Is is weird to say that one of my greatest friends was a red footed tortoise? Maybe, but Franklin is more than just an animal.
At first he meant so much because he was my mom’s. Of course when the ten year old Logan was asked if she wanted to keep her passed mother’s turtle it was an instant yes. But a ten year old wasn’t the most responsible caretaker of a tortoise, or really of anything in general. For the first few years, whoever was living with us at the time took care of him. Then as I got older I became the sole person taking care of him. Every second I thought I was doing something wrong, even though according to the veterinarian he was perfectly healthy. During that time he became mine (well mostly, I still considered him my mother’s).
There have been many nights spent with me holding him while tears ran out of my eyes. Many conversations (yes I talked to a reptile) about what I was feeling at the time. The many times I felt alone, I spent it with him. I was very thankful to have him during the time Aunt Debbie was in the hospital last spring. Then with Aunt Debbie’s death, it made taking care of him even harder. How am I supposed to give him a stable life, when my own is so unpredictable?
With me basically jumping from home to home, I decided to look for a place to give him away. In the beginning I wanted to try to find someone to care for him temporarily, so I would get him back when I had a stable home. I knew deep down that I was not going to have one for a long time, so I began to search for places. I had found a sanctuary that I had finally determined was good enough for him to be at in 2015. I liked that they kept an animal for life. I sent one of the hardest emails asking them if they could take Franklin, but they emailed me back saying that they already had two Red Footed Tortoises and did not have enough winter housing for another one. I was back to not thinking about getting rid of him until my aunt died a few months later. At first I was still hoping that I could find places for him to reside while I was at college, which I did for about a year after. I started to look for other sanctuaries for reptiles at the beginning of this year. The second place will keep an animal until they find a proper home. It’s hard not knowing where Franklin might end up, but I figured the rescue could find a better home for him than I ever could.
Saying goodbye to Franklin is not an easy thing to do. Yes he may be a tortoise, but I see so much more than just a reptile. He loves bananas. And music. And long walks around the dining room table. How do I know this? He bobs his head up and down. I do think he is more attractive than others of his kind too. Plus his face looks like a tiny t-rex, and who doesn’t want a dinosaur of their very own.
It was hard watching him drive away, but I know that he’ll be taken care of in ways I won’t be able to do for a long time.