Tuesday, May 5, 2009


This is Squirt. Squirt from Finding Nemo, that is. This is a movie that has been viewed in my home no less that 300 times, and I'm not kidding. We (or B-Boy, rather) watched this movie probably twice a day for the better part of a year. He was not interested in any other movies for a really long time. It really is a cute movie. Wanna see? Here's some clips: Short clip and Long clip (about 5:40 is a really cute part.) Watching it again has been nice, actually. I missed it, I think.

Fast forward 4 yrs. We now have 2 additional children. And we haven't watched Finding Nemo in a really long time. But a week and a half ago, Hubb Hubba (who is a truck driver) was in northern Wisconsin, at a Walmart, and saw something in the parking lot. Low and behold, it was a hatchling turtle. The size of a quarter. With no body of water in sight. Still not sure how it got there but a rescue mission had begun. Hubba Hubba called me with the news of this little turtle, who was now riding much more safely in the plastic container his partner had brought his lunch in. As he poorly explained the size, color and characteristics of this turtle to me on the phone, I made some attempts (with the help of my friend Google) at finding out what kind of turtle we had. I didn't do too bad. After seeing it the turtle we are pretty certain it is a Western Painted Turtle.
Introducing... Squirt

Now that we had a new pet he needed a name more than "turtle" or "frog" (given by co-worker which we thought too confusing for our 2yo). B-Boy said "Tuck." This is from my favorite NOT cartoon Wonderpets. But our turtle doesn't tuck much (unless he's really freaked, we found out, or if you drop him, which we try not to do but has happened. Sorry, buddy) so I mentioned Squirt. It fit. He's so little, and the name works well with my other Squirts. This of coarse called for getting out Finding Nemo. Apparently it has gotten a little scratched, so I had to order a new copy. :D
So this is our Squirt. He's fun.

And while fun, there's more to it than just putting him in some water. Much to be cautious about (see Salmonella) which freaks out the Hubba (he's not a good pet owner). Much to purchase (we got a 10 gal tank from a friend, plus I already had a filter from another fish tank, and we still spent $50 on food, which didn't work for him so had to buy more, a turtle dock, a heater, water conditioners, and we still have to buy the special lights he needs). Sheesh. Pets are expensive and a lot of work (kinda like kids!). Plus there's all the research on how to care for them. But it's still a lot of fun, and the kids have spent many hours already, watching our new friend Squirt. Hopefully he will be a happy turtle. We finally got him all situated in his new tank (he had many preliminary homes, not excluding a cigarette pack, a bowl, a bucket, a tin roasting pan, and a very small tank) and we look forward to watching him eat and grow. Hopefully he won't smell too much. In which case, it may be Bye-Bye Birdie, er, I mean, turtle. Except, daddy already tried that, and was met with a very concerned, and oh-so-sad face from his boy. I guess we're stuck with Squirt. :D

He has a really pretty plastron (belly) with an oak leaf pattern that characterises him as a Western Painted. He loves to bask, and it's really funny to see him stretch out, head up, legs back. (I'll try to get a pic.) I need to measure him to track his growth. It took him about a week before he was interested in eating, but then, man. I went outside to find some worms after it had rained, managed to find a small one, and boy, he wolfed that thing down. He attacks it. It's pretty exciting to watch. Sunday we finally went and bought some worms, but comically he got really freaked out when one touched his head. We have never seen the little guy swim so fast. He scuttled outta there like nobody's business, and went to hide under his rock. Then he was tucked! It took him quite a while to emerge. We got a good laugh, but had to make sure to leave him alone for the rest of the afternoon to recover.

I'm sure I'll have more turtle updates along the way.

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