Living

Winner - Most Unusual Pet

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Here is our pet, a Sugar Glider. His name is Rocky (short for Rocket), and he is almost 6 months old. Since joining our family, he is always traveling along with one of us in our shirts or in a pouch. He is a loving member of our family. Sugar Gliders are native to Australia and are related to the Koala bear.

Our family had been looking for just the right pet since my husband, Andy, is allergic to cats and dogs. I had looked into small animals that you would find at your local pet store, but they either had a very short life span or were smelly and destructive. (Not interested in birds, lizards, turtles and fish... I like the cute and cuddly kind myself.) We happened upon Rocky at the Mall of New Hampshire. About twice a year, the company “Pocket Pets” has a kiosk when they have baby Sugar Gliders to sell. I had never heard of Sugar Gliders before, and thought that this was everything that I wanted in a pet. Sugar Gliders make wonderful pets. They live 12-15 years, and are very clean animals (they don’t have dander or shed so they are great for people who have allergies). They don’t smell, and are not destructive.

Rocky is very affectionate. In the wild, Sugar Gliders bond with other members of their colony for life. Our family has become Rocky’s colony, and so has bonded to us for life. We take turns with him in our shirts, and he goes everywhere with us. He makes a few familiar noises too ... he barks like a Chihuahua when he is calling for us, he chirps like a bird when he is happy to see us, and purrs like a cat when he is content. He is very smart too. They say Sugar Gliders have the intelligence of dogs, and I believe it. At six months, Rocky can already untie knots and unbutton buttons!

Submitted by Judy Straussberg of Merrimack

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