Pet of the Day

July 6, 1999

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Molasses, the Pet of the Day
Name: Molasses
Age: Forty years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Tortoise
Home: Littleton, Colorado, USA
   We have had Molasses for 28 years, which is five years longer than I have been around. He is about one foot long and weighs about fifteen pounds. It was nice to have a buddy around to crawl on the floor with when I was little, and then kiss goodbye as I left the house to go to school. In the summer he spends his days in a fenced off corner of our yard, which has a bunch of shrubs and grass, and even a sprinkler so he can take sun-showers. We take him inside at night and he sleeps in the laundry room, between the washer and dryer. In the winter, he hibernates in a carpeted box in our basement.

    This is the most spoiled tortoise in the whole world. He has gotten accustomed to certain things, as one would after being around as long as he has. Every morning, he scratches the wall as a sign that he wants outside. When he is hungry, he paces at his fence until we bring him his food. He is a very picky eater!! He loves green beans, red grapes, red leaf lettuce (he won't even touch iceberg), and snow peas. If he doesn't get what he wants, he just breathes really loud in disappointment.

    Most people think that tortoises are just "there," but Molasses is a truly great pet. He greets me when I come home, just like any other pet by perking up when he hears my voice. He even follows a few voice commands (when he feels like it). He is even affectionate - he nuzzles my toe with his nose. Plus, I won a lot of pet contests when I was a kid, which is a great bonus.

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