My heart is broken tonight, as we lost a beloved member of our family today, our American Box turtle, Fernando.

Fernando was a unique pet, but he was more than just a turtle. He was family, he was loved so much that our home feels different without his presence. My heart feels heavy, yet empty.

Last weekend we noticed Nando was making an odd noise, then he began having a mucus discharge from his mouth. I called our vet for days to never get an answer. I got him into a new vet, and he warned me it didn't look good for my dear turtle. Fernando had an infection in his lungs, and we began an antibiotic treatment in hopes that we could beat this.

Yesterday I was optimistic, I had hopes that he was recovering as the weird noise had stopped and Nando was responding to my voice.

Today he was peaceful, and I really hoped he was on the road to recovery. After lunch when I checked on him, my heart sank. I hoped he was asleep... but he didn't wake up when I touched him, I frantically said his name and touched his turtle head. No response.

I felt defeated, alone, and desperate.

Some of you might think, geez lady, it was a turtle. No, he wasn't just a turtle. He was family, he was a part of our history, he was wonderful, cute and friendly with everyone he met. He was fun, he was like one of my children after 11 years together.

11 years ago, yesterday, a friend brought him to me, as I had been talking about how badly I wanted a pet turtle. I couldn't have a traditional pet at the time as my apartment was no dogs, no cats, no exceptions. I was so excited to have a creature to share my space and my heart with. I knew that by taking him in I was making a commitment to last a lifetime, as turtles can live for 100 -150 years depending upon the source

Fernando had been taken away from a dog that was chewing his shell, he needed a home and some TLC.

Our first years together were a learning experience, people thought I was odd to have him as a pet, but you couldn't deny our bond. Fernando loved me, and Adam. We loved him, it was a good set up. We traveled together, taking Nando to Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach, Kentucky, Cleveland, Florida, Charleston, and well, every where really. If I had to leave for a few days, when I got back home to him he would literally climb up my jeans to get into my lap. He would lean into my gentle touch on his head, he would seek me out if he heard my voice. I like to nap on the floor, and when Nando roamed free on his exercise days, he enjoyed curling up with me for a nap.

We were just peas in a pod. Quiet, gentle creatures that needed each other. 11 years was not long enough to live together in my opinion. I will miss Fernando every day for the rest of my days. My family no longer feels complete without this little not quite one pound guy.

I know this is probably of little interest to anyone else, but it is good therapy to be able to express my grief. It also shows you, if you read this post, that there is more to me than reviews and giveaways. I have a heart that loves deeply, and finds beauty in nature and animals. I have feelings and I live a life that is not always perfect.

I know life is about changing. I wish this was one change I didn't have to adapt to. We buried our dear turtle under the pine trees in our yard with heavy hearts and a note from "Mom". Now we begin to deal with reality that he is never coming back home. If you have pets, give them some extra attention tonight and cherish them, you never know when your last days together will be. An animal loves completely, and deserves to be loved completely in return.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss. Pets are part of your family

  2. It is so sad to lose any pet, we grow to love them so much. Much sympathy to you and your family. You gave him a great home. and you can always remember that. I do believe that people who love and cherish any pet or animal are terrific people.
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  3. Fernando is a cute turtle, and I am so sorry for your loss. I know how you feel to lose a pet is so heartbreaking and sad. I still get so sad when I think of my much loved pet when she died two years ago. I will pray for you, and remember that Fernando will always be in your heart, and you can cherish all the wonderful times you had together!!


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