Parkton woman's children's book chronicles the adventures of Frisbee the squirrel
By Angie Bornemann
North County News|
Oct 14, 2015 at 6:05 AM
You might say that the inspiration for author Diana Woltereck's just-released children's book, "Frisbee's Adventures," started back in 1975.
That's when she and her two sons, Hank and Gregory, then 10 and 7, lived in a house in Towson that backed to some woods.
One warm August day, Woltereck recalls, she "heard a little crying" out back.
She went to investigate and the family's "very nurturing" black Lab, Greta, ran to the woods and came back gently carrying a tiny baby squirrel that she dropped at her mistress's feet.
Then another — and another.
Woltereck saw that the dog had found the three on the ground the base of a tree. Their mother was most likely dead, she knew.
The babies' eyes had not yet opened and, Woltereck recalled, the squirrels "had no hair on them," although there were some maggots.
Then an undergraduate studying Community Health Education at Towson University, Woltereck had no idea where to turn for help, she said, noting that back then there were not the animal rescue groups that exist today.
But the longtime animal lover asked around and it turned out that a relative was a friend of Dr. Arthur Watson, director of the Baltimore Zoo, now called the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.
He instructed Woltereck in how to improvise an incubator, using an empty aquarium and heating pads, and in how to feed the tiny critters around the clock with a formula of goat's milk.
The squirrel suffered seizures and Woltereck, then a registered nurse, living on two acres in Parkton with her second husband, Jim Ralls, consulted Dr. Paul Fox at Mt. Carmel Animal Hospital. At the vet's suggestion, Woltereck increased the calcium in Frisbee's diet and the seizures stopped.
A healthy Frisbee was released. Unlike the others, "He would come up on the back deck and look in the window," Woltereck said.
Frisbee's curiosity and intelligence — two qualities that Woltereck has always admired in squirrels — live on in "Frisbee's Adventures," which Woltereck says was inspired by all the squirrels she has cared for and observed around the world.
Woltereck will attend a book signing Nov. 28 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Greetings and Reading in Hunt Valley, Hunt Valley Towne Center, 118-AA, Shawan Road. A book signing at the Butler Gallery in Hunt Valley is tentatively set for early November.
After water damage closed the Hereford branch of the Baltimore County Public Library this summer, the county decided not to reopen as planned but to begin a planned renovation. Meanwhile a nearby bookmobile serves patrons.
By Pat van den Beemt
Oct 13, 2015 at 11:40 AM
Woltereck, who now works in wound care at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, said the book is meant to teach children respect for the nature and habits of squirrels.
The book is illustrated by wildlife portraiture artist Paul Treadway of Millsboro, Del., who will also attend the Nov. 28 book signing.