Teacher’s Unique Pets at Wilson

Aoife Kelly

Alex Lambert, long-term substitute for AP Biology teacher Lauren Trujillo, comes home every evening to a princess costume-clad bearded dragon.

Named Frankie, the bearded dragon isn’t Lambert’s first pet, as she grew up with 30 chickens, two dogs and two cats on her farm in Maine. It’s no surprise that Lambert loves animals. 

Lambert arrived at Wilson in January and is currently a senior at George Washington University. Her bearded dragon’s name is Frankie, or Frankie gal, as Lambert likes to call her. Lambert started living with Frankie two years ago, as Frankie is her roommate’s emotional support animal. While Lambert was originally reluctant to have a bearded dragon living with her again, she finally agreed to the idea, and grew to be very grateful for that decision. 

“I had a bearded dragon in the past, named Crikey,” Lambert recalled. “I think that lizards are super cool and interesting, they’re just chill little creatures with cute funky personalities, and I enjoy them.” Frankie is even more fascinating than Lambert’s former bearded dragon, as she has a genetic mutation that makes her larger than the average bearded dragon. 

While Lambert’s experiences have certainly led to her believing bearded dragons are fun and unique animals, there are some negative aspects to owning a bearded dragon. “Frankie is a lot of work, and pretty expensive,” Lambert admitted. 

 Lambert also mentioned that Maine weather can prove to be challenging for bearded dragons, especially in its extreme winter and summer seasons. “She has to be at a certain temperature at all times; if she gets too cold in the winter, she can die.” Lambert added that Frankie, “has a heating lamp in the colder months to solve this issue, and she can’t get too hot in the summer either.”  

Bearded dragons also take up a lot of time and energy. Lambert and her roommate divide up the time spent taking care of Frankie when she is home, but thankfully Lambert is very used to taking care of pets. “Back home in Maine I own 30 chickens, two dogs, and two cats,” she said. Even though Lambert believes that bearded dragons are intense, she also called them ‘chill’. “Owning a Bearded dragon is more similar to owning a cat than owning a dog, as they’re pretty quiet,” she said.

While Lambert admits bearded dragons can be a difficult pet to have at times, she regards the overall experience as rewarding. “It is nice having her there as support…like [when you’re] having a particularly bad day, Miss Frankie will put on a costume and walk around for you, sometimes even riding her skateboard. And you’ll feel better.” •