Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bernadette. My New Baby. (if you dont like snakes, then look away)

I have wanted a snake for a very long time. It's true. I love snakes. I have never ever been frightened of them, or squeamish about them.  When i was a kid we used to go to a park in Columbus Ohio that had a little nature center and animal sanctuary.I always liked looking at the reptiles and amphibians they had there. One day, I was probably about 6 or 7 we went, and the ranger was in the center with a snake and let us hold him and pet him. I realized that snakes are not slimy, or scaly or gross. If you actually hold and pet a snake they are smooth and dry and are as warm as their habitat is. He didn't try and bite me, he didn't try and constrict me to death, he didn't try and swallow me whole and drag me down to the depths of hell.  He sat there, docile and flicking his tongue at me, trying to figure out what I was and if I was going to hurt HIM. My mother and father were in the corner silently gagging to themselves. they HATE them.
 That day I fell in love with snakes.
Thankfully 15 years later I married a man who loves them as much as I do(I think he does, I hope it's not just an act !)

Why do people hate snakes so  much? I don't understand.  Don't get me wrong, I don't like venomous snakes, and would never mess with one of those.(I can appreciate their beauty and appreciate their contribution to the ecosystem...from afar)
 But these are captive bred DOCILE snakes.   They are not gross. How do you know if you like them or not if you have never held or touched one??  That's like me saying I hate meatloaf but never having tasted it."They strike and hiss and bite".  Well you know, all animals give signals that they are agitated. Know the signals and know when to leave them alone.  Follow their signals and you are good to go..

Well after 17 years of marriage we finally took the plunge and got one.
Our 11 year old has been pestering us for about 2 years now for one and we kept putting it off. I had done a ton of research and we had narrowed it down to Ball Python , King Snake or Corn Snake. All three were good, beginner snake pets, and we had been going to all the various snake shops online to find the kind we wanted. I had a Pinterest board FULL of snake pins of various morphs that we loved.
 So last week we were at PetSmart and saw their reptile habitats were on sale AND they happened to have a Ball Python for sale.  The associate gave us some information about her and said she was probably 3-6 months old and a very sweet temperament. She is about 18 inches long. He gave us a chance to hold her and we all fell in love.  I held her first, and she immediately started smelling me and curling around my wrist and was very comfortable with me.  She was good when we passed her off to my husband, and was immediately curious about him.  The final test was our 11 year old. Although he CLAIMS he loves snakes he tends to get skittish when he is actually confronted with these things.  He took her and she cozied right up to him as well. He was thrilled. This is a snake that is obviously comfortable being handled.
So we ended up getting the 20 Gallon snake habitat plus a few extra things to go in it. We wanted something that was big enough for her to grow into but not too big. We didn't mind starting with a 20 gallon and upgrading at a later date.
We got home and set up the cage and put our girl in there. she went exploring and climbed on her tree, tested out all the hides and habba huts, and then went into her main hiding hole and chilled.
We left her alone and let her get acclimated to her surroundings.

since then we have had a chance to hold her and she loves to curl up around our shoulders and necks and just chill out.
She has eaten too. It was surprisingly easy and she likes frozen fuzzy mice.
She is just the most chill, cool snake. she always looks like she is smiling. Too cute.

I decided that since she was MY snake (with son as co-guardian) and since I was paying for everything, that I would name her. Her name is Bernadette, after the 4 Tops song. Or Miss B. Or Miss Bernadette.  Or Bernie.








She loves her hiding cave!


Hey Y'all


isn't that patterning GORGEOUS!?


Yesterday we went and got more plants and another wood cave and a background cling. Her cage is all pimped out now. That is one happy snake.  Love her. You should too.
Come say Hi to Miss B, you never know, you may just fall in love with her and realize snakes aren't the scary monsters you think they are.
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