Turtle Pushed Around

August 26, 2009 at 1:59 pm Leave a comment

Nice shoes, but can you beat a rabbit in a race?My parents are doing a little renovating in the basement. Believe it or not they’ve pulled up a gorgeous berber rug, with years of great smells in and on it, and replaced it with a wood floor.

That sucks.

Now I have to contend with wood floors on every level of the house.Don’t these folks know that an old pooch like me likes to be sure footed at all times?

The only saving grace to this debacle was watching my father as he struggled to move the heavy office furniture from one place to another. A little sweat and a lot of swearing later, the area was ready to be redone.

Placing the furniture back to their respective places was a lot simpler. You see, the old man pasted some plastic disks to the bottom of each piece to allow it to be slid into place. What a genius, he should have been a vet.

Why a vet? Check out this story from the PressDemocrat.com and you’ll see why.

There was a point a few days after Lucky the turtle had his front legs chewed to bloody stumps when his owner was ready to let him “go home.”

Beyond the violent assault, he’d lost a lot of blood and was now bandaged and shot up with pain medications and antibiotics.

Sally Pyne, 60, thought maybe her Lucky had endured enough.

But after finding a resourceful veterinarian with lots of reptile experience, and inspired by the feisty turtle’s own vigor, Pyne, an in-home care provider, decided the pet deserved a second chance, even if it meant a $900 bill.

Lucky is now back home and living it up, thanks to four plastic discs of the sort usually applied to chair and table legs affixed to his breast plate with double-sided tape.

The sliders, stacked two high, raise his shell to its proper level and allow him to scoot wherever he wants, powered by his back legs.

“I was ready to let little Lucky go home, but Lucky, he was not ready to give up. His eyes were open, and he was shoving himself around on his two back legs. He was not going to quit.”

North Bay Veterinary Clinic surgeon Robert Jereb said the turtle “was not showing that he was dying.” He amputated what was left of Lucky’s front legs then conceived of the chair slider fix.

Box turtles normally live several decades, and this one remained vivacious despite his injuries, Jereb said.

“It wasn’t a death sentence to be missing his front legs because he was so active using his hind legs and his mouth,” he said.

She doesn’t know for sure, but believes the raccoon is to blame for injurying Lucky, which was found one Saturday afternoon bloodied under a rose bush.

Lovey had no sign of injury. Lucky, Jereb said, may have some kind of shell deformity that prevented him from boxing up. It’s also possible he was overweight and unable to withdraw entirely into his shell.

For the time being, he’s getting antibiotic injections every three days.

Pyne says the turtle gets around so well, “I think he thinks he’s walking. I don’t think he realizes he doesn’t have the use of his arms,” she said.

He is somewhat slower than he was, however, and Lovey — at least for the moment — seems to be enjoying one key change in her companion’s behavior after years of amorous conduct that’s kept her on the run.

“Now Lucky doesn’t chase her around and try to make babies any more,” Pyne said.

Come to think of it, maybe the headline should have been Lucky Strikes Out.

There’s a video at the link. Sorry, no embed code : (


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