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to bury my son's former nursery key worker's tortoise in our garden?

(60 Posts)
OrdinaryGirl Sun 04-Sep-16 12:12:04

DS1 (nearly 3) had a particularly excellent key worker at his nursery, when I first returned to work following maternity leave after having him. She still babysits for him and he adores her.  Let's call her Ellie. 

When I collected DS1 on Friday, I got chatting to Ellie and she said she was sad because her tortoise had died. I expressed condolences and asked if she was going to have a little funeral. She said she didn't have a garden so couldn't bury him at home, and her mum (who has a garden) was on holiday, so she wasn't sure what to do for best. 

So. I offered to bury her tortoise. It felt like the right thing to do. We arranged for her to bring him round today. 

I get home, and explained the situation to DH, and he has put his foot down ('See this foot?...) saying he doesn't want our small garden to be a repository for other people's dead pets, where will it end etc. 

I said it was my garden too and anyway I had committed to doing it so he would have to lump it. 

He is now really miffed. I think this is mean and unfeeling towards Ellie. ION, the tortoise is being dropped off in the next half hour and I have to work out how to store it until I can dig a suitable grave.) He thinks IABU. 


abbsismyhero Sun 04-Sep-16 12:14:49

Is it definitely dead? They do hibernate

Unless she is wanting to visit the grave it will be no issue

Jizzomelette Sun 04-Sep-16 12:15:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FeelingSmurfy Sun 04-Sep-16 12:16:00

I think its a nice thing to do and it won't even be noticeable so it's not going to spoil the garden or anything

Make sure you dig deep so that cats don't dig it up or anything

An alternative could be to do it in a pot with a plant on top and keep it in your garden until she has one of her own and then she could take it? With her buying the pot and plant

PeachBellini123 Sun 04-Sep-16 12:16:25

What a bizarre situation! I think it was a nice thing for you to do offer to do. Surely a tortoise won't take up much room it's not like you're burying a human body..!

But I'm an animal lover so can understand why you'd offer to do something like this. I'm sure it meand a lot to her.

DerekSprechenZeDick Sun 04-Sep-16 12:16:34

I missed the word tortuous from the title and thought it was going to be totally different to what be just read grin

Also it's weird to offer up your garden as a cemetery 😂

Crispbutty Sun 04-Sep-16 12:18:46

check it isnt hibernating first

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sun 04-Sep-16 12:19:12

Is it definitely dead? I have looked after a shocking amount of tortoises that people have thought had died... it's prime time for hibernation now.

If it is, I think I'd go for the bury in a plant pot and look after the plant in your garden way, so she can take it home with her. I suspect she knows her mum won't want her to dig up the garden for a dead tortoise and that's why she hasn't done it. Tortoises can be a bit odd to bury... they smell and the shells tend to make a reappearance months down the line!

If you do, make sure it's a really decent, big hole, to minimise chances of it being dug up. Obviously that lessens chances that the tortoise could dig up if it was buried alive, so do make sure it's absolutely dead.

A vet could verify death and store the body until her mum is back, if she'd prefer.

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Sun 04-Sep-16 12:20:55

Maybe check she doesn't own a pony that will be wanting a plot next to his little mate?!

AlpacaPicnic Sun 04-Sep-16 12:31:18

I buried a friends rat (when he died obvs!) in our garden because she lived in a flat and had nowhere to put him. It was only a small hole under our bush, nobody would even know now. I think that's a very kind thing to offer.

AlpacaPicnic Sun 04-Sep-16 12:32:50

Oh, and my mum threw away my hamsters in the bin when they died when I was a kid and it felt horrible, I was so sad about them being treated as rubbish.

VioletBam Sun 04-Sep-16 12:33:01

"Where will it end?"


That's an odd way to think.

Tell him you're starting a pet cemetery and crematorium...and it WON'T EVER END!

OrdinaryGirl Sun 04-Sep-16 12:35:51

It's definitely dead. She got it checked by the vet. DH was muttering darkly about the possibility of there being a little tortoisy shrine, moving slowly across the garden...and then he got out the pumpkin carving tools confused

Do you think it's okay to keep it in the freezer temporarily?

Arfarfanarf Sun 04-Sep-16 12:36:39

Yes. Make absolutely sure! This is the time of year they hibernate isnt it? Alrhough from what i read hibernating them is something you have to do isnt it? I am not an expert but my neighbours have two and they actively hibernate them.
How old is it? How long has she had it?

OrdinaryGirl Sun 04-Sep-16 12:38:14

I love the idea of a plant pot! No idea how big tortoise is though, and am frantically making massive cake for DS1's 3rd birthday tea. Just cannot deal with this right now, but poor tortoise did not choose to die at inconvenient time. sad

Arfarfanarf Sun 04-Sep-16 12:38:29

Sorry. Xpost.

Bury it deep. It wont hurt anything.

She's not likely to want to visit and maintain the grave! She just feels like she needs a burial. I think you're being very kind.

OrdinaryGirl Sun 04-Sep-16 12:38:29

I love the idea of a plant pot! No idea how big tortoise is though, and am frantically making massive cake for DS1's 3rd birthday tea. Just cannot deal with this right now, but poor tortoise did not choose to die at inconvenient time. sad

QuimReaper Sun 04-Sep-16 12:45:22

I'm really hung over and everything about this thread, from the title to the bizarre reaction of the DH, has made me do big proper snorting laughs in Exeter train station grin

What on earth is going to be the impact on his life of having a dead tortoise buried in the garden?! And what on earth does he think's going to happen - Ellie's going to spread the word throughout town and you'll end up with hoards queuing up at your front door with coffins full of departed budgies?!

OrdinaryGirl Sun 04-Sep-16 12:46:04

(Why does MN app tell you your comment has failed to post so you do it again then it sneakily posts twice and makes you look trigger happy or VERY INSISTENT)

QuimReaper Sun 04-Sep-16 12:46:37

Pumpkin carving tools grin

STOP IT everyone is looking at me like I'm some kind of dangerous lunatic!

QuimReaper Sun 04-Sep-16 12:47:06

I haven't laughed this hard at a thread since the Mad Tablecloth Lady grin

ConkerTriumphant Sun 04-Sep-16 12:49:01

I want to know about the Mad Tablecloth Lady now !!

legotits Sun 04-Sep-16 12:49:33

Excellent thread.

BarbarianMum Sun 04-Sep-16 12:50:55

It is not the time of year that tortoises hibernate. They need a sustained temperature of under 10 degrees.

nellypledge16 Sun 04-Sep-16 12:52:06

When I was little I had a very angry, growly huge rabbit that lived for around 8 years. When he died my Dad dug a hole for him, laid it with straw, gently placed said rabbit on top of the straw...then promptly picked up a massive breeze block and dropped it on top of the rabbit!! When I wailed and cried he said 'well you don't want the dogs to dig it up do you, cos they will you know'!! My Dad has never been known for tact and sympathy grin

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