Squirrel Hero Finds True Love

6 N 1019 Aq Feat

It was a day like any other when Rick Gruber, owner of Rick’s Pool Repairs in Phoenix, Ariz., set off to service pools in the greater metropolitan area, little suspecting that this would be the day his life would change forever.

Gruber, a 20-year industry veteran, had thought he’d seen it all. “I can listen to problems over the phone and tell people what needs to be fixed,” says Gruber. “I’ve been repairing pools for far too long.”

But on this fateful day in May 2014, Gruber came across something he hadn’t seen before — a drowning baby squirrel, and this little guy’s life was slowing slipping away. So Rick did what others might not have thought to do and tried to save a life that appeared already lost. For over an hour, he gave CPR to the squirrel with a pipe until he slowly opened his eyes, able to scurry away alive and well.

After Gruber uploaded the heartwarming footage to YouTube, the story of a pool man who saved a drowning squirrel’s life quickly captured the attention of people around the world. With over six million views, the story went completely viral. Rick was interviewed by CNN, an Australian morning show and other news outlets far and wide until one day, the news happened to travel to England, into the home of Susan Kay. Kay, who very much liked the touching story, sought out Gruber on Facebook and requested that they be friends.

“I don’t know why I did it, really,” says Kay. “I think it’s nice to have people that are kind in your life. Good, decent people.”

RELATED: Pool Guy Hero Saves Squirrel's Life

Gruber accepted her request. Over the course of 2014, the two were casual Facebook friends, messaging every once and awhile and liking each other’s stuff. In fact, years went by before Susan sent Rick a direct message in 2017 to wish him a happy birthday. After that, they say, the conversation didn’t stop.

“Before we knew it, like a week or so later, we were spending four or five hours a night talking to each other on the phone,” says Gruber. “At one point, I think we went maybe seven and a half hours on the telephone between here and her in the U.K.”

The two found they had very similar likes and dislikes, the same sense of humor and family values. It was in June or July 2017 when Susan, who says she better understands the American lifestyle because her father was American, suggested she fly to Arizona to meet in person.

“I had a bit of money saved up, and I thought rather than just waste it on little things here and there, that I might as well do something big. So I did something very big,” she says.

Gruber, after taking off work, showed her around Arizona — with visits to the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Jerome and more. It was the trip of a lifetime. So much so, in fact, that it never ended. “I knew I didn’t want to go back to England,” says Kay.

After an outing to the immigration office, the two love birds learned the best and easiest way to allow Susan to stay in the U.S. was to get married. And on October 6th, 2017, they did just that. A year later, Susan was granted her citizenship, and the rest is history.

“This October, we will have been married two years,” says Gruber. “And honestly, this is the happiest I’ve been in my 49 years on this planet.”

“I never thought that the Facebook request would lead me to meeting my husband,” adds Susan. “There are absolutely no regrets, just love.”

The moral of the story? Be kind to one another. Be kind to the critters you find on your routes. People are watching and as this beautiful love story shows, what goes around does sometimes come back around in the happiest of ways.

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