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This Month in the GliderVet Newsletter
Greetings Glider Groupies, Glider Newbies and Glider Wanna-bes! Welcome to the February 2014 edition of the GliderVet News.
First, I would like to apologize that we did not get a January newsletter sent out, so if you feel you missed something, rest assured that you did not. Life has been moving at the speed of sugar glider after mealworm! We started off the New Year with a Big Bang and recreated our Universe!
We did indeed get our new website launched in January and it’s been quite challenging and in the long run I know this will create a much more user friendly environment to continue our efforts at expanding sugar glider education!
Please check out the new website … it is still our same URL at www.sugar-gliders.com and scroll down to the bottom of the home page where you will find free downloads for “crabbing” and “barking” ringtones! This is Arnold’s greatest idea EVER, in my humble opinion.
This project was and continues to be an enormous undertaking and if you have any difficulty with the new website, please let me know at email@example.com. I speak with our new webmaster daily and together we are working toward supporting an environment that is secure, fun and informational.
Now that I am no longer breeding sugar gliders, my commitment to community and education is becoming even more of a focal point of our evolution. Since the New Year started, I’ve been a panel member on two Glider Hangouts (online meeting place), we’ve launched an awesome new product tester group (more on that in a bit) and we’ve completed our relocation to TX!
My personal sugar gliders now have their own private atrium in my new home and soon we will be shooting a lot more YouTube educational videos “live from the atrium”.
Now before I tell you about our new SunCoast Testers group, I wanted to share this tidbit of fun ideas from one of our independent testers, Greg Etopio:
For the funniest thing you've ever seen: get a clear, plastic spoon. Put a small bit of yogurt on it. Hold it up to but not between your cage's bars. Now enjoy a hilarious see through view of your glider's ridiculously long tongue. Even better with 2 or more shoving their faces in there!
This is the kind of creative “out of the pouch” thinking that we are enjoying regularly with SunCoast Testers and there will be a lot more to share with you about this group as time goes on.
So without further ado, … let me introduce to you the SunCoast Testers Project!
Here at SunCoast Sugar Gliders, we’ve ALWAYS tested products with our own colony of sugar gliders before selling those products on the website. Things that are always considered in product testing are:
Now that we are no longer breeding sugar gliders, I am down to three cages of the fabulous furriere derrieres, and so I thought I’d try and outreach to the community to make sure that this testing process (which I believe to be essential) continues on.
I put a post on our SunCoast Sugar Gliders Facebook page asking for independent volunteers hoping that I’d have maybe 15-20 people agree to help with this project. In less than 24 hours, I had 80 requests to participate in this experiment! My oh my, this was a much larger response than I had anticipated.
So I then asked each volunteer to respond quickly to a series of simple questions trying to weed out people who might not be super responsive once testing began. No matter what I threw at this fabulous group of individuals, not a single person was given the boot.
Next step was to get samples of a bunch of products into the hands of the testers. Not everyone received the same things, but I did make sure that enough samples went out of each product so we could truly gauge how well different products fared with different sugar gliders.
The results and participation were fantastic. Not every product has “passed” testing, but I sure did learn a lot! Seems like homes where an item was mostly liked by most of the sugar gliders, most of the stuff was liked. Then we found that there are homes where the gliders are really, really picky (about most things). This gives us great clues into bettering husbandry practices and gearing future education programs toward helping resolving the why’s and wherefore’s of picky sugar gliders. It also seems to support prevailing theories of the “group mentality” nature of sugar gliders as well.
The success of this experiment has exceeded my wildest expectations and I am truly grateful to each member of the group that has volunteered to work with us on this project back in January. The membership has also agreed that this group will stay together for future testing as well! The group represents a broad cross section of the sugar glider community. Some of the members are customers of SunCoast, but others are not. This was not a requirement of volunteering. We have members in over 30 states. The membership has acquired their sugar glider family members from a variety of sources and most homes have substantially more than two sugar gliders!
This group is a closed group, and while I would love to share this experience with more people, it is simply too hard to manage. So right now, we are staying with our original membership and will be sharing much of information that has come from this brilliant group think tank in upcoming issues of the GliderVet Newsletter! In the future, should we plan to add more members, we will make announcements on the SunCoast Sugar Gliders Facebook page and in this newsletter.
What has been most rewarding for me is the esprit de corps that developed amongst this diverse group of families. Everyone has been so respectful and so supportive to the testing and to each other. We also got the true honesty that we were seeking! It has shown me just how powerful community in unity can be. I think I can speak on behalf of most of the group members in saying that we are all interested in keeping this effort going, and the members have already made a long list of suggestions for items that we will test in the future. Now this is where you can participate! If there are items you would like to see independently tested in the sugar glider community, please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will share this with the SunCoast Testers to get their viewpoints on whether we can add this item to future testing (or not). Of course, new items tested will always be reviewed for safety first, vet approved (if food), and practicality.
Last but not least, please expect our future newsletters to get back to sharing of information, science, experience, knowledge and common sense. The only thing that is going to change in our education efforts is going forward, we will have a lot more input from the community directly to steer which direction things will go and guide the topics people want to hear about most.
I am really excited about the new directions we are successfully gearing up at SunCoast Sugar Gliders and I thank you all for making it possible.
Don’t forget to download your free ringtones!
'Til next time, in good health for you and your gliders, we sign off in appreciation of all of you who share great glider adventures with us!
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