Here he is when he was only a few weeks old. My babysitter got him with Rain after she conned me into a reward for sleeping in her own bed. If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that was a huge scam. I’m the sucker. Still fighting through sleepless nights and now I’ve added another responsibility to my brood.
What’s worse is that I didn’t thoroughly research sulcata tortoises and educate Rain and myself about caring for the tender young creature.
He has been living with us for six months now in a glass aquarium, eating all the wrong things!
I am beyond lucky he is alive – and ridden with guilt for being the worst Turtle Mommy on the planet! I have had my share of animals – and usually pick up the “book” upon purchase – but this little guy came home during my hectic DWTS season with a lame set of instructions and I knew nothing about him.
He’s been munching on kale all his life… I just read on the Internet “foods to avoid” and guess what was top of the list, KALE! I was supposed to be soaking him once a day in shallow water; he’s lucky if he had a small dish to drink every few days!
His favorite foods are grass and roses; poor guy never set eyes in any of that. Every day I would find his nose stuck to the corner of his aquarium trying to get out and looking pretty miserable. No wonder, I read that they cannot comprehend that glass stops, so they continuously try to walk through it. What an awful life!
Even worse is that tortoises need hay, it’s their staple and he’s never even tasted that. He has also been way too hot in his aquarium, which sits in direct sunlight and the glass heats up. Poor dude!
So we built him an awesome new habitat:
Now he can roam, burrow, explore, hide, bathe, etc. He has warm healthy sunlight and lots to eat. Rain picks fresh red roses for him every few days (he loves bright colors and has a keen sense of smell), the hay has been ordered, and who knew my yard is full of Bermuda grass that’s perfect for grazing and munching?
The irony of my story is that it’s kind of like being a new first time mom. That “Baby 101 Hand Book” doesn’t come with birth, and neither does “How to NOT let Hormones Kick your Ass.” We all have to educate ourselves about how to care for another life. A baby, our man, our tweens, ourselves, and surely our pets.
My kids are always begging for more animals, but yours truly ends up being the caretaker every time. Now I find myself sitting, observing Pokey because I feel so guilty for providing such a lame life for him until now. David is laughing at my obsession but I am determined to make up for our carelessness. I thought he needed a companion…Thank God I researched that before rushing back to the pet store! I could have ended up with lots of little Pokeys, or a male vs male showdown. He needs a friend about as bad as I needed another pet.
Note to self: Know what you are getting yourself into BEFORE you purchase a pet… they deserve it.