We all think Star's pretty special, but her coolness factor jumped a few notches when she helped save a baby squirrel last week. I don't think she meant to save it, but that's how it sorted out.
No one knew at the time, but a still-nursing squirrel had been saved from one sketchy fate, then released near the trees of our barn yard by a well intentioned but misinformed neighbor on a good samaritan mission. There it was - scrambling around the grass, dehydrated, lost, very much needing her mama, and now dangerously close to a playground for DOGS. Yikes.
As luck would have it, the dogs' peaceful grass grazing ritual turned into mayhem that morning when Star sprang up with the squealing baby in her mouth. We all jumped, but not as high as Star, who started running happy laps around the yard with an unwilling passenger in her mouth, tiny tail streaming, and three very excited dogs at her heels. Flip flops are a great idea until you have to chase down a dog to tell it to let go of something it really wants. But miraculously, she did ... She dropped it!
Well, it took three very loud and dramatic "DROP IT!" shouts, but she finally did spit the babe out like a hot potato back into the grass, then gazed back at me ... "Did I do good?" Hooray Star! And hooray flirt pole practice. Above Right. Nita nibbles on the ever-patient Star.
The squirrel didn't have a mark on her, but she was shock-y and nearly paralyzed with fear. Did I tell you this all happened one hour before our out of town Pit Ed campers were scheduled to arrive for their four day training program? Luckily we have good friends in furry places, and after retrieving the babe and securing her to a warm, dark place away from dogs, a volunteer with a local wildlife rehab center came by and swifted her to triage and rehab care.
At first she refused all food, so her rehabber grouped her with other orphaned squirrels. The family vibe sprang her to life and she started gulping down milk and chattering loudly to anyone who wanted to hear about her misadventures.
Her name? Estrella of course. Named after her surprised savior. We wondered if Star's soft mouth on the babe may have come natural after birthing so many pups of her own in the past. Who knows? Or maybe she's been taking her flirt pole practice more seriously than she let on.
Thank you Star! and thank you Denis Morella and Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Center for TLC'ing the little adventuress back to life.