Finnegan the Squirrel

Cutest email of the week (click the pictures to enlarge):

"Finnegan, the Squirrel"

For about as long as she can remember, Debby Cantlon says, friends and strangers have brought her animals in need. So it wasn't much of a surprise when someone asked her if she'd care for a newborn squirrel found at the base of a tree somewhere near Renton.

Debby Cantlon, who plans to release Finnegan, the young squirrel, back into the wild, bottle-fed the infant squirrel after it was brought to her house. Cantlon, who has cancer, says rescuing injured animals is therapeutic for her.

When Cantlon took in the tiny creature and began caring for him, she found herself with an unlikely nurse's aide: her pregnant Papillon, Mademoiselle Giselle.

Finnegan was resting in a nest in a cage just days before Giselle was due to deliver her puppies.

Cantlon and her husband watched as the dog dragged the squirrel's cage - twice - to her own bedside before she gave birth.

Cantlon was concerned, yet ultimately decided to allow the squirrel out - and the inter-species bonding began.

Finnegan rides a puppy mosh pit of sorts, burrowing in for warmth after feeding, and eventually working his way beneath his new litter mates.

Two days after giving birth, mama dog Giselle allowed Finnegan to nurse; family photos and a videotape show her encouraging him to suckle alongside her litter of five pups.

Now, Finnegan mostly uses a bottle, but still snuggles with his "siblings" in a mosh pit of puppies, rolling atop their bodies and sinking in deeply for a nap.

Finnegan and his new litter mates, five Papillion puppies, get along together as if they were meant to.

Finnegan naps after feeding.

Finnegan makes himself at home with his new litter mates, nuzzling nose-to-nose for a nap after feeding


Anonymous said…
I hope that this person is a licensed rehabilitator. Baby squirrels if not fed properly can develop metabolic bone disease which can kill them. They also need to be with their own kind so they can be released. To find a rehabber in your area try

Debi said…
Good for you! We raised a baby squirrel also. They are lots of fun. It just goes to show you that all God's creatures can learn to live together in peace.
Anonymous said…
What a great story and I wish you the best of luck. You definitely deserve it. As for Anonymous, don't listen, I'm sure you're covering the bases. This is a beautiful thing and the first thing anonympous could think of was to critisize it? Get a grip and enjoy the moment for what it is. I'll bet you're a lot of fun at a party.
Fran said…
What beautiful pix and a wonderful thing to do, save a little squirrel. I knew a family that 'adopted' a squirrel. They fed it and nurtured it and it was their 'pet' for years. They weren't rehabilitators, they just gave a lot of love. God takes care of his creatures. You are fulfilling several of the beatitudes to help one of his creatures. I'm sure it will thrive. God bless you - you did the right thing and so did Giselle.
PS I love Papillons.
DJ said…
Ever notice that anonymous comments tend to be negative ones?

It's such a beautiful thing for you to help that little squirrel, and best of luck with the cancer and puppies.
Sharon said…
I'd just like to point out that this person is not me, I just got this story in an email and posted it here. I have multiple cats, but no dogs and no squirrels.
intha said…
i too was given a small squirrel, however mine can not be released back as he has lost a front foot and can not climb or use that leg in any capacity. i have researched a lot on raising them and it is not that difficult to keep them healthy and well once you get the correct diet for them. my "sammy" is healthy, happy and well adjusted to living with humans now and he just turned 1 year old. good luck to you!
Anonymous said…
I just found this and I think its the coolest thing I have seen in a long time. My Mother did the same thing with a rabbit that got lost from its momma rabbit or something. Anyway I hope everything works out and perhaps you could give us an update on the situation. Best of luck!

As for the first person to post. I am so tired of you negative people always looking to break others down. You probably just wish you had enough sense to raise anything. You ignorant fool.
Anonymous said…
I'd like to say I loved the story too. A good lesson for humans to reach out in caring for others different than ourselves (and by different I dont mean it in a superior or inferior meaning!). As for the first Anonymous remark on this blog, they were not being critical, they were being CONCERNED and HELPFUL, providing two links to go to for information. Thank you for those that concerned, and to others, dont be so fast to jump on someone else in Your criticism!!!
Anonymous said…

SEATTLE — Finnegan, the orphaned squirrel, has found a new family. But he didn't go in a hurry.

In early September, when he was a newborn, animal lover Debby Cantlon started caring for Finnegan after fielding a call from someone who found him near a tree in a south Seattle suburb. His eyes hadn't even opened yet.

Television cameras captured images of Cantlon's dog, a papillon with long-haired butterfly ears, letting him nurse alongside her pups.

When Finnegan was 8 weeks old, Cantlon decided it was time for him to return to the outdoors and started letting him outside.

At first, he ran around but would stay in her yard in north Seattle. Every night, he would scratch at the back door or at one of Cantlon's windows to be let in.

Then one day, he didn't come back.

Cantlon didn't see him for two weeks, then one day he returned with four squirrels. He disappeared again and returned one more time — on Thanksgiving Day.

"He came close, but he wouldn't let me touch him," Cantlon told The Seattle Times. "He just wanted me to know he was OK. He's wild and free and happy and doing exactly what he's supposed to be doing."

Cantlon, who lives with her husband, Maqsood Ahmed, has cancer and said helping the animals is a healing activity.

"It's therapeutic for me to be able to work with wildlife and be involved in saving the little lives of animals," she said. "Animals have always been the love of my life, so to set them free and watch them fly and join their own kind, that's what I get out of it."
Sharon said…
What a great follow up! Thanks!


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