Saturday, September 06, 2008

Something Squirrely

Just after the rains subsided I took Tonka out for his "necessaries" and on the way back in he found a baby squirrel that had apparently gotten blown out of a tree in the storm at some point. After convincing him to drop it (which he did with surprisingly little fuss) I realized the thing was still alive -- but only barely. I collected it up in a small cardboard box, took it in the garage and frantically Googled "wildlife rescue" to see who might be able to address this best. One call to the Piedmont Wildlife Center, and one additional call to the woman they referred me to and I'd found a squirrel rescue.

Who knew? I guess I did, or should have anyway. Several years ago I'd come across a baby rabbit in similar circumstances and found someone who did this kind of thing by pure dumb luck serendipity. I sort of remembered what I was supposed to do -- mainly because with the rabbit, I'd done just about everything wrong that I possibly could have.

But here's the thing. I know about dogs. I know more about dogs than the average schmuck -- though not nearly as much as some people I know (nods to JC). But when it comes to squirrels, I know jack.

But Jack doesn't rescue squirrels, so I had to call Ruth. Ruth confirmed for me that I hadn't committed any grave errors and asked me if I could bring the squirrel to her. Which is fortunate since that's why I'd called her in the first place. So far I knew that I was supposed to give the little critter something to "nest" in (the website recommended an unfrayed towel -- of which I happily had a few available) and turn up the heat for it. Towels I had. A heat source, not so much.

How warm was I supposed to keep this critter? None of the information I had was telling me, but then I remembered how hot I had to keep it when the puppies were whelped. About 90°F. Ecch. But it was a matter of life and death, right?
So... I put Ms Squirrel in the floorboard and turned the heater on in the truck for the drive. (Fortunately, it was a reasonably short drive. Because damn.) We arrived at Ruth's some 20 minutes later with Little Miss Bushytail still breathing (and shivering despite being baked in the floor of the truck).

That's when I found out the little miss was in fact a miss... not a mister. Sorry abotu that little one... I didn't know you that well, so I didn't want to get that personal with ya.

Anyway, this chapter of the story has a happy ending. She was still breathing when I left her, and didn't have any obvious complications from Tonka's tender mercies. And she's now in the hands of somebody who knows more than jack about squirrels.
And me? I feel good about my life for a while.

That's it. No moral of the story, no lessons in the humane treatment of animals. Just the story of a baby squirrel who may yet live to rob a suburban pear tree of its yield before it's even ripe.

And yup. I feel good about it.

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Quilldancer said...

You went out of your way to save a life not your own -- and one not many people would have even known was missing. You are a hero.

Mojo said...

That may be overstating it just a touch. But I felt good about it (obviously).

Barb said...

It's good to know that there are people like you who are willing to take time from their day --- unplanned --- to do the right thing for even the littlest creature. You're a good man, and Tonka is a good boy, too.

kenju said...

As well you should!! Be proud of the fact that you have tender mercies of your own.

Dianne said...

I want to hug you.

Winter said...

You are just too cute for words. Thanks for saving the baby squirrel. You done good.

Sparky said...

microwave that towel for about 15 seconds and you'd have saved yourself the sauna effect in your truck. :)

Good on ya' for helping the little dude.


Mojo said...

JC: I'll keep that one in mind... never occured to me to nuke the towel. VEry clever.
(and it was a dude-ess...)