sad times at the green house. last friday night i noticed that walter was breathing weird. he's prone to pneumonia, so saturday morning my mom and i took him to the vet. when we pulled open his mouth to see if he had congestion we discovered that he had a wad of food stuck in his mouth/throat that was almost the size of my mom's fist. the vet (with the assistance of two people) pulled the huge wad of food out and we went home armed with some antibiotics, just in case he did have pneumonia. saturday night walter was eating, which i thought was a good sign. sunday morning i went go get walter to take him out for his antibiotic shot and noticed that he had another huge wad of food stuck in his throat and mouth, so big it was affecting his ability to breathe. we took him back to the vet on monday, and they said that it could be one of two things: 1. he had a growth in his throat that wasn't allowing him to breathe, or 2. his paralysis had extended from the back of his body up to his throat, making it impossible for him to breathe. either way, the outcome was that he was starving and suffocating. we decided to have him put to sleep. it was really hard. my mom and i were sitting in the vet's office bawling over the goodbye, but i know it was the most humane thing to do. we've had him for 7 or 8 years, maybe more, and he was already several years old when we got him. the vet told us that 10 is the average life expectancy for iguanas, so he had a pretty long life. but i really miss him. i keep looking over to his little corner expecting to see him there. nevertheless, walter went out with his personality. the technician who came to get him was a male, and walter doesn't like males. he was really calm while i was holding him, but as soon as the guy took him he started struggling to get away. then the guy started to pet him to try and get him to calm down, walter opened him mouth to warn him, the little stinker. he was so unique. he will be missed.