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Pet Store Experience

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by McGuiverstein, May 24, 2013.

  1. McGuiverstein

    McGuiverstein Arachnobaron

    Hey guys,

    I wanted to share a cool lps experience that I had yesterday.

    So I go in to the pet store down the street from my house to buy three dozen pinheads for my new Popa spurca and Mesopteryx alata nymphs. Somehow I manage to get sidetracked by the owner who wants to ask about the white spots of hair I have. Most people assume I dye it, but it's actually a pigment deficiency in the skin that causes the hair in the affected area to grow out white. I have yet to think of some crazy story about how I got it (maybe I was struck by lightning?), so I usually just explain it to everyone in the former (boring) way. We have a short discussion, and at one point, one of the supervisors comes over and joins in. The owner runs out to help a customer carry stuff to his car, and I get on the topic of tarantulas with the supersvisor lady.

    I ask what they have in stock and she takes me over to the spider display to show me. One B. smithi, an A. chalcodes, a P. murinus sling, three G. pulchripes slings, and two H. lividum juvies. I start discussing the different spiders and I make some suggestions about which ones they should start bringing in that would likely sell well. About five or ten minutes in, she mentions a B. vagans that was just returned to them because it was in very poor health. I ask about it and she explains that they sold it to a kid a few months ago (when it was in much better condition). She had tried to talk the kid out of buying it because she could tell he wouldn't care for it properly, but he bought it anyway. The kid later returned it, and she suspected poor husbandry was the cause of its deteriorating health. It didn't want food, it was missing two legs from a bad molt, ect. ect. She tells me she just wants someone to take it to restore it to good health. I'm thinking, cool no problem, free spider. I ask her to bring it out. She does, and lo and behold boxing gloves and hooks. I tell her it's a mature male and am given a blank stare. I explain the plight of the mature male spider and how I'm sorry but there's nothing that I can do; but hey, at least it's not all the kids fault.

    I have gained credibility at this point. We continue talking and soon I find myself on the dangerous ground of suggesting improvements on the keeping conditions of their spiders. Having been in their store on multiple occasions to buy crickets, I have noticed their spiders and the errors they made in their husbandry. I think hey what the hell I've been good being the know-it-all guy this far, full steam ahead. I begin with the H. lividum who are on about 1/2-1" of coco fiber huddled in the corners of their enclosures. I explain that they're obligate burrowers and tell her to add anough substrate for them to burrow. Sure, they will likely not be visible for customers, but it'll be a happier, healthier spider when they're bought. I'm sort of thinking maybe that's a good thing. People who know what they are and what they're capable of will buy it, rather than a ten year old who sees a blue spider and says hey dad I want that! Maybe just throw a picture of one on the side of the enclosure if it's a big deal. I follow up with a brief explanation of their other enclosure conditions since they're a Haplopelma species. I then advise the switching of the wood chips in the B. smithi and A. chalcodes containers to the coco fiber that they used for the lividum, and explain why. I also advise the removal of the sponges in the water dishes, and explain why. She says they're there so the crickets won't drown. I say put rocks in so the crickets can climb out. All the while, she was extremely receptive and clearly impressed with my knowledge. She swears to make all the improvements tomorrow (today). I feel warm and fuzzy inside when she says that.

    We end up talking for at least another 45 minutes and I continue to try to educate her a little here and there. Overall, it went really really well and I left the store feeling like the Jesus of spiders. T'was cool.
    • Like Like x 4
  2. rob0t

    rob0t Arachnoknight

    They should hook you up with a consulting fee. Or at least a free spider. :D
  3. Rhodin

    Rhodin Arachnosquire

    Good on you, not only will changing the way that they are kept in the store now, but it is likely to promote proper care conditions to the people who buy them.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. JZC

    JZC Arachnobaron

    I wish my lps would even pretend to listen to me. None of their animals are housed in adequate cages.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Cydaea

    Cydaea Arachnosquire

    Maybe it would be a good idea to have some cards made with your email address, maybe even a phone number, and ask the employees to give the customer a card when they buy a T. Tell them it's for expert advice. Or make little fliers with some basic info, tips and maybe a few websites and other resources (TKG!).

    You could even get a few freebies out of it when people get tired of their T and want to get rid of it! (and you'll have like 763236726348 roseas...)

    On second thought, they'd probably be offended because They Know Everything and are much better at giving T advice.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Poec54

    Poec54 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Great advice! Many stores are receptive to advice from an experienced keeper. All of us should try to help the plight of tarantulas in captivity, wherever they may be. They're not going back to the wild, so we should see that they have good lives here.
  7. edgeofthefreak

    edgeofthefreak Arachno-titled!

    Too funny! I love this quote!
    Great story, thanks for sharing, and thanks for making the (spider) world a better place!
    • Like Like x 1
  8. hookup

    I think you should hook up with the spider lady!:o_O::photogenic:
  9. BaddestRuffest

    BaddestRuffest Arachnosquire

    I would gladly take all them rosies. By far the funniest natured, random, wacky species.
  10. McGuiverstein

    McGuiverstein Arachnobaron

    Haha she's not my type

    ---------- Post added 05-29-2013 at 10:51 AM ----------

    Just thought I'd let everyone know that when I went back in yesterday evening to buy more crickets for my mantises, the enclosures had all been adjusted per my advice. The only thing still incorrect is the amount of substrate in the H. lividum's enclosures. For the record, she added about two to three inches and sloped it so one side was a little higher, but it still isn't nearly enough. From what I hear, everyone there is nervous about the spiders, and fortunately they know which ones to be a little more nervous about; so I'm thinking she probably didn't want to add enough that the spider could pop out of the burrow and be out of the enclosure before anyone could react. But if they're going to be selling the spiders (for the whopping price of ~$100 for a ~2" juvie no less), they should be keeping them properly. I'm probably going to go in later this week and offer to rehouse them both for them. But I just thought I'd let everyone know there is some good still left in the lps world. There are some who are willing to learn and change what they'd been doing in the best interest of the animals they're selling.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. friendttyy

    friendttyy Arachnolord

    Keep us updated and teach those not educated people something and good night.
  12. DannyH

    DannyH Arachnobaron

    I'm glad when an LPS is willing to take care of their tarantulas.
  13. MarkmD

    MarkmD Arachnoprince

    Brilliant story thanks for sharing it, i have also informed a couple of lps about husbandry on T's, i was working at my friends lps at the time, i was on my lunch brake when i thought i should look in the other lps down the street, well what do i find, adult G,Roseas on wet sub, juvie OBTs without any substate or water dishes just a tiny hide, slings in way oversized enclosures, i was like dang how can they do that, i had to intervene with what i was seeing and quickly (as i had 20 minutes left for lunch), so got the owner out fast, i was like do you know what your doing regarding T husbandry or knowledge of the species you have?, the owner said (YES I DO) i asked him to explain why he done this, his response, they are all kept as advised from my DAD, i was furious at that response, i explained everything the T's needed within 10 minutes, then i had to get back to work, he came over to my friends lps shortly after, he looked around and by the next day he made all the changes i suggested, i felt good that he listened to me, funny thing is we have been friends for 3 years now lol.
    • Like Like x 2