I know part of the blog title is “fur,” but what I meant was that the word fur should embody not just animals with fur, but all of them. I just wanted to clarify that before I began this blog post, because this one is about my pet turtle Timmy.
This is a picture of him that I took from his “sign” posted, (I’ll get into that a little later), but first I want to talk about my other turtle Tommy because their fates intertwine. So when I was younger, I use to have a best friend named Rebecca. We still talk, but we definitely don’t have as strong of a relationship as we use to. One day she was riding her bike at the park between her houses with her mom. She stopped at the stop sign so that she could cross the street to my house, however she noticed something. “MOM!” she screamed. Her mom was lounging on the park bench waiting for Rebecca, and was concerned by Rebecca’s tone of voice. “What sweetie?” “MOM, I found a tortoise?!” At first Rebecca’s mom didn’t believer her, I mean we don’t live in or near a desert, where these would be commonly found.
This is the stop sign where she found the tortoise. She and her mom brought the tortoise home, and decided to take care of it. They looked up information about the tortoise and noticed that they weren’t suppose to release it back into the wild because it may carry diseases back to the populations. A few years later, Rebecca’s dad got a job offer in Indiana, so she had to move far away. It was hard for her and me, but in remembrance of her, as well as because the weather wasn’t suitable for turtles, they decided to give the turtle to me. I absolutely love it, and we’ve had Tommy now for a while now. About a year ago, my mom feared that Tommy was feeling a little lonely, and because we loved Tommy so much, we decided to get him a friend. That friend became Timmy, a Russian tortoise we bought from a reptile store. Even though, Timmy was much smaller than Tommy, we hoped they would become best friends. However, what we didn’t realized is that Russian Tortoises are the Houdinis of the tortoises. This means that they run a lot faster than tortoises should run, they can climb, and are not afraid to jump. We kept Timmy in the planter with Tommy, the planter is about 4 feet high, so we felt he was safe. We soon saw that Timmy was brave enough to jump out of the planter, and would escape in search of new adventures. This would lead my family and I on a search every single day to look for our missing family member.
On October 1, 2013, our Timmy went missing. We think that maybe he jumped out of the planter, crawled under the fence and gone somewhere (it’s happened before). Only this time, there wasn’t a friendly neighbor to come by the house to ask if he was our tortoise. At first I was devastated, I mean, who wouldn’t be sad in losing a family member?
My mom put up signs all around our neighborhood, when she people saw her putting up signs they were supportive. However, after that instance, I realized how much people don’t really care if you lose a pet. There are so many tattered signs that are overlooked everyday, of people just desperate for their lost pet. But this thought made me feel guilty, I never put any lost pet sign into my priorities. It’s not like I ever went actively looking for someone’s pet, or one time seeing a stray dog and try to look to see if it has an owner. Sure, I’ll help if it comes right up to my front door, but if it’s out “in the wild,” do I really care? No. I fear for my safety, and feel like it’s just “not my problem.” This thought really made me feel terrible, because now I think everyone will think the way I think. No one is going to care about a lost tortoise, but to me he isn’t just a tortoise he’s family.
“Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” I’m a disney movie lover, and this quote really hits home for me. I guess the quote makes me feel guilty because before losing Timmy, I didn’t really care about anyone else’s ohana. I hope for my sake that Timmy will be found and return home, but when I saw signs for other pets, I didn’t really care. I wanted to post about this on my blog because maybe I could reform the way of mainstream thinking. Or in other word, “feed the need.” There are millions of people, just like me, who are missing their pets, loved ones, sentimental items, etc. These relationships need to be respected as more than their worth, but of their sentimental value and familial ties. From now on, I vow to pay more attention to the missing child or missing pet signs, because the person who put out those signs really just wants their family to be whole once again.
* If you or someone you know has found a small desert tortoise who may/may not resemble or be/not be Timmy, please comment here. Thank you.