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Turtles for Companion Pets

Updated on May 18, 2012

Turtle Chasing Cherry Tomato

My Unexpected Experience with Buddy

Not too long ago I visited with my neice. She just moved into a 100% Green condo in a suburb of Boston. I loved her new space when I entered. It had high ceilings and her taste is clean and simple...with touches of warm accents. We had been emailing about the Feng Shui of her place. Her condo has great energy. Calm.

Upon my visit I noticed her large fish tank. She had two pet turtles. The one turtle that got my attention was Buddy. Buddy was about the size of her palm several years ago. She sent me photos of her turtles when she first got them.

Now I have to admit, I am not a reptile person. My idea of a pet is something soft, fuzzy and cuddly. My neice loves all animals, but opted for turtles because she works all day, has dander allergies, so having pet turtles was the best option for her.

While visiting, Buddy was jumping, clawing and splashing to get out of his tank. He was definitely anxious to get out of the tank. I have always known turtles to be quiet and removed. My neice took him out of his tank and he immediately started following her around the condo.

I was laughing because he would run as fast as his little legs would let him all the while his shell would thump across the hardwood floor. Tina told me that the thumping can be annoying to the person living in the condo below. Buddy was so happy to be able to run around in open space. Buddy's shell measured about 5 inches in diameter now. Buddy will live a 100 years if he is healthy. Buddy may grow to to the size of a 12inch dinner plate.

Tina let's her pet turtle wander around as she pulls together a snack for the two of us. You would think a turtle would just sit, maybe just stare and walk slowly or hide in a corner under a chair, especially with a stanger like me around. Good ole Buddy took a liking to me, immediately! Buddy ran up to my feet, looked up at me and tried to climb my ankle. At first I was startled. I asked Tina what the turtle was trying to do. Tina giggled. "Oh, Buddy usually sits on the sofa with me when I watch tv, he wants to be on the sofa with you." "Well, I do not want to hold your turtle, I am not comfortable."

Buddy was persistent. I decided to walk over to the kitchen. Buddy followed me to the kitchen. I was surprised because when i left the kitchen, the turtle followed me again. Tina was surprised because she said,"Buddy doesn't like everyone. He doesn't come out and socialize like this, so he must like you." REALLY! I was flattered that this scaly, creature liked me.

I did not know what to think. I have never owned a turtle. I asked Tina if Buddy knew any tricks. Tina said, "yes." He loves to chase cherry tomatoes. I laughed because the cherry tomato was a just a tad smaller than Buddie's head. My neice gave me a tomato and I rolled it across the floor. Buddy went after it, like a dog chasing a ball. I was amazed. A turtle that could go fetch!

After tomato tag, I walked away and Buddy decided to play tag with me would be more fun. He started chasing me...he literally ran up to my foot and kissed my foot. I thought he was going to bite me. But he was tagging me. I squealed because it was too weird of an experience. A turtle who kisses and plays tag. My neice giggled. Buddy is smart and observant.

She told me everyday when she gets home from work, Buddy splashes and claws the glass tank until she greets him and lets him out to play. In fact he knows his name and comes when you call. Tina and Buddy changed my views about turtles as companion pets.

Turtle Comes When You Call His Name

Great Pet for Those Who Have Allergies

Tina has allergies, leads a very busy life and really doesn't have time to walk a dog and she is very allergic to cats. The turtle is a perfect alternative to someone who wants a pet who doesn't make them sneeze. Turtles are great for city dwellers or anyone who has limited space. The rewards of having a pet turtle really surprised me as I witnessed her turtle, kissing the tops my feet. I did not know turtles were so affectionate.


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    • alphagirl profile image

      alphagirl 5 years ago from USA

      Thanks for stopping by Jackie Lynnley, Yes, Buddie has a wife and she is moody. The wife is not as friendly. This turtle was about 4 inches when it was purchased. It fit in my neice's palm. It is now the size of a small dessert plate, 6-8 in diameter. Amazing!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Voted up and across, sorry I missed this so long, a very interesting story. I will share it, maybe others might like a turtle. I use to have tiny ones when I was a little girl but they always somehow got lost. (Well I did have 4 younger brothers) Buddy appears to be a lot of fun. Does he have a wife?

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 5 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear Alphagirl

      Turtles are not usual pets in the UK probably because they are not indigenous to the country. They do however seem to be quite endearing creatures and I'm sure you could become fond of one as they seem quite bright.

      Thank you and kind regards Peter

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I never considered turtles as companion pets, though you raise some amusing experience with them. Personally, I prefer a dog, but then again, I don't have allergies. Voting this Up and Interesting.