Posted Oct 06, 2014
My wife's favorite among all of our pets is without a doubt, our turtle, Lance.
Lance is an Eastern Diamondback River Cooter (or terrapin if you like, we feel that "cooter" suits him much better:) Lance (and his lady-turtle friend, Lola) came to us one night in a great storm, when they were literally swept into a nearby parking lot on a great deluge of water. They were about the size of a quarter. Luckily, we had an old aquarium in the garage, so we fixed them up a home as best we could and set about researching how to care for newly hatched turtles.
I should mention here, that caring for hatchling turtles is not without expense and hassle. They require a UV light when small, which enables them to synthesize the vitamin D that they would normally get from sunlight in the wild, and their tank must be kept very clean... they poop A LOT. Lance and Lola prospered in their new home and were the subject of much adoration from everyone in the family for several years, but when Lance was about 5, he started to get a little randy. Male Diamondbacks reach sexual maturity around 5 years of age, while females don't do so till around 7 years. Well one thing led to another... Lola apparently didn't appreciate Lance's advances. She bit the little toe off of his back left foot.
My wife was terribly concerned that it would become infected and that Lance might become septic and die a slow horrible death, so Lance got his own tank, a water change every other day, and twice daily applications of antibiotic ointment. I have never before seen, nor would I have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes, but this turtle absolutely loves my wife, probably as much as she loves him. When he sees her come near his tank, he runs back and forth splashing madly, pleading with her to take him out. He will crawl into her hand and will practically run to her when placed on the floor. He loves to crawl up into her lap, then climb all the way up onto her chest, where he will stick his head way out and rub his cheek against her neck. I realize this is probably not your typical turtle review, but it does show that any living creature will respond to love. I guess in the end, your relationship with whatever pet you choose is dependent on what you put into it.