There are two types of people in the world: those who smash intrusive spiders cowering in corners or boldly creeping across a wall, and those who catch and release any arachnid invaders. We are the latter. We have a special spider catching jar and everything. I feel like being a friend of the spiders puts us firmly in the minority, which I completely understand. Those suckers are creepy.
I probably would be more likely to just brutally murder the tiny eight-legged monsters if it weren't for Other Boy, who happens to have a great love of anything gross and creepy. His favorite part of the Harry Potter movies are Voldemort and the Dementors (we even have action figures of them. He enjoys chasing people around the house with them and shouting forbidden curses), he takes apart his toys and reconfigures them into mutants or headless villains or legless victims. He sleeps with a stuffed Komodo Dragon named "Slobbers."
He also desperately wants a reptilian or amphibious pet of some sort: Turtle, iguana, snake, toad, salamander. And it's not that I dislike those particular creatures, I'm an animal lover in general, actually, it's more that I can't quite bring myself to own a pet that requires me to feed it helpless baby mice or actually buy live crickets from a store and bring them into my house, when normally such an occurrence would lead to me hunting the suckers down like a hired hit man out for blood. Also? Yep, they're creepy. I just don't think I can do it.
As it is, we just have one pet, an eccentric Chihuahua mix (and by eccentric I mean legitimately insane.) The kids are all crazy about him, especially Other Boy who adores non-terrifying animals as well. And he does all the good stuff having a pet is supposed to do: teach them how to be gentle and nurturing and to think about someone else's needs. And despite his propensity towards all things icky and scary, Other Boy is a very sweet, kind child who loves nothing more than cuddling up with his dog on a sleepy summer afternoon.
I myself had several pets growing up. I loved each and every one of them, and if it were up to me we'd have more. Probably another dog. And Boy would really like a cat, which may happen at some point. My favorite childhood pet was a yellow Parakeet named "Tweety," so I think birds make wonderful companions. And who knows, maybe I'll consent to a lizard or turtle someday, when Other Boy is old enough to deal with the less savory parts of having a pet (I really could live my whole life not knowing what it's like to clean up snake poop), but I have to draw the line at anything that can eat the dog. So Komodo Dragons are out.
And no spiders. I may save them from certain death but that doesn't mean I want to buy them fake aquarium plants and name them.