My Boy Elroy.....major problem tonight! Advice? This may end up being a short novel. For that, I apologize now. I am flabbergasted, twitterpated....whatever the right word is, that is what I am. So anyway. I have never had a lizard. Always wanted one, but not like this. I am not a total newb.....I rehab snakes in my county. But lizards have legs, and snakes dont, there is a huge difference. Ok I am a total newb. nuff about me. Let's talk about Elroy. My mother called me and siad that one of her friends husband was very ill and had to travel for medical care, they would be gone 3 months and needed someone to care for their iguana. Cool! I said. That was a stupid reaction. So they bring me Elroy, after telling he he is "sweet" and "easy", and comes with "everything I will need for him". They show up with a 3 foot ****ed off iguana in a WAY too small AQUARIUM. This aquarium has a potting soil substrate that has been in there for an entire year, and she planted grass in it, so it has stuff growing here and there. Yeah, I'd be a ****ed off lizard, too. The "sweet" lizard proceeded to tail whip her as soon as she moved toward the "cage".......he was panicked when she reached in to pick him up, got very aggressive and so she backed down and put the lid back on the cage. He had no UV light, no heater, and absolutely no water whatsoever in the cage. When asked, she told me that he did not need to have access to water all the time because it would cause a fungus. (????) She also told me that he was to be fed 3 times a week, a diet of lettuce and canned fruit. Once a week he should have a teaspoon of wet cat food and a small piece of cheddar cheese. And for a treat, he could have pancakes with only a tiny amount of syrup. Seriously. I'm a newb, but I KNOW this is not right. Then an hour after she leaves, she calls me on my cell, while I am out buying a UV light and heater, while mentaly preparing my list of produce to buy to feed this guy (who is ribby by the way) and tells me that they "talked it over" and decided that they dont want him back. So, here I am. The stupid fool of a sucker that got an angry, 3 foot lizard in poor health dropped in my lap. I was going to be sensible about it and find someone better equipped to take him. Then I talked to the previous owner's daughter. Elroy was hatched and given away as a prize at a fair to a teenage boy who won the ring toss. He lived in a 10 gallon aquarium for the first year of his life until the teen boy was killed in a car accident. The next owner put him in a rubbermade container that was a ltitle larger.......but it is DARK inside a rubbermade. This second owner feed him babyfood meat. He stayed there for 6 months until this owner was busted for pot. Then my mother's friend got him and has had him for 18 months, still in a too small enclosure and poor diet. Helluva life for the guy, huh? I was gonna be sensible. I got his UV set up, got him some heat and a sunny window to sit in, and FED him. He freaked the first couple times I put my in his cage. But then, he licked me. Then he ate hibiscus out of my hand, even though he was clearly afraid. I fell in love with a ****ed off giant lizard. Did I mention that I am a fool? OK, so now there is a design for this giant enclosure in my head......about a 6 by 6 by 6. Yeah, its big. He's big cramped his whole life. I hope that eventually he will be able to be loose much of the time, but I want him to be able to run laps (maybe he will get some muscle tone). He will have to suffer in that tiny little box for a week or so, until I can get the supplies and get it built. Provided I figure out which room of my house has enough room for me to build a room within a room. I saved a link to the fruit, veggie and greens pages to help me with feeding him. (cool care page by the way). I am watching the CAT method of training, and trying to decide how to proceed with it, seeing as he is in a unique situation. I already invested in a UV light, honestly I dont know the spec of the light. I bought it from a local pet shop from a guy that I have known awhile. He has iguana's and told me this was the one he used for his ig's. His ig's are gorgeous and good health seems to radiate off of them. (thankfully, he has offered to "mentor" me. Goodness knows I will need it). I had originaly hoped that Elroy could go live with him, but this guy is "fulled up" right now and cant handle another critter. Humidity is a problem. Right now I am misting twice a day. Elroy loves it and sticks his face out for me, lol. So Am I totaly insane? Questions: What is a good treat? One for me to hand feed and that treat be given ONLY when he is interacting with me? ( Taken from my hand) Elroy has very dry skin. It is peeling in places, but some of his spikes have dry skin "caps". He should probably be bathed, but I'm not comfortable doing that just yet. Any suggestions? He is too thin. Should I just feed him a normal healthy diet and wait paitently for the weight to come up? or feed a "put some weight on him diet"? I have to get that potting soil out of there, now. It bothers me. What do you use for a substrate? (My friend uses and recommended paper towels that can be changed daily) I am adding water to his food and being sure to get water on the sides of the tank. I see him licking this off, and I have added a small water bowl. I cant add much, because the tank is so small. Any ideas on water options until I get him in a bigger enclosure? Any other tips? Suggestions? I already know that I am a fool, so there would be no need in stating the obvious. I'll add pics in the next post for you.