2016 is nothing but consistent. It has been tough for many people in many realms. The loses of loved ones, furry and non, world-famous and family-famous, continue. The heartbreak is palpable.
Last December, a colleague of mine from the elusive day job adopted a rabbit from us. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how this would all go down; I didn’t know her well and didn’t know her family at all. I stayed out of her adoption process in my continual quest to keep day job and rescue life separate. From the day she took our Andy home, she and her family became the perfect bunny family. I was overjoyed. I guess from the number of abandoned, abused and neglected rabbits we deal with, I’m apt to expect the worst from people. Andy’s new family immediately poured on the love. They renamed him Buddy.
Every day at work, Buddy’s mom would show me pictures and videos and regale me with stories of Buddy’s adorable mischief. My favorite story, which came with pictures as well, was when Buddy’s human sister was packing to go off to college—Buddy let himself into her room and unpacked her bag of shoes, tossing each boot, shoe and slipper across the room. He clearly wanted her to stay home with him!
Yesterday, I was in a class when I noticed a missed call and voicemail from Buddy’s mom. I didn’t need to check the message; I knew something was wrong. Since I couldn’t talk, I tapped my mentor and rescue director M to contact Buddy’s mom. Buddy didn’t jump for his breakfast or treat (he’s normally a food monster!) that morning so his mom had already brought him to Catnip and Carrots (yet another reason I love having a vet that is open 7 days a week and takes emergencies 24/7 for clients). They were keeping Buddy and suspected something was up with his liver. Something just like sweet Sylvia faced a few months ago.
By the time I got out of class, it was determined that Buddy was facing liver torsion, usually fatal, only possibly fixed by a very risky and VERY expensive surgery. If you know me, you know I always come from a mind state of abundance. When the cost of this surgery was being discussed, I paused. Money would not be a deciding factor here. Money can always be made or raised or scraped together. If there was a chance to save Buddy, I would figure out the finances. His family was not looking for someone else to pay the bill—but I totally understand how someone may hesitate to plunk down thousands of dollars for a surgery with such a low success rate. For me, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my boys. So I told M to tell Buddy’s mom to forget the price tag, if that was something she was considering, and to follow her instinct and the advice of the doctors to make this decision. They went ahead with emergency liver surgery late last night at another rabbit-savvy veterinary hospital, due to the day, time and nature of the surgery.
I awoke in the middle of the night to a text saying Buddy made it through surgery—a miracle for sure. Another text soon followed. Buddy had a stroke after surgery and passed away. Buddy’s family is devastated. A rabbit we rescued from a residential backyard just 15 months ago, fostered and loved, found a loving home then hopped over the bridge way too soon. But I’m damn happy they tried the surgery. Yes, it’s horrible that his family has a huge bill to pay and an empty litter box in their living room right now. But what wouldn’t you do to potentially save your family member?
Binky free, Buddy. xo