Max’  Reeves turtles are now a year old so we went down to the pet shop, Emsworth Aquaria and Reptiles, where we bought them from for a bit a check up. Reefy and Sammy are now several times larger than when they were bought. As last week Reefy had climbed to the top of the tank wall using the foliage we were worried that he thought that he was a lizard or monkey, or trying to get away from Sammy.

The good news is that they were given a clean bill of health. In fact, Max was praised for looking after them so well; growing really well, clear eyes, good shells, good skin and no mucus coming around the mouth. The only slightly negative comment was that Sammy, who has grown to be the larger of the two, was described as ‘podgy’. As a result they need to be fed separately so that Sammy doesn’t eat more than his fair share.

Facebook improves customer service and satisfaction

Emsworth Aquaria and Reptiles is a fascinating shop with some really knowledgeable staff. They use Facebook in a great way. If you have any questions or issues you post them on their Facebook wall, along with any photos. They prefer you to do this rather than telephone. They respond really quickly, posting back replies on the wall and this gives the owners of pets (snakes, fish, reptiles) they have bought great confidence that there is someone to help.

But they do more than just sell pet food and turtles and fish. They breed and sell colour morph Royal Pythons. And by combining the different patterned python they can produce some remarkable designs, called morphs, such as the piebald. Some are valued at over £1,500.


Now listen carefully, it is important

So if you sell snakes, then you also need to stock and sell food for customers with snakes. One guy came in and the assistant opened up a freezer and got out 5 frozen white rates. I commented that this must be the weirdest contents of a freezer. She said they have 5 freezers full of large white rats, mice, 1 day old chicks and guinea pigs.

So Max asked “What do you feed guinea pigs to?” I didn’t hear the critical last word in the sentence and answered “Dandelion leaves and carrots” remembering the guinea pig we had as pets. The assistant looked at me strangely and said, “No, we feed the guinea pigs to large snakes”. One simple word – huge change in meaning.

A turtle is for life not for Christmas

Luckily Max is happy with his turtles and has no desire to own snakes, which is fortunate as Sammy and Reefy will live to 60 years old – provided they manage to survive life with Max at University!!!

The bad news is that Gabriella has decided she wants an albino axolotl. No chance.


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