Winnie the Box Turtle
Knowing of Steve's deep affection for all turtles, Susan and a friend Peter bought Steve a box turtle that we named Winnie for Steve's 27th birthday. While we didn't know it at the time, we now suspect that the turtle was captured from the wild, since she was a mature female with a scarred shell.
Winnie lived with us for 16 years. She became a constant but subtle presence in our lives, with her lovely brown eyes and beautiful shell. She would take earthworms right from Steve's hand, with the worm wrapping itself around her nose in a futile attempt to escape her strong claws and jaw. She also liked to eat the occasional piece of mango or strawberry.
In June of 2000, Winnie went off her food and started to get very listless. After a few days, we took her to the vet, and the prognosis was very poor. X-rays showed that Winnie's lungs were full of fluid, and she was severely anemic. The vet suspected either an infection, or, more ominously, heart or kidney failure. After six weeks of medical intervention (that included antibiotic and vitamin shots, along with shots of EPO), Winnie finally died.
After Winnie's death, we both felt an emptiness in our lives. We would look at her tank, expecting to see her looking back at us. We decided that we would wait a couple of months and then acquire another box turtle. But then we came upon Basil and the rest is history.