Well, actually a little longer than that, since I got my very first turtle - who is now, sadly, no longer among us - in the summer of 2005. But as far as the current residents are concerned, this is a noteworthy day.
Today it's been five years since I got Raphael. I met him for the first time, and brought him home, on April 20th, 2006. That's pretty crazy. I can hardly believe it's five years ago. Almost half his life. :-) Here he is on their first outing this year, two days ago.
I've had the little guys for about the same length of time. I totally forgot that it was Herman's fifth anniversary with me this spring too. Shame on me. :-) I got him five years ago on March 4th. I remember that so vividly. My little fellow. :-)
Henrik's been here five years on ... I want to say July 12th. Thereabouts. That little clawbreaker ... ! :-D
The first time I met Raphael he wanted nothing to do with me. I tried holding him, but he wriggled free every time and hurried over to his then owner and climbed up on her lap instead. When he came here to live with me it took him a really long time to get used to his new surroundings, and to feel comfortable with me. It's gone up and down since then ... a few times when I've been away on longer trips, he's kind of forgotten about me and we've had to start over, so to speak. This winter I've been really working on socializing him, and I think I've succeeded a little too well. I may have damaged him a little mentally and emotionally. :-) He's rather obsessed with me now, he follows me around if he gets the chance and wants nothing more than to climb on me and get as close as he possibly can. Ideally as close as this, all the time. Click to enlarge.
It's not entirely normal ... like for instance, showing him things has gotten to be really impossible now. If I'm holding him I can't get him interested in anything, almost. It only works if it's something edible that he likes. Other than that, usually no. He used to show much more interest in objects that I showed him, he would sniff at them, maybe touch them, sometimes even try to bite at them. But not anymore. Now he just wants to look at me. :-D Seriously - he'll squirm around any which way to try to look at my face instead of whatever else I'm trying to get him interested in. It's weird. I've always noticed how these animals are so aware of it whenever they're getting human attention. Which makes sense, since captive turtles get their food from humans; they benefit from being aware of some basics of our behavior. But Raphael's really taking it to extremes. I've always said that he's a little weirdo, but now he's living up to that, big time. I literally can't go into the guest room - his room :-) - without him practically throwing himself out of the pond* and running after me. Twolegs twolegs twolegs!! Look at me twolegs!! I'm here twolegs!! Looklooklookatme!!
I'm really glad turtles don't have vocal chords.
*That is, if he's even in the pond, and not waiting just inside the door as he has gotten into the habit of doing pretty much every single day when I get home. o_O