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September 22, 2010

Houston, We Have A Problem

Greg and I (mostly Greg) has worked tirelessly for the last two weeks preparing and constructing Frankie's new outdoor shelter. During the entire process, Frankie has been right there (more like "underfoot") the entire time. He is never far from the project.

So, last night we got the Rubbermaid structure up enough that Frankie could take a look and walk inside.

Well, last night Frankie chose to sleep up in the wooded area in his Dogloo. I was fine with this. I could hardly wait to see him in the morning and watch his reaction to his new digs.

So, this morning, I go out and check Frankie who is just emerging from his Dogloo. He makes it past the trees and sees the now completed Shelter. What does Frankie do? He stops dead in his traps and has now refused to go to the side of the yard where his new shelter is. Apparently, this new contraption is none other than an new evil nemesis come to eat Frankie alive.

Yep, four hours later and Frankie has not built up the nerve to get near the shelter.

September 6, 2010

Weather or Not

Frankie is not so smart when it comes to weather. But Frankie is also pretty smart about the weather. I can't decide. He has me completely bamboozled.

During the summer, Frankie is perfectly able to perceive growing temperatures due to sunlight and ambient heat. Smartly, he chooses the coolest spot in his backyard. He can even perceive changing temperatures under the patio and will move several times to stay in the coolest area of the patio.

Frankie never gets caught out in the heat and burning sun if there is somewhere cool to go. He is smart about this.

Frankie can even evaluate if it’s too cold to go outside in the winter or if the sun and ambient temperature will be enough to keep him comfortable. As soon as he has finished his beauty sleep and can tell it's morning, Frankie will head outside to test the weather.

Frankie has never been caught outside when temperatures plummet. No, it nearly always my fault if Frankie can't get to shelter. So, I am responsible to make sure his shelter is accessible and heater. This would include walking him indoors if that is the best place for sleep.

Frankie is, however, a blithering idiot when it comes to rain. Frankie loves rain. He likes to graze on wet grass much like humans like to put dressing on a salad. But Frankie has no conception, until it's too late, that the rain is overwhelming.

Frankie has been caught in the middle of the yard with rain coming down like Niagra Falls. He gets stuck in these conditions. Frankie will simply stop where ever he is, pull his head back and cover his face with his front feet.

Frankie has stopped cold in the middle of rising water without the sense to move because the water is now over his head. He has no capacity to breath under water and is too dense to figure that out. Mom has to run outside and save him.

Frankie will be grazing with sprinkles of rain and then where ever he is get stuck because the rain stops him from taking shelter.

And worse of all: Frankie has no sense when it comes to tornadoes, hurricanes, and lightening. Nope. He will sit there, graze (if its warm) and take no cover. Mom has to save him.

Frankie is perfectly happy to live his life in his wonderful backyard and take care of himself (I guess I would have to put in a pond) except he has no built in instinct what to do in rain.

Sulcata probably do fine in Africa savanna weather but they just don't get Alabama weather at all.