Acquired: Pet store
Posted May 19, 2014
Spiders are not a conventional pet, but I've always found them fascinating. I know a lot of people think of spiders as the ultimate spooky creature, but pinktoes are a very calm, low maintenance pet that is interesting to observe. At the time I owned her, I had several other pets, so it was nice to have one that was so easy to care for. Obviously they are very docile, but they need a tall glass tank with humidity and heat, as it models the rainforest environment they've adapted to. They need an area in their tank to hide - we used a piece of driftwood. They're nocturnal, so if you're a night person you can sometimes watch them make their webs. They eat very rarely, so if they go a few weeks without eating, don't be alarmed.
They need to get comfortable before you can handle them. I was never once bitten in the six years I owned my spider. Pinktoes are one of the least aggressive breeds of tarantulas and mine tended to be a little shy. They do have bristly hairs on their legs and a spike on the end of their feet for climbing, which felt odd when she crawled on my hands and arms. (If that sentence just made you squeamish, spiders probably aren't the pet for you!)
If your tarantula is curled up in his tank, he might either be unhealthy or he might be molting, during which they shed their old skin and exoskeleton. It can look like another spider. You cannot handle your tarantula for about a week after molting, but it's a fascinating process as they pretty much completely rebuild themselves. Do not over-water your spider, as they get most of their moisture from the insects they eat, and too much water can be dangerous.
Pinkie was 6 years old when she died, which is about the average lifespan for this type of spider. If you find them interesting like I do, research tarantulas to see if they're a pet you might enjoy - just be sure spiders don't creep you out!
Image: By DiverDave (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons