Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Honoring Nestlé

I had just recently returned to blogging, with plans of several more fun little posts to come (a wedding, bragging on Fox, and even a picture of my first decorative painting piece).  This post is not fun and is most unexpected:  I lost my sweet Nestlé rabbit this morning.  I really did not see this one coming.

We had gone all of this time thinking Nestlé was a girl, and only very recently realized Nestlé was a boy.  This is partially due to the fact that we are dumb; it’s also due to the fact that when we bought him, the feed store swore that we were buying a girl; and then there’s the whole factor that rabbits are one of very few animals that can actually retract their testicles and hide them inside their bodies, and Nestlé had only recently decided to “let it all hang out”.

I had taken him to the vet yesterday where the diagnosis was that he had a little ulcerated sore on one of his testicles…no big deal, according to the vet.  Dr. Becky said that with rabbits she sees it all the time, and that, in fact, she has seen many rabbits with many more of those sores (Nestlé only had the one), and that his wasn’t nearly as big or bad as what she usually sees.  Some antibiotic ointment, some oral antibiotic, and we were on our way.  He would be good as new in no time.

I hurried home because I was already late for my appointment with Paisley and Fox (Mom and Dad had somewhere to go), so I kissed Nestlé and put him in his cage, and then I headed to the Lackey household.  When I got back last night, it was obvious that Nestlé had a major diarrhea attack while I was gone – something that he had never, ever had before!  I cleaned him up, put more ointment on his spot, gave him his oral medicine (which he actually liked!) and spent some time cuddling him before heading to bed.

This morning, straight-a-way, I went to his cage to check on him.  He was alert, but certainly was not his perky self when I took him out.  No diarrhea, though, so I cuddled and nuzzled him for a while.  He was panting a little, and I set him down on his newspaper to see if he might need to take care of some business.  He sat there for a couple of minutes so I started ironing Robert’s shirt.  I saw him take three little wobbly hops towards the dining table, where he then laid on his side and began doing something that I can only describe as convulsing.  I screeched and ran over and picked him up.  As I held him to my chest, he made a couple of little clicking/coughing sounds and then went limp.

Robert thought he was still alive (though barely), so I headed to the vet to be there when they opened.  He was gone when I got there.  In my talk with Dr. Becky, she expressed that she was absolutely shocked.  The rabbit that she saw yesterday showed her no reason to even dream that he would be gone this morning.  Other than his little lesion (which she swore was minor in terms of rabbit ailments), she considered him to be in good health and would have never guessed that this would have happened.  Here is a picture of my sweet bunny that was taken just day before yesterday – he was hanging out on the hearth as he usually did:

I got Nestlé two years ago as a birthday present from Robert.  He was pretty small, and very, very sweet:

It didn’t take him long to become a regular member of the family.  He loved the dogs and his favorite thing was to chase Toffee around the house, hoping to get Toffee to play with him.  And if there was a sleeping dog nearby, Nestlé wasn’t scared to try to get a little cuddle:

He really, really loved being outside whenever we were out, and his favorite spot was near the wheelbarrow underneath the oak tree:

Nestlé’s playfulness was not just limited to the dogs; he absolutely loved running alongside Opal Chicken, taunting and chiding her to chase him.  She did not really like him, though (hence, there was always a fence between them):

I once read that rabbits don’t really like to be cuddled and held, but that did not hold true for Nestlé.  I can’t tell you how many times I would be sitting in the family room, watching TV or on the computer, and I would feel something touching my leg.  It was Nestlé, standing straight up, putting his front paws on my leg to get my attention because he wanted me to pick him up and snuggle him under my neck…and I always did, no matter what I was doing or how busy I was because I knew what a special privilege he was bestowing upon me.

I love my bunny, even now, and I always will.  Nestlé, thank you for being part of my life – I will dearly miss you.

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