Frankie Tortoise Tales Frankie Tortoise Tails sulcata care tortoise sulcata husbandry Frankie Tortoise Tails Frankie Tortoise Tails: October 2007



October 30, 2007

1st Place

Maybe everyone is getting tired of this "Frankie the pumpkin" thing but hey, it novel to me.  I've "put" a witch hat over his shell for Halloween in the past, but I've never spent so much time and effort making one.  Certainly none so cute.

Soooo, on that note, he won FIRST Prize at our local Petsmart on I-280. This is the PetSmart he gets to visit on occasion. His prize this time was a $25 gift certificate - hey that will pay for cat food for two months! Yea, Frankie! Finally pulling his own "weight" around here. Two more contests to go -- both national photo contests.

Now the odd thing. I found some old gecko physical records that included some turtle weights. OMG - Frankie is six years old and not seven! The record for Frankie was dated August 12, 2001. It said "1.7 oz, recorded 2 weeks after purchase". Well, we were real close on his August 1st birthday but somewhere between Oklahoma and Alabama, we added a year to his age! So what to do about his current records? Gads! I guess he will be 7 years old for 24 months to get him back on track.

We are having friends over this weekend so I got to go outside and trim Frankie's yard. All turtles will be outside so I got to keep an eye out for their positions. I use a weed whacker rather than a lawn mower mostly because of the irregular levels of the yard.

Also, to note, this blog is close to being viewed 2,800 times - probably in the next day or two. Big achievement for the turtles and me. My goal was to share the experience of caring for my turtles in the hope that others could use examples as ways to and not to raise their turtles. If anyone was amused on the way, I am simply amazed.

October 28, 2007

2nd Place

I took Frankie to Petco for their in store Halloween Pet Costume Contest. He placed 2nd among a group of dogs. Personally, I think that these pet stores have to award first to a dog! The gal who won kept saying "we are going to lose to a turtle". Funny.

All the kids there just loved Frankie. They dubbed him "The Great Pumpkin". When the contest was over and I had to pick him up to put him in the car I hurt my back. Since Greg could not come with us, I was on my own.  Luckily several parking lot admirers help me get Frankie in the car.

Frankie had a good time walking around Petco. He liked it much more than walking around at PetSmart. I think it was the shorter shelves and brighter lights. Frankie seems to get spooked over dark places.

Box turtles are in at night and outside during the day.

Frankie is a Finalist

Since spending the night outside of his shelter and getting cold to the bone, Frankie has not been himself. He goes to bed extra early and wakes late. He doesn't walk around as much. As a precaution, I've brought him in the last three nights to sleep. It seems to be doing some good as today he is a bit more active. Its almost 4:00 p.m. and he hasn't headed inside for the night yet. I've been concerned but he seems to be on the mend.

Just in time cause Frankie is a finalist in PetSmarts US Pet Costume Contest. I submitted a photo of him in his pumpkin outfit and he made one of 31 finalist. Starting Monday, people from all over the U.S. can vote for their favorite. I am promoting Frankie to his turtle friends. Maybe through the turtle vote he can be the top winner!
Attached Image

I am just like a mother of a human kid entering a Halloween contest!

Box turtles are enjoying their time outside. The rain loosened the ground enough so they can dig a bit. I check them daily to see that they are tucked in for the night.

October 18, 2007

Saving Rain

Its rained! Thank goodness. Only a 1/4 inch but in perspective, its great. I put out bowls and buckets to catch what comes down so I can water plants later. I put all house plants outside to catch rain.

Trees are beginning to suffer and I have lost a few of the smaller ones. As much as Frankie needs sun, he also needs plenty of shade. Trees provide great shelter and shade.

The box turtles are back outside for a couple of days. They are probably happy to see the sun and grass again. Very boring in the gecko room for them. I may have to bring them in at nights as the night temperatures vary so much this time of year - one night it will be in the 60's and the next in the 40's - hard for a turtle to prepare a good spot for the night. I do trust that Ma Ma Turtle and Brown Eyes can take care of themselves but Big Turtle cannot.

Since it rained last night and some this morning, Frankie was reluctant to come out of his heated shelter. That is all fine but at noon there was sunlight to bask in and still Frankie was reluctant to come out. I pulled him out at 1:00 pm. He is not acting like himself again. He was reluctant to eat a carrot. I think I will have him come inside at night. Crap - I was hoping not to need to do this.

I added some pages about Bob the turtle on our website. I also published by children's story about Bob there. Comments welcome.

October 14, 2007

Out All Night

Frankie found an end of the day basking spot against a fence that caught the last of west sun. Apparently, he then fell asleep in that spot and forgot to go into his enclosure for the night.

I was out for the evening and had an overnight guest too so I didn't keep up with my routine check on Frankie that I do every night to see that he is snug in bed. Night lows were in the 50's. The next morning, at 8:30 am, I found him, cold to his core, still sitting against the fence. I had to lift him into a sunny area so he could warm up. After a short sit in the sun, he then decided he felt really bad and went into his enclosure - which the heater was not turned on since it was day. Again, he failed to warm up. I dragged him back into the sunlight around 10:00 am and stayed with him until I felt he would not leave the area. He never acted okay the entire day. All he did was move to different basking areas attempting to warm up.

I worried all afternoon that this was going to bring on a respiratory infection or worse. At his bedtime, I went out to double check that his heater was working. I put a board in front of his door to keep any drafts away. I checked on him hourly until I was entirely sure he was okay.

In the morning, I found him basking in the sun, looking quite cheerful and ready to take a walk. Greg had a backyard project, putting in a weather tower, and Frankie was on site to supervise the whole operation including the moving of materials, digging of holes, and mixing of cement . He stepped on all the dirt - guess it checked out - and then moved on to check to see that they tools were appropriate for the job (maybe a potential girlfriend in the bunch).

So, after his night in the cold, his recovery looks complete. Thank goodness, I was very worried.

October 12, 2007

Pumpkin Progress

The pumpkin costume is progressing. I've done a couple of fittings.
Attached Image
He is real good about sitting for fittings. Of course, I tend to do them first thing in the morning when he is basking in the sun.   I figured it is the only way he will sit long enough for me to work on the costume when it's on him.

When I actually put the costume on (pic above) he stopped and wouldn't move -- for about ten seconds -- then he saw a nice piece of grass and got moving again forgetting all about the costume on his back.

It is getting colder at night. I put Frankie's pig blanket under him last night. He had two heat sources - pig blanket from below and heat ceramic from above.

Boxies are inside. Bored, it seems.

October 7, 2007

Frankie is a Pumpkin

I've decided to enter Frankie in a pet haloween contest at PetSmart later this month. I am working on making him a pumpkin costume. Thought it would be easy. No so. At least I bought extra material in case I screw up stuff, and I am.

Here is the tacked up product so far (means that it isn't sewed, jut pieced together to see how it works):
Attached Image
Making it round is the hardest thing.