Joy and Pain

I scheduled Bitsy’s surgery with Dr. Glasscock, our wonderful vet and friend.  Why would we need to spay our bunny you ask?  Even though Buster is neutered, all pet bunnies are happier and healthier if you have them fixed.  The reasons are threefold: One, they can’t reproduce (not a problem in our situation.) Two, female rabbits are prone to uterine cancer and taking out the uterus eliminates this chance.  Three, bunnies are notorious lovers.  They can never relax if they are still intact and they harass all other animals in their vicinity as well as inanimate objects that might look slightly “bunny-like”.  Before we had Buster fixed when he was a youngster, he had a favorite stuffed toy that withstood his attentions with great forbearance.  Bitsy was trying to mate with Buster constantly and he was gentle but firm in his desire to “just be friends”.

So, on the morning of her surgery, Dr. Glasscock did confirm that yes, she was a little girl.  We left her in excellent care and planned to return in the afternoon to collect her.  At 2:00pm I got a tearful phone call from Dr. G informing me that Bitsy’s heart stopped during surgery and she was unable to wake her up.  She had never lost a bunny during surgery before and she was very shaken.  I collected my little girl and Jim and I had a small service in the back yard for our pet of one week.  She is buried next to Boo Boo, Buster’s little sister who died two years ago.  A flat pink stone marks her grave.  Her death was peaceful and pain-free, and her last week on Earth was probably the best she experienced in her short little life.  We will miss her terribly and so will Buster.

Such is life when you have animals.  There is always some pain mixed in with the joy.  In my opinion the joy is worth every ounce of the pain.  Good-by Bitsy.  You were loved.

Sweet Rabbit With a Side of Chicken

My parents live on a farm in Mississippi and they have about 30 Rhode Island Reds.  Daddy recently tried to hatch a clutch of fertile eggs in an incubator.  He wasn’t sure if the eggs were actually fertile so he took a gamble.  Only one little chick hatched.  Dad has two beautiful roosters, but neither would own up to the deed.

WHO'S YER DADDY!

It’s improbable that a lone chick will survive since they need the warm bodies of other chicks to thrive and grow.  Mom & Dad brought the baby inside and put a heating pad, food & starter feed in a cardboard box.  Mom put one of her fleece lined slippers in the box for a warm nest.  The little trooper survived the first day, and then the next, and the next, until it looked like she was going to make it.  She thought my dad was her mommy and she was very content to sit on his shoulder for hours during the day.  If he walked around the kitchen, she followed him, cheeping at full volume for him to pick her up.

I bought him this shirt last Christmas.

My parents knew that I was sad after having to give up my three back yard chickens, so they offered me the chick to take home and raise up to coop age.  I jumped at the chance.  She made the 280 mile trip to our house peeping, pooping and sleeping the whole way.  When we got home, we fixed up Bitsy’s cage for her new home.  Bitsy didn’t need a cage anymore since she was using her litter box and behaving nicely with her big brother.  We decided she was a girl (we actually have no idea) and named her Scarlett, since she is a Rhode Island RED!  My neighbors came over to see Bitsy and they got a bonus!  I wanted Scarlett to feel another soft animal body for the first time, and they don’t come any softer than Bitsy. We put the little babies together in my friend Lauren’s arms.

Bitsy was very still and Scarlett settled down into the soft fur of her new friend.

In less than 30 seconds Scarlett was sound asleep.

Sweet little Bitsy sat still the whole time letting Scarlett get her first cuddle with another of God’s creatures.  These two little creatures were orphans no more.

Itsy Bitsy

On January 31st, I brought a baby bunny home from the animal shelter.  She had been abandoned and they couldn’t tell me if she was male or female.  She also did not have a name and no one knew how old she was.  I introduced her to my four-year old Holland Lop bunny named Buster.  At first he was unsure about this new house guest…

…but then he grew to like her.

First date.

We named her Bitsy and began introducing her to other furry family members.

Everybody seemed OK with the new situation.

Is there room for one more species in this Animal House?  Check back tomorrow to see for yourself. 🙂