Rene’ Littlehawk: New friends come in all shapes and colors | CraigDailyPress.com

Rene’ Littlehawk: New friends come in all shapes and colors

Rene' Littlehawk/For the Craig Daily Press

Rene' Littlehawk

I've had a wide variety of pets. Dogs, cats, horses and even the occasional snake. I recently welcomed a new friend and a whole new experience to my little family.

As I was wandering through the pet store downtown, I was drawn to a particular habitat. She was a most dressy shade of green and elegant in her movement. A funny little walk that was most endearing to watch. I made some inquiries to the owner of the store and went home to prepare a habitat and do some research.

I had fallen for a veiled chameleon. My research showed me her origin and care. I researched the best way to set up her new home and what to expect from her behavior.

Chameleons are unlike any other pet I've owned. They have some similarities to other reptiles I have had in the past, but many differences. They prefer to drink the water collected on the leaves of the plants in their homes or even a drip system. They enjoy a regular misting to maintain their hydration — and they are the coolest hunters!

When I got her home and settled, I enjoyed watching her explore. She has the most interesting walk and eyes! They don't miss a thing.

I gave her a day to become accustomed to her home, and then I started her feeding schedule. She was served her first few crickets for dinner. I must really be easy to entertain because I had more fun watching her move around and hunt than I could ever have guessed!

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I'm not sure of the reason, but most of us really enjoy the caring for and viewing of so many different animals. They teach responsibility and patience to adults and children. They give us hours of pleasure and distraction from the daily grind that can get all of us down. Just the pure entertainment and pleasure of watching them relaxes and unwinds us.

All my little friends medicate my stress levels. Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that a chameleon or any other pet is for everyone. You have to want the responsibility and be able to spend both the time and the money to keep any animal healthy and happy. Feed, shelter, vet bills; all of these things have to be taken into consideration. And the right pet for the right person. You have to match personalities.

I personally, can't imagine my life without all my little family members and the joy and therapy they provide for me. All for a little love and caring in return.