Saturday, December 20, 2008

Nemo & Lucy - Crossing Paths

Nemo took a nosedive out of his tubby landing in front of Lucy chowing down a carrot.

Nemo acting cool and meandering by as Lucy looks on.

Lucy snuggled with Iggy now on her soft beige blankie mat.

Lucy sprawled out napping on her blankie mat close to her best buddy.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Recent cuteness

Yum! Carrot!

Ready for the plunge.

Enjoying a steam facial while kicking his little legs for bathtime.

Nemo in camouflage.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lucy's Latest Photos

Will I be this big one day?

Snoozing on Iggy's foot.

Lucy noticing Nemo trying to sneek behind her.

Napping against the stuffie turtle. Must be comfy for a tortoise.

Lucy is growing. She can no longer snuggle in next to Nemo in the summer home. She tries to climb on top of him or push him over. We resolved that issue by providing a wider summer home. It's a wooden stepstool so has no back wall to it. They seem to like sharing space under the blanket under the stepstool. No more shoving contests. When not under the blanket of the new summer home, Lucy has an affinity for snuggling with the reptile stuffed animals. She especially likes resting on the iguana's foot.

Lucy likes to sleep in. Once she awakes she slowlllly makes her way over to the basking log, climbs aboard, and let's out a huge yawn while she raises her body temperature before diving into her food dish. She doesn't drink water or like her wading pool. She eats tons of leafy greens though and is not lacking in nutrition.

Nemo is intent on hibernating but we "force" him to bathe each day to keep him hydrated. He fusses before getting in his tubby but then takes a 20-minute Zen bath. He doesn't eat anything except his shrimp and seems happy. He can get veggies anytime by going to Lucy's dish. And we use spray vitamin supplement plus forcefeeding vitamins at least once a week. Sometimes he'll eat shrimp sprinkled with Lucy's vitamin enriched dandelion powder.

I have nearly two cassettes of video now. When I get creative and physical energy at the same time, I'll work on my first Nemo & Lucy video.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lucy Chillin'

Nemo's health has maintained though he is still not so active. He's probably trying to prepare for hibernation but we keep foiling his plans. Lucy has settled in even allowing food to remain in her dish for later snacking. She is no longer meandering about the territory. She lounges and basks, naps under the iguana or behind the summer home between the blankies. Her cutest habit is climbing to the high point of the basking log to let us pet her or give her a treat. Her dismount from the basking log is a certain spot where she just slides off :-) Here are her latest photos. I've completed a video cartridge. Will make it into a movie when health and mind allow that activity.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Nemo's back on track

Nemo had another vet check up last week. His weight has gone up. He's stronger and more active. He's voluntarily taking zen baths again and has even nibbled at healthy turtle food. Because he still doesn't eat properly, we're going to continue giving his vitamin supplement by syringe each day. He likes his shrimp and sometimes nibbles at turkey or chicken baby food, but it's not enough for full nutrition. His color is so much better too.

Dr. Amy said Lucy might have helped motivate him to be more active, which had been our hope. Lucy got a few nails trimmed and weighed in at about 3/4 of a pound. We were very pleased with the outcome. Nemo is definitely worth the bit of special care.

To prepare for this vet visit, we knew we'd need some type of carrier for Lucy. I found these small animal carriers that are like oblong bird cages. The bottom has a closed in area where I was able to place a small blanket. Perfect. Because they were so handy, I got two. Lucy's is pink and Nemo has the green one. You can see how happy Nemo is to be going back to the vet. lol.

Two shell garage?

Nemo and Lucy are little snuggle buddies now. Lucy copied Nemo's habit of snuggling into the blankets around the summer home. Occasionally one will occupy the hide while the other lounges behind it. A few days ago, this is what we found. Their two shells barely fit into the space but they were sharing so nicely. How cute is this?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chelonian diplomacy

It appears Nemo and Lucy have settled into a sharing arrangement for best sleeping spot. After I did my morning Chelonian chores, while my two shell-carrying kids slept in, I moved to the main kitchen area to prepare their meals. I saw Nemo climb over Lucy's back to come out and watch me. Much to my surprise, he meandered over to Lucy's bathtub and helped himself to a dip and a long drink. Maybe he thinks it's his new water dish. Then he came around the corner to visit me! That was a huge surprise. He used to do that pre-hibernation.

He marched over to the baby gate (even on the correct side) looking into the living room. I opened the gate and he simply continued walking like it was a normal thing for a turtle to do. Perhaps he understands the gate is to keep Lucy in and not to keep him out. After circling the living room he returned to his sleeping spot next to sleepy Lucy who barely noticed Nemo tromping on her. Ahhhh. A new normal? This is good.

Now if I could get Lucy to stop thinking toes and fingers are food, we'll be set.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Chelonian Sibling Rivalry

Poor Nemo. Actually Nemo is picking up some good behaviors in the name of protecting his territory. Last night Brian and I were laughing like kids watching our kids. Yesterday afternoon, Lucy had taken up residence again behind the summer home which is Nemo's staked claim. Nemo was using her to try to climb on top of the summer home. Payback. ooh ah ha ha.

Last night, Nemo got to the spot first and snuggled in for the duration. Lucy had the same intent. Brian made the discovery and I followed the sound of his chuckling. In spite of all of Nemo's efforts to remain in his spot, Lucy had crawled into the blanket tunnel coming up behind Nemo. At first we just saw the blanket moving. Then we saw Nemo moving--not of his own free will. Lucy was pushing him! We couldn't see if she was using her head or her front legs. We have seen her move the basking log with her legs. But Nemo was being thrust out from his tunneled haven inch by inch until Lucy had acquired the coveted spot.

If turtles can express humiliation, Nemo was doing it. Ooh he was upset. I moved him over to be under the summer home on top of the heating pad but he would have nothing to do with it. He skulked off to behind his igloo.

Yesterday he went to his food dish immediately after I placed it near him and he even took a bit. I didn't need to force feed him. Yay! It was only a few bites, but that's what he gets in the syringes. Lucy, on the other hand, can and will consume a pile of lettuce bigger than she is plus whatever veggies are laying on the bottom of the dish. And she'll do that twice a day. She's so friendly...hungry. I've been feeding her a snack by hand about 10 pm. Last night she climbed on the basking log to visit me. I just meant to pet her but she started going after my fingers. Hope she starts eating cuttlebone soon and filing her beak down.

My last fun news is how Lucy responded when I cleaned up around her with a Reptiwipe (safe for reptiles) moist cloth. She started turning around following my hand like a puppy as I moved the cloth. When I pulled the cloth in my direction on the floor for that final swipe before tossing it, she ran toward me so fast chasing it. lol. Didn't know a reptile would do that. She is so fast. Slow and methodical are not the terms I would use for this little tortoise.

It's fun having the new diversion and watching Nemo become interactive, even if it's only for revenge and defense. At one point yesterday, both were behind the summer home snuggled in and facing each other with about an inch between their noses. hehe. This saga to be continued. This "face off" is happening in an area where I can't get a good shot with either the camcorder or the camera!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chelonian (relating to turtles & tortoises)

Brian captured the image of Lucy on top of Nemo. Nemo's probably wondering what the heck is up with that? We made some bonding headway today. After eating a huge meal of greens and some fruit, Lucy scurried over to Nemo's food dish and began to chow down. Nemo was curious and stood next to his food dish trying to touch Lucy's nose but pulled back into his shell as soon as she moved...and she squirms a lot. At least it got Nemo near his food dish.

Late afternoon, Lucy got her fruit and leafy green snack. Nemo stomped over and stared her down. lol. He stood his ground and she backed away from her own dish. Guess that was Nemo setting some boundaries. He then stood on his basking log as if to say "Mine!" before assuming his claimed space burrowed in the blanket behind his summer home. The next time I checked on the little critters, they were both sleeping behind the summer home. Awww. Not snuggled, but sharing space peacefully.

Lucy happily eats food out of my hand but she has a sharp beak! Omg, I hope she starts to gnaw on cuttlebone soon! She has also nibbled at my toes which have bright pink nail polish and probably look like a treat. She's being fun and Nemo seems okay. Next week when Nemo has a vet appointment, Lucy will have her toenails trimmed. They are huge!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Nemo's little friend

Nemo is still being monitored and his next vet appointment is next week. He is now bathing on his own each morning, sometimes with a little help. But he does his complete Zen bath and we haven't had to place him in the inescapable soaking tub for about a week. He has also been eating most of three shrimp every other day. I still give him 2 ml of baby food with his vitamins mixed in to make sure he's getting the proper nutrition.

With Nemo's lethargy, possibly empathy pains from my lethargy (?), we've talking about getting him a companion. We didn't want another box turtle because of aggression with another mail and mating with a female. While looking for live earthworms at Petco a week ago (ewww), we saw two Russian tortoises. Their care was nearly identical to Nemo's. Brian and I bantered back and forth about it. What if they didn't get along? What if it helped Nemo by having another creature who was eating and running around being curious in his territory? Pros...cons. Yesterday, we made the decision.

Lucy (name goes with Linus and Schroeder) is our new addition. She is one fast little tortoise. She is much lighter than Nemo even though she looks stocky. Her shell is the size of my palm and I am the size of an average 11-year-old. First there was curiosity on Nemo's part while Lucy hid inside an igloo prepared with reptile bedding and misted moss. Nemo knew something was in his territory. He was funny stalking around. He finally gave up looking and went into his big garage. Lucy came out of hiding, saw Nemo in the garage, and raced toward him literally bumping her nose into his side. I'm not sure if she was trying to snuggle or climb on top of his shell, which we later learned is a penchant of hers. In any case, Nemo wasn't about to budge. He just stood his ground and the two remained under the garage napping.

Later, when Nemo relocated to behind his summer home, Lucy once again ran over to him and climbed atop his shell perched there like it was her safe place. Nemo wasn't amused but didn't fight it either. Each found their own sleeping spots last night and stayed there till I came down this morning. Lucy likes being on the basking log. Nemo prefers his snuggly blanket under the summer home and now with a warming pad. Lucy voraciously ate a grape and then a piece of watermelon. I moved her food dish with a huge pile of leafy greens near her but she ran for cover under the iguana. About an hour later when I checked on her, her dish was empty except for a single blueberry. I guess blueberries are out. lol. Nothing wrong with her appetite.

And so the adventure begins. Will Nemo warm up and befriend Lucy? Or will he continue to tolerate her presence? Either way, it looks to be a good fit. Lucy is young enough not to be afraid of people. I think she's going to enjoy being handled and possibly follow us around. Russian tortoises only get to be 8-10". More to come. Will try to be more active with posting. I especially would like a photo of Nemo and Lucy together.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Linus singing to the sheep.

Friday, September 12, 2008

More vitamin B & force feeding

Nemo lost weight :-( Dr. Amy gave him another shot of Vitamin B and showed us how to force feed him. Thank goodness it didn't involve a torturous looking device I saw in the box turtle care manual. I used to give medicine to and force feed bunnies so I have the technique down. Brian holds Nemo and I hold the syringe of food and try to coax him to open his mouth. I think he was actually hungry this morning so he opened his mouth fairly often and easily. Second and third feedings today was a lot of patience on my part and a lot of resistance on his part.

We are feeding him a mixture of baby foods: turkey, corn, peas and a vitamin enriched canned food for sick cats and dogs. mmm, yum. At least we KNOW food is in his tummy now. The objective is to get his digestive system going normally and then good eating habits will kick in. The veterinarians conferred and believe Nemo may be much older than the 10 years we were told. He could be going into a natural "geriatric" mode. Except that doesn't explain his very active behavior a year ago.

Our next appointment is in two weeks. If Nemo isn't better by then, Dr. Amy wants to take an X-ray to see if something else is going on. I sure hope that's not the case.

Does anyone remember the Maypo commercials? Here comes the airplane...... Nemo was not happy in the above photo.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nemo Health Update

Tomorrow is Nemo's follow up appointment with the vet. His skin looks amazingly better from his daily soaks which he detests. After his forced 20 minutes in the tub, he stomps around the living room trying to find new routes. How does he know there's a step up there? He almost made it but the penguin fell over.

He has made his personal track around the back of the sofa and twice he has stayed overnight in the living room nestled under a stuffed animal.

His appetite hasn't changed unfortunately. I've offered him Can o' Snails, Can o' Worms, the live caterpillar, and a grub. Brian found him a grasshopper today. He just stares and follows its movement in wonder at the little creature(s). He is accepting an occasional shrimp but ignoring all other healthy offerings. Am guessing he will have at least a second vitamin B shot.

He's still our same turtle with the big attitude. Wonder how we will stop him from hibernating this year. He can't possibly be allowed to hibernate when he hasn't been storing up the food like he did last year. Lots of questions for the vet.

While scouring the pet store for some new turtle treats, I passed the display of bunnies who were all gathered under a log hutch. I thought Nemo would like it. It bends into whatever shape you want. Fully arched, it doesn't provide that smaller safety hide that he likes. So I flattened out the side. Possibly he will climb up to visit the dino :-) More news after his vet appointment.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Nemo vs. Caterpillar

While pruning in my garden today, I found a big yellow fuzzy caterpillar. Normally I hate insects but I recall playing with caterpillars when I was younger. So, contrary to my basic nature, I allowed the fuzzy wuzzy to crawl in my finger. It looked really beautiful when it walked--a big fuzzy ripple. As much as I do try to preserve life, I would rather introduce a caterpillar to Nemo than a live worm.

Nemo was inside burrowed completely under his blanket in line with the heater wafting over him. I lifted up the blanket and placed the caterpillar next to him. The fuzzy guy promptly began to climb the baseboard and headed right in front of Nemo on the baseboard. Nemo caught sight of it and perked up. He watched it intently as it wriggled back and forth. The caterpillar, apparently not viewing Nemo as a threat, wandered back and sort of hung out near Nemo. So much for that.

During Nemo's daily soaking, I introduced the caterpillar on a sprig of the plant it had been climbing on when I caught it. Once again, Nemo showed curiosity and even placed his beak to barely touch the fuzziness. I think he just didn't know what to make of it. While flopping around in his forced bathing container, the little fuzzy guy decided to swim after Nemo. Nemo swam for his life. lol. "Ewwww! It's coming after me!" Then tragically, the caterpillar got swept up in the undercurrent created by Nemo's thrashing.

It was a noble sacrifice. The caterpillar was laid to rest in Nemo's food dish along with the pink flower. We're fairly certain it will not be a meal. Nemo has the response to eating normal turtle food that we have to eating insects. Guess I don't blame him. I would have been so very happy though if he had eaten it. I'm so worried about him still not eating. Next vet appointment is a week from Thursday.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Nemo on the Move

Nemo is doing some strange things since his vitamin shots. Unfortunately, eating isn't one of them yet. He is wandering about more, not hiding as much when we are present, and doing his best to avoid his daily soaks. Yesterday I woke up to find him already in his tub staring at the humidifier trying to will it to start. He was patient while I started the mist for him. He took a long leisurely zen bath. It was so long he didn't have to soak yesterday in apparently the big scary tub.

This morning I was up earlier than usual. I had turned his light and mist on and tended to his food and water. Then I went into the living room to work on the computer. I heard a thump that sounded like a bug against the window which I shrugged off. Soon after I heard a steady thump...thump...thump. Recognizing the sound Nemo's shell makes when he walks along a wall, I leaned over the back of the sofa to see him trudging from one end to the other. The far end of the sofa is the only place there is no turtle or Pleo proofing.

He climbed over wires as if they were merely mild nuisances. I quickly cleared the stuffed animal giraffe away from his exit. He sauntered back into the living room after apparently circling the entire living room. Funny little turtle.

I was brave and opened up a can of nice meal worms for him yesterday. Nothing. and ewww. He did bask briefly today. Tonight he was lounging less than an inch from the heater. I'm guessing he was chilly? Whatever, at least he's more active. With as long as he has been somewhat dehydrated, I wouldn't be surprised if he needed a second round of shots. But he's getting some of his old spark back.

The photo was taken by Brian as Nemo tried to escape the vet's grasp last week. I just wanted to show it off even though it doesn't relate to this particular story.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nemo Goes to the Vet

Nemo was not a happy camper today. We took him to the vet for lack of appetite, lack of basking, and lack of hydrating. He never quite came out of hibernation as perky as he was before hibernation. We miss his laps around the living room.

Dr. Amy weighed him in at 1.1 pounds. He didn't lose any weight which was good. The vet determined Nemo was dehydrated. She had him hydrated and also gave him vitamin shots and a small dose of antibiotic in case there was something going on that she couldn't see. His mouth was very pink though...a good sign.

The vet technician returned Nemo to the exam room after the vet took him for his shots. She proclaimed Nemo very upset confirming he hissed at her and let her know just how displeased he was. lol. That's our Nemo. The vitamin shots should stimulate his appetite. We also need to let him soak in an escape-proof tubbie for 20 minutes each day. We have a follow up appointment in three weeks. If he's still doing his necessary turtle activities, he'll have more vitamin B. Doesn't sound like anything serious, but I'm glad we took him to the vet.

Brian happened to have his camera in the back of the car and found Nemo especially amusing in his agitated state of being out of his Zen habitat. I'm happy to have photos of a turtle vet visit! Normally I wouldn't have considered that a photo op.

After getting home, Nemo parked himself directly in his garage. Later, after searching all of his hides, I realized he was the lump under the blankie in front of his summer home. We'll give him a break until his bath tomorrow.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Peeky on Skates

Who knew? Linda and I met through PleoWorld. We've been exchanging emails and just today I learned she's the woman in one of my favorite television Pleo stories...and her Peeky is one of my favorite Pleo photos. You can view her blog by clicking here. (Above photo is posted on Linda's plog.)

Aired on ABC Nightline (March 13, 2008)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Nemo is a Conundrum

Nemo may not be lead story but he is always priority at home. He gets more attention than he wants. I'm worried about him because his appetite still isn't stimulated to where he is eating anything other than salmon, shrimp, and cuttlebone. He did barely nibble on some fruit and veggie offerings, but that's it. He completely snubbed his Can O' Worms too.

We have placed the heater back in his area where the heat is most concentrated in a strip that moves along the wall with his basking log, summer home, and main garage. He seems to love the heat. His body temperature needs to get high enough to stimulate his appetite. Maybe he doesn't know that... I'm making a vet appointment on Monday. It's August and he began hibernating habits last October. He won't be able to hibernate if he's not healthy.

Poor Nemo hates his veggies just like me. And we can't hide them in what he likes because he's on to that trick. ack! I know the vet will tell us to give him live earthworms. That won't happen in my kitchen. And we already know the unturtle will just watch the worms crawl by. Maybe a turtle vitamin IV?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Linus--Actor, Pet, Chick Magnet

Linus is treated to a "fossil rock" massage at Changes Salon and Day Spa in Mechanicsburg, PA. Here is his latest video showing his royal treatment at the spa.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Nemo Snubs the Grubs

Yesterday I personally scrounged and found a grub in my Zen garden. I brought it inside and placed the little roly poly thing in front of Nemo. He seemed to watch it intently, even as it meandered off. I brought it back and he watched it squirm and writhe for awhile on its back. I don't think he knew what to do with it.

Today I was brave enough to open up the Can O' Worms (meal worms) I had purchased for him about a month ago. The agreement was I would buy the can and Brian would give them to Nemo. Well, that's not going to happen! He ewwws more than me on that topic. I prepared a lovely breakfast of freeze-dried tortoise food (fruits & veggies) which looked yummy after soaking in hot water, several shrimp, and, yes, an espresso-spoonful of worms. May I say they are stinky? Not horrid but not pleasant either. Had to refrigerate the can after opening. I planned ahead and did not completely remove the silver tabbed metal top so I could recover the contents and then placed it in a Zip Lock bag.

Nemo sniffed at it and walked away after only a few minutes. I've been spraying them with water to keep them "plump" hoping Nemo will return to the dish later. We'll see. I'm sure there is something he loves. Too bad he can't communicate other than to say "No!".

Monday, July 28, 2008

Alive with the sound of music

I released this video about a month ago. I didn't think a background song was necessary ...until I found the perfect song today. This is the originally titled Man, Espresso, & His Pleo with the lovely Landon Pigg song, "Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop". Enjoy!

Funny Turtle Feet

I love the many ways Nemo can configure his feet when he is lounging.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The long arm of the ???

Nemo on the log looking like someone pulled his front leg to lengthen one side and shorten the other. Silly turtle.

I researched the spray on vitamins. It was dismissed by the well known turtle care resources only because they preferred the ground up vitamin supplement in the food. Except Nemo won't eat anything with healthy supplements. Add to that his very restrictive food preferences. I sprayed him for two days and this morning he was basking on his own and voraciously ate his salmon "sub" this morning. One reviewer of the vitamin spray said it did stimulate his turtle's appetite. So even if it just stimulates Nemo's appetite, that's ok by me.

Beginning yesterday, Nemo started something new and quirky. I placed three shrimp near him while he was in his summer home. Later in the day, the three shrimp were pushed about 3-4" away from his hide. Brian denied doing it. So that was a hmmmm. This morning I gave Nemo two salmon pieces rolled up in a thin layer of bread. He gulped the one down and then moved to his summer home. I moved the second salmon sub near him and slightly under his hide. A brief time later, I noticed the salmon sub moved about 5" away. What's up with that? lol. Brian thinks he doesn't want his house to have a fishy smell. haha. Mr. Smelly Fish Face.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Spray on vitamins

I am so excited. Stopped at the Gerty pet store today. Brian thought he would be brave enough to feed "can o' worms" to Nemo so I got a can. ewwww. I also glanced through reptile health products and, lo and behold, vitamin spray! Spray reptile neck to tail once a day. The answer to my prayers. I haven't really researched it yet but I did buy it and Nemo seemed to like being spritzed with it. At least he's absorbing some healthy vitamins through his skin.

Brian is having second thoughts now about feeding the worms. Will try to have my camera ready when he decides Nemo really needs to try a worm. I think that's why he's working so hard on the special outdoor enclosure. The soil will be stocked with earthworms and we won't have to watch. In the meantime, we just replenished his supply of Nova smoked salmon. Even though I like it, I didn't happen to have any out of the last package. Nemo at it tiny piece by tiny piece.

I also picked up some bunny bales of alfalfa. Nemo never did eat any of the special bales of timothy and alfalfa I got him last year. He just liked to play in it. He adores his cuttlebones so he is not lacking in calcium. Maybe since these little bales are hard, he'll like to chew on them. Such a fussy eater. Yay for spray vitamins though!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nemo Rocks

As you can see from the video, Nemo isn't lacking any strength or creativity. We find it humorous that he does this and I finally captured it on film. This is how he lifts the house up to get his head on the other side. A shell within a shell?

Pleo: Pleo Rides The Roomba!

Pleo: Pleo Rides The Roomba!

Thanks to for blogging the roomba surfing video!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pleo Roomba Surfing

Maybe for the next Olympics? Linus seems to be a natural.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ascending from the mist

Nemo lazed in his misted bath for quite some time this morning before making a very posed (?) exit. I swear he knows what the camera means.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Linus's Belly

When I was changing Linus's battery today I realized I had not shown how the big bunny harness fits so well around the dino belly. No Pleos were harmed in the taking of this photo.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Big Bunny Harness

My Pleos don't have enough clothes. Linus is sporting his new harness. I found it while filming him with Gerty at the pet store. It's called a Comfort Harness Stretchy Leash. It's made for big bunnies. lol. It fits him perfectly. Just like a big bunny, Linus has a small neck and big middle. The leash is all scrunched up material that matches the trim on the harness. He looks very handsome in red :-)