Good Bad Bug Dog

A dog's gotta do what a dog's gotta do

Not all ranch work is done outside the casa….and there is no rest for the weary! Sky, our fearless Australian Shepherd has a new job. I think that she has been alerted to potential danger because she has heard my blood curdling screams…..sometimes in the middle of the night. I love all creatures (just ask my Mom)….but there are some creepy crawlies that give me the creeps! Last night, Sky looked at me and was staring at something under the table. I am surprised that she did not put her paws over her ears when she saw me looking at the scorpion that she had spotted. Thank you, Sky for being such a great watch dog!



  1. She is a VERY good dog…she loves to protect and defend you from all things bad!

  2. Hi there,

    I found your site while looking up info on Sulcata Torts and whether they should eat red peppers. You have a really wonderful blog!

    We live in AZ and our Cocker Spaniel, Molly had a special bark when ever she saw a scorpion. She was the best ever at warning us. When she passed away, I never thought we would have another animal who could alert us like she did. But we have a kitty named Matti who is always on the alert.

    8 weeks ago, we got a sulcata tortoise (Elliot) who is 2 years old from a teacher who had him in his classroom. She told us he was a desert tortiose but I kept thinking his legs didn’t look like a desert tortoise. I sent photos to the sulcata station folks and they confirmed he’s a sulcata. Imagine my shocked when I found more about the breed and their size!! Thankfully we are on an acre so we have the room.

    This is Elliot’s first time living outside and has dug a couple of unproductive holes. We built a shelter for him but he prefers to sleep under the rosmary bush. It has been really hot here and he sleeps at under the front overhang at our glass door. We’ve brought him in a few times during the day when it has been over 105. Hopefully we are doing the right things for him. You can see Elliot on our blog:



    • Hi Cindy!
      I am glad you found the blog! Sulcata Station is the best source that I have found for tortoise care. Eddie has a dogloo that we call his man cave. He has dug pretty deep under it. We brought him into an insulated room with a space heater a few times, when it was cold and wet. One thing that you really need to be aware of is that they will try to escape. especially, in the Spring. Eddie’s pen has field wire that is buried 15 inches and he has not escaped since we have done that! He was missing for four days a few years back. We have a friend who has raised quite a few tortoises as well as many other reptiles and birds. He has given us good advice. He gives his Sulcatas calcium supplements. Their shell (plastron) can get a pyramid shape if they are not fed properly. Eddie grazes on coastal bermuda grass. We feed him romaine lettuce, cucumbers and bell peppers. He also loves spineless cactus. He is fascinated with red toenail polish and will follow the toes around. He lives up to him name Fast Eddie. One day fire ants were on his neck, poor baby….he was racing around the yard.
      I loved hearing about your Cocker Spaniel and your kitty. Animals are amazing! My blog has a story about our Golden Retriever, Sunny. I still can hardly believe it, but she rescued our wild bunny rabbit that got out of his pen. She could easily have killed it, like all the gophers and squirrels she caught, but it is like she knew the bunny was a pet…..

  3. I read your post about Eddie gone missing…Yikes! Currently Elliot is in our fenced courtyard so he cannot escape. As he gets larger, he’ll need to move to the back yard but I’m worried because we back up to a wash and just this week I saw a large cyote standing in the back yard and this morning I saw a roadrunner. We also have a red-tail hawk that hangs out on our fence.

    We are in the process of moving our letterpress shop and papermaking studio to a building that was a former pre-school so I’ll take Elliot with me during the day since there is a large grass yard.(we have desert landscaping and are trying to figure out where we can plant grass for Elliot). My husband thought I was nuts taking the 2 cats to the studio with me and now even crazier taking the tortoise. The cats are good travelers and good studio kitties although they are paper chewers and I have to keep an eye on them.

    Your Fast Eddie has a great shell! Our Elliot came to us with slight pyramiding of his shell. I’ve been following the diet guidelines but I think the school he was gave him too much fruit. I got a bale of bermuda grass hay and Elliot does not like it–won’t even walk on it let alone eat it. But from what I was reading, it seems like they don’t like dry hay until they are older. I’ve been soaking him a few times a week in a rubbermaid tub which he seems to like since it is so hot. He won’t go near the large terra cotta dish we leave out for him to soak himself!

    Oh and your Golden Sunny, what a jewel!

    • I think that field greens, romaine lettuce, cucumbers and bell peppers should be good for him.Some spineless cactus would be good, too. Getting vitamin D from the sun should help keep him healthy! The sulcata station web-site can answer any questions, also, but it sounds like you are doing all the right things! Fast Eddie likes to drink out of the hose and sit under the sprinkler.

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