When I first started with frogs 20 yrs ago, my friends laughed and teased me. I felt odd, like this is only something peculiar people do. I know it took a good 10 years for me to stop cringing inside when they’d joke about it. They didn’t mean to make me uncomfortable. They were just messing around but it made me feel self conscious.
Now, the same friends ask about the welfare of the frogs. They even send photos to their kids. Finally, my friends enjoy the frogs without teasing.
Nope, the frogs don’t have fur. You can’t pet them and shouldn’t handle them often. So then, what do I get out of it that’s similar to what people get out of having a pet cat or dog?
I get to design their terrarium home and make it flourish with greenery. It feels similar to nurturing and pampering because I’m placing things just so and fussing over their environment just like I do when I’m fixing Joe’s blankets or washing his bowls or brushing him. I’m needed and that feelings good.
One of the best things about a frog terrarium is having it bioactive. This means in addition to creating a drainage layer for the plants, I need to add springtails and isopods. I also add earthworms to help the soil. I don’t add a drainage layer for burrowing frogs.
I love watching new pothos leaves open and to see creeping fig reach far with new leaves. It’s something special to see tiny little flowers bloom on the polka-dot plants.
These little marvels are like commendation that I have succeeded in what I set out to do. I’ve accomplished my goals.
Seeing the terrarium flourish validates my efforts and is a visual reminder that I’m not a failure at everything.
Depression lies to me saying I can’t do anything right, that everything I touch eventually falls apart. Well, making a working and ever changing ecosystem is no small feat. I feel pride, a sense of accomplishment and I get to nurture something. It feels good, so I keep doing it.