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Amber, the Pet of the Day
Name: Amber
Age: Three and a half years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Chinchilla
Home: Ontario, Canada
   Amber 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.

Amber, the Pet of the Day
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Amber, the Pet of the Day
Amber, the Pet of the Day

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