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#1245164 - 04/03/12 11:31 AM Have we caused irreparable emotional damage?

Ever since Bullet bolted out of his pouch and got stuck in the piano a few days ago, he's been a little different. He goes around the cage pushing his nose in the bars of the cage, almost methodically, as if he's looking for one bar that will allow him to get through. He doesn't like going in his regular pouch, even though we have mine and his scent cloths in there.

The piano rescue was very calm, I thought, and he jumped right into his night pouch to get out.

Last night, when I finished feeding, I didn't latch the cage all the way, and when I came back in to check on him before going to bed, I saw the cage door open. The room he is in has lots of stuff. It's my office, and our catch all room. Lots of boxes, crates, furniture, etc. We spent over an hour trying to get him. He would not go into his pouch. We would have just left the door open and let him go back in the cage over night, but we were afraid he'd get back in the piano. So we tried and tried. Hubby finally caught him, and Bullet bit the heck out of his hand. Hubby tried to hold on, but Bullet got loose again. He got him again, and this time had a better hold. We took him upstairs to our 'glider room' (aka our bathroom). We tried calming him down. He was wild - and his tail was twitching. We couldn't get him to stay on either of us, and all he wanted to do was attack. So Hubbby took him into the shower stall, because it's enclosed and Bullet couldn't get away. He got bit several times, and bullet wouldn't go near his hands. Any time Hubby tried to hold him to calm him, Bullet bit. It took another hour, but he finally calmed down and fell asleep in hubby's hands. But today he is in no way interested in any contact.

Have we undone the past 3 months of bonding? Is this something that he might get through, and calm down again? Does he just need time to settle down? I'm heartbroken. I've spent 3 months working so hard to get him to bond to me, and I feel like we are back to square one. I know it was my fault for not being sure the latch was closed.

Thank you,

#1245166 - 04/03/12 11:39 AM Re: Have we caused irreparable emotional damage? [Re: ]
MissSarah Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 3039
Loc: Bristol, Va
It sounds to me like he's just nervous. Chasing a glider is very stressful for them. I understand the need to protect him though. I would just give him a little time to relax.

Next time he gets free, take a large piece of fleece and throw it over him. Then scoop him up, fleece and all and put him back in his cage. That way, your hands do not become something to be feared. thumb
Proud Mom to Princess Pim The Insane. heart(and several other babies, skin and fur.)

Dogs have owners. Cats have staff. Gliders have indentured servants.

:rbridge: Dexter. You left blueberry stains on my wall and pawprints on my heart. I love you Decker-Boy. heart
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#1245168 - 04/03/12 11:46 AM Re: Have we caused irreparable emotional damage? [Re: ]
IndieAndStella Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 12/23/11
Posts: 573
Loc: New York
i dont think youve undone all your hard work for the past three months. Most likely your little one was scared to death, thus all the biting. i would have chosen a little emotional stress in order to catch him, too, over leaving him loose to run around. god only knows what he might have found in all those hed probably be sleeping somewhere tucked away right now if you had let him go!

i dont have much advice for you as to what to do now....maybe just take it slow and offer some treats from hubby so that Bullet can go back to associating his hands with good things. The fact that he fell asleep in his hands is a really good sign though!

i will say though, one night my girls got out of their cage and when i found my little stella in a drawer full of scarves, she gave me the most hateful look like "ma, im playing in here, close the drawer!". sometimes they just like to be left alone to explore....which is not allowed in my apt LOL.

#1245170 - 04/03/12 11:47 AM Re: Have we caused irreparable emotional damage? [Re: ]
yiyo Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 06/08/11
Posts: 7560
Loc: Long Island, NY
Well, in this same situation, I personally wouldn't have forced him to be held after the escape. I'd probably just put him back in his cage and let him be for a while.

The truth is, that they're wild animals no matter how much we "tame" them. And if they want to be free, it's difficult to contain them, which is why your hubby was getting bitten. That's forcing trust, rather than gaining it.

That being said, gliders tend to be very forgiving so in a couple of days Bullet will probably be just fine and come around again. So don't beat yourself up about it wink

Just a couple of questions - Do you regularly have playtime with him out of the cage? And how large is his cage?

"Moving on is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard."

#1245191 - 04/03/12 01:29 PM Re: Have we caused irreparable emotional damage? [Re: ]
xSwtxSugaX Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 11/21/10
Posts: 3456
Loc: Saint Louis MO
You did what you had to do. Next time def use a piece of fleece. Its alot easier and a little less stressful.

I have to agree I would have put him right back in the cage as well. And maybe given him a licky treat or yoggie so he knows your hands still can bring good things. He may not have been willing to take it.. but never hurts to try. How old is Bullet? Does he have a friend? (I know you have other gliders but does he have a cagemate?)

Edited by xSwtxSugaX (04/03/12 01:31 PM)
"The purity of a person's heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals"

*Stitch* :grey: *Button* :wfb: *Charlie* :leu:

Cats: Rista and Cali


#1245194 - 04/03/12 01:35 PM Re: Have we caused irreparable emotional damage? [Re: ]

Thank you for all the kind, supporting comments. I still feel terrible about the whole thing, but I feel better knowing we haven't gone back to the beginning (or worse). We were so busy worrying about keeping an eye on him, that I didn't even think of grabbing a piece of cloth to put over him.

I love the scarf story. It's amazing how they find their way into places!!

His cage is 32x20x35. He is in there at night, for eating and his night time play. We normally have him out of the cage and in his bonding pouch during the day. We work at home, so we can take our lunch hour and play wiht all the kids then. Then they go back i the pouch for afternoon siesta and then after dinner (ours) they are back out in the 'glider' room. We have a large bathroom - it's as big as some bedrooms. And we let them have fun in there. We have glider towels, and stuff on the floor for them to play with as well as our bodies. smile So all in all, he gets about an hour a day out in the open (in the room).

We let him stay in his cage this morning, and rest. Poor little guy was very stressed last night. He did eat, and he drank, and when I put my hand in his sleeping pouch, he didn't crab at me. So I guess we're ok for now.


#1245232 - 04/03/12 04:00 PM Re: Have we caused irreparable emotional damage? [Re: ]
sweetbabies Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 12/22/09
Posts: 471
Loc: Granville Massachusetts / Gran...
Everyone else that's already commented has said pretty much verythngiwould have said except one thing!!! I do honestly believ that if irreparable damage then your little guy most definetly would not have fallen back asleep in hubby's hands!!! He wouldn't of even tried to come back near hubby at that point! So I do believe if hubby continues to give treats as well as do other things to associate his hands with good things then there should be no problem going ahead again!!
You are born into this life,Then you are taken away,Every step you take in between is what you leave behind as your legacy!
Extremely proud slave of:
3 :leu: 2 :grey: 2 :wfb: 1:plat: 2 :rtmo: 2 :cream:

#1245243 - 04/03/12 04:32 PM Re: Have we caused irreparable emotional damage? [Re: ]
DCMuffin Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/21/10
Posts: 28206
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro Area
Your little guy will be fine - but you may need to take a couple of steps backwards to help him realize that you aren't here to scare him.

Please, in the future, should you need to catch him during an escape, drop a towel/large piece of fleece/blanket over him and scoop him up. Even a butterfly net works for instances like this. Anything else so that he doesn't associate your hands with all things scary.
Aimee & The Monkeys

#1245244 - 04/03/12 04:37 PM Re: Have we caused irreparable emotional damage? [Re: ]
suggiemom1980 Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 13746
Loc: Vincennes, IN, USA
You can get small butterfly nets at the Dollar Tree or Dollar General for a buck each. I have one in each room. It makes for a far less traumatic rescue for them. They immediately are put back in their cage and I take a couple steps back in the bonding process so they can calm down. They're always very forgiving, especially when treats are involved!

812-890-9734, 24/7 Emergencies/Joey issues


"The greater the challenge, the sweeter the reward"

"Glide free :rbridge: Silly "Ozball" Ozzie. You left us 11/21/12..way too soon. You're forever loved, remembered, missed."

#1247811 - 04/12/12 08:49 AM Re: Have we caused irreparable emotional damage? [Re: ]

Sorry for the delay in getting back about progress. Work has been extremely busy, and haven't had a chance to get on here.

Bullet still is not the same glider he was before the escape. He is wildman when my husband has him (understandable). Hubby can get him to settle down, but it takes a lot of work, and a lot of painful bites. He is ok with me, and has only bitten me once in the last week. I can get him to settle down and go to sleep in the crook of my arm. But he won't take any treats at all anymore. He will only eat what's in his bowl. He's eating and drinking well. It's just the treats we can't get him to eat. The only thing he will take is the mealies. It's strange. When he's in his cage, he doesn't play like he used to. But when we have him out, he runs around the room till he's tired, then crawls into my arm. We are taking things slow, trying to regain trust. He's better now than he was before.

Thank you for the idea about the net. I'll have to try and get one. I can see how it would help prevent the hand being the bad guy. I did know about the cloth idea, but we were in such a panic that we totally forgot. Thank you for the reminder. We're still new at this, so the suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks again for the support! It's so nice to have such a great group of people.

#1247814 - 04/12/12 08:59 AM Re: Have we caused irreparable emotional damage? [Re: ]
yiyo Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 06/08/11
Posts: 7560
Loc: Long Island, NY
Just remember that if he's biting it's because you're doing something that he's scared of. So try not to do whatever it is that's provoking the bites thumb

Keep working with him, have patience, and you'll get there smile

"Moving on is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard."


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