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February 25, 2012

Fishing Trip

The birds are in the yard eating all the seed I toss out.  The woodpeckers are at the suet enjoying their favorite treats.  Squirrels are snatching up pieces of bread set outside for them so they will leave the bird food alone.  Frankie is.....MIA.

Frankie is sleeping inside and missing out on all this morning activity.  Missing out on the sunshine and no-wind.

Sure, Frankie will eventually wake up.  He will eventually get escorted outside.  Eventually he will sit in the sun and graze the backyard.

He had a big day yesterday.

Too cold and windy for the Franks to go outside.  Warm and toasty inside the gecko room means Frankie wants to go outside and walk and graze.

Other plans are made.  Take Frankie to Bass Pro Shop.

Bass Pro Shop in Birmingham invited Frankie to come inside and walk around any time he wants.  It's a new location for Frankie.  For him, everything is an adventure. 

Frankie could go anywhere and still get the same reactions.

It's a remote controlled turtle gizmo.
It's a stuffed turtle display.   
It's a carved piece of wood.  ...that moves.
I've had too much coffee and I am hallucinating so I better just ignore that moving boulder on the floor of the store 'cause if I say anything I will be called crazy.
It's a is a turtle?!!!!

Adults are just as thrilled about seeing Frankie as the kids are.  Everyone gets a smile.  Everyone brings home a memorable moment....and a photograph on their phone to prove there was indeed an 85 pound sulcata at the Bass Pro Shop. 

But sometimes something special just happens.

A young girl was there.  She was blind.

Without hesitation, this young girl touches Frankie.....

Fearless, she explores Frankie's shell.

Checking out his front feet.

Feeling for Frankie's face.

Frankie has always been shy about letting anyone touch his legs and head.  Amazingly, he patiently, but cautiously, allows her to touch him all over.  Even his face.

The young girl seemed to be a little disappointed that Frankie didn't have a cold wet nose.  But, Frankie is her first tortoise. 

Just one of those unforeseeable moments with "Special" stamped forever in our memories.

February 14, 2012

Frankie's Valentine

Two days preparation for Frankie's Valentine to Rosie, his girlfriend.  Since Rosie lives so far away (Colorado), a special photograph was planned. 

Frankie got his beak trimmed.  Frankie got a bath.  Decor was chosen. 

My sister the artist did a huge assist with the whole project.  She couldn't resist.  The idea of a tortoise, a valentine and a long distance relationship struck a creative note with her.  She decided that Frankie had to have a flower bouquet for Rosie.  Kelly made a hay, wild weeds and dandelion bouquet.  Really, it was a terrific idea.

Best we could do was to frame Frankie with a silver heart, stuff a few fake flowers around him and pose the wild weed n' flower bouquet  in front of him.

  It was cute.  But really, Kelly and I wanted to fix it up a bit.  The red leather was not smooth.  The silver heart frame kept falling.  Frankie kept acting irritated.  Shot after shot and we just couldn't get the look we were looking for. 

Frankie had only so much patience for the whole photo shoot.  He decided the wild weed n' flower bouquet look too tempting to let be for very long. 

So he lunged forward crashing his head through the frame and ate the bouquet.  .

We attempted to push Frankie back, re-arrange the decor and salvage the wild weed n flower bouquet.  Frankie got totally fed up.  With no advance warning, Frankie lunged forward crashing the whole photo shoot sending my sister sprawling backwards barely avoiding being run over by an 85 pound tortoise.    

Kelly had never witness a sulcata "ramming."  I explained he wasn't trying to run her down so much as he was letting us know he had enough. 

That was the end of the photo shoot. 

The Valentine picture was cute but we like the second picture best.

February 12, 2012


Valentines day is coming up fast.  Frankie wants something very special for Rosie.

I decide we will take some special romantic photos.  One look at Frankie and it's obvious there is much to do to get ready.  Frankie hasn't had a bath since Fall.

It's too cold for an outdoor bath.  I wish could take Frankie somewhere for a bath.  A pet groomer is out of the question.  Is there even a groomer experienced in large sulcata tortoises?  How would I  get Frankie up on a little "doggie" grooming tables.  Even if I did get him up on one he would simply crawl off.   

All I need is a warm room with a drain on the floor and a hose nearby.  A car wash! Yea, right, I wish.

Back to the drawing board.  Gecko room.  Gecko room is warm.  It's a pain to bathe Frankie inside here but what choice do I have?

I drag out the big hot water drip pan I bought a couple years back for Frankie.  Luckily, he can still fit in it.

Drag Frankie to tub and then "push n' lift" him in. Pour warm water over him.  Start soaping his shell.  Use a toothbrush and rag to scrub him. 

Frankie naturally avoids contact with rag and tooth bush so he shuffles around the tub circle to avoid me.  This makes it easier to wash him all around without having to move too much myself.  

He hates his face being washed so I save this for last. Frankie spits, dodges, retracts, pushes, blows, and hides.  It takes a while but his face gets clean.

He does have a pink nose.  I just haven't seen it with all the dirt, grass, hay, and dandelion stains.

Frankie is so pissed once his bath over.  One would expect him to run for cover and not be seen all day.  Instead Frankie heads right for his food rack.  He thinks he deserves a carrot.

I didn't loose any fingers.  My hands are not scraped and bloody.  Frankie didn't run over my feet or legs.  For once I've managed a huge Frankie chore unscathed.  Okay, he deserves a carrot.

Patiently Frankie waits for me to pull up some fresh grass and retrieve a huge carrot.

Frankie is still pissed.  While he eats his carrot I clean out his Dogloo.  When he is done eating he will have a nice clean cave to spend the day grumbling and complaingning.

Wait until he find out he is getting his beak trimmed in a little while.

He has too look good for the photo!