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February 26, 2015

Frankie Trail

After so many days inside (Frankie being forced in by the weather) I've established a ritual of care for him.  When Frankie was much younger....and significantly smaller.....and weighted less.....that indoor care was really pretty easy.  A box, a heat lamp, substrate, and lots of hand picked weeds mixed with hay was all he really needed.  At 100 pounds, things are just tougher.

The ritual of care is not just about Frankie, it's about protecting indoor things.

First thing in the morning right after he wakes up Frankie poops.  Maybe one or two poops, but they are definitely bigger than my fist. Second thing he does is sit on his poop.  Thus poop will remain unreachable until Frankie he gets up.  Eventually he gets up.

When Frankie does decide to get up I make a mad dash to his backside with as many paper towels as I can hold so I can un-stick the poop from under his shell as soon as I can before he smears that poop all over the floor, making what I call a "trail of poop."

The upside to this is the removed poop goes outside to the front flower garden and I am guaranteed some spectacular blooms in a few months.

We use more paper towels in the few months Frankie spends indoor during the cold weather than we use in the kitchen during the entire year.

Back to the trail of poop.  Sometimes Frankie insists on seeing the weather himself regardless of how much I explain to him it is freaky cold outside and he will not like it.  He just doesn't believe me.

There is a very good reason there is no carpet in the area Frankie hangs out.   The path from the gecko room bathroom through the hall, and through the living room is covered with carpet. What ever poop remains under that shell of his, or is clinging to those feet, or any poop drip leaking out his back end is gonna hit that carpet.

I have tactics for that.  I cut up an old carpet so it runs though the hallway.  If there is any hidden poop it will revels it's presence on the old carpet.  I just follow him with another handful of paper towels to wipe away those hidden treasures.

After his five foot walk through the hall Frankie steps onto regular carpet that regretfully isn't the color of sulcata poop.  If there is any remaining poop stuff I have to clean it up while its fresh.
Frankie Trails by Greta Maloney

Now this is the most important bit of this Frankie Tail.  Poop stain that comes from a sulcata who eats primarily hay and grass can be complete cleaned from carpet with not a trace left behind.  I strongly recommend using Oxy-Steam Carpet Cleaner with Oxygen Cleaning Boosters.  I know it's for steam carpets but it works.  I put a mix of it and filtered water in a small spray bottle and follow behind Frankie on his walk through the house immediately spraying any poop smear or droplets, rub it in and come back in 30 minutes to make sure its done.

I buy four big bottles at a time. 

I remember the good old days in Birmingham when the walk from the gecko room where Frankie slept when it was cold to the backyard was through a garage that I worried little if there where a small trail of poop along the way. 

Indoors is just complicated for sulcata tortoises like Frankie.

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