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Baby Squirrel Goes Boating


Animals  (tags: sailing, squirrel, rescue, re-wilding, bathing, wildanimals )

Raffi
- 3600 days ago - thelog.com
Dogs, cats and, from time to time, iguanas have been seen joining Southern California boaters aboard their vessels as they cruise from harbor to harbor. But a squirrel? "I told people there are unique things you do in your life others never have



   

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Raffi LidoRoiz (301)
Saturday September 5, 2009, 1:49 am
SAN DIEGO – Dogs, cats and, from time to time, iguanas have been seen joining Southern California boaters aboard their vessels as they cruise from harbor to harbor. But a squirrel?

“I told people there are unique things you do in your life others never have done, and this may just be it, for us,” said Joe Whipple, an avid sailor in San Diego.

Whipple, a superintendent for a construction company in Twentynine Palms, knew that he would have a story to share with fellow boaters when one of his employees told his wife and co-worker, Frieda Whipple, about a tiny young squirrel they discovered while excavating a parking lot.

Once Frieda’s eyes landed on the baby squirrel, she was smitten. “It was love at first sight,” Joe Whipple said.

Frieda named the squirrel Shami, and took it home to care for it. Over the next four weeks, Shami resided with the Whipples, spending her days exploring her new house (a plastic shoebox) and enjoying the baby formula Frieda hand-fed her.

But nothing compared to her evening ritual.

“The highlight of both of their days was her bath,” Joe Whipple said. “Frieda would get a warm washcloth, put Shami in it and rub her around.

“I don’t know who enjoyed it more, Shami or Frieda,” he joked.

The bond between Shami and Frieda was too strong to rely on a friend to look after the new member of the family during the Whipples’ planned Memorial Day weekend boat trip. So, they decided to take Shami along with them.

Shami joined the couple as they towed their trailerable 25-foot MacGregor sailboat, Practice, to Alamitos Bay, where they began their four-day cruise.

As the couple cruised from Alamitos Bay, sailed through Long Beach, anchored off Island White, sailed along the coast to San Pedro and to Newport Beach, Shami enjoyed the cool breezes and breathtaking views from inside her shoebox home.

“It did get a little rough one afternoon, and Frieda worried Shami would get seasick,” Joe said.

Thankfully, Shami quietly curled up inside her shoebox and slept through the choppy waves. Joe said was glad to have not discovered any “squirrel puke” in the box.

Once home from their 80-mile adventure, Frieda recognized that while Shami proved to be quite the sailor, she was ready to return to the wild. The couple slowly introduced her to a squirrel population near their home.

Shami made friends quickly, Joe said, and she found a new home in the trees. But the Whipples still catch a glimpse of Shami from time to time.
 

Joycey B (750)
Saturday September 5, 2009, 4:28 pm
Thanks for this heartwarming story Raffi.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday September 5, 2009, 5:11 pm
Thanks Raffi! Great story!
 

Tierney G (381)
Saturday September 5, 2009, 9:15 pm
Awwwe this was a good story! Thank you Raffi
 

Alejandra Vega (139)
Saturday September 5, 2009, 11:15 pm
TY, Raffi!
 

Charlie L (29)
Monday September 7, 2009, 12:39 am
Thanks Raffi, I enjoyed it.
 

Audra R (31)
Monday September 7, 2009, 5:57 am
What a cute story! Animals bring so much to our lives!
 

Julie van Niekerk (230)
Monday September 7, 2009, 10:55 pm
Too lovely. I have not yet seen a life squirrel here where I stay.
 
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