Shirley immediately accepted him in our home. Which was funny, because she's scared of little aquatic turtles.The Tortoise and the Chug -- as Jill calls them on Instagram -- now live an almost comically fantastic life together. This being Los Angeles, and their mom being an actress, they of course sometimes have celebrity encounters with the likes of Teri Hatcher. On top of their regular Starbucks jaunts, they also go to the beach and take car rides (though only Stanley will abide being strapped into a car seat). The critters also pay visits to various local eateries, like one restaurant that Stanley likes to march right on into, because the proprietors will always feed him some lettuce. Jill -- a Wisconsin native -- dresses them up in matching "Cheesehead" costumes in honor of her beloved Green Bay Packers. And one time, Shirley and Stanley delivered balloons to Jill's best friend at work. "Shirley and Stanley surprised him at his office. Stanley slowly delivered some balloons," she says. Naturally, wherever they go, the dog and the tortoise -- particularly the tortoise -- draw a lot of attention. People have questions, they have cameras that get pulled out. Jill uses the opportunity, as often as possible, to extoll the virtues of pet adoption. "Especially in LA where the shelters are absolutely overrun with animals looking for forever homes," she says. Jill also tries to educate about tortoises: their big personalities, their funny quirks, their longevity, their friendliness. And how even pet California Desert Tortoises may hibernate for many months of the year. Yes, for months at a time, Stanley is not at Starbucks or the beach, or hobnobbing with television stars, but lying still on a dog bed while life goes on around him. Which gives Shirley, who loves Stanley but also loves attention, some chance to take the limelight for herself. "He'll shift a little in his bed once in a while, but otherwise, he's out," says Jill. "Shirley enjoys this time when it's all about her again."
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All images via Jill Lover/The Tortoise And The Chug