Thursday, January 31, 2008

Calvin - Single and Looking

Wanted: An older, single female rabbit for long grooming sessions, romantic dinners, and good conversation. Me - 7-ish-year-old chinchilla rabbit with sexy black eyelashes. My hobbies include eating, racing around, and showering my girl with affection. Recently widowed. A pair of younger ladies also would be interesting. Have my Mama wrapped around my little toe, so there are plenty of tasty treats to share. Are you the special girl for me?

Well, I've started the ball rolling on getting Calvin a new gal. The Indiana House Rabbit Society has some girls who might like to have a suitor, and there are also two pairs of bonded girls who might do well in a threesome. Keep your mind out of the gutter - this is a rated G blog ;-) I hope to get a girl closer to Calvin's age, but the choice is his to make.

Calvin is doing pretty well on his own. We've been having breakfast together in the morning, using the time that I usually spent giving Jessica her medicine and/or Critical Care. We've also been watching TV together at night, me sitting on the floor and Calvin stretched out not too far away. He watches me watching TV. Thrilling, I know. He hasn't withdrawn or cut down on eating, so he's adjusting well to bachelorhood. He and Jess had been together for almost 4 years. Hopefully he and his new girl(s) will have several good years together, too.

I'll keep you posted.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Busy Weekend

This weekend was a busy one, rabbit-wise. Not only was I dealing with Jessica's illness (see below), but Nadia went to go live at the Merrillville Petco to await her forever home. (Photos and story below.)

And I drove down to Lafayette yesterday to pick up 2 new foster buns, Marja (pronounced Mar-ja, with the "j" pronounced like in French) and Lil' Miss. Both are Dutches, like Nadia, except that Marja is a blueish-gray and Lil' Miss an agouti (like a wild bunny). Both girls are a bit nervous yet, but they'll settle in fine. PJ is surrounded by both girls (one in a foster addition to his cage as an upstairs neighbor and the other on the floor in a Tommy cage, so he can make googoo eyes at her).

I made myself go down to Lafayette, basically dropping Calvin off back home before hitting the road, after what happened yesterday morning. I couldn't be the only girl here, and my empty nest feelings would have been twice as bad.

Calvin's doing pretty good, eating fine and liking the attention I give him. I'll spend most of the day downstairs with him, renewing our bond. It's so weird to be fixing salad for one again, not having to rip up the lettuce leaves (like I had to do for Jess after her incisors were removed), or to be able to pet Calvin without Her Majesty butting in and demanding all my attention. A new princess is out there somewhere, waiting for Prince Calvin Parsley to come and rescue her, but it's not time yet.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jessica Donna, 4-17-2004 - 1-27-2008

This morning, I had to say goodbye to my bunny girl, Jessica.

Yesterday morning, Jess wasn't eating, was lethargic, and obviously wasn't feeling well. She went through this a few weeks ago, so I just loaded her into the carrier and took her to the vet, thinking that we'll just do antibiotics and she'll be okay again, even if we had to start tracking down what the underlying problem was. The vet felt a mass on her left side, and she suggested we get an ultrasound down at Purdue this coming week. She gave me some pain medication and antibiotics to give to Jess, and she told me that she had the pager this weekend if I needed anything.

This morning, Jess was even worse. She hadn't even licked off the Critical Care that had gotten stuck on her lips last night when I syringe fed her, and she was barely able to swallow the little bit of pain meds I gave her this morning. Most of the antibiotic came back out when I gave it to her. She also moaned a few times when I was petting her head. I called my vet and was told that she'd be in at the hospital in an hour. When I put Jess back into her house, she could barely hop out of my arms. I didn't think there'd be much we could do for Jess, and I put her and Calvin both into the carrier when it was time to go to the vet.

They took a few x-rays, and they showed that nothing was moving in her GI tract. The mass wasn't anything diagnosable from an x-ray (like a kidney stone or something). The vet said that she could start Jess on IV fluids and some pain meds, but there was a very good chance that it wouldn't do anything. She gave me some time to think, and I already knew what we'd have to do, but I stood and stroked my girl for a few minutes before being able to say it.

We sat Jessica on the floor on a nice quilt. Calvin was on the floor, too, and hovered near her, coming to me, the doc, and the two techs for support. The doc gave Jess the injection. We all sat on the floor, stroking Jess and reassuring Calvin. After about 20 mins, Jess still wasn't gone, and the doc gave her a little more of the drug. We all knew how much spirit she had, and I joked that Jess was probably negotiating with God (like for how much papaya and oatmeal she'd get every day) before transitioning. At around 11am, Jess was gone. It was very peaceful, and I'm very thankful for that. This was the first time I had an animal euthanized, and it was the last gift I could give my special girl - to relieve her pain.

Calvin sat beside her for a little while after she was gone. He's so brave, like Jess was. I picked out a small wooden box for Jess's ashes (it can hold a photo, and it'll be engraved with her name, adoption date, and today's date) and a small, heart-shaped pendant to wear that will also have a small part of her ashes. I also clipped two chunks of Jess's fur to keep as a memento.

I asked the doc to do a necropsy, and it turns out that Jessica had cirrhosis of the liver. The doc thought that something might have been up with Jess's liver, for Jess's skin was a little yellowish this morning. The doc said that it wasn't anything that I had done, and I understand. We all must die sometime, and life will go on.

Calvin is doing okay tonight. I sat on the floor with him when I was watching TV. I think he really understands that Jess is gone. He hasn't looked for her at all. Bonded partners can grieve deeply for their lost friend, but Calvin is eating and showing signs that he'll be okay. When he's ready, we'll talk about getting him a new partner.

Jess left a hole in my heart that will never be filled, and I know she'll be waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge when my time comes to go. She'll probably give me that look of hers and thump at me, because I won't have a treat for her. I'll have to remember to ask St. Peter for one so I don't go into our reunion empty handed. Or maybe I won't ask for one, so I can hear her thump at me just one more time.


Nadia - Now in the Merrillville Petco

Nadia is now in the Merrillville, IN, Petco, awaiting her forever home. Yesterday, the volunteer called me and said that Nadia did great. She didn't fight when she was taken out of the hexi cage, and she spent play time hopping all over the volunteer, demanding attention. That makes me feel so good, to have both foster buns I've had do so well. Nadia is a black Dutch - such a deep, gorgeous black, too, and a few white hairs on her blanket (ie, butt and hips) that make her not follow the breed standard.

Pics from my place:

Pics from Petco:

Even with her odd behavior, Nadia won me over. I would lie on the floor, propped up on my elbows reading, and she'd burrow her way under my underarm and lie there for a headrub with me leaning on her a little bit. It's like she wanted as much physical contact as possible. What a dear!

We're pulling for you, Nadia. I hope you get a great home, soon, though Kristie in Highland will hopefully find a home first.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

PJ Pics

Since I've uploaded photos of Kristie and she's no longer living with me, I have to give some equal billing to PJ, my sweet mini-rex.

He's starting to shed again (so is Jessica) - what's up with shedding in January?! It's still cold out!!


Kristie - Settling in Well at Petco

Kristie, my first foster bunny graduate, is settling in nicely at the Petco in Highland, IN.

Here are a few photos of Kristie during her last day as my foster:

And a few at Petco:

She used to just sit in her litterbox when she was out to play, but she's settled in nicely over the last few weeks. Now if she can just get a forever home!


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