According to legend, in the early 2000s, a lone tortoise known only as the "fantomnaya obolochka" " prowled the streets of Saint Petersburg night after night, setting the wrong right, and bringing evildoers to justice; an outlaw hunting outlaws...a bounty hunter. Until one day, in exchange for a coordinated ceasefire among the underground amphibious mob-bosses and the local authorities, he vowed to leave Russia and never return. Using reward money he'd received from the government for the recovery of previously stolen spacecraft parts from Zond 5 , he boarded a ship to America. Landing in New York, he settled south to Virginia just outside of D.C. There, he learned the value of civil discourse and the American way, but years of political disappointment left him jaded and misanthropic. In 2002, he traveled north to Vermont where he soon became enamored with the music of Phish. Naturally, when the group disbanded in 2004, he was devasted, and, while pining and eating several pints of local ice cream, he told his fellow Phishheads: "I will carry on their legacy: I will legally change my name to Phish". And so it was that, after a minor incident involving a trademark infringement claim, this once-nameless tortoise became Fish. That's what happened; he was definitely not just randomly named "Fish" .
Douglas and Merrick
Adopted: 2008, 2009 (Merrick ? - 2013)
Christmas 2008, Raquel, my then-girlfriend, got me Douglas as a gift; at the time, I didn't even know how much I was missing a Russian tourtoise in my life! A short while later, in 2009, Merrick, also a Russian tortoise was left on the doorstep of a petshop in a box with a can of catfood that they had apparently been feeding him (Note: tortoises are not cats). Merrick almost died, but, thankfully, pulled through; we think Merrick was wildcaught. After Merrick recovered, he and Douglas, who had been sharing a living space (a bookshelf turned on its side), began fighting eachother, so my friend Eddie and I designed a two-story Tortoise habitat (shown in this video ).