Believe In Bunnies

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Believe Bunnies Energy Purpose Reiki Rescue

Throwback: Why Rabbits?

I came across this gem that I wrote in October of 2016… and I love how every word is still true (or truer) today. Enjoy this throwback.

I’ve been asked the question “Why rabbits?” in a variety of contexts over the five years that I’ve been a bunny-mom and subsequently a rescuer.  I typically blink thrice and answer something along the lines of “uh, because… they are awesome.”  I’m sure I’ve given some more constructive answers when the asker is deserving of a quality response.  You, my darling readers, are deserving of a response, although many of you have your own “why” when it comes to our cotton-bottom babies.

Why rabbits…

  • Because the bunny-daddy and I live for our boys. They are the light of our lives.  Even when they are posing as bunstruction workers, Peanut and Tater Tot are the center of our world.    They turn 5 years old this month!

  • Because rabbits are the third most popular pet in America.

  • Because rabbits are the third most abandoned, neglected and abused animal in America.

  • Because, whether the day is sunshiny or downright dreadful, rabbits can always make you smile.

  • Because I can be their voice. As much as they understand us, they still can’t speak back with words.  With nose bonks, snuggles and sometimes grunts, they can though!

  • Because, and this “why” is highly personal, I’ve never felt more alive doing anything in my personal or professional life as I do when I’m giving a rabbit Reiki session, tending to chores at one of our foster homes or just lying on the floor with one of our boys.

  • Because it’s empowering to make a difference… and we are making a beautiful difference in the lives of these bunnies.

That’s how Rescue and Reiki have come together so gloriously for me.  There are tangible tasks, like catching a stray or cleaning a litter box, and there is energy work that heals, comforts and connects.  Put it all together and that’s why.  Why rabbits?  I can’t give you a point of peripety.  There wasn’t just one moment where time stopped and I was showered in golden light (well, now that I write that, there have been a number of moments like that… but we’ll save that topic for another day).  But it is rabbits.  Unequivocally.  I work for them, on the front lines, in the back office and in my energetic field all day, every day.  This hop cannot be stopped.  And I’d love to hear “Why rabbits” for you—please share in the comments!  Much love.

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angels Believe Bunnies Rescue

Some Rabbit Stories

I feel like I haven’t told you a rabbit story in a while…

That’s probably because I don’t feel like I own the stories as much as I used to. I feel very behind-the-scenes in Rescue… and I am NOT complaining. In fact, I prayed for this. I set very clear intentions with the Universe that the core group of volunteers, who were doing everything when I started helping out, would be matched by a team equal in passion, dedication and purpose and bigger in size.

Dreams come true. Intentions, with consistent work behind them, manifest.

Wednesday night, I sat in front of the computer screen, broadcasting to our group of volunteers and supporters about the various events of the day. I’m a fan of sharing as much of what’s going on as possible—clear communication is the foundation of making it work!

On Wednesday, on top of the day-to-day business of feeding and caring for foster rabbits, veterinary appointments and the like, we had a particularly active day. All at once:

-an adopter who lives well over an hour from the vet’s office needed a ride to said vet’s office, as her rabbit stopped eating. She doesn’t drive. Within minutes of asking for help, a volunteer arranged to drive her to and from an emergency appointment.

-we rescued a bunny who had been living outside for 3 years!! Outside for even 3 minutes in our climate/environment is dangerous. This rabbit had, of late, become the chew toy of the family’s new dog when the dog went outside to poop or play. That’s the short version of the story, as you can imagine. The rabbit is safe now.

-a rabbit who has been in our foster care for a bit over a year was diagnosed with cancer. Angel’s foster mother noticed that she hasn’t been finishing her food and hasn’t been very active. A volunteer took Angel in for a checkup and the doctor diagnosed Angel with cancer. X-rays show that it has metastasized in her chest. Now, we do everything we can to keep her comfortable… and dream of some angel of a person to show up and give her a forever home for whatever time she has left.

-a team of volunteers went out to rescue what was reported as two abandoned rabbits in a residential neighborhood in Suffolk County. Upon arrival, our team found out that these rabbits belonged to someone on the block who was not caring for them and letting them run in the street. The “owner” grabbed both rabbits in one hand and tossed them to our volunteers. Our group is unable to accept owner surrenders… but this wasn’t a typical surrender. These two rabbits, both male, are in rough shape, underweight, covered in bite marks and dirt. Their foster family is caring for them, teaching them to trust and making sure they have lots of delicious greens and hay to eat.

Those four situations, on top of the everyday operations, made for an energetically overwhelming day. But we’ve curated such a phenomenal team of volunteers and supporters… everything worked out the best it possibly could. I was able to focus and “call the plays,” capitalizing on my innate organizational skills. The team was able to execute and do the best we could for the greatest good. Then, I got to hop onto a Facebook Live and recap the day to our group of volunteers and supporters.

I am honored and humbled to work alongside such loving and dedicated people. Much love!

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Believe Bunnies Purpose Rescue

Same Old Story

For the longest time, I wouldn’t tell people I was a teacher. There were just some things about the job (or at least how I was doing the job) that didn’t align with whom I feel I am. Now that I’ve committed to daily personal development, I proudly say I’m a teacher. The job didn’t change; I did.

In most settings when I meet new people, I don’t mention that I am an animal rescuer. On the completely opposite side of why I used to run away from the label of teacher, I hide rescue from “strangers” because the conversation all-too-often goes badly… like it did yesterday.

I was at an event where I met dozens of wellness-minded women and we had tons of fun trying natural skincare and makeup from Young Living. The ladies at our table started to connect and share contact information. In searching for me on social media, one of my tablemates came across the title of my blog. She looked up slowly and said, “Bunnies?” to which I said, “Yes, they are my life’s work. I help run a rabbit rescue.” Her response, “Do you want a rabbit?” Cue the lump in my throat and rage in my heart. Here we go, again.

Why… how… why does it seem like everyone I meet either has a rabbit they don’t want or has some horrifying story about a rabbit that they, their cousin or their neighbor had when they were younger? And why do people think I want to hear those stories?

This woman was very well-meaning and I knew the outline of her story before she even told it, the same story I read in emails 15 times per week (or more). Her daughter came home with a rabbit one day without discussing it with the family. Now, no one takes care of the rabbit. I assumed she was talking about a child, but no, her daughter is an adult with a child of her own. The grandchild is the one who wanted the rabbit in the first place. The daughter is the one who purchased a living being who requires special care and lives 10-12 years without doing any research or thinking about long-term plans. They have 3 dogs at home. Daughter and grandchild are moving and don’t plan to take the rabbit. I quietly listened as I tried not to fling an all-natural face scrub across the table.

When she was done, I made a comment about the 10-12-year commitment her daughter made when getting the rabbit. The woman next to me whispered in my ear that she used to do dog rescue and sympathized. I referred her to rescue groups local to her, gave her some care tips and changed the subject as quickly as I could.

So I struggle with keeping my Rescue life quiet to strangers. I don’t want to hear this same old story from people looking to dump a rabbit. I don’t want to hear about the hutch bunny your neighbor neglected during your favorite childhood summer. I want the neglect to cease. The only way we are going to stop the abandonment and suffering is education but it seems like most (NOT all) of the people who want to rehome their rabbits are just looking to flake on a responsibility they chose. Where’s our sense of integrity? Our follow-through? Our commitment? Maybe I expect too much, in some people’s eyes. But on behalf of our fluffy, big-eared friends, my expectations will never be lowered.

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Believe Bunnies Purpose Rescue

Linus

My business mentor the incomparable MP reminds us often to “keep the main thing the main thing.” If you’re a loyal reader, you know what’s at the center of my vision board that hangs above the center of my desk. If you’re new here, I won’t keep you in the metaphorical dark. At the center of my vision board it says: Domestic rabbits are safe and protected.

That’s my main thing. That’s what my heart beats for. That’s my life’s purpose.

Yesterday, I helped coordinate the rescue of Linus. I share his story with you today in hopes that one day that sentence in the center of my vision board comes true.

Here’s what I wrote for the Long Island Rabbit Rescue Group’s Facebook page:

Some days in Rescue are more difficult than others. We don’t share these stories and pictures to make you angry or sad; we share these stories to increase awareness, in hopes that no more rabbits have to suffer like Linus is right now.

Just before the weekend, we received an email from a man who found a lop-eared rabbit who had been abandoned in eastern Suffolk County. After several exchanges, we were able to ascertain that the rabbit had an injury to his mouth, so this case became a priority among the dozens we are alerted to weekly.

With no available foster space, we turned to the Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter. Like most shelters on Long Island, they aren’t typically set up to accept rabbits but they have been remarkably gracious and generous with helping many rabbits lately. The finder brought this little injured lop to the shelter yesterday just before closing… and the rabbit’s condition was worse than anticipated. He got immediate medical attention and we are grateful to the doctors and staff at the shelter.

He has a hole through his face and jaw. His underside is inflamed and possibly infected. He cannot eat on his own. Our volunteers who met him said that all he wanted was snuggles and kisses despite the pain he must be feeling.

Due to his extremely fragile condition, Linus, named by the volunteers, is spending a few days in a medically-equipped foster home. If Linus survives these critical days, he will be in search of a foster home to help him recuperate.

Someone did this to him. A person, possibly out of ignorance, let him “go.” Now Linus is fighting for his life.

Hundreds of rabbits are abandoned on Long Island every year. Not all are as lucky as Linus to have a second chance.

To donate toward his care, visit http://longislandrabbitrescue.org/index.htm and click Donate on the right.

Share his story. Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

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angels Believe Bunnies Energy Healing Reiki Rescue Uncategorized

Snoopy & Budgie 2017

On the first day of this fresh new year, I visited Snoopy, Budgie and their mom Jean.  Budgie has been acting out a bit so Jean wanted me to check in with him and make sure all is well with him.  Before I left my house, I rubbed drops of Highest Potential essential oil over my heart and Release essential oil between my palms, just the oils I was compelled to grab in honor of my upcoming session.  Every time I’ve treated these bunny brothers, I start with Budgie (maybe next time I’ll change that up!).  Momma Jean worked on her computer, adjacent to the boys’ enclosures during our session (remember this fact for later).  Budgie was very receptive to the Reiki energy and very calm.  He “showed” me the number one, which I connected to the opening of the new year… or that he’s #1!

Budgie quickly invited me into his pen and we shared lots of hands-on energy throughout our session.  All is well with loving Budgie.  He’s a reputed kisser.  He consistently gave me three kisses, then flicked his tongue three times, left-right-left.  That might just be his habit, his tongue muscle memory… or maybe he was bringing the power of three to the forefront.  Three is pure power.  Three is divinity.

I moved on to Snoopy.  He’s a guarded little boy so I know to stay outside of his pen.  He still gets the bountiful energy and energetic benefits just as much as he would with hands-on—Reiki love and light will flow wherever it needs to, wherever it is welcome!  Snoopy stayed within his cardboard house for the duration of our session (his Snoopy house?!) but acknowledged our exchange through his grooming and sharing “messages” with me as well.  I had a sense of Jean’s mom, Snoopy and Budgie’s grandmother, and the letter M toward the end of our session.  As shielded as Snoopy can be, he is still receptive to the energy, love and light in such a beautiful way.  I feel so energized when I work with these boys!

After I closed out our session, I share the “messages” and feelings with Jean.  I felt awkward asking about her mother; while I feel spiritually connect to Jean, I still don’t know her that well!  What if this was a “bad” question to ask?  But I had to ask her anyway.  I asked if Snoopy was close with Jean’s mom or if they even knew each other.  Jean shared with me that her mother passed away six years before Snoopy came into her life.  Then she paused, took a breath and told me that she was writing a post for her own blog

while I was working with the boys.  That post is about her mother and father.

I am honored to confirm Jean’s mother’s presence.  Our loved ones are never truly gone if we just take the time to quiet our minds, remove the distractions and pay attention on purpose to the present moment.  I am not a trained medium.  But I am a true believer.  We all have these abilities and they step forward when we take the time and care to listen.  Sharing the love and light, the life-force energies with Snoopy and Budgie on the first day of what I know will be a year of beauty set a wonderful tone.  Thank you Jean.  I love you and your boys truly.

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Snoopy, photo credit: Jean

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Believe Bunnies Energy Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

Never Too Far

Help can take myriad forms.  For labeling purposes, help in the Rescue world takes the following forms:

-Catches/Rescues: safely containing and bringing an abandoned rabbit to safety

-Adopting: committing to loving and caring for a rabbit indoors for his/her life span

-Fostering: caring for and loving an adoptable or sanctuary rabbit in your home until a forever home is found

-Networking: spreading the word about rabbit care, adoption and the bleak situation for domestic rabbits on Long Island via social media, in person or any form of communication

-Events: attending and/or helping coordinate education and fundraising events

-Transports: bringing supplies, donations or rabbits from one place to another (often “far” distances)

-Donations: in priority order of their need for our Group at the present time: time, money, supplies

-Bunny Chores: taking that aforementioned donated time and spending it cleaning, feeding and snuggling our foster and sanctuary rabbits

-Collecting Newspaper and Other Supplies: We’ve got to line our litter boxes somehow…

-Emails and Phone Calls: responding to the 100+ contacts we get per month

-Scheduling: adoptions, volunteer shifts, education sessions and events

-Positive Vibes: Energy exists and moves!  Although intangible to some, the positive vibes are amongst the most valuable forms of help you can give!

I think I covered all the major categories of help, but even if I glossed over one or some, you should get the idea of just how much it takes to make this all happen.  We are saving more lives than ever before; just because the team is great at doing so doesn’t mean the workload decreases ever or at all!  For every individual rabbit saved, we need many hours of volunteer time and hundreds or thousands of dollars (yes, per rabbit) in donations depending on length of time in foster care, medical needs, etc.

To those on the outside, it might seem “easy”—just go rescue that rabbit, pop her in a cage and a life is saved.  In truth, an efficient and effective Rescue Group takes way more than that.  We were involved in a rescue this week of two rabbits over the course of 4-5 days.  That rescue took place well over an hour east from the volunteers who were able to coordinate this particular case.  They didn’t balk at the distance or even at the cold weather on the day that Orion (black and white) was rescued.  When Luna (brown and white) was brought to safety, getting her transported west toward our most-frequented rabbit-savvy vets proved a bit more challenging and the ensuing conversation amongst volunteers and supporters inspired me to write this today.

No, I’m not bragging about how much we do.  No, I’m not flinging guilt at those who don’t offer frequent tangible help (PLEASE see the Positive Vibes lines above).  No, I’m not complaining about what this takes—it’s volunteer.  No one “makes” me do this.

When you feel inspired, scan the list above and know you’re never too far to help in some kind of way.  And every second of help, in any form, is treasured and appreciated, always.  Much love.

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Believe Bunnies Rescue Uncategorized

Strays No More

The last two strays our team has caught look a lot alike.  Both large, both Californians.  One female, now named Monica Mae.  One male, rescued yesterday, now named Boo (paying homage to both Halloween weekend and to literary legend Boo Radley—props to Jill for this perfect name choice).  Monica Mae and Boo were rescued in different counties so it’s unlikely that their histories are related… but they were both abandoned for several weeks before their rescue.  They were both easy catches.  They both had serious cases of ear mites when they were brought to safety (easily treated with a kitten dose of Revolution).  They were both caught on days that I was spending with my mom, so I spent too much time with my head buried in the phone rather than being fully present with mommy (I must fix that!  But maybe she’s good luck by proxy…).

Monica Mae and Boo will be safe for the rest of their lives.  They have roots now.  They have a foster home and a loving team of volunteers who will care for them until a forever family is found for each.  They will never be homeless strays again.  Ever.

The bunny-daddy and I are moving soon so the concepts of home, roots and forever (or at least fixed-rate for 30 years) have been in the forefront of my mind for the past year or so.  Home can be simple.  Home can be turbulent.  Even those of us who have been fortunate to always have a physical house may experience moments (or longer) of feeling like a stray, like a sense of belonging is lacking, like roots do not exist.  Fortunately, I’ve never had to feel the physical state of being completely alone, in danger, cold, wet, hungry like Monica Mae and Boo surely felt over their weeks between abandonment and rescue.  But I’ve felt those things emotionally, sometimes in ripples, other times in waves and the occasional tsunami…

Even yesterday, my waves were crashing, right as the team was out saving Boo’s life, just some stuff causing rough seas in my head.  Nothing unmanageable.  Boo’s day yesterday helped me to calm my own seas.  Knowing that he survived in an environment that is designed for his peril reminded me that I can make it through whatever material nonsense was trying to drag me under.  Knowing that the same team who was saving his life are people I call colleagues and friends reminded me that I have people I can count on when I need a life preserver.  Knowing how easily Boo was rescued reminded me that it’s ok to ask for help and to reach for the tools I have to feel safe and composed, whether it’s a hug or a small brown bottle with a colored label in my purse.

I’m sure Monica Mae and Boo will have moments when it’s hard to trust and moments when they struggle to recognize their current blessed situation.  I know I do.  But they are safe forever—strays no more.  And they are my inspiration today as I continue to tackle just one task, just one wave at a time as I work a full-time job, manage a non-profit organization, run two small businesses and one small family that’s large on love.  No matter the challenge, I know I’m safe.  And I know sometimes I need to stop my hop and let someone scoop me into a carrier for safety, comfort and rest.  All is well, my friends.

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Believe Bunnies Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

Hoppy Family

I never took a business class in high school or college.  Ironically, I taught college-level business classes at a small college a few years ago.  With teaching, when you have “it,” you have “it.”  Just give me a few moments with the book and I can get the content out.  But anyway… last January, I read Jack Welch’s book Winning.  No, it’s not a tome dedicated to Charlie Sheen; it’s a business-oriented success story.  While it was somewhat out of my realm, I’m often reminded of this one line that I copied into my journal: “Leaders relentlessly upgrade their team…”  I spent the afternoon with our team yesterday.  I’m the one who feels upgraded today.

Every few months (and hopefully every month moving forward), we have a Hoppy Hour, a purely social event where we bunny-minded people get together and hang, without hay and litter boxes (although I did get two bags of pellets yesterday. Thank you, R).  With about 20 people in the core group of volunteers and over 200 people in our Friends of LIRRG group (supporters, adopters, volunteers, foster families), it’s terribly difficult to find a date, time and location that works for everyone but we try to keep it varied and open.  And let’s be honest, not everyone wants to be Hoppy with us anyway…

Bunny-daddy and I joined the squad at Amity Ale’s yesterday, a spot I picked self-servingly—amazing portabella burger!  The usual LIRRG fam showed up and a few faces who don’t always make it to the Hoppy festivities.  It was just bunderful (as we say in the biz) to be amongst those with similar life purpose, those who dedicate hours every week, some, every day, to saving and caring for Long Island’s abandoned, neglected and abused domestic rabbits.  We didn’t even talk much rescue business, just enjoyed the company of other’s who probably had some fur on their clothes and maybe some hay fragments in the bottom of their purses (Or is that just me? And how does it get in there?).

A few years ago, a group of friends drifted from my life, somewhat inexplicably.  I was sad, sometimes mad and a bit baffled—weren’t these supposed to be my friends for life?  But now I understand: the Universe was making room in my life for my boys, for Rescue and for my LIRRG family, the team that I spend my “free” hours relentlessly upgrading but whom, just by existing, upgrade me and my spirit so very greatly.  First Welch was Winning, then Sheen was “Winning” (pardon my anachronism in the first paragraph) and now, with my team surrounding me, I am forever winning.  See you at the next Hoppy gathering.  Much love.

 

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Believe Bunnies Energy Purpose Reiki Rescue Uncategorized

Why Rabbits?

I’ve been asked the question “Why rabbits?” in a variety of contexts over the five years that I’ve been a bunny-mom and subsequently a rescuer.  I typically blink thrice and answer something along the lines of “uh, because… they are awesome.”  I’m sure I’ve given some more constructive answers when the asker is deserving of a quality response.  You, my darling readers, are deserving of a response, although many of you have your own “why” when it comes to our cotton-bottom babies.

Why rabbits…

  • Because the bunny-daddy and I live for our boys. They are the light of our lives.  Even when they are posing as bunstruction workers, Peanut and Tater Tot are the center of our world.    They turn 5 years old this month!
  • Because rabbits are the third most popular pet in America.
  • Because rabbits are the third most abandoned, neglected and abused animal in America.
  • Because, whether the day is sunshiny or downright dreadful, rabbits can always make you smile.
  • Because I can be their voice. As much as they understand us, they still can’t speak back with words.  With nose bonks, snuggles and sometimes grunts, they can though!
  • Because, and this “why” is highly personal, I’ve never felt more alive doing anything in my personal or professional life as I do when I’m giving a rabbit Reiki session, tending to chores at one of our foster homes or just lying on the floor with one of our boys.
  • Because it’s empowering to make a difference… and we are making a beautiful difference in the lives of these bunnies.

That’s how Rescue and Reiki have come together so gloriously for me.  There are tangible tasks, like catching a stray or cleaning a litter box, and there is energy work that heals, comforts and connects.  Put it all together and that’s why.  Why rabbits?  I can’t give you a point of peripety.  There wasn’t just one moment where time stopped and I was showered in golden light (well, now that I write that, there have been a number of moments like that… but we’ll save that topic for another day).  But it is rabbits.  Unequivocally.  I work for them, on the front lines, in the back office and in my energetic field all day, every day.  This hop cannot be stopped.  And I’d love to hear “Why rabbits” for you—please share in the comments!  Much love.

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Believe Bunnies Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

Progress

I’m living parallel story lines in my personal life and my Rescue life.  Both of these story lines are unfolding at their own pace, despite how much I might try to control them.  Patience was never my strong suit.  Some people like to brag about how few effs they give or how unfiltered they are; I was always quick to tout my quick fuse.  That trait was of little value, other than some entertainment of course, so I’ve been working my self-improvement make-shift program to channel those energies into something more positive.  I spent much of the summer patting myself on the back for just how patient I was with this personal life story line.  I know that I show up and I do my part immediately as it is warranted.  Expecting the same from others (individuals, businesses, and municipalities) has resulted in a range from disappointment to frustration, with the occasional pleasant surprise sprinkled in the mix.  Just send good vibes and you’ll be alerted when all of my patience has paid off… sorry for the vagueness.  Just know that, even as I type this, things are progressing.

In Rescue life, some of the team has reached out to their legislators, proposing that Long Island follow suit with NYC, Chicago, Boston, LA, etc. and ban the sale of domestic rabbits.  Yes, there are volunteers who disagree with this idea.  And they are allowed to feel that way.  But for me, I am a data collector.  I reflect on that data.  I do some, albeit informal, analysis of that data.  In 2016 alone, we’ve been contacted via email about over 400 unwanted, abandoned, neglected and abused rabbits in our two counties.  Whenever possible, I ask the source of these unwanted buns.  The answer is always a pet store or a breeder.  Always.  Add to this 400, the rabbits about whom we are contacted on social media, via phone, contacts to individual volunteers and, of course, the ones we plain just don’t hear about… the number will surely reach 1,000 by the close of 2016, if it hasn’t already.  You don’t have to be alarmed by this… but I am.  And I’m doing something about it.

Amazingly, we’ve already made progress!  I received a phone call from the aide of a local legislator last week.  Because of our efforts, rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters were added to a proposed bill in Suffolk County that will regulate the sale of cats, dogs and the aforementioned animals.  This isn’t a ban, but it is progress.  This progress will protect those who are sold in pet stores.  This progress will put an end to the harsh, neglectful situations that some animals face while waiting to be purchased.  This progress holds those who do sell animals accountable for the treatment of what they deem as product, what I deem as living, loving beings.  To me, animals are not a commodity.  I fully acknowledge that they are to some people and I’m not looking to argue that.  I’m just here to dance in the metaphorical confetti raining down on me and the squad who are advocating for the safety of domestic rabbits across this island and around this world.

So, it’s about progress, steps.  The personal life situation will work itself out, as long as the bunny-daddy and I keep doing our part… and staying on top of those other parties who need to do their parts as well!  And the Rescue life situation… I am overjoyed to be a part of a step in the right direction.  I just got off of the phone with the Legislator who is helping us advocate.  I’m proud to know her and proud to be a part of the progress she’s making.  Just do the next right thing, my friends.  Much love.

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Grab your party hats and celebrate progress!

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