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Special Section: Pet Styles

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The Fall 2010 Pet Styles section features Addison County's own resident sugar gliders. These tiny, exotic pets are sure to win you over!

Tune into our AddyIndy Audiocast interview with the owners of the gliders as they tell the story behind acquiring the spunky little pets. Ever heard of glider crabbing? Well, you're about to!

MIDDLEBURY — Though koalas and kangaroos are generally outlawed as pets, there is another furry marsupial that the state of Vermont has deemed legal for regular citizens to own — sugar gliders.

Sugar gliders resemble a cross between a flying squirrel and a bush baby, and are a good alternative to a hamster, gerbil or guinea pig, according to Middlebury College senior and Short Shannon Street resident Frank Sweeney.

“It’s just the nicest little thing,” said Sweeney, the proud owner of two sugar gliders. “You feed it yogurt drops and it just hangs out on you and wants to be pet all the time.”

Sweeney, 21, first heard of cuddly pets that grow only as big as the size of one’s palm from his mother and sister, who happened upon a sugar glider vendor at a mall kiosk near their home in Canastota, N.Y. Sweeney’s sister, Caitie, immediately fell for the tiny creatures and ordered one from a Texas breeder named Priscilla she found online.

Sugar gliders did not enter the United States until 1993 and were originally imported from Australia. The Sweeneys got their first one this summer.

Foster, as they dubbed the first gliders, quickly became a family favorite. Caitie claimed Foster as her own and began taking the nocturnal animal to school with her in a little fleece pouch. Foster would sleep peacefully in Caitie’s locker while she was in class...
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