I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but I wanted to share an experience I had over the weekend. The adorable creature pictured here is an infant squirrel. The dude found her Friday evening while picking up some branches in the backyard. Actually, he heard her before he saw her. She squeaked like a tiny chew toy! Being the kind and gentle animal lover that he is, he scooped her up and brought her inside to tell me. Unsure of what to do, we turned to trusty Google. We kept her warm and away from our curious pets. I found an organization in the Upstate that took care of injured and orphaned wildlife, Wildlife Rehab of Greenville.
We called the first name on the list in our area, and connected with Wendy, a wonderful lady who talked us through what to do. First, keep her warm with a heating pad or hot water bottle. Check. Don't try to feed her or give her water. Check. Then, bring her to me. So we made our way, the dude cradling a small box with a hot water bottle, a t-shirt and leaves. Wendy was a delight. All of the rehabilitators are volunteers, and I'm so thankful they're around! She welcomed us into her home past 9:30 on a Friday night and even offered us ice cream ;).
She determined our squirrel friend to be only a few days old. As you can see in the picture her eyes weren't even opened yet! She had a couple of scratches on her face, and some bruising on her abdomen and face, most likely from the fall out of her nest. She had spunk though, and was very wiggly and vocal - we thought she had a great chance of making it. Wendy gave her pain medication to ease her suffering, and would take care of her through the night. She asked if we had named her, and I said no, because I didn't want to get attached. Well, on the way home, we named her Sara. Sara the squirrel :). We were still pretty distraught, wishing we could do more. But I know that we did the best thing for Sara - putting her in the care of an expert who would know what to do. Wendy gave Sara a 50/50 chance of making it, but the dude and I thought she had more.
Unfortunately, I checked up on Sara yesterday to find that she didn't make it through the night :(::::::::. We were pretty sad, and a little shocked. But, at least she didn't suffer, and at least we gave her a warm bed to snuggle in for the night. Wendy advised that there may be a couple more babies if Sara fell, but so far we haven't seen any. I highly recommend WRofG's services though - we have so much wildlife around here: bunnies, squirrels, chipmunks, opossums, birds, weasels, groundhogs, etc, etc, etc! - anyone could come upon an orphaned or injured animal. If you ever do, give WRofG a call - it's nice to know that there are people out there who care about God's creatures like we do. And yes, perhaps it's a bit silly to mourn the loss of an animal we only knew for a few hours, but, if you know me well enough, you'll know I put animals above people any day!
Ever since Friday, I've had Hall & Oates' "Sara Smile" in my head :).