Tomorrow is the big day. Tomorrow we bring home Fiona's new brothers, Plato and Yoda. The boys are brothers and are a month "out of pouch" a month before Fiona. That's fancy Sugar Glider talk for, "they are a month older." Some of this Sugie jargon first threw me for a loop and sometimes I have to ask a million questions to understand, but I think I'm getting there. That sort of language is almost second nature for me when it comes to dogs, but there have always been dogs in my life and so I think that makes the difference. Sugar Gliders are a very new thing in this house.
I think the sooner we bring Yoda and Plato home the better. Fiona has been awfully confrontational and so it's been hard to give her the attention I know she needs. She will often lunge at our hands, crabbing very loudly, and if she can get a good hold she will bite. She was always a bit less bonded than Gus, but her biting was subsiding and she didn't lunge anymore. Ever since Gus passed away, she's regressed. However, Mr. K and I are as stubborn as she is and are not allowing her poor behavior to deter us.
Technically, when handling a Sugar Glider it is suggested that you do not wear gloves. Since the Gliders bond through scent, if you are wearing gloves it could be confusing. I've also noticed that the more bonded the Glider becomes the more willing they are to touch your skin. At first, both Fiona and Gus didn't want anything to do with our hands. They would run down my arms and stop at the cuff of my sleeve and pick an alternative route. Gus was at the point where he didn't mind hands and Fiona was getting there, but her biting has forced us to resort to wearing gloves.
Now, we don't wear the gloves if we are putting our hands in the cage to give her a treat or to play with her. She seems less likely to bite/lunge when she is able to approach you on her own. We do need her to be in the bonding pouch during the day though, as our body heat will help her and she needs to continue the bonding process, despite losing her brother; now probably more than ever. Mr. K wears the gloves to get her out of her sleeping place to put her in the bonding pouch. If he does not, she latches on and even drew blood.
I completely understand why she is acting this way. I don't blame her at all, but we can't let her be by herself. Sugar Gliders are such social creatures that too much time alone could be detrimental to Fiona's health. I carried her around in the bonding pouch yesterday; even when we left the house. She lunged at my stomach at one point through the pouch, but thankfully the thick fleece kept her little chompers away from my skin. She is so jumpy now. It makes me so sad that she is so out of sorts. I'm sure, at least in the beginning, bringing Yoda and Plato into the picture may throw her off a bit more, but in the long run it will be good for her.
We will be busting out the tent again and setting it up in the living room to facilitate bonding with all three Gliders. It's also better to introduce joeys, or even grown Gliders, in neutral territory and so we think the tent will be a good place. I've read of a few different ways to introduce your Sugar Gliders, but since all three are still joeys we shouldn't have too many problems. One article suggested placing a small drop of vanilla extract between the shoulder blades of each Sugar Glider. They like the vanilla and that way they all smell the same. It also will encourage them to start grooming each other; a sign that they have accepted one another. I know this technique is often used to encourage mama animals to take on orphaned babies. I may use this technique as a precaution.
When we first brought Gus and Fiona home I remember being nervous and this time around, I'm a bit nervous as well; for totally different reasons though. We know what to expect with regards to owning Sugar Gliders, whereas, when we picked up Gus and Fiona we were clueless. That nervousness is way laid. I am a bit worried though as to how Fiona, Yoda and Plato will all take to one another. I'm also concerned that we won't know the difference between Yoda and Plato. We could tell the difference between Fiona and Gus because she is smaller and they moved differently, but Plato and Yoda are both boys, will there be physical indicators we will be able to pick up as blind people? Realistically, I'm sure eventually we will. Mr. K and I can usually tell the difference between Glacier and Roscoe most times without touching them because they move differently, make different noises and Glacier is bigger. So, I'm sure there is nothing to worry about. What I really should do is change my perspective: this is exciting. We are bringing new babies home and Fiona will be a happy little girl.
Speaking of happy little girls: Fiona would like to remind you that a very big event will be taking place in Blogville. She, Yoda and Plato will be there and she hopes you will be too. She would like me to tell you that she's not called a "Sugar" glider or "honey" bear for nothing. She says that "sugars" and "honeys" are very impawtant to this event. ;)
With that, I will leave you for today.
Happy Friday everyone. :)