Yep... You read that right. He plays dead! Now the trick is to make it on command!
I came downstairs and was on my way to let my puppies out for their morning pee break when I looked over at Crush's cage as I often do. I love giving him nose rubs on my way past and he loves nose rubs. But I noticed something was... off. He was sprawled out across the floor of his cage, flat, and well, he looked like those dead bunnies you see on the side of the road!
My heart instantly went into jackhammer mode. I was panicking.
What had I done wrong?
Had he been ill and I not notice?
Did something give him a heart attack?
So I scraped my nails against the side of the cage in tiny hope that he would still be okay...
Here's some backstory to my panic with such things. One of my snakes grew ill and passed away - there was nothing that could be done because it happened so suddenly. My leopard gecko grew old and passed away from old age. I also had to put my old Rottweiler to sleep last year too - all within six months of each other(how horrible does that make me sound? I love old animals..). But that isn't even the worst of it! My mothers Rottweiler Regan had had a litter of puppies. Six puppies. Two surviving birth alone. The one was named Chili - and he was a little monster. The other was Angel, her mother rejected her instantly, and she got aspiration pneumonia. She passed away in my hands. Stopped breathing and in an instant, was still. I brought her back. This happened about six-ten times as we rushed her to the ER Vet who told us because of what was happening, it was likely she lacked oxygen to the brain long enough that she would have brain damage if we kept her alive. The chances of her living were slim... We said our goodbyes and had her euthanized.
But that STILL sticks with me, seeing her sprawled in my hands, not breathing, and stiff as a board. It was the most unreal thing I have ever experienced, and yet, so real at the same time.
I've panicked when seeing my DOG lay a certain way!
So naturally, this tripped me up. As I scraped my nails on his cage, nothing. He didn't move. Normally he eagerly comes over in hopes of a treat. So then the panic got worse. I stared at him, wondering what went wrong, where I went wrong. Only to notice the hairs on his side moving. He was breathing! So I gave the cage a gentle push and tapped my hand on it and he instantly hopped right up to check out wth I was doing. And how dare I wake him from such a good snooze!
To say the least, I'm extremely happy to relate that he is FINE! And I need to calm down. He's still displeased with me, lol... But he did get some nose rubs in apology.