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Happy Lizards Stamp by CatharsisJB Happy Lizards Stamp by CatharsisJB
From the full-sized: [link]

This stamp does actually have some meaning. I hope you will read this.

Since I started posting these gecko pictures, I've ended up (purposely or otherwise) encouraging people to go out and invest in the hobby of reptile-keeping. Some people who have picked up crested geckos in the recently past months, I'm sure, are well-suited to the task of keeping their new pets happy. However, I do need to add a note of caution.

Geckos, or reptiles of any kind, are not like kitties and puppies.

You can't just go out and get one and take it in to just any vet when it gets sick; do your research ahead of time and make sure you have a herp-knowledgeable veterinarian in your area, or in an area that you are willing to drive to.

You can't handle them a ton like you can with mammal pets or they get stressed out; they are, for the most part, a look-but-don't-touch-too-much set of creatures. When I photograph my lizards, I take them out for about 10-15 minutes to do so and they go right back in to rest.

Some reptile species tend towards "mean." You can often train dogs out of bad behavior; there is very little you can do to stop an iguana from taking a chunk out of your hand aside from learning how to hold the animal to avoid the teeth and tail. When your beautiful Tokay gecko draws blood just because you wanted to pick him up, you can't yell "NO" at him or take him into the Lizard Training Class. That's just how they are.

There are entry-level lizards and there are animals that beginners have no business owning. Crested geckos are very easy to care for, as far as reptiles go. They still have specific requirements that must be met. You can take a kitten home with a food and water dish and a litterbox, and it's mostly set and happy. Reptiles need special humidity gauges so you can make sure they're shedding properly. They usually have very specific diets you need to follow. They need specific heat settings - too much temperature change one way or the other can stress an animal out, lead to poor eating, and eventually kill it. They need places in their enclosures in which they can feel safe, and enough room for something their size to move around. (PLEASE do research to find out how big your animal will get before you make your commitment! A 5-inch iguana baby can turn into a 6-foot monster. If you have no room for the end product, you should not get that adorable baby.)

Most importantly, there are tons of conflicting care sheets out there. When I first looked into getting crested geckos, I read that baby food was a viable food source for them. Only after a few weeks of digging around (BEFORE making my gecko purchase) did I discover that that feeding method is outdated and possibly dangerous to the health of the gecko, as baby food is formulated for, well, human babies. There are now better options out there.

I encourage you, if you are looking to bring home a reptile pet, to get involved in not just one, but several internet forums for your specific animal if you can. Lurk, ask questions, understand what you are getting into. If that's not an option, look to see if your area has a local Herp Society. Visit reptile swaps/shows. Ask many different breeders what they recommend for keeping animals healthy. Don't just go by one source, because that one source could be misinformed, outdated, or just dangerously incorrect (though there are some conscientious keepers there, I've discovered that YouTube is a horrible repository for many dangerous animal-keeping "tips"). Keep your eyes open and be flexible and willing to change the way you care for your animals if it becomes apparent that your old method of husbandry is outdated.

Jumping in headfirst to almost anything can be dangerous - doing so with reptile-keeping can be dangerous to your new pet. Please, keep your lizards, snakes, tortoises, whatever, happy, and do some research before you buy.

If you use this stamp, do it to support being well-informed about your pets!
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Shiwolf Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice stamp. Who doesn't like happy geckos? :D
RhythmLizard Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2007
I'm a use this, k? :)
queenpili Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2007
Hehe my bf has geckos, but one of them killed his anole. He also has an iguana and a bearded dragon.

I guess this applies to any "lizard" :D
CatharsisJB Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2007
How did the gecko kill the anole? :( Some geckos are very mean, it's not a good idea to make them live together.
queenpili Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2007
I don't know how it was, but you can ask my bf .
Aeyoqen Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2007   Filmographer
I'm really glad I found this! I've recently been looking into purchasing a gargoyle gecko, and have been reading books as well as spending endless hours on the internet. It makes me sad to see people who buy these guys on a whim, without really understanding what it entails (internet forum quote - "I have to feed them WHAT!?").
I'm definitely adding this to my journal.
VirginiaVitamins Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2007
Thank you for posting this. I agree wholeheartedly.:)
Aasiya Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2007
Yeah, it is harder taking care of reptile pets then mammal pets.
Lluhnij Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2007  Professional General Artist
I'm going to add this to my journal, your message is very important. Thank you! :hug:
SunGryphon Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Great stamp, wonderful message. I'll be adding this to my collection.

You need to make an "I :heart: Gecko Toes" stamp, though
tigerbitten Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007
BRAVA! What you speak is truth. I had that same problem when I bought a ropefish for my friend's fishtank. It surprised us both when it slithered out of water onto the floor--we didn't know that it could do that! So for all of spring break I ran around looking for information on the snakey-like fish.

Since then I've come to love Earl and his kind...or her kind. Still haven't figured out if it was male or female =D
carthaki Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007
Great stamp.

Fortunately AND unfortunately, by generating an interest in any particular kind of aminal, you will get both 'positive' and 'negative' interest.

Humans seem to always be looking for the 'next big thing' - and they dont always do the thinking ahead of time to realize that they may not be equipped to handle what they're getting themselves into.

One of the 'positive' things that I have found in my years of keeping reptiles - and something I feel I should point out - is that while they are less snuggly and cuddly than say, a dog or cat might be, they are also less likely to grow attached to the person keeping them. That being said - if a person can realize their mistake in having purchased their little critter, they can find a better home for them without stressing the bugger out a terrible amount. By doing a little research, it is generally possible and easy to find a reputable breeder or store (NOT PETCO OR SOME OTHER CHAIN) willing to take the lizard for store credit, and sometimes even cash.

Even if they cant pay you for them, it is better to give them back and know they will have a happier, healthier life.
RedEarthStables Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012
I totally agree. :) Especially if the individual is involved in a reptile society, like a forum or city club. I know many people on the forum i haunt who would help if a little one needed a better home.
CatharsisJB Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2007
Yeah, unfortunately a lot of people let reptiles go just like they let kittens go out in the country. And a lot of people feel ashamed when they can't care for an animal anymore. Blah.

Oh, I did just read about a shelter that takes in animals for military folks working overseas. I thought that was awesome.
RedEarthStables Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012
The hardest thing about people releasing undesired animals is its just killing them slowly. Depending on the climate, they might not make a single night, or they could take over an ingenious species if the climate is suitable to them. Both outcomes being bad. >.<
carthaki Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2007
Definitely! Thats such a cool idea.
neonerd336 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007
Sadly have any geckos, but at least I am into herps... I have a bearded dragon named Titus and actually, he loves to be held and be sociable
CatharsisJB Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007
Bearded dragons are one of the more handleable breeds, yes, but they still have complicated care standards that people don't always take into consideration.
StringOfLights Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
I definitely know what you mean... My boyfriend ended up with a leopard gecko (now residing in my house) that's missing an eye because her first owner put IODINE in her eyes. Because they looked cloudy. Erm, I dunno, because she was going to shed? She also lost a few toes because she wasn't shedding properly. Anyway, she was rescued by a herp guy who is brilliant with reptiles, but he didn't have time to spend hours hand feeding her, so now Alex has her. She has gotten so much fatter in the past few months, her good eye has cleared up, and we've actually got her hunting mealworms in her tank a little. It's so great to see her thriving, but it's also absolutely horrible that she's on her third owner. Geckos are not uncomplicated pets!
shads Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007
"Erm, I dunno, because she was going to shed?"

Leos' eyes do not go cloudy when they shed. They have eyelids ;P
StringOfLights Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
Her eye definitely clouds on occasion and it clears up after a shed... She probably wasn't shedding her eye caps properly (leopard geckos have gone blind from that), or had some underlying issue that wasn't addressed. Regardless of the problem, putting iodine in anything's eye is just about the dumbest thing you could do. Her eye actually fell out. :(
Foam-Addict Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I feel the exact same way, I acually yelled at a coworker who said "I so need to get one of those" after seeing your photos and gave her a good tounge lashing. I one day want to get an Iguana, and I figured I should read a few sites before getting one, only to find out it's basicly like buying a human child, for all the attention and care it needs. I read sites for weeks and bought books and all that and decided there was no way I would ever buy one of those beautiful critters until I had a stable job (in university) and wasn't living in an apartment.

I think a lot of people just have no idea and don't care to even spend 5 minutes looking up something cause they want it now now now. That makes me sad and I applaud you for trying to get the word out.

Also if anyone knows any good green iguana forums I'd love to know so I can troll them for the next year before I might be able to get my herp.
eugeal Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome, I added it to my journal :)
ookaminokage Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007
I really appreciate this. My aunt once took in a turtle that some neglected insanely. He wasn't fed properly, so he had muscle problems, and he never had a heat lamp until she took him in. Since the jerk had him since he was just a baby, his shell never developed properly. He died a few months later, but at least he died in a place with loving people who knew how to take care of him. R.I.P. Leonardo.

You do the reptile world a great deal of good by making people aware of what it takes to take care of them. Thank you. I know thousands of herps out there are thanking you too, in their own way ^_^
Foozma73 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007   Photographer
very well put. Herp keepers should all know this, otherwise, in my opinion, they have no business keeping them.

Thanks so much for including the description with your stamp! As a herp keeper for 20 years now.... I see much neglect and misinformation out there. Its nice to see someone present the correct information right up front.
komiks Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007
lol great now im gonna be seeing this everywhere along with that i support latex one...
LeoEyes Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007
^ so true, reptiles do require some very specialized care in comparison to dogs and cats. They aren't for everyone ;)

Lovely stamp *favs*
the-moof Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007  Professional Photographer
EXCELLENT comment. well done. I have to add that I completely agree, and in support of the forum thing, i suggest that anyone out there, looking into going for geckos, joins [link] , because it by far the best gecko forum I know of, and there are so many knowledgeable people (this is not advertising, I don't work for them, but it is merely advice ;) )

thanks for this stab at saving our reptilian friends.
faerywitch Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Good job, girl. i feel the same that you. I cared for an baby squirrel that was orphaned and everybody goes "cuuuuuuuuuuuuuutteeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! i want oneeeee!!!" Without even thinking about how hard it is to take care of a baby squirrel, feeding him every 3 hours constantly, bringing him with you everywheres, trying to keep him from injury in a house, etc.
vladxc Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
lovely stamp :)
NycterisA Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
GREAT stamp. :love:
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March 1, 2007
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