Several months back (at least a month before we adopted Rex, the mischievous beagle) I was working one day when I noticed a rather large bright green spot moving about in the grass in front of my office window. Closer inspection revealed an iguana between 2 and 3 feet long. This was the start of numerous and frequent iguana sightings in the yard. He was kind of cool to observe and it made it easy to get the boys outside to run off some energy. “Hey, guys, I think I saw the iguana over by the mango tree – go see if you can find it”. They’d run off to look, get distracted in about 45 seconds and spend an hour or two playing outside. This worked especially well since they’d never actually seen it till a week or two ago -I just showed them the picture I’d taken of it the first day. I mean, really, if you’re a five or eight year old boy, what could possibly be more fun than hunting down a giant lizard rumored to be squatting on your land? They did finally see it when DH came across it while doing some yardwork. They all watched it for awhile and much excited discussion ensued.
Now, Rex came along somewhere in there. He’s a 1.5 y.o. beagle we adopted (which I may or may not have neglected to blog about) and, just like the other boys in this house, is much easier to live with when he spends significant time outside running off some energy. Being a beagle, Rex has to smell pretty much everything also, which, thankfully, the other boys do not. One afternoon, when Rex was having some lovely hunting dreams in his bed in my office (I know he was, because he was barking and yelping in his sleep) I noticed the iguana climbing up the tree in front of my window. It occurred to me that given the amount of time Rex spends exploring the yard, he must’ve had an iguana encounter at some point. So I assumed that they could peacefully coexist. This weekend’s showdown, though, leads me to believe they had both somehow managed to avoid that up till now.
I was heading out to run errands Saturday when I find DH and the boys standing in the driveway watching Rex barking like a maniac at something in the grass. Yup. He’s met the iguana and they’re having a little canine/reptile showdown. This carries on for a few minutes with Rex barking his fool head off at the iguana, periodically making a move in or past the iguana causing the iguana to spin to face him, move again, spin… so for several minutes the dog ran circles around the iguana who spun the other direction to keep facing him.
The boys, of course, think this is about the funniest thing they ever saw. I’m not sure which was more amusing – watching the antics of Rex who just clearly doesn’t know what to make of this or listening to the boys giggling hysterically watching the show. I did sort of feel sorry for the iguana who, I’m sure was just heading out to check out the lunch menu over at the post in the bushes where the boys throw out all the unused fruit / veggies / bread etc. I’m sure that spot is like the all you can eat buffet for Mr. Iguana (and the rest of the critters).
Anyway, Rex was getting braver and braver (I’m sure he was just trying to make friends – he kind of desperately wants some friends with more than 2 legs but no, I’m not up to another 4 legged child just now) and the iguana is flicking his tail at him as he spins. So, I figure that is his defense but don’t know whether he can actually, you know, *hurt* the dog. I’m starting to get concerned about this and seeing no evidence that DH is thinking of breaking up this little game of Here We go Round the Mulberry Bush Iguana, I decide I’m going to risk life and limb and get Rex. Just as I make my move the iguana makes his and bolts for the nearest pine tree and scampers up it in a split second. That sucker is FAST! I realized he was inching his way over to it with each spin ’round while Rex was tormenting him.
The pines we have are very tall and thin with only a few branches near the top. The iguana was obviously taking no chances as he scampered up the trunk of the tree and didn’t stop till he was right at the top – at least 25 feet up. And we was not coming back down by the look of it. Rex, for his part went a bit nutso making a thorough inspection with his nose of every square inch the iguana had covered.
I went off to do my errands. When I came home later, DH informed me that the iguana was still up there an hour later when they went inside. Later they’d gone back outside and witnessed the sequel when the iguana was still in the vicinity. He got chased up another tree.
I think the iguana might may be pondering whether it’s time to seek out a new home which is pet-free. He’d probably thought he had it made before Rex was on the scene. Now he’s having beagle nightmares. And poor Rex still doesn’t have any 4-legged friends to play with.