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How did you become an enthusiast?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by Radium, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Radium

    Radium Outlaw Valkyrie

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    I thought it'd be nice if we shared our stories - I bet most of us have a lot in common.

    Mine:

    At four, I lived in a trailer in Forney, TX with my mother. I clearly remember coming out of my room one morning while she was asleep and seeing a black widow on her armchair, and being fascinated with the beautiful, glossy black body.

    My grandparents had the best backyard for bug safaris. There were big stepping stones leading from the back porch to the shed, and almost every day I'd go out, turn them over, and see what bugs came scrambling out - it was like Christmas. I was frequently in trouble for bringing tiny garter snakes in the house.

    This one time at church camp ("You fit a Bible up there?"), one of the other girls' cabins found a big wolf spider in the bathroom. Imagine ten 9-to-11-year-old girls screaming in harmony. I rescued it in an empty cheese puffs can and brought it home. I got my first spider bite when my mom came in, caught me handling it, and screamed at a pitch and volume I was previously unfamiliar with.

    As an adult, I was building a Web site for my job and stumbled on this picture of some nutbar holding a young H. lividum. (Although back then I didn't know it was a terrible idea, of course.) I had no idea that tarantulas came in blue, and started doing research. That's when I first read about L. violaceopes, and become fascinated with the idea of Asian rainforest spiders. I was hesitant to take responsibility for another life, and waited ten years before finally getting my first tarantula. And here we are today! I love snakes as much as I do spiders, if not more, but I'm paranoid about accidentally killing one with my ignorance.

    Plus, I'm a poly-science nerd, so I'm right at home with all this Latin/Greek jibber-jabber.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
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  2. fowlmoodmandy

    fowlmoodmandy Arachnopeon

    GA
    I dated a guy who had a rosehair and thought it was cool. A year or so after he went off to college I was in a petstore and there was a rosie for sale. I got her and within weeks she escaped her enclosure and was found months later dead in a shoe in my mom's room. (Very very old and cold house). Years went by and I went to a repticon and saw some T vendors. When I got back home I started doing some research and got some Ts. I was real poor back then and I had to take a 2nd job just to have spending money which was all for Ts and T enclosures. When I divorced and moved to another shack of a freezing cold house I gave my Ts away and what I had left didn't make it. (I'm talking seeing your breath inside the house) and I was struggling. Have thought about them off and on since then and I finally took the plunge and now within a few months I'm up to over 40 Ts already and going strong lol!

    As a child I was from crawling on a "nature buff" I had no fear of anything. You name it, if I could catch it, it came home with me. I nursed baby birds without mothers, raised tomato hornworms to moths, anything I could catch. I used to keep grass spiders in jars. I guess having Ts just was the next step. It just never occureed to me that they were available until the guy I dated had one.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
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  3. 14pokies

    14pokies Arachnoprince

    I was a creeepy kid that liked creepy things...
     
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  4. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX ArachnoGod Active Member

    I think i was born enthusiast. I'm 37 almost and i start to hunt and catch spiders at 7/8 years here in Lombardy country/hills in summer. Save for T's there's a lot.
    Only God know the number of Loxosceles rufescens and Tegenaria domestica we caught (think that back then me and my brother tought that those last ones were more venomous... we called those "humid spiders" lol, because we spotted a lot of those in dark cellars).

    We were aware, somewhat (in a general way i mean) about Theraphosidae existence (thanks to my Father encyclopedias and books, and some movies as well, no net back then of course) and we started to tought that here was impossible to have those, but that in the U.S, for some reason, yes.

    Obviously when "Home Alone" movie was released in 1991 here in Italy, since i (we, brother as well) was right about, i was in :mad: mode, just i wasn't aware that T's here were owned as well by very very, and very again, few brave ones.

    In January 1992 had the first T's. End of the story :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
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  5. I was extremely afraid of spiders my whole life. Arachnophobia. One day in my 20s I went to the store and bought a Rosehair. Became an addiction ever since lol.
     
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  6. New to the site and this hobby somewhat.
    As a child i always was that kid in the jungle (the backyard) looking for snakes and lifting every piece of wood and rock i could to find salamanders. I got my first snake a Hogg island boa in 2010 now i have two. Ive also had a few types of lizards.
    Now to get back to T's. I always took my brother to reptile expos with me and his favorite spot was the T vendors... Took me a few times to concur that fear and finally hold one. First one was a b. smithi. One time my brother bought one and my mom wouldn't let him have it so he had to leave it at my place in my care and i became attached to it. He finally took it home and i missed it so much that i went out and bought myself a B. Emilia in September. :)
    Honestly as a child and up until a few years ago i was so scared of spiders!
     
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  7. Faing

    Faing Arachnoknight

    USA
    I was more ambiguous towards spiders for years. Never thought about owning a tarantula nor did I have a phobia. One day I was picking up food foy my bearded dragon and seen an enclosure with a pink toe tarantula at my LPS. Did some research and knew I had to have one. I've had various different species since then. Left the hobby for a couple years but tarantulas are a bit addicting when you have the extra room for them.
     
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  8. Originally to overcome arachnophobia -- now adore my T crew.
     
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  9. Chris11

    Chris11 ArachnoBat Arachnosupporter

    When i was younger i used to catch things and keep them for a few days, but my parents would never let me play keeps. So ive always been interested in arachnids, insects ect. but it wasnt until about 5 years ago i met this guy who had a rosie. I had never before even considered owning spiders and didnt even know the hobby is the way it is!
     
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  10. Shawnee

    Shawnee Arachnosquire

    I was scared of spiders when I was younger. I think it was actually the reptile hobby that pushed me into the invert hobby as well. I had the normal cats, dogs, rodents, birds, etc growing up, but my parents hated anything that was, you know, scaly or bugs, so I never had the opportunity to own any. It wasn't until I moved out on my own that I got my first reptile, a gecko. (Gargoyle gecko, more specifically.) From there my collection grew to 45+ reps/inverts. I have to really thank tarantulaguy1967 and Jon3800 for their youtube videos. I watched them pretty much every single day until I saw almost every video. It slowly lessened my fear of spiders and instead incited a feeling of love and wonder for these incredible animals. So when I was at a repticon, I purchased my first tarantula. Garrus (Who I've sinced sexed as female so the name is not good lol, but she's keeping it). I've loved every aspect of keeping inverts. Also, my T's made me less scared of other inverts too, and I started keeping scorpions. Now I'm even considering centipedes or beetles. My fear slowly but surely turned into respect and intrigue.
     
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  11. petkokc

    petkokc Arachnosquire

    As long as I can remember I was amazed by wild life and spiders, for some unknown reason, were most fascinated to me. I spend countless days catching true spiders like Araneus and Argriope sp., putting them in glass jars, bringing them home just to get yelled by my mom to get that outside of a house :D

    And I remember when I first saw a tarantula, it was a picture of Brachypelma smithi in encyclopedia I had. I was so amazed with it. I was even lying to my friends that I had one, but I never asked my parents to get me one because I thought it was impossible to buy it.

    My childhood dream was to explore spiders in jungles and to make documentary films about it (I absolutely loved watching documentary films) but as I got older I slowly got more distant from that dream because you are considered weird if you show interest in such things.

    But life has a way of working things around. I bought my own apartment 3 years ago which opened opportunity to get myself a pet...ANY pet I want! I was never allowed to keep anything other then hamster and fish so this was a really big deal for me. Since I'm at work from 7 to 15, and then I often go out I was aware that I cant get some really social animal like cat or dog. That lead me to this an amazing idea, I can get a TARANTULA! My very own tarantula! I was 27 at that time but that idea made me feel like a child in candy store.

    After some research I got myself a classic G. rosea sling, one childhood dream come true! And although it was amazing, it didn't do that much so it quickly pushed me into getting some more...and more...and more, there were so many different species! Of course I spent a lot of time watching videos on youtube, and often they made me angry how some videos are badly made, you can barely see the tarantula, videos are shaky and badly edited... And that gave me another idea. I could make videos, in some way they will be like my very own small documentary films! It will be another childhood dream that in some way came true.

    So here I am now, 29 years old, with 40+ tarantulas. They crawled in almost every aspect of my life. Loving it. :3
     
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  12. lalberts9310

    lalberts9310 Arachnoprince

    Since I knew tarantulas existed, I wanted one.. but because of my mothers extreme arachnophobia it was practically impossible for me to get one. Years went by and I met my now husband, we moved in together. Every time we went to the lps I would go over to where they keep their inverts, I then saw that they had P. Irminia for sale (for a hefty price, but back then I didn't do any research so i didn't know what price these guys usually went for, I didn't even know you could order Ts online), so without doing any research whatsoever (which is as you know a bad idea), I asked hubby if I could have one, we bought it along with an enclosure (which was improper), substrate and a hide. I had no idea there were different types of Ts, such as aboreal and terrestrial, NW and OW etc. I thought all Ts were the same. So I kept it and it did real well even being in a improper setup and me handling it almost every day *facebalm*. I finally stumbled on to AB (thank heavens) and i then learned everything I did wrong and what to do right. I sometimes shuddered seeing true spiders, but Tarantulas got me to get comfortable around them, and whenever I see one, I like to catch it, look at it for a while, then set it free outside. I'm quite fascinated by jumping spiders as well. :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
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  13. soundsmith

    soundsmith Arachnopeon

    Growing up I always thought tarantulas were cool, but didn't really think about it, only a fleeting "oh cool" when I would see them in movies or tv shows. Fast forward many years and I was at work one day, went past a window that had this big, scary looking spider outside of it on a huge web. I was a little startled as I didn't expect it. But instead of being afraid I was mesmerized. I just stood there and watched the spider, observing the colors, the features, the web, just fascinating. I went on my way and then later that day I decided to try and figure out what kind of spider it was. After a few minutes of research I found out it was an Argiope aurantia female. I ended up learning a ton of stuff about that specific spider, finding out they are basically harmless orb weavers, etc. From there it was just down the rabbit hole so to speak. I looked up other spiders I had found on the property where I work. After about a week of this fascination taking over much of my free time, and some of my time at work hehe, I remembered - you can keep tarantulas. So for the next month and a half or so I spent pretty every minute of my free time and, again, some of my work time, to research tarantulas and how to care for them, the different species and so on. After those several weeks I decided I wanted to get one and now I'm hooked.
     
  14. Pandinus97

    Pandinus97 Arachnopeon

    After i had worked in the reptile department of a pet store, i started to work more with the inverts (Various tarantulas, scorpions, centipedes and whip scorpions) I statred feeding and cleaning their enclosures and eventually feeding them. I started doing more in depth research on certain species and sold a few as well. Although i personally dont own any right now, im definately counting on doing so! :D
     
  15. Misty Day

    Misty Day Arachnobaron

    So was I, kids used to make fun of me when I was younger for catching spiders in jars and keeping them.
     
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  16. TsunamiSpike

    TsunamiSpike Arachnosquire

    Always been interested in bugs, primarily spiders and scorpions. Wanted one for years. Was only last November when my partner and I (one of the last people I'd expect to have encouraged me) started looking things up in curiosity. We went down or local pet shop and they had a small selection. Went off for a coffee and researched and discussed things. About an hour later we went back and headed home with our new small juvi B. Albopilosum. About 2 weeks later we picked up a B. Smithi sling. Ever since we've both been excited and fascinated by tarantulas, perhaps ever so slightly me more so. Both are still going strong and growing well. They've since been accompanied by a further 29 tarantulas, 1 trapdoor and 2 scorpions (unfortunately we lost one GBB sling to a very bad molt and the trapdoor to unknown causes). Very much looking forward to the next arachnid show end of January.
     
  17. Found a mature male P.audax on the wall in my apartment one day and fell in love with it. I told my boyfriend, who had previously owned an A.seemani and who was therefore the closest thing I had to a T expert at the time, that I wanted something colored like the P.audax, but bigger. The result was hours and hours of research that led me to the sad conclusion that there are no tarantulas in the colors of a bold jumping spider (nature, why you fail?) but in doing so, I found several other species of tarantulas along the way that interested me. I bought my first AF G.rosea from a pet store, followed by my first online order of two slings (G.rosea and A.versicolor) a week later. A couple months after that, I discovered AB and the Classifieds and my addiction pretty much took off from there. It's funny too that while my boyfriend had a T long before I did, my knowledge and experience had surpassed his by leaps and bounds. Trying to talk to him about them in even a pseudo-scientific way is like speaking Greek to a 3rd grader. :giggle:
     
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  18. owlbear

    owlbear Arachnopeon

    I've always loved arachnids since I was a kid. I used to love seeing massive wolf spiders and opiliones on camping trips. I remember the tarantula in Home Alone and how I thought it looked so slow and cute and told myself someday I'd have one too. And then once at a summer camp we found a wild tarantula, and someone caught it and said they were going to keep it. I was intensely jealous. When I got older and moved out I'd see them at reptile expos and seriously consider taking one home, but was never quite sure of their care - good thing I held off since I always gravitated towards p. metallica, haha. Then one day I went home and started researching p. metallica and discovered that they a) much more straightforward to care for than reptiles and b) there was no way I'd be starting with a p. metallica. About a year ago an old friend of mine moved in with us and asked if we were cool with her keeping tarantulas. I said I was definitely cool with it and that if she ordered hers online I'd go in with her on the shipping. Now we both have a nice collection going and we do split shipping costs if we decide to add more to the family. Though I'm happy with what I have for the time being; once more of my slinges have grown I may get more. Hah, "may." I think we all know how that will turn out.
     
  19. A combination of me wanting to get over my arachnophobia and me feeling sorry for a G. porteri sitting in my LPS for months on end. I brought that rosie home, quickly grew to love her and the rest is history. :)

    Now I'm waiting for that same G. porteri to give me an eggsac! I hope she gives me a good one - I love the idea of my first good sac coming from my first Tarantula. I love the thought of raising up her babies even more; really eager to see if her great appetite is inherited by her offspring.
     
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  20. BobBarley

    BobBarley Arachnoprince

    I'm still a kid (teen whatever) and I've been in love with inverts since I can remember. I used to catch mantids and even figured out how to breed them! I was at a pet store, saw a Rosie, did research, and bought it. And then another... And another etc... Now I'm addicted! Right now, I'm trying to convince my friends and my science teacher to get one lol. (They all think I'm crazy) And I'm about to breed my first t, my rosea, too!
     
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