Having just finished teaching the spring semester at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, I was finally able to move back to Alabama this past weekend. Though I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to teach at Stevens, manoman, did I miss being married! Being in an adjunct position, I couldn’t really afford to bring a surly green iguana to the Mew York metropolitan area. Beyond the cost and the fact that iguanas are banned in the five boroughs, I just couldn’t justify uprooting Dorian from the life of comfort and leisure he has in Tuscaloosa.
Iguanas are creatures of habit. They a routine, and if there’s any deviations in their daily schedule, you can bet your heinie you’re gonna hear about from a ticked off tropical lizard.
In addition, Dorian has a bit of separation anxiety. We don’t know what he remembers about his former life, but we think this may have been a by-product of the abuse he suffered. Maybe his previous owner left him alone for days at a time, we just don’t know. What we do know is that the research tells us iguanas form their bonds between the ages of 6-10 years old. That’s shortly after I rescued Dorian.
In 2011, I spent the summer in Ireland on a study abroad trip. Despite the length of time away and my drastic haircut, Dorian was so happy I was back, he didn’t care I was gone. When I visited Amber in February, Dorian was a bundle of mixed emotions. He ecstatic to see me, but irate that I left him with her. The first night, he was really angry; headbobbing at me every few minutes, stiffening the tendon on his back every time I touched him, even puffing up his jowls as if to say, “You must be punished, Sir!” The next day though, he was melty butter.
This time, however, the beast was not quelled in his righteous anger and quantifiable indignence. Sure, he’s looks all cute and cuddly in the picture below, but inside is a whirling dervish of anxious hatred and thoughts insidious betrayal.
Gone was the conflict between love for me as iggy dad and pure spite of vengeance. All that remained was an overwhelming desire to maim the offending party, in other words, me. I got a full mouth gape, something I hadn’t seen since breeding season in 2010. At one point yesterday, he even tried to bite me, something he’s never done before, even after I first adopted him. And don’t get me started on the hissing and puffing up, it looks like someone let loose an overfilled pool toy iguana to periodically let air loose in our house. Combine that with the weaponized poop, the tail whipping, and the alligator rolls, he’s not a lot of fun to handle. He is just one pissed off lizard right now. I’m not sure when he’ll re-adjust to having me around, but I hope it’s soon. Ambers starting to get worried Dor’s gonna snack my hand soon. If he does, you can be sure I’ll right about it here.