Guy Saves Squirrel - But Watch When He Grows Up

Unintended Consequences

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It was something he never thought he would be able to do - or even want to. But now that this was his life, he wouldn’t have it any other way. Soon, though, he realized something had gone terribly wrong in the process, and he couldn’t carry out his plans like he had initially intended to. But he still had to make a decision about his furry little friend. And it would not be an easy one.

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Not In Their Plans

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In truth, Allen Pursley hadn’t been looking to bring a new animal into his home. Quite the opposite, in fact. He and his husband already had two dogs and a cat. But then something happened that threw their plans for a loop. On a windy day in Lewisville, Texas, a passerby encountered a heartbreaking sight: a baby squirrel who had fallen out of a tree. Luckily, he was a quick thinker and decided to rush the little animal to a vet.

A Baby In Need

Allen Pursley

At the vet clinic, staff had to work tirelessly to keep the baby squirrel alive. He hadn’t even opened his eyes yet, which meant he was under five weeks old. They sent people to the location where he was found to see if they could spot his mother or his nest - but they had no such luck. So it was up to them to give him the constant care an infant like him needed. They even had to make some personal sacrifices.

Allen Meet Squirrel

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Veterinary staff at the clinic took turns taking the baby squirrel home with them because he needed 24-hour care. And that’s when the furry creature first encountered Allen. Allen’s husband worked at the clinic, and when his turn came, he took the squirrel home. Allen was unsure of what to do, as he’d never interacted with a squirrel before. But it was temporary, as they planned to release the rodent back into the wild once he’d recovered. So Allen went along with it, not knowing what awaited him.

The Perfect Caretaker

Allen Pursley

Allen and his husband had one advantage that the rest of the vet clinic staff did not: Allen worked from home. This meant that he could give the baby squirrel the constant care he needed, especially hand-feeding him formula through a syringe. Allen was no expert, but he soon learned to mimic the way a mother squirrel would nurse her babies. So, despite not having any veterinary experience, the duty fell upon Allen to look after the little animal. It was a big gamble.

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A Bond Begins To Form

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“I didn’t know what I was doing in the beginning,” Allen recalled. “We were just basically trying to keep him alive.” But it’s clear that Allen has a soft spot for furry friends because he soon started to form a bond with this squirrel. He’d lovingly watch him as he ate and slept… which is what the little baby did most of the time. They’d spent most of the day together. Then, something amazing happened.

Open Eyes And A Name

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After a few weeks, the baby squirrel finally opened his eyes - and Allen was the first thing he saw. It must have been love at first sight because he wasn’t afraid of this strange human at all. Allen also decided it was time to give his furry friend a name, and called him Rocky after “Rocky & Bullwinkle.” That said, he also tended to call him other names like Squirrelito, Sweet Squirrel, and Squiggidy-Boo. Other pet names, though, weren’t as sweet.

Growing Healthier

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“I’m sure he also thinks his name is ‘Bad Squirrel’ with as many times as he heard me say it when I was training him to stay off countertops and drapes,” joked Allen. But Rocky’s naughtiness was a sign that he was getting healthier, stronger, and more confident. Allen thought he’d make him feel more at home and decided to convert the couple’s closet into a space for Rocky. Things seemed to be going well in the Pursley household. Too well, perhaps.

The Squirrel Whisperer

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Now that Rocky had a space exclusively for him, he could climb, crawl, and play without running rampant through the couple’s house. Allen was also growing fonder of him by the minute, documenting all their play and cuddle time on Instagram. The man-squirrel pair had quite literally grown inseparable. But though that may seem great from an outsider’s perspective, it was actually a big problem.

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Unfit For The Wild

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When Allen’s husband first brought Rocky home, the plan was to nurse him back to health until he was strong enough to be released back into the wild. But too much time had passed, and now it looked like those plans were in jeopardy. “By the time he ended up becoming an adult and I looked at releasing him, I realized I had already done way too much wrong to be able to release him,” lamented Allen. There was only one thing to do in light of these circumstances.

A Permanent Member Of Their Household

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Now that he was a domesticated squirrel, Rocky didn’t know how to forage for food, interact with other squirrels, or protect himself from predators. The last thing Allen wanted was to put him in danger, so he decided to keep him for good. Allen’s husband, of course, was ok with the decision - even though little Rocky was not as fond of him.

A Picky Guy

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“He doesn’t allow anybody else to handle him,” says Allen. “My husband can’t handle him either.” This sort of makes sense - after all, he is a wild animal. But when it comes to Allen, his demeanor totally changes. With him, “he’s got the temperament of a cat.” That said, Rocky didn’t seem to appreciate the other cat in the house, nor the dogs for that matter. But he does show interest in some wild visitors.

Visits From The Wild

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One day, as they were going about their normal routine, a little visitor appeared at the window. It was a squirrel, who seemed curious about Rocky’s indoors life. Rocky himself seemed quite excited and ran around the house in a frenzy before approaching the window to take a closer look. There is also a family of three squirrels who check in on Rocky quite regularly - Allen calls them his “grand-squirrels.” But it’s Allen who Rocky reserves most of his attention for.

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Best Friends

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Rocky cannot get enough of his human best friend. He can often be found sitting on top of Allen’s head, as they both hang out on the couch, watching TV. That said, Allen also wanted Rocky to spend some time on his own, so he built him an outdoor enclosure for him to climb and run around in. These two seemed as unlikely a pair as any, but their bond is still going strong as the years go by.

A Very Special Squirrel

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In July 2017, Allen celebrated three years to the day Rocky came into his life. “Happy 3rd birthday SQUIRRELITO!” he wrote on Instagram. “Thank you for reminding me to NEVER underestimate any animal’s intelligence and emotional capacity... Here’s to many many more!” It seems these two are in it for the long run.

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