Sunday, September 1, 2013


There's a new Murphy at the hacienda.  Meet Coonie.  Funny name, you say?  There's meaning...hold that thought.

Last week, Madi and I ran a few errands together. While we were out, she knew we would be passing the pet store. So, she asks, "Mommy, can we get a pet turtle today?"  Of course, I dismissed this crazy question and we went about our business.

When we finished our errands, the kids and I suited up for a swim at our community pool.  And in less than five minutes, guess what we found swimming around alone and helpless in the pool? 

Yep. A baby turtle.

How could we not claim him as ours?  I realize that we could have easily delivered him to the lake that is only a few steps away, but no...we felt that this cute little guy was destined to be ours. Jimmy happened to drive by, so we hollered for him to bring us a storage container. We also happen to have some good friends in the hood who are "turtle people" so we knew they'd hook us up with some food and good advice/turtle parenting skills. 

Back to the name. When Madi was little--like around two years old--she couldn't quite pronounce "community pool" so it always came out as "coonie poo."  I loved that. In fact, I adore it so much that I still call it the "coonie poo."  And that's where we found our little pet, in the community pool, so "Coonie" it is. His shell is just over an inch long and honest to goodness, he has reddish markings on his underbelly that resemble Chinese writing.

The next day after school, we went to the pet store to get the full turtle goods. When it was revealed to me that this could get pricey, I called Jimmy in somewhat of a panic...I was getting cold feet.  But then, I watched our daughter weep quietly, and I knew the damage had already been done. I'm a sucker for a crying kid. She pointed out that we had given him a name and everything. We left the pet store empty-handed, but I still wasn't sure how to resolve the situation.

When we got home, I called another pet store to discover that they were having a sale on tanks...a sale that saved us $30 on the tank alone. I called Jimmy with this good news, and we decided that we would surprise Madi and keep Coonie. Jimmy managed to save some money on a few other tank necessities, and after work, Jimmy arrived with everything we needed to keep the turtle.

Made. Her. Day.

Daddy wasn't really happy about our new pet...initially. But now, he's the one who's obsessed with the turtle, watching him constantly and making sure we're meeting his needs.  Jimmy is the official "keeper of the tank" who makes sure the water is properly balanced and filtered. He's good like that.  

We love watching Coonie bask under the heat lamp. It's hard to see in the photo, but he splays his tiny little webbed toes and kicks out his legs.  He seems to be a vegetarian and loves munching on lettuce, spinach, and pieces of carrot. Yesterday, Jimmy and Madi introduced him to dried shrimp. Definitely his new favorite. Hopefully, he won't outgrow his tank anytime soon!


Rita Buettner said...

Oh my goodness, such excitement in the Murphy household! Congratulations! And what a great name. Love this story and I look forward to updates on Coonie's progress.

Biba said...

They're great little pets. What does Rootie think of her? It's good they no longer paint their shells various colors to entice people to buy them.

Charlie will soon be asking where his turtle is :-)