Over the years I've kept six blue-tongued lizards as pets, each with their own name, personality and intelligence.
In 1993 wrote a book about alternative pets. The first edition was called New Faces and it won Book of the Year Award in 1995, in the CBC Awards. The second edition came with the title Alternative Pets and it's still available through the Australian Book Group in Drouin, Victoria. I wrote the book because I wanted to show kids how to care for their pets properly, and how to teach them various tricks and games.
For instance, how to teach a gold fish to swim through a hoop: how to teach a budgie to recite nursery rhymes and telephone numbers; how to teach a yabby to roll a piece of carrot on its side and into its cave; how to house train a ferret and teach it to sit, stay and retrieve, just like a dog; and how to have fun with land hermit crabs moving house.
Today Doug picked up this blue-tongued lizard that was sun-baking on the road. We didn't want it to be run over by a car. It was remarkably quiet, not poking out its bright blue tongue in alarm.
Releasing it into an area of coastal scrub nearby, we wished it well; wondered if it had mate; and if it had live young in its belly.
One of our pet blue-tongued lizards called Silver gave birth to 12 live young -- an event we witnessed in its entirety.