Saturday, April 16, 2011

Good Morning on a Saturday

I hope you are all doing well. Haven't heard from many of you in it my story that's scaring you away....I sure hope not. I think you will  be entertained by where the rest of the story goes and how it comes to a conclusion for this year.

Anyhoo, I need some advice. I know that you all have big hearts when it comes to animals and you may have contacts and information I don't have. And you may have an idea of something I have not thought of.

First let me tell you my dilemna. Ellie Mae being the terrible terrier and just a year old has decided that my turtles are her new chew toys. I have had the mix of dogs and turtles for years and while the Saint Bernards would tip the turtles over or knock them over as they ran by, I've never had but one other dog who actually chewed on them. At that time this dog (Phoebe) only chewed on little ones which we fixed by relocating the little ones away from her. But with Ellie Mae, she has decided that she would chew on the large ones and has hurt two of them.

I feel like Solomon right of my turtles vs love of the kid's dog.

Firstly, I can't separate the turtles from the dog in this backyard. It just would be impossible, mainly because there are babies wherever and I don't always see them for sometimes, years. Separation would be the easy fix.

I have a feeling that this started because Ellie got the taste of turtle from digging up a nest of eggs on the side of the house. I found parts of shells but no babies and that makes me icky beyond all icky. I couldn't sleep after finding that scene.

I wonder if Bitter Apple will affect a turtle since they have such a strong sense of smell, because I could spray it in Ellie's mouth (poor thing) and then on the turtles so that might be a deterrent. I thought of a muzzle, but let's get real.  She about as big as a minute and faster than greased lightening and these old legs won't be able to manage that 8 times a day for potty breaks.

I've already tried accompanied potty breaks (me while they are at school, them when they get home) or thought I had but the kids have sorta let me down.....they are only kids. Last night was sorta it, when I found the latest victim of Ellie's mouth with blood on the hinge area of the shell. I'm a little nuts anyway but I lost it last night with the fam. Blah, blah, blah, responsibility, blah, do it because it is the right thing, blah, blah if it doesn't change either the turtles go or the I feel like crap. I hate threats that are hurtful and I would hate it either way.

If you have any ideas, I sure could use your brain power and some luck right about now. Thanks again for taking the time to read my insanity.

See life is just crazy as usual at Casa de Cuckoo. XOXO


  1. I'm sorry my friend, but I have no answers. When I had turtles, all 3 dogs left them alone, thankfully. You might want to call your vet or perhaps an amphibian specialist on how to manage this situation. Do you have a UNM extension centre there? Sometimes they can be very helpful. We have the A&M extension centre here in EP. How about a natural history museum...don't you all have one there?

    Sorry I can't be more help, and I know how you must be feeling. Years ago when I was a child, these friends of my folks had the same problem but they got rid of the dog after it killed 3 of their turtles...I remember how upset my friend was about seeing those dead little guys.


  2. I don't think your dear Oz stories have scared anyone; it might be Spring Break that has people going wild *grin* either trying to survive the kids home for an entire week or on spring break themselves, trying to get away with as much as possible.

    Salomon indeed! What to do! I have no idea how to keep the pup from the turtles. Oh man, the idea of she eating the eggs makes me sad too, but that is nature.

    I'll do some braining around (and a bit of research) to see if I can come up with something love... sorry I can't help right away but this on is a toughy!

  3. that is a terrible problem! Puppies have a way of creating them...why not try a muzzle at would stop the turtle cruelty. Terriers are persistent and once they have the taste it could be tough to stop. Tabasco sauce on the tonque might be discouraging too. I know when a dog kills chicken sometimes people will tie the chicken around their neck for days to get the message across. It's catching him in the act and then giving consequences immediately...every time! are talking animal instinct here though and I don't know if that can be fixed....Big problemo!...good luck!

  4. Oh no... I have no words of wisdom, just commisseration - it's never easy when something we love will not stop hurting something else we love.

    Not run off at all - enjoying the stories, and trying to stay hip deep in Spring cleaning and sorting. I've thought often I wish I had a verbal 'reader' to let me graze my favorite people while keeping hands busy. :)

    Do let us know what you figure out regarding the turtles. :( Might this be a breed thing? Some little dogs just seem to be compelled to go after little critters.

  5. So sorry Linda, to hear about the turtles vs. doggie. I hate muzzles on a dog, especially in their own backyard. No answers here, either, as I have never had this situation(because never had turtles). First, call a vet and ask. I am sure there must be a solution! Keep your chin up, ducky!!

  6. wish I could help but I have no solution unless you could make a separate yard for the turtles. (haven't seen you around my place for awhile but I know how it gets).

  7. Hi Linda.
    I googled your problem. It seems the only answer on the internet is separation. I agree with Georgina - make some phone calls. There is ALWAYS a solution to any problem. Sorry about the turtles and the eggs. Sad. ):
    My niece works at a vet clinic. I'll check with her and let you know what she says.
    ♥ audrey

  8. Oh Linda, I am so sorry about this dilemma and wish so badly I had a solution for you. The only thing I can think of is maybe some type of pen in the yard and keep the turtles or the dog in there? Maybe then when the dog wants to get at them he will bark enough to alert your attention. I know this is not a cost friendly solution. I have to agree with the others. I'd call the vet and ask their advice.
    How could you ever scare people away? Impossible!
    And it is only natural that in your frustration to a very real problem you are not getting much help in, you would get on everyone. You can always sit them down and discuss it further on a calmer level. I'm sure they understand you are very hurt by this.

  9. Like most everyone else that's commented, I don't have a solution! I'm so sorry, I wish I did! I'm the girl who gets teary eyed over animal cruelty ads, I can't stand any creatures being injured or suffering. I too would have been deeply upset over the turtle nest incident and seeing a turtle bloodied in the Ellie's mouth. I so hope that you are able to find a resolution soon for your peace of mind and for the turtles!

  10. oh dear, I really feel for you. I would be horrified if I'd seen any animals hurt like that. There needs to be a way to train the dog, or at least keep her away from the turtles. She needs to learn it is not acceptable behavior. A few people here had reasonable suggestions, but I don't know enough about it to help. Don't feel bad at yourself for losing it last night, I would have done the exact same thing....
    I hope you find a solution fast.
    Oh and you didn't scare me away either, I've been so busy I haven't been reading up on my blogs lately
    have a blessed day

  11. You are dealing with a terrier and to hunt and kill small creatures is their nature. It has been bred into them.
    Mighty will sometimes kill a bird which I hate. I have been trying to find a muzzle to fit his little beezer but so far nothing.
    I'd say, either a muzzle or supervised walks.
    Good luck, you do have a problem.

  12. Like everyone else I have no idea of what you can do about the doggy/turtle problem. Just hearing about the problem is upsetting. You poor dear. You have an attachment to these little critters so it has to be terrible for you. I'll do some checking around and see if I can find something that might help you. As far as scaring anybody off with your story, I doubt it. I can hardly wait for the next installment.

  13. Linda I am so sorry for your little turtles and the pooch. I am like everyone else with no solutions. I wish I were the dog whisperer, I would know what to do then.

  14. Linda, check out this blog: and scroll down to her "catagories" section. She is a professional dog behaviourist and has written many books on the subject of dogs, dog training, dog behaviour, etc. Plus she seems like a really nice person. I have learned a lot about dog training by watching Cesar Milan tv program but even better is to watch Dog Town which is about the dogs in the famous Best Friends animal shelter in Utah. You can get both of these shows through Netflix. I can't give you any specifics regarding your problem but am sure that it can be dealt with but will likely take a lot of work to retrain your dog. I have a link to the above mentioned blog, The Other End of the Leash, on my blog. Always an interesting read regardless if you have problems or not. Don't despair, there is hope for you and your turtles and dogs. Your whole family will have to pitch in and help or at least learn the proper things to do when they interact with the dog. I feel badly for you and all this that has happened. If there is anything else I might be able to help you with, please ask. Good luck!

  15. Good Morning (a day late lol),
    I feel for you...i really do. I have a Florida Box Turtle that lives freely on my screen porch. I keep a bowl of food and a water area for him to play in. My Silkie Terrier, Benson, loves to flip him and it makes me so mad! He doesn't chew on him tho luckily. I like the bitter apply idea and it wont hurt your turtles to have that on their shells, but your terrior will hate the taste. Another thing you could try is lemon juice. Dogs hate the taste! Just put some in a spray bottle and coat your turtle shells with it. You might have to do it several times at first til terrier wont want to go anywhere near your turtles. I'm sorry this is going on, I would have freaked also finding a scene like that with the eggs. :( Good Luck and let us know what you come up with.

  16. Training devices:

    This is what we use on the cat when she uses inappropriate behavior.

    Of course, with both of these, you have to be around when Ellie Mae goes for the turtles.

    Could you spray/wipe the turtle shells with a cayenne pepper/water mixture?

  17. First of all I don't think you could scare any of us away. sorry to hear about your troubles with the turtles and the dog. I am not sure what to do. I agree to call the vet, they are probably going to say to separate them. I hope you get some answers soon. hope you have a great week. I will try to get around more, I have not been on here as much lately...not enough hours in the day for me it seems...we all go through this. hi to the kids. hugs to you my friend.

  18. Hi Linda.
    Me again. I FB'd my niece and explained your problem. Sorry, but her response was much the same as what you've already heard.

    "Dogs consider turtles as crunchy sushi and there really is no way to keep harmony. They should be separated. Bondo does really well for shell repair when used with a mesh skeleton."

    I would still check by making some phone calls. The spraying something unpleasant on the turtle shells sounds like a good idea to me. It's worth a try. Good luck, Linda. Please let us know how you eventually resolve this.

    ♥ audrey

  19. Linda, I had to come back. (: I asked my niece if it would help to spray something offensive to dogs, on the turtle shells. Although not the answer you want to hear, her response is humorous:

    "Would spraying something unpleasant keep me away from pizza? Hmmmmmm. Well, even if the pizza is too hot and burns the roof of my mouth, I still keep chewing, you know?"

    ♥ audrey

  20. I have no words of wisdom ... I wish I could just send Cesar Milan your way! ("Pssshht!") I hope you all can work it out, finding hurt/dead turtles would wreck me too. They are one of my favorite critters - except for the big nasty ol' snapping turtles who routinely chomp the legs off baby ducks :-(


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