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#1043784 - 12/20/10 09:43 AM What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider?
Dragonrain Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 11/22/09
Posts: 233
Loc: NY
Okay so I'm a moderator and/or active member on a few other pet forums.

Once in awhile we'll have people come around asking questions about sugar gliders. We don't have a lot of sugar glider owners on the forums and since I've worked with them in the past and have been researching them for over 5 years, I usually try to help out and answer the glider questions.

What do you say to people who only keep one glider? That's the most common problem I have - people just get one and then when I advise them to keep at least a pair they just kind of brush me off. They say they spend a lot of time with the glider or whatever and think that replaces the need to get their glider a buddy.

I would never keep an animal like a sugar glider alone except for maybe in really extreme situations. I keep rabbits as pets which are a social animal, not as social as gliders though I don't think, and I refuse to even keep a rabbit singly after seeing how much happier they can be with a buddy.

Can sugar gliders ever be happy as single gliders? I'm worried for these gliders that other people own which is maybe weird since I'm sure I'll never meet them, but I'm just like that.

Does anyone have any good websites they can PM me that really get to the point about explaining why sugar gliders should be kept in pairs? Or advice of what to tell these owners?

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#1043788 - 12/20/10 09:49 AM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
wildlifeangel Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
I am a breeder, and I have come across this question recently. My response is that I am willing to sell a single glider, but they MUST get them a friend within 6 months.
_________________________
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#1043790 - 12/20/10 09:54 AM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
carolinasuggies Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 05/05/10
Posts: 1192
Loc: NC
99.99% Of sugar glider's do better in pairs! I cannot say that gliders that like to be alone dont exsist I had the pleasure of owning one who would't accept a cage mate for many years! And I tried throughout the hole time many different cage mates and he wouldn't accept any BUT glider's like that are very few and I don't suggest anyone keeping a single glider! As stated above I do the same when finding new families for my babies!


Edited by carolinasuggies (12/20/10 09:55 AM)
Edit Reason: adding
_________________________
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#1043851 - 12/20/10 12:14 PM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: wildlifeangel]
becpop Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 06/14/09
Posts: 425
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: wildlifeangel
I am a breeder, and I have come across this question recently. My response is that I am willing to sell a single glider, but they MUST get them a friend within 6 months.


I do this too. I make any new owners sign a contract saying that they will get any glider they buy from me a friend. I hate the thought of a poor little glider sleeping in its pouch by itself, especially in this cold weather, and not having anyone to play around with them in their cage.
_________________________
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#1043895 - 12/20/10 01:33 PM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: wildlifeangel]
ChrissysGliderz Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 11/04/09
Posts: 1119
Loc: Palmyra, VA
I agree with Nadine smile I give the buyer 6 months to find the single glider a buddy from I or another reputable breeder.
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www.SlumberSuggies.com
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#1043935 - 12/20/10 02:18 PM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: wildlifeangel]
Meg_n_Von Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 12099
Loc: Vulcan, MO
Originally Posted By: wildlifeangel
I am a breeder, and I have come across this question recently. My response is that I am willing to sell a single glider, but they MUST get them a friend within 6 months.


I agree!
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#1043957 - 12/20/10 02:38 PM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: wildlifeangel]
HagridsHut Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 657
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: wildlifeangel
I am a breeder, and I have come across this question recently. My response is that I am willing to sell a single glider, but they MUST get them a friend within 6 months.


So...is the general consensus that a friend must be obtained within a 6 month time period? I have yet to place a glider individually (We have been lucky enough for our little ones to go either in pairs or to homes with at least one glider already in place!), but I had always considered allotting a 3 month time frame. It absolutely breaks my heart to think of a glider being housed alone for any period of time, so 6 months sounds like a REALLY long time to me! -Alicia
_________________________

:grey: Andromeda, Malfoy, & Peeves; Arthur & Lily :wfb:


:rbridge: Severus Snape, Dolores Umbridge, Horace Slughorn, & Molly Weasley ... Glide free, my little angels! We will love and miss you FOREVER!





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#1044019 - 12/20/10 04:20 PM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
StitchsMom Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 10569
Loc: IL (St. Louis area)
I encourage owners to bond with their single glider before getting a second. I have actually had a glider that took over a year to bond with me. My plan did not involve a second glider at first. My focus was on him bonding with me. He did get a friend, but not until he was almost 1.5 years old. I don't think I made the wrong decision and I don't think I did anything cruel to him. I did what was best for the both of us. I waited until the time was right. I also stepped up to the plate as far as spending time with him. He went everywhere with me and we did a ton of stuff together even though he was a crabby patty for months.

Putting a 3-6 month restriction on things would have been a bit strict in my case. At some point, I believe that it's about letting the owner make their own decisions about the glider's well being. If you, as a breeder, do not like their plans to wait for a friend, then don't adopt to them. If you trust that the owner will act in the glider's best interest, then feel free to go through with the adoption.

I like my gliders to be bonded with me before they get cagemates and that's my decision as an owner. I've never had a problem with it. Even when you consider that it took around 16 months to get Stitch a friend, I did get him a friend. I just took the time to bond with him first. I was afraid that not doing so would negatively affect our long-term relationship.

There are exceptions out there and we all need to be considerate of each owner and they way they want to do things. If we don't agree with it, we can always refuse the adoption.

I want to state very clearly that I do believe gliders, in most cases, are happier in pairs. I just don't think that waiting several months to be ready for a second glider is the worse thing in the world. Let's face it, the majority of owners that do plan on getting just one glider usually end up changing their mind and getting a second (or third, or fourth, etc) in the long run anyway.
_________________________
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#1044132 - 12/20/10 07:39 PM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: StitchsMom]
HagridsHut Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 657
Loc: Virginia
Hi, Jenny! wave Thank you for sharing your personal experience. May I ask whether or not your Stitch was a joey or an adolescent/adult rescue? The reason that I am interested is because our joeys take VERY little time to bond with their new owners. They are hand-raised from Day 1, and we have yet to encounter a situation in which an adopter has had ANY difficulty with bonding. However, we also do quite a bit of glider rescue in our area, and I have and will continue to allow individual rescues to be be housed alone during the bonding phase. I'm just not certain that this is a necessary step when dealing with hand-tamed joeys. -Alicia
_________________________

:grey: Andromeda, Malfoy, & Peeves; Arthur & Lily :wfb:


:rbridge: Severus Snape, Dolores Umbridge, Horace Slughorn, & Molly Weasley ... Glide free, my little angels! We will love and miss you FOREVER!





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#1044152 - 12/20/10 08:03 PM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
CSteele Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 10/09/07
Posts: 1701
Loc: Elkhorn, WI
As a breeder I won't adopt out a single unless I know for sure there is a "buddy" waiting for him/her or in the situations where I have had people wanting a glider for breeding, I already know who they have lined up as their mate smile But thats just what I am comfortable with.

I agree with Stitchesmom though

Quote:
If you, as a breeder, do not like their plans to wait for a friend, then don't adopt to them.


It's all about what you feel comfortable with. smile
_________________________
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262-325-7137

Spoonful of Sugars-Gliders & Gear
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#1044160 - 12/20/10 08:25 PM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
Jennicat
Unregistered


As a rescue, we require any gliders adopted to be kept in pairs and only send singles off to be bonded. I think the biggest problem is not that knowledgeable owners like Stitchsmom want to get a single to bond with them, but usually the types of applications that we get for single gliders are fairly uninformed newbie owners that think they can spend a couple of hours a day with their gliders and replace the need for a friend.

We do make efforts to educate them, but if I can't convince someone that they can't take the place of another glider if they're also working full time or going to school, I'm not very comfortable adopting to them.

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#1044171 - 12/20/10 08:41 PM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
Sabarika Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 1712
Loc: nKY
I used to explain to rodent owners (rats, mice, & gerbils) that no matter how many hours a day you spend with your pet, you will never be able to replace another member of their species. In the wild they live in groups and colonies with a social structure. They sleep together, play together, and groom one another. When adopting a glider you become part of their colony, but you will never replace the companionship another glider gives. You cannot groom them as they groom one another, curl up into a little huddled ball with them, bark and chitter to communicate or play as another glider plays. They are happy when they are with you, but what about when you are asleep? When you are working or at school? Yes, all animals will want some time alone, but the times that they are NOT alone with another of their species is more than you can compensate for being their sole companionship. It's a myth that two gliders will bond to each other more than you, many owners experience the opposite--the shier glider will see that the other one trusts you and will also begin to open up to you as well.
I hope that helps you a bit. People will always be stubborn and use the anecdotal evidence of "Well so-and-so has a single glider and it's happy!" but remember that as a species they are social animals that naturally tend towards being in groups and colonies. Unless shown OTHERWISE they should always be kept in pairs or with the company of other gliders.
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#1044179 - 12/20/10 08:59 PM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
lovely1inred
Unregistered


I believe there are a few gliders that are better kept as singles than a pair or colony - but I also think that is the exception rather than rule. Some of these people you run across may not feel like they need or should have another glider and it's not something you can force. All you can do is make the information available and hope they make the right decision. smile

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#1044211 - 12/20/10 10:22 PM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
JeremyandLexie Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 09/13/10
Posts: 350
Loc: New Hampshire
whats to make the buyers do it though? are you gonna take the glider back? How do you control "must purchase a glider within 6 months...?"

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#1044232 - 12/20/10 10:56 PM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: JeremyandLexie]
HagridsHut Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 657
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: JeremyandLexie
whats to make the buyers do it though? are you gonna take the glider back? How do you control "must purchase a glider within 6 months...?"


All of my joeys are under contract. If any portion of that contract is breached, ownership of the joey reverts to me. I, personally, keep a close eye on all of my joeys for the entirety of their lives ( all 10+ years! mlove ) ... not just until they are adopted! -Alicia
_________________________

:grey: Andromeda, Malfoy, & Peeves; Arthur & Lily :wfb:


:rbridge: Severus Snape, Dolores Umbridge, Horace Slughorn, & Molly Weasley ... Glide free, my little angels! We will love and miss you FOREVER!





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#1044242 - 12/20/10 11:45 PM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
There are probably a lot of people from the other side of this conversation that you will never hear from. While I generally agree that gliders do better in pairs and I always strongly recommended new owners that adopted my joeys to keep them in pairs or buy a pair from me. I have also known a fair number of gliders that were very happy as single gliders. Can I say they with absolutely certainty that those gliders would not have been happier as a pair, no, but I can also not say with absolute certainty that they were not very happy being a single, because they were.

Focusing on this one subject with new glider owners can definitely turn them off. I've seen it happen many times. There are a million reasons to keep gliders in multiples, if you ask someone who is happy with a single glider, there are a million and one reasons not to. One of the primary reasons I always felt it necessary to tell everyone to keep gliders in pairs + was because, yes, they are social in the wild, but I know human nature - I've seen it happen a lot and no matter how interested someone is in something at the beginning, it can change and I wanted my joeys to have someone there with them always, even if the human wasn't.

I see both sides of this argument and I do not think there is one black or white absolute right answer. I think every glider is different, I think every owner is different. I learned a lot about some people's glider ownership attitudes when I was breeding, which is a main reason why I don't breed anymore.

I will still lean towards gliders in pairs, I will still recommend it because I know how feelings, situations and life changes. But I won't say there has never been a happy single glider because I know that's not true.


Edited by sugarlope (12/20/10 11:45 PM)
_________________________
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Maia & Squish
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#1044250 - 12/21/10 12:11 AM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
wildlifeangel Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
6 months is an arbitrary number for me. If I have someone who does NOT want to find it a friend, it's different than someone who has been looking and maybe the 6 month mark has passed. I think I would also allow leniency for someone who was struggling to bond (although NONE of my babies have ever been that difficult).

It's a case-by-case basis, but the most single glider requests that i get are new people who don't want to deal with having two... or only got permission from the homeowner for one... or can't afford two. In each of these cases, if they are not willing to sit down and really consider the well-being of the glider, and that there are more bills associated with gliders than just the purchase price... I will turn them down for adoption.
_________________________
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Adam-Eve
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#1044253 - 12/21/10 12:16 AM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: sugarlope]
HagridsHut Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 657
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: sugarlope
But I won't say there has never been a happy single glider because I know that's not true.


I absolutely agree! Personally, however, that's not a chance that I'm willing to take with any of my joeys. -Alicia
_________________________

:grey: Andromeda, Malfoy, & Peeves; Arthur & Lily :wfb:


:rbridge: Severus Snape, Dolores Umbridge, Horace Slughorn, & Molly Weasley ... Glide free, my little angels! We will love and miss you FOREVER!





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#1044266 - 12/21/10 12:49 AM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: HagridsHut]
StitchsMom Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 10569
Loc: IL (St. Louis area)
Originally Posted By: HagridsHut
Hi, Jenny! wave Thank you for sharing your personal experience. May I ask whether or not your Stitch was a joey or an adolescent/adult rescue?

Stitch was my very first glider. I researched caring for gliders quite a bit (over a year) and when I discovered a breeder only 15 minutes from me, I decided to visit. What I had failed to research was where to get my sugar glider. At that time, all I knew was that "a breeder is better than a pet store". Well, we all know (and I know now) that not all breeder's are as caring and educated as others. I assumed this guy knew everything. He even told me not to use a vet, but to just call him because he knew more. shakehead

My first red flag should have been that while he bred at his home, the gliders were kept in a shed in the backyard. I just assumed that was how breeders did things. I know it was a tad ignorant on my part, but I just didn't know any better. So, when he plopped a crabbing, lunging, 12 week old little boy in my hands...I fell in love!!! roflmao He told me to "take him for a test run" for a few hours and to come back when I had made up my mind. Well, I didn't care how rotten he was, I already knew he was coming home with me. I'm sure you ALL know what I'm talking about. After having him with me for an hour or so, I went back and bought him. Yup, the guy actually told me to leave with his glider and to just bring him back later. Crazy, huh?!

So, I came home with a very scared little boy. I had no clue what I had gotten myself into. After struggling with bonding for months, I found GC. It was all of the members here that encouraged me to keep it up and work twice as hard to get him to trust me. He did come around and he was one of the most bonded gliders I've ever had. Now, he never liked strangers and would crab at them and bite them. But, he adored me and that was all I cared about. tounge

I know that his upbringing had a lot to do with his attitude. I haven't had near that much trouble with any other glider here and I took in rescues for awhile there. I had one pair that was mean as could be. They took me a year to turn into cuddle babies, but they weren't as aggressive as Stitch was. They were just terrified and would bite when scared...which was all the time. Stitch seemed to be hunting my fingers. He actually SCARED me for awhile.

Anyway, I'm rambling. The short answer is that he was a joey, but he was far from socialized.
_________________________
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>>> Sugar Glider Slave <<<

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#1044294 - 12/21/10 01:42 AM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
JillMarie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 7748
Loc: New Jersey
I agree with Jenny and Gretchen.

It certainly depends on the glider and the human involved.

When I went away for family emergency, TWICE, for a week both times, even though Arwen had her "cagemate" her natural mommy, after the third day she was showing signs of depression that didnt go away till I got home.

She would be fine as a single if I am there. Her mommy also doesnt seem to care if she is left alone or not. In fact they sleep better during the day when separated.

Every glider is an individual. And if its an adult making the decision to have one, may be different than a young child wanting one. We all know kids can get bored with a pet. Of course there is exceptions to that rule as well.

On the flip side of things. Just because they are "colony" animals doesnt mean throwing 6 of them into a 3'x3'x3' cage is ok either.

I hear of "colonies" and see the cage sizes, and in my heart I feel it is a disaster waiting to happen. PLEASE remember my golden rule "there is an exception to EVERY rule" but in the wild colony size is based on available food sources and living space. So while we offer plenty of food, if dynamics of the colony change, and they do, where will they go to get away if picked on?

While I agree 100% that breeders have a right to pick whom they decide to sell/give a joey to, demanding they get 2 may discourage potentially good glider owners and force them to buy from (PPP) Perfect Pocket Pets rather than a good breeder. Just a thought (or two smile )
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#1044331 - 12/21/10 07:55 AM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
Sabarika Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 1712
Loc: nKY
Want to clarify for my post, I like seeing the open-mindedness people are showing with this. :3 When it comes to new owners who wish to adopt their first glider, I would always recommend to them getting a pair. It seems best to me to encourage them to understand the natural instinct and tendencies of gliders--if we did not encourage communal glider living I think a lot more people who don't have the same dedication to research that we do would be adopting single gliders that may not do well alone and the owners would not understand why their glider is not as healthy mentally. It would be totally fine to me though if someone wishes to have a single glider (& is willing to learn) and the breeder or seller had an individual glider that is already established to be happier by itself then I don't see why it couldn't be adopted out to that person. :3
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Photography
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#1044377 - 12/21/10 10:58 AM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
Dragonrain Offline
Glider Explorer

Registered: 11/22/09
Posts: 233
Loc: NY
Wow lots of replies, thanks!

I think the situation here though...is that these are owners who have not usually gotten gliders from what I would consider good breeders. There are no contracts or anything like that.

These are more 'casual' owners, usually less informed owners, who for whatever reason, get one glider and do not plan on ever getting a second. Usually they'll tell me money is an issue which always makes me cringe because if they can't afford to buy another glider than how do they expect to be prepared to financially care for the one they already have, especially when/if an emergency arises.

I understand that every animal is an individual and there are exceptions to every rule, but I can't help but feel that at least some of the owners I've talked to most likely have gliders who would be a lot happier with another glider. But unfortunately they have owners who never had any intentions whatsoever of even attempting or considering getting their glider a friend.

I always try to be nice when offering advice of course - I truly believe in the saying that you catch more bees with honey. It just gets frustrating sometimes.


Edited by Dragonrain (12/21/10 11:01 AM)

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#1044391 - 12/21/10 11:38 AM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
Sabarika Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 1712
Loc: nKY
Originally Posted By: Dragonrain
These are more 'casual' owners, usually less informed owners, who for whatever reason, get one glider and do not plan on ever getting a second. Usually they'll tell me money is an issue which always makes me cringe because if they can't afford to buy another glider than how do they expect to be prepared to financially care for the one they already have, especially when/if an emergency arises.

Ugh, this! This right here is what I see/hear most often. I can understand impulsive teens or young adults whose lives are not stable yet and just REALLY want a cute pet. It doesn't make it right or responsible to buy one, but often they do and then skimp on the care, cage size, food, and vet care because they simply don't have enough money to afford it. The type of people that really irk me though are the ones who are financially stable, well-off enough that they could take the extra step to adopt a second glider, care for all the vet bills and maintenance costs, yet are too frugal or simply willfully ignorant to take that opportunity.
_________________________
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Photography
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#1044716 - 12/21/10 10:07 PM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: HagridsHut]
JeremyandLexie Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 09/13/10
Posts: 350
Loc: New Hampshire
Originally Posted By: HagridsHut
Originally Posted By: JeremyandLexie
whats to make the buyers do it though? are you gonna take the glider back? How do you control "must purchase a glider within 6 months...?"


All of my joeys are under contract. If any portion of that contract is breached, ownership of the joey reverts to me. I, personally, keep a close eye on all of my joeys for the entirety of their lives ( all 10+ years! mlove ) ... not just until they are adopted! -Alicia
that's wonderful but whats to stop someone from moving or something.... I can just see people taking advantage:(

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#1044767 - 12/22/10 12:37 AM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
buttercup
Unregistered


I honestly do think they do better in pairs or in a colony. I do have a friend who had a lone female and they never got her a cagemate. Ayla (the glider) went literally EVERYWHERE with my friend and her husband. She was a wonderful, sweet and friendly glider. I think she was the only glider I never heard crab LOL...she was that people friendly.

But like said above, my friend keeping one glider worked for both her and Ayla.

Lethe was a little over a yr old when I got Tippy for her. Did I wait too long?? I used to think so, but seeing her and Tippy together and seeing how perfect they are for each other...I'm glad I waited!

I think its a great idea for breeders to have stated in their buyers contract a time limit to get their glider a cagemate. It's to ensure their gliders get the BEST care possible and that they are happy and healthy!

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#1046045 - 12/25/10 12:23 AM Re: What should I tell owners who only want 1 glider? [Re: Dragonrain]
JeremyandLexie Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 09/13/10
Posts: 350
Loc: New Hampshire
While I did get a pair and they love each other... I sometimes wish i had gotten one at a time. Its hard to work with one when you r working two:( bonding seems to be easier if i separate them a spend individual time with them. Then I would have had double the time to spend on one you know?

Love em both though. J is getting better and better.

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