Apr 6, 2012
Glider Rebellion and "The Incident"
So things have generally been awesome with my dear suggies, which now number 3 (I'm not sure if I talked about Ren before, he's a new addition to the colony and, yes, capable of creating new Joeys some day with the girls :) I feel really silly about ever thinking Precious could have been a boy, now that I've seen a real one. No way in heck anyone misses THAT)
Generally, the relationship has been they sleep in the cage while I'm at work and get the run of my room all night from the time I get home til I wake up. They even basically put themselves "away" in the morning, I always find all three in their hanging pouch in the cage when I wake up. :) On weekends and days off I take them with me in pouch wherever I go, which they generally enjoy. Two of the three, my boy and my baby, have very docile, agreeable personalities, they generally know when I want them to come to me and when to go in cage and so on and they NEVER try to leave my room. Ren even slips into my clothes in the night and curls up in the spot between my neck and shoulder, SOOO cute. :) But Precious, well, I'm considering renaming her Houdini. ;) Because she LOVES to escape out of my room whenever I give her a chance, which is whenever there is no towel under the door on the ROOM side, which is either because I've left the room to do something else for a bit or because I forgot to put one down before going to sleep. There's a towel under the door on the /other/ side, but she's gotten adept at pushing that one out of the way and getting out. ;) Thankfully my cats are always out at night these days, so there's been no danger of a Casey-style "lion incident", I actually think it's kinda cute that she does that. But it highlights her personality as a very strong-willed glider, which came into play the other day when we had "the incident". :)
Long story short, I stop breathing in my sleep. It's a very dangerous, life threatening thing, and even if it wasn't it causes a lot of fatigue when I wake up, so I have a CPAP breathing machine I'm supposed to wear to keep my airways open at night. Since getting the gliders, I haven't really used it as I've been basically playing with them til I pass out from the fun. ;) But the other day I decided it was time to get back into the habit of using it, figuring the gliders would probably have fun crawling over the tubing but otherwise it wouldn't make much difference.
Well, apparently, the gliders decided that the CPAP machine was trying to kill me. :) I woke up to Ren sitting on top of the mask running his nose over the airholes, Serenity trying to squeeze inside the mask under the seal, and Precious biting me on the side of the neck trying to wake me up so I could escape the evil machine. :) Of course, because the machine was /working/, I was in a deeper sleep than normal (from their perspective) so it took that much longer to wake me, and I swear they were in full on attack mode. They didn't even stop when I pulled the mask off, they didn't calm down until I was standing up and near their cage again.
Ever since then, Precious has been /extra/ rebellious, she doesn't seem to want me to sleep at all and bites on me whenever I try. Last couple of days I've had to lock her back up before going to sleep, which is a shame cause I know she values her run around time (not to mention I know Serenity's a little miffed at being denied access to the wheel).
Gliders are so complicated. :)
Mar 18, 2012
Serenity and Precious are now safely to the point where they share a single cage. :) They cuddle with each other a lot and rarely have any problems interacting. Each seems okay giving the other a share of the food and drink and they play and groom together. Soooo adorable. :) Think we're good.
Mar 15, 2012
One Little Complication...
So, in my continuing effort to make sure Serenity and Precious bond to one another as well as me, I had them both outside their cages yesterday mingling a little bit. They groomed each other, shared a nectarine, nothing too special... then, as both of them are wont to do, Precious crawled into the underbelly tray area of the Pocket Pets cage and started crawling around on the bars upside down, rubbing her body in Serenity's mess from the night before. :P Very silly habit, I think they use discarded mealworms and pellets as a backscratcher or something.
Anyway, Serenity hopped back in her cage to sniff at Precious some more, creating this neat "pond" effect with her mirroring Precious from above. Myself and two of the neighborhood kids watched this with interest for a few moments when one of them pointed at Precious and said, "What's that?"
Close examination revealed a small red dot on Precious' underside, just in front of the tail, where something seemed to be wiggling in and out a bit. Yup, you guessed it - turns out "she's" not a she. :P About two minutes of sheer disbelief and debate on the idea that HIS previous owner couldn't possibly have had him for two years without knowing his gender was put to rest when Precious hopped up into Serenity's cage and... well, and started to do what boy gliders do when there's a pretty girl around. :P Suddenly all my complaints about Precious' scent made more sense. ;)
On the one hand, I'm thrilled. I was hoping to be in this position someday - an unneutered male to go with my female so the colony can grow. I didn't really want to get here so quickly, though. :) I still barely know what I'm doing! I'm going to repeat this journal entry as a post so I can get some guidance for my short term questions. :) As for the long term - well, everything happens for a reason, right?
Mar 13, 2012
Serenity and Precious
Wow, been almost two weeks since I journaled. Okay, long story short, my finances took a hit so I wasn't able to get the two gliders I expected to get - which is really a shame, because it would have taught me exactly what I need to know right now, which is how two gliders normally interact with each other. :) Because I did get lucky and get one new glider, a 2 year old female named Precious (not my name for her, but I'm respecting her name from her previous owner).
Serenity and I have been having quite a lot of fun with her jumping abilities. :) She jumps from my hand to her cage, back to my other hand, runs around my shoulders to the first hand and repeats. Neither of us get tired of it, we easily go for half an hour that way. :) My room has become glider safe, I let each glider out for half the night to roam around the room and enjoy themselves and I hide a couple of little treats around - a nut here, a grape there - for them to enjoy finding during the night.
Precious and I are bonding slowly but surely. She lets me pick her up now without too much fuss, and will come to me for food and run around on me during out time. Not quite as trusting of me as Serenity yet, but it'll get there.
I've been letting the girls sniff each other through the bars during their individual out times for the last week or so, and yesterday I let them physically interact for the first time under my supervision. They seem to have a tendancy to trim each others' nails, which is good cause I still need to pick up my nail trimming wheel insert (Serenity's startin' to hurt me, so it's a priority, I'll probably pick it up tonight). But the adult will stretch her front paws over the baby like Superman-style, which I find a little concerning, and after awhile they do get into little fights, although neither is drawing blood so I assume that's a good thing. I think Precious might also just be annoyed at the length of Serenity's nails :) Anyone know where I can find some good vids of two gliders playing/interacting so I can know what's normal and what I should stop?
I'll have pics of the girls together soon. :)
Mar 1, 2012
New gliders coming!
I have 2 new babies coming into my life tomorrow night! I finally got lucky with Craigslist, 2 9 month old greys, one male and one female, plus cage and supplies for $450. I thought about asking the forumers what to look for in inspecting these guys, but then I decided there's no point - if they're in good condition, I'll take them because they're in good condition, and if they're sad or sickly or troublesome, I'll take them anyway just to try to improve their living conditions. :) So they're mine either way. I'll just have to alert my forum support group once I have them if I run into anything unusual with them.
I'm not going to rename them, I wouldn't rename a human child I adopted so there's no reason to rename the gliders. :) So part of the fun will be finding out what their names are when I'm introduced to them. I'm also going to bring along something scented to go in the bonding pouch with them for the ride home. I promised their current owners that I would keep them updated with blogs and pictures, and so I shall - thanks to the journal here. :) I think that'll be nice for them, certainly if I ever gave up Serenity for some reason I'd want to hear how she was doing from time to time, maybe see a cute picture.
The funny part is, since I'm getting basically teenager gliders, I'm expecting a little bit of rebelliousness from them. ;) Since they're coming with their own cage, I will actually do the short period of quarantine/item swapping recommended to help my new baby get accustomed to her new colony and vice versa. Wikipedia said "a dominant male will mark his territory and members of the group with saliva and a scent produced by seperate glands on the forehead and chest, intruders who lack the appropriate scent marking are expelled violently" :P I don't want my little girl "expelled violently"! :P
Feb 28, 2012
Tents and Kiwis
Well, Serenity taught me something today - Kiwis and her don't get along. First day I fed her kiwi, she had diarrhea the next day, which was scary - for a few seconds there I was all ticked at the people who told me to vary her diet, and swore to go back to pellets and cantaloupe only - and sure enough, as soon as I switched back the diarrhea went away and all was good. But I've given her a few other things over the last two weeks and there's been no diarrhea, so I decided yesterday, "Okay, I'll give her kiwi again tonight, if she has diarrhea tomorrow then I know it's kiwis specifically that don't work for her." And this morning, she had diarrhea again, so... oh well, no kiwi for her. Shame, it's such an awesome fruit.
Anyway, she's got her mealies and pellets and HPW mix, which she was so eager for last night that she didn't even wait for the ice cube to melt, she started eating the cube like a lollipop. :)
We've had tent time twice now. She doesn't really seem to climb the tent, just run along the ground and climb me. :) I bring her wheel in with us so she has something else to do, and music or iPad for me. She seems happy, she gets very frisky especially in the early morning (like around now) where she really wants to run and jump and play. She's a little off what I'd expect for nocturnal, seems like she sleeps from 10AM-10PM. :)
Oh, yesterday I picked her up while she was asleep and put her in my pocket and she didn't even wake up. :)
Still no luck finding her glider playmates. But I'm searching daily.
Feb 23, 2012
The Beginnings of a Bond
I think Serenity and I are continuing to hit it off well. :) I brought her her nightly fruit, some honeydew with vitamin sprinkles, and she just hopped onto my hand and literally ate out of my palm for a solid two minutes, then kinda fell into a routine of "hop on the wheel, run a bit, hop on Jerry's hand, eat honeydew, repeat ad infinitum" :) I feel like she really trusts me a lot now, though only when it's /just/ me - if I'm with someone else, she's still very skittish.
Feb 22, 2012
Wheelin' and Mealin'
Serenity LOVES. HER. WHEEL. :) Took her about 2 hours to figure out what to do with the thing, but once she got the hang of it, WOW, she's the giddiest glider in Glidonia. :) It's your standard Wodent Wheel, $20, not bad especially since I was able to get it right away and not wait for shipping.
The pet store's food supplies all come from a company called Exotic Nutrition. I bought a pack of freeze dried mealworms (the label says "glider grubs"), which so far Serenity doesn't seem as interested in as her pellets and cantaloupe. But I haven't put any in her bowl yet - we'll see how she feels about them then.
She spent most of the day with me on Sunday and on Tuesday, including when I went out to the pet store. Our bonding continues apace - she now eagerly runs across my hands without fear, though she doesn't really climb me unless she's out of her cage already. She's started trying to bite my fingernails (and I thought it was a bad enough habit when I do it, heehe) but when I make the 'tsssst' noise she backs off right away, so.. that's good. Hopefully there won't be a biting problem in the future.
Feb 17, 2012
A Morning Person
Well, TGIF, few more hours of work and then I'll have a full uninterrupted weekend with my baby. :) Can't wait! I hope I'm always this enthusiastic about her, can't imagine not being. :)
So last night, I got home and, as I read from some people on here, picked up my suggie through the shirt she was bundled up in instead of digging her out first. That wake up did seem a little better for her. I gave her some kiwi with vitamin sprinkles, then picked her up and, as has become tradition for me, held her up to the water bottle so she could have a pre-play drink. She very rarely fails to take a drink when I put her up to the water bottle, and that's how I begin and end every session with her.
I then let her run around on my hands for a few minutes before putting her in the bonding pouch, along with another piece of kiwi. Once in the pouch, I played some Skyrim on the PS3 while periodically petting her. She was good for three hours that way except for a little crabbing when I zipped open the pouch and peeked in at her. :)
I then took her out for another few minutes of, well, what I wanted to be hand play, she decided she'd rather just perch on my thumb and stare at me. :) Went to sleep, woke up at 7:30 and, as usual, she was pretty much inside her food dish half-eating, half-playing with her food. Opened the cage, gave her a brief head rub and moved her to her water bottle, where she drank as if she'd forgotten it was there all night. ;) Then she left my hand and curled up in the shirt that I gave her for her cage. I cleaned the tray off, I didn't realize left over cantaloupe wedges dried up like that :P Maybe I should put a newspaper on the tray next time.
Feb 16, 2012
So, I'm going to document my thoughts and feelings about my glider (hopefully soon-to-be gliderS) and how it's going, so that I can look back at it someday and remember how silly I was. ;)
For anyone reading who didn't get to see my intro posts to the forum, I got my baby from PPP at a mall outlet on Saturday, February 11th, 2012. I had no idea what I was getting into but I wasn't /completely/ impulsive, I just apparently had too much faith in the internet. :) I figured I'd accept what I was told at the point of sale and expound on my internet knowledge once I got her home. Whereupon I have discovered that, at least on the topic of sugar gliders, there is definitely more than one "truth" out there online. :) I have since read PPP's instructions and talked to the various forumers here, absorbed the variety of opinions out there, and decided on the "opening approach" that I'm going to take with my baby.
Issue #1: Companionship. Winning Faction: The Forum. I'm completely convinced that my baby needs a playmate more than any other possible toy, and I've made finding a second sugar glider my top priority. Not much luck so far because I'm still recovering financially from getting her, but I'm going to get one as soon as possible. Will probably need another cage because I've heard a couple of people (surprisingly few forumers have weighed in on this actually) mention the need for a quarantine/adjustment period, but I HIGHLY doubt that I'll be doing a full 30 day quarantine. I'll be at least making attempts to get them to interact after 7 days and, if that doesn't work, then after 14 days, etc, once a week until I'm sure they're okay with each other. I'm also planning on "switching" them from cage to cage on a daily basis, I have a theory that so much time around each others' scent might accelerate their acceptance of each other. Will post on that experiment as I do it. :)
Issue #2: Diet. Winning Faction: Neither. I'm not convinced that pellets are worthless, nor do I believe anymore that they are God's gift to gliders. Today I tried the HPW ice cube thing over Banana Nut Cheerios instead of pellets, and Serenity looked like she was in heaven. :) I also decided that I agree with forumers that exposing her to variety in food now rather than waiting will help keep her from being a picky eater, so I gave her some honeydew last night (also enjoyed immensely by her) and I'll give her some kiwi with vitamin stuff tonight. As an interesting side effect, this glider is going to wind up being good for ME because I find myself eating some of whatever she eats, so my own fruit/vegetable intake is increasing, and oddly, while I would NEVER be willing to make a weekly trip to the grocery store for myself, there's something about doing it for Serenity that makes it seem more fun. :)
I think I'm going to go 50/50 on fruits/veges and protein for now. Haven't decided on her protein source yet, I like the idea of using something more "human" than the HPW mix (IE eggs/chicken). As far as water goes, I'm going to continue to mix water with something tasty (gatorade, juices, etc) and change it every three days. Not often enough by some standards here, but then I'm sure those same people would be appalled to learn that I only shower every three days myself. :P I'm not holding Serenity to a hygenical standard higher or lower than then the one I hold myself to.
Issue #3: Handling. Winning Faction: PPP. I think their approach to having "control" of the animal through the Mendenhall grip and the tunneling stuff is right on, the forumers in general don't seem to give their babies enough credit for resilience. What PPP says makes sense - these are pouch animals, used to being squished very tightly in mama's pouch, even with another joey. And, I picked Serenity because she was the one literally buried under her cagemates with just her head sticking out and seemed to accept that with a docile attitude. I think it's important to establish myself as her "alpha", and handling her with a little firmness is the way to go for this.
Issue #4: Interaction with Other Animals. Winning Faction: The Forum (mostly). Gone are the fantasies of my glider and cats gathering over a bowl of spaghettios like they showed in the demo. My cat and my glider will never be in the same room without me, and if they're in the same room with me, then the glider will be safely in it's cage, in my hand or in my pocket, and I will be sure to keep a minimum 2 feet distance between cat and glider at all times. This falls short of the Forum's "OMG NEVER IN THE SAME ROOM" imperative, which I believe to be grossly overprotective (although admittedly, it's cage only until she's at least 12 weeks old), but it's certainly a lot more in line with their philosophy than PPP's.
Issue #5: The Unknown. Well, one thing's for sure, I know a LOT more than I did when I took her home. :) I think documenting her daily life her for awhile might help with things that I have no clue about.
This morning she did the cutest thing, she grabbed a cheerio while I was munching on my bowl of cheerios and we stared at each other while eating. :) I'm going to die from cute overload.