Frankie Tortoise Tales Frankie Tortoise Tails sulcata care tortoise sulcata husbandry Frankie Tortoise Tails Frankie Tortoise Tails: Proof of Love



July 16, 2009

Proof of Love

Big things were expected from the Dogloo brought it into Frankie's yard last week. The first 45 minutes were exciting as Frankie played bulldozer-the-yard-with-the-Dogloo. A couple of bushes were the only victims of the rampage. Solar panels, fences, posts, kiddy pools and bird feeding stations all went unharmed.

The brief chaos was follow by quiet as Frankie abandoned the Dogloo under a tree. After that Frankie had nothing to do with the Dogloo. All my hard working cleaning this big igloo was for nothing. A vision of a new shelter for Frankie when he wanted to sleep in the yard just went "poof". Posted Image

We owners try many things and need many options to protect our dear sulcata when they do the strange things they do. One of the strange things they do is test our love for them.

Two nights later, a fast moving and dangerous storm struck suddenly in the evening. I made a trip outside as the first drops of rain begin so to be sure Frankie was safe in his enclosure for the night.

Frankie was not there. I had cleaned out his house and left the top open to air the stinky place out. Frankie will not use it when the lid is open. He is outside sleeping somewhere. Thunder begins to get closer and the rain is stronger. Greg is yelling for me to get inside. But I couldn't. Frankie was out there somewhere.Posted Image

I head to the back part of the yard, pressing forward as the thunder is now accompanied by large flashes of light. I see Frankie sitting by the back fence. I am now being pelted by very large drops of rain.

Frankie looks up at me almost accusingly to say, "You left my top open and I am forced to sleep out here in the rain. You don't love me."

I clapped my hands for Frankie to follow me, then I nudge him from behind to "jump start" some movement, and finally just start pushing him four inches at a time. He finally starts a slow walk past the bushes and into a clearing. I thought to myself, "Ten more minutes of this and he will be safely to shelter." I am soaked to the bone.

Once we pass the bushes and trees, Frankie quits all forward motion. He just gives up and sits. Greg is yelling from the porch that we are now under a thunderstorm and flash flood warning. Duh! I beg Frankie to move forward.

"If you really love me, Mom, you'll pick me up and carry me to my house, even if I am 60 pounds. If you love me, you will save me from this dangerous storm."

Oh, for goodness sake!

And I do. Barefooted, completely soaked, shivering, I do it. Frankie is saved. I get a big talking to by Greg. But this is what we sulcata owners do.

Like last night. Frankie insisted on sleeping in the yard. At mid-night it starts to rain and storm. In my night gown I go to the back yard to see if there is any chance Frankie has been smart enough to go into his shelter (the lid is down!). He hasn't. In just a night gown and with no shoes, I refused to push or pick up the 60 monster. NO WAY. Luck is on my side: the Dogloo weighs less than Frankie.

Now complete soaked in rain, I drag the Dogloo from across the yard where Frankie left it a week ago, and place it over Frankie. If he will not go to a shelter, the shelter will come to him. I return inside my house. I remove my soaking wet night gown, dry me and my hair, put on a clean dry night gown and return to bed.

Thirty minutes later I am waken with the thought that the Dogloo has no vent cover on the top and Frankie is probably soaked and is freezing to death.

This time I put on a rain slick complete with a hood. I grab a piece of plastic and head outside. Rain is coming down hard. The plastic is placed over the open vent area. I look inside to check on Frankie: He is sound asleep, dry, and warm to the touch.

When I get back inside it is nearly 1:00 a.m.

I gotta be nuts. I must really love that 60 pound monster.

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