as many expats know, when considering an overseas posting, you really worry about your kids and how they will adjust. i was constantly worried about my kids missing their friends, their schools, their bedrooms, all things i knew that they would get over, but there was one area that i always considered non-negotiable...pets!!! my kids would not be in therapy when they were older because i had given their pets away. they may be in therapy for other horrible things that i did, but not because i left their beloved pets behind!
we said "no" to england because of the quarantine rules, and "no" to other countries because the frog couldn't go...yes, you read that correctly, the frog! i have a very patient husband, who works for an even more patient company!
when the option for germany came up, it seemed all animals were good to go...the company even said they would ship "norm" the goldfish, although there was only a 50-50% chance that "norm" would make it. i had to draw the line at the goldfish...i was not going to ship the goldfish! so, "norm" went to live with our friends in a enormous pond, with 6 other fish. he would be happy there, but how would the youngest expat handle this?
"i'm getting a lizard when we get to germany!" he stated as we drove away from norm's new abode.
"what about another fish?" i asked.
"nope, a lizard...a big one!"
great i thought, a "big lizard" just what we need. maybe he will forget this desire for a "big lizard" by the time we arrive in germany and settle for another fish!
well, the desire didn't die, in fact it got stronger. constant searches on google, constant discussions about how big the cage would be. it seemed inevitable, we were going to be the owners of a lizard, a not too "big" lizard.
when we arrived in germany and got settled we knew we could put it off no longer, we went lizard shopping. after a few weeks of searching and research, we came home with "spikes" the most adorable lizard i have ever seen. "spikes" is incredibly easy to take care of...crickets, veg and a large amount of handling. we all love this little lizard. he has a personality! he eats out of your hand, runs to the front of the cage when you walk in the room and actually cocks his head when you talk to him, so you can imagine the distraught when we noticed "spikes" wasn't acting quite right...
i noticed it late monday afternoon, he was dragging his back leg. great, i thought, he's somehow broken his leg! so, of course i turn to google. is there a "vet m.d." website? there's not, however, there are a lot of "bearded dragon" websites, and it appeared that we needed to see someone about this problem, and fast.
my german is tested on a daily basis, but having to call the vet and explain this situation was really going to be hard!! think, think...finally i decided i would call the reptile store where we got him! so, after explaining to them what was happening i was told that i needed to bring him in immediately!
off we go, into the center of dusseldorf, during rush hour, with lizard in tow!
after poking and prodding the poor little lizard the man looks at me...
"have you been giving the lizard his vitamins frau barrie?"
"vitamins?" i ask "no, i didn't know he needed vitamins."
"of course he does! that is the problem, he hasn't been getting his vitamins and calcium and he is now taking calcium from his back legs!"
so, being corrected by german people is common in my life, and in most cases i really don't mind it, but when you make me feel like i have intentionally deprived this poor animal of it's calcium, that will make me mad!!!
"i'm sorry ma'am, but your lizard needs to go to hospital!"
the first thought in my mind was "please don't let him die"...the second was "great, how much is this going to cost?"
so, spike is now in lizard hospital getting daily calcium shots and should be fine, my hubby and i are in the dog house with my youngest expat as we should have been giving him the vitamins, and i'm actually praying that we get the lizard back, as the german's are huge animal lovers and don't look highly upon people that mistreat them! this probably means i shouldn't let anyone see the cowhide that i brought back from america before i get the lizard back, should i????
i'll keep you posted on the patient...