For me, the real test of a wildlife rehabilitator comes as the answer to several questions:
1. Do you love these squirrels enough to lose a night's sleep (or several nights' sleep) in order to see them through the night if they are critical?
2. Do you love these squirrels enough to pay full price for veterinary services if the best vet who can care for them, providing surgery, X-ray or medicine, is not one of those professionals who has made the decision to donate his services to wildlife?
3. Do you love these squirrels enough to ensure a clean and healthy environment throughout their stay with you, keeping their food and water plentiful?
4. Do you love these squirrels enough to open the door to freedom, saying goodbye to them forever, when the time comes?
When that time comes, they leave your life as suddenly as they once entered it. It is their right to reclaim their place in nature's plan, and it is our privilege as their caretakers to see that they get to that point.
The three squirrels in my care since late last year are ready to go. Freedom is coming for the two girls and one boy who are in my outdoor "pre-release" pen.
Soon the woods will have new dwellers.
The answer is "yes," "yes," "yes" and of course "yes." I love them that much.