Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Youngsters Making Progress

I just realized that it has been two weeks since I posted, and while things have been relatively quiet there are a few things to write about.

On November 16 Rossby and Sprite had their baseline wellness check-ups with Dr. W, and they are doing just fine. They actually behaved very well, although Sprite did protest a bit. She still crabs at times if you bother her while she is in the pouch, but usually she quiets down when a) she sees that you are offering her food or a treat or b) she sees who we are.  We also had our son's new glider Ghost with us at the vet for his checkup.  We initially spoke with a fourth year student who then went to get Dr. W.  A few minutes later the door opened and a couple of students walked in, and then a couple of more, and eventually a total of ten of us in the room! It was rather funny in a way - it seemed like a scene from a comedy!

Ghost was a big hit, being a baby and a white mosaic at that. Ghost passed his exam with flying colors, and he is now scheduled for his neuter next week. We'll be taking him for that and caring for him through his brief recovery.

I have been taking both Rossby and Sprite into a tent a night for an hour or so to play. Sprite, still the crabby one at times, will sometimes crawl under the sheet we have laid down in there, and if I try to pet her through the sheet or otherwise disturb her while she is under it she will crab and complain. Rossby spends a lot of his time on the wheel,and occasionally Sprite will join him.  What is interesting is that they neither of the jump on to the wheel. The both climb up the stand, and then on to the wheel.  The trio always jumps on to the wheel from the front. Rossby, in particular, seems hesitant to make any big jumps.  Maybe it's his young age and experience, maybe some other reason. Rossby and Sprint don't have a wheel in their cage, but they do have a glider treadmill they like to run on.

We have already started switching out blankets in the pouches for each set of gliders as the first stage of introductions.  They are starting to get used to each others smell, but there is still a lot of marking going on.  After a period of switching blankets, we'll switch pouches between the cages and see how they react.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A "Thumbs Up" for Cirrus (and Other News)

Cirrus on M's lap just after her meal worm snack today.
Yesterday was Cirrus' follow-up visit to the vet for her eye infection and a post-surgical check for the March surgery, and we got great news. The eye issue was cleared up (which we knew) and there are no signs of any recurrence of the cancer that she had surgery for in March.  Even though she appeared to be in good shape to us, you never know and we had a little part of us holding our breath. Dr. W said that Cirrus is in great condition. Cirrus was very good during the exam as Dr. W. was explaining glider anatomy and behavior to the fourth-year vet student was was working with her that day.  Cirrus' next follow-up appointment is in six months.

While we were at the clinic we made appointments for a wellness and baseline checks for Rossby and Sprite, and for our son's new glider, Ghost. This will be a little more of a challenge with Rossby and Sprite. They will stay on us and aren't afraid of us, but they are not crazy about being held. On the other hand, Sunday was "spa day" and we needed to clip their nails. I was expecting a wrestling match and bites to get this done (I hold them while M trims the nails), but they both were very good about it, almost better than the others.  However, being examined is a little different. We'll be back at the vet on Friday for them.

Ghost at one month old.
Then there is Ghost, our son's new glider. He is just a little over two months old. We are taking him in for our son because his work schedule won't allow him to do it. Ghost is a white mosaic glider, with black eyes, a white coat, and faint gray splotches and a faint gray dorsal stripe. We went to pick him up last weekend. He's a little guy at this point, only 55 grams. He still needs to be neutered, but he will need to be between 65 and 70 grams before that happens.  From what we hear, at the rate he's eating he'll be in that range before too long.  If everything works out he and Case (formerly Molly) will be cage mates eventually.

Ghost sleeping on the way home last weekend.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Little Bundles of Energy

Sprite and Rossby have a ton of energy, but I guess that should be expected of youngsters. In some ways their personalities parallel those of Foehn and CB. Sprite is the one who will crab in the pouch at times and who has no problem taking a nip at you. She is curious like Cirrus, and if a head pops out of their pouch to check things out it is almost always her.  Rossby does not really care that much about what is going on around him, and seems to sleep through most of the things that get Sprite up and looking around.

They are both skittish, Sprite more than Rossby. They will climb on to us and won't leave, but it has to be on their terms. We are learning that bribes help a lot. I am working on trying to train them to come to the pouch using mealworms.  It's early yet, so I'm not seeing a lot of progress. Rossby is somewhat easy to coax. Sprite is very wary, but the prospect of a mealworm seems to overcome her fear at least for the short term. Last night Sprite managed to get away from me outside of the cage, but she didn't seem as intent on exploring as CB was when he found freedom. I was able to "coax" her into the pouch pretty quickly.

M has been giving them yogurt in the morning and kiefer in the afternoon after CB, Foehn, and Cirrus have theirs. We were told they like their food, and they are proving that each night as most everything we give them is gone in the morning.

M took this photo of Sprite and Rossby at kiefer time this afternoon

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The New Additions

No, it's not the name of the latest boy band. We have added two gliders to our glider family. They were offered to us shortly after Virga passed away in September, coincidentally as we were discussing whether or not we would get any more gliders   After taking some time to consider the kind offer, we decided to go ahead.

They are a brother and sister and are five months old. They are known as "lions" because of their color. It is a variation of the standard grey color, and at first glance you don't notice the difference. Their heads are lighter and the have a little more white around their ears. Once they have matured their coats should have more of a honey hue to them.

We went to pick Rossby (the brother) and Sprite (the sister) today and met the breeder in Indianapolis.  We were warned that they both are curious and can be rambunctious. Most of the way home they squirmed in their pouch, eventually settling down once we were driving for awhile. Once we got home we brought them into the office to have a mealworm snack and to give them some time to stretch their legs. We then put them in the new "vacation" cage which M had furnished with an autumn theme. That will be their home until we can introduce them to CB, Foehn, and Cirrus.

It had been a long day of travel for them and we thought they would settle in to sleep. However,Rossby and Sprite spent several hours out and about the cage this afternoon in a constant state of exploration, although Rossby did take a nap or two. Midway though the afternoon I gave them some kefir, after M had taken care of the other three. Even though they were still a little wary they eagerly licked the kefir off of my finger.

Rossby having his licks of kefir off of my finger, holding on
to be sure he gets it all! His sister Sprite can be seen at the rear
of the cage.

It was close to 5:00 p.m. before they found a place they wanted to sleep. Sprite still pops her head out of the pouch periodically to check on what's going on, but for the most part they have been sleeping since that time.