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Madamoiiselle Giselle is a papillon, not a longhair chihuahua, but she's so amazing I'm making an exception for the chihuahua pages, as by their looks papillons are practically longhair chis.

The topmost photo above was shown to me by Granny Artemis, but it was unlabeled. It didn't take long, however, to track down the information, as this was a wonderful enough event, and the photographs so charming, that the story dashed round the world.

GiselleDebby Cantlon got a phone call from a stranger who'd heard she had a habit of rescuing animals, from crows to blue herons to orphaned raccoons, rehabilitating them for re-release to the wild.

Cantlon suffers from cancer, and regarded caring for animals in need as a healing activity.

The caller had found a baby squirrel at the base of a tree in the little city of Renton, Washington. Nearby was a dead squirrel, apparently poisoned, probably the infant's mother.

Cantlon took the squirrel in, planning to give it an appropriate formula and hand-raise it. But Debby's papillon Giselle gave birth to her litter three days after the squirrel came into Debby's care.

Giselle had from the start taken a motherly interest in the little creature, and now that she had a litter, she was eager to add one more hungry mouth to nursing bed.

By now the baby squirrel had been named Finnegan. She grew up with the puppies, about half convinced he was himself a dog. As they grew up, though, the puppies were sometimes a little too rambunctious for Finnegan, but he had a secret weapon whenever he'd had too much excitement: Finnegan could climb. And when only eight weeks old, he took to climbing up a door from which Debby hung her jeans, and would curl up to sleep in a jeans pocket.

It was a little worrisome that Finnegan had become a little too tame, yet it was important to return such rescues to the wild. Debbie began letting Finnegan go outside, hoping he would choose on his own to live in the trees and not in Debby's house. For a while he came and went as he pleased, but soon enough the call of the wild gripped Finnegan, and he was forevermore a beast of the treetops.


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