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I have a 10 year old rescued chinchilla boy called Harley Mushrooms, he has lived with me for 7 years. He is INCREDIBLY timid - it took about 2 years to get to the stage where he allowed me to stroke his head and scritch behind his ears. Within another 3 years, I was allowed to stroke his back and he would lick and groom my fingers. He's not a pet really, he's a wild animal that eventually decided I was alright. He's completely put me off having chinchillas again, but I'm really fond of him in a strange way. He's very spoiled :D He has a whole Explorer cage to himself (the rescue said he had to live alone) and loads of toys and things.

Disaster struck in January 2010 when he got some kind of weepy-eye thing. I had to catch him, put him in a little box and take him to the vets, whereupon I was told I'd have to give him eyedrops every day for two weeks. I dutifully did this. It didn't clear up his weepy eyes but it did make him revert back to being petrified of me. I realised that medicating him was worse for him than having weepy eyes, so I decided that I wouldn't take him to the vets again unless it got really bad and it was his 'final visit'. Since then his eyes have actually got a bit better, one eye has completely cleared up but the other is still weepy - but not gungy like it was.

He hasn't come near me again for four months. Today I was doing my daily attempt at reconciliation with my "come on Harley Mushrooms, it's OK, I'm not going to hurt you" speech and my hand out in the cage and, out of the blue, he cautiously approached and I was allowed to stroke his head and scritch his ears! It appears I am forgiven, and I am so happy that I had to tell everyone :)

Sarah xxx
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