I love scrolling through Instagram to see everyone’s awesome lives, but I realize I rarely ever post my own, other than the occasional coloring page or pet’s birthday… and today is no exception! Ha!

12 years ago this week, I adopted this little dude into my family and have never regretted it for a second. He had a rough start, due to the fact that his previous home kept him pretty terribly (wrong cage, wrong diet, etc) and then literally dropped him off in a shoebox outside Petco before it even opened on a chilly autumn morning, but after much due homework (already had my #turtle, Tortuga, but Bratanik was my first #tortoise) he proved to be a fighter (in the nicest sense of the word… He’s tough, but also still has THE best temperament ever and is just a sweetheart to the many, many children he helped teach over the years.) but became and remains healthy, hardy… and just plain a-Dork-able!

Since Brat was 40ish when I brought him home (and Russians are a pretty small species as Turtles and Tortoises go), I don’t take as many “Oh look how fun he’s grown!” type pics as I do with his cousin, Tortuga, so I just picked a fun Halloweenish one from back when we taught at #ThanksgivingPoint. It also just suits him, because feeding him his salads and watching him patiently “Nom Nom Nom” away under his sun lamp really does make me feel like I am raising a miniature dinosaur. He is such a good boy, and probably the only “baby” I will have that is older than me!

So, yeah. Happy #GotchaDay, #MyShellBaby! Many (many MANY… Potentially 100+ years, dude!) happy returns from your #HuMom and all your #CritterSibs (Sparks McGee 🐶, Cali 🐱 , Tortuga 🐢, Juno B. Prynne 🦎, and all the other bugs 🦋🐌🐛, fish🐠🐡🐟, Fosters 🕊️, and “Wildings” 🦌 that share my life!)

#rescuepetsofinstagram #rescuedismyfavoritebreed #fosterpets #petparent #RussianTortoise #herpstagram #ReptileMom #adoptdontshop #iliketurtles #CritterKids #Shellbabies #RescueAPet #TheyllRescueYouToo #2ndHand1stInYourHeart (at Orem, Utah)


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