There are so many stories which reflect our life with Buddy since adopting him in July 2004. When I first brought him home, my wife Julia was very skittish and a little afraid of Buddy because she really did not have any experience with a box turtle as a pet. It is safe to assume that Buddy felt the same about us initially and it would take a little bit for him to become acclimated to our home. Julia would put her finger on Buddy's terrarium glass and he would snap at it which made her jump back. But within a couple of weeks, Julia bonded with Buddy and vice versa to where they were nearly inseparable for the next 14 years. Buddy came to realize that Julia was his mom and I was his dad, and our feelings of how he was our turtle son were mutual.|
For the next 14 years, Buddy brought nothing but joy and happiness to our lives. Julia and I made it a point to include him in everything we did from holiday celebrations, visits with family, and vacations. Buddy was a well-traveled turtle and was very content during those 9 - 10 hour drives to North and South Carolina. At times he would stare from his carrier out of the window and enjoy the scenery. Buddy was such an animated turtle with a never-ending personality. Just watching him crawl on the floor to investigate everything made us smile. Christmas was always interesting because the tree lights would always capture Buddy's attention. Buddy would stare at the Christmas lights from his terrarium for hours on end. Our Christmases and holiday seasons wouldn't have been as lively without Buddy there.
After 12 years in our apartment, we finally took a big step and became homeowners for the first time in April 2016. This was a big adjustment for Buddy because he had become used to the layout of the old apartment. But being that Buddy was a very intelligent box turtle, it didn't take him long to figure out the new house and he eventually took over. Before long, Buddy would be staring UP the stairwell looking at Julia and I as we were walking down. That was Buddy's way of telling us he was waiting for his water dish, food, or just not happy we decided to sleep in.
Although Buddy has passed on, I still feel his presence from time to time. I know he loved us as his parents and fought hard during his last days. Buddy will always be a part of our hearts and memories forever. We love and miss you Buddy and will see you again.