A common question I’ve received from friends and relatives upon finding out about the adoption of my baby tortoise Nugget is “Why?!”
I was in school and lived alone and had really wanted a pet of my own for a long time. I had a cat and a dog growing up, but living an hour away from home, I didn’t get to see them very often anymore. I had adopted a betta fish, but let’s face it, as lovely as betta fish are you can’t exactly hold them!
Even though I grew up with a cat and a dog, I had to rule out cats and dogs because of the rules of my landlord, and also because of my schedule. Besides, because my schedule is so unpredictable with school and work, it definitely would not have been fair to get a dog that I wouldn’t be able to walk regularly and properly exercise.
One night I fell into one of those random Youtube pits. You know, when you end up just clicking on suggestions video after video and end up in a totally unexpected place on Youtube. I ended up watching Taylor Nicole Dean and other pet Youtubers, and started thinking about reptiles.
After a few trips to pet stores I realized that I could not handle any sort of reptile that consumes insects. Insects just gross me out too much, and I knew I wouldn’t enjoy that sort of pet. I saw a few tortoises at PetSmart and started doing more research.
I ended up finding C and C Tortoises, which is a group of tortoise and reptile breeders in Canada. I went the breeder route because to my knowledge there are no tortoise or reptile rescues in Saskatchewan (at least that are well known enough to show up in a google search!) and I just didn’t really trust big pet stores. Most pet stores I had been to, the big chain ones, kept their tortoises in tiny tanks where they had no room to walk, and that just seemed cruel.
I started emailing back and forth with Louise, one of the breeders from C and C tortoises. I asked her a few questions about red foots, but we both determined that a Horsfield would be the better fit for me. She had a batch of Horsfield babies, and would be in the province soon after I talked to her to deliver one.
I quickly whipped together a tort setup in my apartment and was able to bring Nugget home! It’s been a learning experience for sure, but I’m slowly working on improving his enclosure. He definitely will need a bigger enclosure one day, but I figured that I would keep it somewhat small (4 x 2 ish) while he is an easy-to-lose hatchling, and until I am no longer living in an apartment and can build him an outdoor run as well!
Over the past few months he’s gotten used to me, and I’ve gotten to know his weird little tortoise personality. And to be quite honest, it’s kind of nice not having my apartment covered in cat or dog hair! He’s a really quiet pet, we both like to eat and nap a lot, and we get along pretty well.