Sunday, May 3, 2015
I wish I could say the Miracle Squirrel from the second rescue made it, but he didn't. That blood at the nose presaged a battle for his life, which he lost.
It's hard to have to jump out of a tall tree for help. It's amazing any of them survived that at their tender age. I'm glad, I guess, that the two who didn't make it left this world warm, fed, and loved instead of dying slowly of exposure in the rain.
This is wildlife rehab. You win some, you lose some, and Angel lost sleep for three nights straight trying to save them. She's the hero here.
Angel was down to one squirrel now, but that was SOME SQUIRREL.
When she was pretty sure he was out of the woods, she named him Bushy.
And she began sending me cellphone photos of what Bushy could do.
I was so thankful that we'd been able to save Bushy. He was worth the work and heartache.At least from my comfortable, well-rested point of view. I'm sure Angel would agree. Even though she's the one who stayed up all night with the squirrels I brought her.
I'll keep you updated. At last communication, Bushy was taking solid foods: nuts, grapes, corn, dandelions and birdseed! But still taking darn near a whole bottle of formula at each feeding.
I have always loved fox squirrels. I love them about ten times more than I love gray squirrels. I love their big beefy build, their beautiful color, their fat bottoms, and the phlegmatic way they move, as if there's really nothing here to be concerned about. I also like the kind of forests where they live: mature deciduous hardwoods, which are getting harder to find. The modus operandi around here is to wait barely just long enough for one's timber to be of value, then cut it and cash in. That kind of ever-recovering young forest doesn't constitute "mature" in a fox squirrel's eyes. So we have a ton of gray squirrels, which aren't choosy about forest type, and far fewer fox squirrels in Washington County Ohio.
But Chet the Perfect Dog treed an adult fox squirrel along Duck Creek last week, and that squirrel was just fine up in its tree, but then he looked down at me, figured I must have a gun, and panicked. Lost his head, he did. Little did he know I am a Squirrel Fairy. Anyway, he decided to make a run for it, jumped out of the safety of his tree and landed right at Chet's feet. Duh, Foxy. Duh.
Chet obligingly tied into this gift-wrapped prey item, this Schmoo among squirrels, and snarfled around on him. He never got purchase with his teeth, though, and the squirrel was freaked out but unhurt. I was just leaping on Chet to pull him away when the squirrel broke free and made a fluid, fat-bottomed, slo-mo dash for another tree. He barely made it up there, but this time at least he had the sense to keep climbing and not jump right back down into the middle of things. I stood there laughing my head off at those two, Chet hardly able to believe he'd gotten another chance at a grown fox squirrel, and me shaking my head at the fox squirrel's doofyness. A gray squirrel would never do something like that. What's not to love about fox squirrels?
Now, thanks to this incredible experience, I know a little more of what to do for orphaned squirrels and how to do it, and that's something. I know a new call, and I won't forget it.
Stopping to help: It can be heartbreaking, but it's always worth doing.
Heartfelt thanks to Angel, for all she does.