When I was a little girl even before I got my first dog there was Tillie the Turtle. A tiny little quarter sized turtle given to me as a gift. I have no idea how old Tillie was when she came to live with us. What I do know is that she likely far outlived her expected lifespan especially because she honestly didn’t have everything she needed in order to really thrive. I really thought that she was long lived having survived until I was in High School. That is a fraction how long a turtle can live if given the best care possible but it was incredible that she lived that long. It was probably a big deal that she lived in her tanks outside in Miami so was kept warm enough and did get indirect sunlight during the day. She ate Turtle Pellets that were formulated to give her the right nutrition obviously she would have benefited from more variety in her diet but at least she received the basis on a regular basis.
This is not pictures of Tillie the Turtle. It is not even pictures of a pet turtle this is a wild turtle that came to visit in our backyard. We have actually been visited by turtles on 3 different occasions and each time it was the dogs that alerted me to their presence. They alerted in a way that said look mom a new friend so I know that they would be ok welcoming a turtle into their house. But for now we just visit them outside when they come for a visit.
It wasn’t malicious or lack of caring we just didn’t have the resources to know what she needed in order to really thrive. When I was a little girl there was no Dr. Google ready to answer any question that came up. We had a set of encyclopedia’s to look things up in. That was about it. I might have had a book about turtles but it was about turtles in the wild not keeping them as pets.
At some point in her early life (I was too young to remember) she went missing and was eventually found walking out from under a bed. I am pretty sure she was too young to be “on her own”. When she arrived her “tank” was about the size of a dinner plate if that big. She did eventually get a wet tank to swim in and a dry tank to hang out in but she did not have heat lamps or access to water from dry or vise versa.
When I first found out the BlogPaws Network would be working on a Reptile Campaign I thought long and hard about getting a turtle. I really wanted to go for it but I knew I would be traveling a ton this summer and it just wasn’t going to be fair to try and transport the turtle to grandma and grandpas house multiple times in the first two months it was home. I had to opt out. I don’t have any pictures of Tillie the Turtle or any good information to share about caring for a turtle like her so I watched the campaign from a distance. A new turtle was not in the cards for me this summer but now I know that there is a resource out there from petMD with content approved by Veterinarians. It is called the petMD Reptile Care Center and is brought to you by PetSmart®.
I have learned so much about Reptiles over the past few months from this incredible resource which has grown on a regular basis since I started checking it out. Check out these 5 Facts About Turtles.
Turtles can make a great family pet but I really recommend learning all that you can about them before bringing one home. Once you are ready make sure that you know what your new pet’s Terrarium does and does not need. Here are 2 great resources http://www.petmd.com/reptile/slideshows/care/terrarium-dangers-for-reptiles and http://www.petmd.com/reptile/slideshows/care/reptile-terrarium-checklist. Visit PetSmart for all of your Reptile Care needs!
For those of you with a Reptile Obsessed Child here is a fun activity for a rainy day, Birthday Party,
Turtle Party Crayons!
Green and blue crayons in various shades
Muffin or donut tin
Non stick cooking spray
The amount of crayons you need will depend on the number of crayons you are creating. For the donut shaped crayons you see here, we used about 2 standard sized crayons per donut.
1. Begin by breaking each crayon in half. This will make peeling the paper off easier.
2. Remove the paper wrapping from the crayons. Make sure they are completely cleaned off and free from all wrapping and wrapping residue.
3. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spray the inside of your donut or muffin pan with non stick cooking spray.
4. While the oven preheats, begin breaking your crayons up into smaller segments. You should be able to get about 4-5 segments per crayon stick.
5. Drop the segments into the donut or muffin tin. You want to create one layer with the crayon bits. For thicker crayons, add an additional layer.
6. Heat in the oven at 300 degrees for 10 minutes or until liquefied. Carefully remove and allow to cool.
7. Place the pan in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to help loosen them from the tin. Gently turn the tin over to release the crayons.
Wipe away any non stick oil residue with a damp cloth. Your crayons are now ready to be enjoyed!