(Hugie having fun. He had just seen himself in a mirror)
Hugie was a sweet, loving, extremely intelligent, active, little, turtle. He knew his name and came when his name was called. I can still see him scurrying across the floor. He loved to be handled, picked up, and petted. When he wanted to be picked up he would let you know by raising up on his front legs and extending his head up towards you. He loved to watch American football on television perched on my stomach. His favorite food was cooked shrimp. - J.V. Bond, Biologist
- IN THE BEGINNING -
(Puffy and Hugie's baby picture. It's the only one we have.)
My wife was renting a room to a little girl (Karla) and her mother, who was a friend. The first thing that I noticed, walking through the front door, after being away for two years, was this little turtle in a small, 5 x 10 inch, container filled with water and gravel. I told Gina, my wife, to a least put a small rock in the water so the turtle could get out of the water to rest.
As time went on, a month or so, Karla tired of taking care of her turtle and gave him to us. Gina and I put Hugie in a larger container. He was happy. We fed him the regular turtle sticks that you find at Wal-Mart. and placed stones and marbles in his water with him. Gina and I bought a couple of books on Red-Eared Sliders and learned a little about them. A couple of weeks later we were given a female turtle, which we named Puffy.
- OVERTIME HUGIE CAPTURED OUR HEARTS -
(Hugie as a teenager - Hugie with a clown hat, he liked his hats - We had our turtles blessed on St. Francis day.)
Hugie was a little rascal. He trusted us completely and had no fear. When we put him down to walk around the house he would explore and get into everything. He would also jump off the bed, if not watched closely. Hugie was able to show us affection, tenderness, and love. He was more than equal to a little dog in intelligence. He would communicate with us by using his shell to bump against things to get our attention. We were happy to be turtle care givers.
(Hugie's favorite place - on Puffy. He liked to be lifted up in my hand while watching football and loved Puffy's butt.)
Many days we played with Hugie, while we were watching TV, in bed. He would crawl back and forth between Gina and I, the three of us would have a swell time. Hugie was definitely the favorite. Puffy was more introverted. He would move back and forth between us to spend equal time with the two of us. In time we could almost communicate with him by a kind of telepathy. We had a really intimate relationship with him. We loved him so much. He was a great little guy.
At three years of age, Hugie developed an abscess in the pad of his front left foot. The vet did surgery on him and removed it. We had to administer antibiotic shots and rinse out the area of the surgery. This took over 20 days. He recovered nicely and was perfectly healthy again. Then during the fifth year he caught an upper respiratory tract infection and had to have the antibiotic treatments again. He made a good recovery as before.
- HUGIE CATCHES THE FLU AND DEVELOPS PNEUMONIA -
(Hugie tenderly saying goodbye to me- -Hugie saying goodbye to Puffy - Hugie saying goodbye to Puffy again.)
Hugie was very sick. He would sneeze and his eyes were swelling shut. We took him to the vet and the vet finally put him on an antibiotic regimen again. We were used to it and looked forward to his recovery. The vet recommended he be kept at a certain temperature and exposed to sunlamps and water at all times. This time the antibiotic shots didn't help him. He hadn't eaten for over a month. He didn't have enough stored fat on him to sustain him for long. We tried to comfort him as much as we could. We prayed for him and hoped for the best.
Puffy knew that Hugie was going to die. Puffy was very tender to him towards the end. Hugie eventually went blind and was having a lot of trouble breathing. It was terrible for my wife and I to witness his wasting away. We were still hoping and praying for a miracle.
- HUGIE'S SUFFERING AND DEATH-
(Hugie suffering horribly - Hugie taking his last breath - Hugie, a noble little creature, is dead.)
I didn't know why my wife took these pictures, at the time, but now that I am making this web site I know. The Lord took Hugie around 8 pm on the 9th of March 2010. I was in my office at the time and she came in to tell me the sad news. It broke our hearts. Hugie's passing is breaking my heart again as I write these words. We had his funeral the same night.
- HUGIE'S FUNERAL AND BURIAL -
(We wrapped Hugie in his favorite blanket - By candle light We read scripture - The following day we buried Hugie.)
Hugie was placed in his favorite blanket, in his feeding container, with a risen Christ crucifix. The chosen scripture was I Corinthians Chapter 13, the love chapter. For a little friend that gave us so much love and affection, we felt this was appropriate. Hugie spent the entire six and a half years of his life not knowing that he was a turtle. We treated him as a little person and he acted as one. He certainly deserved to have a Christian funeral and burial. We loved him so much and we are missing him greatly. If ever a pet deserved Heaven, Hugie is it. I personally believe that he is in Heaven.
Won't you please help us SAVE THE TURTLES from suffering and an early death?
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