It’s our 2 year Irwinversary today.
Irwin doesn’t have a birthday and I don’t know his hatchday… but it was the 1st of Jan two years ago that I adopted him.
He’s about roughly 4-5 years old now I reckon but when I got him he was about 3 months away from dying.
He had Severe MBD and multiple leg bone fractures. He was as soft as a squeaky toy and his shell would flex as he struggled to breathe.
He couldnt walk properly or lift his shell off the ground, and for the first 6 weeks I had him he dragged his back legs behind him while he kinda swam with his front legs. I used to have to sink his food bowl right into the substrate so it was level because he couldn’t climb over the ‘lip’ to reach his food.
I spent 8 months syringe feeding him liquid calcium before he stopped being at risk of just dropping dead.
I had to learn a lot about reptiles and fast.
And I’m still learning.
But my God, what a rewarding two years it’s been. Who could have known how important this little creme brulee booger would become to me??.
He is fascinating,determined, weird, adorable and funny!. (And now that tortoise puberty has hit he is also a bit gross at times).
The trust he shows me blows my mind and my endlessly thankful he came into my life.
Reptiles are hard work, don’t ever be fooled into thinking they’re an easy pet just because they’re quiet.
They need specialist lighting and supliments, specific heating and humidity. I have found myself growing weeds in windowsill pots and worrying about the dangers of pesticides or pollution. Searching tirelessly for the first and last Dandelions of the season. I have had full blown panic attacks over poops…or lack thereof. Sometimes even now if he is sound asleep, basking with his little neck lolling to the side a sudden fear grips me and I have to gently blow on him to see him twitch so I know he’s alive.
And Christ…I haven’t even attempted hibernation yet.
We will see what comes. But I am very thankful I get to see it with Irwin
We are so happy you and Irwin found each other and so thankful to you for sharing him and your journey with all of us!! Happiest Irwinversary!
Honestly, If I had to pick a post that best captured the reality of caring for a tort, it’s this one. The worry, the struggle, the FEAR that always lingers, the learning, the awe, the joy… it’s every single one of these emotions in a shell made of gratitude and love. It’s not easy. if you think it is you better stick to pictures on the internet. Nope, not easy but man is it rewarding.