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Monday, December 5, 2016

Charlie Waffles: Squirrel Extraordinaire

I haven't had time to write as much, but I wanted to write about Charlie Waffles a few months ago.  I figured that it would be an uplifting change from the "man hits dog" post.  There must always be a balance.  Here is the story of Charlie Waffles:

I was in the car with Terry headed down 3rd st to walk a dog.  I got out of the car, crossed the street, and when I hit the sidewalk in front of the dogs house, I saw a small furry gray ball by a car wheel.  I bent down and picked up a small cold and stunned little 7 week old squirrel.  The nextdoor neighbor was outside and kindly offered me a small towel to wrap him in and a piece of her Eggo waffle which he readily ate.  Now I had a squirrel and had still had to walk the dog.  The first rule of baby squirrels is "keep them warm and hydrated."  Luckily Terry squirrel sat in the car and my client had some pedialyte that I could use to hydrate the little guy.  After the dog went back home, we took the squirrel back to my house to give him a hot water bottle and some fleece to cuddle in while I finished my day.



I was hoping that he was just stunned and needed a little warmth and food and that when I returned home he would be raring to go out be a squirrel.  When I first checked on him in the house she was going NUTS in the carrier that I had him in.  He was biting at the door (and my finger) trying to get out.  My immediate thought was, "YAY!  He was just stunned and now he can run and go be free!!"  I optimistically took him out on my 2nd floor deck and opened the carrier door.  I expected him to bolt and climb down the side of my house.  Instead, he timidly walked out and jumped in my lap and them climbed on my shoulder.  (Damn!) From then on, he was my little buddy and I had to deal with the fact that I could only keep him for so long.  He stayed with us for a week and after taking him out on the deck every day, he was getting more and more bold.  He wasn't the best eater, so every morning he got a piece of waffle with peanut butter and jelly (hey, it WAS a nut) and he would eat baby food.  He enjoyed his carbs, but I knew that he needed to be a real squirrel with squirrel friends.

There was no reason for him to stay (no major injury, nothing to stop him from fulfilling his squirrely duties).  He was very attached to me and I was attached to him.  He didn't care for any other human really, he was my guy.  That just made it even more difficult to take him to the wildlife rehab and hand him over to strangers.  Instead of being Charlie Waffles, he became Gray Squirrel 3599.  I did call and check up on him a few times and he was acclimating quite well.  I secretly hope that he will find me one day in the world and jump on my shoulder so that I know it's him.  I know that I did what was best for him, but it was still tough! I'm happy that I got to play "mom" for a week to him and have a sweet bond.

















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