When I was a teenager, hiking in South Mountain Park, I came across a shell of a desert tortoise. I felt sad the reptile didn't make it, but moved along. Then in 2017 I was hiking Picacho Peak with my cousin. As we descended the spire, and got past the crowds at the saddle, we saw a wild desert tortoise slowly making its way across the rocky terrain to munch on some wildflowers and grasses growing on the hillside. The reptile was fascinating to watch.
My cousin and her family adopted a desert tortoise several years ago, and now they needed to re-home their beloved pet. They asked if we'd like to take her and we agreed. We took a Saturday morning to construct a burrow for her. She explored the entire yard and kept coming back to the kids to walk across their legs, and grab the fresh vegetables they were offering.
Sheba has been an only dog for a while (much to my dismay, because I'd have 4 dogs if I could!) She is curious about Harley, but keeps her distance. At first she was trying to smell her rear end as if the tortoise was another dog! Harley likes to do her own thing and created a three-room hideout under an overgrown rosemary bush. The bermuda grass that has taken over a corner of the yard finally has some competition now that the tortoise can wander around and nibble on the chutes.
Welcome to the family, Harley. You are adorable and friendly and the kids absolutely love you.