Lucy’s New Coat

One morning, when I looked into Lucy’s house

I was surprised to see that she was shedding her skin

like Mr. Frog who used to lease her house.


By the time I finished chopping everybody’s fruit and veggies for breakfast

The skin had peeled off her shoulders, and

She was scratching like a little dog with fleas!

If it hadn’t been so terrible looking, I would have laughed.


When I finished delivering everybody else’s breakfast,

I came back to check on her.

She was a frightful sight!

She was alternately rubbing her back against a crook in her tree

And returning to her basking spot to warm herself.

She looked miserable.


So, I put her in a warm bath.

I found Mr. Frog’s old skin in his “pond” once,

So I figured the warm water would help to loosen the old skin.

I always place her on a piece of a bar mop towel for secure footing.

Sure enough, the old skin slid right off in the water, and

She looked much happier.

Later, when I fed the roaches, she leaped right into the dish

And pounced on her lunch with what I imagined to be renewed enthusiasm.

I probably should feed the roaches in a small container with a ring that is designed for bug lunches,

But, instinct tells me that she would much prefer to be able to leap off her tree

And pretend that she is stalking her prey.

The white stuff is calcium powder.

I haven’t found a practical way to dust it on the roaches without getting it everywhere.


Sporting her new coat, Lucy retreated to her basking spot

looking every bit the fierce Lady Dragon.

She’s grown an inch and is much fatter, wider and sturdier-looking now.

You can see how thick her tail has grown.

It has a “crook” in it that makes it look as if it were broken.

That is a bone malformation resulting from a calcium deficiency

Either in the egg or later before I got her.

I am hopeful that the calcium supplement will correct the disease

So that she can live a normal life.


29 Comments on “Lucy’s New Coat

  1. What a fascinating post! I don’t particularly like reptiles of any kind, but you make lucky Lucy seem almost human!! šŸ™‚


  2. You are the dragon whisperer! Another fabulous photo story about a critter which I know very little about. You make her quite adorable. I love how much you love and care for the little creatures than few of us notice. And I’ve been catching up on a bunch of your posts which had comments turned off, I guess. I was frustrated by only being able to click the star. But…I do understand. Just know, how much I appreciate your wonderfully inspiring posts. Do you get to eat the date fruit from your date trees?


  3. Very good photography on these shots of skin shedding, loved this tail (tale) šŸ™‚


  4. Wow, you really captured so much of the shedding here! I can really imagine what she must have felt like trying to get that skin off and what a relief it must have been for her to be immersed in the warm water. Her face seems somehow so expressive! She is definitely rounding out, isn’t she. šŸ™‚ Does the bone malformation in her tail cause pain, do you know? I hope, too, that the calcium supplement will prevent further problems.


    • No, the bone malformation doesn’t cause pain, I’m sure. It’s like a curvature of the spine, I guess. She just has a crooked tail. I hope the calcium supplements and the UVB light will prevent the bone disease from doing progressive damage. Supposedly, that stops or reverses the damage. She really is funny when she turns her head and looks directly at me. She follows whatever I’m doing with those shiny eyes! šŸ™‚


    • Lucy thanks you for the compliment. No, she doesn’t mind the calcium. She pays no attention to it. Thanks, Richard! šŸ™‚


  5. That Lucy is one lucky girl!!! It’s great that you’re interested in doing the very best possible things for all your assorted creatures!


    • She’s funny too. Her new habitat was delivered today. It is designed especially for Bearded Dragons and I assume for most desert lizards. It will make regulation of humidity and temperature and UVB light much simpler. And it has solid walls on three sides to make the enclosure comfortable for these reclusive creatures. I’m excited about it. And Lucy will do well in it, too. Thanks, Linda.


  6. I wish WE could shed our skins. As for dusting the roaches with the calcium powder…could you dampen the crunchy critters and put them in a baggy with the powder creating your own version of shake ‘n bake…or shake ‘n munch, I guess…?


    • That’s precisely what the experts recommend as the method for dusting. šŸ™‚ I tried that and ended up dumping the powder out too! I have a hand tremor that makes me very awkward. I’ll try it again, though. Thanks! This little critter requires some specialized care that I didn’t know about when I scooped her up that day in the pet store! Chuckle… I do enjoy watching her. The Bearded Dragons are fascinating creatures. šŸ™‚ Thanks, Ogee!


  7. Beautiful pictures, George – and as ever a touching and enthralling read. I hope you’re fine. Your parcel will be posted next week. Adrian


    • Hi, Adrian! Thank you. I’m always happy that you enjoy my stories about the critters. I can’t wait to get the parcel. It’s just too good of you to send it to me. šŸ™‚


  8. Such special and attentive care … it’s clear you’ve done your homework. I have finally decided that, in my next life, I would very much like to return to this world as one of your very special pets … what say you to that George? Yours are very lucky creatures. D


    • Well, everything I drag home requires some kind of special care. You’d be easy compared to some of my brood! I had no idea that dragons required such specialized care. They’re desert animals, of course, so you have to replicate desert conditions for them. Precise temperatures, humidity levels, and UVB light are critical to their survival. I have to keep the Dubia roaches and gut-load them 48-72 hours before feeding them. She has to have calcium, Vitamin D3, probiotics, and a vitamin/mineral supplement in addition to her bugs and fruits/veggies. Did you know that they don’t recognize standing water as drinkable? You have to drop water on their noses or spray them. And, I soak her for twenty minutes ever few days to hydrate her. AND, they go into a brumation period in the winter in which they retreat to a “cave” and don’t eat or drink for a couple of months. Most dragons that are sold in pet stores don’t live for even a year according to the the information I’ve read about them. Such a sad thing that we keep wild animals without understanding their needs. Such animals really are not pets. They should be kept, if at all, simply as interesting wild specimens that we observe in an environment that is as close to their natural one as possible! By the way, somebody is building my “home” just down the street. It’s a huge care facility for old folks. We joke about “my house” when we pass by it! I wonder if they’re prepared to provide for such a specimen as me… Chuckle… I doubt it! šŸ™‚


    • Ah, you’re too kind, Celestine! Sometimes, I feel bad to be keeping wild animals, but I tell myself that I’ve rescued them from a fate that would have been far worse. I was sad to hear that Maya Angelou is gone from us. She was a fascinating woman who taught us how to live. I think it was as simple as that. Having been able to read her words and to have seen and heard her during my lifetime remains one of the most significant experiences of my life. Thank you for stopping in to visit us!


  9. Your photography is National Geographic standard… I think you should upload a few of these photos to their site… check out this assignment… your photos would fit in perfectly and they are just too good not to… I’m on there with a few of my shots, so don’t be shy I think yours are better than mine…


    • Ah, thank you, Rob! You’re too kind. My photos aren’t nearly as good as yours. Do you recall my asking you a long time ago about your camera? I saw your shots of the golf course and was amazed at how really professional they were. You said you were just a “Point and Shooter”… Which I did not believe! Chuckle… Later, I discovered that you had a natural eye for photography. The great photographer, Marco Grob, said that the camera and lens made no difference. I’ve seen some fantastic photos shot with point-and-shoot cameras. And some really bad one shot with expensive equipment. You and I dabble in something we love. That makes the difference, I guess. We don’t aspire to be the next famous wildlife photographer. We just enjoy what we do and hope to leave a bit of ourselves for our children and grandchildren. That’s the joy of life whatever we’re doing, I think. But, I do appreciate your enjoyment of my stories and photos, Rob. I enjoy yours just as much. I guess we’re a mutual admiration society of two. And, hell, that’s as good as it gets in this life! šŸ˜‰


    • Ha-ha! Wouldn’t it be great? We’d look about as miserable as Lucy did if we shed all at once, though. Thanks for stopping by to visit us! šŸ™‚



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