Pet of the Day

December 30, 2007

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Baby, the Pet of the Day
Name: Baby
Age: Fifteen years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Chilean Rose Tarantula
Home: Western Canada
   I got Baby from a pet store in 2000. Children were banging on her cage, a loud, screeching bird was right beside her and a breeze from a fan was blowing on her. She was frightened and in response she was showing aggression, pacing her cage and showing her fangs, so they had named her 'Psychospider'. Feeling sorry for her, I gave her a new, clean cage then brought her home to my quiet apartment and she calmed right down and stopped displaying aggression. However, because of her time in that pet store, she still becomes skittish and runs for cover if there is any sudden movement or loud noise near her tank.

    My parents couldn't fathom why I'd want a large spider in my house and were initially quite nervous about coming for visits, but they have warmed right up to her. They happily "Baby-sit" when I am away from home for more than few days and when they come to visit, their first stop is Baby's tank for a moment to coo and talk to her. They even cared for her in their home for close to four months when I had to be in hospital for an extended period of time in 2002. No human grandchildren are in sight, so Baby is their Grandspider.

    In 2000, based on her size, it was estimated that she was about 2-3 years old, which would make her ten years old now. However, her shedding pattern has revealed that she's older than originally thought, about 13-17 years old. Female tarantulas can live up to 12-20 years depending on breed, so Baby's time may be short. However, for as long as she does live, she's got a safe, comfortable home.

    Baby says: "Hello! Don't let my furry legs and beady eyes frighten you; I'm a very quiet, gentle little girl - I only hurt flies (and crickets)! I like 'guarding' my water dish, sleeping in my hidey hole and coming as close to Mommy as I can, showing her my tummy when she sits in her chair next to my cage. Thank you for letting me be Pet of the Day!"

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