Snowbirding with a a sulcata

KauaiKai

New Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
1
Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix, AZ
My wife and I currently live in Phoenix, AZ with our 10 year old 80 pound sulcata Bowser. Bowser lives in the backyard, he has a heated house for when it gets cold and has dug himself a burrow for when it is too hot out. There's also about 500 square feet of grass growing back there which is his primary food source.

My wife and I are considering becoming snowbirds, living in Phoenix from October to March and in the North East from April to September. We both have jobs that can be done from home and neither of our employees cares where we do it from.

We are trying to figure out what the best thing to do with Bowser is.

1) Fly him with us when we travel to and from Phoenix twice a year. We'll have to get a crate and find an airline that will take him. I can see how this flight, as well as going to the airport and driving to the new place, could be stressful for him.
2) Drive him to and from Phoenix twice a year. I have a truck with a cap that can turn the bed of the truck into a small living space. I would put him back there with some food and water and check on him as I make the drive. I think this would be less stressful but he would be cooped up for several days.
3) Leave him in Phoenix. We plan on keeping the house we currently live in. We could just leave him in the backyard, it's not like he's a needy tortoise who needs human companionship. He's my buddy and I do hang out with him in the backyard but I have a landscaper who takes care of the backyard and could make sure the grass is growing properly and friends who could come by sometimes to check on him. He would probably prefer the Phoenix summers to the Northeast summers.
4) Don't move. What's not an option is giving him up. He's our tortoise and we're not going to take him to a rescue or give him to someone else. While we would love to come up with a solution that makes everyone happy we're not going to get rid of him.

I'm curious what other people's thoughts on this are.

Thanks for the help!
 

wellington

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The best is not moving.
Second best leave him in AZ and have someone look in on him daily. He would need fresh water daily.

You could also set cameras up so you could see him in every spot of the yard.
If you have to take him with drive.
 

Tom

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My wife and I currently live in Phoenix, AZ with our 10 year old 80 pound sulcata Bowser. Bowser lives in the backyard, he has a heated house for when it gets cold and has dug himself a burrow for when it is too hot out. There's also about 500 square feet of grass growing back there which is his primary food source.

My wife and I are considering becoming snowbirds, living in Phoenix from October to March and in the North East from April to September. We both have jobs that can be done from home and neither of our employees cares where we do it from.

We are trying to figure out what the best thing to do with Bowser is.

1) Fly him with us when we travel to and from Phoenix twice a year. We'll have to get a crate and find an airline that will take him. I can see how this flight, as well as going to the airport and driving to the new place, could be stressful for him.
2) Drive him to and from Phoenix twice a year. I have a truck with a cap that can turn the bed of the truck into a small living space. I would put him back there with some food and water and check on him as I make the drive. I think this would be less stressful but he would be cooped up for several days.
3) Leave him in Phoenix. We plan on keeping the house we currently live in. We could just leave him in the backyard, it's not like he's a needy tortoise who needs human companionship. He's my buddy and I do hang out with him in the backyard but I have a landscaper who takes care of the backyard and could make sure the grass is growing properly and friends who could come by sometimes to check on him. He would probably prefer the Phoenix summers to the Northeast summers.
4) Don't move. What's not an option is giving him up. He's our tortoise and we're not going to take him to a rescue or give him to someone else. While we would love to come up with a solution that makes everyone happy we're not going to get rid of him.

I'm curious what other people's thoughts on this are.

Thanks for the help!
Best if the tortoise stays where he is. Someone will have to look in on him and care for him regularly, refill the water, make sure the sprinklers are keeping the grass growing, etc...
 

Jan A

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Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
880
Location (City and/or State)
Boulder, CO
My wife and I currently live in Phoenix, AZ with our 10 year old 80 pound sulcata Bowser. Bowser lives in the backyard, he has a heated house for when it gets cold and has dug himself a burrow for when it is too hot out. There's also about 500 square feet of grass growing back there which is his primary food source.

My wife and I are considering becoming snowbirds, living in Phoenix from October to March and in the North East from April to September. We both have jobs that can be done from home and neither of our employees cares where we do it from.

We are trying to figure out what the best thing to do with Bowser is.

1) Fly him with us when we travel to and from Phoenix twice a year. We'll have to get a crate and find an airline that will take him. I can see how this flight, as well as going to the airport and driving to the new place, could be stressful for him.
2) Drive him to and from Phoenix twice a year. I have a truck with a cap that can turn the bed of the truck into a small living space. I would put him back there with some food and water and check on him as I make the drive. I think this would be less stressful but he would be cooped up for several days.
3) Leave him in Phoenix. We plan on keeping the house we currently live in. We could just leave him in the backyard, it's not like he's a needy tortoise who needs human companionship. He's my buddy and I do hang out with him in the backyard but I have a landscaper who takes care of the backyard and could make sure the grass is growing properly and friends who could come by sometimes to check on him. He would probably prefer the Phoenix summers to the Northeast summers.
4) Don't move. What's not an option is giving him up. He's our tortoise and we're not going to take him to a rescue or give him to someone else. While we would love to come up with a solution that makes everyone happy we're not going to get rid of him.

I'm curious what other people's thoughts on this are.

Thanks for the help!
Oh the joys of pets!! I've spent a lot of time with cats at Lake Powell in 110 degrees in summers. Had a cat that enjoyed spending, insisting being outside in the heat of the day while we went boating & returned later that night. I don't think I'd leave my tort without someone who could tend or keep an eye on it. The right violent storm is enough to scare the bejesus out of the most stablest of animals. I like to think my cats like vacationing with us in the 5th wheel, but....
 

JackieJax

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Oct 20, 2020
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Grand Terrace
I understand this struggle. I've asked a similar question before because my husband and I have to move to Utah temporarily from Southern California for 5 years. Because I'm serious about all of my promises I make to any life buddy (all pets) giving him up was not an option. I've never given up on a cat, dog, fish and I have no intention of doing it to a reptile.

So because I'm ridiculous, what I ended up doing was taking another job in California that stated I could working remotely, but come in once a month to check in. I have a friend that offered to watch Tortimer during the years I'll be gone and I'll send them food/money and the once a month I have to check into the office, I will go visit him, clean out his night box, do any maintenance or repairs my friends need to their backyard. I originally wanted to bring him with us and build him a herpetarium because I have the means to do so, but I got a lot of hate for the idea in the forum and was lucky enough to have friends that offered their backyard. :) Overall it'll be more expensive but at least he won't have to go through the stress of moving long distance twice
 

Jan A

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Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
880
Location (City and/or State)
Boulder, CO
I understand this struggle. I've asked a similar question before because my husband and I have to move to Utah temporarily from Southern California for 5 years. Because I'm serious about all of my promises I make to any life buddy (all pets) giving him up was not an option. I've never given up on a cat, dog, fish and I have no intention of doing it to a reptile.

So because I'm ridiculous, what I ended up doing was taking another job in California that stated I could working remotely, but come in once a month to check in. I have a friend that offered to watch Tortimer during the years I'll be gone and I'll send them food/money and the once a month I have to check into the office, I will go visit him, clean out his night box, do any maintenance or repairs my friends need to their backyard. I originally wanted to bring him with us and build him a herpetarium because I have the means to do so, but I got a lot of hate for the idea in the forum and was lucky enough to have friends that offered their backyard. :) Overall it'll be more expensive but at least he won't have to go through the stress of moving long distance twice
I think you're commendable in trying to do the best you could for your tort & that's definitely reflected in your resolution of the problem. We take our cats with us when we go rving. I will likely face the same problem if I get a tort. A big hug for you!
 
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