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Good for my spirits

Posted by LLDG , 20 January 2012 · 321 views

I just couldn't stand it anymore. I really was missing Frankie.

As a big sulcata tortoise, Frankie spends the entire summer outside in his yard. No need to bring him in every night. He has a great solid fence. He sleeps in his climate controlled enclosure. I visit him often if it's not too hot. Best of all, my computer overlooks the yard so I watched Frankie all day doing his tortoise thing.

This fall his enclosure proved that it could take the cold down to 40º F. For the first time ever, Frankie stayed outside in his yard in his heated enclousre into November.

Yeah! for Frankie.

Yep, Frankie was living indoors by this time last year. Frankie would be walked outside every morning and back inside every night. Greg insulated his enclosure so he no longer has to stay inside.

However, if the outdoor temperature doesn't get above 65º and the sun doesn't shine, Frankie remains in his heated enclosure all day. No watching Frankie in the yard. No watching Frankie bask in the sun. Nope, he is snuggled up in his nice warm house.

Sad for me.

So yesterday, I dragged him out of his enclosure. The very slow moving Frankie took forever to inch toward the sun were I waited for him with a carrot. Frankie is not a speedy tortoise when cool. He looked increasingly colder and slower between his enclosure and the fifteen foot walk to his basking spot.

If it were colder, I could imagine Frankie freezing into a tortoise statue.

A Frankie statue would be a sad sight so I help him a bit by dragging him into the sunlight. We sit together in the sun for the first time in a long time. I've missed him.

If Frankie was sleeping inside at night I would see him a lot. I decide that it would be good for Frankie if he slept inside the gecko room. He would get a big warm up and we could spend time together.

Frankie isn't liking it outside so I ask him, "Wanna go inside?" Amazingly, Frankie remembers what this means.

Good news: Frankie pivots toward the gate and starts walking. Bad news: Did I say "walking?" Cold as he was he moves more like molasses in January. Sun sets in an hour. We may just make it to the back door by then.

Ever so slowly Frankie inches past the gate, past the garage door, into the gecko room, and into a waiting box stuffed full of newspapers. He wastes no time tunneling under the newspapers.

In the morning I show up at 7:00 am just before the gecko room lights turn on. Cup of coffee in hand, I sit and watch Frankie sleep.

He is so cute. He sleeps with his head on his arm.

When the light come on he continues sleeping. He is a late sleeper. He will not be fully awake until well after 9:00 am.

My spirits genuinely improve as I sip my coffee and give Frankie a shell rub.

Good for both of us.




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i love chelonians
Jan 22 2012 02:15 PM
that is a very sweet story
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