Frankie Tortoise Tales Frankie Tortoise Tails sulcata care tortoise sulcata husbandry Frankie Tortoise Tails Frankie Tortoise Tails: May 2010



May 27, 2010

Best Summer Ever

Guess what! This is starting out to be the BEST SUMMER EVER! I am not kidding. I just got the best news. Mom came out a little while ago and told me Tigger (you remember that dumb dog that lives down the street) is coming to stay the week with us! Is this incredible or what? I am gonna kick that dog's butt! He will not know what hits him.

Actually, um, Mom says Tigger is a girl. Well that still doesn't matter, I am gonna kick Tigger's butt. After I kick HER butt, I am going to lay down some Frankie Laws since she doesn't rule this roost!

Most important, the backyard is Frankie's Yard. It's not Tigger's temporary digs. If she wants some space she can just get my Mom to walk her home to her own backyard. But if Tigger wants to use my backyard, she has to mind Frankie's Laws.

The Dogloo and the Rubbermaid backyard storage shelter in the backyard are mine! Prepare to meet your doom should you decide to take a snooze in either of these two places filled with nice clean hay.

All cat poo in Frankie's Yard is for Frankie. I don't share any cat poo with dumb dogs. Go to your own yard and find your own cat poo. Mouth and paws off my cat poo.

The Kiddy pool in the yard is for ME. It's not for dirty dog feet and the water is not doggy drinking water. If necessary, I will keep it filled with sulcata poop to make that perfectly clear.

Apparently mom has a No Dog Poo Rule in the back yard so I don't have much to say about that except "drat."

Don't go running after or barking at the birds and the chipmunks. Since dogs are too dumb to tell the difference between a chipmunk and a squirrel then you will just have to leave the squirrels alone too. Go ahead and chase any cat that dare enter my domain during the day. Cats are only allowed after dark.

Now on to my plans for a Tigger fun week. I am gonna need some time to put together some really devious plans. I already know that some will involve ambushes and charges. Thank goodness I got the evening to think about all this. I may not be able to sleep tonight, I am SO excited!

May 23, 2010

Happy World Turtle's Day

Dear Diary:

Today is World Turtle's Day. I know because when I was on the internet last night looking at mom's Facebook account (I am really mad she hasn't set me up one yet) I noticed that her turtle friends have all started celebrating. World Turtle's Day is a big day for me and my turtle friends so I was really expecting something special. World Turtle's Day to turtles’ is like Mom's Day to Mom. A turtle can really look forward to this day if you're lucky enough to own a human. I got two humans around my house so I expect big things.

Mom did get up pretty early this morning because I heard her throwing bird seed on in my yard while I was still snoozing. Doesn't she know that those birds make lots of noise in the morning when I am trying to get my beauty sleep? Then the squirrels and chipmunks run up and down the patio steps making all kinds of noise. Really, I need to make a list of things for mom NOT to do in my backyard.

So anyway, a bit later when I out the porch getting my morning bask I heard mom talk about double carrots and The Big Walk because it was World Turtle Day. Wow! Awesome! Now that was something to look forward to. I stuck pretty close to the house most of the day waiting for my double treat and The Big Walk.

And I waited.

And I waited.

And I waited.

Sometimes I just don't know about mom and dad. They did know that today was World Turtle Day? I was starting to think that I was going to have to drag some things around the yard to get their attention.

Finely, just a bit before my final bask of the day mom comes outside and asks me "want to go on a walk?" Well, you don't have to poke me in the eye more than once! I headed right to the gate and to the side yard. Since it was World Turtle Day I thought stopping for a few minutes of clover would be okay and sure enough mom let me graze without too much fuss. I have her wrapped about my little tail.

Well you could have rubbed my shell because when I made it to the front yard dad was there with the car ready to take me to the park. Awesome! I was really starting to believe the two humans had forgotten my special day.

So off to Memorial Park we went for lots of walking, grazing and gawking by other humans (I am getting used to this). The great part is the small humans will put loads of grass, weeds, dandelions and clover right in front of my nose so I can just sit and gobble greens the entire time. It's pretty awesome.

After about an hour, mom and dad had to drag me back to the car where I threw a major fit about leaving the park (really, I don't care but they get all upset about hurting my feelings that it almost guarantees me double carrots when I get home).

When we got home I got another chance to graze the clover on the side of the house but I was ready for a carrot so I headed straight to my back yard.

After a few minutes back in the house, mom reappeared with the biggest carrot I have ever seen. I think mom was worried that it was too big for me to eat (what a nut she is) and I heard dad suggest that she shred the carrot for me (I have him so wrapped about my tail - he he). But I proved to them both that there isn't a carrot I can't put down in less than fifteen seconds.

Well, time for another ten times around the yard and a stomach full of grass before I turn in for the night. I hope all my tortoise friends had as good a World Turtle's Day as I did.

May 16, 2010

Do Dah Day 2010

Thank goodness! No rain, good temperatures, light cloud coverage....excellent for The Big Walk. Right, Frankie?

Sometimes few words all that are needed.

Whoa, there Frankie!
Speed limit at the Do Dah Day Pet Parade is 25 mph.
Slow down for those dogs!

Where is that Frankie? He was here just a minute ago?

May 11, 2010

Frankie & the Birds & the Bees

This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the birds and the bees and sulcata tortoises so if you are frail of heart or expect the facts of life to be private and not a topic of discussion, please stop here. Find something else to read besides this. If you grew up with horses, goats or various farm animals like me, this is mostly straight forward animal sexuality. I am sure anyone who grew up around a farm know just like me that if one hangs around with re-producing animals, sexual education happens early in life.

Turtle sexuality is just another animal. Really. Right, Frankie?

So this morning I saunter out to visit Frankie and find him in his pool standing on his tippy toes. I have owned Frankie since he was the size of an apple so I know standing on tippy toes either means he is constipated or he is exercising his manhood. By the time I am within five feet of him, it's obvious that he is exercising his manhood in a nice pool of water and is beyond simple happiness. Frankie is....well....having the time of his life.

Frankie notices me and after a moment he decides my presence is not going to interfere with his joy. He goes about his business.

Just like male horses occasionally "let it all hang out" so do male tortoises (sometimes refer to as flashing). It seems the difference is tortoises (maybe I should just say Frankie) really gets into the happiness of the "all hanging out" thing.

I decide to go about my business in the yard while Frankie continues to swish his alien penis about the pool. Then I think of how very smelly and yucky Frankie's underside and vent tends to be and how it's near impossible to wash the area now that he is near monster size (Frankie not his alien). With horses, we often had the necessary task of washing a males horse's penis. It's just something only farm kids would know needs to be done and we do it best we can without much fuss.

So I am looking at Frankie in the pool with his alien penis all pushed out and think to myself, "maybe I should clean his underside and the alien with some clean water." So I turn on the hose and start over to Frankie.

Now Frankie sees my approach and for a moment looks as if he will tuck everything back in and see if I happen to have a carrot. But I start spraying under his shell before he completes the task. To my surprise, he resumes the extension and allows me to wash him up under there.

Then things get a bit creepy. Frankie stretches as high as he can on all of this toes and to my cringe, he closes his eyes in deep rapture. Farm girl or not, the moment is just a bit much for me but in the pursuit of cleanliness, I complete the task as best I can.

Having completed my good deed, Frankie settles back down in the pool in what seems to be complete contentment.

Horses never act so pleased to be cleaned at all. Their attitude is "you better just handle that real careful or I will kick your teeth in." This is one bit of tortoise sexuality I just didn't expect! Frankie acted as if he wanted to pencil the activity in every day for the rest of the week.

Just when I think Frankie can't do anything more outrageous, he does. I am going to need to put a privacy fence around his pool!