It has been a week since we adopted Aesop, our desert tortoise.

I must admit that I initially thought that tortoises were rather boring.  But, Aesop is anything but.

Our backyard is fairly big and Aesop has been busy exploring every nook and cranny.

Yesterday, I had a rare day where I was able to sit at my computer and write all day.  When I would pause now and then to look outside, I often saw Aesop making his way across the lawn toward his favorite clump of shrubs or sitting eating grass.

In the afternoon, when I looked out the window to see where he was, I was surprised to see him on the patio, looking in the window at me!

Besides hanging out underneath our shrubs and eating grass, Aesop likes to drink water and has even tried some cilantro.

Last evening, we were alerted to Aesop’s presence by our smallest dog, Tobey, who gets very excited whenever he sees him walking.  But this time, Tobey seem extra agitated.

When I looked out the window, I saw Aesop entertaining a visitor…

One of the feral cats who visit our garden from time to time, was standing a couple of feet away from Aesop.  It was obvious that the cat had never seen a tortoise before and didn’t quite know what to make of him.

Aesop didn’t seem intimidated by the cat’s presence as he was busy eating grass.

We are enjoying Aesop’s adventures and are so happy with our decision to adopt him!

Last week, our family said “goodbye” to a longtime member of our family.

Some of you may remember ‘Addy’ from my posts about the residents of Double S Farms.  

She was originally my dad’s dog.  He just loved her.  Addy came from the local animal shelter in California.  I remember my dad sending me a letter telling me all about her.  He couldn’t wait for us to meet her.

Addy moved out to Arizona when my parents relocated and we enjoyed seeing her much more often.  Back in California, she was obsessed with cats.  She would stalk them.  Once the cat passed away, Addy would stalk the squirrels that would dare to venture into her backyard.

When my dad died suddenly 5 years ago, Addy became my mother’s faithful companion.  When my mom moved to Double S Farms with my youngest sister and her family – Addy happily took up residence as well.  She loved the large area for exploring.  Her obsession moved from squirrels to gophers, which she did her best to try to catch.

We all had noticed Addy slowing down lately and having difficulty walking.  We knew she did not have long left to live.  Last week, Addy passed away.

My 5-year old nephew, Finley, said that Addy is now in heaven playing with my dad and chasing cats, squirrels, etc.  I like that vision and I will hold onto it.

Below, is a post I wrote about Addy last summer about her unlikely friendship with three chickens.

I hope you enjoy it:

“A Dog’s Best Friend Is a Chicken?”

Okay, let me be more specific – 3 chickens.

Lucy, Effie and Flo

mother’s dog, Addy, is a very sweet Australian cattle dog mix.  My
parents adopted her from the animal shelter back in 2001, when she was 3
years old.  My dad just loved Addy.

we adopted our son, Kai, from China we spent a few days at my parent’s
house, who were living in California at the time.  Addy was the first
dog that Kai had ever met.

My dad assured Kai that Addy was friendly and loved kids.

is a ‘herding’ dog by nature.  The first object of her herding instinct
was my parent’s black cat.  Addy was obsessed by her and would spend
all of her time keeping track of the cat.
the cat died (from old age), Addy transferred her attentions to the
squirrels in my parent’s backyard.  I don’t think she was ever
successful in actually catching one though.

my parents moved to Arizona and my dad’s death, my mother along with my
sister and her family moved to a small farm, which they call Double S Farms.  Addy was in heaven with a huge backyard and plenty of gophers to go after.
The other day as we were sitting on the back patio, I noticed 4 figures around the apple tree in the distance….

was Addy and my sister’s 3 pet chickens.  Now, I knew that Addy got
along with the chickens, but I didn’t know that the chickens just loved
being around her.

to my sister, the chickens just love to hang out with Addy, even when
she is sleeping outside.  They just settle in around her.

At the ripe old age of 14, I guess Addy finally got to lead a flock, so to speak 😉

Addy was my dad’s special dog and although my mother loves her and takes care of her, I still think of her as my dad’s dog.

So, as I see her slow down, it is rather sad, because she is a link to my dad, who has been gone for 4 years now.

she isn’t going anywhere soon…. except to run inside to escape the
coming thunderstorm, along with her feathered best friends.


Thank you for letting me share the story of ‘Addy’ with you.

Tomorrow, I will be leaving on the first leg of our road trip.  Since I plan on blogging from the road, I’d love it if you would like to follow along 🙂