(CNN) – “C’mon, little guy. You can’t die.”
That was a repairman’s mantra as he went into lifeguard mode when he found a squirrel floating in the water of an Arizona pool.
An animal lover and pool repairman in Phoenix, Rick Gruber went so far as to perform CPR on the furry critter.
“I would do it for anybody: a rodent, a dog, a cat, anything,” Gruber told CNN.
Gruber fished the animal out a pool he’d been working near, draped him over a plastic pipe and tried to remember what he’d learned in CPR classes.
“I just gently pushed on his rib cage then squeezed his sides, thinking at some point I’m gonna find his lungs,” Gruber recalled.
Within a minute or two, the squirrel was breathing and Gruber transferred it to a nice soft kneepad.
Gruber was thrilled to see his patient twitch. Soon, the squirrel opened its eyes.
“There you go. C’mon,” he told the creature in a video of the rescue making the rounds online.
Gruber said his coworkers have been calling the squirrel whisperer and the story had a local news anchor in stiches.
“Now, vets tells us the best way to give a squirrel CPR is to put it on its side, give 10 chest compressions gently using thumb and forefinger, then breathe twice into the nose. Repeat as necessary until the squirrel revives,” the reporter said.
But Gruber said he wasn’t putting his mouth anywhere.
“I thought, ‘No, I don’t want to get bit. I don’t want to catch anything from him,'” he said.
Gruber stayed with the squirrel for an hour, recording what he thought would be a cool video to show to friends.
In the video, he coaches the squirrel as if it were a buddy who had a few too many.
“Can you throw up? Can you give it a heave ho? Give it the old ughhhhh,” Gruber said.
When it was finally feeling up to it, the squirrel scurried into the desert.