Sunday, March 21, 2010

Royal Ranch Royalty

The now famous picture of a chicken that I was taking care of after a bear attack; if you look closely, you'll see Holiday has found her way to a warm spot underneath, I told you she was quite instinctual!

Good Sunday Morning!  I hope you are enjoying your weekend.  Today is Royal Ranch Royalty, and today I am doing it a little differently; I am writing this post "In Loving Memory" of our turtle Holiday.  You know that saying that you don't know how much you miss something until it is gone?  Well, to a certain extent, that is true of our Holiday.
I know, I know, you're not supposed to buy animals from a pet store, and I learned my lesson with Holiday.  But, to my defense this was almost a decade ago, and I had done a lot of research.  I went to a high priced reptile shop, made sure that she was bred in captivity, etc.  We got her for the boys for Christmas one year (Isabella was still just a baby), that is how she got the name Holiday.  Things had even started out a little on the rough side.  We took her back and they got her to eat fine.  When I got her back and she took another tune for the worse, I took her to a vet, and spent over $200, and he said she was fine; but over the years, I just could never get that darn turtle to be as healthy as I thought she should be.
One day, probably five years ago, the kids and I were all out in the yard doing our various things and we had Holiday out there with us.  Well, as kids (and Moms) tend to do, they forgot the poor turtle.  Later that evening, I asked where she was.  We all panicked, and went on the mad dash looking for her!  Well, let me tell you, turtles are not slow when they have an agenda, Holiday had made it across the driveway and down over the edge of the yard, into the rose bushes and was headed over to the creek.  We figure she had heard the running water, and was headed out to investigate!  We were blessed to have found her!
Box turtles hibernate in the winter, which was one of the hardest things for me to get used to with Holiday.  To have a pet that just didn't eat for a good portion of the year, really bothered me, but there wasn't much I could do about it.  I had tried with lights to keep her out of hibernation, but it had never worked.  We teased that Holiday was a dinosaur, she was the most instinctual animal we have ever owned, literally a throwback to the dinosaurs.  So anyway, her cage was in Nathans room, and so every night when I kissed him goodnight I would check on Holiday.  Even in hibernation, she moved around her cage and let me know that she was still okay.
It was the night that I had taken Isabella to the doctor after the big bus accident, and she was on this darn medication that had her bawling.  Why they give antidepressant as a muscle relaxant I'll never know, but that's another story!  So anyway, I go to kiss Nate and check on my reptilian girl and she has not moved.  The next day, the same story, I have a bawling daughter from medication and an unmoving turtle.  Obviously I stopped the medication and nonchalantly try to "wake-up" Holiday! No such luck.
Well, this is a real pickle!!!!  How in the hell am I going to get a dead turtle out of the house, with my clingy, beat to heck daughter, bawling all day?  I can't even get her poor brothers alone to tell them that their beloved turtle has passed.  I mean it would've have been funny if it weren't me!  Thankfully my nephew's birthday party came along, and Isabella was feeling up to going, so poor Tom got the job of getting rid of the cage and the turtle.
See, when you become a rancher, you have to face some facts.  When the ground is frozen, unless we happen to have a backhoe nearby there cannot be a proper burial here on The Royal Ranch; so I knew better than to ask about Holiday.  But it really bothered me; actually it bothered me a lot.  I know I'm supposed to be tough now, but I don't care.  So when Tom came in the other night from getting wood and announced that the entire family needed to be outside in five minutes for Holiday's funeral, I couldn't quit laugh/crying.  It appears it had been bothering my big bad biker husband as well!
Tom had found some soft ground, and we all gathered round.  We thanked Holiday for being such a wonderful part of our family for such a long time and all of the great memories; and then we buried her, here at The Royal Ranch where she belongs!


lfhpueblo said...

I'm glad he found some soft ground.
It is really hard sometimes to do that in a Colorado winter.

Mishaun Search said...

Judy, great story. This is funny, but we always froze the ones that died in the winter until spring so we could bury them! ; )