“Therapeutic Iguanas and Other Questionable Service Animals…” Meet “Iggy the Iquana” and my new friend Narinder Shargill, PhD…the inspiration for this post…

by | Dec 1, 2013

Should the law recognize therapeutic Iguanas?  Quote from this website article…

“One of the people affected by the new crack down on service animals is Cosmie Silfa, who says his iguana helps him stay sober and prevents depression.  Silfa has a letter from his psychiatrist that says Skippy “helps him to maintain a stable mood,” but under the new law, the iguana won’t be allowed to stay by his side. That is, unless Rhonda Kimmel knows where he can buy a convincing dog costume.”

Photo taken from LinkedIn public profile…
Vice President, Clinical Affairs at Boston Scientific Corp.
Photo taken by Narinder Shargill, PhD
“The Villa Iguana”

Photo taken by Narinder Shargill, PhD
Steve, practicing “mindfulness” with the “Villa Iquana”

Iggy the Iquana  Quote from this website…

“Iggy the Iguana, inspired by the author’s love of a childhood pet, will touch the hearts of all readers. Kids relate well to the animal characters in this book, as Iggy and his new friends go through their school year together and experience many of the same things kids experience in fourth grade, today.”


If it had not been for my new friend Narinder, photo above, I would not know a thing about therapeutic Iguanas!  While hanging out in the pool at Villa del Palmar Flamingos this last week, I became attached to a local Iguana feeding below a Palm Tree under the watchful eye of an apparent mate high above.  There are around eight Iguanas on the hotel grounds to keep us entertained.  For me it was an opportunity to practice mindfulness and be in the moment for quite awhile.  Observing this beautiful reptile up close and personal was exciting.  I was staring at the creature for a long time and wished for my camera to capture the moment.  It was Narinder who came to the rescue.  He took numerous shots while we both enjoyed the Iguana’s behaviors…all friendly.  I started thinking about how the Iguana might be a good choice as a therapy or service animal.  While it seemed like a ridiculous thought at first, I decided to do a little research with Google and found the referenced article on one such therapy Iguana named “Skippy” as referenced in the above photo and article.

For the kids in my work with Neighbors for Kids back home and parents who love learning too, I am introducing “Iggy the Iquana.”  The social stories of Iggy were originally made popular many years ago on TV as a kids show.

“Crazy Days of 5th Grade, the third book in the Iggy the Iguana Series, takes you on dramatic ride of suspense as Iggy finds himself in a completely different type of environment at school. After Iggy’s best friend moves away, he’s having difficulty not only dealing with the new girl iguana at school, but Iggy’s teacher, who happens to be a goat, is making his life crazy!”


I hope my readers enjoy learning about therapeutic Iguanas as much as we did during our stay at this gorgeous beach resort near Bucerias, Mexico.  I also want to thank Narinder Shargill for taking the time to capture this special moment visiting with the Iquana, including sending the photos to me via e-mail.  I would not have been able to write this posting for my blog without the inspiration of Narinder’s photos of our subject Iquana.  It is always my pleasure to advance the benefits of PTSD awareness while living in the moment during my adventures away from home…

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story  click to order…


About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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