Russian Rumba


May 8, 2022
Location (City and/or State)
Indio, California
We've had 'Pete' for a little over a month now, and the guy seems to have settled in very well. In part that is likely because we've taken suggestions of some of you--thanks especially to Tom and Sarah. He's eating well, and we've made three different places for him to rest in shade, which seem to help him in the Coachella Valley heat (over 110 so far this year); he especially likes--and spends his nights in a 'burrow' we created from soft dirt/sand mixture, and which we moisten 2x each day.

The other day, though, we noticed something remarkable. My wife has taken to stroking him with a damp, cool cloth while he's eating. Although Pete doesn't go near water (we have to wet his food liberally), he obviously enjoys this. But then, as my wife moved to the last half of his shell, Pete stopped eating, raised his rear up into the cloth and began swinging it from side to side. I've seen him do that against a stucco wall, as if he's scratching, but this was much more enthusiastic. His little rear legs were fully extended, and the back end of his shell was moving back and forth almost as in a dance. We were laughing so hard! Since then he comes 'running' not just when we're preparing his meal, but when he sees my wife! I won't make any inappropriate comments or jokes here, because it's just a nice, sweet thing to see a creature like this not just enjoying getting his 'back scratched', but appreciating it when it comes from my wife.

Really a nice treat to share space with Pete.

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