Yesterday, when I was helping to clean out my mother-in-law's garage and take things to the dump, I saw a flash of bright green moving across the grass by the driveway. I went over and found this cool little guy. He's a Jackson's Chameleon. I live in Hawaii, and these lizards can be found in pet stores and caught in the wild. I know some chronics (meth-addicts) who regularly go up in the mountains and catch a bunch of these to sell to the pet shops for quick cash.
I asked around the neighborhood to see if they had lost a pet lizard, but no one had. The kids wanted to keep him, but I know that Jackson's Chameleons are high-maintenance animals and I just don't have the time to invest in caring for one. I'd need a suitable mesh-screened cage, some foliage, a misting bottle, and live bugs. I think my house is too hot for him, and he would be miserable cooped up indoors all day. I think he'd do better on his own as an independent chameleon. I have to say that in the brief amount of time I had with the chameleon, he worked his charm on me and I was about ready to commit to catching some bugs for him and keeping him long-term. He was friendly, not at all afraid to crawl on my arm and perch upon my head--I guess he liked the view. But in the end, he was released and he went on his merry way. I hope he's OK and thriving in the wild. And maybe one of these days, I'll see him again.
As an animal lover, I've had the joy of sharing my life with many animals. However, the only pets I have at this time are seven very tiny 'Opae Ula, or Hawaii Volcanic Red Shrimp, named after the seven deadly sins. They are each about 1/2" to 3/4" in size--and they spend most of their days swimming laps around their glass bowl, stopping to forage for algae to eat. Contact with them is minimal; I will add distilled water to their bowl when it is getting low, and I periodically do head counts to see if all seven are accounted for. Hardly meaningful interaction there.
Over the years, I've had a cat, countless fish (bettas, gouramies, guppies, catfish, goldfish, tetras), a parakeet, a couple of dogs, two newts and half-a-dozen bunnies.
Most recently, I've had two house rabbits as pets. I adopted my elderly boy bunny JarJar (yes, he's named after that annoying character from Star Wars) from my cousin who lost interest in caring for him, and I found my girl bunny Brandy on craigslist. I got them both neutered or spayed, and they were a happy bonded pair. Jarjar was about 10 years old (in 2010) when he passed. I woke up one morning, and found his lifeless body in the pen that the rabbits stayed in when they weren't roaming around the house. Brandy died a few months later--I think she had a broken heart, she was never really my rabbit as much as she was JarJar's companion. After that, I didn't want to ever have any more pets because it's too painful to lose them.
One of these days, I'll probably reconsider and I'll open my home to other pets because the benefits of having a pet outweigh the drawbacks. It's just that right now, it wouldn't be fair to the pet because I don't have the time to devote to it just yet.