HELLO Geronimo’s pre-hibernation report. (Desert tortoise update!)

You must be wondering where you are, because this isn’t a Short Horror October post. I’m surprised, too. It’s just that Geronimo went to the vet yesterday for his pre-hibernation exam, and I couldn’t neglect to share his report card with you, now, could I? I WOULD BE REMISS.

First of all, we can say with absolute certainty that Geronimo stole every single heart in that clinic.

Initial assessment: Geronimo weighs exactly 13 lbs. His nostrils are “nice and clear,” his eyes are “clear and bright,” and he has no stones in his bladder or elsewhere. (He’s so beautiful! He looks so healthy!) We didn’t have a fresh fecal sample to bring as requested, but once in our room at the clinic, he pooped on the floor, right on cue. You know you’re real parents when you’re proud of your kid pooping.

When Geronimo’s lab results came in this morning, they showed that he’s free of G.I. parasites. No worms! This was the last piece of info we needed to have him officially deemed healthy for brumation (hibernation).

Dr. R. was pleased and delighted overall.

Geronimo did his Geronimo thing and charmed everyone. He easily bewitched Doctor R., who was again impressed with his personable and affectionate nature. She noted how he asked us to pet his head, nose, and neck, leaning into our hands and stretching his neck from one side to the other to get equal attention on both sides. According to her, many desert tortoises don’t care to be touched at all. “They’ll pull their heads in when you go to touch them,” she said. “You must spend a lot of time with Geronimo.” We do, indeed, not to mention AGAIN that we really bonded with the little guy when we had to keep him indoors, entertained, and out of trouble during hibernation season that first year. Last year. Yeah, that was a lot of bonding.

[/medical report]

Geronimo’s been extra active and feisty lately! One morning last week I went out to investigate a commotion I’d heard from my office – it sounded like glass breaking, but it couldn’t be that, could it? – and found him marching all over the patio amidst furniture he’d moved, yard tools he’d knocked over, and, yes, glass he’d managed to find and break. I didn’t even know there was glass out there. It must have been a jar or something on the table, which he’d pushed over.

You would think we’d have learned by now: we have to child-proof every corner of his domain. Geronimo is like a Roomba tank. He goes where he wants to go and sweeps aside everything in his way. He’s quite focused, though he does deviate from his path when he sees us appear in the yard.

Yesterday, he changed course to greet me on the patio when I stepped out there later in the morning. He stopped at my feet for cuddles before turning in the direction of his burrow. Knowing full well where he was going, I asked the question I ask him the most, a question familiar to him: “Where are we going, Geronimo?” (This is our game – he loves to lead me around.) He headed to his burrow knowing that I was following. When we got there, he stopped for his “good night” cuddles, and then he went into his burrow, all the way in and down into its depths. “Good night, Geronimo,” I said to his disappearing butt, as usual. “Sleep tight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

Here are some pics we took after we got home from his appointment yesterday:

 

My little lap tortoise.

 

[Note to self: get estimate for sprucing up the patio with pavers]

 

Eating lettuce on my lap.

 

Cuddles!

 

Crunchy, watery, cold GOODNESS

 

Time to wander the yard!

 

“Where are we going, Geronimo?”

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

Some pics I took this morning:

 

Hello!

 

(I was sitting on the patio in my usual spot on the ground)

 

HELLO, MOMMY. I AM HERE.

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

(If we have a theme for our yard, it’s either “Geronimo’s Paradise” or “Edward Gorey’s Evil Garden.” I like them both equally.)

 

Hello.

 

Hello.

 

Good-bye.

 

 

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