Tuesday, August 14, 2012

RIP Shelly

After Caroline's love of her pet care class before the beach and the fact that a girl in the class had a pet hermit crab, I decided that while we were at the beach I would let each kid pick out a crab.  Caroline was ecstatic!  To her, it's a REAL pet.  (Well, at least for now it is.)  I told her we could go on Thursday evening and for the entire trip she counted down to that evening.  She was practically bouncing off the walls when Thursday rolled around.  For some reason, Piper didn't want to go so Jason and I took Caroline, Bryce and Zoe out to good old Wings.  We quickly found the crabs and the kids picked them out.  

Of course they needed a cage so I opted for the wire cage, some gravel, a water bowl, drinking sponge, food, a mister, a care giving book and extra shells.  (Annoying that the only extra shells they had were painted and most of them like stupid cartoon characters - Tweety and Sponge Bob, which the kids loved.  Gag.)  They were so excited and quickly named them.  Caroline's was "Shelly,"  Bryce's was "Mr. Crabs," and Piper's was "Candace" then it was "Lola" and then it was "Pola."  I still don't think she's sure.  

We got them all set up and everything was fine.  They climbed all over the place, Caroline read the care book and everyone was happy.  Here's a shot of her on Friday evening with her beloved who was quite active that evening!

Saturday morning we were getting ready to go home and all three crabs seemed to be asleep in their cage as I carried them out to the car which is to be expected since they are nocturnal.  Midway through our trip I took the cage to check on them for the kids and found Piper and Bryce's to be in their shells but kind of moving when I picked them up.  Then I picked up Caroline's and three legs fell off and it started to fall out of the shell.  EWWWW!  I noticed a little bit of a smell too.  Oh gross!  I quickly put it back and put the lid on and announced that they were all "just fine."  I tried to tell Jason under my breath what was going on.  Oh good heavens, why did it have to be Caroline's - the one most attached to hers???  I didn't want to tell her in the car because I knew she'd be super upset.  I spent the rest of the ride reading up on hermit crabs online and making sure Petco carried them.

When we got home, I broke the news to her and she sobbed.  I assured her we would go out after dinner and get her another one if she wanted - she did.  I told her we could bury it but asked if she wanted to see Shelly before I did - she didn't.  So I wrapped her in some tissue paper and we took her out into the backyard and I dug a somewhat shallow grave.  She cried and I wanted to cry because of how sad she was.

After dinner we went to Petco and she picked a bright orange crab out with a sunshine painted on its back - she instantly named it "Sunny."  I also got conned into spending $50 on additional hermit crab stuff.  OMG.  So home we came with the new crab, a new cage, and lots of hermit goodies.  I got the new cage set up and instantly all three were active.  Thankfully the new crab came with a 15 day guarantee.  Here's hoping day 16 doesn't come with a mortal blow.

I know these things don't last forever but I'd like to make a good run of it with them.  They seem fairly easy so here's hoping we can keep them alive for a while.  At least they aren't peeing on my carpet or ripping up my furniture!

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