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Mummy was having a bit of a tough time at work, loving husband had just left on a week service corps assignment in India and she needed some cheering up. Though this may not be the first thing to come into people’s minds, but she decided she would buy a pet – a tortoise – on the premise it would be a gift for her 6 year old daughter, but was really because she’d quite fancied having one for some time….

Said daughter showed mild interest at the idea, though later retracted previously shown interest when seeing the reaction of loving husbands face on skype, when 5 mummy excitedly introduced him to the not one, but two new members of the family; Doris and Arthur. Two 8 year old Russian Tortoises (Agrionemys [Testudo] horsfieldii) to be exact. Hooray, mummy was thrilled, loving husband was not. Still, he had another month to get used to the idea before getting home.

Fast forward to two years later and Txomin (previously known as Doris – please see 1st visit to vet to find out why the sudden name change!) and Arthur have become well-loved members of the family. During the past couple of years, mummy has learnt quite a lot about her shelled friends and thought others may find her thoughts and experiences interesting, helpful and perhaps on occasion, a bit of a giggle. Anyone who has met Txomin and Arthur all agree on one thing, they are extremely pampered. Does mummy agree? Shell Yes :-)

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(aka Claire Smedley)