September 24th, 2007
Dogs and Cats and Turtles, oh my!

This post has absolutely nothing to do with writing. :) Also, I cross-posted this at The Bradford Bunch blog.

I am super, duper bleeding heart animal lover and have been since I was a kid. This is evidenced by our 8 cats, 2 rabbits and one dog. Most of them were hard luck cases. All but one of our cats were strays. Our dog we found slated for death at Animal Control.

Our rabbbits, one of them anyway, was slated to be Great Horned Owl practice prey at a Raptor Rehab program I was volunteering for. I, uh, smuggled him out. I love birds of prey, but I couldn’t volunteer there after that.

The owl food was the black one.

So, when I opened my patio door last week and spotted this guy on the deck near the dog house I was charmed completely. I grabbed my camera, which is always close at hand because I don’t want to miss any toddler photo ops, and took this picture:

Close up of itty bitty teeny tiny tortoise face:

It didn’t look damaged, so I thought he just got lost. It didn’t occur to me in my non-caffeinated state (it was morning) that he could not have gotten onto the deck without, uhm, “help”. I didn’t know what kind of turtle he was. I failed turtle identification class.

Worried it could be a snapper, I carefully got him into a container for transport:

I didn’t notice the blood when I took the picture…..

I moved turtle to our pond, where likely he was living before he had “help” getting onto the deck:

I wished him a happy and productive reptilian life and assumed my good turtle karma had gained a few points. That’s when I turned around to gather the container and saw…The Blood. Taking a closer look at the turtle, (remember, still not caffeinated yet), I saw his shell had been crunched upon and the soft underside (his actual body) had been bitten.

I knew instantly who the offender was:

Our dog. The scourge of all wildlife in our yard. Springtime is brutal around here, let me tell you…. Obviously she’d determined turtle was a really cool dog toy.

So I went back into the house and called my local vet to see if I could bring turtle in for treatment. They don’t treat exotic pets, she told me, but pointed me in the direction of a vet who does. So…. I gathered turtle up from the pond and put him back into the container with a little yummy pond water for his comfort. I rousted the kiddo from her high chair and off we went.

The strangest passenger I’ve had in a while. I don’t think turtle was all that amused.

Finally, we reached our destination:

Turtle was handed over to a really cool vet who does pro bono wildlife rehab work on the side. Turtle has a fighting chance, but the lining of his lung was punctured. She thinks she will take a couple months to get him back up and running and they might have to put a feeding tube down his little turtle throat. I can call later to check on his condition. If turtle heals but cannot be returned to the wild, I told them I would take him as a pet. He turned out to be a water turtle, not a snapper.

After making a donation to the program (what a cool program!) we came back home. Whew! Not the morning I’d had planned.

Why’d I take pictures of the whole thing, you ask. Uhm, I’m just a dork that way. *shrug*

Tell me about your animal companions! I love to hear about pets, animal rescues, really about anything warm and fuzzy. I’ll give away chocolate to one of the posters. (Yes, I’m running the contest over here too. *g*)

8 comments to “Dogs and Cats and Turtles, oh my!”

  1. Wow! That’s amazing – great pictures too. Glad that turtle will probably recover. Do you have a name for him/her/it? Something gallant and heroic for surviving the “help” ordeal. :) Either way, sounds like you had an incredible morning.


  2. great story!
    we’re not allowed to have pets where we live so i’ve adopted the murder of crows that live here for the past ten years… or they’ve adopted me. not sure which.


  3. here i sit on my monday morning wishing for something (nonwork related) to do. and so i decide to trot on over to visit one of my favorite authors, you. lo and behold a turtle savior! i like turtles. they are cute. i actually have some pictures up on my blog (at the bottom of my thursday thirteen) of my babies, my kitties. oscar is extremely camera shy and i was lucky to get one good pic.

    the cats used to belong to my brother. i grew up with cats ever since i can remember. my brother got our first two cats for his 11th birthday present Airwalk and Snowball were saved from our cousins farm. the middle brother took airwalk and snowball when he moved into an apartment. snowball died, liver problems. airwalk was alone for a while. the oldest brother got a small kitty when living down in tennessee. hoping that the new wife would be able to deal with a short hair kitty. nope. no go. her allergies kicked in once he got to be about 4 months old. so when we went down for thanksgiving, we came back with a kitty! thus snuffy was welcomed into the boosom of the cat family and airwalk had a buddy again. airwalk got old and died. snuffy was alone for a while until one of my brothers friends said that their cat had a litter of kittens and brothers girlfriend decided to go and visit the babies. she came home with oscar. the girl.
    they got married and moved to Saipan and i got the kitties and have been momma ever since!

    they came back, but i kept the babies.
    long enough story for you? :-)


  4. My husband found a tiny turtle at Lake Erie last week. He’s only about 1 1/2 inches and he’s adorable! We can’t keep hin, though, because he’s a snapping turtle. He may be cute now but he’ll be trying to take our fingers off before we know it! Too bad!

    We are all pet lovers, too, but we aren’t allowed to have pets where we’re living right now.

    So, my daughter has a hamster. Buddy is small and black and he’s a sweetheart! I figure hamsters aren’t really pets – they don’t mke noise or tear up the house – so we can get away with it!

    Rhonda :-)


  5. Don’t tell my girls hamsters aren’t pets, Rhonda :) We have one that is friendly enough for my kids to handle (gently) and loves to have the run of the house in his “happy ball” (a plastic ball for small critters that he loves to go into, hence its name).

    I hadn’t realized you did wildlife rehab work, Anya. So did I, in Oregon. Very interesting and rewarding, though sometimes sad. It’s amazing the kinds of things humans will do to a creature. Glad there are folks like you to balance that!


  6. That was very nice of you. Not everyone would have bothered to try to help the turtle.

    I have two very fluffy cats with very big personalities. You can see pictures of them here: http://annangel.blogspot.com/2007/08/felines-in-house.html


  7. I can’t go by the free kittens box that always appears in front of the market without picking them up to cuddle. But my critters are box turtles, the easiest pets I ever had. The weather is so mild in CA, that they roam the backyard almost all year round. I just bring them in at night because of the racoon family that lives nearby. No turtle snacks for them.


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