Feb 6, 2014

My Turtles

Did you know I have two aquatic turtles?? I do. Want to hear all about them?? Well even if you don't you are about to!

Somewhere along my childhood I decided I liked turtles. Anytime a friend went somewhere for vacation - they would come back with something with a turtle on it for me. When Finding Nemo came out I LOVED those turtles and the obsession grew. 

The summer of 2004 my sister had just graduated from High School and was dating a guy that was super outdoorsy. They were out on a lake all day (fishing maybe?) and she saw a bunch of turtles and insisted he catch one for me. 

It was a shock to come home from my summer job to find a turtle in a bucket on the front porch. I named him George and he was awesome. That first day, I had a friend loan me a small tank, and I made it look like an enchanted sea. I also (being overcautious of germs) decided he needed a bath. I took a toothbrush and scrubbed him until all of the algae came off (which also meant some of "shells" came off. I FREAKED out that I killed him, because I immediately dropped him into the grass and he didn't move for like 2 solid mins. But I guess they shed shells like a snake sheds skin. Bet you really wanted to know that huh?)

Just a couple of problems with George. . . I only had a 10 gallon tank and he was WAY too big for it. I would buy a dozen feeder fish every other day and he would eat them all in 3 mins. And he was a wild turtle, so he was generally unhappy in that tank. I kept him about a month and took a trip to our "creek" (really a 10 mile river) in the neighborhood, with my then 4 year-old nephew for a goodbye party. 

I thought that was it with my turtle owning. Fun but short and sweet. Then about a week before my sister and I were headed to Ohio State for the fall, her boyfriend showed up with 2 baby turtles for my late birthday present. They had the cutest bowl with cute accessories. I melted. They were maybe the size of a half dollar - if that big. 

A picture of them in 2010. I don't have any cute pictures of them as babies. 

I immediately knew they should be named Lois and Clark after my everlasting Superman addiction. But, since I lived in a sorority house, these turtles were going to have to live at my boyfriends, and he wouldn't let me name them that. The next best thing I came up with was Franklin (after the awesome turtle in the book that taught me not to be afraid of the dark). And I had to come up with something that went with Franklin. Being the American History buff that I was, I decided upon Theodore. 

So, fast forward 10 years this September, and I've had Franklin and Theodore for 10 years (holy shit!). In those 10 years I have learned a lot . . . . 

First of all, Theodore is a girl. And Franklin is a boy. And boy and girl turtles have sex and lay eggs:
This shouldn't happen. Turtles lay their eggs on land. Theo was stressed out because Franklin was beating up on her. They have since been separated. 

Second of all, turtles are expensive. When I bought my house I decided to "hook them up" with a nice tank and stand and filter and all the stuff. That was over $800. And then when Franklin started his domestic violence, I had to get another tank for him so they could be separated. (Don't worry - his isn't as nice - she has the best house between the two of them - it's his punishment for the abuse).

Third, turtles are gross. REALLY gross. And even though I have a $300 filter, I have to manually clean the tank once a month. 

Fourth, turtles do NOT make a good gift for someone. Trust me - I know.

But they are really fun to watch. 

I have thought of getting rid of them. I mean really thought about it - even went to a reptile show here in town to see if anyone there would want them. You see I'm a huge animal lover, and that includes all animals, even these disgusting things. I keep picturing me giving them away to someone who doesn't feed them, or doesn't clean the tank so they are living in their own filth. Even worse would be that someone just decides to let them go in a pond. They wouldn't make it - they have never lived in the wild and they struggle to catch fish when I put them in the tank with them!

Watching them run around in the backyard is fun too.

So to end my extremely long story of turtle ownership, I would recommend not going there if you are thinking about it. Turtles live a LONG time. Looks like these guys will be around for awhile. . . But the cat's sure don't mind. I think watching the turtles is their prime form of entertainment!

Anyone have any unique pets??  


  1. They're so cute but that definitely sounds like a lot of work! More than Hawkeye. It's good that you wouldn't just give them up to a stranger who can't care for them!

  2. i haven't had any unique pets but when i met my husband, he did have a pet scorpion. i think they're called the king scorpion - those big, giant black ones. i nearly left his ass when i found out!!!

  3. I love your blog

  4. wow they sound like a lot of work! but also cool to have some unique pets as well.
    -- jackie - jade and oak