Comment on Grieving the loss of a rabbit by Oana.
I am so grateful I came across this group as I have been really struggling with the loss of my beautiful, kind and loving lionhead bunny Zoey. Knowing that I’m not alone in this horrid grief is a bitter sweet thought. I am very sorry for everyone’s loss and been crying reading all your stories…Zoey has been brightening my life for 7 and a half years and now I don’t know what to do with myself. He was a gift from my mum as I always wanted a bunny growing up so when I finally got Zoey at 27yo I think I was able to appreciate him more than if I had been younger. Once he came into my life I immediately researched everything about bunnies so to be sure I could care for him to the best of my abilities. He was the best thing that ever happened to me, and exactly as everyone mentioned, he would take any anxiety or bad mood I ever had and replaced it with pure love. He unfortunately has had his fair share of health issues throughout the years but we were a team and he would always show me when something was wrong so that I could act fast and make sure he got better. He had a lot of teeth issues which left him with only the front 4 teeth remaining so for the past 4 years I would soak his favourite dry food in water and cut the hay and leaves in small bites so he wouldn’t have issues eating. This didn’t stop him from being a pure ball of joy and from living a happy life so I made a pact with him to never leave his side and to make sure he always had freshly soaked food to eat as he pleased. Because of this unusual diet he had a couple of GI stasis episodes over the years but because I knew this might happen I always caught them in time and he overcame them like a pro and continued to live happily and carefree. He had his own room in the house and his door was always open for him to come and go anywhere as he pleased. He was always very well behaved and normally he would leave his room to find me and be by my side whenever he needed company so I was always happy to see him out and about around the house. With the whole lockdown and being able to work from home meant I could spend even more time with Zoey and if I had to go somewhere my husband and my mum would take turns to look after him so that he would never be alone or feel lonely. He was always a very energic bunny, hopping around, going in circles around my feet and asking for pets and cuddles all the time. I installed a chair in his room so I could pet him for hours in the evening since he enjoyed it so much and for me it was a real form of love therapy. The downfall happened in July when Zoey developed kidney stones. I caught that very early on too and took him to the emergency vet immediately and he was fine the next day. He was on antibiotics for 8 days afterwards to ensure no infection would settle. However I believe he caught some sort of a cold or a bacteria from the clinic so he began to sneeze quite frequently. I took him to our regular vet and he had 2 more rounds of antibiotics to get rid of this cold. With the kidney stones and the cold he was with antibiotics for 3 weeks when finally he seemed to be doing very well towards the last weekend of Aug. I stopped the antibiotics since he was fine on Sun Aug 27 to give him a few days of a break. And he was completely fine, eating all the time, running around, being his bubbly self until this past Friday when I heard him sneeze again a few times, not a lot though, and his appetite was not amazing, but still ok and he ate well. He always was very good at regulating his food intake, some days he would eat loads and some days he would eat less so that wasn’t out of the ordinary. He was still behaving normally, coming for pets, running around so I thought I would see how well he eats during the night and if still not great then I would restart the antibiotics on Sat morning. Since he had several health issues over the years I knew exactly when something was really wrong because he was always very good at showing me signs. So I woke up extra early in the morning to see how much he ate only to find he had passed away in his sleep. I cannot express the shock and pain and devastation I felt and I have been feeling for these past few days. I lost my dad when I was 18 and I can honestly say this is the exact same pain as when you lose family. I am struggling especially with the guilt of not being able to save him like I had done so many times before. I should not have stopped the antibiotics in the first place, or at least I should have restarted them earlier but I was afraid that taking them for so long would mess with his intestinal flora or his immune system. I thought a little break would do him a bit of good, especially seeing how well he had recovered. I keep going over that Friday in my head, relieving it to look for more signs that I might have missed or thinking about what I could have done differently and it is killing me to think that I failed my best friend. I knew the signs of when he was not feeling well, he would not come for cuddles, he would not eat unless it was forced and he would prefer to stay alone. He did none of those things on Friday, if anything he wanted even more cuddles than usual and followed me everywhere. I gave him his favourite leaves in the evening before bed and he devoured them which really made me think he was ok. However, instead of giving him fresh food on Saturday morning and lots of cuddles, I buried my ray of sunshine along with my peace of mind. I honestly don’t know what to do with myself now, for almost 8 years this bunny has been my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night and now our house is empty and quiet and I can’t bare it. Everywhere I look I imagine him, I keep looking down to not accidentally step on him as he loved to run and just sit by me, I keep listening for his little feet on the marble floors but there’s nothing but silence and emptiness. My thoughts go out to all of you who lost your best friend and I truly thank you for making me feel less alone in this absolute nightmare. I hope you find the strength to cope with your griefs and my heart absolutely aches for everyone here. Maybe all our bunnies are in the same place and playing all together in bunny heaven 🙂