So Much Fun And A Little Education Interrupted By Bean!

Bean only looks like he is sleeping. He’s really waiting for a chance to cause trouble!

I had such a fun morning! A friend asked me to speak to her kindergarten class about all my pets this morning. I was a little nervous about it. It was virtual of course, but video and photos make me very self conscious. I like to hide behind the camera, but being able to talk about my passion made it all worth while!

We started the session with technical issues. When we tested the Team meeting last week, I did it from my laptop and everything went well. I don’t know why, but today I had decided to use my regular computer. My video wasn’t working for some reason. I quickly signed out and grabbed my laptop. I knew that worked! We chatted while a couple of the kids figured out their own technical issues, then it was time for the class to meet the pets.

Trying to decide how to handle and show all the different pets wasn’t easy. I ended up with Hector on a stand next to my desk, and Wena, and the glider boys were just in their cages, but of course right near my desk as always.

A cup of feathers was the first thing I showed on camera. The kids got all excited when they saw Hector’s pretty red feathers in the cup. Hector let me pick her up and she sat calmly on my hand for the whole time I talked about her. She waved to the kids when I asked her to, and she demonstrated how she can crack a nut shell with her beak. She was pretty lazy about it, and opened one side of the shell and ate out the meat, but she tried! We talked about how old she was, how much care parrots need, what she eats, where she sleeps, and what she says. Hector was so good. Bribing with nuts and bananas worked! She stayed calmly on my hand and seemed to enjoy watching all the kids faces on the screen. She was turning her head and looking at them as we all talked.

Bean interrupted. He wanted to swat at poor Hector’s tail feathers. Hector went back on her stand, and she actually sat there quietly watching everything for the whole call.

Next up was the dragon. Wena did great. I was able to hold her up close to the camera so the kids could get a good look at her. We talked about hibernation versus brumation, how old she was, what she eats, where she lives. I tried to get her to eat a worm for them, but it was tough to hold her and the worm and keep them close enough to the camera for the kids to see. One of the kids asked me if she was a REAL dragon. I told him she must be because it was in her name!

Bean interrupted. He was trying to get the dragon’s tail. My daughter had to come grab him and get him out of the room!

The gliders were a bit of a question to me. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to present a nocturnal animal that likes to hide in a pouch on camera. Amazingly, it all worked out! The pouch makes them very portable. Just unhook it from the cage, and easy to transport. The whole pouch was easy to hold up in front of the camera. The boys did a bunch of crabbing when I first took them out which was perfect! The kids couldn’t believe the weird crabbing noise was coming from them!

Bean interrupted and jumped on my desk. I almost dropped the pouch of gliders!

We had a lot of fun trying to guess what was in the pouch making the weird noises! Eventually, with offered treats, a couple of the boys poked their heads out to grab one. One of them even climbed out onto me. I was excited they came out and the kids got a good look at them, but less excited when he peed on my laptop! Thankfully I was able to move him quickly and he mostly peed on the floor. The kids loved their names. They kept saying “Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo!” and laughing. They could see how the gliders all look very similar so I started telling them how Mo had a white face, and sure enough, Mo popped out to say hello, well to get a treat, but whatever, it worked.

No one knew what a sugar glider was, but a couple guessed that they were squirrels. We talked about marsupials and pouches and kangaroos. One boy asked what they like to do when they wake up from sleeping all day. They wake up, go to the bathroom (lots of giggles), they find a snack, then they play!

All the kids were really engaged. It was hard to keep up with all of their questions. Other than one little boy who really wanted to tell me about his three cats, they all actually asked questions about the animals and seemed to generally be interested. At some point, mention was made about each of these animals being rescued. It’s super important to me to always let kids know how my pets came to me because they needed new homes.

We ended with random questions about any of the pets. Some of the kids told me about their pets. Hopefully I will get a chance to do this again for other classes one day.

Today reminded me, a few years ago I volunteered at a local animal shelter doing humane education. It was awesome! I loved doing it and I’m not really sure why I stopped. One of the managers at the shelter had a 3-legged golden retriever rescue that they let us use for Humane Education. He was great! I remember bringing him to a preschool and teaching the kids about how to safely approach and handle a dog. Maybe once this crazy pandemic is under control I can go back to doing that again!

Water Fountains and Gliders

It’s Puck. This cat knows how to snuggle himself up!

The gliders are doing well. Their food is tricky. I’m currently feeding them what the rescue recommended, a diet called BML – Bourbon’s Modified Leadbeaters. I think it started as a zoo diet and was modified for pet use. It is different types of baby food, hard boiled egg, fruit, honey, etc. It’s messy and requires a lot of ingredients, some of which have proven hard to find like Gerber Mixed Fruit Baby Juice. The bigger problem is that the gliders don’t seem to eat it very well. I’ve been messaging with some experienced Glider owners I found on Facebook, and I think I’m going to switch them to another diet called CritterLove. It’s a powder. You mix it with water, and serve it with fruits and veggies. We’ll see how it goes. The problem is that gliders in the wild eat nectar and honey, insects, leaves, berries. Not all of it is easy to replicate and in the right combinations in captivity. I did learn that in the wild Sugar Gliders only have a life expectancy of 4-5 years. In captivity, I’ve been told they live an average of 12 years!

Reading more and more about gliders, I’m learning that they can be really tough to get along with. I see stories of people getting bitten all the time. I guess I’m really lucky with the boys I adopted. They don’t love me yet, but they tolerate me. I can take their pouch of of the cage and stick my hand in to pat them without fear of bites. They crab and complain sometimes, but that’s the worst of it.

I think little Tiny Miney is starting to trust me. More than others, he will climb onto my hand when I open the cage. He will hang out on my hand and eat a treat while I pat him. Each day that goes by, he hangs out with me a little longer before he choses to go back to his cage. I know a Mom shouldn’t pick favorites, but this little guy is definitely stealing my heart.

All four of them sleep on top of each other in a pile in one of their fleece pouches. I guess it is a good way to keep warm! So the gliders overall are doing really well. I’m enjoying learning more about them, and they are settling down.

Update on this WoPet fountain I purchased, I returned it. I really liked it to start. It was easy to clean, and the pets were definitely attracted to it. After a week or two, I started having more problems. The pets were drinking so much, which is a good thing, but I was having to fill it every day, sometimes twice! While the base looks like it holds a good amount of water, the pump stops working when the water level gets down to about half. With the very shallow bowl on this, when the pump stops working, there is very little water available for the pets.

While trying to figure out a way around refilling all the time, I started having another problem, the bowl seemed to be leaking. I don’t know how. I took it apart, cleaned the filters, I have no idea how it could possibly be leaking, but it was, and not a little. I was putting towels on the floor under the bowl and they were totally soaked. When looking the bowl up on Amazon, I realized my return window was still open, so I just packed it up and shipped it back. I’m back to using my ceramic fountain. No leaks, plenty of water, the pets are happy. My quest for a stainless steel fountain continues!

Gliders Week 1


The boys are definitely taking their time getting settled here. They are still pretty timid and I wouldn’t exactly say I can handle them. I can pat them. I’ve been trying to spend time with them, but also give them time to adjust to being here.

This week, they have been out of their cage at least once a day. A couple of days when I had the time, I brought them up to my bathroom, closed the door, and patted them, fed them treats, and tried to convince them to come out of their pouch.

Some days I just bring them with me in one of their fleece pouches while I watch TV and pat them. They are so soft! I’m trying to get them used to my smell.

Today I tried something a little different. I brought them upstairs into my shower stall. It’s a big double shower stall with glass doors. Seemed like an easy place to clean up. The boys pee and poop A LOT! It also seemed like a pretty safe place to play with them where they couldn’t escape me.

I  used some treats to lure them out of their pouch, and then I put the pouch out of the way. The boys were a little bit panicked, but they mostly stayed close to me. I finally got to see what amazing climbers they really are. One climbed up our shampoo shelf.

Another amazed me by climbing up the tube for the shower attachment all the way to the shower head!


Making his way up the shower head



Trying to figure out his next move

The one on the shampoo rack ended up leaping and landing on my head. I guess it’s good he wanted to come back to me?

I was afraid of where the one on the shower head might try to go, so I got him down before he could get into trouble.

The boys got lots of treats, and they climbed all over.

Mo with a yoggie

When all four are out, I’m definitely getting better at telling them apart.

Meanie and Mo

Our “shower” time needed to be short. I didn’t want to scare the boys. After about 10 minutes, I gave them back their pouch and they all cuddled back up. It makes it really easy to carry them around the house! Shower clean up and a shower for me took longer than the time I got to spend with the boys!

Miney was barking again when we were watching TV tonight. I’m not sure why, he did have food tonight. He is so little compared to the others!

They are definitely getting more comfortable in their cage. I’ve seen them jump from the side cage bars onto a fleece pouch a few times now, and they don’t climb around the cage corners anymore, they jump. I look forward to the day when they want to climb on me more!

Too much?

Yesterday I saw someone giving away a mini fridge on Facebook. How cool! I thought. I could have my own fridge/freezer for pet food! I grabbed my daughter and we ran out to pick it up before someone else claimed it.

We got home, and I had to pause for a second and wonder if it was a bit too much that I had my own fridge/freezer for the pets. I decided it wasn’t too much, it’s practical! Now the rest of the family doesn’t have to worry about accidentally treating themselves a nice bowl of glider mush, or eating the arugula that I’m saving for the dragon.

The little freezer part is stuffed full: fruits and veggies for the gliders, spare food mix for Hector D. Byrd, and a batch of glider slop. The fridge isn’t as full yet. It’s got an open can of dog food, some wellness herbs for Hector, and a jar of Hector’s food, oh and some meal worms! I forgot to grab the pea shoots and arugula from our regular fridge since those are for the lizard. Does this officially make me the crazy pet lady?

The husband was a little surprised when he came home from work and saw the fridge. Of course I had to rearrange the computer room a bit to fit it in. I guess for most people, what we call the computer room would be their dining room. For us, it has a couple of desks, including my desk I use every day. It also has the glider cage, the lizard tank, and Hector’s cage sits in the open space between the kitchen table and the computer room. I hadn’t really thought about it until now, but I guess this room should be renamed The Zoo!

The husband wasn’t sure about the new fridge. I told him there would be room for a couple of beers or seltzers if he liked since he usually keeps those in the garage fridge. Maybe if he has a use for the fridge he will hate it a little less!

Miney (I think)

The gliders are getting settled. We still have a ways to go before I would say that they like me, but they haven’t tried to bite me, well only once, and they didn’t bite hard, and I was sticking my hand in their sleep pouch so I probably deserved it. The end of last week got busy and I didn’t get to take them out as much as i would have liked, but I did get them out a bit every day. Today I’m going to try to take them out in our stall shower. If I take their pouch away, maybe they will interact with me a bit more.

I’m not perfect at telling them apart, but I’m getting better. One is MUCH bigger than the others, and one is tiny. Last night when I checked on them, The biggest one, Eenie, was stuffing his face in the food bowl. Tiny little Miney was running a marathon on the exercise wheel! No wonder one is a bit chunky and one is tiny!

A couple of nights ago we were all watching TV in the other room, and we started hearing this really strange noise, almost like a small dog’s yippy bark. When I checked on the gliders, one was hanging off the side of the cage where the food bowls usually are making a racket! I’ve been feeding them really late so that their food is as fresh as possible, and apparently he wasn’t happy the food hadn’t arrived yet! As soon as I fed them, no more noise. I guess it isn’t taking them long to train me!

The cats continue to enjoy squirrel “hunting.” I’ve learned that squirrels do NOT eat cranberries, strange because they eat just about everything else I throw out for them!

All three cats went to the vet for their annual checkups last week. It was a really strange thing to have the vet come out to the car to get them. I miss that interaction with the vet! Bean weighed in at almost 16 lbs, Puck is still tiny, not quite 7 lbs. I was worried that Logan was gaining too much weight, but she had only gained a pound.  She’s up to 13 lbs, and the vet said she looked great. The only possible concern is that Logan has a small hole in a back tooth. The vet wasn’t too worried about it, but did say we should keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn’t have any trouble eating.

Logan isn’t interested in hunting squirrels. She just waits for the food dish to be refilled.


The dragon is still brumating. I wake her up about once a week and give her a bath to make sure she doesn’t get dehydrated. She’s not eating much, but she usually does eat a few bugs when I wake her up. I was curious about the difference between hibernation and brumation so I did a bit of research. Apparently the biggest difference is that a hibernating animal shuts down. They don’t need food or water, they go into a deep sleep. With brumation, it’s a lighter sleep. They don’t need to eat, their systems slow down, but they still need water.

Cali is a bit exhausted today. We took her for a hike yesterday, and then she needed a bath afterwards, tired girl! She’s usually really good off leash, but yesterday she couldn’t help herself and went to greet another dog on the trail. She wasn’t very happy that I kept her on her leash for the rest of the walk. I guess I need to bring some extra treats on our next hike to practice recall with her again. She also needs a haircut, but I hate clipping her in winter. She looks kind of terrible right now, but it isn’t long enough that it is getting matted so I’ll let it go for another couple of weeks.

Last but never least, my friend Hector. Hector thoroughly enjoyed being spoiled for her birthday last week. She has started getting more demanding about asking for treats when we are eating dinner at the table. I don’t mind sharing healthy treats with her, but it is hard when we are eating things that she can’t have. I always try to save some plain, unseasoned veggies for her when I cook. I also always have some almonds nearby. Bananas, apples, and sweet potatoes are her favorites!

A friend of mine that teaches kindergarten has asked me to be a virtual guest in her class to introduce all my animals! I’m so excited. Kindergarten is my favorite age, and we all know how much I love pets! I’m not sure when we are going to chat, but I’m looking forward to it.

So does anyone else have a fridge dedicated to their pets?

Gliders Day 1 – Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo!

We are definitely getting to know each other. I’m trying to balance spending time with them, and giving them some peace to adjust to their new home. It’s hard!

I had them in a towel in my lap for a little while last night. They let me pat them, and they only “crabbed” at me a couple of times. I am going to have to get a video of the crabbing noise. It’s kind of a whiny complaint. It’s amazingly loud for such a small creature.

I left them alone this morning, but took them out this afternoon. They were all sleeping on top of each other in a pouch, so I was able to take the pouch out of the cage with all of them at once.  I brought them up to my bathroom and closed the door to see if they wanted to explore a bit. They crawled in my lap a bit, and one climbed up to my shoulder and ran down my back and back up to the other shoulder! I only kept them out for about 10 minutes.

Two of them spent a little time in the bonding pouch that I carried around for a bit. Apparently sugar gliders are very scent oriented, so it’s important for them to get used to your scent.

I took them out a couple of other times, always for short periods. It’s still hard to tell them apart, but when I have all four together I’m starting to see differences. One has a white face. One is much smaller than the others, and one is bigger.

Oh! names! They are Eenie, Meenie, Miney, and Mo! Mo is the one with the white face. Miney is the tiny one. Haven’t decided which is which with the other two yet.

I have to say they are fascinating little creatures. Unlike any other pet I’ve had, but I’ve never had a marsupial as a pet before! Gliders have opposable thumbs on all four of their little hands. When I hold them, I can feel them holding on with little hands. I’ve watched them pick up treats and hold them in their little hands as they munch. So cute!

The boys are about 4 years old. I got them from a glider rescue. Life span of gliders in captivity is 12-15 years. Their food is really interesting. I’ll write more about it next time.


New Friends!

I will definitely be posting more details soon, but couldn’t wait to let everyone know that yesterday, FOUR little Sugar Glider Boys joined our family! We are just barely getting to know each other, so there will be many updates to come. For now, enjoy some pictures!

Product Warning – DreamBone

Happy New Year!

I saw this product all over Amazon before the holidays. Sounded good to me, no rawhide, made with chicken. I should have known better. It’s made in China, and for some reason so many pet treats that come out of China seem to lead to problems.

Over the weekend, a friend of a friend shared a story of their 8 month old puppy who had these treats and ended up needing surgery because they blocked the puppy’s intestinal tract. I searched around online and found many similar stories. This is NOT a safe product.

Cali has had a couple of these, and they didn’t seem to cause her any problems, but I just don’t see a reason to take chances. This bag is headed for my trashcan.

Just a reminder to be careful what you buy for your pets.