I gripped my hand into a fist and gritted my teeth. “I don’t know what she is. She’s bigger than the biggest spider ever recorded, and there’s no telling how big she will get or how long she will live. If you decide to keep her, it will be your responsibility to care for her, and I genuinely don’t believe you will.”
Janie nodded enthusiastically. “I will, Doc, I will!”
“My God,” I said, “What is wrong with you? Worse – what is wrong with me?! You have a truck full of starving dogs, and you expect me to believe that you’ve got the ability to care for an exotic animal? A spider will never love you, and something this big might one day turn around and kill you. You can’t possibly care for this thing.”
Janie picked the poor thing up. “You say she’s a lil’ girl, Doc?”
“Yes, but that’s not the-”
“Then I’ll call her Daenerys Charlotte, because I thought she she was gonna be a dragon but she turned out to be a baby…a little baby girl.” She wiped her eyes and reached for her wallet, taking out a debit card that I was certain she’d not owned the last time I’d seen her. “I’ll care for her. I’ll do it.”
I held my breath and my fists for a few seconds and considered my husband at home, how I’d planned on working five more years before I’d join him in true decrepity. “Alright,” I said. “I’m taking your dogs, and you better bring her in every month with her visits paid. She’s too dangerous to toy around with, and I will have her seized as soon as things even start to look bad. Understood?”
“Yes, Doc! Oh, thank you so much!”
I groaned and turned around to my computer. The fecal sample was coming through, giving a nice analysis of the protein shake’s suitability as food on the screen. I looked at the analysis, saw what she had eaten and what she hadn’t. “I can’t tell if your Daenerys is going to be healthy or not – whatever she is, it’s nothing I’ve ever seen before. I don’t even know which Phylum she should be classified into. If you want my advice on what to feed her, though, get down to the store and buy her some baby formula. If she seems sickly or doesn’t eat it, come back and I’ll take another look. For now,” I bent over the baby spider clinging to its mother’s shoulder, “Nothing is obviously wrong. Make an appointment at the front desk for two weeks from now and pay up.”
Janie nodded and wrapped the towel back around her baby. “Thank you, Doc. Thank you so much.”
I stepped out of the room after her and watched as she and Brett actually paid for the visit. I instructed the vet techs to collect the horde of dogs, and eventually they left.
At the time, I didn’t actually expect them to come back, and I wasn’t very concerned over the life of the spider.