Does My Turtle Have PMS?

This is Speedy. She is an Eastern Box Turtle. Our neighbors found her in 2011 when she was about the size of an American silver dollar coin and domesticated her. Her shell is now slightly smaller than a softball.

During the summer of 2013, our neighbors were relocating to another area of the United States. They asked if my family could hang onto Speedy until they got settled. Long story short, by the time they were settled there, Speedy was settled here and we all agreed that she could stay with me indefinitely.

Speedy has a very good life, for a turtle. We upgraded her previous tank to one that measures 40 gallons, practically doubling the size of her habitat. In her tank she has:

  • Wood shred perfect for burrowing
  • A wading pool just large enough for soaking
  • Wood hiding hut custom built from reclaimed wood
  • Half a hollow log for climbing and hiding
  • Replica slate used as a feeding dish
  • Two different types of cuttle bone
I thought we were doing okay, but then Speedy went through a bit of a funk. She hunkered down in her hut for days at a time. Her tank is right next to my work space so she and I spent quite a bit of time together. During her funk, I barely saw her.
Finally I placed a frantic call to the nearest reptile vet. After several days of phone tag, I eventually got a live person on the phone and explained the situation — about my turtle, who is a reptile. A vet tech called back and asked for more information regarding my bird. I don’t even have a bird.
By this time, Speedy was back to her old self. I joined a group on Facebook and got a little advice. One repeated comment to the picture above was that her beak is overgrown and needs a trim. Because there’s no other reptile vet in the area, it looks like I’ll be tackling that myself.
I’m just glad the poor thing doesn’t have PMS!
Like all the interesting things that happen in my life, Speedy is someday destined to make it into one of my books. Do you have any interesting pets? Are you a writer who gets inspiration from animals? Please share about it in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

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