When it comes to taking one’s pets for a walk, most people are sure to do the honors at least a few times a week — unless, of course, they live on a farm or a large plot of open space.
However, in Japan, space can be an issue, and that would explain why pensioner Mitani Hisao makes sure to take his pet, a giant tortoise, out for a slow and lethargic walk at least twice or three times a week.
The proud tortoise owner, funeral director Hisao, has owned the tortoise, named Bon-chan, for 19 long and loyal years now, and enjoys taking him out for walks on a regular basis.
As Hisao told reporters, regarding when he first laid eyes on the African spurred tortoise when it was a baby, “I never had any children, but 19 years ago my wife caught the eyes of this little tortoise and felt an instant bond with him. I couldn’t leave the store without it.”
That being said, Hisao and his wife, who never had any children together, decided to make the giant tortoise their pet, as Hisao explained, “But we had no idea he would become this big.”
Hisao added, when speaking about the strolls he and the tortoise enjoy together, “Bon-chan is the only one in the family that listens to me, so I confide in him all the time. I just say his name and he walks over to me. He knows all my dirty secrets – if he could talk, I would be in trouble.”
Regarding his weekly routine with Bon-chan, Hisao shared, “I take him out for walks two to three times a week, he loves these walks, he has a set route that takes us 1.5 hours. I’m pretty patient, but Bon-chan is actually not that slow. He knows the route by heart and is very strong-minded, so it is more me that follows him, than the other way around. We walk the neighborhood and we are pretty famous around here.”
To keep Bon-chan’s energy levels up when walking with him, Hisao explained that he brings food along for the journey, just in case, saying, “carrots, some cabbage, plastic bags to pick up his poop and a water bottle to wash away his urine from the pavement.”
[Image credit: scmp.com]