My Bearded Dragon: Miller
D. Bowden 2005
Photo by D. Bowden
Miller, my pet Bearded Dragon is a lady lizard with a boy lizard's name. The young guy who previously owned her named her Miller because he believed that she was a he. He no longer wanted her and gave her to my son who brought her home as a gift to me. I took Miller to the reptile vet to make sure "he" was in good health and to find out for certain if Miller was indeed a "he" and the reptile vet pronounced Miller a "he" and we moved on. Then one day Miller started pacing the length of the tank and frantically digging at the plexiglass walls of her confines as if trying to escape. We were deeply concerned that Miller might be sick. I came home from work one day to find a white, jelly bean-shaped stone in the bottom of her tank. I picked it up with a paper towel and looked closely at it and then gave it a squeeze. Crack! It broke and yellow yolk oozed out. It was an egg! She laid 15 more a few hours later and it was very obvious that Miller was really a Millie. However, after calling her Miller for months, we kept the name Miller since that is what we were all used to.
Miller always appears to have something on her mind and looks as if she is about to say something. Her favorite things to do are to watch television and to look out the patio doors of our diningroom. Miller knows what is coming when my husband gets home from work. She scurries to the end of the tank facing the television set and waits. She is a t.v. addict!
Miller never makes a noise. Beardies are sadly mute. She can't even cry, squeak, growl, meow, or even hiss like some lizards to. And she never bites, at least not intentionally. I've gotten caught by one of her two front fangs a couple of times while feeding her a green bean, but she meant no harm.
Beardies are supposed to be crazy about live crickets, but Miller is TERRIFIED of them. I once put her in a feeding tank and dumped the critters in with her expecting her to enjoy her feast and she freaked out! She wanted OUT! Now she eats only canned or freeze-dried crickets and processed lizard food pellets that turn her poop bright green..
Another thing that makes Miller nervous is the sound of a bird. In the wild, Beardies are bird food. Though she has never lived in the wild, instinct tells her that birds are not her friends. So, in the springtime, when the patio doors are open and the birds are singing in the trees, Miller keeps flat to the floor of her tank and pretends she is invisible. She thinks no one can see her that way!
I never thought I could love a reptile, but I love Miller as much as I could love a dog or a cat. She knows me and loves to sit on my shoulder or my lap and tilts her head and looks up at me with one eye as if to say "I know you...you are the one who cares for me!" She's my little friend.