The Release of Douglas... And The Sweet Surprise
For the past few months, in the back of my mind I thought about letting Douglas outside to play. Douglas is our sweet pet squirrel that we rescued two years ago and if you’re new here, you can catch his full story and FAQ’s here. I was a bit hesitant to let him out since I knew if he were to go outside, there would be a chance of him running off and possibly not coming back. That thought made me sick to my stomach right away. When I brought the idea up to my husband, he too was hesitant… so we left it at that.
Back track to a little more than a week ago, I had woke up and just decided to give it a try. I’m a bit more sporadic in my actions than my husband… so I just did it. I pushed through all my fears and didn’t think about the outcome. I thought if I was sitting outside watching his every move then what was the worse that could happen?
I grabbed my coffee and Douglas sat on my shoulder… and we walked outside. And guess what happened?! He LOVED it. His nose instantly hit the ground and his sniffer was opened to all of nature. It was the best to see him so happy and for his little feet to hit the grass running. He ran circles and jumped all over the place as the tall grass tickled his belly for the first time.
As soon as I saw how happy our little boy was, my heart sank because I knew a new chapter was about to turn over. I pushed through those feelings and nestled into our hammock as I watched Douglas climb trees for the first time. He ran around the house a bit and when the feelings began to sink in, he ran to me, jumped onto the hammock and I gave him one last butt scratch. I saw him climb up in a near by tree and to my surprise, he had found another grey squirrel friend.
They jumped from tree to tree and chased each other around the yard. He had the whole world at his little feet and my heart was so full to see him climbing around.
He and his new friend took off into the tree tops while I sat down below with a big grin on my face. Again, pushing aside my fears and the gut feeling that wrenched inside of me, I went to get ready for work. I didn’t dare think about the “what-ifs”.
Later that evening, I got back to our house and went to the backyard to call for my little man. After about twenty minutes of waiting around and looking to the tree tops, I went in for the night knowing he would be okay and praying that he would return in the morning. Night time had fallen and what normally was my “cuddle time with Douglas”, turned into a sob fest. My heart began to sink deeply as I started to think about the thought of never seeing my little man again.
A couple days passed and every morning at about seven in the morning, I would return to the hammock with my coffee and call for my Douglas. Though I saw some squirrels in the tree tops, none came down the tree to greet me. I kept hopeful though and tried not to think negatively until the evenings returned. Nights were the worse and my heart wrenched as tears rolled down my cheeks. I feared I would never kiss the small face of my Dougie again. It sure didn’t help that I would look back at old videos and photos of Doug which tore my heart apart even more.
After about 6 days of not seeing my little man, I went out the following Monday morning to return to the hammock to call for him. Twenty minutes passed and my heart sank. I began to give up hope. Reality started to set in and I started to believe the lie that he would never return home to us. I packed up my items and I got ready for the day. After a few hours of work, my UPS man came to pickup orders and I was walking back home from my office (which is right beside our home), I happened to glance over towards our quail pen. A small fluffy tail waved from the grass.
I saw a sweet little squirrel and my heart started to fill quickly. I quickly walked closer and got to my knees…. view the full VIDEO HERE.
PURE. JOY. Tears flooded my eyes as my little man scampered towards me. I swiftly picked up my Dougie and pulled him right into me. And to think just a few hours earlier, I had started to lose hope in ever seeing him again. I instantly brought him inside for loads of kisses and some snacks. Douglas looked so clean and healthy. He chomped down loads of almonds and a nutrition block. I couldn’t stop crying and rejoicing. My little man came back.
I kept him in his cage that afternoon for a cuddle date that evening. I loved and kissed on Douglas so much since then. I think our hearts really grew fonder after that week of being apart. I think Doug shares the same love and appreciation towards me… as I do him.
What I didn’t realize was how much you guys love Douglas and enjoy watching him through my Instagram stories. So many of you were so happy and sent so much love regarding his return. My heart truly overflows with so much appreciation for all the messages sent. I thought I would throw together some of the FAQ’s I’ve been receiving:
Q: Are you going to keep him inside now all the time?
A: After much thinking (and I still want to talk this over with my husband more), I think Douglas would be happiest having the freedom of outside. We will surely welcome him anytime he wants to stay but the healthiest/happiest choice FOR Douglas is for him to live like a squirrel outside and not be caged all the time.
Q: How did you get a pet squirrel?
A: I shared and dedicated an entire blog post HERE to that question.
Q: Will you bring Douglas inside when it starts to turn winter?
A: TBD but… I think so.
Q: How did you know it was Douglas?
A: I haven’t had many wild squirrels run up to me and climb up my leg… haha.
Q: Will you take Douglas with you when you guys move to the new house?
A: Absolutely. I think he can adapt anywhere he’s loved and I would love for him to experience a yard much larger.
Q: Is Douglas safe outside?
A: We live in a really great neighborhood without many predators. Our home is surrounded by large mature trees perfect for squirrels!
Again, thank you all for the love you shared with us on Douglas’ return. I will be sure to update you all with the many snuggles and visits from our sweet man. If you’re not already, follow me on Instagram as I share updates much more frequently over there.