Squire Squirrel

You know when you are living something and it seems so surreal that you have difficulty even imagining that this is REALLY happening? How about those moments where the only thing keeping you going is what an amazing story it will make later? Or how you and your neighbor will laugh to tears in twenty some odd years recalling said incident??

On Friday afternoon I had one of those moments and the entire time it was happening all I could think of was how perfect it would be for the blog.

Here's the timeline:

11:00 AM - gather up baby and bag and begin to head out to grocery store to pick up items for Buffalo Chicken Chili . I usually place the baby on the top step while I lock the door, but this time hesitated because a squirrel, we'll call him Squire, was about 4 feet from her in the grass. A note on our neighborhood squirrels. They are plentiful, there are many casualties, they have no fear. Two ran right under Caroline and I while we lounged on a hammock not long ago and ever since then I have been a bit terrified of these nasty little rodents. I tried banging on the door to scare it away, but it just sat there. Upon closer inspection I saw that it was all curled up, seemingly sleeping. I was watching its little back rise and fall, so I shrugged, thought it was strange, but went on merry way. Squire actually looked kind of cute and sweet snoozing away under the hydrangea.

12:00 PM - return from store and spy Squire in a similar pose, but about 2 feet from last resting place. Why isn't he sleeping in his tree I thought?

1:00 PM - look for Squire out the window. Still there, but in slightly different place on lawn.

2:00 PM - look for Squire through window. Squirrel is no longer there. Phew.

3:00 PM - happen to glance out window at incoming rain storm and see across the yard Squire had not in fact left the yard, but had relocated to the other side, just out of view. Realization hits that Squire might be in crisis.

4:00 PM - Look up number for Animal Control. Follow links to wildlife rehabilitator in area. Call neighbor to come look at Squire and help me decide what to do.

4:01 PM - Share with neighbor the devastating news that animal hospital has recommended we put Squire in a box and bring him in. Yes, a box. OH, and be careful adult squirrels that are injured bite.

4:01 - 4:30 PM - Stand in yard with box, shovel, and terrified expressions. Contact with shovel causes movement which produces shrieks and running.

4:30 PM - Steve arrives on scene and manages to lift Squire up gently with a snow shovel, only to accidentally drop him over the edge of the box. Panic ensues. More shrieking. More running.

4:35 PM - Success. Squire is safely in box. Box is taped. Neighbor and I put him in the back of her car and drive to animal hospital. En route we realize that there is a wild squirrel in her back seat.

4:40 PM - Arrival at animal hospital. Squire's box is carried in. Forms are completed. We are informed that Squire will be rehabbed if possible or euthanized immediately. Sadly, we don't think poor Squire even made the drive with all the convulsing and droopiness we witnessed earlier. Attendant asks if we want the box back. Blank stare. Inside I am screaming - "are you kidding me. I never want to see that box again!"

So we tried to do the right thing. We absolutely hated that our rescue efforts necessitated a shovel. We made quite a scene in our neighborhood. Squire was probably hit by a car, they told us, as they often get clipped and make a run for it, go into shock, and well you can imagine the rest. I doubt little Squire Squirrel made a full recovery, but I find some peace in knowing that his suffering ended, one way or another.

We got together later that night with our neighbors and toasted Squire, wherever he is.

When you buy a house you are never prepared for all the responsibilities it will carry, which now we know apparently include animal rescue.


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