She brings it home, because tortoises of any description do not belong wandering down the center of the road in a residential neighborhood. And she puts it in a shady corner of the garden with some lettuce, thinking it will snack and then burrow in to hibernate. This being what tortoises do in winter.
Well, today she found it wandering around the garden again--it was on our front step--and she decides to get my father-in-law to dig it a burrow, since it's obviously too verklempt to undertake the process itself.
So my husband wanders in and says, "My dad's digging a grave for a tortoise."
And I say "Oh, the tortoise turned up again? I've never seen one of those."
And he says, "Well, it's not burrowed in yet, come look."
So I wander over there, and I'm looking at this thing, and I'm noticing it has yellow stripes on its belly, and a flat-arched shell rather than a domed one.... and a pointed nose with nostrils at the tip instead of a kind of rounded one... (At one point in my herptile-keeping career, I had a baby Eastern Painted Turtle for about six months before I re-released him.)
And I say, "I don't think that's a tortoise, guys."
So Kit googles around while I wash the mud off the tortoise/turtle. And I discover that it has webbed feet and orange stripes on his head, and that it much prefers the bathtub to the garden.... And it's doing that water-turtle thing where it just sticks its eyes and nostrils out of the water....
And finally, he goes "That's a red-eared slider."
What an aquatic turtle the size of a dinner plate is doing in the middle of a residential street in Las Vegas is anybody's guess. But he's now ensconced in a sixty-gallon tank in the bedroom with a pile of gravel and four inches of water, until we decide what to do with him. We're trying to decide whether to keep him, donate him to the school, or find out where the closest population is so we can release him. He likes salad, though *g*
He was well on his way to being entombed alive... and the dogs are *fascinated.*