Man That Stumbles Upon A Tiny Creature That’s Nearly Frozen Attempts A Wild Scheme To Save It

Afternoon strolls through the park can be some of the most relaxing experiences. Hearing the hoots and hollers of kids at play while feeling a gentle autumn breeze on your face may not be Instagram worthy, but it’s peace distilled into one of its simplest forms.

When one animal lover took a stroll through a park, however, he found something that deeply troubled him. He made a decision to do what few others in his position would, and it made for an unforgettable moment back in his home.

When Nick Radford found this baby squirrel curled up like this on the ground in a park one frigid afternoon, he knew the little guy was in trouble. He was cold to the touch and lying motionless.


Nick couldn’t, in good faith, leave the squirrel outside to potentially die. So, he used his jacket to line the inside of a cup holder and placed the squirrel inside; it acted as a temporary bed until Nick could get him home.


Once they arrived at Nick’s apartment, Nick created a makeshift bed with a heating pad to hopefully thaw the frigid guy out. The squirrel was still breathing, which was a good sign, but now Nick had to wait.


After some time, Nick noticed movement in the bed; his plan worked! The little guy was slowly starting to come to, and Nick hoped he would adjust to his new surroundings quickly. 


Once he appeared to have completely woken up, the next step was feeding the little guy. The squirrel was young and clearly needed help eating, so Nick filled a syringe with water and let his new friend drink.


The squirrel’s eyes hadn’t opened yet, so Nick had to be careful he didn’t frighten him. Luckily the syringe of water Nick was using seemed to be keeping the animal calm, and he was quite thirsty!


After Nick’s new buddy was finished with the water, he officially named him Apple Moonbeam and introduced him to his two dogs. He had to be careful, of course, but both dogs seemed genuinely interested in making a new friend!


After several minutes of sniffing around to make sure the squirrel didn’t pose some kind of a threat, both dogs welcomed Apple into their space with open paws. Soon, he was a full-fledged pack member!


Apple quickly grew fond of his much-larger companions, and the feeling was completely mutual. Nick couldn’t believe how quickly his dogs warmed up to their new roommate. It was like they’d been friends forever!


Apple started to use his dog bros to practice climbing! He’d cling on to their fur and nestle himself right up against them, and they didn’t mind one bit. They were more than happy to be his personal chauffeur. 


Apple had a unique scent to him. Dogs, as we all know, love new and different smells, and Apple did a great job of tantalizing those canine nostrils.


Nick had no experience with squirrels, but from what he could gather, he wasn’t doing a terrible job helping Apple acclimate to his new environment. He had to give credit to his dogs, of course!


Here are the three musketeers all posing for a family photo! No picture would be complete without Apple Moonbeam positioned front and center! He might be new to the crew, but he wants all the attention.


Nick posted the story of Apple to his social media accounts, and people loved it! Apple and his canine friends can now watch the number of their followers grow every day. Maybe they can check up on another squirrel from South Carolina.


Wounded by an owl at just four weeks old, this squirrel ended up in the care of South Carolina’s Harrison family. Brantley Harrison rehabilitates wounded wild animals, so when this female squirrel came into her care back in 2009, it was just another day on the job. The family even named her Bella.

cidandbella / Instagram

Brantley raised Bella alongside three other squirrels—Larry, Moe, and Curly—and fed them fruits and veggies all throughout the long winter. In the spring of 2010, when the squirrels were healthy enough, Brantley released them back into the wild. But Bella’s story with the Harrison family wasn’t over…

cidandbella / Instagram

More often than not, when Brantley sent her rehabilitated animals back into the forest—able to live on their own for the first time in their lives—she’d see them periodically over the next week or so. Then, they’d be gone forever. But Bella did something different…

cidandbella / Instagram

At first, Bella returned looking for some treats. To the Harrisons, that was par for the course in animal rehabilitation. Of course it would take time for Bella to get used to life on her own. Except, time after time, Bella kept coming back!

cidandbella / Instagram

Now, eight years after she was rescued, Bella still returns to the Harrison household regularly. “Bella sits right at the front door waiting for someone to notice she has come by for a visit,” Brantley told WYFF 4 News. “She has even resorted to jumping over to the dining room window to peer in for someone to see her.” Why had this squirrel become so attached?

cidandbella / Instagram

Bella’s behavior was a bit strange. After all, while she was in Brantley’s care, she hadn’t been particularly lovey or gushy. The family hadn’t done anything special, either; they treated her just like every other squirrel. Still, other squirrels didn’t keep returning like Bella!

cidandbella / Instagram

Bella doesn’t like to be petted. She doesn’t ask for belly rubs or tail brushing; all she wants is a little bit of attention. In fact, the Harrisons make sure to have some walnuts on hand in case she becomes hungry. The squirrel has another pastime, too…

cidandbella / Instagram

“She comes almost daily for a little loving, treats, and to torment our dog, Cid, through the glass door,” Brantley said. You can see just how badly Cid wants out! Besides munching on nuts and a general propensity for being adorable, Bella has another trait that’s made her an online sensation…

cidandbella / Instagram

Bella likes wearing hats! So much, in fact, that she doesn’t mind wearing one while cameras are rolling. “I can’t believe she lets me do it,” Brantley said. “I could not love this squirrel any more than I already do!”

cidandbella / Instagram

Brantley started chronicling the adventures of Bella the squirrel on an Instagram account called CidandBella. Many of the photographs consist of Bella sitting in laps, wearing hats, and chompin’ on nuts—truly the perfect life.

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Recently, Bella’s relationship with the Harrisons even paid off for her in a big way when she injured her foot and she needed help—again. Luckily, she had somewhere to turn for some assistance.

cidandbella / Instagram

Unfortunately, even injured, Bella was not easy to recapture. On one Instagram post, Brantley wrote, “My first few attempts at catching her have failed. She has lived in the wild for over eight years so she is a smart squirrel and it is not easy to trick her.”

cidandbella / Instagram

Finally, the family managed to catch Bella and bring her back into their home for some rehab. They gave her antibiotics and a comfortable cage. Right before they released Bella back into the wild, though, she surprised the family again!

cidandbella / Instagram

Inside the Harrison family home, Bella gave birth to three little baby squirrels! After having spent so much time raising and nursing Bella when she was young, the Harrisons got to see her raising and nursing children of her own. “It was truly amazing to watch the baby I raised raise her own babies,” Brantley said.

cidandbella / Instagram

Bella was such a special squirrel to the Harrison family that she actually changed people’s perceptions of squirrels in general. “She is a very special squirrel and has always had a large local following,” Brantley said. “She has changed the way many of my friends think of squirrels, especially the ones she has met. The kids just love to come over and feed her.”

cidandbella / Instagram

Sometimes, it’s easy to think of squirrels as bushy-tailed rats, but if nothing else, Bella’s story shows that squirrels are capable of love and dedication on par with some of the most beloved house pets. They’re animals that should be showed love and compassion.

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That’s a sentiment Brantley echoed: “If Bella can teach at least one person to have compassion for all living things, no matter how big or how small,” she said, “then we have done what we have set out to.”

cidandbella / Instagram

So the next time you see a squirrel in your neighborhood, remember that these little creatures might surprise you. In fact, with enough love and care, they might reward you with a kiss on the cheek!

cidandbella / Instagram

They might even give you a kiss on the lips! The Harrison family had no idea they were starting a decade-long friendship when they took in Bella back in 2009, but sometimes surprises come in bushy-tailed packages!

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