For her 10th birthday, in 1962, Jeanna Smith was surprised with a special gift: a pet tortoise.
Now, 56 years and 5 dogs later, they are still together.
Since the day she received him, Jeanna formed an inseparable bond with George.
As a girl, she kept him in a basket while riding her bike or going on family vacations.
The bond only grew stronger when she grew up. Jeanna even took him along with her to college. Despite the fact that her dorm rules didn't allow any pets, that didn't stop Jeanna from keeping George in her room.
While at college, Jeanna met her future husband, Kirby Smith. Soon after they began dating, Jeanna introduced him to George. Kirby was surprised to learn about the tortoise, but he and the tortoise quickly bonded. Later on, when Jeanne and Kirby brought kids to the world, they have learned to bond with George as well.
“When I go, then George will go and live with them. It’s in the will.”
Jeanna Smith is now in her mid-sixties and George has been her closest friend for over 50 years. Gopher tortoise's lifespan is usually from 40 to 60 years and that's only in the wild. In captivity, this animal could survive for over 100 years. That's why it's very likely that George might outlive Jeanna and she's aware of it. She intends to pass him over to her daughter's family.
Watch their beautiful friendship story:
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