What Kind of Pet Does a Flyer Make

Joan
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What Kind of Pet Does a Flyer Make

Postby Joan » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:36 pm

Judy C's excellent discription of flyers as pets:

Judy C. wrote:OK - here is the rundown on having a flyer as a pet. When you first get one, it is a baby. It may still be on formula, or it may have been totally weaned. At any rate, it will spend most of it's awake time on you, probably in your shirt. It will be the cutest thing you have ever seen in your whole life, and as soft as a cloud. As it gets older, it will start venturing away from you - not far, at first - just onto the chair back or computer table or wherever you spend your time with it. Your flyer will love taking treats from your hand - pecan pieces, a cheerio, a bit of apple. And he/she will snuggle down in your shirt and sleep for hours. All this time, he will be growing, and finding out what it means to be a flyer. This is not something you, or another squirrel, will have to teach him.....it is instinct, born into him because he is a wild animal, a flying squirrel. He will stop wanting to play during the daytime, and want to stay up and play all night. He will spend a lot of time fixing his nest just like he wants it, and where he wants it. (They always need more than one choice of nesting pouches or boxes.) He will discover favorite spots for stashing food - mostly nuts, if you're lucky. (If he stashes enough apples for a long enough time, your home will begin to smell like a brewery, as they will ferment!)

He will also be doing a lot more exploring when you have him out. He will find nooks and crannies that you never dreamed existed in your house. Of course, you will already have flyer-proofed the rooms he is allowed into, but he will most likely teach you a few places that you forgot. Keep the toilet seat down at all times, cover any aquarium or fish bowl, make sure he can't get into the vase of flowers, or a bowl or any container of liquid, and keep the chocolate under lock and key! Your flyer will want to be up as high as he can get. The top of your drapes or curtains, your bookshelves, etc., will become his favorite places. Anything will become fair game for chewing - wires, furniture, cabinets, books. And a closet is a flyer's Disneyland, full of shoes to chew, pockets to hide in, sweaters to chew up and add to his nest. He will still love you, and use you as a tree to jump to or from, and occasionally will shirt dive and take a short nap. As time goes by, he will become more and more independent, and will develope quite a sense of humor. Well, he'll think it's funny, anyhow! You may not appreciate the humor in calling your flyer's name and searching high and low for him for hours, only to finally find him sitting on top of the bookcase with a smirk on his face, watching his human go crazy!

As time goes by, he or she will reach maturity, breeding season will come around, and your sweet little ball of fluff will become an unpredictable maniac. Offer him a nice piece of pecan as a treat, and he may bypass that and go for a finger. He may bite once, or he may become a furry piranha and leave your whole hand bleeding before you even know what has happened. If he doesn't agree with your idea of bedtime, he may make his feelings known with a little nip. Eventually breeding season will end, and your normal flyer will return once more - until the next breeding season!

Always remember, your furry friend is, first and foremost, a wild animal. When he is hurt, or scared, or just in a bad mood, he will react as instinct guides him - with teeth and/or claws. He is NOT being mean, he does NOT suddenly hate you. He is just reacting like he is supposed to. This is something that you can not train out of them, or breed out of them, or tame out of them. You CAN make it less likely to happen, by the way you treat him, and by getting a flyer from a responsible breeder. His own personality will have a lot to do with how tame he will be. But 99 out of 100 times, your flyer will not want to sit in your hand and be petted, or sit on your shoulder while you go about the house doing whatever you want to. He will not cuddle for long periods of time, or come when you want him to without fail. He is a wild animal and will stay that way. Any loyalty or friendship he shows to you is a gift from him, to be given at his discretion. And it is only given after you have earned it.

Think long and hard before you decide to be owned by a flying squirrel. It is definately not a life for everyone. It is expensive, very time consuming, and sometimes the rewards are few and far between. These creatures can live up to 15 years or more, and it will be your responsibility to make sure he is fed correctly, well housed, provided with a challenging environment for physical and mental health, receives proper vet care when needed, and is treated with respect and love throughout his life. Acquiring an exotic pet is just like having a child - you are no longer foot loose and fancy free. You have a dependent, and without your care, it will die. It is difficult to find anyone to leave a flyer with when you go on vacation, and taking it with you can be dangerous, as they are illegal in many states. You run the constant risk of your pet being euthanized, and you having some expensive fines to pay.

Flying squirrels are not a good fit for everyone.

Judy C,
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

Deb
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Re: What Kind of Pet Does a Flyer Make

Postby Deb » Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:08 am

Excellent Judy. Should be required reading for anyone thinking about taking on a flyer. So many potentially good HOFs, but really are not in the best position to do right by a flyer. Best to consider if the timing is right in your life for such a high-mantainence pet.
Deb, lovingly owned by Tom Tom, Molly, Munchkin, and m'Deah. And a piece of my heart still owned by my sweet Tiny Tim.

floralcommando
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Re: What Kind of Pet Does a Flyer Make

Postby floralcommando » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:33 pm

So true So true
I Love This Message Board it is so full of knowledge and direction for those of us that are owned by Flyers. I find something new and interesting each time I visit The Board. Thanks to each of you who make that possible. :B-fly:
Catherine

Joan
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Re: What Kind of Pet Does a Flyer Make

Postby Joan » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:29 pm

Thanks Catherine ... lots of good people are members.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh


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