|Don't be afraid, little one|
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Calli the Wonderschnauzer spotted this lovely red eared slider first, and insisted on gently sniffing her while the somewhat fearful reptile waited out the relatively giant dog from the security of her shell. We quickly named her Theodora.
After a few motionless moments, Theodora came out of her shell and warmed up to her Schnu protector.
Soon enough, it was time to turn for home, and Theodora decided, as turtles do, to wander into the adjacent grass. The problem was what lay a meter or so beyond that grass: four lanes of high-speed traffic.
My gut told me I couldn’t just leave her there. Calli apparently agreed, standing between Theo and the road, whimpering as she looked straight at me.
So after a minute of agonizing to myself and our empathetic pup beside the whizzing cars, I carefully picked Theodora up and talked soothingly to her as we walked back to the forest pathway a couple of hundred meters away.
We wandered well down into the valley and found a quiet spot beside the creek. I put her down in the grass, and Calli stood watch over her as she came out of her shell and slowly made her way into the water.
Last we saw, she was happily swimming under the grasses that line this idyllic stretch of the forest.
I second-guessed myself all the way home, wondering if it was the right thing to do to move a turtle away from where we had found her. In the end, I just couldn’t imagine her being so close to danger.
I was touched by how gentle this usually bonkers dog had been. She seemed to hover over her new shelled friend, not entirely certain what to make of her, but also making sure she was safe and secure.
Someone earned a few extra treats as we turned for home. Whether she dreams of blue turtles during her next nap remains to be seen.
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