Hello all, I'm new here- although I've visited a lot. I'm a suggie mom of 2, and now 3. Ive had my original 2, Maple & Willow, for close to 2 years now. They are both females and are bonded to my boyfriend and I. We love them dearly and spoil them lots! Maple is our dominant glider, but she is a sweetheart. Willow is super chill and easy going.
Maple is a forager, Willow is a athlete- loves her wheel lol!
A few months ago, my hairdressers told me that she had a close friend who is going through a lot of personal issues right now, and is looking to rehome her female glider, Luna. She has had Luna since she was 8 weeks old (from what I've heard, that is a bit early). Luna has been alone for her whole life since, and she is about 1 1/2 years old. I don't blame the her or think negatively about her for keeping Luna alone, as she was told that they do fine alone. However, she really did not have enough time to spend with her and she shortly after developed some health issues that caused even less time for her to bond with Luna. My boyfriend and I were very lucky to have had such a helpful/educated mentor when we first got Maple and Willow, but I know that is unfortunately not the case for everyone. So I do not cast judgements on Lunas previous owner, if anything I applaud her for taking Luna into consideration and realizing she could have a better life elsewhere. The owner did not spend more than 1 hour a day with her, and she left her alone on the weekends because she went out of town. So Luna was alone ALOT. She also told us that Luna would bark all night if she didn't leave a light on because she was "afraid of the dark". Which in my opinion, I knew that this was most likely because she did not want to be alone. Poor little thing.
When I first met Luna, she was crabby, overweight, and nippy. But we saw her living conditions and diet, and knew that we could provide a much better life for her. We waited a few weeks before we got her because we were in the middle of moving and wanted to have everything settled before she came to her new home. 3 short weeks later, we were all ready for her. We went and picked her up and when we brought her home we noticed major signs of over grooming above her eyes. So in that 3 short weeks, she had became even more unhappy and depressed. She also had dried up food between her nose, a place that no one could get unless she was in a colony. I also don't believe that she has ever had a nail trim. I do not think that she has ever had new toys either, so for her whole life she has been in the same cage (which thankfully is big) with the same boring few toys... all alone. Overall, I knew that we had our work cut out for us in many ways. Luna needs bonding, attention, a better diet, more exercise, more stimulation, social skills, etc.
I just hope that Maple & Willow eventually accept her into their colony.
We did a lot of pouch swapping, let them see each other through the cages (which Luna was Oh SO interested!!), and tub time, and eventually they all were snuggling into the same pouch. Maple & Willow were both grooming Luna (probably thinking.. WOW she is dirty!! lol) ALL was well!!!!
Maybe it was too soon, but we let Luna into Maple & Willows cage and thats were things started going downhill. We put multiple food dishes in, multiple pouches, etc. Maple and Willow didn't mind her eating at all, or playing with any toys, they were both ok with it. At one point, they all 3 were even on a wheel together. But I was watching Maple and she was scent marking all over, which wasn't too surprising since Maple is our dominant one. But then, Luna tried getting onto Maples back, and Maple didn't seem to like that. Willow didn't like it either when Luna was trying to get on her, but she didn't cause too much of a scene. But Luna KEPT trying with Maple. They started scuffling a bit and making noise. They weren't balled up, but I would clap and they would stop. I just didn't want anyone getting hurt. I haven't been able to find much info about this so hopefully I will get some insight. Eventually, it was happening so much that I figured we should separate them again because it was getting late and I had to be up at 5 AM. So I did, but I still put their cages close enough where they can see each other.
So we gave them space, and overall, Luna is still doing better and her hair is growing back from the previous over grooming. Her fur looks so much better, she is becoming more social, and she is getting lots of exercise and stimulation with her new toys.
This morning we decided to try some tub time, with no pouches around, and I was yet again saddened. Maple went straight towards Luna and bit her! Again and again, as Luna just went to hide. Willow was fine and accepting, but not Maple!
This is so frustrating for me because at first they were accepting her, letting her into their pouch, cuddling, and grooming her. But now Maple is being rude!! It sucks. It is discouraging. But I know that this could be a long process, so I don't want to stop trying. We put them back into their cages, but swapped pouches again to hopefully help out.
Does anyone have any advice or suggestions? Similar situations? Anything Motivational to help me not be too sad?! I really thought it was going well, but I feel like we've taken a few steps backwards. Luna needs a colony and I feel like we were getting so close. What do you think?