My granddaughter wanted her own pet in addition to the four dogs that the family already had. So my daughter and granddaughter went to the pet store and came back home to everyone's surprise, with a red footed tortoise. Pet tortoises should be purchased as captive bred from a reliable breeder to protect the wild populations and to avoid internal parasites. Zoe promptly named the tortoise Shelley, thinking that she had a girl tortoise. However on closer inspection, it turned out that Shelley was indeed a little boy tortoise.
My son-in-law built Shelley a lovely pen in the backyard with a little lean-to for shelter and Shelley had a new home. But as Shelley grew larger, it became obvious, that he was not really a loner tortoise because he watched everyone who came near his home. He particularly became attached to my daughter and, when he was out in the yard and she called his name for dinner (a diet of a variety of plants, vegetables, and fruit with occasional bits of meat), no matter where he was, he came to her. And he began to notice the dogs who shared the back yard with him. When Shelley was in the bigger yard, he would attempt to join the dogs in their play. Initially hesitant, the dogs were stand offish but were increasingly interested in the funny little creature.
As he has gotten used to the dogs, he wants to come in to the house for short times to play when they are inside. When he wants to come in, he comes to the sliding glass door and clicks on it with his shell. My daughter lets him in and he goes to find his playmates, the dogs. He has a cute personality and particularly likes one of the dogs the best. I find him fascinating. We think of tortoises as slow and solitary creatures with no personality but Shelley is not; he literally sprints across the back yard when he wants to be close to someone; he follows dogs and people alike and he likes to be inside.
I have heard of tortoises being used in child therapy and I think that Shelley has that potential. He loves attention and will stick his head out of his shell to have his chin scratched. He is quite interactive. Way to go little Shelley!