Yes: 26 years later, Liz is still taking care of those newts.
That is cool.
"The Argentine horned frog and the Corn snake, they lived normal lifespans," Liz said. "But these newts ... they must be the longest living newts ever!"
"Maude acts like I'm not there, while Harold reacts every time like I'm the most amazing thing he's every seen," she said with a laugh.
Her newts, Japanese fire-bellied newts to be exact, might not give a lot, but they don't need a lot, either. Just a small tank with water and some fish food flakes every few days. The only time they were high-maintenance, she said, was when she drove them across several states.
"I drove soooo carefully," she recalls of her move to Arizona. "I couldn't make any sudden turns or their poor fragile bodies would go sloshing back and forth in their travel tank."
But as bad as she felt moving the newts, she was never going to leave them behind.
"We're pretty much bonded at this point," she said of the creatures who have stuck around while several human partners, cats and even goldfish have come and gone. "Never once have I thought to try to ... not have them anymore. They are so helpless and it's not like I could just give them to a pet store, and I'd certainly never release them. I think if I ever couldn't take care of them, I'd have to give them to someone who I know would take good care of them."
Because, she admits, they feel like her children now.
In case you don't recognize them, the newts' names are from the title characters in the 1971 movie Harold and Maude, about a young man and a much older woman who fall in love.