Beardies: emotional bond with keeper?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fun fact: Bearded dragons are a type of lizard that branched out of the common reptilian trunk some 250 million years ago, much earlier than the branch that would lead to the dinosaurs and the birds. (source)

So can they?

After having momo-chan for about two weeks I felt like we were almost there and wondered how our relationship would develop over the years. But after a few clicks on Google I came to find some pretty obvious information that I hadn't taken into consideration.

Their brains are just not developed enough to be able to feel those kinds of emotions (love/affection). They just build a positive association with us- caretaker, feeder, source of warmth when being held. Someone on the forum asked if, after being recognized as their caretaker, do they at least enjoy being around us. Others responded that they probably don't, just feel safe, and humans are probably tolerable at best.

When I read that all I could think was duh, but I won't lie and say I didn't shed a few (several) tears. The "emotional bond" thread was opened/asked by someone who believed that their beardies loved them. They then wrote "well then, this is sad and disappointing." I really felt for them.

The guy that wrote we were tolerable at best also said-
"But it is still fun to think they love us. Sometimes, basic animal instincts and reactions may seem like emotional reactions, because as humans and mammals, we tend to expect that from others. And there's nothing wrong with that. I think it serves its purpose in creating a stronger bond between the keeper and his/her beardie."

And I think that makes things okay for me. But wow, I keep on thinking how momo is literally a reptile with natural animal instincts focused on survival (that was one tautological sentence).
You know (and I've mentioned this before), I put him to sleep everyday between 9 and 9:30PM. I pick him up from his viv, he lays on my palm, closes his eyes, and doesn't wake or move until 10am or so when we turn on his vivarium lamps. I think this was one of the factors that made me tell my mom how amazing it was that we think these animals don't have a conscious, but they do. Well no, I'm wrong. It's just his biological clock at work.

falls asleep outside, we transfer him back when we decide to go to bed ourselves

Each beardie has their own behavior for sure and there are so so so many stories where the beardie shows its keeper preference and trust (maybe attatchment?). It's just not in the way we humans understand and perceive it.

But. . . when he's acting silly I am no longer like aw what a cute boy. It's more like oh my gosh he belongs in the wild desert not in this glass hell 😭😭😭😭😭. Ugh this is why I never wanted a pet lol. Also, I thought he would eat like premade pellets but actually eats 5 or 6 dollars worth of crickets a day.

Still, I love my momo because he's my little BABY. On Instagram I am worse than a new human baby mom. I've also decided to post his monthly updates like they do for real children muahaha

update: i've been wanting to tell my sister this, but everytime I try she says not to because she's to young. True, I don't want to break it to her, but I also want her to know. I'm cruel. Welp, it's my secret for now.
melissa 🐝

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