Sugar Glider Bonding: Plan A
Sugar Glider Bonding: PLAN A
Before we get started, if you're reading this I'm assuming you've already:
- listened to the “Bonding” portion of the purple, QuickStart Audio CD
- have read the Sugar Glider Bonding Report here
As you should already know we have broken down bonding into 2 different techniques: “Plan A” and “Plan B”. We strongly suggest that everyone starts with Plan A, and then changes to Plan B only in cases where…
- Plan A doesn't seem to be working.
- You have gotten bitten using Plan A and are concerned it will happen again.
- You feel very axious about bonding, and are concerned that you may have been bitten with Plan A.
*IMPORTANT NOTE: If you decide to switch to Plan B, make sure you have ALREADY read – and fully understand – Plan A BEFORE you make the switch. You can access Plan B in the Family Circle or by clicking here.
Okay, all that being said, let's get started :-)
In a nutshell, the bonding procedure is a process that:
- Builds their trust
- Shows that you're not trying to hurt them
- Most importantly, establishes your role as their personal protector from any danger
Once they are bonded with you, that's why they will cling to you so tightly - because you're their protector.
Now, I know you’ve probably already read my “King Kong” analogy (again, giving the original credit for this brilliant analysis to Lori Hackworth (Bourbon), it’s author) – but I’m going to restate here so it’s fresh in your mind.
Even if you’ve never actually seen the movie, inevitably you’re probably familiar with the King Kong story line – and more specifically with what King Kong himself looks like…
Now, just imagine yourself sitting in your bedroom, curled up in bed under the covers, and all of a sudden King Kong – this GIANT beast – is standing in front of your house. He jams his arm through your front door… into your bedroom… and immediately snatches you up; holding you 10 stories above the ground as he inspects you.
Now, if you’ve seen the movie, “intellectually” you know that King Kong is really a gentle giant who has nothing but the best intentions for you, but in THAT moment I think we could all agree that – no matter what – you’d be absolutely TERRIFIED. Even if you’re usually a calm and gentle person, in that moment you’d be screaming your head off and struggling to get away. You would probably even try to kick, scratch, or even bite King Kong’s hand just to get free, right?..
Well, this is EXACTLY what happens when your new baby Sugar Bear(s) are all curled up in their pouch/cage when you… a giant “King Kong” like creature (no offense :-) stick your hand in to grab them, and hold it (the equivalent of) 10 stories above the ground. :-)
Well, when we stop for a second and look at it from this perspective, it’s a lot easier to understand why a baby Sugar Bear will probably scream – and maybe even bite – given the opportunity, right?…
Now, imagine this same scenario, (being held against your will in his clutches high above the ground, etc,) but the whole time he’s holding you, he doesn’t inflict any harm – and eventually puts you back in your home “safe & sound”.
On top of that, later that day, he comes back to your house and drops off a nice dinner & dessert for you to enjoy… You would probably taste it, eat it, and trust him just a LITTLE more… BUT
Nevertheless, the next day when he comes back and picks you up AGAIN, you’re probably still going to be ALMOST as scared as you were the day before. In other words, learning to really trust – is going to take some time. :-)
The point of this whole story is simply that as this same process occurs every day for weeks or even months, EVENTUALLY you’re going to learn and realize that King Kong means you absolutely no harm – and you’ll actually get to the point where you look FORWARD to seeing him everyday!
The point is that some people will get used to this faster than others – but as long as King Kong never hurts them – eventually EVERYBODY get there. For example, some people in this situation might actually get comfortable after being picked up just a few times. Most people, though, will take a little longer getting used to this crazy situation… and some people (who are just a little more anxious generally speaking), might take a lot longer to grow completely comfortable jumping into the gentle giant’s hands.
Well, this is exactly the same “process” that your little Sugar Bear(s) are going through right now… While some will settle down and bond with you in just a few days, most will take longer; and some will take up to a few months. Having raised literally tens of thousands of these little guys over the last few years, if I had to guess I would say that the average time to “total bonding” is right around 4-6 weeks. For better or for worse, some animals will show little signs of progress along the way, and others will learn to trust you practically overnight; but eventually they ALL get to the point where they totally love and trust you – as long as you don’t give up on them. :-)
OK, now that we all understand what’s going on in your baby Sugar Bear(s) head, the next step is to set up a daily pattern of behavior that they – over time – will get used to.
THE IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER HERE is that the whole “bonding “process” is all about:
- "baby steps" (pun intended)
- use common sense :-)
Keeping both of these things in mind, I’m going to give you a set of steps to follow so that each baby will eventually learn to trust and love you completely.
It’s important that you don’t get overzealous and “jump” ahead to the next step before each baby has demonstrated that it’s ready. As a new “mom” or “dad”, it’s VERY normal to be excited and impatient about getting your baby to love you – but trust me – if you move through the steps too quickly, it can definitely work against you and end up being counterproductive. Remember, our goal here is that we do NOT want you to get BITTEN to the point where it actually “hurts” – ever – because your little darlings are just scared out of their wits. In most cases, this “Plan A” works great – but again, if you find that you are getting bitten on any kind of a regular basis – we strongly suggest that you switch to “Plan B”.
Step 1: How to take a Sugar Glider out of the cage.
If you’re reading this, then you should have already read this guide – which details exactly how to take your new babies out of their cage properly. If you haven’t , please go back and read this now, (you can access by clicking here). I will briefly summarize it again here, but that email is MUCH more detailed – so please make sure you read it first. :-)
Basically the whole idea is simple: Most likely you’ll be taking your baby(ies) out during the day, so they are probably (although not necessarily) sleeping. In the beginning at least, it is probably better if they ARE sleeping; so if this is your first time or two taking them out, it’s usually best to wait for a time when they are sleeping under the blanket.
Either way, the first step
is to take your bonding pouch… turn it INSIDE OUT… and put your hand inside it like a mitten.
Now, reach inside the cage, and (as quickly and smoothly as possible), “scoop up” the baby(ies) with your “gloved” hand.
Now, if they are running around the cage, it’s probably easiest to try to pin them up against one of the sides of the cage with your gloved hand – and then gently “pry” them away from the bars. Either way, as soon as you have them in your grasp, immediately pull them into the pouch by turning the pouch back to its normal side-out position. This is the same way Doctors usually take off their rubber gloves.
Whatever you do, make sure NOT to release your grip on the baby inside the pouch UNTIL the pouch is zipped completely shut – so therefore it’s probably a good idea to have a family member or friend help you the first few times until you get the hang of it.
Similarly, another great tip for right now – (and probably ANY time you take the baby out of the cage until its bonded) – is to keep a towel or small blanket close by.
This way, if the baby should ever accidentally get “loose” – rather than panic and chase the little guy all around your house, you can very easily just “toss” the towel over top of him – and it will almost always “freeze” right on the spot. Then you can then scoop them up while they’re still in the towel fairly easily without fear of getting scratched or bitten.
NOTE: If this should happen, it’s usually a good idea to return the baby to it’s cage and start over again in an hour or so, once the little guy has calmed down from all the excitement of getting loose. :-)
In any event, once you have the baby(ies) inside the pouch and zipped shut, it’s usually a good idea to give them a couple minutes to get acclimated and settle down.
Now, if you have two babies (like most of our new mom’s & dad’s), it’s important to point out that we recommend going through this process with BOTH animals in one pouch at the same time. However, if you find this more difficult you can obviously go through these bonding steps with one animal at a time as well. It’s been our experience over the years that babies will often bond a little faster when they have a “buddy”; because they are less apprehensive in general. However, as I said earlier, it’s VERY common for one baby to bond faster than the other – so just go into this knowing that this will probably happen. :-)
Now, just in case you’re wondering, there are a few important reasons “why” you should ALWAYS – in the beginning – use the pouch to pick up your baby Sugar Bear(s) – as opposed to your bare hand…
- It protects your bare hand from getting bitten.
- It offers a nice, soft layer of cushion when grabbing the babies.
- It distracts them from what’s actually happening since they ideally don’t even really see you coming. ;-)
For example, when you go back to the King Kong analogy, if King Kong used his bare hand to grab you, wouldn’t that be a lot more stressful than if he just transported you out of your house in a small room. I know a fleece pouch doesn’t seem like a “room” to you, but for a marsupial (who naturally likes “pouches”),it’s pretty much the equivalent of a nice room with a big comfy couch :-)
In any event, once your baby(ies) have settled down, the next step is to hold them through the pouch and keep control of their positioning, (ideally towards the bottom of the bag). Then, slip a slice of apple into the pouch with them so they have something to snack on later if they get hungry or thirsty. Once the apple is inside and the pouch is zipped back up you can release your grip on them through the pouch. This all may sound a little complicated at first, but it’s very simple and you’ll get the hang of it very quickly. I am just describing it in great detail here to be thorough. ☺
At this point, “CONGRATULATIONS” are in order, because you’ve now effectively gotten your baby(ies) out of the cage into their pouch without getting bitten (hopefully). ☺ You will repeat this procedure many more times throughout the coming weeks, and rest assured, once they are totally bonded with you, none of this will be necessary. in fact in the future it’s likely that they’ll just jump right into the pouch or your hand as soon as you open their cage door. ☺
Now that you have your baby(ies) in your pouch, you may find that they “chatter” (a startling noise that sounds something like a locust on steroids :-). That sound is already explained in greater detail in the previous emails and special reports; and it’s just their way of saying “I’m scared.”
Just remember, you’re working with a baby Sugar Bear, so whenever it’s scared, it REALLY wants to be supported and held tightly like it was back in it mother’s pouch.
You can ease their worries by putting firm pressure with a flat palm through the pouch, directly on top of the baby. You can press them either between your two hands, or press them firmly against your body in the pouch. As pointed out in an earlier report, you can push against them much harder than you would think without hurting them.
In fact, not only won’t you hurt them, but if they continue to chatter, (as strange as it may sound) it’s because you’re actually not pressing hard ENOUGH.
If you remember, baby Sugar Bears bond almost purely by SMELL. Now if you have been following the previous reports, you should already have a “jump start” on this process by simply putting your old t-shirts or articles of clothing in the cage for them to snuggle up with. All we’re going to do now is continue this same process by letting them get used to your smell while they are “riding around” with you in their pouch. ☺
You will continue to do this throughout the bonding process, and even after they’re bonded, simply because they will get used to their pouch – and LOVE to hang out in it.
To start this process, simply place the pouch (with the baby(ies) inside of course) around your neck with the mesh window facing your BODY. For some reason, people always think the window should face forward, but that is incorrect. The window should always face YOU so that your smell can easily permeate into the pouch as you carry them with you.
Ideally, the pouch should be as close to your body as possible; even touching your skin if you don’t mind. If you don’t like the idea of the pouch being under ALL your clothing you can choose to have one layer between you and the pouch (like an undershirt. However, this is less than ideal and may slow down the bonding process a little. In other words, the closer they are to your skin – the faster they will typically bond. ☺
In most cases, once they are around your neck for a couple minutes, they will most likely calm down pretty quickly. However, whenever they start to chatter, remember to just put firm pressure on them with your open palm – pressing them against your body. If they continue to chatter after a few seconds of doing this, you are probably just not pressing hard enough. You can also rub and massage them as much as you’d like through the pouch – and talk to them frequently so they also get used to the sound of your voice.
“Wearing” your babies in their pouch for hours under your shirt is the best form of “passive bonding”. For the most part, you can go about your normal day, even bringing them with you to work this way. As long as they have an apple in their pouch, they should be good for up to 10-12 hours at a time. Until they are fully-bonded, you can let them pee/poop in their pouch as needed – but once they’re bonded I would recommend taking them out every 2-3 hours just to let them stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. You can wash their pouch normally with detergent etc,, but just make sure it’s good and clean/dry before putting your baby(ies) back inside. For this reason, a lot of our mom’s & dad’s like to have at least a couple extra pouches handy. You can always get more here (INCLUDE PRODUCT LINK).
In any event, the bottom line here is simple… The more time you can “wear” your baby(ies) in their pouch under your clothing – the better. Just remember to make sure they are warm. In other words, if you go outside in the winter, always wear an appropriate jacket – and make sure the pouch is up against your skin – if you’re carrying babies with you. ☺
The whole point of this step is simply to get them used to being out of the cage and around you. By carrying them around they can smell you and hear your voice continuously – and the more time they spend with you, the FASTER they’ll bond.
Again, if you go back to the “King Kong” analogy, it’s all pretty simple. The first time he takes you out of your house you’re terrified, but with each consecutive day he does it, you become less fearful and more trusting. That’s our goal. ☺
Hopefully, by this point your baby(ies) has already started to get at least a LITTLE comfortable being in their pouch. Now, if they still seem nervous (ie. lots of chattering), the best idea is just to give them a few more days of “passive bonding” before moving on to this next step.
Remember you will continue to do passive bonding (ie. “wearing” them around with you), THROUGHOUT the whole bonding process as often as possible. If you can only do it an hour a day, that’s ok – but continue to do it as much as possible – every day – until it’s obvious that they are comfortable being on your body. That being said, even though baby Sugar Bears bond mainly through smell, we also want to get them used to SEEING you and having the pouch open.
If you’ve ever been in a dark room and someone turns on the lights suddenly, you know how irritating it can be to your eyes. Well, it is relatively dark inside the pouch, so simply opening their pouch and letting light inside will probably make them chatter a little bit at first. That being said, the whole idea of this step (#3) is just to get them used to you opening the pouch and peeking in. ☺
Especially for the first few times you do this, make SURE you are not in a room where IF they happen to get loose it won’t be a 3-ring circus trying to chase them all around.
Similarly, it’s a good idea to keep the same towel or small blanket (from step 1) close by in case they do get loose so you can just toss it over them.
Once it seems like the baby(ies) are in the bottom of the pouch sleeping, very carefully and gently open the pouch up and peek inside. Most likely the first few times you do this they will chatter etc. You need to mentally prepare yourself for this happening BEFORE you open the pouch so you don’t get startled and jump.
There are 2 reasons you don’t want to get intimidated by this sound:
- That’s what they’re instinctually trying to achieve by chattering, so by reacting you’re actually encouraging that bad behavior to continue the next time you do it
- If you are startled, you could theoretically drop the pouch and either hurt them or let them loose.
As long as you stop for a second and mentally prepare yourself before you peek in, you will be fine. If and when they do chatter, do NOT immediately shut the bag, for the same reasons above.
Continue to peek in for a few moments admiring how cute these little guys are; if they don’t settle down after a little bit you can shut the bag and let them relax and go back to sleep and then try again in a little bit. Instinctively they should NOT jump out of the bag if they’re chattering. If anything they will back up out of fear.
Most likely the only way they will try to come out of the pouch is if they’re NOT intimidated or frightened by you, which ultimately is a good thing; however even then you still need to be cautious so they don’t get loose. If they try to come out (and aren’t chattering), just close the bag and move forward to step 4 or 5.
Generally speaking, you should keep “peeking in” over and over again until they get used to it and comfortable. That’s the whole point.
Try to avoid getting too close, or breathing into the pouch, because the smell of your breath will almost certainly scare them. As stated above, if they chatter, keep looking inside for a few moments and then close the bag back up and wait for them to calm down before trying again. You can continue to play this game of “peek a boo” for as long you’d like.
The whole point of this exercise is to condition the animals to get used to you opening the pouch, and not be frightened so you can move on to the next step. Most likely, this process will take somewhere between a day and a week. You’re welcome to spend up to 2 weeks on this step if you’d like but if you’re not seeing progress after that, you may be better off with Plan B.
Step 4: Petting Your Babies for the Very First Time
So at this point, your babies are already comfortable with you opening the pouch and peeking in. That’s awesome, because it means you’re making progress :-)
Technically, if you’ve been following our instructions, you still have not touched your babies with your bare hands yet. I know this must be frustrating, but as I said earlier, you’re working with babies, so you need to take “baby steps” and go slowly. ☺
That being said, at this stage we’re finally ready to have you pet your babies – so make sure to follow what we’ve laid out for you closely.
Just like before you are going to get your Sugar Bear(s) in their pouch and wait till they are settled down and ideally asleep. While they are settling down take the opportunity to get a safe “treat” ready like some fruit yogurt or applesauce. Once you’re ready, just as before, slowly open the pouch and peek in, being careful not to breathe on the baby(s).
Assuming they do NOT chatter or get frightened, very slowly and carefully reach into the pouch and start to pet your baby on it’s back, not around its head or face.
When you do this, I want you to go into it assuming you’re likely to get bitten. Not to the point where you’re all nervous and shaking, but just mentally prepared, so if it should happen you aren’t caught completely off guard and over react. If you’ve been following our instructions up to this point, then most likely they won’t chatter or bite, however it could theoretically happen. If it does, we don’t want the animal to try and do it again next time. You’re going to need to use common sense with this – so move slowly and don’t pet them too aggressively.
The baby(ies) may wake up when you pet them. If they chatter a little it’s ok, just try not to flinch.
The important thing for them to learn is that your hands pose no danger to them.
If they let you pet them without trying to bite you etc., then shortly thereafter remove your hand, get some yogurt or even applesauce on your finger and allow them to lick it off.
This does 2 important things:
- The first is that it rewards their GOOD behavior,
- and starts to condition them to want to get petted (which is why you’ll continue to give them safe treats every time they let you pet them).
- The other important thing it does is help with the overall bonding process itself.
The act of licking you really helps to strengthen the bond and make them comfortable with your presence.
Typically, you will continue to do this “petting stage” for up to a week before moving on to the next step. Remember the whole idea is just to get them used to your presence and ideally used to your hands themselves. If the animal bites you to the point that it hurts, you need to either go back a step (and continue to be patient before starting to pet them) or go to Plan B. Remember, getting bitten is not ok and you need to avoid it at all costs.
Step 5: The Shirt Trick
Congratulations for making it this far. When you’ve reached this stage, you’re doing a great job and the animal has already started to bond with you. We are now going to teach you the “Shirt Trick” which can actually be done concurrently with Step 4. In other words, you don’t have to stop petting your Sugar Bear(s) in the pouch simply because you have progressed to Step 5, you can do both at the same time. ☺
The “Shirt Trick” is a form of advanced Passive Bonding (as taught in Step 2). If you remember, baby Sugar Bears bond largely based on smell, and you are supposed to try and carry them around with you in the pouch as often as you can. The Shirt Trick is essentially the same thing but even better because they have free range of motion and are completely surrounded by your scent.
Basically, all you do is put on two shirts: an undershirt and an overshirt. Tuck both shirts in so that your little one(s) doesn’t accidentally fall out – and you’re all good to go! If it’s a nice shirt you may want to wait to transfer them inside your shirts till after they’ve gone to the bathroom so they don’t stain you. In the future, once you’re “fully bonded” you’ll be able to “Depoop” and “Depee” them quickly and effortlessly to avoid accidents, but at this point it’s probably best just to use an old shirt you don’t care about too much. ☺
If possible, the most convenient “outer” shirt is one that has buttons all up/down the front. This way, you can button it up so they can’t easily come out – and when you want to reach in and pet your baby(s) – or take them out – it’s easy to get to them.
By doing this, all you’re basically doing is giving them a BIG “bonding pouch”.. It gives them lots more room to move around than inside their bonding pouch – and they are still continually surrounded by your smell and the sound of your voice.
Also, while you’ll no doubt be moving around “stiff” for the first couple days (afraid that you’ll squish them) – pretty soon you’ll figure out that they will move out of the way if they aren’t comfortable – and you can do ALL your normal daily activities without any restrictions. For example, don’t be surprised if they snuggle right down the center of your spine when you are sitting, because remember – they LOVE tight spaces (ie. their mom’s pouch). :-) Of course, you’ll have to use some common sense here, in other words, don’t take the animals in your car the first time you do this because if they get loose, they may go up under the dashboard etc.
Usually, you’ll find that they end up sleeping right in the small of your back – just above your waistline. They like this spot because it’s comfortable – and they can hear your heart beat (which again, reminds them of being in their mom’s pouch)..
It’s during this “shirt” phase of bonding when a LOT of new parent’s say their baby(s) “cross-over the hump” and REALLY start to bond with them….so if you haven’t already gotten to this phase, go ahead and start it now.
While the Shirt Trick is a great tool to use for bonding, most of our customers continue to keep their animals in their shirts (typically right up against their skin once they’ve totally bonded) for their entire life. You’re still welcome to use the pouch or a pocket to carry them around once they’re fully bonded, but consider this a good option as well.
Step 6: Handling your Baby
Congratulations, because you’ve arrived at the final stage of bonding! ☺ That’s not to say that your baby(ies) are FULLY bonded yet, but if you’ve made it to this point, they definitely know who you are and have bonded with you pretty extensively.
Like always, you’re going to need to use common sense to determine when it’s appropriate to take the leap to this step. There’s no reason to rush into it. When in doubt, continue with steps 1-5 until you feel more confident on the baby’s bonding progress. Remember you have a lifetime to play with your animals, so there’s no point in preemptively skipping ahead only to get frustrated by getting bitten etc.
If you’ve made it this far without getting bitten it’s unlikely they will start now, however it’s always good to be prepared. Most often when people do get bitten it’s because they are restricting a baby’s movement.
Even with a dog, if it sees a rabbit it wants to chase, and you physically restrain it, you’re likely to get bitten. It’s the same for most animals, and Sugar Bears are no exceptions. Most often when I see people getting bitten by a SugarBear that’s gone through all the steps of bonding it’s because they’re so worried about it “getting away” that they end up squeezing the animal so tightly that they are actually hurting it. While Sugar Bears do like a tight spaces in the pouch, often times this is not the case when out in the open.
In any event, there are a few ways to address this issue if you should start to get bitten on any kind of a regular basis. The first is to follow the steps in Plan B. I know you may be proud that you made it this far and haven’t had to resort to it, but at this stage the “Pop Up Tent Trick” described in full detail in Plan B is probably the best way to initially learn to handle your animals. Read it over and seriously consider it. There is literally NO shame in using Plan B at any point. It is a great bonding technique, nuff said. ☺
If you decide not to go with a pop up tent, the next best thing is to find a small room in your house with no furniture for the baby(ies) to get under, or holes in the wall, etc. Remember, at this stage, your baby(ies) are still not fully bonded and will likely try to jump off you given the chance – so if (and when) that does happen, you want to minimize the drama of catching them so it’s not too traumatic for either you or the baby(ies).
Start with the baby(ies) in your shirt and try to coax them to come out. Remember you want to try to avoid aggressively grabbing them in any way. The idea is to kind of nudge them through your shirt out into your hands or on your shoulder. Don’t be surprised or disappointed if they try to climb back into your shirt. This is actually a good thing technically, because it means they’re very comfortable with you – but at this point we really want to try to get them used to being in your hands out in the open etc.
Once they’re on your body they will most likely try to jump off. The best way to minimize this is to keep moving so they never feel comfortable jumping. Again, just imagine if King Kong was holding you in his outstretched palm. While you may try to jump if it was steady, if he was moving around you’re probably going to stay put and cling on so you don’t fall. Walking around the room should probably suffice. If they do jump off – no worries. You should already have your towel or small blanket handy so its easy to catch them. Unlike in Step 1, if they jump off and you do catch them with the towel, just put them back on your shoulder or body (not back in the cage). and try again.
The truth is, even a fully bonded adult SugarBear may jump off you if you’re in your own home. Remember it’s their home too, so even after they are fully bonded they are not likely to be intimidated by it and more than likely want to go explore. Obviously it’s a very different story in an unfamiliar location, where they’re more likely to cling to you because they’re nervous about predators (and you’re their protector after all).
The other great way to get them used to your hands and ensuring they won’t get away from you is to use the “Treadmill Trick.” It’s probably easier to learn the Treadmill Trick by SEEING it done so we made a video teaching it in great detail. You can access the video by going to the Family Circle, clicking on “Important Videos for New Moms and Dads” and then clicking on “Walking Your New Baby Before it’s Bonded to You.” In a nutshell, as the name implies, you’re creating a little “treadmill” with your hands so the baby can keep moving without leaving your actual hands.
Plan A: GRADUATION TIME!!!
So that’s all there is to it! ☺ At this point, you are well on your way, so just continue playing with your baby(ies) and taking baby steps forward. Before you know it you’ll have a fully-bonded pet that you take with you everywhere you go. ☺
Keep in mind, bonding is a PROCESS, not an EVENT. It happens over time. While these “steps” were meant to be completed sequentially, it’s wasn’t all supposed to happen over night. Jumping ahead to the next step before the baby is “ready” doesn’t make the bonding happen any faster.
Don’t get discouraged if you feel like you’re going 2 steps forward and then 1 step back at times. This is often the case, and is par for the course, but as long as you:
- Stick with the steps laid out here,
- Refer back to them often, and
- Don’t give up – you’ll eventually get to the point where your little darling(s) can’t wait to see you every day – and will “ride around” on you practically everywhere.
Now, of course, if you’re having any problems, don’t hesitate to email customer service at: firstname.lastname@example.org . Remember, everyone who works with us also has these little darlings as our own personal pets – so we are MORE than happy to help you in every way we can.