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Discussion in 'Tortoise FAQs - New and need help?' started by drew54, Oct 16, 2018.

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  1. drew54

    drew54 Well-Known Member

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    I hope I'm not stepping on toes here, but I just wanted to share my thoughts to everyone new to the forum wanting help as well as those who don't need help. I'm a new member and a first time tortoise owner. I've been following this forum for about a year now. I read and read and read and still continue to read every bit of info I can. That's because I want to make sure my little guy has the best I can possibly give him. I debated for months and months going back and forth on whether or not I should get a tortoise especially a large species. This was primarily due to all the conflicting information o read outside this forum and within this forum. What I mean by that last part is that there are a few members that I know of who are exhibits and who do their husbandry with very different techniques and ideas both with great results due to many many years of research etc. I bring this up because I have heard a million times that I shouldn't get one because I live in Indiana and the weather is rather unpredictable and harsh in the winter. This had caused all the internal battling that I had, but with the help of this forum I had made my decision and at that moment I became committed, responsible, and obligated for the hatchlings life before I even got one. As I stated above I had been researching and reading for almost a year. I'm not an expert by any men's nor will I ever claim to be. All, the knowledge I gained us been from all the members of this forum and their experiences. Well, good for you Drew. I'm happy for you.

    The purpose of this post is to share my thoughts about people being new to the forum, tortoise/turtle husbandry, or whatever your case is. So, let's get to it. I have read many threads, countless threads, where new people have gotten on here and have wanted help. Nothing that isn't new; however, a lot of what I read is new people getting offended by the excited and very experienced members of this forum. One thread that pops out the most is that this member has posted some inquiries about placing a mirror in his enclosure and wanted everyone's thoughts in accordance to the info he had provided. In short, an expert gave some inights and thoughts into the matter. The OP gets very upset and responds by lashing out at the expert.
    This is just one example of the many times me purple have taken offense to sound advice.

    So, my thoughts now. If you're new seeking help, advice, etc please take a few things in consideration on this forum.

    1. There are EXPERTS on this forum. These people will help you and answer all your questions; however, for the sake of the animal they may respond in ways tat may seem harsh or in ways that may seem as though they are attacking you.

    I assure you that they are not. Lol at it this way. If you were a doctor working on a patient and an intern comes in and requests information on how to care for the patient in whatever condition and you as the doctor understand the lack of experience and the value of the patients life you most likely will give the intern the information in a very precise, adamant, and assertive way. The intern may not agree or like how he/she received the information and may possibly feel attacked, but that intern needs to understand that no matter what the doctors goal is to make sure that the patient gets the best care with the most updated and correct information as possible.

    Keep in mind that when coming here or anywhere for that matter and asking for help on the care of a living creature tat three person helping you has only the best intentions and most of all the understanding of the importance of your little guys health in giving you the help you have sought out here.

    So, don't take their responses personally. That's one ignorant and two taking away from the important issue at hand. Your little guy!

    2. If you got an issue with a response from a member I would suggest messaging them politely and let them know "Hey, your reply/post seemed to be somewhat aggressive towards me. (Or however you perceive it)." And work it out tat way instead of lashing out through posts. Or contact a moderator.

    3. Debate if you must, but why argue with an expert. I love a good debate and I'm willing to do it constructively. Both sides are more likely to learn from each other of respect and integrity is intact . Everyone, I this forum regardless of experience still learns from each other. So, don't have to like every ounce of feedback, advice, etc. And if you find something you don't agree with, like, or whatever that's fine. You don't have to But again there are extremely experienced people on this forum who do not have to take the time to share their knowledge or help us. They do this because they care about the animal and the people taking care of them. So, keep the respect for these members, yourself, and your little guy.

    Just some insight for everyone.
  2. spoilers

    spoilers Member

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    Couldn't have put it better myself, I've used the forum for a few years now off and on (rescue passed away a few years ago and I just recently rescued another) and have noticed the same thing. I am also by no means and expert but i still try to help answer questions when i can. When experts correct me or tell me im in the wrong, i know they know what they are talking about and I do what I can to understand what I did wrong and fix the problem. I've learned so much from these guys and still have so much more to learn not only from the AMAZING people on this forum but from my tortoise himself! He never fails to surprise me.
  3. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    I think a lot of people come here expecting people to tell them what they want to hear.
  4. spoilers

    spoilers Member

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    Oh yeah, for sure. When i first got a tort i had seen videos of how people let them roam in the house and thought that would be so cool, after later doing research and joining the forum, I'm glad i never did because although it is debatable, if you don't meet super important requirements it can be a death sentence for a tort. I was bummed to hear it but i knew keeping my tort in an enclosure was best for him and that's way more important than my wants. New people tend to project their wants into a tort's needs and that's when things get ugly.
  5. drew54

    drew54 Well-Known Member

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    It reminds me of kids. I primarily work with children of all ages and one thing I have noticed is that kids will argue with their parents right after asking for help. Primarily, because the lack of respect and ignorance. If a or member does chew me out for something I understand that I royally messed up aNd I need to correct it. Their years of experience Outweighs my 3 weeks of experience.
  6. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I'm not sure if any member here considers themselves to be an EXPERT. I certainly do not. Nor am I.
    Though some have a great wealth of knowledge from a vast experience. Many do actually.
    Myself. After about 32ish years of having/keeping RF tortoises, I find that I still learn things on a regular basis or have to rethink something because of a new experience or a suggestion by others.
    I am one of the members that are guilty of sounding like I'm being rude at times. I never mean to sound that way. But it happens after I reply to most commonly asked questions or issues that need a fast reply. I have unfortunately chased away at least one member. And I actually quite liked them.
    It is true that quite a lot of new members are seeking affirmation that what they are doing is correct and dislike being told that they are not. (Especially after these poor folks have spent a lot of time and money on crap they can't ever use.) I get it.
    A lot of new keepers think that keeping tortoises require little more than a small fishtank and lightbulb. Never knowing beforehand how many things need to be done. Very often that person has limited money to purchase everything that they need. And many times other members offer to donate things.
    Sometimes someone will join with an animal already near death. And we can not help.
    Worse yet are the people who have kept tortoises for a long period of time and join the forum with photos of horribly deformed or ill animals. We attempt to help them....But they assume that they already know better than we do simply because they haven't yet managed to kill the tortoise. So they simply MUST be doing everything ok.
    This forum is more like a family. It's a group of friends and strangers that all have one want. And that is to better the care of turtles and tortoises for those animals welfare. And that often means an easier life for the keeper.
    That is if you can take the initial well meant criticism;)
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  7. drew54

    drew54 Well-Known Member

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    You're very correct on all points. I do know that I value this community and the people involved. I may have only been a member abd tortoise owner for about 3 weeks, but I've been on this forum for about a year just reading threads and absorbing information. I like to think in that time I have looked at all members as not just a knowledge base, but as potential friends. The fact that I see the bond created and being created through members is a really cool thing to witness and which was one reason I hovered over this forum for so long. Granted, that gives me a huge advantage over the people who join just for answers.
  8. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    So totally true! I love getting verification that I'm doing ok. I also love a constructive lecture or warning. After all, we can always learn something new to make a better life for our animal. That's why I keep reading. I hate learning after it's too late for prevention.
  9. spoilers

    spoilers Member

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    Anyone who has kept multiple tortoises for over 30 yrs is an expert in my book! I'll definitely be coming to you if i ever have some big questions about my RF that haven't already been answered.
  10. Kapidolo Farms

    Kapidolo Farms Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I agree and it makes a certain amount of sense that people do this. Someone 'learns' something, and then they want to test the response here to see if we all got it right. But like that stupid everywhere quote from the 70's "Question Authority", most people don't have the listening skills to see if the collective TFO we is answering well. There are two reasons to ask a question, 1) to get an answer and 2) to validate the quality of the answer'er. Most folks seem to fail at '2'.

    Fortunately the OP here @drew54 has that second skill. Yeah for Drew54!
  11. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    I want to say how much I love the tortoise forum. I'm so glad I finally found a place to get real information and experiences from people that actually have a tortoise friend. And that's what a tortoise really is. If a tortoise actually interacts with you, even if the darling is telling you what he/she wants...it's the most wonderful compliment ever. They talk...
  12. drew54

    drew54 Well-Known Member

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    I have to say that it is really cool to be apart of a very unique community and to learn from a whole new group of people and to have the opportunity to be able to have such a unique little guy to take care of because of the years of hard work, patience, passion, and dedication of so many. Thank you all!
  13. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I've made lots of friends and a few enemies along the way, but I have learned a TON of new stuff from the membership of this forum. People all over the world are better tortoise keepers because of the members of this forum and I've been so fortunate to be able to learn from all these people too. My tortoise keeping skills have improved immeasurably since finding this forum and conversing with everyone over all these years.

    We get human personalities that cover the whole spectrum here, and it sure keeps things interesting. Thank you Drew for sharing your thoughts on the matter. It made me reflect upon my years here and all the keyboards I've worn out from typing. So many great conversations and good times.
  14. T Smart

    T Smart Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    It's the best! There are lots of very passionate individuals out there. I'm learning everyday, and throwing in advice when I can. Simply reading the various post out there is very satisfying for me.

    Regards the the original post; I feel honesty is the best policy. Everyone here is trying to help, and for the most part is honest about advice. No sugar coating, but straight to the point. It's another reason why this forum is great.
  15. Mizcreant

    Mizcreant Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    I concur 100%
    Pastel Tortie and drew54 like this.
  16. drew54

    drew54 Well-Known Member

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    I can only imagine how many keyboards you have burnt through on here. I have read many of your threads new and old. I have to say that I enjoy your straight forwardness and many of your responses to ignorance has made me laugh many times, but i learned some things also. I'm impressed to see long time members such as yourself still active and making a difference in all these animals and owner's lives. That is truly amazing sir.

    I look forward to my continuing efforts to become a great tortoise owner and a knowledgeable owner through everyone's help. I also, look forward to all the friendships that are all right around the corner! Thank you everyone for making a difference!
  17. drew54

    drew54 Well-Known Member

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    Out of all the places that i have been this by far has the best atmosphere and knowledge base out there. I agree with you completely.
  18. LaLaP

    LaLaP Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I've learned so much here and I'm so impressed with how giving people are with their time. You guys answer the same questions over and over and usually with lots of kindness and warmth. After learning so much from you guys I've wanted to respond to new members to answer the easy questions just to give back a bit and free you guys up to answer the tough questions. I really appreciate all of you!
  19. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    [QUOTE="LaLaP, post: 1669509.. . . You guys answer the same questions over and over and usually with lots of kindness and warmth. . . [/QUOTE]

    I'm trying to turn the "Tortoise FAQs -New and Need Help" section into a place we can refer those "same questions over and over" to so that we don't have members getting tired of answering them.
  20. drew54

    drew54 Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying to turn the "Tortoise FAQs -New and Need Help" section into a place we can refer those "same questions over and over" to so that we don't have members getting tired of answering them.[/QUOTE]
    It wouldn't bother me to answer the same questions over and over if the people asking them understood a few points mentioned. I work with kids so I am answering the same questions all day long lol but I also know as a newbie owner I still have tons of questions and know matter how much you read it isn't the same as experiencing it. I think what you're doing will benefit both sides. Only if there was a way to calm "new hatchling syndrome" as I line to call it. I know being a new owner I've been freaking out, reading, asking questions, reading, freaking out, and so on. This obviously is due to being new and not knowing and witnessing tortoise behavior before. So, what's right and what's wrong is still left for me to discover and no matter how much I read is not the same as experiencing it. That's not t sry that I don't keep all the info in my mind and utilize it. What if there were a video care sheet section? I think the visuals would help any member for that. Time would be a huge factor, but what are your thoughts?
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