I had a wonderful tarantula named Birtha; she was a Lasiodora parahybana or a Brazilian Salmon Pink Goliath Tarantula. I paid $15 for Birtha from an online breeder and raised her from a sling. This is one of my first pictures of her:
Well, time passed, and I was older and in college. I kept downsizing my collection over the years, selling or donating a tarantula here and there, until one day, I only had one tarantula left; Birtha. I thought that I was done with collecting and that I should donate her. I tried and tried, but things kept getting in the way, things that would stop me from donating her. I got this feeling that I was going to regret it. I eventually donated her to a local pet store, thinking that I did not have any interest in these animals anymore, and her urticating hairs drove me crazy, so I should donate her. I think the last time or second to last time I ever saw her is the first picture above, on display for sale, I think that picture was for me like saying goodbye.
Literally only about one month later, “strange forces” in my life re-sparked a fire for my passion for animals, and I was back in the game again. I went to the store to purchase Birtha thinking that she was probably still there because no one had bought her for a long time, “so why would she be gone now?” I said to myself. I arrived at the pet store and went to the back where I remembered her to be and found…that she was gone. Someone bought her. The pet store did not know who bought her or how I could contact them, so Birtha was gone.
I didn’t realize what she meant to me; ever since I was five years old, I had some kind of animal; my first being a tarantula named Zebra. From 5 to 21 years old, I always had something. Birtha was the last connection I had from breaking that streak. I thought what I was doing was the best thing for my life, but now I realize, it indeed was one of the greatest mistakes I have ever made. I owned Birtha for about nine years. She was very precious to me; all that time we had together, what she meant and symbolized in my life. She was one of my significant species in my collection, and the tarantula I grew up with, and I just let her go.
My hope is that you will not make the same mistake. If I kept her, God willing, I should have had many more years with her. While these animals can cause trouble, as Birtha did with flicking her hair, you are still invested in them, so when they are gone, that part of you in them is also gone. Please, Love your family and appreciate what you have, because you will not always have them. Thank you.