I mentioned our houseguests previously. You know the pony dog that trips you up the stairs. 

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Then there’s the Mexican water salamander…

ImageIt’s the first week of school and to say that our houseguests have added a bit of drama to our every day life would be an understatement. I hear, “Hoku! Hoku! Hoku! Hoku! Hokulani!!!” approximately 400,017 times a day. That’s just from Bria. There’s the who is going to take the dogs for a walk and pick up all the poop predicament. The girls love having Hoku but prefer to walk Tucker over the small horse and small horse like poop to put in a bag. Hoku is a little more excitable than Tucker, leading to a near escape one night at dusk. Still, I’m finding her more enjoyable than the other guest. 

You would think the other guest, Mr. Ziggy would be easier… I mean there is no horse-sized poop and that friends is a clear bonus. He eats his blood worms at night and after three weeks, Arleigh has become a pro at plopping them in his tank. They stay in my freezer in little plastic ice cube trays. It was fascinating the first time. I’m sort of over it now. The first morning we had Ziggy I thought for sure he was dead as a door nail. He didn’t move, not one inch. I was texting Ray that he was sick or dead and our neighbors weren’t even on the airplane yet. Well, we’ve since learned that Ziggy has no eyelids but he still likes to sleep ALOT and he’s a heavy sleeper. This leads to a high stress level for me. When Ziggy is swimming around, he’s a joy. When he’s resting, he totally freaks me out.

Enter first week of school… Arleigh has started taking the bus. She has to be at the stop at 7. Everybody else has to be out the door at 7:30. Arleigh and Hanan usually get up on their own. I take my time making my bed and waking Jack and Bria and hustling them downstairs. It’s not usual for Arleigh to be dressed in her room and Hanan to be starting breakfast when I come down around 6 a.m. Yesterday I was up particularly early. Arleigh and Hanan had gotten up even earlier something about tweens and hair fixing, copious amounts of primping and making everything just right… Hanan was quiet. You know that too quiet kind of morning. 

She finally opened up with, “Mom I think I scared Ziggy.” So of course I asked what happened.

“I was tapping on the glass. He jumped.”

“It’s okay. He’s usually sleeping in the morning. Don’t tap the glass. It would be like waking up to an earthquake for you. That would be scary.”

“Mom, I think he’s hurt. I think he hit his head on the rock when he jumped. I’m scared.”

I walk over and take a look at Ziggy. At this point, I’m thinking he looks like he’s sleeping, hard to tell though. He’s a creepy little booger. I asked Hanan if she did anything else…No just tapped on the glass.

Ziggy is starting to float a bit at this point. The night before I thought he looked a little more lethargic than usual. I’m starting to be a bit concerned. Then Hanan starts to confess. She was worried when he jumped, she thought he was hung in the plant so she moved it. In her confessional, I go back to check Mr. Ziggy out again and this is what I saw…

Image 1I was quite certain he was deader than a doornail. Holy Toledo Batman! This thing is some sort of endangered species in Mexico and the beloved pet of a twelve-year old. We were told it’s sensitive and an endangered species and it’s sheer presence in my house and my responsibility to keep it alive has raised my blood pressure about 15 points. More about this lake monsters here and here

I texted that picture to Ray. He didn’t move from that position for at least 15 minutes. I was seriously freaking out and also ready to make a little coffin and have a paddle out ceremony at dog beach. I had my phone in my hand to give the owners the bad news. Hanan is crying. Actually weeping and gnashing of teeth seems to be a little more accurate as she was quite certain she had caused Ziggy’s untimely demise. Seriously folks, it was a bad 20 minutes… and we were trying to get ready before school. 

Then, miracle of miracles, I saw a foot move. Then he changed positions and was lying at the bottom of the tank. Did he do that or did he just fall there? It was seriously touch and go. Just before we were out the door for school, Ziggy started casually coming up. Thank heavens! 

I hope our neighbors are back soon. I don’t know if my blood pressure can take much more of this.