A week in the life of Geronimo. (Sonoran Desert Tortoise updates!)

A lot of you have been asking for a Geronimo update, and we’re happy to provide! These pics range from mid-February up to today, but as a whole, they capture a sort of “day in the life” snapshot of our little guy. We can call this post a “month in the life,” if we’re being specific.

Geronimo (aka Mr. Personality) still spends the night in his wooden pen indoors; night temperatures continue to be unpredictable, which is typical of March. He sleeps late into the morning and starts to wake up at around noon. I’ll bring him outside so he can spend the day wandering around, chomping on grass, sunbathing on his burrow, napping inside his burrow, etc.

Geronimo’s burrow, by the way, is a spectacular work of landscape architecture lovingly crafted by Callaghan. We went by the specs provided by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, but Callaghan built up the top to create a sun-deck accessible by winding hiking trail, complete with a guard rail! Callaghan has a few more embellishments in mind before he’ll call it finished. I’ll post pics of those details in the future.

I’ll start with a proud mom close-up of Geronimo’s eye, since our vet commented on his “beautiful green eyes.” It’s true. Geronimo’s green eyes are gorgeous:

 

Geronimo sees you.

 

Now for some pics of Geronimo doing Geronimo things!

Geronimo walking off the patio onto the gravel:

 

GOING FOR A WALK.

 

Trundling along. The patio is behind him and to the right.

 

[DERP]

Geronimo enjoys the fresh spring growth of our lawn, the different grasses and dandelions and what have you. Our vet said that he should be eating this, primarily. Romaine lettuce will always be good for him, and he can have it once or twice a week, but he needs to be eating more of the live stuff right now.

 

SALAD!

 

Romaine lettuce is his preference, though, and his favorite thing is to be fed by hand. I’m actually having a hard time weaning him off of this habit. It’s kind of heartbreaking when I set him down on the lawn and tell him to help himself to the magnificent all-you-can-eat buffet, and he just sits there in the middle of it looking at me like MOMMY FEED ME PLEASE.

So I give in every other day or so. I know. I’m a push-over Mom, and he knows it. He’ll sometimes refrain from eating at all if I don’t feed him, or if I’m not right there with him on the grass. He eats the grass more if I’m with him.

He had Romaine for lunch today:

 

NOM-NOM

 

He also loves to be petted after he eats! Not spoiled at all. Nope.

 

This guy, though!

 

THAT’S THE SPOT.

 

He likes to be petted on his neck, too. He loves cuddles.

Here he’s heading toward his burrow:

 

Burrow-bound.

 

He’s so dedicated to whatever path he’s on!

 

HI I’M A HAPPY TORTOISE AND YOU ARE IN MY WAY.

 

We had a few overcast days in the middle of February, and Geronimo wanted to sunbathe, so he climbed up to the sun-deck Callaghan built on top of his burrow:

 

GOING TO LAY OUT!

 

But when he got to the top, there was no sun there, either.

It looks like he’s yodeling.

 

WHERE IS THE SUN?

 

When it IS sunny, he’ll often retreat into his burrow for a nap.

 

LONG HARD DAY I NEED A NAP.

 

He loves his burrow!

 

BYE MOM

 

The vet said to soak him in warm water every few days to once a week. We fill up a large plant plate thing and put him in it for a late-afternoon bath. He enjoys a good bath! He gets a gentle scrubbing all over with a soft toothbrush while we’re soaking him. It’s a good thing he loves it, because he’s a messy eater, and we need to wash away the dried green slime around his mouth somehow.

 

SPA DAY!

 

Afterward, we set him on a towel and loosely wrap him, patting him dry so he won’t be dripping wet when we bring him in and put him in his pen.

 

NOT SPOILED AT ALL.

 

Then we tuck him in. He snuggles into his hay and up against his towel pillow and crashes immediately.

 

GOOD. NIGHT!

 

Nothing wakes him up! In the morning, he’ll get up slowly, sometimes stretching out his neck and resting his head on his towel pillow.

 

DON’T WANT TO GET UP YET.

 

Geronimo seems to be happy with us. He’s certainly been pampered, though, having arrived during hibernation season as a non-hibernating tortoise… we’ve had to dote on him because of the special needs of his circumstances. We’ll soon make the adjustment to full-time outdoor life!

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