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box turtles and me

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Posted by: cleveland at Fri Aug 27 00:44:52 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by cleveland ]  
   

I keep mostly aquatics (7 at the present time), but I have one tenacious boxie. "Cheese" has been with me for about 9 years. An adult when I got her, she was missing a foot & a hand on the right side when a neighbor brought her to me when her environment was destroyed by a housing project. The first two years I had her, I brought her inside for the winter. She went semi-dormant, even though she had appropriate heat and lighting. On winter #3 in my household, I didn't bring her in, and we had rather mild weather conditions. She dug in by late October, despite missing two digging tools, but I was nervous about her overwintering outdoors. She had a successful brumation, coming out on Easter with a ravenous appetite, and she entered Spring with a zest I hadn't seen before. Thereafter, I let her pick her resting place each Fall, and she did fine, teaching me something about nature's way. In Summer 2007, she suffered a "near drowning" when I failed to monitor the boundary fence between her environment and the adjacent aquatic turtle pond. She brumated that Fall, but came out of her hole with obvious distress that looked like pneumonia. Dr Gloria Goodman, of Aston, Pa. (big time recommendation!)guided me through a course of IM antibiotics that cured my baby over the course of 3 weeks. Since then, she goes down each Fall, when she deems it the right time, and always comes up out of the ground on or about Easter. She was especially fond of my little dog, Crackers, sitting nose-to-nose with her in my backyard. Crackers died in the Winter of 2009, and Cheese seemed distressed/bummed out when she didn't find her friend out there this past Spring. Tonight she's enjoying an early morning mixed plate of veggies, with cut-up chicken and bonus earthworms. I've always thought I was especially devoted to my aquatics (cooters, a slider, a chicken turtle and an alligator snapper), but this feisty little beauty has captured my heart. By the way, she's the rare red eyed female and I've had the eggs to prove it.


   

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