Spike is no ordinary reptile! He surely has a superstar modelling career ahead of him, judging by these photos of him taken at landmarks around Wirral.
Kirsty Garbutt is from Whitehaven originally but moved to Wirral when she was little and now lives in Birkenhead with a veritable menagerie: a dog, a hamster, giant African land snails, a burrowing scorpion, a royal python, a leopard gecko and 2 crested geckos as well as Spike the bearded dragon!
birkenhead.news spoke to Kirsty about Spike and his travels around Wirral, from West Kirby to Wallasey and from Birkenhead to New Brighton.
Kirsty is a bus driver with Arriva and sometimes her partner meets up with her when she is on a layover in New Brighton … and of course Spike comes along, too. “He meets me down on layovers during the summer, normally New Brighton routes. He has had a go in the cab but obviously, while the bus wasn’t running, haha!!!”, Kirsty told us.
Spike likes to go out into the public, on lead, and meet new people. “He travels to cafes, restaurants, goes on buses and to outdoor places.”, Kirsty said. “He is spreading awareness of exotic pets and lizards along with teaching people about them.”
Kirsty explained that he brings a lot of joy to people during this time of need. “When he is out in public people are able to stroke him, pose for pictures, get to know him and learn about him.
“People ask if he is real, that’s asked a lot! Then when they realise he is, they usually ask to pet him, get a picture with him, etc.” Kirsty said that the kids love him and he is very social so he doesn’t mind being the center of attention.
Kirsty studied exotic animals in college and fell in love with ‘beardie’s’. Spike, who is 9 years old was her first reptile. “The rest of the bunch kind of followed on as once you get one exotic [animal], there are so many more types you want haha!”
Kirsty has some serious advice for people who are interested in owning an exotic animal. “Do not rush into getting one and do plenty of research! They require strict heating, UV and dietary requirements.
“Plus not all bearded dragons are as tolerant as Spike, I have had him 9 years and started him outside and on a lead early on to get him used to it all.”, she said.
Finally, I asked what was Spike’s funniest moment, “Umm maybe just the time he was walking on lead and a dog tried to sniff his bum like he was some strange looking kind of breed of dog! Haha! Spike decided to puff himself up and make himself look as scary as possible to show the dog who was boss!”
Spike has his own Facebook page with lots of followers due to him posting many pictures of his adventures. https://www.facebook.com/dragonspike/