bye-bye, bunny

bubblehead bunny

Junebug died early yesterday morning. I woke up around 5:00 and checked on her, and she was gone. I’d already called the place I board her at about cremation services, so I knew I could drop her off any time. And then I really didn’t want to sit around all day, staring at her empty cage and feeling sad, so I came to work and carried on as usual. I’m one of those people who find comfort in routine. I didn’t tell anyone yesterday except Mom, who I called, and a couple of co-workers who know me well enough to have asked me what was wrong. I wanted some time to absorb.

It’s not unexpected, so it wasn’t a terrible shock or anything. I haven’t said anything, because I do not like blogging about depressing things until they can no longer be ignored, but she hasn’t been well since late spring. She’d stopped eating or moving much. I took her to the vet in late May, and they said it was just age. They offered to put her down, but putting an animal to sleep just because they’re old always smacked me as rather Logan’s Run-ish. If they’re sick or debilitated, that’s a different matter.

Earlier this week she got really bad, not eating hardly at all, barely moving, she didn’t even have the strength to groom herself. I probably would have taken her in to be put to sleep if she hadn’t died by the weekend. It was just really terrible to see, and her quality of life was such that putting her down started to seem like the more humane thing to do.

I’m sad, but I’ve been expecting it. Seems like everyone has a different opinion, but most experts agree on 6-8 years as the average lifespan for a domestic rabbit, with dwarves generally being on the lower end of the scale. She was nearly 10 — I bought her in October of 1999, when she was about 5 or 6 weeks old. And except for the last few months, she was the picture of health. I took good care of her, and I think I made her happy.

I’m going to wait a while before I get another pet, at least until early next year. I want to get used to her being gone, so I don’t feel like I’m trying to replace her. And I doubt I’ll get another rabbit. Junebug was the only rabbit for me. When I was deciding on a pet 10 years ago, one of the animals I considered was a chinchilla. I’ve also heard good things about sugar gliders as pets; although they’re kind of exotic, and finding a vet, should I need one, might be problematic. They’re illegal in California (sometimes this state can be a real asshole), but fuck it, so are ferrets, and they’re not exactly hard to buy.

I might just get another rat; I had one I named Nicodemus when I was a teenager. I decided against that 10 years ago, because I wanted something that would live longer. Nicodemus only lived about 3 years — he was the runt of the litter, which is one reason I chose him, because I figured no one else would take the little guy and he’d wind up as some snake’s breakfast. And one morning he was just dead on the floor of his cage. And even though that was a shock, in a way it was also easier, because I didn’t have to watch him go through old age and that final spiral down.

Rabbit picspam after the jump.

me and junebug

christmas bunny

peekabunny

attack rabbit

pillowfight bunny

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julie
    Aug 01, 2009 @ 02:00:23

    I’m so sorry. Lost a cat after 17 years and it really does take a chunk out of your heart.

  2. Dana
    Aug 01, 2009 @ 18:47:27

    I’m sorry about Junebug!

  3. pinstripebindi
    Aug 03, 2009 @ 09:07:39

    Thanks, guys. I appreciate all the sympathy from the internets I’ve been getting.

  4. K
    Jun 16, 2010 @ 17:20:37

    I’m so sorry about little Junebug. She looks very precious. You’re smart in not getting another pet right away. Grief takes time, and when its meant to be, you’ll meet the right animal with the perfect personality for you. My little dwarf bunny, Peanut, just made 11 years old. She was born at my house and was the daughter of my young son’s bunny. The son grew up and moved away, but she’s still around and in good health. I joke with friends that she keeps me around to feed her and pay the mortgage. She’s my first bun and I’m amazed at her intelligence and personality. My Vet had a dwarf bunny that lived 16 years. I think their longevity depends on a number of factors, many of which we have no control over. If I ever did get another bun, (although Peanut would be a very hard act to follow) I’d find a bun at a shelter or humane society. Those buns are generally older (1+ years) and have already developed their individual personalities.
    I wish you well, take care.

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