White flesh

zolasmum

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She looks so sweet and well and happy - it's wonderful to see her. I suppose when she first had the supports on, she may have been so excited at being free from pain and able to move easily that she wanted to keep rushing around, but now she accepts it as being her normal existence, so doesn't have to keep testing it. Her shell looks really good too. What a difference in every way!
Angie
 

EppsDynasty

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She looks so sweet and well and happy - it's wonderful to see her. I suppose when she first had the supports on, she may have been so excited at being free from pain and able to move easily that she wanted to keep rushing around, but now she accepts it as being her normal existence, so doesn't have to keep testing it. Her shell looks really good too. What a difference in every way!
Angie
It seems me and you are her biggest fans ... Can't wait until she is outside always, she loves it far more than her inside enclosure. Skipping a soak everyday has kept the supports in place, no lifting .. yet. She might know she is going outside these past few days, she would not ear until outside, then pig out on squash, zucchini, red leaf lettuce, romaine, collard greens, chard and of course natural grazing. She acts like a meat eating dinosaur when grazing very ferocious.
 

EppsDynasty

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UPDATE: 690 grams. I made sure this time to weigh her before she ate, drank anything and had Pooped already. She has started to LOVE when I use the toothbrush on her Crack. Whenever needed I use a soft, very soft toothbrush to clean the crack of dirt, food, sticks or whatever else she gets into. She stopped moving her legs around in distress, when I hold her up to clean, but the other day I noticed he closing her eyes (correction EYE) as I slowly brushed her Plastron. If she has that much "feeling" or nerves there on the Plastron, O man ... How painful a crack must be for tortoises. So anxious to start seeding, building her outdoor enclosure. Still figuring out all the details and enrichment items for the pen. When it is rainy like it has been the last couple days, I can't help but think "This must be what it's like for Zola" (not everyday of course).
 

zolasmum

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You are right - we do get a lot of rain here, and Zola doesn't like it much, unless he is looking out from his dad's coat - he doesn't mind rain, snow or hail then - if the rain starts while he is on one of his breakwater walks, he just carries on, as clearly that's more important to him than getting wet !
I must say, I never thought about the sensitivity of a tortoise's plastron like that - I mainly stroke Zola's top shell, and he really loves it, but I should try tickling him underneath, and see how he reacts.
It must be wonderful for you to see Jo Jo improving in so many ways, thanks to your care. What a lovely surprise she will get when she first goes into her outdoor enclosure !
Angie
 

EppsDynasty

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You are right - we do get a lot of rain here, and Zola doesn't like it much, unless he is looking out from his dad's coat - he doesn't mind rain, snow or hail then - if the rain starts while he is on one of his breakwater walks, he just carries on, as clearly that's more important to him than getting wet !
I must say, I never thought about the sensitivity of a tortoise's plastron like that - I mainly stroke Zola's top shell, and he really loves it, but I should try tickling him underneath, and see how he reacts.
It must be wonderful for you to see Jo Jo improving in so many ways, thanks to your care. What a lovely surprise she will get when she first goes into her outdoor enclosure !
Angie
As Jo Jo sat by the fire looking out at the rain it was easy to think of you guys across the pond ...

This morning after finishing the morning soaks and feeding while brushing Jo Jo off I noticed her crack and how AMAZINGLY well it looks. It may just be me but, Does it seem like the coconut oil has really sped up the healing that is taking place? On the right side of center (in the pic) it has filled in so much.
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I was really wondering after the vet visit, if it was going to be a strong enough repair. But now seeing how it is healing it looks like it will be plenty strong enough. Her shell will definitely have it's own look. Very Positive Vibes
 

zolasmum

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It really does look a lot better - so quickly too ! I hope you're keeping lots of photos for that book you are going to write some day ! The coconut oil does seem like it has helped - that's brilliant !
Angie
 

zolasmum

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There's a local rhyme which goes
Devon, lovely Devon-rains six days out of seven
Cornwall is better - but even wetter !

Cornwall is very close to us - we are about a mile into Devon, and Cornwall is where the breakwater Zola loves is ! He hasn't been for several days, because of the weather, and he is very cross about it! But it is cold and windy, as well as wet - I'm sure you know one can't argue with a tortoise, though.
Angie
 

EppsDynasty

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There's a local rhyme which goes
Devon, lovely Devon-rains six days out of seven
Cornwall is better - but even wetter !

Cornwall is very close to us - we are about a mile into Devon, and Cornwall is where the breakwater Zola loves is ! He hasn't been for several days, because of the weather, and he is very cross about it! But it is cold and windy, as well as wet - I'm sure you know one can't argue with a tortoise, though.
Angie
Love it !
Today is the first sun in days. I am going to do my morning routine this afternoon instead, letting all of em enjoy some sun (in the living room). This crazy weather makes me wonder about the Desert torts in the wild, must be a hell of a year for them. I'm positive Jo Jo would not of survived this winter wherever she was. I have been thinking of contacting the lady that found Jo Jo and going to the house she was found. The "Book" is really on my mind. I would like to document the town, the house, and the surrounding area for the TFO as well. Recently (Thanks to Angie) Jo Jo's story has really impacted me. As our world gets crazier and less empathetic to other beings on this planet her story has more and more relevance.
Currently my wife and I are going for a 501(c)(3) organization. Educating children about the importance of Caring, Loving and Respecting animals that share this planet with us is a BIG DEAL, at least to us. And just as important is to get correct info on husbandry into the public, as we all know this is a big issue. There are several "Desert Tortoise" clubs, groups, organizations that ALL repeat terrible information as "Proper Care." It is going to take diligence and hard work to overcome all the WRONG information given out here in the California Desert to Tourist and locals.
Ambassador Jo Jo .... Sounds like a very important Title. Got a good ring to it.
 

EppsDynasty

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After the soak n feed I noticed Jo Jo’s shell, right in the middle. You can see the scutes are not attached at the corners. If you push on them you can see movement , very little because of the supports. Another example of how important the supports are, allowing the healing to meet the scute.
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Here’s a picture to show the missing scales on her front leg is healing well. And how well her face around the eye is healing.IMG_0175.jpeg
 

zolasmum

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Richard often refers to Zola as a tortoise ambassador, when he is out with him, and is always very patient with anyone who is interested in him - of course, some people obviously think he is a bit mad - luckily, this part of the country does have quite a few eccentrics here - so he is better accepted than in many other places. We are always meeting people who have seen Zola before, and often remembered it as the highlight of their holiday. Today we had a new washing machine delivered, and one of the two workmen had met Zola several times when he went out running,, (the workman running - not Zola, obviously) and the other workman had heard about him from his daughter ! I think we have helped change some attitudes in some people - they realise that tortoises are very interesting creatures, with their own personalities,and deserving of respect.
I am sure that Ambassador Jo Jo would be a big success , and who could fail to love the little girl, especially when they know her story.
I think it would be great if you could contact the lady who found her - and I'm sure she would be delighted to learn about her new life - if you could see the place she found her, that would better still.
It really isn't all that long ago that you and Jo Jo first met, is it ? What a huge difference your care and imagination have made !
Here's a photo you might like to see, of Zola a couple of years ago, at a fishing village called Fowey , in Cornwall, with two images of him in earlier years which Richard has added from previous photos - they are not exactly the correct sizes, but I really like the picture !
Angie
 

zolasmum

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I've just seen your latest post - your idea about the supports was even more important than you might have realised at first. ! How well she looks now !
Angie
 

EppsDynasty

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Jo Jo has really become comfortable with her routine. We have been doing the same thing everyday now for November, December, January and this part of February. We brought her home middle of Oct. and she has been a part of our daily life. Everyday she gets at least an hour of personal attention while soaking, feeding etc. Really can't wait till spring and she will be outside so much more.
 

zolasmum

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It must be wonderful for Jo Jo knowing that she doesn't have to search desperately for food - and failing to find any - and being pecked and pushed about by the ducks - and smelling the foul smells all over herself and around her - and having no peaceful place to rest - and in constant pain. How much her life has changed in every way, thanks to the person who found her while checking the duck eggs, and thanks to you and your family taking care of her so well. I wonder if she remembers her previous life - I hope it's all forgotten now -overlaid by thoughts of warmth and food and gentleness.
Angie
 

EppsDynasty

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It was you Angie that has put the thought of a book into my head. I was having some thoughts of recording it (the experience of getting her), but you telling me about the book ... it has made me realize that all the "Details" are not just important but VITAL to her story. (What a run on sentence). This story is about Hope, Strength, Perseverance and most of all LOVE. In the next month or so I WILL make the trip to the Desert town she was found in. I am going to give it my all and try to find the actual person that found Jo Jo first.
I have thanked Angie,and Yvonne for "really" being there for her and I, but I would like to think TFO as well. When we received the original text regarding "could we help her", it was a search on TFO that gave me the confidence to say YES we would take her. Without being able to see that this was not a death sentence, there is no way I would have even tried. Let me explain that ... I HATE death but respect it as an alternative to excruciating pain that has no end. Death sometimes is the OPTION that is "best", it is sometimes the only option. When we received the text my immediate thoughts were to lessen suffering, to stop pain and it was probably the "Best Option" to put the tortoise down. It was Tortoiseforum.org that saved Jo Jo, we were merely the care takers. So to sum it up, I really want to share her story but want it to be filled with as much detailed information I can muster.
 

zolasmum

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I think you are absolutely right - the details are what is important - not just the final picture. Step by step you
tried to improve things for Jo Jo.Your patience, imagination, ingenuity and determination have made this transformation possible - every step has been thought out and mulled over in detail - and it has worked !
She can move without pain, she is getting stronger and stronger. She has built up a relationship of trust with you, shows pleasure in your company, and gets enjoyment from her life.
No vet, faced with such a huge problem, would have wanted to take her on, I'm sure - they would have euthanised her on the spot !
People treating tortoises with severe shell injuries, for example, may find the way you worked out and made supports for her very useful indeed, and you would want to say quite a bit about how you decided to do things the way you did.
Soon Jo Jo will be starting on the next chapter of the book - wonderful !
Angie
 

EppsDynasty

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There is nothing like ... Your tortoise, with their head streeeeetched out turn there head and look you in the eye....Letting you know that yes, there is a emotional connection between 2 totally different creatures.
 

zolasmum

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There is nothing like ... Your tortoise, with their head streeeeetched out turn there head and look you in the eye....Letting you know that yes, there is a emotional connection between 2 totally different creatures.
Yes, it's a wonderful feeling - I get it too with Zola - I never really expected it to happen, however much I loved the little chap !
Angie
 

EppsDynasty

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So I had spent over an hour typing up a post the other day and I am not exactly sure what happened .... it didn't make it to actually being posted, my fault ... so here goes try 2 .....
1 of these days I'll try to get a video posted on YouTube of this behavior but for now you'll have to imagine in your head what I'll try to describe (with pictures)
When Jo Jo goes into the tub for soaks and feed she quite often does this "Dance." Angie was the first to say "Maybe it feels good" with my wife saying the same thing as well. What Jo Jo does is ...Lift all legs off the tub leaving only her supports touching then she starts to move all legs in a circular motion. Not all legs move exactly the same speed but they do all go in a "Clockwise" direction. If you notice in the pics her legs move in this circular motion.
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In pic 2 and 4 if you look at her rear left foot ... it looks like she is "curling" or streeeeeetching her toes or toe nails. By far one of my favorite pictures of Jo Jo.
After she is done doing "The Dance" she just puts her legs down, lifts up her body of the tub and walks without any problem at all. I was so afraid that she could not walk on this slippery tub, that she was trying so hard to walk and just couldn't do it .... not at all. She can walk easily whenever and wherever she would like to ... shown here, as you'll notice she is now facing away from the food.
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Sorry didn't edit out all that other stuff in the pic, didn't even know it was there until I posted it here. I am really loving these little displays of HER personality. It's also another example of how what I think is happening is not what is happening. Trying to imagine HOW she is going to look when bigger, how her shell will have it's obvious differences from other DT's is a place I find myself in often. Jo Jo is such a big part of my everyday life it's hard to imagine life without her, even in the future. Planning her pen, planning enrichment activities, checking on her ... Jo Jo is a constant in the spinning wheel in my head.
 

Yvonne G

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She really has a pretty shell. Could her "dance" be that she's trying to fling water over her back? They usually do that in water or mud.
 

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