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.