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  1. #11
    Registered User Valyndris's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the nice comments, affection in animals can be hard to determine and I like hearing everyone's opinion on it. My little Crowley makes me so happy when he does this, he is the best therapy pet ever and I love him so very much. He's super spoiled and deserves every bit of what he has, he can make the worst days better when he comes out at night, then I get to go to bed happy.

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  3. #12
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Most sources say snakes cannot be therapy animals but obviously, they haven't met Crowley!
    Many friends in low places...

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  5. #13
    Registered User Luvyna's Avatar
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    I don't care how it's labelled, affection, trust, seeking warmth and security, whatever, what matters is that it's clear you and Crowley truly have an amazing bond and it's wonderful to see. Crowley is obviously a very well-loved ball python, he looks super healthy, his scales are so shiny, and he seems very comfortable with being touched and being close to you, which is awesome It's so cool that he let's you give him head rubs like that! The way he rests his chin on your face is SO cute. He should be an ambassador for ball pythons and an example to all the people who are afraid of snakes out there.

    Whether or not snakes can feel affection is a moot point for me, just having an animal's trust and willingness to be close to me is already enough of a reward in itself.

    I also agree that snakes make surprisingly therapeutic pets. I find it very calming to hold my BP or let him sleep in my lap, and his adorable antics never fail to brighten my day. There also actually are snakes formally used in therapy by the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.

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  7. #14
    Registered User FollowTheSun's Avatar
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    What a precious video! I agree that Crowley is a very special snake and he totally trusts you, and that's a wonderful thing! You've worked hard to earn that trust.

    I too have a wonderful snake (a ratsnake) who I know recognizes me over others and prefers me-- when I let people hold her she comes back to me even though they are being gentle. She loves to hang out in my robe in the morning, and she lets me rub under her chin. It's a real gift to earn their trust.

    I have worked with parrots too, and again you have to earn their trust because they are not domesticated. And when you work hard and they pay it back with trust, it's a wonderful feeling!

    Another factor in this is that some animals are calmer than others and it's just inborn personality-- so you got very lucky with Crowley. We have another BP named Lucy who does not trust no matter how much we have worked with her. We know she's having a good day when she doesn't try to bite us!
    Last edited by FollowTheSun; 09-11-2019 at 11:36 AM.
    Lots of pets, all loved and well-cared for: 2 BP's, 1 ratsnake, 1 panther chameleon, 2 ferrets, 1 hedgehog, 2 cats, 1 dog, and a chicken.

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  9. #15
    BPnet Veteran MarkL1561's Avatar
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    Re: Proof that snakes can be affectionate

    Quote Originally Posted by ballpythonsrock2 View Post
    Crowley must really trust you because rarely will you see a snake let you stroke and caress it's head like that, most BP's usually jerk back when you get near it's head. Pretty amazing the bond you two have. It shows you have gained his trust and as you say it must have took a quite a bit of handling. They like the warmth we provide.

    Due to the germs they can carry ( like salmonella) I always wash with soap and water before and after handling. and use a disinfect wipe to wipe myself down with after handling.
    Imo you donít need to do that. Iíve had reptiles for over 20 years and Iíve never washed my hands after handling, Iíve never gotten sick. I mean I guess it doesnít hurt but itís really not needed. Well unless they poop on you or something haha


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  11. #16
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Very true, that not all snakes of any species are created equal from the start, as far as temperament. Some are naturally easier to tame, but nearly all can improve
    when we're patient. It's no different than kids, when you think about it: it's up to us "snarents" to do all we can to bring out their best, & a mellow, relaxed snake is
    a happy snake, if appearances & longevity are any indication.

    I too am very "facial" about handling my snakes, which some criticize as risky- & it is, if you misread the snake you're working with...but I've had no facial bites or any
    real damage from any snake nips over many years & many kinds of snakes. It's just that long ago I recognized the fear some snakes instinctively had of my face, as a
    potential predator. Not wanting to get a surprise face bite (like when doing programs or sharing my snakes), I've always made it a point to show my snakes that they
    have nothing to fear. That includes them being "in my face", being breathed on, getting chin rubs, & kissed on the top of their heads. This is only after they are com-
    fortable with "regular" handling...handling a pet near your face is never rushed, it's never where you begin...it's "advanced work", but it pays off.

    I've never had any snake bite me or anyone else while doing programs or sharing them with strangers handling them. A snake that truly trusts their owner tends to carry-over that trust with other people too, at least in my experience. And yes, it's a wonderful feeling of one-ness with nature, to have a "wild" creature that really trusts you. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just sit back & relax for a while as your snake learns to feel comfortable just climbing on you, with the least amount of "hands-on" holding. Just don't doze off or you'll be playing "hide & seek".
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 09-11-2019 at 12:22 PM.
    Many friends in low places...

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  13. #17
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Also, one big reason to get your snakes THIS relaxed about handling is that it really pays off if & likely when you need to help them physically or medically.
    Developing & being able to demonstrate empathy for our pets makes them better pets & us, better humans. I've found when I'm 'in the moment' & totally
    focused on helping an animal, it's as if they somehow know that & don't fight me...it's almost magical at times. Sorry if that sounds nutty, but when we're
    relaxed & focused, it's as if our good intentions can be felt thru our touch by the snake (or other animal) we're trying to help.
    Many friends in low places...

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  15. #18
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    One more thing- most of us realize our snakes are basically deaf, but I also talk to mine when handling them, & I think it seems to help us to express the sense of
    safety & comfort we want our snakes to get from us by way our our touch. Our senses are linked together in our brain: just like someone who feels car-sick when
    riding often does not have a problem when they're actually doing the driving (because your brain knows what your hands are doing & can anticipate the vehicle's
    motion); by talking to a snake we're interacting with, we're more invested in the "conversation". Snakes know each other & know their enemies by how they are
    touched (besides scent recognition etc), so the more "real" our touch becomes, the more relaxed they are. Our words often have a funny way of reinforcing what
    we try to express other ways.
    Many friends in low places...

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  17. #19
    BPnet Veteran EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: Proof that snakes can be affectionate

    That's pretty cool that you and your snake are that comfortable with each other. I trust all but 2 of my snakes but I don't let ANY of them near my face.
    2.2 Carpet Pythons, 1.1 Bullsnakes
    1.0 Bredl's Python, 1.0 Olive Python 1.0 Scrub Python,
    1.0 BI, 0.1 BO,

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  19. #20
    Registered User Valyndris's Avatar
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    Re: Proof that snakes can be affectionate

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    One more thing- most of us realize our snakes are basically deaf, but I also talk to mine when handling them, & I think it seems to help us to express the sense of
    safety & comfort we want our snakes to get from us by way our our touch. Our senses are linked together in our brain: just like someone who feels car-sick when
    riding often does not have a problem when they're actually doing the driving (because your brain knows what your hands are doing & can anticipate the vehicle's
    motion); by talking to a snake we're interacting with, we're more invested in the "conversation". Snakes know each other & know their enemies by how they are
    touched (besides scent recognition etc), so the more "real" our touch becomes, the more relaxed they are. Our words often have a funny way of reinforcing what
    we try to express other ways.
    I'm always talking to Crowley like he's my little baby, well because he is. I always have to tell him when I'm going to bed as he's usually up and smushing wanting more missions when I go to bed, even if he's had 4 hours out. Of course he doesn't notice me by voice so sometimes I have to wait for his little head to turn around and notice me. I always move my head around a lot as they see motion better than me just sitting still. Sometimes he bounces with joy when he sees me and asks to come out again. Sometimes I give in and stay up late if it's not cold and dry outside his tank. I will be getting a humidifier for his room as winter is very dry here in Canada, one of those ultrasonic ones that don't get hot so it should be safe if he roams near it.

    Snakes can however hear some things as they hear vibrations from the ground through their scales, correct me if I'm wrong but that is what I've heard. One day he was in shed mode, full cloudy blue eyes, he rarely shows himself in this state but I was passing the vacuum near his enclosure and that vacuum was so loud in that tiny apartment I had at the time. He came out looking like he wanted to strangle that noise machine. He had the full neck out and up looking directly at the vacuum, even though he was in blue. But for the most part, I can pretty much yell "Crowley!" as loud as I want and he won't hear me. One time I was talking to him trying to get his attention for like 2 minutes but he just never noticed me, I really tried to make him aware I was there but it didn't work. As I went to pick him up he jumped so hard that it made me jump just as bad. I felt terrible but he got over it faster than I did.

    I'm glad snakes can't hear like most animals as Crowley sleeps during the day of course which is when my macaw is up and trust me that bird is soooooo loud. Doesn't bother the snake one bit and they live side by side. I'm also glad my bird, Jacob, isn't scared of Crowley, when he sees him when he gets up early I bring him up to the tank for him to see Crowley. Jacob calls Crowley a pretty bird and overall seems to like him.

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