Arvo, a Bearded Dragon, had been a gift to Steve over ten years ago from a troubled student whom I homeschooled through high school. Wyatt and I had formed a winning education team over lizards (his fascination) and he was putty in my hands because I had a 5' long iguana (Duke) whose molted skin I had given the 8 year old boy at our first meeting. These reptiles were an important part of our bonding and our curriculum.
Arvo (which is Good Day in his native language) was a happy go-lucky guy who never had a bad day. Watching his hippy hoppy swivel hipped run across the carpet was guaranteed to elicit a chuckle and his antics in the bath as he waded were equally funny. As a pup, White Dog would stand, paws on the edge of the tub and stare at Arvo in fascination. He added his own dimension and lessons to our family. He will be missed.
And now as White Dog and I sit together to write this tribute, Steve has come to me, carrying one of the Sugar Glider houses. In it sits Chuck, and Steve's face makes me reach in and pick up the silky soft boy. He is frightened for a moment and makes little sounding squeaks looking for his brother (who is still in their cage). I look hard at him and realize that he is blind. I move my hand around and hold his favorite toy in front of him but he does not respond...he doesn't see the movement or the change in light or the objects. In brighter light his eyes have a cataract glaze. Steve tells me that he hasn't seen Chuck for the last 3 days at feeding time (they are nocturnal; and his shyness not unusual) but something told him to investigate further. We put his food into his shelter and he ate well and he appears to have no other visible physical issues...both good signs...but we both wonder if a blind Sugar Glider can maintain himself...so tomorrow, first thing, I call Dr. Julia.
I am not superstitious but the old adage about "Bad things coming in threes..." leaves me nervous.
The CountUp: This is post 1,998.