Monday, January 21, 2013

Our 1st pet, Pinkxie

Pinkxie's arrival 

It was in June 2012.  My hubby & I were in town shopping for our dear friend, Jo's Birthday & the idea of getting Jo a pet struck us.  We visited a few pet shops & decided to get Jo a small pet since dogs are prohibited in her high rise building.

As we shopped along, my hubby revealed that other than Siberian Husky, he has always wanted to own a hedgehog aka Sonic.  So, he was quick to suggest buying Jo a hedgehog.  I laughed it off since hedgehog is not smart & I don't see anything special in it.  I wanted to get Jo a manageable, lovely & clean pet.

It was then, my hubby & I came across sugar gliders in the pet shop.  We find them amazingly adorable & decided to read more about sugar gliders.  We went home that weekend & studied all about keeping suggies as pet - their behavior, maintenance & nature.  We were both pretty amused by this little bonding animal & decided to keep it as our companion before owning a dog in future.

Little baby
Few days later, we bought a female joey of 3months old from a local breeder as our very own 1st pet.  How did we pick our little joey from the rest?  Well firstly, we wanted a female joey with tiny pouch because I don't want a bald suggie when the male reaches maturity months later.  Secondly, we don't want a crabber & our joey did not crab much when being handled by the seller.  And lastly, I wanted a timid joey so that she won't climb onto my head & freaked me out!  

On our way home, I have named our joey Pinkxie with my hubby's approval.  And in case you are wondering how on earth did I pick the name?  Oh well, yes!  I do fancy pinky stuffs & quick to notice Pinkxie's adorable pinky nose & pinky digits :p

A long 1st night for us

We didn't sleep much on Pinkxie's 1st night.  Nope, even though we were both very excited with her addition, that would not have made us sleepless.  We were in fact a little uneasy to have her inside our room as if someone was watching us as we sleep & to complicate matters, Pinkxie was crying the whole night!  Everytime we went near her cage trying to soothe her, she would hid herself inside her pouch like we were predators or something.  And when we distanced ourselves, she would crawled out of her pouch & started making all sorts of noises crying for help!  She must be feeling totally lost & lonely.  It was a very long night for all 3 of us.

Bonding is never easy 

In the early weeks with Pinkxie, I completely relied on my hubby to get the bonding job done since I am easily freaked out by unfriendly animals.  

What I did best was to place our scented fleece pieces inside her pouch & around her cage daily, hehe.  

Worn clothes all over her cage
My hubby put in a lot of efforts trying to gain little Pinkxie's trust, but it was never easy.  

There were many times when my hubby thought he has successfully formed the bond with Pinkxie but he was so wrong.  Even though Pinkxie did sleep in his palm & did chew the apple being hand-fed by him, she was not at any step closer to my hubby. 

At almost anytime, Pinkxie would just crabbed & even pounced at my hubby unexpectedly.  It was a very intimidating warning & was far worse for my dejected hubby.

NOT-TO-DO list

We did a lot of silly mistakes in the early stage.  There was a time when my hubby was holding Pinkxie & he started blowing softly at Pinkxie's tiny face like how he usually blow at Toffee (my parents' dog) & Shenee (my sister's cat), but that actually frightened poor Pinkxie & she began crabbing at him endlessly.

Oh dear, look at her dirty & messy tail!

There was another time when my hubby was worried of Pinkxie's poor grooming skill since her tail was always stained with her poo & we have no idea how to help her out since she doesn't really welcome us.  So, we took her to see Dr. Jenny at Hand N Paws Veterinary Clinic for a check-up.  Dr. Jenny wet & cleaned Pinkxie's tail but that has terrified Pinkxie badly.  Suggies are never too fond of being wet after all.  

In the very same night, Pinkxie was showing signs of depression - refused to go back into her pouch, refused to feed on apple & rejected our presence.  Our visit to the vet must have broken her faith in human completely.  Sigh! 

Through sun & rain

In normal days, Pinkxie is esp moody in early morning before we set off to work around 7.15am.  She would crab to shoo us off & even pounce at my hubby if he insist to say Hello to her.  Sometimes in the act of defence, she would even bite my hubby's finger that draw blood.  How heart wrenching!
Ready to fight

I continued encouraging my dejected hubby to spend every few hours a day to hold & pat Pinkxie from inside her pouch.  Patience & consistency are the key to a successful bonding relationship.  But I guess, Pinkxie's biting must have really hurt my hubby's pride as he began hesitating every time I told him to do bonding with Pinkxie.  And slowly, I myself started to gather courage to begin bonding with Pinkxie.

Yogurt drop
Bugsy's HPW Complete

In almost two months time, Pinkxie finally picked on the treats we hand-fed her.  Aside to her favorite yogurt drops, she simply can't resist Bugsy's HPW Complete - these are the 2 items worth our investment & 40minutes drive to Pet Shack@Sunway. 

Our dear Pinkxie is very timid in nature & therefore, she spends most of her time inside her pouch as long as lights are on or whispers are heard.  When it is quiet at night with lights off, that's when she would crawl out of her pouch willingly.  If she ever feels interrupted when she is out of her pouch feeding on the mixed fruits & veges served, she would immediately stop eating & run back into her pouch.  Hence, we have to be really quiet & slow in movement if we wish to watch her chewing away her dinner :)

Everytime after we changed her pouch, cleaned her cage or even mopped our room's floor, Pinkxie would act strangely and it would take about 1-2 days before she gets familiarized with the changes. She would even crab cluelessly whenever there is smell of fragrance.  Natural smell is always the best trick for suggies.

We did a lot of online studies to understand Pinkxie better including how to trim her poking nails without having to go to the vet.  We are getting pretty good at managing Pinkxie except for her uncontrolled bowels.  She would just pee & poo at us at anytime.  Suggies can't be potty trained - that is something we have to really get used to...

Pinkxie & her unique sounds

Pinkxie Pinkxie... is such an amazing marsupial animal.  She would always poke her cute little head out of her pouch to peep at us & secure the surrounding, before coming out for any activities.  If we pay enough attention, we would be able to hear a short hissing sound every time just before Pinkxie comes out.  I presume that's her grooming sound & she always grooms herself as soon as she's awake.  I love it to watch her grooming herself - such a lovely sight! 

Other than the hissing sound, Pinkxie usually barks at wee hours in most of the nights.  Her barking (or more like puppy's yelping) is very adorable in the beginning but as time goes by, it became quite disturbing.  I guess there's only about 3 peaceful nights for me in a week while my hubby gets quality sleep almost everynight.  He is an amazing sleeper!  Perhaps, we might get Pinkxie a cage-mate to play with in future.  I do not want her to bark away the lonely nights.  It's pitiful.
And if we're lucky enough, we would get to hear her purring as we sayang her while she sleeps in our palm.  It is not often heard but is very delightful :)

Not giving up

Cleaned cage
It has been 6 months+ by now.  Crabbing is no longer often heard & sometimes, not even heard for weeks.  Even if she does crab, I would not shiver nor runaway like I used to.  I have adapted to Pinkxie better while my hubby is slacking off most of the time.  But I won't complain much since he is still the one who cleans her cage weekly :)

Our Pinkxie is not the bonding type I must say.  She loves it when we hand-feed her, but, that's it!  She would run back to her pouch at every opportunity after treats are given.  My hubby often blamed it at me for picking a timid suggie who is not friendly in nature.  No matter what, Pinkxie is still our beloved little family member ;) 

We are still working on a stronger relationship with Pinkxie.  We have taken her outstation once with us to Ipoh & my mom had a shock when Pinkxie crabbed at her!  Pinkxie did not behave at her best that time but I felt it was a big progress for all of us already.  It's a pity that we can't bring her overseas since pets are not allowed on board.  Thankfully, my hubby's sis has been helping us to feed Pinkxie timely during our absence.

Well, we would not give up our dream to achieve a strong bonding with Pinkxie.  We are hopeful that there will be a day when we call out to her name & she would happily hop onto our shoulder!  It would be the most rewarding experience :D  My hubby is still waiting for the day to train Pinkxie to glide, hehe.

Wish us best of luck with Pinkxie!

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