We are not really pet people. We have allergies to pet dander. We don't like the time investment, smells, exertion, and expense associated with most pets. The benefits just don't seem worth it. However, on our last trip to Utah (where there are decent pet stores), I rather surprisingly and spontaneously decided to research and purchase hermit crabs for the boys.
Little Man was on cloud nine. He kept exclaiming, "I'm so glad we're getting a pet!" His eager excitement (and the crabs' lack of smelliness and low maintenance) make it all worth it. I'm finding the littler critters fascinating to observe, and I've been enjoying learning about and caring for them with the boys.
Did you know that hermit crabs breathe through hardened gills, so even though they live in the air, they get their oxygen from water? This makes it important to keep their environment humid. They love to climb and dig in the sand and bathe in salt and fresh water. One of their claws is bigger than the other. Hermit crabs, in spite of their name, are social little creatures and do best in groups of multiple crabs. And they chirp. Yes, I'm truly enjoying observing them.
This is Little Man's crab, Ortho. Little Man was very decided about naming his crab Ortho from the first time I asked him about it in the pet store. I'm not quite sure where he came up with it, but it's pretty cute. (The close up pictures of the crabbies are actually a little disturbing...sorry. They're much cuter at their actual 2 inches.)
And this is Brother's crab, Chica. That's the best we could make out when we asked him what he wanted to name his crab. He seemed pretty happy about it, though, so we must have guessed closely enough.
Little Man very conscientiously helps give the crabs fresh water and food.
I love this photo even though it's sadly blurry;
it just captures his joy and pride in being a crab owner so perfectly.
If you look closely in the front of the aquarium on the right side of this photo, you can see Chica. Brother was so excited that she was doing her daytime sleeping in a visible location. He was exclaiming "Hi, Chica! Hi, Chica!" over and over and pointing her out to me.
So far the only thing I regret about our new hermit crab pets is that they're nocturnal, so the boys don't get to enjoy them as much as I do. Hopefully this happy state of pet ownership continues!