Squirrel is Car Dealership Mascot

By: Robert Borrelli
By: Robert Borrelli

For the last four or five years, Rocky the squirrel has been a regular customer at Gates Toyota in downtown South Bend.

Repairmen and sales people there feed Rocky.

Workers there look forward to Rocky's visits. They call to him and he comes!

"Rocky? Hey, come here Rocky. Rocky ?"

Rob Gallik is a Gates salesman. "He loves chocolate," he says. "Usually M&Ms, chocolate covered candies and stuff like that. Apparently he loves sweets and chocolates, so, I don't know how good it is for him, but that's what he likes."

As Rocky dines underneath an SUV, Salesman Gallik says everyone at the dealership loves Rocky.

Gates’ little mascot isn’t bashful.

Rob says, "He'll [will] eat right outta' your hand and as long as it's sweets, if not, he'll kinda' step off and he doesn't really like that other stuff."

Other guys have offered broccoli, but Rocky just turned tail and left.

We asked Rob, "Aren't you scared?”

Rob told us, "You know, a couple times I have been because I've actually taken it back from him a couple times and he kinda' let me know that he wanted the food, so I gave it to him."

Landon Wiegand is another salesman at Gates Toyota who feeds Rocky. She says, "If you guide him up to you he'll get on his hind legs and actually almost try to box with you."

He's climbed-up on Landon's knee before, and usually knocks on the window to let the guys know he's ready to eat.

"We look forward to it every day. It's not often you can get a wild animal to eat out of your hands.” says Rob Wiegand.

However, the relationship is in jeopardy. Plans are to move the Toyota showroom to the Southside of town.

Landon says, "The discussion is, do we take him with us or not. Or would he just migrate back here? “If it was up to me, I think I’d take him."

The sales staff isn’t Rocky's only friends. In warmer months, Rocky walks into the open door of the Body Shop and begs food from the guys there.

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