we chose a pet for my unborn grandchildren

Boy, my kids say the darndest things.

As many of you know, we adopted a Sulcata Tortoise (aka African Spurred Tortoise) about a year-and-a-half ago. Fluffy came into our lives when he was just a baby and only about two inches long.

Teenie-weenie baby Fluffy.

Teenie-weenie baby Fluffy.

He's now about six inches long and weighs substantially more than when he arrived. Wonder why.

This guy loves to eat.

This guy loves to eat.

Fluffy will eventually weigh in between 100 and 200 pounds, so I'm teaching him to come when called, now, before it's too late. He'll also live to be between fifty and 150 years old, possibly longer. Before we adopted him, we talked with our kids about the fact that this wouldn't be a commitment just for our lifetimes, but that Fluffy might outlive even them. They thought that was pretty cool. Me, too.

We were chatting the other day about how much Fluffy has grown and the changes we've seen in him since he came to us. I said to the littles, "remember, your children will likely have to take him on. He's going to live a really, really long time." 

My seven-year-old son, Porter, said, "Um, Mommy? It's illegal to marry your sister, so Campbell and I won't be having any children together. And I don't think I want to marry her anyway. She's annoying." 

It seems we need to have a different kind of chat.

when a sulcata tunes-in to a terrier

The other day, our one-year-old sulcata tortoise, Fluffy, was enjoying some lettuce on the patio. I think watching him eat is like watching a dinosaur. He's just so cool. So I took a video for posterity. Check out how awesome he is: [wpvideo k6zMKvIZ]

Fluffy is too young and small to be outside by himself for a length of time, so I often go out with him. Like a rebellious teen, he's old enough to want to be out A LOT and past his curfew, so I can't always watch him every second. If I lose track of him, I ask N.A.S.H.A. to "find Fluffy!" She's great at sniffing him out. The unlikely pair get along really well. He doesn't even pull inside his shell when she approaches. That means love. They are buds. She's always been the mothering type, so it doesn't surprise me that she's taken him under her wing.

I took another video.

I didn't realize that N.A.S.H.A. was in the background until I watched it back. N.A.S.H.A. is a mixed terrier in every way, and she often alerts to things outside. Maybe a rabbit hopping through the yard, a lizard rustling through the bushes, or a teenager walking home from the high school down the street. I find it completely fascinating how Fluffy completely plays off N.A.S.H.A.'s cues.

[wpvideo AnU6gT8H]

I stopped recording because he stopped eating. Immediately after I stopped, N.A.S.H.A. started barking her head off, and Fluffy pulled into his shell. I find it amazing that he knew something was up just by her body language before she even let out the alarm. He's much more intuitive than I am.

They bonded the day they met. Two small critters against the world.