Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How my breastmilk saved a squirrel

I never thought I'd say this, but a squirrel drank my breastmilk. Have I gotten your attention? Let me explain...

Yesterday afternoon my friend Sparkles found a squirrel, pretty much half-alive. He had been in the same spot for hours, not moving, not eating..just laying there. Sparkles decided to do what felt right and get the squirrel away from the threat of the neighbor's dogs. He placed the squirrel in a cat kennel lined with towels along with walnuts to eat and a pan of water. He named him "Stewart". He did not plan to keep Stewart as a pet, but to 'nurse him back to health' (pun intended) and set him free.

The next day Sparkles and his partner Woodchuck noticed that Stewart had not eaten or even really moved at all. Sparkles mentioned that the squirrel was not doing well and I casually offered to donate some breastmilk for the poor little lad, to keep him going. A few hours later, Sparkles took me up on that offer.
I then was obliged to meet Stewart.

Upon his arrival, Stewart was quite lethargic. He was breathing steadily, but blinking slowly, not moving, and Sparkles pointed out that there was dried blood upon his nose. I brought Nunu baby in a close enough view to see Stewart, but stayed back since we didn't know what was wrong with him.. Sparkles wrapped him up in a towel to get him ready for feeding. Stewart the squirrel didn't move at all.

I hand expressed about 2 oz of breastmilk into a glass and Sparkles put the liquid gold into a small syringe. He mentioned that he felt the breastmilk would be beneficial because he had read that squirrel milk has high fat content. We were afraid that his attempt to stick the syringe in his mouth would startle Stewart the Squirrel and possibly cause him to jump or bite.

Instead, he opened his mouth and accepted "natures bounty" (as Sparkles called it). At first, he did not drink, he let the milk sit in his mouth and dribble down his little chin. We sat patiently as Sparkles gave several attempts to get Stewart to drink. He squeezed a few drops into his mouth at a time. By the way Stewart looked, I was so afraid that he was dying right then and there. His eyes were closing, he didn't move a muscle. Sparkles attempted also to give him a few drops of water. After a few tries, Stewart finally started to swallow! Sparkles gave him a few syringe-squirts of breastmilk while Stewart was actively drinking! It was such a relief!

Small hints of improvement were beginning to show in Stewart. His eyes brightened, he began looking at our faces; staring at Sparkles, then at me and at Nunu.
Before long, Stewart started to liven up a little bit while drinking the human milk, so Sparkles decided to let him rest up in the kennel.Sparkles and I sat and chatted for a few hours while Stewart rested. We checked on him periodically to make sure he was still alive, since he had been in such bad shape!
Upon leaving, Sparkles filled the syringe with the remainder of the breast milk for later.

Those hours with Stewart, observing him as he weakly drank my milk from a syringe really brought about some insight regarding other living beings and how delicate life can be. I watched this little guy receive nourishment, brighten up and silently observe the one who so graciously took the time to assist him, looking as though he were pondering what in his karma would reward him another chance at life. This was quite possibly this wild animal's first human contact, and for it to be one of gentle kindness, nourishment and salvation coming from the warm hand and comforting voices of this larger species... must have been an incredible surprise!

Within hours, Sparkles posted an update on Stewart and it really struck me in a personal way...
Considering the condition I first saw Stewart, I was utterly shocked to see this picture posted after just a few hours!

Sparkles said, "..that magic [breast milk] must have done the trick. He was feeling better (Moving around the cage freely) when I went to get him to drink some more and so I decided it was time for him to leave the nest. He is back where he should be."
Before, Stewart could hardly move and now he is climbing! MILK IS IT!

Last week, I wrote a blogpost listing all of the medicinal ways that I've used breastmilk, and I have to say, this liquid gold never ceases to amaze me! I don't know what exactly was wrong with the squirrel, or what exactly was in the breastmilk that he needed...I just feel so completely fortunate to have been able to offer assistance in preserving the life of one of Earth's beautiful residents. Stewart the squirrel is one lucky guy to have crossed paths with Sparkles, and I'm one lucky mama to have the opportunity to meet this lil guy!

In this last picture, I mentioned to Sparkles, "Aww, he actually looks kind of sad to be going."

Sparkles replied, "I know! He sat there for a minute and looked at me, then scurried up the tree.."

Boheme Mom

"True benevolence or compassion, extends itself through the whole of existence and sympathizes with the distress of every creature capable of sensation."  --Joseph Addison

Tree pictures, courtesy of Sparkles. <3

1 comment:

  1. I just volunteered to donate BM to a baby squirrel a friend is trying to nurse back to health. Thank you so much for this post!