by Gayle Kosalko
This may seem to be a squirrely little story… and it is, but it’s a sweet one too.
Back in September a work crew set out to cut down a tree in the Historical Society’s yard downtown Whiting Indiana. And while they were working, they noticed a baby squirrel watching them. There had been no nest in the tree and the little squirrel was all by himself.
And even though there was all this racket with three chainsaws going, the little squirrel remained, darting around the workmen’s boots. He seemed to like the companionship.
“Animals run the other way if they’re scared but this one kept coming back,” said his owner. “We said, ‘Little Buddy, you’re going to be hurt if you stay here’. ”
But Buddy (the name he now answers to) stayed. As a matter of fact, while one of the workman sat on the grass for a break, Buddy climbed up on his lap and onto his hand where the fuzzy little guy fell asleep.
Now what does one do with an abandoned squirrel who has found YOU. His human buddy called the Animal Control who gave him a carrier to put Buddy in. From there, Buddy has not only the run of his new friend’s home, but his own gigantic cage complete with fleece sheets, a hammock, newspaper for nesting, real oak leaves and lots and lots of bark. He even seems to know when it’s bedtime and time to go back in the cage.
His human has studied what to feed Buddy and the squirrel gets nuts and vegetables and as he’s gotten older, birdseed, and natural grains. He always has bark and twigs to chew on to help keep his teeth in shape. The first time I met Buddy he was lounging in his gigantic cage, chewing on a green bean. And I was told that squirrels are like cats when it comes to their personal hygiene.
Not only does he clean himself like a cat, Buddy likes to sit on people’s heads, work his way to their eye glasses and clean the wearer’s eyebrows. Mozart music calms him; he enjoys hide and seek and when he’s pleased, he chirps.
Buddy is quick on his four little feet, scampers through the house, screams when he’s mad, and even occasionally gets to go away to the country for weekend trips where he romps around outside on the deck and in the garden….until naptime when he climbs on the lounge chair and cuddles up on his owner.
After some research, it seems that since Buddy was born towards the fall, he didn’t have time to properly learn how to build a nest. He’d been on the ground and for whatever reason, was probably an orphan when he discovered the friendly workmen.
His big buddy said that he’s keeping his furry friend for the winter and in the spring, he’ll release him and see if he comes back or not.
“For now, I think it’s the safest thing for him,” he said. “I read 8 out of 10 baby squirrels that are abandoned get hit by cars or are attacked by dogs. This way, Buddy at least has a chance of surviving.
And it’s obvious from his set-up, that Buddy would be “nuts” to leave his new home.
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