Sunday, November 23, 2008

Naughty Baby!

Baby was a naughty boy last night. He was all wound up and refused to go to bed. I think that was because he snuggled in his blankie and slept on my lap while I was working on paperwork. When it came time for me to go to bed, he yapped his pretty little head off and raced all around the house while barking at anything and everything. It was 2:30 before his little majesty decided to call it a night, but before he went to doggy-napville, he held his own by starting a barking contest with several of my 24 gliders. He had a long detailed discussion with my Herbie & Callie and a few others. Last night, I guess you could say we were all barking mad in this house. What a contrast to his first night, which was absolute heaven. He came home, checked out his new digs, and then snuggled up in the chair with me. So, last night's behavior was most surprising. I hope he has a quiet evening planned for us this evening. Still, he's just the best little guy, and I want to take him with me everywhere I go!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Meet our new "Baby"!

Thank you, to two of my dear students, who have given me this sweet little puppy to love today! Baby is his name, and he is a sweet little Maltese, who is between 7 months to 1 year old. He's had his first round of shots, and he is ready for his next round of 8-in-1 shots and a worming. He's just adorable, and he is my new best friend. He is not much bigger than our kitten, Smokey Java Joe (and he's afraid of kitty, but not in a bad way). They were playing together this evening once we got home, the silly fuzzles! Sprout and Dreya both adore him, and he's really made himself at home! Baby is really a girl's dog, and he can't decide which of us he likes best.

Baby is a very lovable little man, but in the beginning, he started whimpering and whining as I pulled away from his former home. He was scared. Nothing I could do would calm him down, and he was a little scared to sit on my lap, and so he chose to jump in the back seat and sit in Sprout's baby seat - in HER blankie.

However, once I got to daycare to pick up Miss Sprout, he jumped up into my arms, and together, we went inside to pick up Miss Sprout. He's been by my side ever since. He and Sprout are buds, as are he and Smokey... and Dreya, too! They've all scampered about the living room all evening. I should have taken video of that playtime. I haven't laughed so hard since I don't know when.

I'm keeping his name as Baby, for anyone following this blog since forever, you all know that I lost my Boxer, also named Baby, this past spring.



Now, the little man is sitting here beside me, and we are watching the news together. He's just so snuggly. What a nice quiet evening!

Well, it was, until he saw Campbell Brown on CNN, and he evidently doesn't like her. He was making very unfriendly barking/growling sounds at her! Once she went off-screen, he quieted down again. How odd!



Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Ohio Gathering, Mason, Ohio - 2008

Days Inn, near King's Island, was the location for The Ohio Gathering 2008. There was a strong turnout with people in attendance from the Great Lakes region, including: Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Indianapolis, and even Tennessee. Attendees had varying levels of glider experience ranging from the newby (who just got her first glider and was brimming with excitement) to several experienced breeders and rescue home owners. A craft-making session was held so that glider owners could learn to make "No-Sew" items, while others took sewing lessons, and still others learned how to make glider toys for their beloved pets. Check the link below to access the slideshow and photo album!

For photos of The Ohio Gathering, click here!
(Photos courtesy of Glider Island)

Additionally, there was a presentation and discussion on bonding with (and learning to trust) the pet glider. One of the most important points was to teach the glider owner to learn to trust him/herself with their glider. Once bonding has been established (and there is common trust between the glider and owner), we, as glider owners, need to learn to have faith in that relationship, which will make zippered bonding pouches unnecessary. A special point was made that the use of leashes is very harmful to gliders and can pose a significant risk of injury to the glider. Bourbon reminded the audience that, "We need to remember that we need to take the time to interact with our gliders. Toys are fine, but gliders need the interaction with their owners."

Bourbon, who is very well-known within the glider community (due to her 9+ years of glider experience on various glider issues, such as bonding, behavior, diet, special needs, rescue and rehabilitation, and research) gave a fabulous presentation on how to work with even the most difficult glider. She pointed out that " . . . a glider who bites is not a glider who will be kept for very long . . . " Several glider owners stepped up from the audience (with their gliders in hand, or pouched) for demonstrations to learn the best techniques to use to better handle and bond with their gliders. Bourbon also offered the following advice, which is a rough paraphrase: "Learn to respect the teeth. We've all made the same mistakes in the past, but remember, gliders are prey to birds, who attack from above. So, when picking up your glider, do not just reach into the pouch and pick the glider up from above. This action can frighten the glider. Instead, open the pouch and allow the glider to choose to walk into the palm of your hand (with the fingertips positioned facing the back of the glider and that will decrease the chances of sensitive fingertips from being bitten."

Karen Milas, TGI Founder and President, also gave a strong presentation on the mission and goals of TGI and her plans and direction for the future. She made a sound case for becoming a member of TGI so that we could all work towards a common goal, which is to make a positive change for the better in the lives of as many sugar gliders as we can. Her fellow board member, Samantha, also made a call for new members and asked that we each work at the grassroots level. She reminded the audience NOT to picket the booth of a vendor selling gliders at a flea market (because that will only get the protester thrown out). Instead, she pointed out, it is far better to choose to work in terms of education and outreach so that we can change the laws that regulate the sale of these wonderful creatures, not only in the flea markets, but also the infamous glider mills (where it is not uncommon for the breeder to have over 100 pairs of breeding gliders).

Overall, this was a very nice gathering where many people from all walks of life could meet and share their experiences of living with and loving gliders. Although I did not know most of the people in the conference room prior to my visit (only Bourbon, Karen, Suz, Sherri, and Brandy), I felt as if I'd made a few new friends there, and we all had a few good laughs as well. I was glad that I had chosen to attend this particular gathering.

Now, after much consideration (because there has been such a tremendous rift within the glider community over the past year - and we've all shared a part in that, some moreso than others), my personal feelings are that if we (as a unified glider community) truly wish to "change our wicked ways" and want to make a tremendous and lasting difference in bettering the lives of sugar gliders everywhere, then, we must, each of us, work at making the commitment to stand united (even in times of trouble) to work together towards that common goal. We will need to pull together, share common resources, and work within our local communities - and across the various glider boards - regardless of our particular affiliations. We will also need to work at the grassroots level: hitting the local flea markets (in each of our respective areas) and working to change the legislation at the state level - nationwide. Region-by-region. State-by-state. The only real permanent solution is to regulate the breeding and sale of exotics. We also must be prepared to have brochures on hand, so that when we do see someone who has just purchased a glider at a flea market (or a pet store) that we have something to POSITIVE to OFFER to them.

Remember: Choose to be positive! Smile and take the time to compliment the new owner on their adorable new pet. No one likes to be preached at, or to, so stay positive. Ask politely if you may hand them some information which they might find helpful to keeping their sugar glider happy, healthy, active, and around for years to come. A good strong positive attitude really does go a long way with people. I'm working on creating such a brochure, which will present the various diets, acceptable housing, and healthy treats to offer the glider. That way, when I meet a person with a new glider, s/he will have a ready resource - if they wish to take it.

We all need to pull together to be able to realize our common objective, which is to improve the lives, health, and living conditions of gliders. Every effort has been made to include all that were involved, and if I have been remiss, in any way, please contact me at cgarnes@all4gliders.com, and I will make any needed corrections.

All the best,
CGarnes

For more information on glider education, diet, behavior, housing, supplements, and a wealth of other information, please consider visiting the following forums or organizations:

1. All 4 Gliders Rescue Project
2. The Glider Initiative
3. Suz Sugar Gliders
3. GliderCENTRAL
4. United Sugar Glider Network
5. Southeast Sugar Gliders
6. Animal Craze
7. Laurie's Glider Gazette

(Entry edited 11/3/2008 to move photo album link to a higher position. I also edited Bourbon's years of experience with glider education, diet, behavior, research, etc because I was unsure of the actual number of years, but I know her experience level is at least nine years).

Just because...

The Soggy Bottom Boys music on iLike

Naughty Fang!

Fang, Fang, Fang, wherefore art thou, my Fang?

Fang has been a very naughty boy, and just last week, he came up missing. I swear, I don't know what got into that boy because he is just the best dog - ever. Fang is huge, but he is a giant "teddy bear", and he is my "back porch boy." He stands guard to protect us from the deer and other nocturnal woodsy critters, and he never leaves his post. That is, until Wednesday, last week. Fang was AWOL!

We fretted, we fussed, and we investigated. We called "the pound" and paid them a visit - just to be doubly sure; we called the neighbors; we hopped in the car and drove up and down all of the nearest back country roads calling his name (he always comes when I call him). Then, the dark thoughts came: What if he had been shot by crazy poachers - deer hunters? What if he'd been hit and was hurt? What if he had been caught and had been penned up, and was being kept by someone who thought he needed a home? That would be something TO HOPE FOR - just as long as he was safe. That was all that mattered. Now, some should say we should chain him, but that's cruel. He has a nice kennel, but since Dewey has been rehomed, Fang gets lonely and howls. He has always been quite content to just sit on the back porch and watch over things - and be our special boy - until this one day.

We drove by 4-F Pizzeria (our favorite pizza establishment), and we checked with the owners there to ask if they might have seen him somewhere along their delivery route. GOOD NEWS! They said they had seen a White Lab in our yard the other day. That was at least something to go on.

Thoughts:
1). Was this some girl dog temptress who had lured my sweet little boy far away from home?

2). Was this a boy dog, who reminded our Fang of his "bestest buddy, Dewey" who we had to rehome last year? Dewey was also a White Lab (who now lives an hour away). Pix of the boys together can be found here.

3). *GASP* What if he was jealous of Zeus, and his little tender doggy feelings were hurt, and he left us because he thought he was now "second best"? Not likely, we thought, because they played so well together, but "what if"?

We didn't know the answer to any of these questions, but this morning when we woke up, there was our beloved Fang, right back "in his special spot" - as if nothing had ever happened! We're just glad to have our boy back.

Here he is, romping with "his kid", Miss Sprout (who loves her puppies)! He loves Miss Sprout, and he is very protective of her.




Fang's "baby pix can also be found here.




























Other "doggie details" can be found in these links
:
Chili Bean's photo.

Chili Bean's story.

Chili Bean and Tommy Lee all cozied up (photos and story).