Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rabbit for the taking. . . for the price of love.

Yes, we have a rabbit, in addition to the 6 kids and 2 dogs.  There’s a story behind the rabbit, as there is with all things that come into this house. 
For Christmas one year, we took Nettie and Joshua out to a mall in the Elmira, NY region and stopped by the pet store to let the kids see the puppies.  I fell in LOVE with some baby rabbits.  They were so cute and fluffy and I just knew that this was the perfect pet for us (along with the dog we already had).  Now mind you, we only had 2 kids and one dog, so the thought wasn’t so crazy  (at least at the time it didn’t feel crazy).  Willow, the name I settled on, was treated like a part of the family.  He was litter trained, did not live in a cage and had free run of the house.  He enjoyed sleeping on our bed and would chew on Peter’s beard hairs when he was sitting on the couch.  The only down side. . . he decided I was “his” chick and felt the need to mark me every stinking morning!!  So, off to the vet to take care of this one little issue.  All was great until he was three and we went away for a weekend.  While away, we had family stop in to let the dog out and to check and be sure Willow had food and water. They decided to take their new puppy with them not thinking anything of it.  Well, Willow got spooked and ran between a chair and the leg of the table and in doing so, snapped his back leg in three places. 
Now, I realize most people would have said, so sad, but, he is just a rabbit and kissed him goodbye and had the vet do the rest.  However, I felt obligated to try all I could to help my baby.  So after visiting 2 local vets, we went down to Cornell University’s emergency room.  The doctor was awesome and he agreed to try and cast the leg to let it set and see if it could heal.  Once a week for 6 weeks we went down to the vet and had the cast changed and the leg x-rayed.  Willow did awesome.  The final visit came and I was a bit concerned, as Willow wasn’t acting his usual self.  When we got there, I mentioned he seemed more sullen than usual. . . long story short, the leg had not only rebroke at some point, it had become an open fracture and my baby was septic and in shock.  Again, a normal person would have said their good-byes and let nature takes its course.  Apparently, I’m not normal.  I kissed him and sent him off to the ICU where they did emergency surgery and amputated his entire back leg and hip joint.  He spent 4 days in the ICU and when I picked him up I was instructed in how to care for his “stump”, how to give pain meds, antibiotics and to feed him a very special critical care formula.  I was told there was little chance he would survive, but if he did, he would do ok with just 3 legs.  $1,800 later we head home.
For those who don’t know, Willow fit right in.  Our daughter was in a wheelchair and our son had just finished treatment for an aggressive brain tumor and was left with numerous deficits as well.  So what was one more “kid” with meds and therapy needs.  What I didn’t expect, was Willow became depressed.  He stopped using the litter box and was no longer able to be left out of his cage.  My heart broke.  I washed him and loved him and but knew he was sad.  He became a dirty little old man.  Soooooo, bright light  moment, let’s get him a friend! 
Off to the store to get a friend.  I picked a lovely little gray and white female.  She was so pretty.  And, unfortunately so NOT into Willow.  She kicked his 3 legged butt over and over so we had to separate them.  I called the vet.  He tells me she needs to be spayed.  Oh my, that’s another $200.  But, nothing’s too good for my Willow.  Peter disagrees about this point, but we’ve gone this far, might as well go for it.  She gets spayed.  We follow all of the instructions for reintroducing them, to no avail.  She and Willow clearly are NOT going to get along.  I go out and find a $70 cage for her to now live in. 
Now we had 2 rabbits, living in separate cages.  One still very much depressed, one bored out of her mind and NOT able to be a free roaming rabbit as she would chew through all of the cords in the house. 
Willow lived another 4 years.  He was a dirty old man, who refused to use the litter box and needed almost daily baths (I think he did it on purpose!).  I had to care for his stump and infections many times over those 4 years, but he was very loved.  I was heartbroken the day he passed.  Sarah, as we came to call our other rabbit, is a pet, but not in the same way as Willow.  Sarah, needs to be loved like Willow was, but she’s now a pet in a house with 6 kids and 2 dogs.  She is stuck in a cage, she get’s little attention.  I’m sad about that and would like her to feel the same love as Willow did. 
Soooo, rabbit for sale (free) to a good home who can appreciate a rabbit for the great pet they can be and will care for her with the love we once did for another rabbit. 

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