Thursday, 31 March 2016

Speedy The Tortoise

I mentioned last year that we suddenly acquired a tortoise which the family named Speedy Gonzales. You can read about it HERE.

I have just re-read what I said last year to make sure that what I say now is consistent with previous stories. After all, if I am to make up stories to entertain you I should ensure that at least they have an element of credibility with what was said previously.

We also have a rabbit, a cat and a dog as well as a number of fishes in the pond in the garden. We decided a long time ago that the garden is the best place to have a pond, because if we had it in the living room we might fall in it every time we got up to switch on the TV, or change channels. This decision was made pre-remote control era. See ... consistency in my stories.

Anyway, to continue ... suddenly and quite recently there has been a marked difference in behaviour in Gonzales the tortoise. Usually he sits or sleeps sedately in his box, or chews on a lettuce leaf for ages and does nothing else. But suddenly, perhaps inspired by our dog, his behaviour has changed.

As soon as I get home he comes rushing to me and jumps up high from the ground reaching my chest. He runs round in circles and jumps up again and again until I stoop down and pick him up. When I do so he licks my face happily and wags his little tail excitedly. It's very unusual behaviour for a tortoise, I tell you; but you should see his tail wagging left and right as his tiny tongue attempts to kiss me. I guess it's his way to show me his affection. It's like humans I suspect. Have you never been so excited to meet someone you like that you jumped on them and licked their face? No ... perhaps not.

Also, when I'm out in the garden exercising our dog by throwing a ball the tortoise runs as fast as it can to fetch it before the dog does. Of course, the ball is too big for Gonzales' tiny mouth, so the tortoise let's the dog pick up the ball and then he bites the dog's tail gently so he could be dragged all the way back to me so we can start the game all over again.

Gonzales now insists on going out for walks with the dog. I have made a tiny collar which I place round his neck and attach it to a lead and take both creatures out together. I must say, for a tortoise he certainly keeps up the pace with the dog and I; and lives up to his name perfectly. He even, every now and then, lifts up his back leg like the dog, and pretends to do his business by a tree. The problem here is that sometimes he loses his balance and falls over on his back and is unable to get up again. He rolls backwards and forwards gaining momentum every time in order to finally tip over to his normal upright position. Either that, or the dog rolls him over with his nose.

I don't know how long this behaviour in Gonzales will last. The vet had no explanation to offer and suggested it was "acquired transferable behaviour", whatever that means.

I wonder, have any of you readers experienced such unusual behaviour in your pets? Have you for example ever had a parrot trying to learn to swim? Or a guinea pig or hamster clucking like a chicken? Or any similar uncharacteristic behaviour?

I had a neighbour once who liked to imitate birds. She ate worms. But that's another story!

10 comments:

  1. I have a neighbor who has "acquired transferable habits"--she adopts whatever religion that comes her way.
    Blessings to you and your pet menagerie!

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    1. Oh dear ... that is serious, Lulu.

      Glad you enjoyed my story.

      God bless, Lulu.

      Delete
  2. I fear I have not...It is frightening to hear about a tortoise that can keep up with the dog...But if the genes have improved it might eliminate those poor tortoises who end up as victims of hit-and-run accidents. Have a grand day! You made my day!

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    1. I'm so glad I made you smile, Cathy.

      I hope you have a splendid day. God bless you.

      Delete
  3. Hi Victor! Your post made me smile remembering when I would take my tiny little turtle out for walks in the neighborhood. The poor thing probably thought he was finally free, but no... I was just taking him out for some air! I never made him a collar though, he was pretty slow.

    We had a parakeet once, and had to have friends care for it while we were out of town. When we picked him back up, they told us it kept making 'phone ringing' noises! I had never noticed I guess. Does that count as odd behavior??
    Easter blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. This is really brilliant Ceil. Thank you.

      You actually took a tortoise out for a walk? (Turtle)? How great is that? I guess he didn't go very far. How far can a turtle walk without needing to be lifted?

      And a parakeet who makes phone ringing noises? I really like your selection of pets and their behaviours. Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us.

      Hope you are feeling a little better, Ceil. Praying for you.

      God bless.

      Delete
  4. Oh, my, Victor! You are so incredibly talented and funny! God bless you for brightening my day! :)

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    1. I am so glad I made you smile, Cheryl. Thank you for visiting me and commenting here.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  5. Unusual behavior from my pets? Well, they think they're the master and I'm the pet. Of course they're right. I'm the one that does all the work feeding, walking, and cleaning up after them while all they do is sleep. Something has gone terribly wrong with this. ;)

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    1. That's my point, Manny. Our cat, especially, seems to run his domain around here. You've read about him in "Feline Catastrophes" - now in paperback, by the way.

      God bless you.

      Delete

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