Garrett: The Example of Malnutrition

As you may have guessed, I am very passionate about animals and their welfare, especially my own animals. I have not mentioned my leopard gecko, Garrett, until now. I feel I should bring him to your attention for educational purposes.

I obtained him and another gecko about 5 years ago from my biological father. This was after the divorce, so I only saw the geckos every other weekend. He and the other gecko seemed content with themselves, everything was going well. Then my father moved to a different house. In the process of moving, he left the geckos at his then-girlfriend’s trashy, worn-down, disease-ridden house. I worried about them but could not go and get them myself, nor could I reason with Dave (aforementioned father) to go and get them so I could be caring for them.

Once he had finally settled into his house, he brought the male gecko. The female had been given away. Garrett, the gecko, was severely malnourished, as you can see. I could see his ribs and spine a lot more clearly than I should.

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He was very thin, very weak. I apologized to him for his not being taken care of properly. Apparently, Dave didn’t feel it necessary to feed Garrett every week, just whenever he felt like it.

From then on, I made it my life’s mission to take care of him to the best of my ability. I cleaned his water bowl and habitat, made sure he actually had water and food (crickets), and I got him out any chance I could. I took him outside, let him roam, but not too far away from his mom. I cradled him in my arms when he got too cold or too weak. He had become a child of mine, and I would do anything for his safety and well-being.

On December 10, 2012, Dave asked why I didn’t like being at his house because apparently it took a year or two for him to notice my blatant hatred for the place and people there. Nothing I told him was taken to heart due to his not being mentally stable. So, he asked if I wanted to leave, I said yes. I packed my things, and I took Garrett and his new giant aquarium back to my home. My parents were confused about my sudden coming home and my bringing a lizard. We made accommodations for him soon after, buying him food, vitamins, a heating pad, a log-shaped hut, and sand.

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He is now very happy and fat, as seen to the right. At least, he hasn’t told me he isn’t happy yet. Since I can’t have him in my dorm, I am trusting my sister to take care of him back home. So far, he hasn’t been killed, so there is some hope for my sister to be somewhat responsible.

Leopard geckos can actually live up to 15 to 20 years if they are properly taken care. I hope to have him for a very long time, considering he is about 5 years old now.

I bid you all farewell for now. I hope you take Garrett’s story to heart and take care of all your animals and respect them. Garrett says bye, too :). He’s so precious 😀

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*all photos taken my me

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