S.F. Iguana Man Gets to Keep His 'Service Lizards'
|Cosmie Silfa and Skippy|
Silfa, first profiled in a cover story on service creatures in June of last year, ran into a rough spot with the mangers of his SRO hotel. While he has a psychiatrist's note "prescribing" Skippy the iguana as "an essential component of our treatment plan," last year Silfa was made to jump through a number of administrative hoops that endangered his ability to keep a large reptile in his small apartment.
But, in the end, things worked out for the self-professed disabled veteran -- and how. His new paperwork is actually even more inclusive than before; not only is he the proud owner of Skippy the service iguana, his bearded dragon Scruffy and blue-tongued skink Buffy have now also been designated as "service animals."
Silfa's victory was not without casualties, however. He was forced to give up several of his non-essential lizards (when SF Weekly visited Silfa in his extraordinarily cozy room last year it was a virtual herpetarium, a library of lizard-fancier magazines, and a good 85 degrees Farenheit). Marilyn the skink -- so-named becuase of her sexy walk -- is now living with a friend. Silfa is no longer permitted to hand carry his service lizards through the halls. But he can live with that.
"Everything is fine," he says with a laugh. "I just can't wait until the warm weather."
Then he can walk his service animals around the block and to the nearby dog park. Neither lizards nor Silfa enjoys the wet and cold.