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Old 06-20-18, 11:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
Noh
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Anyone Ever Jealous?

I recently moved away from home and was able to start getting pets of my own! But now I see a bunch of kids with huge collections of reptiles and invertebrates, all supported by their parents, and I'm just flabbergasted.

Sometimes I wish I'd had a supportive mom or dad who would've loved to get into the hobby with me. I just see kids with their dads building tanks together and am transported back to my childhood, when my babysitter killed my turtle because he was "ugly," and my mom was sort of just fine with that.

My family hates my snake and tarantula. "Ew! Creepy!" In fact, the only animals they DO like are dogs. All other animals aren't worthwhile to them. Even cats are "gross!" I never even realized, until I got into the hobby and started watching youtube videos, that average children and families enjoyed the hobby too!

I see a lot of people on this forum who've been in the hobby for decades, and I'm so glad you people exist. It's great that knowledgeable people exist out there, when so many people seem to hate snakes and reptiles. I'm starting to ramble a little, but this is just something I've had on my mind for awhile.
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Old 06-20-18, 11:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone Ever Jealous?

I'm sorry about your turtle, Noh.

I have only been keeping herps since June 2015, though I learned quite a bit from more experienced keepers from both in and outside the forum. I also personally enjoy the company of cats. Dogs are OK, but I can't imagine how hard it is to endure a walk outside with them, especially if you're not fond of exercising yourself. With that said, I consider cats better than dogs.

I wouldn't mind keeping a tarantula, but my mother finds them gross. Perhaps the only
invertebrates I wouldn't want to raise are roaches. I'm TERRIFIED of those, but I know they are harmless to humans.

Furthermore, I still have a while to go before I'm a herp keeping expert.
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Old 06-21-18, 01:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone Ever Jealous?

Right? Walking dogs is hard work, and its especially difficult where I live. It's so hot here that vets recommend people walk their dogs at night to avoid burning their paws and overheating, and long-haired animals are shaved.

I prefer cats myself, I'm a very calm person and dogs are bit too excitable and noisy for me, but I do like them. I just can't understand it when people - my family for instance - hate a wide variety of animals so much that they'd gladly see them dead. They'd go out of their way to kill them just because they're "ugly."

I'm really, really not fond of roaches either, and I've recently become aware that it might be within my interest to breed a colony of them if I get anymore tarantulas... that's honestly a really disturbing thought but I'd do it. Eugh.

Thank for the sentiments for my turtle. Hopefully we can both learn a lot more about herps :^)
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Old 06-21-18, 06:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone Ever Jealous?

I started keeping snakes (and other herps) back in the 80's. My dad didn't really care one way or the other. But, he wouldn't let me catch snakes until I was able to accurately identify them. My mom, on the other hand, had/has a true phobia of snakes. But, she's always been as understanding as possible. She eventually let me start keeping small snakes like ring necks in the house when I was about 9 or 10, and it just grew from there.

I got my daughter her first snake for her 6th birthday. She's 13 now. She likes snakes but doesn't have the passion for them that I've always had. But, I'm thankful that she's interested enough to sometimes want to talk about them and occasionally go out herping with me.
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Old 06-21-18, 10:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone Ever Jealous?

My family isn't against my snakes and bugs exactly....but they think it's a bit weird.

You're at the point in your life where you're just starting out on your own and making your own path. In time, you'll look back and see that charting your own course and developing your own interests brings just as much satisfaction in the long run. And meeting fellow enthusiasts is even that much more fun because it's new and exciting to meet other people who like snakes. Believe me, you'll have lots of fun with this hobby whether your family is grossed out or not.
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Old 06-22-18, 10:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone Ever Jealous?

I have been keeping snakes and other herps since the 1960's, when I was a mere tot. My mother hated it, and my father barely tolerated it. With my parents intolerance, the lack of information and equipment then (as compared to today), and my inability to get live prey during the long cold Minnesota winters made herp keeping a struggle. Yet, I never lost interest. When I was twelve, I met another kid that shared my interest. My parents were shocked- not only was there a second kid on the planet that was interested in reptiles and amphibians, but against all odds, he only lived two miles away! We sort of fueled each other for the next several years. Now my social network of herpers has grown considerably, but my family still considers it an oddity. But my elderly mother can now hold a snake, and can do so without exclaiming "Oh ick!" the way she used to.
As you advance in the hobby and learn about more species, you will become more confident. However, no matter how experienced you may become, whenever you get into a new species, you may feel like a beginner again. I know that I certainly do, even after all these years. There's always something new to learn.
Regarding jealousy- I have in the past been jealous of people with large collections. However, as the size of my own collection has fluctuated and cycled over the years, I have come to realize that a large collection can take a tremendous amount of time, space, and other resources to maintain. Cleaning snake poop until midnight doesn't always feel like what I want to be doing at the moment.
I am somewhat envious, though, of those hobbyists who are able to figure out what they really like, and specialize in one species or genus, keep and breed them well, and be satisfied with that. For some reason I have generally found it necessary to have a great deal of diversity in my collection, due primarily to my own indecisiveness.
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Old 06-22-18, 11:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone Ever Jealous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noh View Post
I recently moved away from home and was able to start getting pets of my own! But now I see a bunch of kids with huge collections of reptiles and invertebrates, all supported by their parents, and I'm just flabbergasted.

Sometimes I wish I'd had a supportive mom or dad who would've loved to get into the hobby with me. I just see kids with their dads building tanks together and am transported back to my childhood, when my babysitter killed my turtle because he was "ugly," and my mom was sort of just fine with that.

My family hates my snake and tarantula. "Ew! Creepy!" In fact, the only animals they DO like are dogs. All other animals aren't worthwhile to them. Even cats are "gross!" I never even realized, until I got into the hobby and started watching youtube videos, that average children and families enjoyed the hobby too!

I see a lot of people on this forum who've been in the hobby for decades, and I'm so glad you people exist. It's great that knowledgeable people exist out there, when so many people seem to hate snakes and reptiles. I'm starting to ramble a little, but this is just something I've had on my mind for awhile.

My parents were cool about allowing pets when I was a kid, but were more likely to allow the more "traditional" pets. I had a turtle for a while, but was forced to re-home it because I wasn't keeping up with cleaning his enclosure. Snakes were definitely not an option due to my father being borderline afraid and 100% creeped out by them.

I didn't get my first snake til about 1999-2000ish when I was 20 or 21 and living on my own for a while. I ended up rehoming my snakes and the rest of my pets years later because I was in no shape to care for them. I had fallen pretty deep into drugs and alcohol and could barely keep myself alive, never mind my pets, so I made the conscious decision to re-home them. It was heartbreaking, but I knew it was the right thing to do.

Fast forward a few years...I got clean and sober in December 2012 and after a few years started getting new pets, and eventually talked my girlfriend into letting me get "ONE" snake (we all know how that goes). I now have four with plans to add another in a few months and a few more over the next few years, topping out around eight.

Well, to answer the question of "do you get jealous" when seeing other people's huge collections that'stough for me to answer. Yes, I often see newbies adding a bunch of new snakes and new enclosures and wish I had the finances to add more, but I am not "jealous". I'm grateful I'm in a place where I can realistically care for all of my animals properly. I wish I could afford more, but I'm happy where I'm at.
As far as young kids with huge collections funded by parents, I honestly worry about the animals once the kids are grown and on their own. Will they take the animals with them? Will they be able to properly care for them on their own? Will they simply lose interest once they find new "adult" hobbies like dating, etc...?
Who knows??
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Old 06-22-18, 07:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone Ever Jealous?

There are many advantages to adding slowly.

My dad actually got me back into snakes a couple years before I moved out. At the time, my mom had been diagnosed with cancer (she's fine). He got us a couple snakes as a distraction, I suppose (corn and brooks king). I had a ribbon snake when I was around 9.

The setups were far from elaborate, and as many people are, my mom was afraid of snakes. People's curiosity, fear, and lack of understanding is a small part of the appeal of snake-keeping.
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Old 06-23-18, 07:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone Ever Jealous?

I had an "out". When I was little 3 I had to be treated for a type of bone cancer and both the disease and the treatment really screwed my immune system right up until my mid teens. For a long time I was almost always sick and allergic to a lot of things, including all of the conventional mammalian pets...so it started with green anoles, then garter snakes, then ball pythons...and still going strong. My dad was all for it, but it was a struggle for my mom because she was very afraid of snakes, but she came around. I was jealous of all of the kids who could have a cat or a dog, so I guess I experienced the complete opposite of many kids in that sense.
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Old 06-23-18, 06:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone Ever Jealous?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not jealous of the collections themselves, if that makes sense, hah. I just wish I could've had the same support and consideration with regards to reptiles from my family from a young age, and the experience that came along with it.

I understand that a lot of people are weirded out by exotic pets, and many fear them, and there's a large misunderstanding amongst average pet owners about the care of exotic pets, such as how many people view reptiles as more of a decoration than an actual living creature with needs.

It is a good point, what are they going to do with all those animals once they grow up? I suppose many of them are going to leave their pets at their parents' house, perhaps take one or two with them until they have the means to reclaim all of them. I know for sure thats what would've happened in my case, I couldn't get a pet until 3 years after I'd left home, and even then they were tiny because I live in an apartment. I certainly don't have the space for something like a BCI at the moment(long term goal).

Andy_G, that is sorta the opposite! I can see why they let you have reptiles. Sorry about your illness.
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Old 06-27-18, 05:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone Ever Jealous?

My dad LOVES reptiles, but my mom hates them... I had to bargain for all of mine, and when I move out, I will definitely be getting more, (2 leopard geckos, 1 bearded dragon, and 1 BP), but I've had plenty of family dissing me for having reptiles, so sorry about your turtle! If anyone tried to do anything like that to my reptiles, I would probably go ballistic
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Old 06-28-18, 02:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone Ever Jealous?

My husband grew up with parents that weren't big on pets of any kind, especially snakes, which he loved. So he wasn't allowed any. We met on an online dating site where I had listed all my animals, including the snakes, to weed out anyone that would be a problem for and he claims that was the biggest factor in contacting me, "she has snakes! I have to message her!"

The first reptile expo we went to, he motioned to the many children around and said he was sad that he never got that and was happy that our kids would experience a different childhood.
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Old 06-28-18, 04:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone Ever Jealous?

Charis, that is such a wonderful story. It's so cool that you two met that way. Bet you never thought your snakes would attract a husband

And that's basically the EXACT way I felt when I went to a reptile expo for the first time! I can relate.
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Old 06-29-18, 04:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone Ever Jealous?

Iím jealous of people with more money than me, or with breeding pairs producing clutches...I donít have enough to buy more snakes!!!
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Old 06-30-18, 12:06 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone Ever Jealous?

Hi Noh, I have felt like this for a while as well. My whole family looked down on me for getting into reptiles. They thought that I was weird for it and it didnít seem like me. I finally convinced my dad to let me get a bearded dragon after years of pleading for a snake or another reptile. He still two years later is deathly afraid of him and thinks Iím crazy. Even though heís seen his passive temperament. People often canít see past the outward appearance. Iím not just talking about the reptiles themselves, but also the community. For years the reptile community has been outcasts, people that were strange and ďgross,Ē and my family then saw me trying to find a community that I could try to fit into instead of just genuine passion. I wish the hobby didnít have so many negative connotations and stereotypes, but it appears to be changing; hopefully for the better.
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