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Like most reptile enthusiasts, my home doesn’t just host Dorian, as much as he would like it to be so. We have another iguana, a female named Caliban who’s about half Dorian’s size; a large female water monitor, Gobo turns six this November; and a little four year old bearded dragon named Irwin. We didn’t always have quite so full a house. Last year at this time, I lived three hours from my then fiance with Dorian, Gobo, and my beardie Boudicca. In May, I moved the kids and me to Urbana and then I traveled to Ireland for a summer semester abroad in June. In September, my wife and I got married, and we made all made a pretty happy home. Sadly, we lost Boudicca to stomach cancer in December; and while we lost our sweet angel, Dorian lost a dear friend. I’ll save the discussion of their relationship for another day. See, Dorian thinks he’s king of the house, and as such, he needs to keep the house in order. He does this by taking rounds, inspecting all the other lizards and their enclosures and making sure they remember who’s boss. Gobo is now significantly larger than Dorian, and she should be, adult water monitors grow to be as long as nine feet and nearly 150 lbs. Her enclosure is a six feet long four feet tall and about 28 inches deep, the from face of which is a ginormous piece of tempered glass, supposedly impossible to break or scratch. But Dorian doesn’t really give a rat’s patooty that Gobo is bigger than, will keep getting bigger than him, or could kill him with a single bite. He’s all cocksure and bull-strong, sauntering back to the back room to give her the what-for. It’s ridiculous if you think about it. Scaredy-cat Gobo hides and runs away every time he comes back there, which just emboldens Dorian. He thinks he’s way bigger than is. Compounding this is that tempered glass, which causes Dor-Dor to see a large male iguana that isn’t there. “The Iggy in the Mirror” vexes Dorian tremendously. He’s actually physically attacked the glass on one occasion and a mirror on another. He even attacked the wife’s computer once when he screen went black as it went to sleep. He saw that bastard iguana and Dorian wasn’t going to let him come sit on his couch! So a lost F5 key among several others later, and a nearly cracked laptop screen (it fortunately bent backward enough) after Dorian dove head first into the laptop screen as it sat on the coffee table. To avoid this, we got smart and finally bought a doggie gate, which while Dorian’s smart and capable enough to climb over, certainly slows him down enough that we can catch him before he makes it all the way over. I have to say; he looks more adorable standing at the gate than any Corgi, pug, or schnauzer you could ever prop up there. Granted, his reasons for wanting to get back there are probably far more nefarious than some dumb mutt who just wants to drink out of the toilet while mom and dad aren’t looking. That said, for intelligent lizards like Dorian, the wife and have renamed this utilitarian piece of plastic a name far more befitting our wily and incorrigible iguana: the Iggy Gate.

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