Jody Hopkins was an arachnid enthusiast. She loved that they had eight legs, eight eyes, and a constant internet debate over whether or not they counted as bugs. When she was eight years old, Jody made it her life’s goal to have a pet spider as large as a dog. She wanted to be able to walk her pet around the neighborhood just like everyone else she knew could.
She started small. Jody got her first pet spider when she was nine. Her parents didn’t know it, but her Daddy Long Legs named Dylan lived in Jody’s bedroom for over half a year before it died. Sadly, you can’t keep small spiders on leashes. Jody wasn’t able to take Dylan out for walks in the neighborhood to impress the other children.
Jody practiced arachnid husbandry for her entire life after Toby. She learned more and more ways to care for each species she took in. Any spiders in her parents’ home quickly learned to move to Jody’s room for safety and care. Her windows were always open so that bugs her spiders naturally preyed on would come in to feed them.
Jody’s pets as a young teen included all of the spiders that lived in her room. She learned early on how to tell the differences between black widows, trap spiders, grass spiders, mouse spiders, Saint Andrew’s crosses, and all the other house spiders she came into contact with. Each of them ate different tiny bugs, and sometimes they would come down to sit on Jody’s shoulders while she did her homework.
When Jody was sixteen years old, her parents finally noticed Jody’s pet spider collection. It wasn’t because of the state of her room. Even though Jody’s room was covered in cobwebs and buzzing with flies, her parents thought that was normal for a teenager. The way they figured it all out was the growing mound in the backyard where Jody would bury her pets that had passed on.
Jody’s parents would not allow her to keep her pets anymore. Her mother suggested only keeping one pet at a time and making sure that her windows were closed from then on. Jody’s parents cleared the spiders and webs out of her room, finally aware of why their air conditioning bill had always been so high.
Soon, Jody’s family were the proud owners of a relatively small pet tarantula, which would be a stepping-stone pet for something larger. After the tarantula passed on, Jody would be allowed a larger pet if she had cared for her spider properly for its full life.
That was the way it was. After five years, Jody’s Chilean rose hair tarantula died of old age. She had been as responsible of an owner as she could be, with a properly cared-for terrarium. Jody had kept to her deal with her parents and hadn’t gotten a more intensive pet than her tarantula until after it died, even though she had already moved out of the house by the time that happened.
After mourning the loss of Rosie, Jody decided to move on to a larger spider. It was still in the tarantula family of spiders, but was much larger. A Goliath birdeater spider was the perfect pet for Jody. Even though she couldn’t actually take it on walks through the neighborhood, her dream of owning a large spider was finally fulfilled.