Let us begin this note with an apology.
Living Gems‘ last official activity was in September 2018, a long time ago. At the time, we had just finished our best breeding year ever, with six different litters totaling almost 100 baby Brazilians.
We disappeared shortly after that…
…because that’s when our world fell apart.
In late September 2018, I fell ill with an unknown sickness that kept me out of my day job for six long weeks. I was bedridden for most of it, racked by pain and severely limited mobility, and eventually wound up in the hospital…where they excitedly ran all sorts of tests that yielded no answers, but large medical bills.
Thankfully, friends were able to help out with Living Gems, both snakes and rodents.
Unfortunately, during this already hard time, one of my helpers kids’ had a lice scare, and as part of our precautions I asked a friend to apply a very light application of Rid at the base of the door that separated the LGR office from the rodent room. There were closed doors separating the office from any snakes.
However, it seems the chemical was over-applied, and reached the sensitive baby snake room. Babies begin dropping like flies, and there was nothing I could do as I was flat on my back. I lost all but one of my long-awaited Arctic Anery babies, Litter A. Litter C, a new striped line produced by Caesarian and Onyx, saw 10 of 17 pass. Litter D, a repeat from Franklin and Jadeite, lost 18 of 19; and Litter E, a litter of stunning high colored from Vulcan and Pearl, lost 8 of 14.
Ironically, the later litters — which should have been more delicate — held up much better, with almost every baby pulling through.
The end total was grim, with over 50% of our babies passing away.
(The adults seemed oddly unaffected. We did lose a few animals, but the incidents were all elderly animals with known issues, breeding-related, or from difficult morph lineages.)
Fate, however, was not done with me. At the time I had a second tiny side business of consisting of a few rental properties, and that too fell apart. One property manager who had mismanaged several properties stole several thousand dollars at termination, and a second ruined one of my buildings.
I also had a contractor walk off with several thousand dollars.
Between the lost salary, animal losses, rental losses, theft, and about ten grand in medical bills, I was forced to file personal bankruptcy. The process took about four painful months, but in the end I exited in much better shape.
Of course, it was around then that I was told my day job was being end-of-lifed.
And then my dog got hit by a car.
So all in all, it’s been a pretty crappy eighteen months.
Thankfully, we are now at the tail end of that pain, and finally gearing up to sell some snakes.
So, what is the good news?
We are back in full swing
In addition to current animals, we have been breeding since early in the year, with ten breeding groups established. Some are repeats of past successes, and some are brand new groupings for 2020. I have seen locks, and several females have been acting gravid on and off…
As always, thank you for being a loyal LGR customer.