Good Honest People
Let me begin this by apologizing to Mark, Annette and Mary as I did not discuss with them what I intended to write. My intent is not to cause you embarrassment or discomfort. If I have done this, please accept my apology as this was not my intent.
I have not been signing in much lately, which means I was behind in my reading. I spent several hours this week reading threads that were great (as usual), looking at amazing pictures, and reading some threads that were very disheartening. This week it was the disheartening threads that had the greatest impact on my thoughts. Those threads, and I am not going to list them, were about people not being who/what they were perceived to be. In my opinion, this happens far too often in life. People are often not what they present as being. I have met many people in my lifetime who were not great individuals. They lacked honesty and integrity but had plenty of charm. The reason those threads hit me is because I have been so extremely lucky in who I have dealt with since I started my foray into the herp. world, and I am not usually that lucky. I have been fortunate enough to deal with some amazing people (no schnooks yet—but give me time) who have been even more than they have presented themselves to be.
The first people I dealt with to buy the box turtles were long time personal friends. I had known them for years and had no worries at all in handing over $500 for my turtles. This is the kind of deal I prefer. I know the person, saw the turtles, bought them and that was really the end of the story. I have purchased mammals sight unseen, and not always been delighted with the results. I didn’t foresee a time when I would want a herp. that I would buy sight unseen.
A little more than one year ago I decided that I could make frog keeping a reality instead of a dream. I contacted many people (mostly in the States because when I searched the web, the American sites came up first and in the largest numbers). I had no idea what I was doing, or who I should talk to. I read care sheets and spoke to people at pet stores (a step I really could have skipped). Two of the people I spoke with via the internet told me to contact Mark Pepper, who I had not contacted yet. God was truly smiling upon me when I was directed to Mark. He was everything a newbie could possibly want, and more. When I sent Mark that money order my husband said “Tara, you can kiss that $ good-bye.” He was horrified that I had sent that much money to someone I had never met, never spoken to on the phone and who lived across the country.
Not only did my frogs arrive, but Mark was exceedingly generous in what he shipped. We are not talking $20 frogs here. I immediately called Mark on the telephone to ask why he had done this for me. Mark’s reply was that he wanted my first experience with frogs to be a great one. Can you imagine that? I have a hard time accepting that some people are just that truly generous and caring and they want nothing in return. Mark wanted nothing from me, and he gave so much. Speckles, Sparkles and Spots are amazing frogs. They have been a daily reminder that there really are good people out there (and sometimes I forget it).
I have since bought more frogs both from Mark and through Mark. One of the babies in the second shipment failed to thrive and Mark immediately took care of it. He did not have to do this. The animal was alive when it arrived. Mark had lived up to his commitment, but he went beyond what he had agreed to do. When I have problems Mark is quick to answer. He even helped me with my White’s tree frogs when he was in S. America last summer. When I needed supplies I could not find in Regina, he mailed them to me. Mark has gone above and beyond what he presented himself to be. I can not believe my good fortune in deciding to buy from Mark.
The next herp. that came into our home was again from someone we knew. Samantha (the corn snake) arrived. All was fine.
Last spring I posted asking where one should go in Edmonton to see various herps. Mary v. replied and invited my husband and I to her home. Kevin again was horrified. He could not believe that we were going to visit at the home of someone I met in a forum. I think he may have left the address of where we were going in our motel room, just in case we were never heard from again. We enjoyed our visit with Mary and Perry very much, and we arrived back safe and sound. While visiting Mary and Perry we saw a snake that I came home and told my daughter about. Oliver (corn snake) moved into our home on our next trip to Edmonton. Mary has been great to deal with. She e-mails quickly when I have questions (not just about Oliver). Again, I feel very fortunate to have met Mary and Perry, and even luckier to have been able to purchase one of their snakes. Again, I bought from someone I did not know, but had met, and the results have been even better than anticipated.
This fall I started looking for a kingsnake. My oldest daughter had been bugging for a king for several months and we had finally agreed upon the variety to get. It would be a Durango Mt. King. I contacted Wrapped Up in Reptiles. Annette was great to deal with and the babies (we bought two) arrived in early December. I had many questions and Annette was quick to answer and to offer advice.
Here is where Annette moves to the “above and beyond” category. In January the female (Slip) died. I took it to the vet, but in my state of distress I did all the wrong things. The vet recommended euthanasia and I agreed. I believed the diagnosis (and prognosis) I was given and went home to tell my daughter that her pet had died. I e-mailed Annette to inform her what I had been told, not to get a replacement. Slip’s death was not likely Annette’s fault. The snake had arrived alive. Annette was under no obligation to replace that snake, but she is going to replace it anyway. I am lead to believe that this is just the kind of person she is. Again, I have had the great fortune to meet someone who is even more than she presented herself to be.
As I read those threads about people not behaving as they had presented, and not being who they said they were I was hit with how fortunate I am. I could have bought from someone who was not what they presented themselves to be, because I believed what those people wrote. I was impressed with who they seemed to be. Instead, I was lucky enough to buy from people who have shocked me with their kindness and generosity. Even though it often seems like there are many dishonest, uncaring and even incompetent people in any hobby, profession and walk of life, there are also those who are just what they present as being; good, honest and decent people.