Meet Little Hands, the raccoon. He was just a couple of weeks old when he was discovered on the side of the road by Nikki Robinson. After calling all of the wildlife rescues in the area, she learned they were all at capacity, so the young woman knew she had to find a plan B!
Nikki worked full time, but her mom, Linda, was semi-retired and dreamed of bottle feeding a grandchild. While a raccoon wasn't the same as a human baby, Robinson wasn't planning to have a child anytime soon, and she thought this little guy could fill her mom's cup quite well. So, Linda became Little Hand's foster mom.
"The first time she bottle-fed him, and he looked up at her, she just kind of melted," explained Nikki. "She treated him very sweetly early on because they like to be touched a lot. So she created a bond with him, even knowing he'd go back to the wild at some point." Thus, with love, the raccoon began to grow.
"They get a soft release and go out on her property and live under the deck for a bit, and she'll leave food out until they wander off and find their own way," Robinson said of how the family releases the animals back into the wild. "But Little Hands remained friendly with the whole family, and he was very kind and sweet with us."
Years passed, and Little Hands always remembered where his home was. "[My mom] has a porch swing where she sits outside, and he would come up and literally crawl onto the swing and sit beside her and just want his butt and chin scratched," Nikki explained. "He wanted his snuggles; then he'd have his food and wander off."
Since Little Hands came into Linda's life, she grew a passion for helping the animals regain the strength to take on the wilderness. And, they show appreciation after the fact by dropping by! "They'll visit her, and she just lights up, and she just loves it...They love her, too — she's just Mom."
Thanks to Linda and Nikki opening their hearts to help these little creatures live better lives, the family gained a new passion and honorary pets as well! Each year, the Robinson 'coons come back for hugs, snacks, and belly rubs. And, all of the adorable action is posted on Instagram for the world to see!