- Pets and Animals
Interesting Pets: Skippy the Squirrel
Acquiring a New Pet
We never thought of having a squirrel for a pet. But Skippy was a wonderful pet!
They adapt to people's homes quite well, but will usually stay loyal to one person.
We got Skippy our squirrel when a friend of ours took down a tree in their yard and in the tree there was three baby squirrels. They left them alone for a time, but mommy squirrel did not come back for her babies. So they were asking different friends if they would like to take a baby squirrel.
My husband was the first person our squirrel saw and knew and from then on he was his mommy.
He was the only person that the squirrel would willingly go to. He would let me pick him up – in the house, but he would not come to me voluntarily.
We had a minnow pail that we put in some clean rags and that was his home and bed.
At night we would put him in his bed and close this pail. In the morning when he wanted out he would pull on the catch and we would hear him anxiously telling us he wanted out.
Larry would let him out in the mornings and Skippy would immediately run up his bare legs and back up to his shoulders. With his sharp claws this was a mind-opening event every morning.
Outside and in Stores
Sometimes during the day when Larry was at work, and I would be taking care of our kids and going outside, the door would be open and out Skippy would go.
He would immediately go to the fence between our neighbor’s and our yard, climb up and shake his tail and scold their dog. He would get that dog so excited and I couldn’t get Skippy, he would not let me catch him.
I had to wait until Larry got home. Larry had to do was go into the yard and talk to Skippy and he would immediately get off the fence and run up Larry’s clothes to his shoulder happily chattering to see his mommy.
Larry would take him to the store with him. I told him that I did not think this a good idea, but no matter. He would put him inside his coat or sweater and away they would go, usually to the lumber store or hardware store, for Larry was a carpenter and in the evening and weekends did contract work. When he needed supplies he would take Skippy with him. This little squirrel would peek out of his collar and people’s eyes would go really big and they would stutter and point to him and say he had something in his clothes. Larry always ignored them and acted as if there was nothing there!
Camping, Drive-In Theater
When we went camping or fishing on the weekends we would take everyone including our dogs and Skippy.
Larry would let him go free and we thought at first that he would be fine and be a squirrel with all the other squirrels. Instead he would go out there and scold all the other squirrels, get sap all over himself, have a great time climbing all the trees, but he always came back to Larry in the evening. He did not want to stay there with the other squirrels.
We would go at times to the drive-in theater. This was a great way to take our family to see a show, we made a bed for our kids when they got tired, we brought our popcorn, peanuts, juice and pop to enjoy along with our dogs and of course Skippy! When we took Skippy with us he stole the show for the evening, everyone enjoyed watching Skippy.
We would give Skippy a peanut, he would take that peanut and go out of the car and the peanut shell would go flying as he pealed it and ate it and then he would come back for more when he was full he would come for more and promptly go out of the car and hide this peanut somewhere on the car, usually somewhere on top of the car, and come back for another peanut so he could do the same thing. He was great entertainment for our kids watching him along with all the other kids in the drive-in theater.
Skippy’s favorite things to drink was Coke and he loved ice cream.
When Larry had a coke and he brought the bottle to his mouth to take a drink, Skippy was there first waiting for his drink before Larry got his. When we had ice cream, you could not keep Skippy out of the ice cream! One evening Larry decided we would make ice cream with a little wine poured over it. But, Skippy got more wine than ice cream that night and we had a drunk squirrel on our hands.
He was a very funny drunk squirrel.
He decided he needed to go get on our daughter’s little oak rocking chair, but he could not make a straight line for the chair, he could not walk where he was looking, then when he thought he was near the chair he jumped but missed the chair.
He was pretty funny trying to jump on that chair and chattering to himself. He was very frustrated and tried, we laughed until our sides hurt. I decided we didn’t need to put this poor little squirrel through this anymore and put him to bed to sleep this off. We were very careful not to give Skippy wine anymore!
Boss of the House
When he was growing up and developing his teeth and I did not know that these squirrels have to chew to keep their teeth down.
Skippy had no problem educating me on this part. He started gnawing on the wooden part of our bed and he chewed up my new jewelry box, the sofa and the bottom of the bed slats.
It was time to give Skippy a little more than peanut shells. So we started getting him harder shells to gnaw on. This solved the problem.
At that time we have only two dogs a female Weimaraner, Silva and a female miniature Dachshund - Peanuts. We told both dogs that they could not hurt the squirrel. They decided the best thing was to completely ignore this noisy pest. So neither dog’s would acknowledge or look at Skippy. When someone knocked on the door and Silva barked, Skippy would immediately move in front of Silva, flick his tail and proceed to scold Silva in a very loud squirrel voice. Silva would just raise her head, not look at him and pretended that this pest was not there in front of her.
When we had guests, Skippy would immediately go behind the couch and peek at the guest now and then. When he was pretty sure they were going to stay in one place, he would peek a little more and start scolding them and flicking his tail. When they saw Skippy, he would disappear and come back when he thought no one was looking. He never would let anyone touch him.
A Fun Pet
One day our two boys decided one time that they both wanted to have Skippy.
Unfortunately, I did not see this soon enough. One had Skippy’s head and the other son had his tail. What happened, in the struggle with Skippy they pulled off part of the skin of his tail. Skippy never forgave the son that had his head and would not let him pick him up after that, but he would let the other son pick him up! No, his tail did not grow back. The part where they pulled off the skin, dried up and fell off. The part that was left formed the tip and this formed longer hair and was more furry. You could not tell that he had lost part of his tail.
- Skippy was a fun pet.
- Squirrels are smart, loyal, curious and very fast.
- They have definite and different sounds they make for talking.
- They can scold, chatter and they do a lot of this.
- They are not silent as you may think they are, they are a very vocal pet and make sure you know they are there.
We lost Skippy in a house fire early one morning, he was all curled up inside his bed as if he was still sleeping.
We will never forget Skippy.