Someone recently sent me the story of Finnegan, the Squirrel. It was such a cute story that I was a bit suspicious. So I looked at the snopes site to check its veracity and was pleased to see that snopes gave it a rating of "true." I was a bit surprised however to see that the story dates from 2005. I guess the most popular stories get circulated for years and I think this is a good one.
Debby Cantlon is known to care for animals in need and so was given a newborn squirrel that someone had found abandoned. She named the little squirrel Finnegan and started bottle feeding him. Her pregnant Papillon must have been feeling maternal instincts because she kept dragging Finnegan's cage over next to her wicker bed. Cantlon cautiously allowed Finnegan out of the cage and the two bonded. Once the puppies were born, Finnegan became just another litter mate, curling up with the puppies for sleeping and even suckling along with the others.
When Finnegan was 8 weeks old, Cantlon began letting him outside to get re-acclimated to his natural habitat. He'd run around all day, then scratch at the back door to be let in for the night. One day Finnegan went out for the day and then disappeared for a few weeks. He reappeared for a brief visit -- no touching allowed anymore -- a goodbye visit of sorts. He was in the company of four squirrels so it seems he found a new, more appropriate home. Oh, the stories Finnegan must tell his new friends! And what a sweet, generous mother he had.
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Learn more about squirrels: Squirrels: The Animal Answer Guide. Introduce your children to these cute little creatures with this very highly rated book: Scaredy Squirrel.