I am pressed for time today, as I still have to pull rodents from tubs and so forth, and I had someone ask me about my path to Ball Python breeding, so I am going to share it.
It's something that I can type about with ease...
Once upon a time, long before Pastels were $100, Heather Wong was getting out of college.
I was graduating from my Alma Mater with a BS in Biology, which was done to to goal of becoming a Medical Doctor. It was something I had always found fascinating, and I felt that helping people was always my calling (I still do). I was, however, missing a few classes, but was going to take them later after a brief hiatus from school.
On top of my degree, I had begun raising animals. I had always wanted to be a Veterinarian, but as I am allergic to all manner of furry creatures, I decided for my own health that the path to Vet School was paved with misfortune.
But I had been breeding guppies, mice and hamsters on the side, just to have some respite from studying about Apoptosis and writing my Senior Project. I had found something I enjoyed, but was still having a hard time with (the fuzzies were bothering my allergies) some of the animals I was caring for.
So I moved on, and found Bearded Dragons. I loved them for their personalities and colors, so I began to invest some time in learning about breeding them. I never got far enough, as with school and with other obligations, breeding and even caring for Bearded Dragons was becoming too much. (Feeding 10 dragons twice a day while studying the functions of the Kidneys was not something I was interested in doing).
So, I rehomed all of the Beardies. I had already acquired my first Ball Python by then, Unagi, and decided to invest in a Ball Python Morph. Back then, Pastels were the bees knees, and were four digits of expense. So, I broke down and bought my first Morph, a Pastel Male.
I then looked into it as a possible venture, and saw that there were many other morphs to be had. I wanted them all, so I invested again in a rack. I got a Boaphile Rack, and the rest is history.
Fast forward to the present, and I have over 200 animals, at least 10 professionally made racks, many thermostats and heat sources, and a room that I never thought I would be needing more space in (but I do).
And even now, I need more space and time to get things where I really want them, but this current situation is a far cry from what I started out as.
Did I ever think I would spend more than $5k on a snake? No way...
Did I ever think I would be able to sell a snake for more than $5k? No way...
I didn't get into it for that. I got into it as a collector and hobbyist. I wanted pretty snakes and fun colors to play with and breed for more pretty fun colored snakes.
I feel that I am a bit beyond that as of now, but I still feel that the passion for the animals and their beauty surpass anything else that I do, in terms of shows, etc. I love sharing the joy that I have for my animals with the people who do so as well. It's just so much FUN!
Anyway, I currently work full time as a Chemist, partially to fund my snake habit, and partially to get my butt in gear to actually take the classes I intended to do back in the day. I am actually in the process of trying to get into the classes I need to get my Masters.
Wish me luck!!! I'm gonna need it, as there is a huge demand for the classes I need, so competition is fierce.
But, until then, I will be doing the snake thing, doing the Chemistry thing, and doing the domestic thing. I am slowly getting wedding planning in gear, but since we have a lot of time left (getting married in 2012), I'm not too worried.
But the snake thing? That is always the most fun.
Have a fantastic day, my friends!