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Cherish and Share: Ida's Story


Ida first met Emily on Jan. 25, 2017 when a Grande Prairie pet store brought her to the clinic where Emily worked as a veterinary technician. The store had noticed that the little gecko was exhibiting some unusual symptoms; she had a head tilt, she refused her food and she moved in circles in her terrarium. Hoping the problem was a simple ear infection, Emily’s clinic gave her a week’s worth of antibiotics to try.

A week later, Emily followed up with the pet store and learned that Ida wasn’t doing any better. The likelihood was that Ida’s condition was neurological, which meant that her problems would be life-long. Emily, who had previously taken in a few special needs reptiles from the store and had developed an attachment to Ida, offered to adopt her. Emily set up a terrarium and brought her home.

Feeding Ida could be a challenge. At first, she ate on her own, but as her symptoms worsened, she stopped eating – either from lack of appetite or not being able to see her prey. Emily resorted to hand-feeding her, sometimes spending up to thirty minutes with her in order to get her to accept her food. “I was determined to keep up her strength until her time came.”

Not long after, Emily moved to New Brunswick, taking Ida and her other pets with her. “I knew moving with reptiles was going to be hard, but I had to do it because my animals mean so much to me.” 

"(Ida) was hard work, but worth it. Her passing left a hole in my heart. I will always see her impression and think back fondly on her."

Ida made it through the trip with flying colours; things even seemed to be looking up. Unfortunately, the improvement was short-lived. After a brief spell of good health, Ida’s condition worsened. Soon, she needed to be syringe fed.

On November 8, 2017, Emily knew that the time had finally come. Ida fought the syringe and refused to eat, eventually lapsing into a seizure-like state. Panicked, Emily brought Ida in to the clinic where she worked.

After going over all of her options with the doctors and her co-workers, Emily made the decision to let Ida go. “I said my goodbyes and my co-workers made beautiful ink prints of her tail and feet for me.” Emily also took a clay imprint, something she had done previously for her family’s dogs. 

Emily elected to have Ida’s impression personalized to match her scale colours. She says that it turned out even better than she could have imagined. “They even got her purple/grey colouring from the skin over her eyes,” she says. “The result is an amazing piece of art that I can look back on and display for people to see and tell her story. She was hard work, but worth it. Her passing left a hole in my heart.... I will always see her impression and think back fondly of her.”

Ida-Gecco

Ida-Gecco

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pattern match.

Emily elected to have Ida’s impression personalized to match her scale colours. She says that it turned out even better than she could have imagined. “They even got her purple/grey colouring from the skin over her eyes,” she says. “The result is an amazing piece of art that I can look back on and display for people to see and tell her story. She was hard work, but worth it. Her passing left a hole in my heart.... I will always see her impression and think back fondly of her.”

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