Yes, I Have A Pet Snake And No, I Am Not Crazy

Yes, I Have A Pet Snake And No, I Am Not Crazy

Deciding to get a ball python as a pet was one of the best decisions of my life.

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Three summers ago, I started volunteering at The Toledo Zoo and I fell hardcore in love with animals. I had always loved them, but when I started getting more involved and eventually got hired I started seriously thinking about getting a snake as a pet.

When I was a kid, I was terrified of snakes thanks to a documentary my dad showed me where a man got consumed by an anaconda. Now we've come full circle, and my baby ball python named Kluber lives happily in a bedroom at my dad's house. It took my sister and me some convincing to get my dad and stepmom on board with owning one of the most feared animals ever in a tank in our bedroom, but after a thorough powerpoint presentation, two educational youtube videos, and my background of animal handling and zoo training, they finally agreed to let a danger noodle into our home.

When we started looking for a baby ball python from a reputable breeder, we already knew we wanted a young male with some kind of abnormal color markings. We also knew that we were going to name him Kluber after Corey Kluber, the pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. We searched long and hard for a unique animal that didn't completely break the bank, and thanks to Morphmarket we stumbled across Twin City Constrictors. They had a fresh group of baby pastel 100% albino ball pythons for sale (which basically just means they are lighter in color and will have albino babies) and we immediately fell in love with one of them.

After talking to the owner and deciding a time to have the baby snake shipped to our house, we exchanged the cash and set out to make the coolest and safest ball python enclosure ever. One of the references that really helped was this video by Brian Barczyk on how to set up a starting enclosure that won't make your wallet cry. Once everything was ready, we just needed to wait for the overnight shipping of our new snake friend.

Kluber gives amazing hugs Megan Carmen

When the box showed up on our porch, I was the only one home so I got the honor of seeing our new pet for the first time. I opened the box, and the tiniest, cutest, most terrified face I had ever seen stared back at me from inside a small plastic cup. The poor guy was so scared, and I would be too if I had just spent all night in a box on a truck. I opened the container and reached my hand toward him. Now I know exactly what all of you snake haters out there are thinking.

Megan Carmen

For those of you wondering "Did he bite you?" or "Did he use his incredible rage against humans as an excuse to strangle you to death on the spot?", the answer is no. Ball pythons are shy animals and get their name because when threatened or in danger, they curl up into a ball instead of attacking. So as I reached my hand into the cup to move him into his cage, all he did was shake in fear. Sometimes it is important to recognize that we as humans are the biggest predator around.

Snakes take the best selfies Megan Carmen

After a week or so spent acclimating in his cage, baby snake Kluber had become comfortable enough to be handled. We started out slow to make sure he felt safe and wasn't stressed, but he just so happens to be the most amazing snake ever to live and he loves to explore and scope out the outside world so he was instantly in love with being out of his tank. He even started to sit in the branches at the top of his tank to let us know he wanted to socialize.

Time to explore! Megan Carmen

There are a lot of things that make owning a snake fun, like seeing their personality develop, watching them explore, and seeing them shed. For us though, Kluber has been a family bonding experience. I got to share my passion and love for these incredible creatures with my family and educate them on the proper care necessary for reptiles. I saw my once-apprehensive stepmom, Melissa, form a bond with Kluber and become genuinely interested in him and snakes in general. We all gathered together in awe the first time we watched him eat, shocked that something without arms or legs was able to devour a mouse that fast. But most importantly, we all have developed a love for a creature that extends beyond anything we could have predicted.

Kluber enjoying his home Megan Carmen

When we received a two-month-old ball python back in August, never did we think he would be as important to us as he is. He has his own nicknames, a very special personality, and the cutest little tongue ever. Kluber is now just under two feet long, the perfect amount of chunky, and eating an adult mouse every two weeks. He will grow another three feet and be as big around as a baseball bat at his prime, and he will live another 20-30 years. It is so exciting to watch him grow and develop and it is so gratifying to know that we get to be a part of this creatures life. It's exactly like owning a dog... just not as fuzzy and with significantly fewer legs.

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15 Confessions Of A Dogaholic

14. You're just as happy to see them as they are to see you.
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I think all dog owners can agree that when you get a dog they change your life. They make you see the world in a different way and show you unconditional love. They don’t judge you or care if you’re rich or poor. They not only become a part of your family, but they become your best friend.

We all know those crazy dog people, like myself. We are the ones that take selfies with our dogs, talk about them like they're our children, and wish we could pick up the phone to check in on them when we are not home.

Whether you like to admit it or not, being a dog owner, we all become a little obsessed with our dogs. If you're a dogaholic like myself, you will be able to relate completely to these 15 confessions:

1. You develop "the baby voice."


Without even realizing it, once you bring your new fluffy friend into the family, you develop that annoying baby voice that you will only talk to your dog in. It'll go something like "oh what a good boy! hows my baby today?"

2. You ALWAYS have fur on your clothes.

Yep, this one is unavoidable. You can't cuddle your dog without getting fur all over you. Who cares, embrace it.

3. Fur becomes a condiment in your household.

Yeah sorry, you will definitely have a piece of hair in your food just because it floats around in the air.

4. You have conversations with them.

Sometimes you find yourself literally having a full on conversation with your dog and they just sit there and stare at you because they don't know what the hell you are talking about. But, they're the best listeners!

5. Saying goodbye is always hard.

Whenever you leave the house you HAVE to give them a million kisses and hugs.

6. You wish you could call them when you're not home.

"Hey, it's me, you're human. How are you? I miss you, I'll be home soon."

7. You show pictures of them to everyone.

You always have a picture ready on your phone and you show them off like they're your children. Your go-to conversation starter is, "Hey, wanna see a picture of my dog?"

8. Staying in and hanging out with them is always the better option.

"Hey, sorry I can't come out tonight, I'm hanging with my dog."

9. You take selfies with them.

You're not a true dog lover if you don't have a million selfies of you and your dog on your phone.

10. You have a million pictures of just them.

Your camera roll is filled with cute pictures of your dog, because you just HAVE to capture that picture of them sleeping because they are SO cute!

11. You have to say hi to every dog you see.

12. Your face when people say "I don't really like dogs."

13. Spending time with your dog always puts you in a good mood.


Had a bad day? That's okay just go home and lay with your dog, you'll feel better.

14. You're just as happy to see them as they are to see you.


15. They're your absolute best friend.


People are great and all, but...dogs are better.

Cover Image Credit: Samantha Melvin

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11 Of The Greatest Dog Breeds, And What Makes Them Great

Some dog breeds that could potentially be my future companion.

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Everyone has favorites, we all pick our favorite foods to eat, clothes to wear and jewelry to wear. The difference is sometimes our favorites aren't the best option for us. Having some greens once in a while instead of pizza is good for me. Sometimes, we look better in blue than our favorite shade of red, and sometimes, we have to wear some gold jewelry than our go-to silver. This is a list of not only my favorites but also some breeds of dogs I could see myself having because they would be a good fit for me.

I also would like to add that I am a cat person. However, I love all cat breeds, so that would be hard.

1. French Bulldogs

Hands-down, my favorite dog. They are so cute to me and they are chubby and so cute with all those wrinkles. The downside is the medical bill with this breed, but I could definitely see me get a Frenchie in the future.

2. Pugs

Again, the wrinkles are too adorable to not have! I will say, that I don't really think that I will end up having a pug, but they are really cute and I will continue watching pug videos on the gram.

3. Jack Russels

Jack Russels are a basic dog in my opinion. They are good dogs, good companions, and just happy dogs. I could see myself having a Jack Russel.

4. Pomeranian

Now, if I were to get this kind of dog, it would have to be a tiny version. This dog would have to have constant grooming appointments and be a cute stylish puppy. They are cute, but in my opinion, only because of the hair.

5. Labs

I really don't think of myself as a big dog type of person, however, I've been around labs my whole life. I believe that they are very loyal, and really good dogs. I also have seen a lot of kids and lab videos to warm my heart to get me to this decision.

6. German Shepards

This is a shaky type of breed for me. I have two German Shepards at home. One I get along with great, the other, not as much.

7. Chihuahua

Oh, yes! These crazy yippie dogs are on my list. Why? Because chihuahuas were my childhood fantasy. It sealed the deal when "Beverly Hills Chihuahuas" came out and one named Chloe was a main character. Now, it is not a solid deal as the breed once was, but I figured I would put this on there.

8. Pit Bulls

I think pit bulls carry a stereotypical bad reputation. In my mind, I feel as though pit bulls have the same personality as I do. They are very sweet dogs, but sometimes are clumsy or are sometimes too feisty. I saw a pitbull mix the other day and all the dog wanted to do was play with me. I think I would really get along with this dog breed.

9. Pomsky 

Just look up a picture and you will instantly want one too. So fluffy and cute!!!

10. Akita

I don't know a lot about this kind of breed, but by seeing their pictures I think they are cute but pretty protective dogs. I think they are kind of leaders and would be great for children.

11. Stray Dogs

I know this isn't a dog breed, but thinking about how all these different dogs come with price tags, why not rescue a dog for less? This could be great or the dog could not get along with the environment and it could go downhill. The good news is though, that doing this process, the people in charge help the dogs gradually change for it to work out for both parties and I think it is a great process. I have also have had ideas about fostering dogs in the future, so I think topic of my article was more than needed to talk about.

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