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Thread: Happy, sleepy, BOLT! Why does she run?

  1. #1
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    Default Happy, sleepy, BOLT! Why does she run?

    Sometimes it seems like there are two very distinct sides of this baby that are just butting heads SO hard! She'll be happy, playing, sleeping, or grooming my fingers, and all of a sudden she bolts and leaves nothing but scratches behind. (My poor knuckles!) And then she'll be scared of me for a while again and I'll have to scoop her up and calm her down. Sometimes she doesn't mind being scooped and she'll snuggle into me and hide her face or climb onto my shoulder to start grooming herself. Other times she clucks angrily and squirms so hard it feels like I'm trying to hang onto a bar of slippery soap! I'm afraid that one of these days, she's going to find her teeth during these episodes and I'm going to get a good solid bite through my finger. What gives?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Happy, sleepy, BOLT! Why does she run?

    I can't answer that - their hearing is much more acute than yours, so they often appear to be reacting to ???

    You need to perfect the scoop. You really want to avoid grasping your squirrel - any time they get grabbed their little brains scream "PREDATOR!!!" Hand under tummy, scoop up, then I like to settle them in my forearm so I can place my other hand very gently over the back to provide stability only - no feeling of being grabbed or held.

  3. Serious fuzzy thank you's to CritterMom from:

    Diggie's Friend (11-14-2022)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Happy, sleepy, BOLT! Why does she run?

    Squirrels are a prey animal. It is deeply engrained in their DNA. Their ability to sense danger, react with a hair trigger, respond to sounds, shadows, movements with SPEED & incredible agility is paramount to their ultimate survival.

    Nurturing these instincts, and rewarding her ability to react quickly and be smart are very important for her intellectual stimulation, and long term survival.

    Yet another reason to also provide (on the flip side) a “safe place”…her own room, or area, which is more or less quiet, calm and stress free, for them to play, climb, go bonkers, explore and be adventurous. Without predators (pets, kids, tvs, loud noises, cars etc).

    His/her natural fear will keep them alive

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Happy, sleepy, BOLT! Why does she run?

    Valid point. Yes. Perfect the “scoop”!

    As you continue to bond, she will most likely learn to turn to you/run to you for safety. You will be her “safe place”.

    But they do prefer to be as high as possible, so chances are your face (or portions of it), could accidentally become collateral damage.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Happy, sleepy, BOLT! Why does she run?

    Thank you guys! I will work on my scoop. I have been picking her up with one hand over her back and then putting my other hand under her feet after I pick her up. I can see how that would be all wrong. One problem that I run into is that she has made a "nest" in a knothole of a log that I found and brought inside for her. She's stuffed it full of my socks that she found around the room and in the hamper. It's currently tucked in behind my bed, so when I lean in to get her (like when I need to put her back into her cage when she can't be supervised) I'm leaning down into a really tight space to grab her. I can absolutely see how this would panic her, but I'm not sure how else to get her out of there in a pinch!

    My best solution is one that I know is inappropriate and I haven't tried it, but I have been sorely tempted. The other day she found my bag of caramelized, pomegranate and apple flavored cashews and completely lost her marbles over them. I took the bag from her and she followed me everywhere like a starving puppy until I put them away. I suppose if I had an emergency and needed to get her out of her little tree stump without traumatizing her, I could wave a candy cashew at the entrance.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Happy, sleepy, BOLT! Why does she run?

    No candy or cashews please; both are deleterious to their bone and metabolic health; reducing the availability of calcium from the diet and its retention in their bones.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Happy, sleepy, BOLT! Why does she run?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diggie's Friend View Post
    No candy or cashews please; both are deleterious to their bone and metabolic health; reducing the availability of calcium from the diet and its retention in their bones.
    I understand that. I was trying to make a joke after her naughty self tried to steal the bag. I'm bad at making jokes that actually land.

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