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March 26, 2012

I Spy

Frankie made a mess this morning....a HUGE mess.  And stinky.  I could smell the stink from the kitchen upstairs.  I didn't know which was worse, the cat box or the ripe Frankie smell rising up from his Dog-loo in the gecko room.  It's a must-do-real-soon clean up.

Yes, Frankie slept inside last night.  I had intentions of moving his Dog-loo from inside the gecko room to outside in Frankie's yard.  Weather is such that there is no reason for Frankie sleeping inside.

I am a sucker when it comes to Frankie.  I like to keep an eye on him.

Greg even picked up a new cameras so I can watch Frankie when ever I like.  He got us a two new digital cameras that can be placed wherever Frankie is and I can monitored him from anywhere I am in the house.

One of the new cameras is in the gecko room looking down right into Frankie's Dog-loo.  I can watch Frankie LIVE in his Dog-loo even at night as the camera has day and night optics.

The second camera is in Frankie's outdoor cave pointing into his sleeping area.  Now I can check on Frankie anytime I want when he is outside sleeping in his den.  No more running outside in my nighties to see if Frankie is okay.  No more rain, hail, tornadoes or hurricanes dogging to check Frankie.  I just look at the monitor.  Cool!

Even if there is no internet I can still check on Frankie.  The system's monitor picks up both cameras without a computer!  Since we have a generator I can still watch Frankie even if a storm knocks out all the electricity.

I feel a little like a peeping Tom.  A Frankie voyeur.  A sulcata spy.

Have I gone too far?

Frankie Fans don't get to watch him on his new cameras.  I had to draw the line somewhere.  I have a right to wear over-sized sweats, miss-matched clothes, old pajamas with holes, or just walk around naked without the fear of Internet embarrassment.

Frankie, on the other hand, always looks appropriate, adorable, viewable.....    When Frankie yawns it's cute.  When he is sitting in a pile of poop and pee, it's just not all that obvious.

As long as none of the cameras don't have scent detectors we are okay.  As long as the cameras are aimed at Frankie, it's okay with me.
Camera aims right at Dog-loo

Returning from the gecko room this morning, having cleaned the all the Frankie-poo-and-pee-soiled- newspaper mess from within the Dogloo, Greg said to me, "Nice butt."

What?  Then he pointed to the monitor that showed Frankie's Dog-loo.

I am not the only voyeur in the house.  Greg can watch me climb into the Dog-loo to clean out all the poop and pee. 

Some Frankie chores are not for public viewing.

March 15, 2012

A Frankie and Me Day

It was a perfectly wonderful day that started just before 7:00 pm.  Just enough sleep for the whole house but not so long that the cat would starve to death waiting for her morning meal.  Newt the Cat is first or she will howl and meow and get underfoot until she is fed.  Then I make breakfast for Greg and me, pack lunch for Greg, drink a cup of coffee and send Greg off to work.

Frankie is next.  First thing I do when I walk into the gecko room is to pull the cover off Frankie's Dog-loo so I can sing "Good morning, Frankie!"  It's a fine morning.  Frankie is already facing out-front so I watch him waking up.  While Frankie stirs in his Dog-loo the geckos are watered.  All essential morning chores are completed.

It's a wonderful morning as the sun is already shining and the temperature is already past 50 degrees with promises of 70 degree temperatures ahead.  For a March day its warmer than usual.  For a sulcata tortoise it's a perfect day.

As soon as Frankie is ready, the door is opened and Frankie gets a glimps at the outside sunshine and warm air.  No hesitation on his part.  He walks from the gecko room through the garage and right to his morning basking spot by the garage door.

I am lucky that this day is my "free day" and I can spend as much time with Frankie as I want. Cup of coffee in hand, I sit near Frankie who soaks up the warm sun.

After a good warm up, Frankie walks to his backyard.  This is not a bee-line walk to the backyard from the garage door.  Nope, it's a sulcata-two-step-graze to the yard: walk to the edge of the grass, take a couple of bites of grass then take a couple of steps while chewing.  Take another bite of grass, chew, walk.  Bite grass, walk, walk, eat the dandelion, walk, walk....

I am enjoying myself as I finish my second cup of coffee.  I've gotten my 15 minutes of healthy sun.  No reason to hurry Frankie.  When Frankie finely passes through the gate, I get up and close the gate behind him.

Frankie is in sulcata heaven.  Before him is his yard filled with the first green sprouts of spring.  Frankie has waited all winter for this day.  There is plenty of green grass and hardy weeds to fill his stomach.

I sit on the back porch with a book while Frankie walks the vast space of his backyard to fill his tummy with yummies.  He is on a second bask when I go into the house for a spell. 

I return about an hour later and he looks like he has finishing the big sweep across the yard.  Not a dandelion is left.  He has found everyone.

When he sees me he turns and heads my way.  I can tell by the look in his eyes that this will be a special visit.

He tromps his way toward me.  I am unafraid.  Just as he is about to step on my toes my left foot scoots a bit left and right foot scoots a bit right allowing Frankie to pass under me for a very thorough shell run.

This is not a pat on the shell.  My finders dig into his shell and massage deeply.  He stops right between my two feet so I can rub the back-end of his shell.  He loves this more than anything.  As I rub he wiggles left to right and left to right as if to make sure my fingers rub every inch of his entire shell without missing a spot.  I call this the Frankie Dance.  Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.

When he has his fill of shell-rubs, he just continues his walk and looks for another patch of green grass.  Off he goes.  I head inside so I can do some work on the computer which of course sits by the window that overlooks Frankie's yard.  I will visit him often.

Thank goodness there is finely a yard of new spring grass.   He will eat and eat until the shadow of the house covers his yard entirely.   Frankie will walk to the gate signaling his surrender to the setting sun.  I open the gate and Frankie grazes his way to the back door where I wait to let him in for the night.

Yes, he could stay outside in his Frankie Hut.  It's heated.  But I just have to have Frankie inside so I can tuck him in for the night.

It's early for the rest of the house but Frankie always goes to bed around 4:00 p.m.   I've enjoyed hanging around him the whole day.  Now it's time to feed the cat again, vacuum the living room and prepare dinner for Greg who will be home after 5:00 p.m.

I can't complain.  Someday I'm going to look back at this and say, "That was a great day."  A Frankie and me day.

Dedicated to Frankie Friend Spring.