||Three and a half years old|
is a very young chinchilla. She turns four come this September! I've had
pets in the past (a black lab and a hamster) but I've never had an exotic pet before.
When I was deciding to get a chinchilla I didn't want a beige one (Amber is
what one would call a homogenous beige chinchilla). I wanted one of the
'pretty' black ones or white ones or a mosaic (spotted basically) chinchilla.
I went to a private breeder because I - as a personal preference and just
because I've seen some scary documentaries - bought Amber from a local
private breeder. Well, semi-local. When I got to the breeder's house she had
two medium-sized, very energetic, dogs. She took us (me and my mom) upstairs to
where she kept the chinchillas and she asked: "What are you looking for?" I
obviously said my color preference and that it has to be female. My last two
pets had both been males so I wanted to mix it up a bit.
Unfortunately she didn't have any chins in my color range. She did have two
chins that were close though. And out she brought out two four-month-old chins,
a hetero beige one and a homo beige one. It wasn't much of a contest as to
which one I'd pick after the hetero beige one bit me - talk about a bad first impression!
A few weeks later I brought her home in a cardboard box since the carrier I
had bought wasn't big enough (a major mess up on my part!) but the drive
wasn't long and her cage was already set up in my room.
Nearly four years later she's still here as my little roommate! Nibbling on
E-V-E-R-Ything she could possibly find.
Amber, unlike my hamster, has a very big personality that much reflects my
own: I know, I'm either crazy or every other pet owner says that but I'm both
crazy and own a pet so I fit the bill! She's very much an introvert unless
forced to socialize and she's very lazy unless she's outside. She's fine with
lazing about all day but at night she wants to play--and not let me sleep!
Over these past couple of years I've been teaching Amber some tricks. Just
little basic ones. I've taught her how to jump onto my shoulder (she'll only
do it if I'm either holding her or if Im' sitting). She knows that when I
extend my arm with her on my shoulder towards the cage that it's time to go
back in, and - this is more something she picked up on her own that I tried
to turn into a trick but she was just not having it. Whenever I walk into my
room she'll greet me - he won't do it for anyone else. If I'm in my room and
my sister walks in, she barely even moves. My mom says that Amber only ever
reacts to my mom coming in my room if she's sleeping--she'll simply just get
up and watch my mom (my mom thinks it's creepy). If I put my face up to the
bars of her cage shell come and sniff me and rub against the bars - very cat-like!
Amber is very odd with her socializing skills. She's fine with me. She shares
my room, so she kind of has to be! But she hates it when other people try to
take her out of her cage. The very few times I've let somebody take her out
she'd basically go limp and slide out of that person's hands. I'd go and pick
her up and she'd run right on up to my shoulder while my friend is just there
like: Why doesn't she like me!? (Ive actually been asked that!) I am to blame
for her poor socialization because I am not a social person myself and when I
first got her I didn't trust my two much younger brothers with her - still
don't, for that matter--and everybody else in my family basically hated her
saying she was a fluffy rat. Not all my fault that she's only used to me
handling her since nobody else would.
For an exotic pet she costs me upwards of $30 a month, but every three months
that just doubles up to anywhere between $60-80. Exotic pets are very
expensive and because she is exotic I do go with the bigger name brands and
chinchilla-safe (or rabbit and guinea pig safe) toys. I give her Oxbow
chinchilla pellets, timothy hay cubes, and vitamin C supplements.
Caring for Amber is like caring for almost any other pet, once you get a
routine down, it becomes super easy and not a hassle at all. I love Amber and
she loves me.
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