Hermit Crabs: Pets or Not?

What child hasn’t wanted a pet? But taking care of them is a serious matter, and even adults find they can’t always fully commit to the care of, say, a cat or dog. Rebecca and I both had cats and dogs growing up. I also had parrots and guinea pigs, and Rebecca’s family had chickens, turtles, birds, and a white rat. But there were always cats. In Rebecca’s case, lots and lots of cats all at one time.

When I stared the Seababies Adventure series, I researched the sea creatures that would appear in the books. I wanted to share knowledge about them with our young readers. One of the books is about Seamore, a funky little hermit crab. I’m sure you’ve seen them in the ocean or in the stores at the boardwalk gift shop. Tiny little things with painted shells.

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Many people buy them, but when they return home from vacation. They’re unsure how to care for them. I wanted to get a hermit crab a few times. I was going to name him Seamore, after the character in our book. However, after learning facts about the crabs, I changed my mind for good.

On the beach in their natural habitat, they’re happy, splashing like Seamore and playing with other crabs. But when they’re taken from their wild environment, their story becomes sad. Not only does it hurt the environment to take them away, it hurts the creatures themselves.

Even though their name has “hermit” in it, the crabs are quite sociable and live in communities. I read somewhere that they are called hermits because they carry their home with them. This is often a shell another creature has outgrown. Hermit crabs, too, change their home as they grow.

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When taken into captivity, some of them die from loneliness. Also, unlike cats or dogs, hermit crabs are stressed the more you touch them. They’re not pettable pets.

You also have to make sure their environment is suitable for them. They need a special diet and don’t like to be bathed as a lot of people think. Calcium in the sand could kill them.

Maybe you’ve decided you want to buy the crabs so you can release them back into the ocean. Although altruistic, it’s not a good idea to return crabs to the wild. One of the reasons is that the ones you buy in stores may carry bacteria or contagious viruses that would infect crab colonies.

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That’s not to say, the situation can’t work. There’s a happy story about a hermit crab and his owner. They have been best friends for more than 40 years, and now they both live in a retirement home together. You can watch this video about them: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2jPGbZRGKpo.

While I was doing my crabby research, I found an organization that provides information on how to care for crabs. You can adopt one or become a foster parent them if you’re interested. Their link is here: https://lhcos.org/our-history/.

They are a registered non profit. CrabStreetJournal.org is where they share all of their care guides. Crabcon.org is the page for their annual convention.

Here’s another great video about crab facts that can help you to make the right decision: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kvfToWMiyTw.

I hope our book Seamore Sees More brings awareness about this topic. The next time you see this cute little creature with painted shell in a gift shop, it’s best not to buy it. Perhaps this will discourage the trend of crabs being taken from their homes for pets. Or, if you do get one, first educate yourself on how to care for the creature. Reach out to these organizations to help you make a decision or learn how to care for a crab as a pet.

Please follow our Kickstarter campaign to know immediately when it launches.

You’ll learn more about crabs and other sea creatures and get some great books and merchandise to go along with them: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ronesa-aveela/seababies-adventures.

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The Power of Friendship

Overcoming difficulties and differences with the power of friendship

July has been an exciting month.

First, I’ve been accepted as a lifetime member of the Virginia Writers Club. I’m flattered and honored to have received this recognition, and I’d like to say thank you to my friend Rebecca, who is the other half of Ronesa.

The club was founded in 1918, as they say, “to make Richmond an influence in the world of letters and to line it up with other literary centers of the country.” From their website, the club’s mission is “to support and stimulate the art, craft, and business of writing, as well as advocate the literary arts in the broader Virginia community.”

Second, Rebecca and I are continuing our writing journey with our latest book series, Seababies Adventures, which is inspired by the ocean and the power of friendship.

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The books bring awareness to challenges common during childhood. Everyone has a story about one or more difficulties they’ve overcome as a child. They may not seem overwhelming to us now, but as a child, they may have been traumatic and caused fear of being ridiculed by other children.

Losing your front teeth and not being able to pronounce some words correctly. Having to wear glasses or braces. Moving to a new state (or country) and being “different” from the rest of the kids in your class. If you were lucky, you found friends who supported and encouraged you.

The Seababies Adventures was inspired by these challenges. Each story brings awareness to a childhood problem. The tales teach children to value friendships and teamwork and that it is okay to be unique. I use sea creatures to tell these stories, not only because of my love of the ocean, but also as a way to introduce young readers to ocean life.

In the first book, you’ll meet Whimsea, a charming little mermaid full of energy and love. She comes from a different place, which makes it difficult for her to achieve what comes easily to others. She learns that different can be cool and something she can be proud of. Book two is about Seamore, a little crab with googly eyes, and book three features Cupcake, a jellyfish. Both overcome problems and fears and help support their friends in the process.

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To go along with the books, I have created clay figurines and a board game. They will take your children on a magical learning journey.

In our books, we strive to promote diversity and cultural awareness. In the Seababies Adventures, you’ll also learn fun facts about the creatures and their lives in the magical kingdom of MerrowLand.

We’ll be launching this project on Kickstarter. To get notified when we go live and be among the first to get cool perks, follow our Kickstarter page at https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/1290677991. If you want to be kept aware of updates, sign up for our newsletter.

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