The Boys

The time has come to plan for homes for the animals.

I got to know Ed Kammer and his family when I bought Hugo from them some months ago.

They are Panther Chameleon breeders atΒ Kammerflage Kreations in Corona, California.

When I called to tell Ed that I had to find homes for Hugo and Sammy,

he generously offered to take the chameleons to find homes for them.

He arranged for the shipment, sent the shipping container to me, and handled every single detail for me.

He has been in the reptile business for 34 years.

And, he is one of the finest people I’ve ever met.

 

Those are the last photos of Hugo.

He is a Kammerflage Kreations Panther Chameleon.

Ed Kammer and the Kammer family breed beautiful chameleons.

And, of course, Little Sammy whose dubious pedigree is PetSmart!

Although the Krammers don’t breed Veiled Chameleons,

Ed has years of experience with them and is prominent in the chameleon world.

So, he knows lots of folks who would help to place the boys.

 

As soon as Sammy and Hugo arrived,

Ed’s delightful daughter, Briana, took these cell phone

photos to send to me.

They wanted to reassure me that the boys were fine!

Their flight took them through Memphis and on to Corona, California.

There was a little hitch when the FedEx driver missed the arranged hour and went on toward another town,

But Cheryl got on the phone and convinced the driver to turn around and bring them back!

The shop manager has already adopted Little Sammy!

Thanks to Ed and the entire family of Kammerflage Kreations,

the future for Sammy and Hugo is assured.

My gratitude and blessings to all of you!

56 Comments on “The Boys

  1. Awww…How sweet of Ed’s daughter to send pictures of them to you.
    {Hugs}

    I know that you are not a huggie type person. But – I am so- {more hugs} πŸ˜‰
    xo

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    • Your hugs are welcome. I reserve the acceptance of hugs from a very few folks, but you’re one of them! Lord, who could resist THE ROSY! It was very kind of Briana to send the photos when they opened the container. They knew I was anxious about the boys. The funny thing is that they were ready to chase down the FedEx driver in the next town to retrieve them so they wouldn’t have to tell me the boys were lost. Actually, Ed said they would have been fine until delivery the next day, but he wasn’t about to tell me they didn’t have them! πŸ™‚ I don’t blame him. I wouldn’t have wanted to tell ME that either. LOL

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  2. Priceless photos of your ‘boys’ George! Thank you for showing us how gorgeous these creatures truly are. This post gave me a scare. Relieved to know you are not sick. Hugs πŸ™‚

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    • I have no idea why I’m still here and feeling fine. Too mean to die, I reckon. The pulmonologist said I’d probably not fit the pattern given my “attitude”. I didn’t dare to ask “what attitude”? Chuckle… Since I was telling HIM what I would and would not do… When he actually thanked me for allowing them to “poke holes” in me, I laid my hand on his arm and said with a grin, “My pleasure!” Even that intensely serious man chuckled. Life is fun to the end, I think. Thank you, Madhu. I love seeing that Gravatar every time. It makes me smile knowing you are there and taking the time to visit me. πŸ™‚

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  3. Parting is such sweet sorrow. I am so glad you have found good homes for everyone. But I am sad that there will be no more of those stunning chameleon photos in my reader. I see from the comments above that your characteristic pragmatism seems to carry you through the loss of your beauties. That is good. I’m sure your home felt a little hollow after the boxes of love left. I hope you are still painfree and as mobile as you need to be. Love to you, George.

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    • Hi, Linda! It is what it is. That’s my philosophy. I never looked back in my life. I totally enjoyed the boys, but I knew that I had to find homes somewhere since nobody here that I know could take care of them or would want to do it. Reptiles are not the average pet, you know. I’ve been hearing from Briana about Hugo and Sammy. I was lucky to have known the Kammers!

      I am not sick. l feel as good as I ever did. Lordy, I am as flexible and mobile as I was twenty years ago. Cancer can be awful, if you choose treatment, but otherwise squamous cell cancer grows slowly and is unlikely to set up housekeeping anywhere else beside the original site of the tumor. I pay no attention to it. I guess people are so terrified of the word itself that they start to think they’re sick and hang around waiting to die. That’s a cultural thing that goes way back. I recall having seen an old woman sitting in a rocker on her porch in a house next to my grandparents house which was very close to our house. The entire side of her nose and face was eaten away. People who had breast cancer were the worst. They even smelled of necrotic flesh. And that was less than a century ago when nobody understood cancer.

      Thanks for the good wishes and love to you too, Linda! πŸ™‚

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  4. I am in awe of your photography, George. I felt part of the scene with the vibrant colors and the boys crawling about the place. I could feel the movement through your lens, so much so that the hair on my neck bristled a little at the thought of a reptile on my neck! They are beautiful farewell shots, and your philosophy and attitude has turned a poignant moment into to happy one. I am very relieved to learn that your cancer is slow growing, hopefully it will be sloth-like. πŸ˜‰ Take care, George, I know you will! xoxo

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    • Thank you, Elisa. What you do is set your camera on “auto” and try to point it in the right direction. πŸ™‚ It was funny that I had to just keep snapping since I could not see through the viewfinder with Hugo blocking it. He finally crawled off. These little guys have such soft, human-like feet that they are not creepy at all. And their skin is soft and dry. Not like those awful snakes! They look into your eyes and listen to your voice. They are a lot of trouble and their care is fairly complicated so they are not for most people who are not reptile people. You know me, I just leap right into the deep end knowing nothing about what I’m doing and then try to discover how to swim there! I feel fine. I wouldn’t know anything was wrong with me if I hadn’t had pneumonia back in July and discovered it. Cancer is just a frightening word in our culture. πŸ™‚

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  5. Oh, George, This is such a bittersweet post. I’m happy you found such a loving home for “the boys.” But I know what this means. 😦 Are you still able to take of your birdie buddies?

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    • Yes, I’m happy that they are in great hands. I am no sick. I am able to take care of the animals with Irma’s help. She cleans the cages and takes care of them when I am not here. But, there has to be a plan for everybody when I can’t take care of them. Cheeky will go to live with a longtime friend in Houston. Rita will go with an experienced bird handler who used to have an Amazon just like Rita and worked with redhead Mexican parrots years ago. He will understand her and be able to handle her. She is the one I was so worried about. Kelli will keep the chinchilla who likes her. I still have to place the bearded dragons, but they won’t be that hard to place since they are not difficult to take care of. They are considered to be beginner reptiles. Although, I didn’t think so when I was learning how to take care of them! πŸ™‚ I am happy that I am well enough to make all of the arrangements. If I had died suddenly, I have no idea what would have happened to them! Nobody in my family has any idea what to do with them. And nobody will touch Rita or the reptiles! Everything is good here, Lorna! Thanks!

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  6. I am sure your heart is peaceful, they will be well taken care of by such good people with such good hearts for animals, just like you.
    Sammy and Hugo were lucky to be your boys.
    My thoughts are with you George. xo

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    • I’m perfectly satisfied and happy with my life. I am so fortunate to have known such good people who will take the animals and love them. I was thrilled to see Little Sammy and Hugo arrive safely in better hands than my own! And to know that Little Sammy has gone to live with the shop manager! They won’t have any trouble placing Hugo since he is a fancy fellow.

      Thank you for thinking of me, but I’m probably considerably less stressed than you are. Chuckle… I really don’t know what to say to people who feel bad for me that I am going to die. It just seems such a natural part of life to me. But, maybe that’s because I’ve seen so much of death in my own family and as a social worker. Hell, we all die. It’s hardly a unique thing to do. πŸ™‚ I’m so lucky to have had such great experiences and to have lived long enough to finish my work here. The rest is just icing on the cake, Suzanne. You’re far too young to know that, but I hope you will feel exactly as I do when you are old. And, somehow, I believe you will. People who are close to animals and to the earth somehow develop an appreciation for the natural life cycle. And for the beauty in all stages of it. Life is good for me. Thanks, Suzanne! Keep up the gorgeous photography and keep telling the animal’s stories. πŸ™‚

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      • I will keep telling their stories George. Funny that you should write that..I had pretty much decided to let it go and leave the woodland life alone.
        I’m proud to “know” you George…a person who inspires love and caring and uses her intelligence to better us all.

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        • Thank you, Suzanne. I appreciate that. Although you do beautiful photographs of other things and write so very well, the animals are your best. I’m glad you will keep telling their stories! πŸ™‚ It is a special gift you have for seeing them as they live.

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  7. It is good that you found homes for them I only have one cat left and worry about her (141/2 yrs.) if she outlives us. I am sure that you miss the boys but are happy to know they will be taken care of as you would. It has been an experience learning about them and enjoying the great photos. We are all facing death and you have given us an example of how to face it. Quality of life is important. Take care, George, and relax a bit with less responsibility.

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    • Some cats live for 20 years, but you have that much time left, probably. Chuckle… You look mighty healthy to me. There are no rules about death. Birth and death are natural events if we can keep doctors out of it! I had to go for an x-ray today at the hospital and I was worried about that air-borne virus that’s going around here. I told the admissions girl that and she offered a mask which I refused, of course. There was a prominent sign telling people to wear masks in the hospital! Can you imagine? That’s the first time I ever saw that. Kelli and family all had flu and then that virus thing that’s a serious URI. I threatened to murder them if they came in my house! Chuckle… All I need is a lung infection… It’s hilarious to me that I would even concern myself with germs. I’m the most careless human you ever knew about being around sick folks, but I know now that it could be a bad thing for me to get those illnesses. Actually, I’m trying to avoid the discomfort of one! That stuff makes you sick. And I’ve never been really sick in my life. Anybody who was vaccinated before 1960 only got one measles vaccination. All of us are susceptible to measles probably. At least a good many of us are no longer immune. I’d have another vaccination if I didn’t have a compromised immune system. Texas is one of the states where the measles outbreak is. We should at least tell our kids to ask about it. πŸ™‚

      Yes, I knew that I had far too many animals and that it would become difficult to continue to care for them, so I am beginning to find homes for them. The parrots won’t leave immediately, of course, and Kelli will keep the chinchilla because he has fur. And he’s sweet. She does not like reptiles or birds in captivity! John Merritt will take Rita. He’s such a good man. He knows Amazons since he had one just like Rita! I am so lucky to have known John. Rita would be impossible to place. A friend from Houston is going to take little Cheeky. Things are working out perfectly. Life comes together in the end, you know. Chuckle… Thanks, Jo Nell. You are so good to follow me! Visit when you’re in town!

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  8. Beautiful photos as ever and not the first one to point out that the boys have gone from one excellent home to another. I haven’t know you for that long but so much fun knowing you even if it is through a series of farewell posts. Lucky Charlie, inheriting such a rich treasure trove of warm memories absolutely full of the joys of life. Which is not me meant to be sounding cheesy because I know you don’t do that but rather expressing my full admiration for your practical planning around that shhh topic that is death. I will be more than happy with a last cup of coffee and a cigarette (I don’t smoke, but what the heck, it’s not going to be the killer by then) to see me out. Preferably at home! All best to you George!

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    • Thank you, Patti. You’ve been too kind! I am not really sick yet. The kind of cancer that I have is slow-growing. It will take some time to kill me! Chuckle… I really should not have mentioned it early on, but I thought I would become too sick to post sooner. It appears that I will be around for quite a while yet. Thankfully, that gives me time to settle everything. It’s amazing how much there is to do to get out of here! πŸ™‚ Lawyers, accountants, financial advisers…it’s ridiculous. Whatever happened to the old way of life in which everybody lived on the same land and it just passed from one generation to the next virtually without a problem. Everybody died at home, was washed and dressed and buried in the family cemetery. Everybody got together and sat with the body at home until the burial. Brought food and visited and touched the body. Now, we hide and that is unhealthy. There is a movement underway to get back to a more natural death, but it will take a lot of cultural changes to happen for most people. Yes, have yourself a last cigarette or a glass of wine or a coffee before you check out. And don’t forget to laugh. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for following along, Patti!

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    • Hi, Adrian! I’m happy that the boys are in good hands. The Kammers are really fine people. And experts in chameleons and other reptiles. I was really happy that their shop manager took Little Sammy home with her. I’m doing fine, but I want to find homes for all of the animals while I still feel good and am able to take care of it. Life is good, Adrian. I hope you are doing well! Thanks for stopping by to visit us, as always! πŸ™‚

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  9. Good to know that the boys will be well taken care of George. It’s tough to find good homes for our animals, isn’t it? And, I don’t mean logistically … I mean emotionally. The difficulties say more about ‘us’ than it does about ‘them.’ Joanna and I knew it was time to find good homes for our cattle and our hogs when we finally realized that there were no profitable markets for them in our area. We couldn’t swing either cattle or hogs without being able to sell the product for more than it was costing us to raise it. Simple economics, but a very harsh lesson for us – to be sure. It was lots harder than I thought it would have been to load those animals onto trailers. Those days were full of both relief and sadness. I know you miss your boys but we both know that they are being well taken care of and that sending them along to Ed was the right and responsible thing to do. You and I know that doing the ‘right’ thing is always way more difficult than doing that which is purely self-serving (and easier). Not that it’s my place to be proud of anyone … but I’m proud of you. I didn’t much like the way you said ‘The time has come,’ and I will assume that was just your way of saying you were doing what you knew needed to be done – and no more. I hope you are comfortable and still able to see the bright side of things. Your comforting words of a couple of weeks ago no are still with me. They have helped. Thanks. D

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    • Yes, what I meant was that I needed to find homes for the animals, especially the ones that require more specialized care, while I still could do it easily. I feel fine. But I can no longer burn the candle at both ends the way I always did. That is mostly just annoying! There is no way I could leave here not knowing the fate of my beloved animals. The Chameleons were going to be the hardest to place. Thank goodness Ed came immediately to the rescue. And made the transfer so easy for me. The Kammers are fine people. And Ed is such a kind and generous man. And, Little Sammy already has a home with the manager of their business. She fell in love with him and took him home with her. I was most concerned about him since he is a veiled chameleon and they have the reputation of being hostile. I cannot imagine Sammy’s being hostile! But I got him when he was so young that he was never handled roughly. They are very sensitive creatures who have to be allowed to “come to you” if they choose. That’s why they are often described as “wall art”. Normally, they do not like to be held. I never picked up either one. They chose to climb onto me. But, I learned from Miss Rita that you cannot force wild animals to do anything! Chuckle… And I learned it the hard way! Most folks should stick to domesticated animals like dogs and cats! πŸ™‚ I hope the recent bad weather was not too bad at the farm! I am fine, Dave. Hello to Joanna! πŸ™‚

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      • I had to learn those very same lessons when raising cattle and, especially, hogs. Many farmers want animals to go where they want them to go, when they want them to do so, and quickly. Animals operate on their own schedules and will go where they want, when they want, and at their own pace. When these differing forces meet, it can be pretty ugly. I learned quickly, and under Joanna’s tutelage, that animal handling has to be taken very, very slowly and one must accommodate the animal’s habits and behavior patterns rather than the other-way-around. I’m glad you are doing well. Thanks for getting back so quickly. The weather has been problematic. We are currently under a winter storm warning for another 5-8″ of white stuff over night. The sheep are beginning to get a bit fed up with it all. Me too!

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  10. So sad to know that “the time has come,” dear George, but happy that your beautiful Boys have found such a good home. I can’t begin to imagine how you must have felt to see them leave. Sending you warm hugs and lots of positive thoughts. Sylvia x

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    • Hi, Sylvia! Actually, what I meant is that I can no longer burn the candle at both ends the way I always did. I feel fine. I just want to be certain that the exotic animals who require specialized care find homes where the people know about reptile care. The chameleons are not beginner reptiles, so I was more concerned about them than any of the others. I have always been astounded by the generosity of the people I’ve met in my life just when I needed them. Yep, the parting was bittersweet, but I was mostly happy to know that they were in more expert hands than my own! The Kammers will not sell one of their Panther Chameleons to anybody without having proof of the person’s ability to provide for them. It’s about like trying to adopt a baby human! I laughed about that when I was trying to buy Hugo. I had to send photos of his habitat! The worked with me every step of the way to obtain the correct cage, misting system, gutload products, etc. before they shipped Hugo to me. When I called Ed and told him the circumstances, he did not hesitate. He said that he wanted me to relax and leave it up to him. And he took care of absolutely everything. I was so happy to know that the boys are in far more competent hands than my own! Life works out, Sylvia! It really does! πŸ™‚

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  11. I was SO glad to see this post and learn that the boys are in good hands. I smiled when I saw that the shop manager had already adopted little Sammy. I’m happy I had the good fortune to get to be with the a little; they’re such interesting little things. The photos are always good.

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    • I’m not surprised that she fell in love with Sammy. He’s a sweetheart. She’s been there with the Kammers for ten years so she knows chameleons. I was a tiny bit worried that they would have a hard time placing Sammy. He has a cute face and personality that is very different from the Panthers that they breed so he was interesting to her, I’m sure. I knew they’d place Hugo easily so I wasn’t worried about him. Sammy is not shy like Hugo. It’s all worked out so well. Ed is one of the nicest guys I ever met. Now, everybody has a home except the Dragons. One of the boys at Mickey D’s may take them if his parent agree. He’s a really responsible, good kid who is in college here. He has a house that his parents bought for him and his brother to live in while they are here. He is coming to meet the dragons next week. πŸ™‚

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    • I dunno’! Chuckle… You can always un-follow, you know. You gave me a good laugh, though. That has to be worth something! Thanks, Kloz! πŸ™‚

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  12. Superb shots, George.I am glad you had such lovely people to help you rehome them…though I am pretty certain that it still hurt like hell. But you know, watching you, albeit from afar, as you consciously and deliberately let go of your life little by little… and talk about it (which is so rare in these days of hiding death uder the carpet! ) I can’t help thinking you have got it right… it is a better way to go than pretending.

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    • Well, Sue, if I’m anything, it’s a realist. I feel good, but I can no longer burn the candle at both ends! You know, life is a series of loses if you think about it. But, the loss is balanced by the joy. I’ve always felt that I am responsible for myself and for whatever I committed to. I wanted to find good homes for the animals while I still can. And it gives me a real sense of happiness to know that they will be loved and cared for. Have you read anything about postmortem photography of the 19th century? I read a comment on one of the sites that I follow in which the person said that the taboo surrounding death in the 20th century replaced the taboo re: sex in the 19th century. I can recall having seen folks “laid out” at home in my childhood. Touching and preparing bodies for burial was a family affair. It’s unfortunate that we hide from death and anything else that is painful, actually. We think anything should be curable and resist the notion of death in a very unhealthy way. Medical advances have done little to stop death, but people go to horrible lengths of suffering to avoid it because doctors encourage it. Few people have the good sense to refuse life-destroying treatments. It’s sad. I chose quality of life over suffering. An easy choice for me. Thanks for following along, Sue. πŸ™‚

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      • Yes, I have read up on the post mortem photography and agree with you that burying death, if you’ll excuse the pun, is the worst kind of repression. We’ve had family on the dining table in their coffins, I laid out my partner at home in our bed… it is a natural part of the process of separation and grieving as far as I’m concerned. History shows death has always been important to our cultures, no matter where in the world. Till now when it is a sanitised affair to be hidden.
        My partner took the course of refusal. He went through some of the treatments.. all the surgeries and the radio, etc… but there was a point where the side effects of the treatment were worse than the cancer, so he lived his life his way and died peacefully at home. On the toilet of all places with his head comfortably pillowed on the toilet tissue roll… he would have approved of the humour in that. πŸ™‚

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        • I agree. I would have appreciated the humor in it too! It only seemed natural that Dean would live and die at home, too. He didn’t have treatment at all. I think more people are realizing the futility of treatment for some conditions now. It’s a fact that doctors do not die the same way their patients do. They know. How a doctor can keep pushing treatment on people knowing the futility of it is beyond my comprehension! But, we’re all responsible for the decisions we make. If everybody who should refuse treatment actually did, the big pharmaceutical companies and the medical industry would go broke! Chuckle… πŸ™‚

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          • The sad thing is that people feel they have no longer any control faced with both hope and fear and the urging of the medical profession. I am not so sure we should always seek to prolong life just because we can… Having said that, if I have to make that choice for myself, how can I know until it happens whether I would choose to go with grace… and chuckles… or kicking and screaming all the way? πŸ˜‰ I hope I would choose the former.

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  13. Extraordinary creatures! Thank you for introducing me to the wonders of chameleons, George. I will miss seeing them. I get your love for them, sending them to good homes, when you would also want them near. God bless you and keep you, dear one xx

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    • Hi, Golden Girl! They are the most fascinating creatures. And fun too. They’re described as “wall art” animals since they normally do not like to be held. These two crawl all over me though. I guess it depends on the animal. I never picked them up. They just started climbing onto my arms when I reached into the cages. I think that’s the trick. I learned years ago that you cannot force a wild animal to do anything! Rita taught me that hard lesson! Chuckle… I feel good, but I have less stamina and I want to know that all of the animals have loving homes. I am happy for Hugo and Sammy! πŸ™‚ Thank you for sticking around, GG!! πŸ™‚

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    • Hi, Charlene! Yes, it makes me very happy to know that the boys are in better hands than my own! I miss them, but it was time to find a home since they require such specialized care. It was going to be very difficult to find anybody here who knew how to keep chameleons. Or even wanted one! Thank you, Charlene. You are always here. I appreciate that, you know! πŸ™‚

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  14. What can one say after reading this post ? The photos are National Geographics good…. but the news is not so good…. you have had such fun with the chameleons and the photos you’ve shared have been brilliant… and now they go off to new homes, wwhat a shame… if I’d been closer I’d have taken them…. they’re gonna miss you and your camera…. but from South Africa … Sterkte…

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    • I’d hate to think what it would take to get anything to South Africa alive!! Chuckle… FedEx overnights animals all over the US all the time in less than 12 hours. Amazing. It was a tearful goodbye, but I was also happy to know where they were going. Ed and his family are the kindest of people. It’s about as hard to buy one of their chameleon babies as it is to adopt a baby human! I had to qualify and show proof of suitable habitat and all kinds of stuff to get Hugo! πŸ™‚ They are part of the group of breeders who are working to preserve the chameleon in captivity. You get a pedigree with your chameleon! The Bearded Dragons would love South Africa, but you are waaay too far away. I have found really good homes for all of the animals except them. I will find somebody for them too, I am sure. Thanks for your kind words about the photos, Rob. I have to see your recent photos. I will get there soon, I promise! πŸ™‚

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    • I know you are, Mike. I’ve always felt that. Strange how I just always know that about some people. You are one of the good guys, you know. πŸ™‚ Thank you, Mike.

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  15. They are absolutely beautiful. I am so glad you have found good homes with people who will provide them top of the line care. These pictures are beyond awesome. You have become quite the photographer. I agree with your friend above….hands down the pictures are the most beautiful I have ever seen.

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    • Thank you, Sue. I was so fortunate to have known the Krammers! Ed immediately told me not to worry one bit. He would handle everything for me and all I had to do was to put the boys in their boxes. FedEx picked them up at my house on schedule and that was it. Such kind people. I don’t know what in the world I would have done without them. The same with YOU. Such good people all around me. I am truly blessed, Sue!

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    • before going to sleep, i looked once more.. they truly are beautiful/gorgeous! i’m going to have to paint these lovely creatures one day.. the ‘plain ole iguanas’ don’t look quite as charming after seeing these cousins!

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      • The Panther Chameleon fires up (in chameleon jargon) with the most gorgeous colors. The Kammers breed for color and pattern. I didn’t care when I bought Hugo. I just liked his looks! πŸ™‚ They are fascinating creatures and often like humans. These two were crawling all over me if they could get to my arm in their cages. They are so much fun. Do paint them. I have other photos that I would be glad to send to you if you like. Your paintings are awesome, as I’ve said many times. You have a “third eye” for color and design that is unique. I’ve never seen paintings quite like yours. I could not believe the one on the floor was not a rug!! Chuckle… And the balcony! I could sit there forever, I think!

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        • i wish i could send that magic carpet to retrieve you so that you could sit on that balcony and help inventory the birds.. there are three fairly-large iguanas that now sun on the rocks by the house.. i photographed two of them this past week. i wonder what they would think of the panthers?!

          sending you lots of strong energy, dear kindred spirit! z

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          • Ah, the Magic Carpet! We were going to do lots of flying back and forth, weren’t we? Maybe next time around. How I would love to sit on that balcony! I think iguanas would gobble up the little chameleons or ignore them. Chuckle… Thank you for sending the strong energy even if it doesn’t arrive on the Magic Carpet! Or perhaps it will… πŸ™‚

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          • Hi, Zee!! I’m so glad to see you! πŸ™‚ I am sorry I haven’t visited anybody. This dying thing is a LOT of trouble. Chuckle… Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. They are the sweetest creatures! I hated to let them go, but I have to find homes while I still feel fine. I was so lucky to have known Ed and his family! Hope everything is good with you! Thank you so much for coming by to see us! πŸ™‚ Good grief! I just discovered that I posted this in the wrong place!

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