Panama City Beach – Louie

Not many kids can claim they’ve captured a new pet while on vacation. My brother and I did once.
For years, our family vacationed in Panama City Beach. This was back before it was a spring break destination, back when little Nicole still crimped her hair. One of our favorite past-times was chasing chameleons, which are EVERYWHERE down there.

They’re really hard to catch and, being kids, we were…you know…stealthy. Not! But through skill, luck or gumption, we actually caught one! My brother promptly named him Louie.

I have no idea how we got him home – we must have bought his terrarium while we were still in Florida – but, somehow, Louie made it back to Wisconsin and became a permanent resident of the snowy north. We fed him flies, made him a nice little environment and kept him for a full year!

Then, we sent him back down to Florida with my grandparents when they returned. We wanted to make sure he got back to his normal home again. When they let him go, my grandpa told us he could always tell which chameleon was Louie because he was so much bigger than the others.

Guess that fly diet worked wonders!


  1. Aw what a sweet story. That chameleon is well loved. And fed.

  2. I've seen lots of geckos down here, but no chameleons yet. Or, maybe they're just so well hidden?? :)

  3. Cute! Lizard-like pets are hard to keep with the heating and live food.

  4. That's one beautiful memory of your childhood! You're too lucky for catching a chameleon; it's one animal that's hard to catch and Louie was a nice name, by the way. Anyhow, do you still see him when you're in vacation in Panama? It's hard to distinguish him for the bunch but I'm sure for Louie will never forget you and your brother because of the love and insects you gave to him. =)

    Donna Parsley