And then there was one.

Been a while. Pretty much I don’t post unless it’s animal-related or something bad. And, yeah.

I gave Herbert away to New England Reptile yesterday. Now, snakes aren’t like your typical pet that walks around the house, or makes noise, or otherwise constantly lets you know they’re there. But I know he’s not here. And it’s so weird. Every time I walk by his cage, I freak out a little before I remember. “Oh, yeah.”

This definitely wasn’t an impulse thing. That was a long time coming—as in a couple years. He was getting wicked aggressive, which is typical of BRBs. That I could handle. I knew how to handle him so as to not get bitten. The only time I was ever bitten by him was close to when I brought him home when he was a baby. Al let’s me put my finger in his face and pet him on his nose. I stupidly tried it with the baby BRB and I got tagged on the finger. Stupid human.

But over the past couple years I’d been considering giving him to New England Reptile. I’d even asked them a little over a year ago if they’d be interested in him and they actually offered me money at the time or a trade for another snake. The latter would be defeating the purpose of giving him up.

You’d think that having one snake or several wouldn’t make a difference. I didn’t. And in general it doesn’t if they’re similar. But when you have two different species at different life stages with completely different personas, things get interesting.

Right after I talked to them a bit about taking Herbert last year, I got home and immediately changed my mind. He lives like a little king here in his giant cage and cypress mulch that he likes to burrow in. I don’t want him kept in a shoebox-size thing that he can’t move in. I can take care of him better.

Comparing the two, Herbert has always been the eater. Eats whenever I feed him, whatever I feed him. Al is the picky one. If he doesn’t want to eat, he doesn’t eat. Lots of rats get wasted on him. But he goes through his typical hunger strikes and then starts eating again out of nowhere. That’s his way and I’ve learned him.

Over the last couple months, Herbert has not been eating. The disturbing thing is he strikes at the food and misses. He’s done that the last few times I’ve tried. It’s right up against his face and he strikes completely past it. Then he looks stunned a bit and refuses to have anything to do with the rat. I leave it in the feeding tub for a bit and leave him alone with it which is supposed to do the trick, but no go. When Al was refusing food, he’d just all out refuse the food. Not strike and miss and look like he has issues. But Herbert doesn’t seem sick. I mean this has been going on for months but there’s been no regression. This isn’t like when Deneb was sick and there was clearly a brain infection going on.

I considered taking him to the vet, but he is so aggressive. I don’t know how that would even work.

He’s also been pooping in his water. :/

After the last feeding a few days ago, I knew I can’t do this. He actually tried to strike twice at the rat and missed both times. Then was just fighting to get out of the tub.

Oddly enough, Al’s appetite has been hearty. He’s been eating whatever Herbert doesn’t eat even though it’s small and insignificant compared to what his normal meals are. So at least I haven’t had to throw food away.

Anyway, after a lot of consideration, I figured he needs someone that can give him more time and options with the food. Maybe he needs to try live? If he’s at NERD, they’ll be able to work with him more. I finally had to convince myself that someone else COULD care for him better than I can. Ugh, that realization sucks royally.

I called Friday night and spoke to a guy named Rob. I asked if they take snakes. He asked what I had. Brazilian Rainbow. Downplaying, “Uh, he’s a bit nippy.” He’s like, “Well aren’t they all.” And it’s true, they are. Buuttttt, we’ll see how this goes. I asked if he’d be working next weekend and could I bring him up to look at then. He said yes so it was in the books for next weekend to bring Herbert to NERD which meant I had a week to freak out and change my mind again.

My current weekend plans were thrown a wrench into. Plan originally was to go out in service and do my RV which I had promised to come back on this weekend so that was my main priority, then kayak on Sunday morning, go get my delivery at my parents’, pick up my Amazon delivery, then head home because I had company.

First thing that went wrong is Saturday after the meeting out in service, I never got to get to my RV. I’m going to have to do it Sunday. I’m going to have to cancel kayaking. Then I realized that next Sunday is the English circuit assembly. I canceled kayaking last-minute and moved it to next Saturday. This means I have no time next week to bring him to NERD. I’m going to have to bring him up this Sunday. But I still have my RV to do.

It goes without saying that if I have to take my snakes somewhere, it has to be the first thing I do. I can’t go out in service with a snake in my car. So I make plans with someone to meet at noon at the hall to do the RV. I would bring Herbert up in the morning when they open at 10.

I don’t know how long this is going to take between getting him in the car and how long it would take when I’m up there, but I figured noon would be plenty of time. I set my alarm for 10 just so I could call when they opened and make sure Rob is there. Nope, he’s not. He doesn’t get in till 12. 😑 OK, new plan. Text and cancel plans for meeting for my RV at noon. Text someone else and beg them to meet me sometime after noon to do the RV, preferably 1. This works out.

I go and make a feeding tub-size spot in my front seat to put him in and make sure no one is around to see me carrying a snake out of my building. There are people everywhere. So I go back in and put Herbert in the tub and carry it out with a blanket over it, trying not to look weird. Load him in and go.

I’m holding my arm over the lid on the way. I didn’t want to strap it shut because every couple of miles, I’d look down and make sure he’s on the opposite end and I lift the lid up on the other end to make sure fresh air is getting in. (That’s not distracted driving, right?) I’m flying up to Plaistow.

I get up there and wait forever for Rob to come down. I never noticed it before, but people are constantly surrendering animals to NERD. There were a bunch of people there that day giving up iguana, beardies, etc. Rob had told me there’s a surrender fee because they get sooooo many animals dropped off. It was like $25. That’s fine. While I was waiting, I filled out the paperwork. Name: Herbert etc etc. Under misc. notes I wrote, “Born on 6/23/09.” It’s unusual for a reptile owner to know their pet’s birthdate. I don’t know Al’s. You usually get them 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand and have only a ballpark figure of how old they even are. So they were surprised I: 1. knew his birthday, and 2. I’ve had him this whole time and have been his only human. I was like, “Yeah, he’ll be 10 next June.” They’re like, “Holy crap.”

I finished the paperwork and went out to the car to get him. He almost got out in the parking lot. He stuffed his head out and bent the lid up, so I had to grab him knowing I’m probably going to get bit but it’s better than him getting loose. He didn’t bite fortunately, but I do have a bruise from hitting my arm on the tub.

Brought him in and Rob’s like, “He’s huge!” which surprised me. I said, “Interesting because I was going to ask you if you think he’s small.” He’s like, “No, he’s a big one.” Well, that’s reassuring at least.

Over the phone he had told me they would try to find him a home and if no one adopts him, he’d be kept at NERD in their breeding program. That would be nice to finally get him breeding. I think once he saw him, he could totally see him breeding. I mean, he was the male pick of the litter when I got him. He’s definitely a looker.

So, yeah. I gave him to them and he got his own good-size cage in the reptile room that they cleaned out for him. The girl in the front said to go find Rob to see what he wanted the surrender fee to be. I went back to him and he’s like, “Don’t worry about it.” I think he could see I was bummed just being there. Plus, this wasn’t any old ugly snake I was giving over. I told them if, for whatever reason, they can’t either find a home for him or use him for breeding, call me and I’ll take him back. Don’t, like, dump him somewhere.

And that was it. Bandaid ripped off quickly.

It’s weird. I don’t miss him, but I do notice he’s not there and I hate change. The empty cage is disturbing. I’ve had him for 9+ years. That’s probably the biggest change that’s happened since I got him 9 years ago. Even the move. I mean, in my living quarters, there’s one less living thing here that’s my dependent.

Fortunately, snakes, like horses, are made to come and go. There’s no emotional attachment from a snake. At most, they know who you are. (Al totally knows who I am.) And Herbert was always that 2nd child that I never quite connected with. He was beautiful as anything, but I never really warmed up to him. He was mainly my little project which I think is partially why I’m a bit bummed. It feels like a failed project. This sounds awful talking about your pet this way. But, yeah, I never loved him. I love Al. Just was never really over-the-moon for Herbert. But still, change. And boo.

So that’s my weekend and if I’m mopey lately it’s because I’m back to a one-snake household. And if anyone asks, like they often do, “Do you still have the snakes?”, I’m just going to say, “Yes.” Otherwise, I have to get into all this. ☝🏼

Oh and I rushed back to the hall by 1 to go on my RV who wasn’t home. The end.