Frankie Tortoise Tales Frankie Tortoise Tails sulcata care tortoise sulcata husbandry Frankie Tortoise Tails Frankie Tortoise Tails: December 2013



December 17, 2013

Home in Mobile

Mobile Bound in the back of a Toyota Prius.

Dreaming of sun, a big yard, grass, carrots and Rosie.

Hello, Mobile!  I have arrived!

What type of sorcery is this?  This is not my yard!

Better take me on a walk.

Can you keep up with me?

Fence building that couldn't happen sooner.

Is this my yard?

Yard taste really good.

All mine.

Giving out the Frankie Rules.

I think I'm gonna like it here.

Note:  Frankie managed to take off into the neighborhood twice, alone, so I put blue painter's tape on his shell that says "Please get me home" and my phone number.  As soon as the fence is completed I will consider taking it off.  

Dedicated to Brown Eyes who we left behind in Birmingham.  We hope you found a good home.

December 9, 2013

Something there is that doesn't love a wall

Eighteen days and still there is no fence.

Eighteen days doesn't sound like a long time does it?  To me it feels like forever.

When I was younger a horse threw me into a fence.  I bounced off the fence and slammed into the ground.  I didn't pass out but I lay there unable to breath for what felt like forever thinking I would never feel air in my lungs or oxygen in my brain ever again and I cursed that fence.

Probably that was the only time I didn't like a fence because I've had pets and animals all my life and a fence means safety and security for them.

Fences have broken my heart.  An inadequate fence was cause for a younger Frankie to disappear.  That 24 hour period felt like forever.

My best friend died and my mother died so I know a broken heart. Pets have passed and I felt I would never recover.   Boyfriends have broken from me and I thought I would never love again.

But when Frankie disappeared I felt bereft, broken hearted, and emotionally lost in such a way I knew I could never bear to go through that again.

So Frankie is microchipped, his yard has two security cameras, every neighbor in my area knows Frankie so they can be his watch dogs, he is the most photographed tortoise in Alabama, and he has blue painter's tape on his shell that says "Please return me" with my phone number.

I put my foot down and insisted that Frankie and I would not move to Mobile until a fence was installed.

We're in Mobile.  Still there is no permanent fence.

Frankie hasn't escaped and yet my heart is unsettled.  Greg's done his best by putting up a strong temporary fence in a small area by the house.  I've done my best to amuse Frankie by taking him on daily walks and providing an enriched living environment.

Frankie has various objects to walk around, things for him to push, his umbrella stand (of course), heated cave and his dogloo.  I have a chair to sit in.  There is even a big cement mixer (for future fence construction) for him to walk under.  I hung a black garden cloth on the temporary fence to block Frankie's view.

Frankie has turned his enriched living environment into a disaster area.

Frankie's area was clean this morning.

Frankie has pushed, shoved, walked over, toppled, rammed, dragged, and torn up everything!

Oh, I expected this.  I know Frankie and I know how Frankie acts in an area too small for a 100 pound sulcata tortoise.

Amazingly the temporary fence is holding up.

The temporary fence even held up when Frankie started to climb it.

I am not kidding.  Frankie gave up shoving and ramming the fence and decided to climb it.  All 100 pounds of him!

I caught him with two feet up on the fence in the box-turtle-escapee position.

Nobody is going to believe that Frankie did this.  I had my camera with me.  I wanted to get a photo of it.

Regretfully I couldn't move.  All the air in my lungs had escaped and I was paralyzed in disbelief.

I stood there what felt like forever watching Frankie attempting to wedge his back foot into the fence and I am wondering if I would ever feel air in my lungs or oxygen in my brain ever again.

When I finally caught my breath the next thing I did was yell, "Fraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnkkkkkkiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

Frankie backed down the fence, turned, and looked at me.  "Is it time for a walk?"

My heart felt prickly and shredded.

We gotta build that fence.