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In 2009, I started working for a big box pet store. One morning a few months after I started, I came to open the store and found two boxes marked “crickets” waiting for me outside. Unsure if this was a delivery that I didn’t know about, I tossed them in so that I could run in and turn off the alarm.

I went back, picked the boxes up and proceeded to take them to the cricket bins to dump. Imagine my surprise, when I saw a big reptile eye peeking out through the mesh!

I opened the boxes to discover someone had left 4 sub-adult bearded dragons.

All but one had something physical that I could give them names to. Stubby was missing digits, Flatty was staying flat to the surface, Scabby had a skin issue.

Suddenly I, who did not like reptiles prior to this, wanted one.

Like, really, really, wanted one.

I texted Bob, who told me no.

I persisted.

Bob went to ask his grandfather, our landlord, who also said no.

I persisted.

I said I was doing it anyway.

Bob told his grandfather that it was work related and let me know he would have nothing to do with it.

My store manager came in for the closing shift and we went to the vet 3 doors down. Overall, they were healthy. The one with the rash would need medication. Because my manager was going out of town in 2 days and I had no reptile experience, Scabby went to the SPCA. My manager took in Stubby and Flattie, while I took home the no-name one.

They were all girls. There was nothing obvious physically to name her. Then, my sense of the absurd kicked in and I named her Fluffy. Because she was not. Her full name became Fluffernutter Peanutbutter Hubbard. I would sing it to her every morning.

Forget Bob, Fluffy would become the light of my life, inspiring a newfound need to fill my head with reptile knowledge.

I have many, many, Fluffy stories to tell. So check back on my blog for those.

Fluffy was always a little sickly. We visited her vet almost like clockwork every 6 months. Its kind of sad that we were always a “re-check” visit.

I am fortunate that I took her to one of, if not the BEST, exotic vet in WNY. Dr. Tomaschke at Seneca Animal Hospital is amazing and every visit, I learn something new.

In Fall of 2013, she started to have days without a lot of pep. She was not pooping in her pool as usual (yes, she was “litter trained”) and refusing her favorite foods.

On the day I started my promotion as a store manager, I took her into the vet. He found two tumors in her body. She was not a candidate for surgery in her condition. He gave her a nutrient boost and we would recheck her in a few days to see if it helped.

I told her if she wanted to fight, we’d fight. But if she was tired, that was ok too.

That night, her lights we out and she went with them.

I was devastated. She was my muse and Seven’s unwilling best friend. No one had more pictures on my cell phone than her. When I bought my new camera, she was the first thing I took a picture of. She even had her own Facebook page.

It was tough on both of us. I’m having a hard time writing this, years later. I can’t stop tearing up.

Two weeks later, as I was putting myself together enough to put away Fluffy’s tank and supplies, someone dropped off River at my store.

She, of course, had no name. She was severely underweight with the longest and sharpest claws I’ve ever seen on a reptile. I guessed her age to be about 8-9 months based on her length and was able to get her an appointment for the vet the next business day.

Dr. T. ran her through a battery of tests, knowing everything Fluffy had been through. He gave her a clean bill of health, knowing I would easily fix the food issue. He said that she had very a sweet disposition and told her “Kid, you don’t know who you good you just got it.”

River is named after either River Tam or River Song. I guess it could be either, depending on her mood. She is definitely Song after she eats cactus fruit (it looks like she has lipstick). Her favorite activity is eating and she hopes one day to be big and strong, so that she may conquer Tokyo.

River, thankfully, has only needed to see her vet twice since she came home.

River with Godzilla


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Very impressive! I thought with my two dogs, there’s no way they’d be able to get photos of my girls.. they never sit still! But with the help of cute barking noises, and a lot of “car rides” being promised, the photos turned out beautiful!

The staff at Hubbard Photography worked with my girls, (and what little attention span they had) and captured some amazing photos that I didn’t think were possible.

The session was short and sweet and the photos were more than phenomenal! What really surprised me was how they were able to capture their personality. Lucy, my fun loving “do what I wanna” dog, and Maggie, my little princess that sat so perfect and pretty for every shot they wanted.

Although they weren’t a fan of some props, they have fun and everyone was able to enjoy a few laughs. Highly recommended!

Sarah Perry

Where is mah cookie?

Susan Hubbard is an award winning pet portrait photographer:

Located in Buffalo NY

Serving all of Western New York (WNY) including Alden, Amherst, Blasdell, Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Depew, East Aurora, Eden, Grand Island, Hamburg, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Orchard Park and West Seneca.

Specialist in Pet Photography, including Dogs, Cats, and Reptiles


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Hubbard Photography
64 Lockwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14220 USA

Office Hours: M-F 11AM-6PM

Phone: (716) 771-0888
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