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#2704 - 11/23/01 10:03 AM Finally ready to share....

Sorry this is so long...<P>Well it has been a year and 8 months since I lost my first glider Puddin. I got her from a teenage boy who was sick of taking care of her and said she never does anything but crab too. So I gave him $50 and got her and the 10 gallon tank he kept her in. It was a long and painful bonding process, since she was very distrustful of humans. She was missing her fur above her eyes, which the vet believed was because of overgrooming due to stress. Otherwise she seemed to be healthy. <P>About six months later she started to come around. I later got a male to keep her company. They seemed to get along great. After about a year with me, she really was quite a sweet glider. She would come out of her pouch as soon as I came home and we would watch TV together on the couch...I swear she watched too! <P>About another six months later I came home on a Friday night and she didn't come out to greet me. So I opened her pouch and her and Brett (her cagemate)were curled together. Later when I feed them, I noticed she had diahrea. I was concerned but since it was late on a Friday night and the nearest vet was over an hour away, I decided she would be fine if I took her in on Monday morning. She was still eating and drinking so I wasn't terribly worried. By Sunday night I was starting to get a bit more worried. She wouldn't come out of her pouch to eat, so I fed her some BML and gave her water while she was in her pouch. Monday morning, I opened her pouch and she was curled in a ball and Brett was wrapped around her. I literally had to peal him off of her to get her out. Once I got her out, I put her in her carrier with an old tshirt of mine and off we went to the vet. Once there, the vet saw her right away and said that things did not look good. She was dehydrated, cold, and had lost a third of her body weight since her last visit. I burst into tears because I knew I had waited too long. They put her in an incubator and began givng her fluids. She made it through the night and most of the next day. The vet called me the next morning to let me know she had passed during the night. He said that they believe it was giardia. I declined the necropsy (sp?) because at the time, I could not handle the thought of them cutting her open. I instead took her home and buried her in our backyard, right along the river. <P>I cannot accurately explain the guilt I felt. I could not help wondering if she would still be alive if I had taken her to the vet sooner. What really broke my heart was watching Brett look for her. He barked endlessly for days. Things were so horrible. To make matters worse, I was just starting to come to terms with my step fathers death. He had passed away after a car accident about 6 month prior. At least with his death, I knew that there was nothing I could have done. With Puddin, I had noone to blame but myself. I eventually started to see a psychologist because I was completely overwhelmed with grief and guilt. It has been over a year and a half now and I still feel guilty, but the pain in my heart isn't quite as bad as it was then. <P>I am sure that some of you must think I am a complete nut job. I mean who sees a shrink because their pets dies? In my case, it was someone that truly loved her glider and takes responsibility very seriously. Puddin was my responsibility and I had failed her, which caused me to doubt and question a lot of things in my life. I still miss her, but have decided to give myself another chance. The best way for me to forgive myself was by taking really good care of gliders. I now have 4, Brett, Gracie, LeRoy and Pudgie. With the help of Bourbon and others on this board, I feel like I am doing a really good job too! <P>Hopefully by sharing my story, others will not make the same mistake I did. I go by better safe than sorry now. I am a regular visitor to my vet. I also call a lot with what most would consider stupid questions, but I would rather my vet think I am nuts, than lose another glider. <P>My advice to other glider owners is to follow your instinct. If your gliders doesn't seem to be their normal self, take them to the vet, just in case. There is a lot of good advice on this board about diet and nutrition and bonding, but they cannot accurately diagnose what is wrong with your glider through a message board.<P>Good luck and best wishes to all!<BR>------------------<BR>Teresa & Gang<P>Brett, Gracie, LeRoy and Pudgie<P>[This message has been edited by Trees Gliders (edited 11-23-2001).]<p>[This message has been edited by Trees Gliders (edited 11-23-2001).]

#2705 - 11/23/01 11:10 PM Re: Finally ready to share.... [Re: ]

1 am so truly sorry for your losses! It was incredibly brave of you to share your story and intimate details and feelings so that others may learn. I understand how you feel because Livi's death put a huge hole in my heart that I did not think I would overcome. But now I can look back and say that although I only had her for two and a half months, it was the best of her life. Please know that the time you had with her, although it may not seem long enough, was the best and you loved her and treated her far better than she had ever known in her young life.<P>Please accept my sympathy.

#2706 - 11/23/01 11:28 PM Re: Finally ready to share.... [Re: ]

It really helps to have people that truly understand. I can't even count how many times I have started this post and deleted it because I was so ashamed of myself for letting her die. I finally realized that by sharing it I might actually save another glider and I think Puddin would approved of that. I do feel extremely lucky to have had her in my life. I learned so much about love and trust from her. <BR>Thanks Robin!<P>Teresa<p>[This message has been edited by Trees Gliders (edited 11-23-2001).]

#2707 - 11/25/01 03:23 PM Re: Finally ready to share.... [Re: ]

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Your glider was obvoiusly loved very much.


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