Ugh, another not so great week this is turning out to be.
One of our backyard pals is unwell.
He isn't just a Squirrel. He is one of the stars of the backyard!
He's gone through some name changes. I think this may be a Squirrel I once called "Junior" a couple years ago. A really docile Eastern Gray Squirrel. With a few running around, he became "Hoover", because he and another look very similar and both hoover up the peanuts and sunflower seeds. Then a few weeks ago he was bestowed with the name "Smoke-Stack". Smoke for his color and Stack due to a unique physical bit of his that makes him stand out from the rest.
I blogged about him back in the winter when he first appeared. See here. He's become a fave of many to see and read about. Here is a short video of him. It is a mystery as to where he came from and how he came to be like this trusting, extremely gentle animal.
His appearances have been quite random ever since we first met. Average visits have been once or twice a week. Lately they have been a little more frequent and in the last week or so we took notice to him being a little off balance. Sunday I made the call to Toronto Wildlife about him. I made mention about his rather large "ball sack". It was brought up to me that this can indeed be an issue for him in his travels, like say passing through a chain link fence. OUCH!
I was asked to keep an eye on him and try to get some video footage for them to review on his mobility and this falling over concern.
I did not see him the rest of Sunday, nor Monday. I suspect the high humidity kept him, much like all the others, in hiding and trying to keep cool.
Tuesday morning I am cleaning up the back of the yard when he showed up. He was worse. He was dragging himself and occasionally leaning on his side. I wasn't wasting any time getting video now. I got the cat carrier out which a friend donated to me for these wildlife moments and it's come in handy many times since. There was little effort to get him inside. He trusts me. A toss of a peanut and in he went.
I called Toronto Wildlife, explaining his condition, and got the "OK" to bring him up. You can never just drop in with a sick or injured wild animal at any rehab centre, just so you know.
It's almost 24 hours now since I drove him up. I have his patient number and will be checking in on him later in the week. I'm not one for prayers and all that kinda stuff but am wishing pretty damn hard right now he will come home and have a second chance at a wild life.
Angie was fortunate to have met Smoke-Stack a couple times.
I am always grateful our city has Toronto Wildlife. I am also grateful to all the staff and volunteers. A group of very caring individuals who give so much back to our furry, feathered, slimy and scaly friends about the GTA and sometimes slightly beyond. There are times when I feel my volunteer driving and our monthly donations just aren't enough, but we do what we can.
If you've never donated before, perhaps consider it now? It doesn't have to be big. It doesn't have to be monthly. Heck, it doesn't even have to be money either (they have a wish list). Just think, your contribution might even be helping our friend Smoke-Stack right now! If nothing else, please give a thought to our little Squirrel friend and may you see a great happy blog about his return soon.
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