Here’s Emerald during our first tulip season in Burlington. Oddly enough, I may have just left him to die there.

He was in bad shape when I came home to get him. If he’d looked like that yesterday, I would have taken him to an emergency vet.

I took him out of his hammock and his head lolled backward and his eyes were rolled back into his head. I had to check and make sure he wasn’t already dead.

In the car, he lay with his arms flat beside him with the palms up. He perked up and looked around a little. I pet him and put my fingers in the fleshy part of his palm like I was holding his hand, or I guess technically it was his foot.

The vet said he was critical and kept him overnight to get some fluids in him. There’s a chance he could regain his strength and be OK, but I’m expecting the worst.

The vet also said Emerald’s bones were real soft in his legs, but I’m not sure that’s correct. I think that’s what they’re trained to look for first, because most iguanas suffer from metabolic bone disease. Emerald’s legs felt fine to me, they were simply limp because he was so weak. He was standing on them yesterday. His jaw was strong, and that’s what I’ve been using to gauge his health. S’pose I could have been wrong.

That’s what’s torturing me — thinking i’ve done something wrong. that i should have replaced his UV light sooner, which yes, definitely I should have, but the the vet did say that without natural light — unfiltered sunlight — it doesn’t matter what i did with UV lamps. Then again, for three years in Burlington and Lacey, Emerald never went outside, and only got his light through the window and the UV light.

This apartment killed him. Or the fact that there hasn’t been any sunlight since January. If only I’d known something was wrong sooner. But he’s gone without eating lots of times, and always has bounced back.

I didn’t know he was that sick.

C’mon little guy. You can do it! Pull through!