An Ode to Tillie the Turtle #ReptileCare

Reptile Care Disclosure

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.

A Turtle Came to Visit
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 and 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!

Turtle Party Crayons

Supplies needed:
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.

How to Make Turtle Party Crayons

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.

How to Make Reptile Crayons

Wipe away any non stick oil residue with a damp cloth. Your crayons are now ready to be enjoyed!

Amazon Native Ads – Pet Supplies


  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says

    My kids really want a turtle. I am thinking of getting them one for xmas.

  2. That is awesome that Tillie lived so long! I think the oldest turtle that I ever met was 30 years old. Your turtle friend looks like an ornate box turtle. Some people keep those as pets too.
    Ann Staub recently posted..5 Pets That Make Me NervousMy Profile

    • I considered making the turtle a little habitat in the yard but I am sure it is happier in the woods behind my house. There is a stream back there and hopefully its mate. We did get a second turtle visitor not sure if it was the same one or a different one. I still can’t understand how it /they got into the fenced part of the yard in the first place. Neither could get out on its own.

  3. Eastern box turtle? Looks a lot like one if not. Here in Ohio we are encouraged to help them across the road when we see them b/c they are in risk of becoming endangered.
    Crissy Page recently posted..Clean Eating Lettuce Wraps with Chicken and AvocadoMy Profile

  4. I’ve often thought that having a turtle might be fun. Honestly, though, I’m afraid my dogs would eat it. =(
    Jennifer recently posted..Natural Balance Treats to Help with Training #PetSmartStoryMy Profile

  5. Two French Bulldogs says

    That is awesome to have a go to source
    Lily & Edward

  6. I had a turtle when I was a kid and loved it! They are great pets (even though they can be stinky LOL). Love your crayon idea too. My kiddo would love this!
    Jeanette recently posted..School Day Tips for Busy Moms & a Must Have Morning PrintableMy Profile

  7. This is neat. I have been saving broken crayons for a while to do something like this with.

  8. What an awesome resource that is! I used to have a turtle when I was a kid and I really didn’t know how to take care of it either.

  9. I have always wanted a turtle. maybe I will grab one for my kiddos!

  10. I had turtles when I was younger ad my brother would try and make them bite me! I bet my kids would like to have one of their own.

  11. My roommate in college had a small pet turtle, but I don’t know what ever happened to him/her. I do know she doesn’t have the turtle anymore. I do remember, though, that cleaning the tank was a pretty yucky job.

  12. I love that PetSmart is making information about reptile care more readily available. I think it would be great to take care of a turtle.

  13. I love turtles! I think most of us had at least one turtle as a pet some point in our lives. I should get one for my girls. I bet they’d love it. I really like your crayon idea. That’s really neat! I’m going to have to make those with my girls.

  14. I had a pet turtle growing up…actually my brothers and I had 3 of them. One of them is still alive after all these years. They are great pets and super fun for kids. Hopefully one will be in the cards for you again soon.

  15. My friend has turtles and they are so fun to watch when they are swimming around. We used to have Bearded Dragons.

  16. We have never had a turtle. We like to find them when we are camping. My friend had a corn snake that helped me get over my fear of reptiles.
    Tammy Roy recently posted..Nexcare Sensitive Skin ProductsMy Profile

  17. What a cute and useful way to honor Tillie. I love reptiles. We had turtles growing up.

  18. It is great that they are making reptile care is more available! I think a turtle would make a great pet!

  19. Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert says

    Turtles can be such fickle pets! You wouldn’t think this would be possible, but a friend of mine had turtle pet in his backyard and it ran away somehow!

  20. my brother always wanted a turtle growing up. however, he got a puppy instead.

  21. Turtles are great pets. My son used to have four small turtles and they were super cute.

  22. We love turtles, we see many around South Beach. They do make great pets and very easy to take care.
    Pawsitively Humane recently posted..Another Battle Lost for Homeless Pets at County Commission- Aug 26, 2015My Profile

Copyright © 2023 · Two Little Cavaliers · All Rights Reserved · Design By RL Web Designs

%d bloggers like this: