Study Guide

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing Turtle the Dog

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Turtle the Dog

Has getting a new pet ever been so bittersweet?

Peter's a huge animal lover, so it's no surprise that he loves the puppy that his parents give him at the end of the book. But the whole thing is still a bit sad, because he's only getting the dog because of the death of his pet turtle, Dribble. And so Peter decides to name his new dog Turtle:

We all laughed. My dog was neat.

I named him Turtle to remind me. (10.118-119)

Peter wants to remember Dribble and the good times they had together. But you have to admit that a puppy is definitely an upgrade. It's another symbol that Peter's growing up. Dogs are a lot more work than turtles, and his parents trust him to take as good care of Turtle as he did little Dribble.

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