Meet Tiki!

Nubby Twiglet | Meet Tiki

Even when the experts say the odds are stacked against you, there’s still room to prove them wrong.

Exactly a week ago, Joey called me at the office and mentioned that he had just been at Trader Joe’s. There was nothing unusual about that but the next sentence caught me off-guard. He said that an employee who knew about Chubs (our rescue squirrel who is now healthy and 3 years old!) ran over to him and mentioned that he’d found a baby squirrel who had fallen the day before — it was in his garage in a box and not doing well. He didn’t know what to do with him.

From the way it sounded, the situation was life or death — this little guy didn’t have much longer to live unless he got food and medicine right away.

Nubby Twiglet | Meet Tiki

Joey met the guy on his lunch break and brought the baby squirrel home. He had pneumonia, was extremely dehydrated and malnourished. The little guy fit in the palm of his hand and his eyes weren’t yet fully open. He was barely moving.

We had some medicine and small syringes left in our fridge from when Rocky was sick awhile back and Joey picked up some puppy formula and Pedialyte, rotating between all 3 in an effort to save the little guy.

Once he was situated, Joey called a squirrel sanctuary for advice but their prognosis was grim — they said that 3 other squirrels who were about the same size had already died that week and since ours also had pneumonia, he wouldn’t make it through the night. Every breath he took had a clicking sound and he was wheezing badly.

As night rolled around, we sat on the couch preparing for the worst when we heard some shuffling in his box. His arm reached up like he was gasping for air and he began making panicked screeching sounds. We thought that was it.

I didn’t want him to die alone so Joey picked him up and we held him close. Blood started running from his nose and his lips began turning purple. It was gut-wrenchingly horrible but we tried to stay calm.

Nubby Twiglet | Meet Tiki

Holding him seemed to be causing him more distress so we sat him back down in a soft mound of t-shirts in his box to let him rest. A few hours passed and he was still clinging to life so we brought his box up and put it on our nightstand. He stayed curled up in his t-shirts (squirrels are used to nesting and babies get cold easily).

As 2 am rolled around, I was afraid to check on him, fearing I’d find the worst. Joey woke up and miraculously, he was still alive so he began feeding him the rotation of medicine, Pedialyte and formula once again. He was too weak to take in much.

When we woke up Wednesday morning, he was still with us. After seeing what bad shape he’d been in the night before, we couldn’t believe it. He was truly a miracle.

The next day, Joey kept up his routine and the squirrel baby went from being listless to having more movement. He began responding when we pet his belly but he was still too tiny and weak to crawl.

By the third day, we felt that he had a good chance of survival and it seemed like the right time to give him a name. Joey named him Tiki.

Nubby Twiglet | Meet Tiki

As of today, Tiki is still very tiny but is now able to eat 3 times more each feeding than when we found him and now, he can crawl. His eyes have fully opened and he’s very alert and playful.

Watching Tiki make such a strong comeback over the last week is like nothing I’ve ever seen. He’s literally beat all the odds and for once, I’m glad the experts were wrong. Tiki’s turnaround has been so swift that I’m taking daily photos just to remember how far he’s come.

We’re not sure where Tiki will live when he’s healthy but right now, I’m less worried about that. I just want him to get stronger, healthier and to a point where he’s able to eat and drink on his own.

This last week has been a total rollercoaster but I hope you’ll keep Tiki in your thoughts. He’s a reminder that little miracles are happening around us each day.

13 Responses to Meet Tiki!

    • Shauna says:

      Awwww, you’re the best! Joey and I admire what you and Lisa do with animal rescue and volunteering so much. And the best gift I’ve ever received is the adoption of Pearl the llama from you. I love people who love animals. :)

  1. Rachel says:

    Oh my gosh, totally pulling for little Tiki! Thank you for giving him so much care and love. Without you, it sounds like he wouldn’t have had a chance.

    What does Chubs think of him, have they met?

    • Shauna says:

      Rachel, thanks for your kind words! Chubs is pretty stand-offish with Tiki at the moment and Tiki is still pretty small….so they haven’t had a lot of direct interaction. I’m hoping they will eventually bond but we’ll see!

  2. Misaki says:

    Wow, omg, you guys are awesome! That’s the second baby you rescued already
    That night with his screams must have been so horrible…The poor little guy
    I am somglad he made it and it’s absolutely awesome how you treated and helped him! You rock so much! I have so much admiration for you guys right now!

    • Shauna says:

      As always, thanks for your sweet, thoughtful comment! I still have flashbacks of that first night but he’s doing so well now! He’s still so tiny (fits in the palm of my hand) but finally strong enough to walk on his own and he’s now eating some solid food as well. My miracle baby. 😉 P.S. It looks like you’ve been having an amazing time on your travels! I’ve loved following along on Insta over the last few weeks!

      • Misaki says:

        No biggie, it just touched my how you guys responded and took care, that’s so sweet and good natured ♡
        I am glad Tiki gets better already! Do you have an idea what to do with him? Adding him to the family perhaps?

        I am sorry to reply so late (but you know, travels ;P)
        Thank you for following my Insta posts! I still have some to add, because I got lazy the last days hahaha, but sadly I am on my way back hime right now 😛

        • Shauna says:

          We are hoping he can stay with us. He’s bonded to Joey pretty quickly since he’s the one feeding him and I’m hoping him and Chubs get along once he’s a bit bigger! It’s hard to tell howe things are going to work out right now. Your trip looked like so much fun. I’m glad you were able to get away for a solid chunk of time, it’s hard to make that happen. Hope you’re settling back in nicely and not feeling too much of the post-vacation blues. xo

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  4. Jennifer Sage says:

    Tiki in New Zealand has a meaning in the indigenous Maori language. It is an ornamental pendant worn around the neck. Your Tiki is small enough to just about be the size of some of the bigger ones and certainly your could say he is a very precious piece of jewellery in his own right.

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