WILMINGTON — How’s this for a doggone, tail-waggin’ happy ending?
Squirrel, the once mangy mutt who was nurses back to health at the Robeson County Humane Society’s shelter, has found a new home in Wilmington with real estate broker Harper C. Fraser and her other canine companion, Lucy.
Having recovered from mange, near starvation and infections, the 5- to 8-month old underdog went home with Fraser Aug. 12 after having met her for the first time the week before.
“She’s the cutest thing you have ever seen,” Fraser said Thursday. “She’s got the greatest personality.”
Squirrel was more scary than cute in late May when Michelle Packard brought her to the Robeson County Humane Society. Squirrel’s mange was so severe that much of her fur had fallen off, and her skin was so raw with infection that she was barely recognizable as a dog. Squirrel had wandered nto Packard’s Lumberton home looking for food.
“She was really pretty rough, to the say the least,” shelter Director Bill Cerase said Thursday. “She looks completely different.”
After a week of intravenous antibiotics and care at Southeastern Veterinary Hospital and another month of continued care and observation at the shelter, Squirrel was finally deemed healthy enough for adoption. Hopeful pet lovers from as far as Massachusetts submitted applications to adopt the rehabilitated pup, whose progress was featured in The Robesonian in July.
“She has a great mommy now who is a seasoned pet owner,” Cerase said about Fraser. “She’s still a little timid with some people.”
Fraser said she was searching online one night and chanced upon Squirrel’s “smile.”
The application process included an interview, a check of references and a call to Fraser’s veterinarian. A few days later, Fraser received word that Squirrel would be entrusted into her care.
“I’ve only had her a week, and she was apprehensive and a little skittish when we first got home, but she’s acclimated beautifully now,” Fraser said.
Now, Squirrel enjoys salty coastal breezes during regular walks with her new family, and loves to play and tumble with 3-year-old Lucy, a beagle who is also a rescue.
“Lucy thinks she’s hysterical,” Fraser said.
Fraser said Squirrel has impeccable leash manners and has already made the acquaintance of neighbors and neighborhood dogs, thanks to Skip Williamson, who trained Squirrel.
“Skip, the dog trainer, has done a beautiful job on her — she’s better on the leash than Lucy,” Fraser said. “I’m very impressed. Skip was really working with her, and you can tell.”
Squirrel might want to work on her housekeeping skills, though.
“She has a basket of toys and when I come home they are all over the house,” Fraser said, amused over Squirrel’s antics.
“I think everything ended up quite well for Squirrel,” Cerase said.
While shelter staff see animals come in with varying conditions, Cerase said Squirrel’s was an exceptional case, and they are happy with the outcome.
“It’s one of our happier adoptions,” he said. “We’re excited for her.”
Reach Juanita Lagrone at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 910-416-5865.