to tell me differently in May of 1997 ... she laid several eggs in a potted plant! Oh oh ... Night is female ... guess we don't have a male. :)
I told my story to the water dragon mailing list and soon had offers from subscribers to send me a male! Cupid was originally wild caught- probably from Vietnam ... and had been living in captivity in Ithica New York. He was sent to me by a dear Internet friend June 9th, 1997. He was an adult male when he arrive, approx 30 inches in length and approx 3 years old- making him about 4 years old now.
Cupid currently lives in the vivarium with the females. He's quite happy and attempts to mate almost everyday- especially between the months of say February and August each year.
All of my dragons are allowed out of their enclosure for part of the day. The little dragons were not allowed to roam around in their first month with us as we were afraid that they might hide and get too cold. They were held instead. The younger dragons now roam with the older and similarly sized dragons! They love it! The dragons are basically out whenever we are home. They have free roam of the whole apartment . We have a ficus tree, and a large hibiscus tree for the dragons to climb in. We've installed a UVB fluorescent light near the trees, and use a small floor heater to heat the living room up to the high 80's F when they are out. Yes it's tropical here when Knight and Rogue and the young dragons are out and about. We wear shorts when we are here! :) The dragons also have two heating pads set on medium to bask on as well.
Yes I know, We pamper our lizards. We know it, and I think they Know it too, but we're all very happy! :)
Definitely more than you wanted to know....
Okay, everyone keeps asking "Just who is this Tricia person? ". Well just in case you are one of those people I thought I'd make it simple and let you know. :)
Alright... you asked for it since you're here reading this... you're still reading this aren't you? :) Lets see.... I'm 39 (oh, god ... am I really that old already!), Happily married (sorry...) to a wonderful guy named Chris (who now knows almost as much about water dragons as I do), I'm 5'9", (Chris is just a bit shorter than me (5'4") <grin>), have short Auburn hair that turns almost blonde in the summer if I'm in the sun enough, I guess I'm about average weight for my height, have hazel eyes that turn moss green when I'm happy. :), hmmmm ... (lets see, age, marital status, height, weight, hair, and eye colour....) What else do you guys wanna know? :)
Let's see... After graduating from high school I wanted to become a make-up artist (special effects that is), but an opportunity presented itself in the jewellery trade, so I became a jeweler instead. I was 18 at the time. No I wasn't working in retail- I was actually involved with creating jewellery. I started at the bottom as a waxer, then I became a caster- boy is that ever hot work! I eventually moved up into actually diamond cutting designs on jewellery and even soldering and polishing different pieces of jewellery such as rings and bracelets. While I was learning the trade from the bottom up I was also learning how to manage a company with up to 14 employees at one time.:)
When I was 21 I moved on to bigger and better things and started my own business as a diamond cutter, gold and silver plater, and mold maker. My company was called "Gold Cuts". When I first started the company I had a tough time making ends meet so I actually worked three jobs for about 6 months until the business started to pick up. (: What kind of jobs were those you ask... well how 'bout a security guard, a retail jewellery sales person, and odd jobs doing extra work in the movie industry. :) I had my business for 4 years, but the recession came along in 1989 and of course the first things that get hit in a recession are the businesses that sell or make luxury items, so I closed my business down in early 1991. BTW while I was operating my company I did go out and get my make-up artist certificate. :) and I also met my husband Chris while I had my business- Yes he was a jeweler as well. :)
When I closed my business I decided that I'd better go back to school! Now how's this for a drastic about turn... I went back to school and became a nurse! Yes that's right I'm a jeweler, make-up artist, and a nurse! (and now a herpetoculturist!) I can hear you asking yourselves "why did she become a nurse? " Well since you asked.... :) I've always been interested in medicine and have wanted to be a doctor ever since I was a little girl- well I mostly wanted to be a vet (but since I'm allergic to cats and dogs ... but then I could have become a reptile vet couldn't I..) but I guess I never thought I would do well enough in school to make it so I just didn't do it. (: So, I opted to become a nurse (close enough I guess). I now know that I would have made it in school as a doctor if the marks I got in nursing school are any indication... , so you never know I may just go back to school again and become a doctor of one type or another. :)
Anyway... I've been a nurse for almost 14 years now. I've worked in hospitals, agencies, and for almost 10 years I worked at a pain management clinic. At the pain management clinic we treated Chronic pain by giving our patients nerve blocks under local, sedation and general anaesthesia. So in essence I was a surgical nurse, OR technician, recovery room nurse, counsellor, patient care advocate.... :) Definitely a once in a lifetime nursing position!
Just over 4 years ago we bought our first house in the east end of Toronto. I can almost say I have a view of the lake ... if I stand on the corner of my street facing south in the fall or early spring- yes I can see Lake Ontario. LOL Our house is not large, but it's just the right size for the two of us and our pets. We have a very small backyard- 17' wide by 60' long, but I have it, and the front yard, jam packed with over 60 roses, hundreds of perennials, bulbs, and annuals, plus some fruit and veggies. It's a beautiful garden, and it's where I go to de-stress and relax. Gardening has become a major second hobby of mine.
Since we live just down the street from a very large Toronto hospital I decided to apply for a position there. I've worked in the Emergency department for about 3.5 years. It's a challenging job but I love it. I work 12 hour at a time, and while the shifts go by fairly quickly, I'm usually exhausted once I get home. My husband also works in the hospital. The two of us have it made- we can walk to work, we don't have to fill up our car with expensive gas too often, and we even save on car insurance since we were able to change it just to casual driving.
Oh, my husband left the jewellery industry shortly after I did and went back to school to become a computer electronics tech. Unfortunately the computer industry took a dive shortly after 9/11 and he was laid off. That's when he ended up seeking work at the hospital and now we sometimes work together again.
"but...." you say you "want to know how I got interested in water dragons" ... are you really still reading this? Is anyone really still awake? Well I know someone must still be reading so I'll tell you how I became interested in water dragons and other herps, I mean you did ask didn't you? :)
It all started back when I was a little girl. I was probably less than two when I saw my first herp, and probably about 5 when I realized that I just simply loved them. :) We used to have a cottage on old family land, by a creek, and a pond, and we used to spend what felt like pretty much the whole summer up there when I was growing up- well at the very least just about every weekend from April to October or so, as well as a full week or two in the summer. :) The pond was just full of frogs, and tadpoles- I spent many a day trying to catch them (and getting eaten by mosquito's!), and the creek had all kinds of wildlife in it and around it- from trout, to clams, crayfish, turtles, frogs, salamanders, snakes, beaver, muskrats, to curious little mice that would jump in the water and actually swim if you frightened them! Oh, and all kinds of birds too- owls, hawks, ducks, even geese sometimes, swallows, chickadees, finch, cardinals, bluejays ... the list goes on and on...
I spent many May's and June's looking for the nesting sites of the water turtles- I usually found them after the eggs had hatched :), and for the actually hatchlings- they were so cute- sometimes my parents would let me keep a turtle hatchling, tadpole, frog or salamander that I had found for the weekend, but I'd always have to let it go before we went home. I think my parents had had enough of my brothers (older) bringing home turtles etc. and the various mishaps that had occurred to last a life time! So No I was never allowed to keep and care for a herp for any length of time while I was growing up- but I sure did learn an awful lot about them in their natural habitats. :)
When I was 18 I moved away from home, and when I was about 19 I purchased my first herps! I have always had a passion for turtles (the chocolate ones too!). :) So I went out and purchased a large aquarium and various supplies, then I went to see a local breeder and bought two painted turtles, and two red eared sliders. While I was at the breeder I also saw and fell in love with a box turtle and just had to have her! So the breeder sold me 5 turtles in all and a tank to keep the box turtle in too! Talk about impulse purchases- I only went there to buy one turtle! I didn't have a car at the time so I had a wonderful ride home on the bus, with three shoe boxes full of turtles scratching and making various strange noises, and an aquarium, and everyone on the bus giving me very strange looks. :)
The turtles and I got along famously for 3 years. No they didn't all die! (: The water turtles grew like weeds, mated, and fought, and really really messed up their water! I eventually realized that I liked my box turtle the best, and it was much easier to care for after all (no water to change every day or every second day- just a dish of water to soak in and drink from that I changed daily) So I gave my water turtles away to a couple of different friends and yes they are all still alive and doing great! :) I had my box turtle for another two years (5 in all), but she got a respiratory infection and died. (: I wish I knew all that I do now back then- but I just didn't have enough knowledge or informative contacts at that time, I'm sure that if I had had the info that I now know she would be alive today. (: Chris just loved her too, and when she died we thought about replacing her but just couldn't bring ourselves to do it. (:
Since we couldn't replace our box turtle we began to think about getting a lizard. Well it took us three years to get around to gathering information, and choosing just the right lizard but we eventually settled on water dragons. :) I don't think that I have to go into the water dragon story on this page since I think it's fairly well told throughout my pages:)
Gee I think I've told you pretty much my life story- happy childhood, various careers, love of reptiles, hobbies... oh no! I forgot to talk about hobbies other than gardening, didn't I! Well I'm just too busy - I don't have any! (joking !) Of course I do ... wanna hear about them? Briefly????.... Aw come on....
I did say briefly didn't I?... Well Chris and I both love the water dragons so that is hobby number one, then there is music- Chris is a musician, he plays 13 different instruments- so our house is full of both live and recorded music ie cd's. We are interested in many types of music- from rock classics to todays' rock, some alternative, classical, jazz, flamenco, I guess you could say just about everything other than pop and rap. :) We also both sing- the dragons just stared at us when we'd sing or when Chris plays his acoustic guitar, and they'd gradually creep closer to us- I figure they either loved it or were so appalled by it that they just couldn't look away. :) Chris and I also just love the outdoors- we spend time in the winter skating (Chris plays hockey sometimes), and even hiking in the cold! In the summer we like to camp, canoe, hike, rock climb, bicycle, swim.... anything to keep busy! Chris loves watching the documentaries on TLC and the Discovery Channel, I like them too but I'm pickier than he is :) besides I'm always too busy answering email to watch T.V.!, and I like to curl up in bed and read horror stories or detective murder mysteries- I know yuck- but I never have nightmares, I think I get them out of my system before bed by reading that horrible stuff that humans do! :)
I'd also like to let you know that I'm Canadian. A lot of people write to me and just assume that I'm American. Now I don't have anything at all against Americans, in fact some of my best Internet friends are good 'ol Americans, but I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm in Canada, and that this page was written in Canada too (Toronto, Ontario, Canada to be exact! :) You know the country where the telephone, Insulin for diabetes, Hockey and Basketball were invented as well as many other modern inventions. :) Canada is a beautiful country, from coast to coast, you really should visit us sometime! :)
Holy smokes! I hope you guys made it to the end! Wow, is this every long! I started off typing thinking that I would write a paragraph or two and instead wrote pages of info about myself! And I thought I was a modest person- guess not if I can say this much about myself! Well you really didn't read it all did you? You say you did ... but I don't know there was a lot of boring autobiographical stuff in there... are you sure your telling me the truth? :) Well if you did make it through the whole thing you deserve a real gold star!
P.S Check out my new blogs- started in 2006- Tricia's Musings - where you can learn even more about my day to day life and thoughts; and Odd Planet , a blog that I've created to capture some of the amusing odd news stories and other things that I think are amusing.
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April, 10, 2012
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