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  1. #1
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    My Collection is Complete: I am done acquiring reptiles

    I never thought I'd reach this point, but my collection is complete. I will not being acquiring any new reptiles for a long time, if ever, unless someone passes, or we move to a house with more room for reptiles AND I have more time and energy than I do now.

    I know many people will doubt me here, but I wanted to share what got me to this point. I feel it's both cathartic for me as well as could be helpful to others.

    Why do I feel my reptile collection is complete (in no particular order)?

    1. I have a diverse collection with some amazing species and some amazing individual animals as well.

    -13 reptiles and 13 tanks. 7 Lizards and 6 snakes.

    0.3 Leopard Geckos (different morphs): Cleo, Carra, and Kayla
    0.0.1 Northern Blue Tongue Skink: Frank
    1.0 Rhacodactylus Mniarogekko Chahoua (Chewie) from Pine Island: Ferry
    0.1. Rhacodactylus Leachianus (Leachie), Bayonnaise: Ezzy
    0.0.1 Freckled Tree Monitor (Varanus Tristis Orientalis): Toref


    0.1 Albino Spider Ball Python: Shayna
    1.1 Corn snakes. Male Hypo-Lavender: Figment. Female Scaleless Sunglow Motley Red-Factor: Solana
    1.0 Albino Carpet Python (50% Darwin and 50% Irian Jaya): Yafe
    0.1 Ghost BCI: Behira
    1.0 Venezuelan Dwarf BCC/True Red Tail Boa: Feliz

    2. I am devoting as much time as I want to my reptiles.

    -Any more and it would feel like a chore or a job and it would take away from my enjoyment of them.
    -I want them all to get the proper care they deserve. Any more and I feel like I would risk neglecting someone from time to time. I do not think that's acceptable.
    -I want to spend time with each and every animal. It's important to me to have docile/used to handling reptiles. It's also important for the bigger reptiles to be handled to keep them calm, used to people and handling, and to keep them, me, and other people who interact with them (guests), safe. I also believe that on some level, as limited as it may be, I have a connection with all of them. I like to keep that bond.

    3. I want to focus on other things as well.

    -Katie and I are getting married soon and have a life to spend together.
    -WORK
    -Other pets (5 dogs)
    -Other hobbies


    4. Health issues.

    -As many of you know, I am a kidney transplant recipient. I have limited energy to spend and cannot rely on my body day to day to be there and ready to go. This means that some days I need to do the bare minimum for the reptiles. In general, this is not an issue and I usually recover quickly and can spend extra time the next day with anyone/anything I missed.

    -The reptiles bring me joy, but I also have to balance that with my ability to properly care for each and every one reliably.

    -My life expectancy is not great. Yes, it's expectancy, and who knows, but I've been told not to expect to live past 65 years old or so, assuming I am able to procure a kidney for my next transplant. I am 39 this year. Many of my animals are young and will live another 20+ years. At 60 years old or so, I do not think I will be able to have a collection like I have today, if one at all.


    Honestly, I couldn't be happier. I have pretty much every animal/species I've ever wanted to have and species that I've enjoyed keeping for many years and still enjoy (BP and corn snakes mainly). I feel challenged, but not overwhelmed or overworked. I am surrounded by beautiful creatures every where I look and am able to give them all what they need to stay happy and healthy.

    Who could ask for more?



    ​Below are links to the progression threads for all 13 reptiles and the reptile area!

    Leopard Geckos

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/showthread.php?253841-Finally-5-years-late-An-introduction-to-Cleo-Carra-and-Kayla

    Frank

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/showthread.php?250951-Frank-The-Blue-Tongue-Skink

    Ferry

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...ahoua-(Chewie)

    Ezzy

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...33#post2675033

    Toref

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...36#post2675036




    Shayna


    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...no-Spider-Ball

    Figment

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...nder-Corn-Baby

    Solana

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...ow-Motley-Corn

    Yafe

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...ression-Thread

    Behira

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...host-First-BCI

    Feliz

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...Dwarf-quot-BCC


    The Reptile Area


    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...ea-is-Complete

  2. The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to dakski For This Useful Post:

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    Bogertophis (01-28-2019),cletus (01-28-2019),craigafrechette (01-28-2019),Dianne (01-28-2019),Ditto (01-28-2019),e_nigma (01-28-2019),hilabeans (03-03-2019),JRLongton (01-28-2019),richardhind1972 (01-28-2019),Sonny1318 (01-28-2019),Treeman (01-28-2019)

  3. #2
    Registered User Treeman's Avatar
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    Re: My Collection is Complete: I am done acquiring reptiles

    Congratulations to you dakski!
    Good for you for putting the animals first by knowing your limitations with your time and energy. Any responsible keeper would greatly respect that.

    And good luck with your upcoming wedding, and much prayers for your health.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Treeman For This Useful Post:

    dakski (01-28-2019)

  5. #3
    BPnet Veteran cletus's Avatar
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    Very cool dak. I didn't know you got a Varanus! I just saw the other thread. It's cool to be happy with what you have. lol

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    dakski (01-28-2019)

  7. #4
    BPnet Veteran Sonny1318's Avatar
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    Wow, wow, wow. Iím so sorry to hear about your health, but really love your attitude. I myself am very sick (severe injuries resulting in nerve disease and a stomach cancer survivor). Iím also terminal, but to stupid to give up. We should talk more, I relate so much to some if not all you are dealing with and going through. Itís late, Iím tired (watched the royal rumble). Or I would go on, never caught you were sick. We have a lot in common being ďillĒ. So sorry in your in my prayers.
    1.0 Black Pastel Pinstripe
    1.0 Reduced Pattern Clown
    1.0 Low White Pied
    1.0 Hypo Super Enchi

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  9. #5
    BPnet Veteran craigafrechette's Avatar
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    Very cool, Dave. I was one of the doubters in the past, this time I believe you, hahaha.

    You've got a super cool reptilian family and there's not a doubt in my mind that each and every one of your animals (dogs included) get the best care humanly possible.

    Great thread, great info. This could be a great learning tool for others who are not quite sure when they've reached their "limits" without sacrificing any care for the animals.

    I've said it before, I'm sure I'll say it again after today: you're an asset to the forum and hobby as a whole. I'm fortunate to have met you both on here and in the real world. Keep up the great work as an ambassador for these amazing animals.

    ...and as always, regarding your health: all my best wishes sent your way.

    Thanks, Dave!!!
    ...life is beautiful...

    "Every man dies, not every man really lives"
    - Braveheart

    "If I can't be my own, I'd feel better dead"
    - Layne Staley, Alice In Chains

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  11. #6
    Registered User Jellybeans's Avatar
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    Re: My Collection is Complete: I am done acquiring reptiles

    Very sweet !!
    I only have 1 BP. Only want maybe 1 more....a leucistic.
    Being that they live so long....I dont want too many when I'm 80. LOL



    Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk

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  13. #7
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    Reptile keeping is a slippery slope kind of hobby. Meaning it's addictive and starts out low responsibility. One or two are simple to keep. But when you inevitably add more, the responsibility starts to mount, especially when you have a situation as in Yafe's case.

    It looks like you have an admirable array of animals that will provide years of enrichment for all involved. Personally, ten sounds like a great number to me. Enough to be diverse and interesting, but not so many as to become a crushing responsibility.

    Congratulations on that, and best of luck with your health.
    \m/

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  15. #8
    Registered User FollowTheSun's Avatar
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    I think you have indeed found that perfect balance! Congrats! It sounds like they are all loved and give you joy. What more could you ask? And what more could they ask?

    When I had parrots (which I successfully rehomed when going through a nasty divorce) I wrote them into my will, to be given to a specific parrot sanctuary along with donations to the sanctuary. I knew they would outlive me even under the best of circumstances.

    I'm a nurse, and I'm also the daughter of a man who donated his kidneys and liver upon his death, *and* the partner of a man who was on the liver transplant list for awhile. I have done a lot of research and seen a lot of amazing things. What you were told when you got your kidney-- things have changed and improved since then, and will change even more before you reach age 65. ALL of us should count each day as the blessing it is, but also be hopeful that your original prognosis may not be correct, either.
    Our familiy: Noodle the albino ratsnake; Spot the Banana BP, Lucy the massive pinstripe BP, Harold the panther chameleon, Poppy the hedgehog, Bob and Ross the beta fish, Maya the dog, Max and Momo the cats, Tauntaun the Light Brahma Chicken (lives at the high school barn), two teenagers, and a very nice partner, all well-loved and cared for.

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  17. #9
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: My Collection is Complete: I am done acquiring reptiles

    Quote Originally Posted by FollowTheSun View Post
    I think you have indeed found that perfect balance! Congrats! It sounds like they are all loved and give you joy. What more could you ask? And what more could they ask?

    When I had parrots (which I successfully rehomed when going through a nasty divorce) I wrote them into my will, to be given to a specific parrot sanctuary along with donations to the sanctuary. I knew they would outlive me even under the best of circumstances.

    I'm a nurse, and I'm also the daughter of a man who donated his kidneys and liver upon his death, *and* the partner of a man who was on the liver transplant list for awhile. I have done a lot of research and seen a lot of amazing things. What you were told when you got your kidney-- things have changed and improved since then, and will change even more before you reach age 65. ALL of us should count each day as the blessing it is, but also be hopeful that your original prognosis may not be correct, either.
    Thank you. I really believe I have found that "balance."

    I really appreciate your kind words and information regarding the kidney transplant.

    I know it's just a number/expectation, etc. that statistics say. However, I am realistic. I take a ton of immune suppressants, including a lot of prednisone (long story) daily. That's not good and I am struggling with weight and pre-diabetes now. My father dropped dead at 58 of a heart attack, etc. I am doing everything I can to be here for a long time for my family, especially Katie, but it's a tough battle.

    I too, as did Katie, go through a ridiculously bad divorce. Feel free to PM anytime if you want to vent, or even just talk reptiles, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by JRLongton View Post
    Reptile keeping is a slippery slope kind of hobby. Meaning it's addictive and starts out low responsibility. One or two are simple to keep. But when you inevitably add more, the responsibility starts to mount, especially when you have a situation as in Yafe's case.

    It looks like you have an admirable array of animals that will provide years of enrichment for all involved. Personally, ten sounds like a great number to me. Enough to be diverse and interesting, but not so many as to become a crushing responsibility.

    Congratulations on that, and best of luck with your health.
    Thanks JR. I think the number depends on type of animal, your time availability, desire/passion for the animals (and knowing how long they live), etc. I've been keeping reptiles for the better part of my 38 years. I am devoted. This is the most I've ever had, but it feels right; it feels complete and perfect. It's an individual thing, but for me, I am there.

    It's also very important that I have flexibility in my life and not be completely tied to the reptiles. I have other responsibilities and want to be available and a great husband for Katie. She is, and always will be, the priority. I probably should have put it in the original post, but I think she needs me to stop looking at the "next" reptile and doesn't want me to get overwhelmed either. She wants me happy and fulfilled, but also wants me to be there for her and spend time with her. I think that is fair. I feel I was getting to a point where the reptiles would take up more time than I would be able to spend with Katie, at least if I kept going. She has been incredibly supportive of the reptiles. I need to show her that I support her 100% as well.

    She had never held a snake before she met me and was ambivalent about me moving in because of them. I've acquired 7 animals since I've moved in. It's a lot for her.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jellybeans View Post
    Very sweet !!
    I only have 1 BP. Only want maybe 1 more....a leucistic.
    Being that they live so long....I dont want too many when I'm 80. LOL



    Sent from my LGMP260 using Tapatalk
    Careful, they are addicting. Remember, I have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13! 13! LOL.

    Mazel Tov on 80. I wish you Cent'anni, as they say in Italian.

    Quote Originally Posted by craigafrechette View Post
    Very cool, Dave. I was one of the doubters in the past, this time I believe you, hahaha.

    You've got a super cool reptilian family and there's not a doubt in my mind that each and every one of your animals (dogs included) get the best care humanly possible.

    Great thread, great info. This could be a great learning tool for others who are not quite sure when they've reached their "limits" without sacrificing any care for the animals.

    I've said it before, I'm sure I'll say it again after today: you're an asset to the forum and hobby as a whole. I'm fortunate to have met you both on here and in the real world. Keep up the great work as an ambassador for these amazing animals.

    ...and as always, regarding your health: all my best wishes sent your way.

    Thanks, Dave!!!
    Craig,

    Thank you. I really appreciate the kind words and the recognition of how hard I work to keep my animals happy and healthy. It means a lot coming from someone I respect greatly as a hobbyist and forum contributor.

    Don't worry, I am still learning and plan on sharing on the forum. My collection is diverse enough that I can help others' with a variety of different species. The forum is one of the things that keeps me passionate. I love sharing and helping.

    Thank you again brother.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonny1318 View Post
    Wow, wow, wow. Iím so sorry to hear about your health, but really love your attitude. I myself am very sick (severe injuries resulting in nerve disease and a stomach cancer survivor). Iím also terminal, but to stupid to give up. We should talk more, I relate so much to some if not all you are dealing with and going through. Itís late, Iím tired (watched the royal rumble). Or I would go on, never caught you were sick. We have a lot in common being ďillĒ. So sorry in your in my prayers.
    Sonny,

    Very sorry to hear about what you are dealing with as well. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Thank you on the attitude comment. I wouldn't have that attitude, at least to the level I do, if not for the adversity I've faced in my life, largely health wise.

    Every day is a blessing and I cherish everyone and everything I have in my life. I am blessed to have the reptiles, the dogs, and most of all, Katie, as well as many other good people in my life. I know this. I do not take it for granted. Whenever my time on Earth is up, I will die without regrets. I will be able to say I lived every day to the fullest and I treated people with love and respect. What else can you ask?

    Quote Originally Posted by cletus View Post
    Very cool dak. I didn't know you got a Varanus! I just saw the other thread. It's cool to be happy with what you have. lol
    Yeah, Toref rocks! He's too smart for his own good. He's being picky about food already. He likes giving me a hard time, but I can see, I am already starting to earn his trust and he's getting more curious about me than scared.

    He will probably be one of my most challenging reptiles. He's an awesome animal to end the collection with. Rare, beautiful, a challenge, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Treeman View Post
    Congratulations to you dakski!
    Good for you for putting the animals first by knowing your limitations with your time and energy. Any responsible keeper would greatly respect that.

    And good luck with your upcoming wedding, and much prayers for your health.
    Thank you!

    I have struggled with balance and knowing my limitations in the past. I am glad I figured it out with the reptiles before it was too late!

  18. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to dakski For This Useful Post:

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  19. #10
    Registered User FollowTheSun's Avatar
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    Re: My Collection is Complete: I am done acquiring reptiles

    Quote Originally Posted by dakski View Post

    Every day is a blessing and I cherish everyone and everything I have in my life. I am blessed to have the reptiles, the dogs, and most of all, Katie, as well as many other good people in my life. I know this. I do not take it for granted. Whenever my time on Earth is up, I will die without regrets. I will be able to say I lived every day to the fullest and I treated people with love and respect. What else can you ask?
    YES! This! I think a lot of us who have gone through very difficult times have this blessed perspective. It's an absolutely wonderful place to be! I tell people that my goal is to live life without regrets, to be able to go to sleep at night knowing I tried my best to do the right thing, and to find the joy in each day, even if it's a simple joy like a good cup of coffee. I am a hospice nurse, and I see every day people of all ages who come to my care-- some live a shorter but joyful life, and some live to be over 100 but are very miserable or bitter or angry. It's not about quantity, it's about quality of life.

    When I met my boyfriend he was an unemployed, newly recovering alcoholic, and nearly died in front of me just two months in from severe liver damage. Looks very bad on paper, but it just felt *right* to be with him. At that time I was not sure how much time we had, but I wanted to have us be together. I had come off a bad marriage and I could appreciate what a good man he was, and how strong our connection was, and that's all that mattered.

    Well we've been together for 2.5 years now, he moved in 10 months ago, he has a good job again, never slipped up with his alcohol, and has recently been taken off the liver transplant list (for now), the kids love him, and we are going to get married sometime in the next year. And, at the age of 44, will be trying IVF (he has no kids of his own) and whether or not that works out, at least we won't regret not trying.

    It's really nice to hear in your "voice" the love and respect you have for Katie. It sounds like you and she have found in each other a wonderful love and partnership. I wish you many, many happy moments together! Please post wedding pics!
    Last edited by FollowTheSun; 01-28-2019 at 11:51 AM.
    Our familiy: Noodle the albino ratsnake; Spot the Banana BP, Lucy the massive pinstripe BP, Harold the panther chameleon, Poppy the hedgehog, Bob and Ross the beta fish, Maya the dog, Max and Momo the cats, Tauntaun the Light Brahma Chicken (lives at the high school barn), two teenagers, and a very nice partner, all well-loved and cared for.

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