Squirrels Helped Derrick Downey Jr. Overcome His Darkest Moments

Derrick Downey Jr. is now a successful influencer and a children’s book author, but things weren’t always going his way. This Los Angeles man describes himself as “a squirrel’s best friend” after these curious creatures changed his life and helped him overcome his darkest days.

With one million followers under his belt, Downey now has a lot to look forward to, but he was in a dark place just a few years ago. His life took a wild turn when a squirrel suddenly appeared on his balcony, and he had no idea this was just the start of a beautiful friendship.

After offering some treats to the first squirrel, they just started showing up on his balcony. He quickly befriended an adorable pair Richard and Maxine, and they helped him feel good about the world again.

“Going outside and connecting with nature was my gateway to relief from depression. It brought me peace. I would see Richard walking around, and talking to him made me feel good about the world,” he told the Washington Post.

Downey later decided to take his friendship with Richard and Maxine to the next level and built them an amazing squirrel home, that has everything from a makeshift fireplace to a tiny TV. He also chronicled his adventures with Maxine in his first children’s book, Hand and Paw: Maxine’s Tale of Compassion.