It all started with a pair of orphaned sugar glider joeys. They were tiny and scared with their eyes just starting to open. In the wild, they would spend this delicate and dangerous time huddled in their nest or clinging to their parents’ backs. The family bond is very strong for these beautiful creatures. They are primarily driven by the need for tactile interaction and familiar scents. A glider without a friend is a lonely glider.

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Since this pair was being hand raised, they needed a surrogate mother to help them feel safe. I just happen to be into amigurumi (the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small dolls) and decided to adapt my patterns for gliders. The joeys took to their little octopus instantly. They would latch onto the round dome of its head or snuggle up underneath it to sleep. As they grew older, they would wrestle and play with their octopus.

I had such great success that I started making “Bonding Buddies” for friends and family with sugar gliders. If used correctly, my little Bonding Buddies provide safe fun and companionship to gliders in all walks of life. From orphaned joeys needing that sense of security, to elderly gliders suffering from the loss of companionship after a mate passes- and everything in between!

As a side note: There is a very special way to crochet for gliders which I learned through trial and error, research, and by submitting my toys for testing and approval by both the glider community as well as exotic vets.

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Joeys interacting with their Bonding Buddy. They will latch onto their toy, or huddle underneath it for security

Sushi with her favorite Bonding Buddy

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A small army of Bonding Buddies, ready to meet their glider friends!

Amelia choosing her colors

Bonding Buddies disguised as strawberries

And yes, they even come in Panda!

Who doesn’t love an Octopanda?