Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Together Again...Forever.

Sweet Miss Binks was reunited with her Dearest Fluffy on Wednesday, July 8th, 2015, at 9:23 am.

12 and a half years had taken its toll, and her arthritis and spondylosis were greatly affecting her mobility. 12 days ago she began to display very mild head tilt, and on Tuesday, July 7th,  she began to have issues swallowing. By the next morning it was clear that her time had come. We could not ask her to stay another day, and our wonderful vet Dr. Deb guided her gently and peacefully across the Bridge while her dad and I cuddled her and sang her favourite song. 

Binky was our first bunny, the one that "started it all". Because of her, we found Fluffy at Mississauga Animal Services, and Fluffy led us to Rabbit Rescue Inc.  Binky is the reason I am here, why I am the person I am today. She is the reason why I rescue rabbits, why I have become a rabbit advocate, why I have found such beauty, inspiration and purpose in my life. Binky is the reason Rabbit Rescue's BunFest event exists. I created it in her honour so that her legacy could reach far and wide to other bunny lovers and their rabbits. So we all could have a place to gather, learn, talk and share our knowledge and love for these most precious of creatures. 

While letting her go was heartbreaking, we knew that it would be a joyous day at the Rainbow Bridge. Fluffy was waiting for her, and I know that the moment Binky slipped away from this world, she was gone in a flash, ecstatic to see her husbun again. I know that together they are running through the fields of clover and binkying towards the strawberry patch that is always in season. She has perfect vision (something she never had in this life), no more breathing issues, no more pain.  She is in good hands.... 

She had a wonderful life and my husband and I are so grateful for the many years we had with her. We will look back and celebrate all of the joy, laughter and love she shared....but there will always be a Binky-sized hole in our hearts.

I guess this is the final chapter in Fluffy's blog.  He is gone, but he now has his beautiful Miss Binks by his side once again.  She is grooming his ears and he is giving her eyeball washes, just like the old days.  It is incredible when I think back to the many years we shared together as a family.  My heart is so very heavy with sadness right now - I feel as though an entire part of my life is over.

There are no words to adequately describe the impact Binky and Fluffy have had in my and my husband's life.  We are such better people today because of them, because of their love and their guidance, their pureness and vitality, their honesty and beauty.  Our hearts have been stretched open in ways we never knew possible and we will be forever grateful to them both for filling our lives with such incredible joy.

I know in time, once our hearts have had a chance to heal, that we will continue to rescue rabbits and welcome new friends into our family.  That is what Binky and Fluffy would want, and I can think of no better way to celebrate their lives than by saving another....

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rest In Peace My Big Tough Lop

I'm sorry it's taken me some time to get this update on Fluffy's blog, and even now, when I think I'm ready, I'm kinda not.  But then again, will I ever be?  Please bear with me, this post will be as long as it needs to be....

Fluffy left this world on Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 at 10:45 am.

As per his last post, his health was declining and his mobility hit an all-time low.  Severe arthritis robbed him of 90% of his mobility and walking became next to impossible.  My husband and I had been hovering over him during this part of his life, always trying to read in Fluffy's face what he truly wanted.  I made the same promise to him as I make to all my pets: "If the time should come where you are no longer happy, give me a sign and I will help you along in your journey.  I don't want you to be here a day longer than you want to be."  But as hopeful and strong as we all intend to be, when you are facing the last stage of an animal's life, especially one that you love so tremendously, it can be hard to read the signals.

I had done much research on how to care for a bunny in Fluffy's state.  Using diapers to keep him clean, butt baths, massages, exercise and pain relief.  I was prepared to do whatever it took to make this part of his life as enjoyable as possible, but there was one problem; Fluffy would have nothing of it.  In order for me to care for him, I needed him to understand that he needed to be still, to rest his weary body and let me take care of him.  No matter how many beds I made, pillow set ups I created to help him maintain an upright and comfortable position, how many exercises I tried to do to keep him as nimble and flexible as possible, he fought me, every thump of the way.

He would scramble from any place I put him, and usually ended up rolling and kicking and not being able to right himself.  The few hops he could manage would result in him barreling over towards Binky, because he knew he would end up crashing, and his beloved Miss Binks would be there to break his fall (Oh sweet Miss Binks).  I would tuck him in at night knowing he was fed and clean and next to his girl, but half way through the night when I would go to check on him I would find him somewhere else, sprawled in a most uncomfortable position, unable to move.  And when I picked him up he would lick me so very graciously in gratitude and snuggle in my arms.  Who was this snuggle bunny?

There was a lot of licking during those last few weeks.  He seemed to only find comfort when he was in our arms, or up on the couch atop his Stupid Blankets, which he continued to battle with to the very end.  I think that was the only sort of happiness he could find, shredding those Stupid Blankets, other than cuddling with his #1 Girl.

I knew what he was saying to me.  "Mom, this isn't what I want.  I don't want to sit still.  Never have, never will.  I hate this body of mine and I want to go.  It's time.  My life has been amazing, but now my life needs to continue elsewhere...."

You weigh the pros and the cons, every day, every hour, every minute.  Is this a good day or a bad one?  A good afternoon but a bad evening?  How do I let go of him?  And what about Binky?  How do I take Fluffy away from her?  She will be devastated.....

The day before he left, he had a check up with Dr. Deb.  He was down to .93 kg  (2 pounds) from 1.18 (2.6 lbs) two weeks previously.  This was obviously due to him not being able to maintain any muscle mass and his body starting to atrophy.  There was nothing we could do.  That evening my husband and I cuddled extra long with him.  While Fluffy was always my Little Man, he seemed to favour his Dad that night, crawling over to him to rest and lick him.  My husband had been out of work during this time and cared for Fluffy during the day, while I was at work.  He and Fluffy had bonded closely, and it was beautiful to see him showing such gratitude towards him.  My husband and I knew that the time was near.  We had Fluffy scheduled for a check up on the upcoming Saturday, and between the two of us, we silently knew that that day would be "the day".

But of course, the Big Tough Lop had his own plans.  The next morning as my husband and I were with him, I heard him breathing funny.  I knew that rabbits in his state often had breathing issues, due to extra pressure being placed on the lungs, as a result of laying on their sides for extended periods of time.  Here was my Big Tough Lop, struggling to breathe.  I look at my husband and said, "This is the sign.  It's time."

I called Dr. Deb and she told us to come right in.  We packed up Miss Binks in the carrier and I had Fluffy wrapped up in my arms and held him the entire drive to the clinic.  When we got there, we were taken to the Quiet Room, and I laid out a blanket on the couch and put Fluffy and Miss Binks together.  She sat over him while he lay on the blanket and Norm and I gave him kisses and pets.  I told him that this was the day he gets everything back.  I said through my tears,  "Fluffy, you're going to fall asleep, and when you wake up, you are going to be young again!  We're going to set you free!  You will be able to run and jump and binky and these stupid legs of yours aren't going to hold you back any more!  No more pain, no more cloudy eyes, no more falling over - you are going to be so happy!"

Dr. Deb came in and gave him a needle to make him sleepy.  "It's okay Fluffy, you can go.  You've had a beautiful and wonderful life.  Thank you Fluffy, my Little Man, my Big Tough Lop.  We will be okay.  Don't you worry, we will take care of Miss Binks for you and one day she will come to be with you too.  One day, we will all be together again."  Once he was sufficiently sleepy, Dr. Deb took him out of the room to shave his leg and insert the i.v. for the other needle.  She brought him back and we placed him back beside Binky.  We whispered our love for him in his ear, stroked him, kissed him and cried for him.  Then my husband and I sang his song, "He's a Fluffy Man, he's a Fluffy Man, he's a Fluffy, Fluffy Man!".  When we were ready,  Dr. Deb took the last needle and gave him the injection.  And in a matter of seconds, she felt for his heartbeat.  But it was gone.  My beautiful, funny, crazy, delightful Little Man was gone.

We were left alone with him.  All we could do was pet him and cry.  He was so small.  Once his spirit left his body, he really was just a shell.  Binky remained stoic.  I'll never forget the look on her face.  Such pure sadness, but also, strength.  It was then that I knew, she knew this day was coming.  She knew exactly what was going on and what had happened.  Her husbun of over 10 years was gone, and she was now alone.  She bent her head down towards his and groomed him.  She didn't try to nudge him, she didn't wait for him to reciprocate, she did not expect acknowledgement.  She knew.  And our hearts broke a thousand times more.  And when she was done, she sat in silence, staring off into space.

Now, our main concern was Binky.  How would she handle this loss?  Would she be depressed?  Would she stop eating?  Would she look for him?  Or would she simply carry on, unaffected, as some animals do?  We prayed that she would be able to be happy without him, that she could find the strength to live the rest of her time without her precious husbun by her side.  That night, for the first time in over 10 years, Binky slept alone.

Over the next few days, her appetite did wane, but she still nibbled on her pellets and hay, and picked at her greens.  I think for her, there was so much enjoyment in eating with Fluffy.  She would hear him munching on something and would immediately appear by his side and sniff his mouth or by his feet to see what it was.  9 times out of ten she would steal whatever food he was eating and Fluffy never once seemed to mind.  But now the thrill was gone.  No one ran to the salad plate with her when dinner was announced, hearing those breakfast pellets tinkle into the bowl every morning failed to excite, and even the freshest handfuls of hay went untouched.  The family room seemed very quiet now, not that it was loud before, because bunnies don't really make loud noises, but there was a definite silence in the air.  Fluffy's personality had been so huge and uncompromising that, once he was gone, it was like the volume had been turned off.  No little bunny running to greet you, to nose bonk you for treats, tossing rattles, digging in blankets or thumping his displeasure.

But slowly, Binky did adjust to this new phase of her life.  She found immediate comfort with Blue, a stuffed bunny that my husband bought them for Easter.  Before long, she was snuggling with him, snoozing beside him and grooming him.  While this brought comfort to us as well, there is no doubt that our hearts were broken to see that she longed for Fluffy's affection, and that no matter how many kisses she gave Blue, he would never be able to give any back.  But she seemed okay with this.  Bit by bit, she ate more, fell back into her familiar routine and her diva personality slowly returned.

Binky has always been a Daddy's Girl.  She hasn't kissed me in over 10 years, but she smooches her Daddy on a regular basis (and I'm totally fine with it).  But after Fluffy left, her kisses stopped.  My husband would hold her in the familiar position and ask her for kisses, but none would come.  It wasn't until 3 weeks after Fluffy's passing that one evening, cuddling with her Dada, she once again graced his nose with licks of her soft little tongue.  That was a real turning point for her, and for us.  Knowing that she was able and willing to share love again stitched our hearts back together just a bit and gave us the glimmer of hope that we needed that she would be okay.

This journey has been long and difficult, and it still continues.  But it has been an unforgettable process that I was blessed to have experienced.  "End of Life" care is such an emotional time with much questioning, second-guessing, reflection, sadness and even joy.  You say goodbye in bits and pieces, never really knowing when the final farewell will be said.  But as hard as it is to watch a loved one reach their end, it is a precious time that is both a blessing and a privilege.  Fluffy's final months, weeks and days were his to live, and I was honoured to help him live through this time with comfort, dignity and as much happiness as possible.  In the end, his tired little body could not keep up with his boisterous personality, and he refused to confine his spirit in any way.  Leaving this world was his wish.  I feel very lucky to have been blessed with the ability to listen to my pets - I mean, really hear their words, their desires and what they feel deep within their hearts.    It was my job to set him free, free to continue his life unhindered by the earthly weights of age, health and time.  He did not leave this earth a day too soon or a day too late.  It was the exact date that it was supposed to be, and I am so grateful to know this for certain in my heart and in my mind.

I know other things too.  I know that Binky was worried about him.  I know that she knew he was sick and I am certain that they had even discussed this inevitable outcome on many occasions.  I believe that while his passing was very hard for her, she found some relief in knowing that he was no longer suffering, that he was at peace and that she would see him again one day.  I know that I myself was blessed to have found Fluffy at Mississauga Animal Services, to have welcomed him home and spent the next decade waiting on him (and Binky) hand and foot, serving him the love, devotion, security and companionship he deserved.  There was nothing my husband and I wouldn't have done for him, and that Big Tough Lop rewarded us with endless laughter, immeasurable joy and the sweetest of love, the kind of love that only a bunny can give.  I am grateful for this blog, so that I can look back and read all about his silly antics, his Bunny Misadventures, like when he hopped in the paint tray, found the yarmulke under the stairs or ran away from home (with me in hot pursuit!).  What an incredibly funny, amazing, loving and animated Little Man he was....

If you are still reading this, I thank you.  I had no intention for this post to be this long but I promised myself I would write it all out, however long it took.  This post was actually written in bits and pieces, over a period of three days, simply because I had to stop here and there to let out more emotion, to cry a little bit more, and take some breaths.  It's been very therapeutic for me, and I hope it has offered some closure and reflection for all of you who have followed him over the span of his life.  His Peeps.  He loved you all so very much and I thank you for all of the love and support you have sent over the years.

I will wrap this up with my favourite video of Binky and Fluffy.  I will miss watching this display of love so very, very much.  There is nothing quite as heartwarming as watching two bunnies who adore each other quietly revel in each others company.....

For you, Mama's Little Man, my Big Tough Lop, my heart will always cherish every moment I shared with you...

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Life Is Beautiful

Sometimes when I look back at my life, I can't believe what a lucky bunny I have been.  I don't even remember my first year of life before Mom and Dad adopted me, before I met my beloved Miss Binks.  The days become years and the years become a decade and all of a sudden I'm 11 years old!  I have been with Mom and Dad and Binky for 10 wonderful years, and I have loved every minute of it.

I have lots of time to think about these things.  As my days pass, I nap for most of them, and dream about all the wonderful times I have shared with everyone.  I'm a lot more tired now, and my back legs don't take me places as fast and swiftly as they once did.  Sometimes I fall over but I always do my best to get back up and head off to wherever I was going.  Binky also takes very good care of me, often positioning herself on my weak side to help prop me up and keep me from falling over.  I love that girl so much, she makes growing old kinda okay.

I am still battling an ear infection which involves two types of ear drops, and you better believe I can still thump Mommy after she gives them to me!  I am also on two types of pain meds to help me manage my arthritis.  My stupid joints seem to have forgotten how to move back and forth - HARUMPH!!!!!  But don't you worry, I still know how to get those stupid blankets on the couch!  Mom plops me up there and I tear right into them!  Still the Big Tough Lop Ive always been!  Here's a video to prove it!

We had a bunderful Christmas and Santa Paws was very kind to us!  We got lots of treats and some new toys and blankets.  Binky has always loved her carrot patch and she gets a new one every year.  We also got our favourite Bunspace Bunny Bags, they are always filled with yummy stuff!  Here is our Christmas video!
What a lucky bunny I am.  I try to remind Mom of this everyday, but her eyes have been leaking a lot lately.  I know that seeing me get old and struggle breaks her heart, but us bunnies, we just keep marching on.  No time to feel sorry for ourselves, we've got naps to take and treats to eat!  I tell her that its okay, its all a part of life.  I tell her she has nothing to be sad about because she and Dad have given Binky and I such long and beautiful lives, and we have lived every day to its fullest!  So many bunnies never find their forever homes, but we did.  We found the best one in the world!
So I'm going to keep plugging along as best I can, for as long as I can.  One day I'll be ready to go to the Rainbow Bridge and Mom and I have it all worked out.  She says she doesn't want me here one day longer than I want to be here, and that when I'm ready, to just give her a sign.  Well, I'm not giving any sign today, or the next, because I've still got some life left in me!  I'm gonna continue to enjoy every beautiful moment I have in this world with Miss Binks and my family.  Life is beautiful, so enjoy every single minute and never look back.....
Fluffy McFluffersons

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2014 Update

Yup Peeps, this update is a long time coming and I'm sure there are a few of you who may be wondering what I've been up to.  Truth of the matter is, not much, but there is still a lot to share.

Firstly, here is our Christmas card for 2014!  I hope all of you have been sweet little angel bunnies like Binky, Ana and I have been.  Santa Paws is always watching so you can never be too good :)  I am banking on a stocking full of treats and can't wait until tomorrow morning so I can rip into my stash!

You may have noticed that our card is a bit different this year.  Yes, sweet Scooter MaGoo is missing :(  Scooter did very well in his old age despite being blind and deaf.  He had developed arthritis and some mobility issues and began slowing down.  Mom had always told him during their nighttime cuddles, that she didn't want him to stay a day longer than he wanted to, that when he was ready, to just give her a sign.  So when the day came when he just stopped eating, mom and dad both knew that he had made his decision - he wanted to be reunited with his sweet little Ella who he lost 4 years ago.  They got to spend a wonderful last day together and Scooter cuddled with them all day and night.  He even kept mom awake the entire night giving her kisses - enough kisses so that whenever she would miss him, all she would have to do is remember all the licks she got on that last day and she would know he was always with her.  When the sun rose, Mom and Dad took him to see Dr. Deb and she helped him cross the Bridge.  He cuddled in Mom's arms as she sang to him and was peacefully and gently reunited with the love of his life.  It was a super sad day for Mom and Dad but they were able to find comfort in knowing that Scooter and Ella were together again and were bunny angels that would watch over them until they could all be together again.  We all miss him very much and this Christmas will be hard without him.  Here is a video mom shot on their last day that shows Scooter giving mom lots of licks......Binky free Scooty Bear :'(

A few weeks before Scooter left us, our sweet little hamster friend Houdini passed away.  We all thought he would be with us for so much longer but I guess he was older than we thought.  He was so silly and wonderful and he had the best hamster hair ever!  Mom did notice that he was slowing down a bit, but when she went to check on him one evening and saw that he had not touched his breakfast banana, she knew that he was gone :(  Sweet little Houdini was found curled up in his little igloo, having just fallen asleep and drifted off to the Rainbow Bridge.  He left a big hole in our hearts.  Here is the last video mom took of him, giving him a massage one evening a few days before he left us.  Farewell sweetie pie :'(

On a happier note, a few months after Houdini left us, Mom went to the Alliston Humane Society and adopted a new little friend!  He was deemed unadoptable because he would bite children but mom thought that was actually very charming, plus she knew he probably only bit them because they were loud and rough with him, as children tend to be around small animals when they are not supervised properly.  So she scooped him up and brought him home!  His fur is marbled in colour, shades of dark, light and caramel brown, with little white mittens on his feet, so he was given the name Marbles.  He is not one for being caught, but once in your hands, he likes to crawl and play - and he's never bit anyone yet, not even when mom goes in to give him raspberries on his belly ;)  And he LOVES to run in his wheel!  He had a rather large plastic wheel in his cage but he ran so fast and so often that he actually started to shave the plastic off of one side that rubbed against the metal bar that held it to the cage, and the force of the spinning would shake the cage, causing it to actually inch it's way across the table on any given night!  So mom switched it out for a much quieter Silent Spinner and now he can run until his little hammy heart is content :)  Here he is trying out a plastic ball for the very first time....

So other than these big changes, Miss Binks and I have been enjoying the retired life.  We both have arthritis (we take meds for this) and Binky has developed a bit of a sneeze.  She had a cat scan that revealed a little piece of hay trapped deep in her nose.  The procedure for removal is quite invasive and not guaranteed to solve the issue, so with her being almost 12 years old, and the issue not being life-threatening, mom and dad decided to hold off on doing it, but they are keeping a close eye on her to make sure she doesn't get worse.

Me, well, I've developed some mobility issues.  My little back legs don't work like they used to.  Sometimes I can't fold them up properly underneath me when I sit and sometimes I lean towards the left.  I'm currently battling a minor ear infection which is causing some balance issues, but I'm actually doing quite well despite everything.  Mom says I have to learn to slow down, that I'm not the Big Tough Lop I like to think I am.  What does she know?!  I can still run around the room and give her a good thump or two, or three, when I need to put her in place.  I'll ALWAYS be a Big Tough Lop!  And to prove it, here is a recent video of me getting those stupid blankets that sit on the couch.  Oh yes sir!  I still need to keep those stupid blankets in line!!!!

So that's pretty much our update for 2014.  I want to thank all of my Peeps who have been asking about me - I hope all of you are well and will be enjoying the holidays.  I shall leave you with last year's Christmas video and hopefully I will post this year's as soon as it's ready!  Merry Christmas and Hoppy New Year to you all!!!!

Fluffy McFluffersons