Frankie Tortoise Tales Frankie Tortoise Tails sulcata care tortoise sulcata husbandry Frankie Tortoise Tails Frankie Tortoise Tails: 2013



December 17, 2013

Home in Mobile

Mobile Bound in the back of a Toyota Prius.

Dreaming of sun, a big yard, grass, carrots and Rosie.

Hello, Mobile!  I have arrived!

What type of sorcery is this?  This is not my yard!

Better take me on a walk.

Can you keep up with me?

Fence building that couldn't happen sooner.

Is this my yard?

Yard taste really good.

All mine.

Giving out the Frankie Rules.

I think I'm gonna like it here.

Note:  Frankie managed to take off into the neighborhood twice, alone, so I put blue painter's tape on his shell that says "Please get me home" and my phone number.  As soon as the fence is completed I will consider taking it off.  

Dedicated to Brown Eyes who we left behind in Birmingham.  We hope you found a good home.

December 9, 2013

Something there is that doesn't love a wall

Eighteen days and still there is no fence.

Eighteen days doesn't sound like a long time does it?  To me it feels like forever.

When I was younger a horse threw me into a fence.  I bounced off the fence and slammed into the ground.  I didn't pass out but I lay there unable to breath for what felt like forever thinking I would never feel air in my lungs or oxygen in my brain ever again and I cursed that fence.

Probably that was the only time I didn't like a fence because I've had pets and animals all my life and a fence means safety and security for them.

Fences have broken my heart.  An inadequate fence was cause for a younger Frankie to disappear.  That 24 hour period felt like forever.

My best friend died and my mother died so I know a broken heart. Pets have passed and I felt I would never recover.   Boyfriends have broken from me and I thought I would never love again.

But when Frankie disappeared I felt bereft, broken hearted, and emotionally lost in such a way I knew I could never bear to go through that again.

So Frankie is microchipped, his yard has two security cameras, every neighbor in my area knows Frankie so they can be his watch dogs, he is the most photographed tortoise in Alabama, and he has blue painter's tape on his shell that says "Please return me" with my phone number.

I put my foot down and insisted that Frankie and I would not move to Mobile until a fence was installed.

We're in Mobile.  Still there is no permanent fence.

Frankie hasn't escaped and yet my heart is unsettled.  Greg's done his best by putting up a strong temporary fence in a small area by the house.  I've done my best to amuse Frankie by taking him on daily walks and providing an enriched living environment.

Frankie has various objects to walk around, things for him to push, his umbrella stand (of course), heated cave and his dogloo.  I have a chair to sit in.  There is even a big cement mixer (for future fence construction) for him to walk under.  I hung a black garden cloth on the temporary fence to block Frankie's view.

Frankie has turned his enriched living environment into a disaster area.

Frankie's area was clean this morning.

Frankie has pushed, shoved, walked over, toppled, rammed, dragged, and torn up everything!

Oh, I expected this.  I know Frankie and I know how Frankie acts in an area too small for a 100 pound sulcata tortoise.

Amazingly the temporary fence is holding up.

The temporary fence even held up when Frankie started to climb it.

I am not kidding.  Frankie gave up shoving and ramming the fence and decided to climb it.  All 100 pounds of him!

I caught him with two feet up on the fence in the box-turtle-escapee position.

Nobody is going to believe that Frankie did this.  I had my camera with me.  I wanted to get a photo of it.

Regretfully I couldn't move.  All the air in my lungs had escaped and I was paralyzed in disbelief.

I stood there what felt like forever watching Frankie attempting to wedge his back foot into the fence and I am wondering if I would ever feel air in my lungs or oxygen in my brain ever again.

When I finally caught my breath the next thing I did was yell, "Fraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnkkkkkkiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

Frankie backed down the fence, turned, and looked at me.  "Is it time for a walk?"

My heart felt prickly and shredded.

We gotta build that fence.

November 25, 2013


There is so much to say about Frankie.  He has a personality as big as Siberia.  He is always surprising me.

Oh, sometimes those surprises are outright stinky, messy, and destructive.  Still Frankie has a friendly side that says, "Hey, I love you mom".  Of course, a carrot in hand always helps.

The man-ly side of Frankie as he blooms into his teen years can be down right embarrassing, albeit a bit educational as he humps anything that resembles.....well, I was about to say a female tortoise but Frankie will hump anything he can hold down long enough to climb on top of.

So is it educational or embarrassing?  It's both.

Watching a recent video of Frankie getting better acquainted with a pumpkin I was looking at how he used his front gular scutes to glide up on the pumpkin so he could (do I have to say it again?) hump it.  I watched the video several times fascinated with the use of his front scutes.

Male sulcata scutes are useful for ramming.  But clearly, as seen on the video, use of the gular scutes is important to successful mating.

So I called a friend and sent the video to her and get her opinion.  Not five minutes go by when she called back and said, "Look at the video again.  Frankie is a regular Casanova."

Oh, my.  Surprise!


Click to view video:  Frankie Woos a Pumpkin

November 20, 2013

A Mammoth Move

It was mammoth, monumental.  A tear-jerker....Frankie hadn't even got in the car yet.

The story really began when Frankie was evicted from the Frankie Cave a couple of days before we departed from home.  The day was nice so Frankie sat up on the hill watching his beloved cave get gutted and cleaned.  

A family of 150 Southern Cockroaches was evicted from inside his cave.  The colony of fat snails gathered from under the cave was fed to the two box turtles.  

Frankie's compost barrel was cleaned out reveling hundreds of red wigglers worms.  Frankie's friend, Little Dude, got worms enough for a couple of weeks.

If I had known Frankie was this good at raising bugs I would have stopped buying insects years ago.  

Frankie was slated to sleep that night in the garage in his dogloo.  It took forever to get Frankie inside because he thought the dogloo was for ramming.  

That same evening Greg departed with Frankie's cave to the new house in Mobile.

The next morning Frankie woke up at 7:00 am.  Not just awake but Frankie insisted on walking around the garage full of boxes and stuff.  Then he demanded entrance into the gecko room.  I had to accompany him as there were boxes of glass enclosures sitting on the floor.  Frankie pushed boxes aside and wandered about.  

At 10:00 am Frankie went back into his dogloo and went to sleep.  Okay.  This is new.  Wake up at seven and asleep by ten.  What is he going to do on Moving day?

....which started at 7:00 am the next day.  Two moving vans, five loaders and the driver.  The first job for the movers was inventory and tagging:  1 lawn mover, 1 washer, 1 dryer, 1 HUGE TORTOISE...WHAT IS THIS!? ...ARE WE MOVING IT!?    No, sir, but when it’s time to load the dogloo would you mind helping me put the tortoise in the car. I would appreciate it.

I am sure this guy has seen a lot of strange things over the years in houses but he looked at me like I had won the Blue Ribbon of strange-things-we've-moved.  I warned the movers a week ago.  When I say “big turtle” they always think big box turtle. "Oh, sure, we'll help you move that turtle. Sure."  I think he was hoping Frankie was an ice cube and would shrink to box turtle size in the next four hours.

As the temperatures increased over the next couple of hours I kept close eye on that dogloo in case Frankie made a daring escapee down the street or decided to pee all over the garage.  You know what he did?

Nothing.  Not a single thing.  He would look to see what was going on then he would go back to sleep for a couple of hours.  At 2:00 pm. When it was time to load the dogloo do you know what Frankie did?  Nothing.  We took him out and put him on the garage floor and he sat there. 

While Frankie sat there doing nothing everyone took pictures with him. 

It has not escaped my attention that Frankie has not pooped or pee-d all day.  I just knew he was saving it for the car.

After the movers departed, Frankie, Newt the cat, and I left about four in the afternoon. 

It was awful.  The smell, the non-stop noise, constant scratching, and then the poop.  Horrifying! 

“Settle Down!  Quit Moving Around!  Oh, my stars!  Did you just poop, AGAIN?”

I will never travel with a cat ever again. 

What was Frankie doing?  Nothing.  Frankie slept the entire way to Mobile.  For a Frankie story it was rather disappointing.

When we got to Mobile we put Frankie right into his warm waiting cave.

We didn't see Frankie for three whole days.  He refused to come out of his cave.  The weather was nice enough for two of those days.  Only one day was rainy. 

On the third day I had to go check to see if Frankie was still alive.  He was alive but he was still in the same position from three days ago:  nose firmly against the back corner so no one could see him.

Maybe he had broken his leg and couldn't move.

So I dragged his huge self out of the cave and into his new yard. 

It was a scene out of Tortoises Gone Wild:  what’s this, can I eat this, what’s this, is this a fence, let’s see if I can push it over, look they brought my girlfriend, is this grass, who is this person, move out of my way, look a tree branch, it could be edible, where is that rabbit I was promised, this post doesn't look so strong so I could probably push it over, is this the wall of the house, need to see if I can push this over, this corner looks like a nice place to start digging, what’s this, is there anything under this bush, I think I will eat the leaves, maybe the house siding is edible, let’s see if I can move this cement mixer, I could crush this rake, let’s try pushing the fence over one more time, dogloo is for ramming…….

Still there are boxes to unpack, a kitchen to set-up, beds to be made, services to set-up, new neighbors to meet.

All that will wait.  Watching Frankie discover his new world is much more rewarding.

(Pictures will follow once I find and unpack the computer with the photo software.)

November 7, 2013

Frankie, Purgatory and the Smog in China

Seven days until Frankie's Big Move.

If you've been counting you'll notice it's seven days and not three days due to one little word not appearing on one piece of paper of many, many, many papers to close our new house in Mobile.  That's right. The closing of our house was cancelled at the last minute because Greg's name didn't appear on an insurance paper that had NOTHING to do with ownership of a house.

Yes, I am in House Closing Purgatory.  

Poor Frankie was the primary victim of one little word.   Once we closed on the planned Friday date we would promptly run to Lowe's and buy fence posts and cement and for an entire weekend put up Frankie's new privacy fence.  The completion of said fence would take the entire week but those all important fence posts needed the attention and dedication of four persons.  Once posts are up the pickets could be completed during the week after everyone got off work.

In the mean time I would be back in Birmingham packing and preparing Frankie for the big move.

That everything would work like the Boulder, Colorado's Atomic Clock is denying the very real existence of House Closing  Purgatory.  Closing was postponed to Monday.  

So Frankie's Fence was not going to get done in time.  Four adults of which only one is a Frankie Expert try to decide on a solution.

My favorite is the one where Frankie will live in our friends's screened porch for five to seven days.  

If that idea didn't cause you to drop to the floor and laugh your arse off then you don't currently own or have ever owned a 100 pound sulcata tortoise.  

Another idea involved putting up a temporary metal fence.


I guess the thing that is hardest for people to understand is what a 100 pound sulcata tortoise will do once he topples the metal fence like it's tooth picks. Frankie will go on a big walk.

Unlike dogs, sulcata tortoises don't stick around their neighborhood.  Sulcata tortoises don't respond to whistles to beckon them home.  Large sulcata tortoises walk until it's dark.  A Sulcata Big Walk is much farther than most people can image.  

So, I put my foot down.

In seven days time I will drive Frankie five hours from Birmingham to Mobile, all the while Frankie drops buckets of poop and gallons of pee in our small Prius automobile surrounding me in a fecal smog that will rival the near record smog in Harbon, China where visibility is less than 10 meters.

Did I mention there will be a howling cat, too?

With Frankie and large sulcata, there is no easy path:  it has to be done thinking the worse and acting to avoid it all all cost.

I wonder where I can buy a hazmat suit.

October 15, 2013

Big Move Plans

You've wonder what Frankie been doing.  It's BIG!  He is moving South to Mobile.

Moving is huge no matter if moving to an apartment in town, or moving a family into a house, or moving to a new state....well, you get the picture. Moving is tough.

Add Frankie to the mix.

Yeah, you got it.  It's even tougher.

Finding that perfect sulcata friendly house was not easy.  There had to be a yard....a big yard.  And a fence....a privacy fence.  A garage....a garage is really needed in case there is a storm or it get's too cold or any other reason that requires bringing Frankie inside.

Things happen that require bringing a 100 pound sulcata tortoise inside.

I am a bit befuddled why we bought a house with no garage and no fence.

Greg is going to build a fence.

There is no such thing as a temporary fence for a 100 pound sulcata.  There is no garage to put Frankie until the fence is build.  Besides, we already know what happens when Frankie is kept indoors.

Which explains why Frankie and I are still living in Birmingham.  We don't get to move South until the fence is built.

All of that pales in comparison to one more detail:  moving said 100 pound sulcata.  If you happen to be an owner of a large sulcata you are already gritting your teeth.

Five hours in car.  Do you know what a 100 pound sulcata tortoise will do to a car's interior during that time?

If you own a large sulcata you already know.  If you don't own a large sulcata, it's like tossing an angry, blind folded Wolverine into a compact car.

We're working on a strategy.

The best so far is to wait until Frankie goes to bed for the night in his "cave", board up the front, strap the whole thing on a flat bed truck and drive to Mobile.

Really, it's not a bad idea.  We are still considering other ways.

I promise to take pictures.

Until the fateful day Frankie is enjoying Fall in Birmingham.  Lots of walking, grazing, sleeping.  When Frankie does make it to Mobile he can enjoy Fall all over again.

27 days and counting.

Frankie enjoying Fall in Birmingham, AL.

September 9, 2013

It's A Trip!

Frankie, come here. I wanna talk to you. (Frankie walks over) 
You wanna go live somewhere else? 
No, Frankie! Listen to me. We are moving. 
We're going on a walk! (Frankie heads to the gate) 
Frankie! No. Now listen to me. Dad got a new job and we are moving away from here. (Frankie looks around the yard.)
But I like my yard. 
Well, yes but you complain about Birmingham's weather. What if we are going to a place where the winters are warmer? 
That's good. What else? 
Well, you'll have a new yard with grass and trees. There are rabbits. 

Rabbit in Frankie's new yard.
What about chipmunks? I like watching chipmunks. 
Probably chipmunks. 
What else they got there?
Carrots. Cuttlebone. Petsmart. 
What about Petco? I like the floors at Petco.
They have a Petco. 
Okay. Is this were Rosie lives? 
No, Rosie lives in Colorado. 
Can we move there? 
No, we can't. We are moving South.
Can she move with us? 
Sorry, no. 
Are we breaking up?! 
No, Frankie. She can't move with us but she is still your girlfriend. 
Fiancee. Right. 
Main squeeze. 
Fine! Let's get back to the move. It will be a five hour drive to our new home.
Have fun. How am I getting there? 
We will drive you there. 
Good luck with that! I'm gonna poop and pee all over the car. 
We'll be prepared. We'll stop and clean it all up. 
I am gonna poop and pee all the way down there. 
I'll wear a mask. 
We driving with the cat?
Will the cat meow all the way down there? 
I want ear muffs. 
You and me both, Frankie. So, you'll go with us? 
I'll think about it......................okay. 
That was quick. 
I am always up for an adventure.

August 26, 2013

Reason For Privacy Fence

Julie Maguire of Turtle Rescue of Long Island sent Frankie a green turtle umbrella stand. When I brought it to Frankie's yard for his use he had been ramming his Dogloo into the wall all afternoon. I figured the green turtle umbrella stand would be a good distraction.

Frankie knew what to do instantly. He's been at it for 45 minutes.

I guess Frankie likes it.  

Sorry Umbrella Thurman and Steel Stella.  You've both been replaced.

Don't forget to stop for some grazing, Frankie.  

Okay.  Fifty minutes.  Still at it. 

Your bed time is at 5:30 pm, Frankie.  No you can't take the turtle umbrella stand into your cave for the night. It'll be there in the yard when you wake up in the morning.

Just looked in the backyard again.  He is still at it.

One hour.  No sign of slowing down.  It's getting a little embarrassing.

Really, really glad Frankie's yard has a privacy fence. 

August 17, 2013

The Chances of Zombies After Midnight

I was awaken at three o'clock in the morning to what sounded like something in distress.  Before getting out of bed I determined it was not a cell phone, low battery smoke detector, battery back up, or some other device as logically these items make a consistent noise.  This sound was not consistent, this sound occurred at random times.

Thinking the sound could be an animal in distress I leap (literally) out of bed and grab for my glasses.  I am on full alert as I exit the bedroom, turn off the house alarm and then stand perfectly still so I can determine where the sound is coming from.

Newt the cat rubbed against my leg greeting me to the cat frolicking hour which cause me to gasp and bump into the wall behind me. Okay, Newt is not the source. That leaves 199 more animals to check.

I heard the sound again.  It is not on this level. I dash downstairs to the basement. At the bottom of the stairs I open the garage door and cat number two comes slinking out of the garage hoping for a fur-rub or food.  As far as she is concerned either would be acceptable.

Attention to the cat must wait.  I walk through the garage looking for an unfortunate mouse the cat may have caught, played with and it's not dead yet -- hey, that is why the cat is in the garage.  No body.  No sound.

Leaving the garage and entering the gecko room I go terrarium to terrarium looking at any gecko large enough to make the distress call.  All is fine.

I hear the sound again and it's in the direction of the garage.  Off I go.

I stand very still in the garage waiting for the sound again.  Both cats are in the garage with me when the distress sound happens.  Both cats look quickly at the garage door.  The sound is coming from outside.

Completely disregarding that I am essentially in my undies not suitable for a walk through the neighborhood I head outside.  I stand perfectly still in our drive way, one minute, two minutes, three minutes....

I give up.  I am standing half naked outside the house in my mismatched night gear (sleep is about comfort and not style), my hair is probably sticking straight up and dry spittle is probably sticking to my chin.  Anyone seeing me would NOT think they were looking at a nice lady looking all smoldering and attractive. No, my neighbors would call the police thinking they've spotted the first zombie in Alabama.

I go back inside, lock doors, turn off lights, go back in the bed room where my hubby is sitting up in bed. He says, "Well, I'm wide awake now."

"Sorry." and we try to go back to sleep.

He falls asleep pretty quick while I lay awake thinking of morning chores like making breakfast, mowing the backyard lawn........!!!!!

It hits me like a bucket of ice cold water!  Frankie!  I didn't check Frankie!

I repeat the whole jump out of bed, lights, doors and run at top little-old-lady speed to the yard.  I spot the neighbor's black cat and yell at her to get out of the yard.  Okay, black cat is not the source of sound.

I open Frankie's cave, slide the top over, open both plywood covers to the inner cave.  There is Frankie.  Now I gotta poke Frankie to see if he is alive.

Then I see it.  What in the name of shells?!  How did this get in here?!

Sitting next to Frankie is his umbrella stand which he humps endlessly in the yard, only it's not in the yard, it's sitting next to Frankie in his cave.  Frankie has somehow rammed or pushed the umbrella stand into his cave and into the back corner where he sleeps.

Umbrella stand is a distraction. I am here to see if Frankie is alive.  I can't locate his back foot so I have to lean over the umbrella stand to poke Frankie on the front leg.  Frankie hates people touch his front feet.  Frankie quickly pulls the foot away from me and makes the whoooooooosssssssssss sound that sulcata make then the pull fully into their shell.  They aren't hissing.  They are expelling air quickly so they can create space for their limbs and head.

Okay...Frankie is fine.  I drag umbrella stand out of Frankie's enclosure, close up the cave and secure the outer door.

I stand in front of Frankie's enclosure looking at the umbrella stand and the very small tortoise door and wonder how in the world he got that in there.  Then it dawns on me that once again I am standing outside inappropriately dressed in the yard.  I wonder if the Frankie Cam is pointed in this direction. If it is the folks at Weather Underground may catch a glimpse of what may be the second zombie sighting in Alabama.

The discovery of the umbrella stand distracted me from the distressed sound.  I haven't heard it in about 30 minutes.  At the least I am glad all of my 200 animals and husband are accounted for and that is my main concern.

The Good Caretaker responds to any possible indication of trouble no matter the time. One must live with the possibility that emergency responses in the wee hours of night could override regard for personal appearances creating the possibility of a Zombie sighting in Alabama.

Now about that umbrella stand.
Frankie & His Umbrella Stand

August 14, 2013

The Slide Rule

Frankie does what Frankie wants in Frankie's yard.  Frankie saw a big plastic lid in his yard so Frankie decided it was a slide.  Frankie's yard, Frankie's rules.

It's really hard to image what a sulcata tortoise playing on a slide would look like. When I shared how Frankie used a plastic lid for a slide people wanted to see for themselves.

So I posted this picture of Frankie on a slide
Frankie on his slide
But it's the video everyone really wants to see.  Right?  Because seeing Frankie playing slide on a plastic lid that would be something.

Here it is.  Frankie on his slide.  Maybe it should be called a treadmill. Frankie is about five years old.  Heavy metal rock seemed appropriate.

Problems seeing video?  Go directly to You Tube Click to see video on You Tube
Don't forget, you can leave comments below.


August 1, 2013

History of Me

Frankie's birthday post.  More like a history of Frankie throughout the years.

Below the pictures are links to Frankie Tortoise Tails posts that relate to the picture.

Always look mad.  Get sympathy food.  Works like a charm.
Link:  A New Nemsis

Yea, I heard you three weeks ago.  Don't eat cat food.  
Seeing a veterinarian:  Stink Eye

Marking sub saharan Africa. No pen so I just poop on the spot. You better believe I did.    

A fence a sulcata can go right through.

Don't care what you think.  It's a slide.

Got a new fence at last.

Frankie visits Petsmart.


You better believe it.

Love At First Sight.

Walking in the Do Dah Day Pet Parade.

You got to be kidding, right? 

The iconic Frankie  Birthday Cake

The show stopping Frankasaurus.
Link:  Frankasaurus

Frankie being mobbed at Do Dah Day

This could get a tortoise in trouble.  

For me?  A new cave!

A UFO seen around the world
Link:  UFO

That's our birthday boy!  Frankie at 12 years old.

Now a request for Frankie Fans.  Below this post is a place for comments.  Maybe you've missed it.  It's under the white line and it says "Post A Comment" or it has a number and looks like this:  3 View / Add Comment.  Please leave Frankie a birthday greeting and let us know what you think of Frankie Tortoise Tails.  You may leave the comment as "Anonymous"

Frankie and I thank everyone who reads Frankie Tortoise Tails.

July 23, 2013

The Mythical Ram

Frankie's Year of The Ram continues.

I see a lot of discussion about sulcata ramming.

Both male and female sulcata ram.  When they want to.  Seen it.

Keepers with younger sulcata from hatchlings to a few years old really don't notice ramming. When a sulcata is small ramming looks like hiding and sounds like hissing.

As a sulcata get's older things happen and a sulcata owner will wonder, "Did that sulcata just ram me?" or "Did the sulcata just give me a love-tap?"  For the medium sized sulcata a ram is more like a bump or a forward jump.  Owners think, "Oh, I just scared him."

When a sulcata gets big....well there is no mistaking when a big sulcata rams.

Never stand in front of a big sulcata when it rams.  Just don't.  Don't sneak up on a big sulcata.  Really.

There are signs.  Indicators.  Big Red Flags.  Don't ignore them.

Ramming behavior is normal so best to give the big sulcata something to ram.  I gave Frankie a bucket. 

Never, NEVER, take the bucket away.

(If you can't view the above video click on link to go to You Tube for viewing: Frankie Ramming)

Dedicated to Gracie's dad, Marcus O'Bryon who gave Gracie her first bucket.

July 18, 2013

Notes on Summer 2013

It's hot and rainly this summer, Frankie.
How are you doing and what are you up to?
I call this Frankie's Hurt Corner
The Hurt Corner is for ramming things.
I don't stand in the Hurt Corner when Frankie is around.
Frankie hurts the bucket.
Yesterday, Frankie distroyed the clay pot.
This is Frankie's pool.
I don't think it's gonna last the summer.
I am doing my best to keep Frankie cool but it's hot and it rains almost daily.
I swear I just mowed last weekend.   
I don't care if it's hot.  Get out here and help me mow!

June 28, 2013

Gentlemen Start Your Engines

A long time ago, when I was a Wanna-Be-A-Sulcata-Owner, before there was a Frankie, my now 90 pound sulcata tortoise, I hung out with turtle people to learn more about sulcata tortoises.  I really wanted to have a sulcata so I listened very carefully to sulcata owners for tips and advise.

One of those sulcata owners had a large 20 year old male sulcata tortoise named "Sam."  The owner told me that he had trained Sam to come to the sound of a bell by feeding Sam a strawberry every time he rang the bell.  It took Sam a while to catch on but his owner thought it was worth months of training:  when the bell rings Sam comes running.

I have never tried to train Frankie to come running to the sound of a bell.  I never had to train Frankie to respond to the word "carrot."  He figured that word out all by himself.   A key word I've tried to train Frankie to understand is "No!".

Maybe Frankie doesn't really understand the word "NO!" but he certainly responds to my loud, high pitched, panic screams of "NO!   I think it's the tone rather than the word that catches his attention.

Frankie does recognize the word "carrot" and "treat".  Sometimes he ignores me but usually he responds with a beeline dash in my direction the minute I say, "Hey, Frankie! Wanna carrot?"

This evening I went outside to admire Frankie grazing on a freshly mowed lawn.  Upon reaching the bottom stair step and stepping onto the ground I was puzzled when I spied Frankie making a fast double-time trot in my direction with enthusiasm in those dark glistening eyes.

I hadn't said anything.  I didn't announce myself.  I didn't say, "Hello."  I didn't wave at Frankie or show a carrot or anything.  Still, Frankie was heading my way so fast I checked my clothes to see if I was wearing orange.

I prudently took a step to the side from where Frankie was heading to avoid being shin slammed. The side step gave me a needed extra moment to wonder what Frankie was up to or was expecting from me.

There was no slow down to Frankie fervent pursuit to reach me.  By the time Frankie was nose to feet with me I was still side-stepping so he didn't run me down.  Frankie finely came to a screeching halt right on my heals.

"Hello, Frankie."

Frankie immediately started grazing the grass around my feet.

"Okay.  Well, it's nice to see you too, Frankie."  I was a bit relived.

I took a couple steps away and sat down on the grass.  Not to be left two feet away from me Frankie turned around to follow and then continued grazing the grass all around me.

Grazing next to my hip Frankie was dangerously close to grazing my shorts.

"No, no, no! No eating the shorts.  Good Frankie."  Frankie looks up at me then goes back to eating grass....a little to close to my sandals.

"No, no, NO! Not the toes! Frankie!."  Frankie moves away from my toes and sandals.

Frankie passes by my side so I can give him a good shell rub.  He continued to graze around me.

I get up deciding to get Frankie a cuttlebone.  Fetching one from the storage area I turn around to find Frankie tight on my heals.  I didn't even say cuttlebone out loud.  I have to step over him to get back into the yard.

Again I sit down on the grass and then hold the cuttlebone up so Frankie can see what I have for him.

The owner of Sam who showed me how to get a sulcata to "come here" failed to warn me about sulcata collisions. It's like being hit by a cinder block on a skateboard.

I didn't have a chance to say "No!"

Holy NASCAR, Indy and Formula 1!  I attempted a scramble back up on my feet to avoid having Frankie run me down.

I needed a new pair of sandals anyway.

It's the second pair he's ripped up this year.

June 17, 2013

I Turtle Sit: Camp Frankie

Prequel -  I am turtle sitting Gretta's little box turtle, LD.  I promised Gretta that I would give her updates on how things are going.  I also promised I would not let Frankie help.

Little Dude
Camp Frankie

Hello, Mom.  LD here at Camp Frankie.  Havin’ lots of fun and learnin’ lots of new things. 

Frankie stayin’ in his cave.  He has three camera.  Must be watching me having fun.  Guess that makes him Camp Frankie Supervisor.

Right off I played joke on Leann.  I climbed on top of my cork bark and escaped.  She looked everywhere for me.  He,he.  I sittin’ on the window sill looking out the window right next to my enclosure.  I watch her act frantic.

Newly redecorated enclosure features cork bark in middle of box.     

Started week indoors ‘cause of weather.  I introduced to new toy….food…same thing for turtles.  Food is toy.  This toy runs around like crazy.  You have to run after it and catch it.  Thing called cricket and is dusted in some magic white dust that doesn’t seem to help it at all.  Caught four of those crickets.  Still runnin’ around box just in case there were five. 

I get crickets when I am indoors.  I tell Leann I want to eat out.

Leann took me to Frankie’s yard and started turning rocks over.  Was a smorgasbord.  There were bugs, snails, and snails escaped from shell. 

There were lots of those snails escaped from shell.  Leann say, “slug.”  I say, “I just run them down and wrestle ‘em.” 

While Leann scoop up some bugs for big turtles inside I eat all I can stuff in my face.  Leann say I eat more dirt than bugs.  I say I need my iron.  Leann try to wipe bugs and slugs off my face and I say no ‘cause those are for snacks later.

 I got to swim in Frankie’s Olympic sized swimming pool.  It was clean so I got to put in the first poop.  It was lonely looking poop in huge swimming pool.  Leann says poop will get plenty of company later.

I ate green stuff and I like it.   Leann says it’s one of Frankie’s favorite greens and she don’t know its name but she is gonna show you so I can have more.  Leann say I am not dead yet so it must be good for me. 

I think I make Leann sweat a lot.

After eating and harvesting and swimming and running away from Leann we went back inside.  Leann put me in box with bugs and worms we collected.  I can eat three slugs in 45 seconds Leann say. 

I got to eat again inside with the big turtles.  Turtles then got to go outside in Turtle Run but I am not allow because Leann does not want a heart attack. 

Well I got lots more days here at Camp Frankie so see lots more fun ahead.

I think we need to rename Camp Frankie to Frankie CafĂ©.  Is a better fit.

Well, I got to go now.  Leann about to feed geckos and I am planning on climbing up the monkey grass for another big adventure.

Tell dad and brother I love them. 

Love, Little Dude