(Originally posted May 26, 2011)

It’s a big week for the animal kingdom.

Last Monday was World Turtle Day (yay for Noko). According to Wikipedia, the purpose of World Turtle Day is “to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive.” Small animals like turtles are often taken for granted. They seem so small, insignificant and commonplace, that it is easy to forget how much help they need.

Here’s some useful trivia about turtle keeping:

  • Some species of turtles have become endangered largely because of people collecting them as pets. If you see a wild turtle, leave it be. (It’s okay to admire it a little first.)
  • If you already own a turtle, don’t set it free either. Pet shop turtles are often disease carriers. They’ve build up their own immunities in captivity, but these diseases can still harm the wild population. (Weird, huh?)
  • Remember to keep your pet turtles clean, as all birds and reptiles carry small amounts of salmonella. (Why is so much of my trivia is about disease?)

We are also in the middle of Rabbit Awareness Week (May 23 to May 29) which is pretty much that same as turtle day, except for rabbits. Actually, Rabbit Awareness Week is more focused on the proper care of domestic rabbits that are kept as pets or livestock. If you own a rabbit, you are encouraged to stop and take a moment to see if you are meeting its five basic needs:

  • Environment
  • Behavior
  • Diet
  • Companionship
  • Health

As you may know, I own one turtle and no rabbits. So I’d like to see how my fictional rabbits stack up on having their basic needs met.

Environment: Dynamite and Detonator live at the Grass Roots House. It’s a cooler climate than they are used to, so they compensate by dressing in layers. Food and water is available. I suspect that they are litter trained and clean their own sandbox (it hasn’t come up yet).

Behavior: No comment.

Diet: Hmm, probably not very good. They are feeding themselves. They have a fair amount of common sense on what’s safe to eat. Still, I bet they fill up on junk food a lot. Clayton may need to intervene.

Companionship: They got each other. D’waaaa!

Health: The boys get plenty of exercise, have regular check-ups, and always wear adequate safety gear when operating explosives. What else can you ask for?

Whatever critters are sharing you lives, may they stay healthy and happy.

-Marj