Our Tigger and Shadow passed away yesterday morning. Tigger had reached eleven years old at the beginning of March. Shadow just turned eleven near the end of April.
The vet had told us months ago that they were considered to be in hospice care. The plan was to work together to treat them with care to keep them as comfortable, pain-free and happy as possible. I have not been talking about the process over the past few months. I thought I could, but then found I could not because emotions can be raw some days watching the obvious evidence that death is approaching and claiming them by degrees.
They turned a corner where we realized that we could allow them to linger on in pain and fear, struggling badly trying to keep doing all the things they were used to doing and still wanted to do. With all our love and help, we could not give them what they wanted most which was a return to running, jumping and playing with abandon. Even while growing deathly ill, they would use every bit of adrenaline they could muster to get up and run even with stumbling sideways steps or bumping in to things. Tigger grew very fearful of all but Shadow. We made the hard choice to assist them one last time to a place where they would be free of the struggles, pain and fear. When we took them in to the vet for the final time, she said we had gone much longer being able to assist them than she had expected.
They passed away within minutes of each other snuggled together as Blaine and I petted them and told them how much we loved them. I have always loved the saying, “When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.” We have the most beautiful memories of the more than ten years we spent with them.
We are so sad right now, but there is a new beginning from this passage. While they were living, we took all the time we could to enjoy hopping along on their journey. There were so many stories I wanted to share and write, but never enough time.
Four little rabbits came into my life, each was a joy, but each had a unique personality. Many don’t realize just how personable and fun a rabbit can be to interact with on a day-to-day basis. I want to share their stories to preserve them well in our memories but also for others to learn what a joy it can be to have a rabbit as a companion animal.
- We brought Tigger home in May eleven years ago. I will write her tales in May and June.
- Shadow came to us in July, so I will write his stories in July and August.
- Portia came to us in September, so I will share about her in September and October.
- Then there is one more bunny, Thumper, the first house rabbit I ever came to know oh so long ago now. I will write about him in November and December.
Along the way there will be pictures and artwork to celebrate them all. There are so many things I have always wanted to create from having come to know them, but not enough time to do it while they were with us. I also hope to put together some things that will assist others in having a long and lovely relationship with a house rabbit (rabbits – it is hard to have just one!).
Blaine and I will a take a bit of time by ourselves this week. Then I will reach out again starting next week with the story of how a Tigger came to join our family.