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January 30, 2013

The Water Fight

I’ve been so incredibly sick for the last month!  I’ve been achy, weak, shaky, tired, and nauseated.  Worse flu ever! I just don’t have energy to solve Frankie problems.  But, as staff to a 85 pound tortoise, I got to step up to the job.  

It is winter so the current problem is Frankie isn’t drinking any water.  I can bring Frankie to water, but nothing happens:
“I don’t want water.
I don’t need water.
And you can’t make me drink water.”

I look down at Frankie who’s in the gecko room and I beg:  “Just a little water?  Just a sip?  Please?”

Frankie won’t go near his kiddy pool full of water in his yard. He's not putting one tiny-weenie toe in that water.  At least the birds are making full use of it.

Maybe I can outwit him.

I got a huge ceramic plant saucer for water which Frankie can’t tip over.  Course, I will never really know for sure because he ignores it.  I put the ceramic saucer in the middle of Frankie’s walking path: He changed his walking route.  In a moment of pure brilliance, I put the ceramic dish right in front of him while he sleeps: In the morning he crashed through the other side of the table to avoid the dish of water. 

Back to the old ways.  I brought in his black plastic mixing tub used to transport Frankie in the car.  Then I carried ten buckets of water all the way from the bathroom to the gecko room.

Frankie watched. 

Then I did something extraordinary.  Using two mover’s straps under Frankie’s shell I heroically lifted Frankie 8” off the floor.  I needed at least 12”.  At the cost of my already Frankie-damaged back I made one huge effort and I had Frankie over the tub of water.  It wasn't a graceful water entrance.  Frankie belly flopped into the water.

Frankie wasn’t impressed.

I made him sit there 30 minutes in the water.  I laid flat on my back watching Frankie sit there.  He did nothing.  He ignored that he was sitting in the water.

Frankie didn’t drink.

When it was time to get him out I had to drain the water one cup at a time. Thirty minutes later and I unceremoniously slide Frankie out of the tub.

Frankie wins.

I am just too sick to carry on the water battle.  Next time it rains I'm sending Frankie outside for 30 minutes.

You can lead Frankie to water but you can’t make him do a backstroke.