Spotting squirrels in parks and forests is a regular thing for us. But we bet you haven’t seen any of them in the car, sitting on a driver’s head or running around inside. But now you have a chance to look at a furry girl named Sweet Pea who was rescued and started to travel with her buddy, Miki.
We at Bright Side are ready to share their story with you. Miki told us everything, starting from the very beginning.
Sweet Pea is a lovely squirrel that moved into Miki’s house when she was 4-5 weeks old and was very tiny.
My daughter Vannah was interested in becoming a rehabber after she finished school and one of my clients brought Sweet Pea to her. She found Sweet Pea at the base of a tree in her yard and when after a few hours the mother had not come to get her, my client called and asked if Vannah would like to take her. She was super excited and I was super nervous!
The squirrel didn’t have fur on her tail and was taken to the vet. The doctor said that Sweet Pea would hardly survive the winter without warmth from tail fur.
Vannah took her in and cared for her on her own for the first few weeks around the clock, feeding her every 3 hours with a bottle, and I babysat here and there so Vannah could study, sleep, and work. Sweet Pea couldn’t attend school with Vannah as she needed her time for studying and socializing. So I took in the little love nugget and we buddied right up!
That’s when they began to travel together. Miki was on the road and took Sweet Pea with her. At that time, she was in a crate. Seeing how the squirrel wanted to break out, Miki made a serious decision and took the first step. She let her out and waited while Sweet Pea looked around in the car.
I was so nervous that she would get under the gas pedal or chew a wire behind the dash or under the seats! I wanted to make sure it would be safe before I hopped on the road and took off and possibly had an accident because I wasn’t prepared for what she might do.
Then they rode around the area and even went out for an hour. Sweet Pea really liked this. And since then, they’ve been traveling together for over a year.
I take her with me almost everywhere I go — she even goes to work with me. I’ll leave her home if I’m only going to be gone for a couple of hours or if I’m going to lunch with a friend or to the grocery store — basically anywhere that she can’t come inside with me. But if I’m going to be somewhere that I can have her by my side, I bring her.
Sweat Pea became a great travel buddy who makes the ride fun and enjoys it.
She likes to look around the car for a minute or 2. She might eat a pistachio or tuck a walnut between the seats, but for the majority of the time that she’s in the car and we’re riding, she’s either propped on my arm (her favorite viewing point), looking out the window and chilling or crawling into my shirt and falling asleep.
Sweet Pea feels free in more places than the car. Miki gives her freedom at home also.
If I leave her home, she has the run of the house. I very rarely put her in her cage. I have one for when it’s needed, but that isn’t often. She sleeps in my bed every night and curls up in the bend of my knee or in the arch of my foot. She sleeps much longer than I do so when I get up, I make sure that I tuck a pillow next to her so she can snuggle with it in my place.
Miki cares for Sweet Pea and when they’re together, there’s nothing to worry about. But she wants her buddy to have as much outdoor experience as possible since she has no opportunity to live in the wild like other squirrels. She knows the importance of not keeping Sweet Pea indoors.
She won’t get to do what she instinctively knows and possibly yearns to do. So while I enjoy having my travel buddy always by my side, I really love that she’s getting to see, taste, touch, smell, and experience the outdoors!
Miki admits that having a squirrel is a hard job and doesn’t advise that others do the same. A special diet, painful bites, dedication, patience, and a lot of studying is required behind the scenes.
The single most important thing is that squirrels are wild animals. They don’t easily domesticate. They belong outside with other squirrels where they can make babies, eat acorns, and be happy living their best life. Don’t assume you know what they need because it’s nothing like you could imagine.