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February 8, 2016

The Levitation Solution

Frankie and I used to go everywhere.  We would go to the park, Petsmart, Petco, to pet parades, to schools and day care centers, and libraries, more parks, art festivals, around the block, down the street and wherever we wanted to go......when Frankie was smaller.

I would pick up Frankie, toss him into the car and off we went on many adventures.

When Frankie got bigger, about 45 pounds or so, we still went places but I had to use more muscle to get Frankie in and out of the car.  The bigger he got the more difficult he was to lift so I relied on more and more on genius and ingenuity to get him places because let's face facts, a woman over 50 has a few physical limitations.

I got lucky meeting a fellow turtle lover and near-by neighbor, Greta, who became a fellow tortoise traveler and partner-picker-upper of Frankie.  Frankie above the 50 pound mark was bigger and heavier but Greta make it possible for Frankie and me to get to our favorite destination.

For better or worse, when Greg, Frankie and I moved our household to Mobile things changed drastically.  Frankie broke the 100 pound mark and I found without a close-by Greta or the always-working Greg, Frankie and I were just not going to very many places. Since I couldn't just float Frankie into the car we just couldn't go anywhere.

But the last few days, boy-oh-boy, we got to go places.  Frankie and I packed up and drove to B&B Pet Store, and then we drove to the park, and then we drove to the park again!  Frankie spent time basking in the sun and grazing on some tasty green grass and weeds, and walking all over the pet store....over and over and over.  I kept by Frankie's side and answered the top 20 Frankie Questions.

So exciting!  I am already planning more outings.

You are asking just how this 55+ woman is getting Frankie in and out of the car.  No, the State of Alabama is still not allowing me to marry a second husband who can pick up Frankie when ever I need, and of course, Greg still works a lot.  It's not a neighbor stepping up as Frankie co-carrier.

Nope, Frankie is getting in and out of the car all by himself....with a bit of clever thinking, lots of measuring, hunting out some good sales, two dog ramps, and a bit of woodworking.

.....voila!  Frankie Ramp!

Returning home, Frankie heads down the ramp.
The added wood platform keeps the ramp from separating or sliding.

Frankie's getting really good at using his ramp.

The ramp should last another 15 Frankie pounds before I have to make adjustments or add supports.  I may have to rethink the whole thing again if Frankie gets too big.  Always possible with a growing sulcata tortoise.

I subscribe faithfully to the number one successful sulcata keeper rule:  Anticipate the next pound.

Right now its time to make some travel plans:  visit the new PetSmart and Petco, take a trip to the downtown historical park, and attend the Mobile Walk for Autism.  So many places to travel, so many grasses to graze, so many Frankie questions to answer.  We can't wait!  


  1. I really enjoy reading your blog, and love seeing the photos of Frankie in action! I send the link to anyone who says torts aren't "smart" and don't have "personality." Frankie has both of these qualities for sure!

    I can't imagine getting my Redfoots to follow me anywhere, let alone walk in a parade. Frankie is one special tortoise!

    Take care, Amy in S. FL (where it's chilly enough to have to bring the tropical torts indoors)

  2. That is a great idea Leann! This will allow you guys to have many more adventures together.
    Vicki Hale Visit the tortoiseyard channel on You Tube

  3. ..and I thought the Frankie tails would be over now that he had his own greenhouse.. Glad that's not the case! :cool: :tort: ;)
    Team Gomberg

  4. You are one dedicated Mama and Frankie one cool dude. Happy for the both of you and very happy you are still able to educate the public through Frankie Q&A. Mary S from Tortoise Forum

  5. Love your blog about Frankie.I have a baby Sulcata-Benito-meaning cute.They say Sulcata's are good on personality and many other things.Sounds like Frankie's like that.Keep on posting pics of him-looking forward to future postings.Take care.��