Taylor rocks her head to bagpipe music!
Your name: Beth Ritter-Guth
Job title/department: Associate Dean of Online Learning & Ed Tech
What kind of pet do you have (dog, cat, bird, etc)? Box Turtle
What is your pet’s name? Taylor
How did you come up with this name? She had the name when she came to us 17 years ago.
How old is your pet? Over 50!!!
What is your pet’s gender? Female
Describe your pet in three words: Curious, Friendly, Spoiled
What is the thing your pet cannot live without? Ham
Can your pet do tricks? If so, what? She can't do tricks, but she loves children, which is unusual for a turtle. She also likes bagpipe music and will rock her head when she hears it.
What is the best trick your pet has taught you? If you bang your shell on glass long enough, someone will bring you ham.
Do you have a nickname for your pet? The Ham Whisperer
You know your pet is in a good mood when he/she does this: If her head is out and she is looking around, she is ready for you to entertain her. If she wants no contact with humans, she tucks into her shell. I've tried to adopt these patterns, as well!
Your pet’s favorite spot to hangout is: She loves the yard and bathtub equally.
Favorite toy: She doesn't play with toys. She thinks French fries are fun.
One habit you would love to change: She came to use eating ham and French fries, and even though we tried to switch her back to her own food, she refused. I'd like her to stay healthy, but seeing as she has lived more than most turtles, she can have as much ham as she wants.
Does your pet prefer to play with people, or other animals? She prefers neither, but people are OK and are awesome if they carry ham.
Does your pet like children? Yes
If you could ask your pet one question and they’d be able to answer it, what would it be? How old are you??? We've had her 17 years, our friend had her 15 years, and the lady before that had her 20 years and got her from someone. We have no idea how old she is or where she was born.
Can your pet read your emotions? LOL. No.
Funniest moment you’ve had with your pet: Taylor has to get her beak and nails trimmed manually since she doesn't live in the wild. She is not a huge fan of the vet and will clamp her shell only for vets. When I brought her to campus for "Take Your Turtle to Work Day" (a new holiday), she took one look at Charlie Rhinehimer and snapped into her shell.
What is the most rewarding aspect of owning your pet? I've been a pet lover my whole life. We don't have other pets right now because we just moved and our elderly cats and dog all crossed the rainbow bridge. Animals help us to be better human beings because we have to think outside of ourselves and our needs to love them. Their love is unconditional, and they teach us to be better friends, coworkers, partners, lovers, etc.
Additional comments: Please don't adopt turtles from the wild. We only have Taylor because she has been passed down to us. Turtles should live in their natural habitats and should not be removed from their habitats unless there is an emergency (fire, natural disaster, etc.).