Thursday, October 21, 2010


Most everyone who visits the Playground knows that Zilla (my husband) is on animal restriction. This restriction has been going on for several years and is mostly ignored. Several birds, a bunny and the guinea pigs that continuously procreate have all been brought into the fold during this restriction. Unfortunately, I can't blame Zilla for our latest pet saga. It was all my idea.

Friday afternoon I saw a segment on our local news advertising some pets that were available at our county animal shelter. At the every end they mentioned they had a sugar glider. Thanks to a book that Smarty Pants wrote with a sugar glider in it I knew a little about these furry guys. I had always been interested in having one but because they're exotic they aren't exactly readily available here. Zilla and I have both worked for a zoo and a vet and we like interesting pets so I thought it might be a good fit. We could rescue an animal and give it the good home it needed.

Saturday morning we stopped at the shelter. The volunteer who took us back acted like the small handful of fur was a Tasmanian devil instead of a glider. But we just assumed he didn't know what to do with her. They told us that the glider had been through a very traumatic few days. A woman found her on their front step, brought there by the family cat. The local vet they'd taken her to told them she was a glider and they sent her over to the shelter to find a home. After much discussion, we decided to take her.

The girls named her Abigail and we put her into her cage and left her alone to snuggle under her blanket and get used to her new home. She did eat but it was dark and we didn't get a good look at her until the next night when she came out to explore and snatch an apple. I knew within thirty seconds that this was no sugar glider. I'd been doing a lot of research online and she didn't have the right markings, the right tail, the right demeanor. What she did have were the flaps of skin connecting her legs. One quick google search and I realized what we had in a cage in our bedroom was a baby flying squirrel. As my mom later pointed out, we've spent a lot of money to keep squirrels out of our house and here was one in a warm, snugly bed eating apple pieces because I'd put her there.

The first picture is a sugar glider. The second is Abigail. Do you see a stripe down her head? Do you see a little pink nose or toes? How about white markings? Yeah, neither did I.

The next morning I called the shelter to tell them they'd adopted us a squirrel. Their reaction was, "Really?" Yes, really. We had a good laugh over the situation...I mean, what else can you do? They told us they'd be happy to refund our money and that we needed to bring Abigail back because they couldn't let us keep a wild animal...they intimated it was illegal. The really funny part is that the shelter contacted the vet's office to tell them what had happened and they are still insisting that what we had was a sugar glider. I can tell you, I won't be going to that vet every again.

Needless to say, the girls were upset at losing their new pet in such an unexpected way. So, we've found a wonderful woman who will have a baby gilder available for adoption right around Christmas. She's sent us pictures of both daddy and momma. We're looking forward to watching the little one grow. As soon as we get him/her home I'll be sure and let y'all know. I'm absolutely certain having a sugar glider will provide new and funny animal stories for me to share.

It's been awhile since we've had a farm story so we haven't talked about pets lately. Have you ever wanted an exotic pet? Ever had one? Anyone else have a sugar glider?



Smarty Pants said...

I've wanted a sugar glider since college. Back then, they were a lot less common and a ton more expensive, so I couldn't afford it. Now that I can, I have a house full of predators ready and waiting to eat her. No can do.

I've also toyed with the idea of a hedgehog or a wallaby. I found out about those back in college too when I was looking for a sugar glider. Who even knew you could get those? A tiny little kangaroo in your house. Crazy.

Problem Child said...

I almost had a hedgehog. I thought it was adorable, but DG doesn't really see hedgehogs as something you keep in the house. They're kind of like squirrels in that way.

One of my closest friends, though, had a cougar as a pet. A full-grown cougar. Trust me, there's nothing like needing to pee in the middle of the night and knowing that if you go out into the hall, the cougar will pounce on you...

Smarty Pants said...

I think a hedgehog is better pet material than a gerbil. That's a rodent.

alinaduffer said...

Good Morning! We did have a sugar glider. Her name was baby girl. My husband was totally in love with her. We got her from the pet shop my mother in law ran. We had her for about a year when my mil got a male sugar glider in the shop. She wanted us to mate Baby Girl and the male. We read about it an agreed. Well it was the worst thing we could have done. The male was nuts! He ended up killing Baby Girl once she go pregnant. It was awful! My husband was devestated. They ended up putting the crazy male down. We have talked about getting another one, but right now with our busy schedules its not the best time. So for now we just have a crazy dog who looks like a cotton ball and thinks shes a rottweiler, lol!

Katherine Bone said...

I've seen photos of Sugar Gliders but don't know anything about them. I've had hamsters, but I'll stick with cats and dogs. ;)

Playground Monitor said...

I have a little mouse who shows up on my patio occasionally. And the birds who feed at the birdfeeder. And the occasional lizard that suns on the edge of the patio. Since they live outside, I don't have to pay the pet deposit. And I hope they stay outside too. I'm not ready for another pet. Aside from the expense, they'd eliminate my ability to travel at will (once I get my finances settled down and have money to travel period).

I'm still laughing over the great sugar glider mistaken identity caper.

Instigator said...

A cougar. Now we all know I'd like that. Actually, Zilla and I raised 2 babies when we were younger. Only until they were about 4 months old though.

Alina, it's great to hear of someone else who's had a glider and loved her. I'm really hoping we'll enjoy having this little unusual fur ball in the family.


robertsonreads said...

My son had (noticed I said "had") quite a few pets until on weekends when he went to his dad's, he left them with me....not so good. Pet heaven got some new members.

Currently at my new home, I have generations of frogs. All different sizes outside and they scare me to death. Seriously!! Not good for my heart, at all.

I can grow plants like crazy but pets, not so good.

word verification - uneterme, hmmm

PM's Mother said...

Where I live we have plenty of cock roaches -- but I don't want them for pets. If I see one in the house it is 'goodbye cock roach"!