It’s officially been two months since I got my new gliders, Yiska and Ilona. My last bonding update was after I had had them for two weeks. Since then, I have seen remarkable improvement in our bond.
Ilona is a very social glider. She loves people. She gets very excited when me or anyone else in my family comes in the room and gives her any attention. Yiska, on the other hand, is incredibly people-shy. In my last update, he was just starting to venture to come to me and our interactions were very short.
Every night (with a few exceptions) I’ve gotten him out of his cage for at least ten or fifteen minutes. During this time I just stand by the cage and I hold out my arm to him and I wait for him to come to me. At first this was slow going and he basically ignored me. But the past couple weeks, there has been a marked change. He gets excited when its his out-of-cage time. He’s much less jumpy. As soon as I put my arm close to him, he’ll jump on and hang out with me. He’s even started leaving the safety of the cage completely and crawling around on my back and shoulders. He doesn’t get so freaked out by hands anymore, but I still keep mine covered all of the time because he bites.
As of a couple days ago, he finally started to let me touch him while he’s crawling on me. Before, he refused to be touched (which is sad because his fur is SO SOFT) and he’d bite me every single time I tried to pet him. But recently he started to let me pet his back and he doesn’t seem bothered at all by it.
I’ve been so encouraged to see that he’s really starting to come out of his shell! It’ll be a while before he trusts me, but we’re slowly building a relationship. 🙂
My bond with Ilona is going fairly quickly. She’s been biting me so much less (!!!) and she seems much more interested in hanging out with me, rather than exploring my room or foraging for treats in her cage. She really craves human interaction. I try to play with her every night for 15 or 20 minutes at least. On the few nights that I was waaay too tired to do that, she would bark and bark and bark until I got up and talked to her.
(She is really bad at barking and does it quite frequently, but it’s mostly because something scares her, rather than the fact that she wants attention.) I found that the more time I spent with her, the less likely she was to bark during the night.
I talked to the gliders’ previous owner and found out that they hadn’t ever had a wheel. I was really eager to get one. I decided to buy them the Apollo wheel, which is what I got for Ink and Dreamer. It’s a glider-safe wheel that is much, much quieter and sturdier than the Silent Spinner that Ink and Dreamer had at first. Unfortunately for me, the store that I had bought Ink and Dreamer’s Apollo wheel from was out of stock. I found another place that was selling them and I tried ordering one, but after waiting a month or so with no news on the shipping of it, I canceled it and went searching for a different wheel. For some reason, all of the glider safe wheels seemed to be either out of stock or really backed up on orders. Thankfully, we found a new Apollo wheel on Ebay for an amazing price. I bought it and it came in three or four days!
I got the wheel installed and Ilona was the first to come out and test it. She wasn’t quite sure what it did and it took her a little while to realize what it did. She crawled around on the outside for a while before finally going inside and finding that she could make it move! I took a video of her first attempts and you can see that here. (https://www.facebook.com/aninkydream/)
Yiska was less interested in it. He’s a big glider and if he keeps gaining weight, he’ll be overweight soon. He did walk in it a little bit, but he doesn’t seem particularly pleased about having it (much to my disappointment). I think it’s tougher for him to exercise just because of how large his body is (he is literally double the weight of Dreamer).
In any case, Ilona loves the wheel. She’s figured out how it works and is quickly learning how to make it fly! Now I go to sleep at night with the sound of two wheels running. 😛 The noise was annoying at first, but I actually find it quite comforting now! When all the gliders are napping at night, my room is so quiet and I actually wake up because of that.
Oh, one more thing I wanted to make a note of was on the subject of treats. Treats are a wonderful tool when bonding with gliders. I used them a lot during the first few months that I had Ink and Dreamer. But with Ilona and Yiska, I’ve decided to use treats very sparingly – if at all. My reason for this is that (I’m guessing) their main interactions with humans for most of their lives has been to get treats from them. This makes them see people as treat dispensers, not friends. I really want to break them of this mindset. So I don’t give them treats during our interactions. I want them to want to be with me for me, not for treats. If I do give them treats, it’s after our nightly playtime is over and they’re back in the cage. *nods*
In summary: Ilona and Yiska are doing well and our bonding is progressing slowly but surely. They’re both sweet gliders and I think it’ll be really good to see their personalities come out more as I gain their trust.