Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"Does this shell make my butt look big?"

Nemo has not only brought joy into my life, Brian has slowly come to bond with the little guy as well. Initially, Brian had no expectations other than the stereotypical thoughts that a turtle would not interact and certainly would not have a personality. With his allergies, he rarely is comfortable around pets. Brian cautiously observed with fascination as I interacted with my new pet and listened curiously as I relayed numerous amusing stories of Nemo's adventures when Brian was not with me.

I didn't realize how cautious Brian was until I was recuperating from surgery and asked him to take the spray bottle and mist Nemo who was sleeping in his igloo. I saw the fear on Brian's face and couldn't stop laughing. He was afraid the turtle would bite him--not realizing there are no teeth and Nemo is so not aggressive to even head butt Brian's hand. After several weeks of watching me sit on the floor with Nemo and sometimes handfeeding him shrimp, toasted bagel pieces, and prosciutto, Brian spontaneously gave Nemo a piece of bagel which Nemo happily chowed down moments later. Today was a milestone because Nemo was being quite the explorer while Brian sat at the table in Nemo's space doing his work. When Nemo returned from checking out the living room and finding his way to the refrigerator and back, he walked under the table and nudged Brian's foot not once, but twice. He then meandered to one of his favorite napping spots behind the igloo under the soft mat. I believe Nemo officially accepted Brian with the foot nudge. Brian has a wonderful sense of humor and, early on in my pet turtle experience, he uttered the words that are the title of this post.

Nemo has been teaching us all kinds of new aspects to life. Brian learned how to add the Superman soundtrack to my video and a title clip which is now in the queue to go online. It makes me laugh every time I watch it. I even played with the moviemaker software to add an intro and a credit. Maybe I can figure out how to add it to this blog. And that's another thing--I'm blogging about my turtle and loving tweaking the template and colors. (Omg, was that just a dangling participle??) In my life prior to becoming a therapist, I was a writer and graphic designer. Whether anyone reads this or not, I'm having fun.

In yesterday's post I mentioned the turtle terrace. Here it is without the kiddie gate at the top step. Lovely little deck. Too bad he hates it. Oh well...maybe in time this "outdoor animal" may learn to enjoy a few minutes of fresh air.

YouTube Debut Achieves Honors

I'm so proud. Two days ago, Nemo had crawled under the blanket around his basking log. If he goes into blankets, it usually means quiet nap time, although it was his first time hiding in the blanket of his log. He loves his basking log. I have photos of his "log time" on the Flickr website. You can tell he luxuriates in his spa activities. So I was very surprised after observing the last of his tail disappear under the log blanket to suddenly hear and see the log move--obviously by his head lifting it up and him pushing.

I don't have a camcorder but there is a setting on my digital camera for mini movies. I quickly grabbed it and caught about 20 seconds of Nemo moving the log for the second time before apparently deciding it was now in the proper position. All you can see of Nemo is his little leg stretching further and further out from beneath the blanket as he pushes harder to move the log to its new position. The video came online in the wee hours of the morning and had honors when I woke up being one of the top favorites of the day. Yay! Here's the link if you'd like to see my superman turtle, click here.

I can see it now. Nemo The Un-Turtle video series. Of course that would mean a camcorder, video editing software, and a learning curve. Okay, maybe a thought for retirement. Have been home on medical leave since the end of June and return to work mid-September. The only energy I have when I get home is to sit on the floor and tell Nemo about my day before crashing on the sofa.

I am thankful for this time off--even if not for a fun reason--because having full time with Nemo has allowed for a new comfort level for him. I would have missed many entertaining moments if I'd been at work. How would I have learned he loves toasted bagel and prosciutto "bugs"? Being the un-turtle, he won't have anything to do with real turtle food and it is obviously beneath him to succumb to eating an insect. He does like his low fat dog food though which has all kinds of meat in it. Dog food is for turtle owners who can't deal with feeding bugs. lol. That would be me. But I found myself hunting juicy whatevers in the garden to bring him thinking he would be thrilled. Not! Bugs fulfill a turtle's need for protein. One day I was making my own sandwich of prosciutto and provolone on a toasted bagel when I decided I would roll up a tiny piece of the ham into the shape of a fat fly. He loved it! Now he has bug treats. Who knew he'd also like toasted bagel bits?

If that weren't strange enough, he comes out of deep hiding if he smells chicken being cooked. Think about that...where in the wild do turtles have chicken barbeques?! His dog food is chicken flavored and small pieces of white chicken are considered a turtle favorite so there is one thing turtle about him. But knowing when chicken is being cooked and waiting for it to be served is another matter.

P.S. It is later in the day and a freebie YouTube soundtrack has been added to Nemo's video which has also now earned two honors for the day! I need something tangible to hang on the refrigerator to thoroughly display my pride.