Shari Kassalias's home in South Carolina is a busy place. With her, her husband, two elderly dogs and a pet turtle named Bubba, it can get pretty crowded. But Kassalias also fosters rescue dogs and wild possums that she releases back into the wild once they're healthy.
Most possums are perfectly happy with this situation. They're not very friendly animals, and they won't even nest near humans if they can avoid it. But one baby possum, who she named Opie, was very different.
She knew when Opie started "slubbing" her - licking and grooming her like a cat - that he wanted to stay.
So cute, must share on both pages.. when you are loved by a possum ❤️❤️Posted by Opie Kass on Monday, December 26, 2016
Opie fit right in with the rest of his new family. Kassalias calls him the "positive possum" because he has a great attitude and gets along easily with people.
Over the past two years he's become a beloved pet, and that means he's spoiled just like any other pet.
Kassalias gives Opie little clothes to wear, takes him on fun outings, and even let him meet Santa last Christmas.
But Opie and his foster mom also do lots of important work together. They travel to schools and other public events to teach children about possums. It turns out they're pretty incredible animals, they even eat nasty bugs like ticks.
Opie also raises money for charity, including organizations that rescue and foster possums. He even starred in a special calendar full of glamour shots of him, with 100% of the profits going to charity.
Sadly, Opie only has a little longer to share his positivity with the world. He celebrated his 2nd birthday recently (with a possum-safe cake made of fruit) and that's pretty old for a possum.
While he's lived a happy life and helped educate people about possums and their value, Kassalias isn't ready to say goodbye to her friend just yet.
"If his longevity was based on love," she told the Dodo, "he would live to be 100."
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