My now fiancée Laurie and I "rescued" Olive from the local animal rescue, LollyPop Farm, in March of 2013 after making the decision to find a friend for Laurie's longtime pet, Charlie, who she's had since 2010. Charlie has always been very loyal and a very well behaved bunny but we had heard bunnies do even better in pairs. So, after taking Charlie on a couple of trips to Lollypop to meet other bunnies, we finally found a good match in Olive(named Coolata by the staff because she had no name when dropped off). Besides, Laurie and I instantly fell in love. She was beautiful!
She had giant Disney-like eyelashes, she had the prettiest pattern we had seen on a Dutch rabbit, and most of all, she was very energetic upon meeting her. She also had a "TEST" stamp on her right ear which at first angered me because I knew she was harmed in her previous life but I then came to the realization that the stamp gave her character and she was in a better spot with us.
She came over to me, sniffed me, then raced over to Laurie, sniffed her and raced back and fourth. She was very much a social butterfly. Er...Bunny. Finally, she sniffed Charlie and they kinda just looked at each other and hopped around the room. It was set. If it wasn't meant to be, they would've just ignored each other. But, we knew it was meant to be. After figuring out names, I randomly said "Olivia", which Laurie always liked but she saw it more as a human's name. So I said Olive and that stuck. It was perfect. Just like her.
|The first picture we took of her, after bringing her home. March 2 2013|
We brought her home. She was pretty comfortable with us. Although, the first night, we put a something on top on her cage so she wouldn't hop out. That became a bad idea, as she got super nervous, had a panic attack and proceeded to run around the cage carelessly to the point that she got a bloody nose after hitting the bars. So, we then decided to not to lock the cage at night and just let her roam around the apartment at her own whim. And boy did she ever.
|Charlie(left) and Olive plotting evil deeds?|
There'd be mornings that Laurie and I woke up and found a rabbit staring at us in that weird "feed me now or I'm gonna chew up all your vhs collection". Or if you were just laying on the couch or the bed, she'd randomly just hop up on your stomach or back and just call it a night and sleep on you. Or demand petting. Olive would also find random spot and nap.
You know in horror movies where someone goes into the kitchen, opens the fridge door, closes it and then sees someone standing there? Olive. It didn't take long to figure out that when that door opened, it was food time for us or her. You'd be sitting on the couch after work with a bowl of Cheetos and she'd race over, stand up, sniff and hop up on you and try to steal your food. She had quite the appetite. She wasn't much for toys but she loved chewing up carpet. In fact, she left quite a few "bald spots" on the carpet in our old apartment. She had no shame in doing that. It was aggravating as heck, but honestly, I miss hearing that carpet pulling sound. As weird as it is.
Her influence on Charlie was also very important. Charlie went from very well behaved and never did anything out of the oridnary to Olive's sidekick. She influenced him to eat carpet which got annoying too. There also were times where we'd be sitting in the living room, hear something in the bedroom, call "BUNNIES!" and they'd both run out and just stare at us like they were guilty. To this day, Charlie still has a lot of her habits and you can definitely see she left a very positive influence on him.
September 1st 2014, my birthday, we noticed Olive was acting very weird. I mean, she was always weird, but this was too out of the ordinary. She was moving slow, breathing shallow and actually fell over. We found out that she ate some random wash rag on the floor near the couch. We immediately took her to the animal hospital where she was discharged after about 4 hours or so. Later that night, she still wasn't acting right, so Laurie took her back. They kept her overnight and we went to visit on September 2nd. They still couldn't give us any full answers but suggested they keep her overnight until the morning of September 3rd when we could take her to her normal vet who specializes in caring for smaller animals. We obliged but before they kept her overnight, we got to spend what would be the last time we saw her together. Olive was in a head cone and upon seeing this, I immediately knew something wasn't right. I knew she wasn't well and there was the possibility,,,well...I didn't wanna acknowledge the possibility of her not surviving. I just didn't.
That night, when visiting Olive, was weird. She could hardly able to move. All her energy was drained. But, when I put my head down to cry, she used up her energy for the evening to come over and nudge me with her nose. It was almost like her trying to comfort me in some weird way. As to say "it's ok. No matter what, I'll be ok". And that kinda gave me some hope that the procedure in the morning would solve everything.
So, after my morning shift, I raced over to the hospital, picked up Olive, started to cry because that thought of her not surviving was still in my head. She was frail, she was weak, she was not in good health. But the people at Cats and Critters(the vet) always solved everything. She'd be ok. I knew it. I just knew it. I dropped her off, gave her three kisses, one from me me, one from Laurie and one from Charlie and told her I'd be back for her. I was told it would be a few hours for the procedure and they'd call us when she was in recovery. Which would be close to 6 hours or so.
Well, an hour later, I got the phone call I never ever wanted to receive. As soon as I saw the number on my caller id, I immediately panicked.
"Hi Chad. We're calling to let you know..."
At that point I began screaming and crying and begging them not to finish their sentance. I'm sure they've heard it before.
"I'm sorry, Chad...Olive didn't make it.".
I rush to my car, speed off to the vet's office and call Laurie. She had the same reaction I did, upon hearing me cry. She told her job what happened, and understanding how much Olive meant, she was told to leave.
We met at the vet's office in room 4, which we've since demanded to never be put in ever again, a request they've reasonably and respectfully obliged, where they brought in our baby. She was lifeless and we immediately became inconsolable. We cried hysterically and the vet assistant stayed with us, until we requested time by ourselves. Again, a request she understood.
That day, that week, that month, the rest of that year, was rough as hell. It really was. Laurie and I hadn't eaten anything but junk food. We obviously had no motivation to go anywhere or do anything social. It was rough. It was painful. It was like a part of our heart was torn out. At one point, and this may seem silly to you, but I honestly questioned my faith in God. Why would this happen? The rabbit did nothing to harm anyone. She just wanted love. I questioned a lot within that period. But eventually I kinda came to terms with everything.
Shortly after we realized Charlie couldn't be alone. Laurie and I were still in pain but we had no idea what he was going through. One day, his best friend was here. The next day, gone. Charlie had grown to love Olive just as much as we did. So we needed to find a new partner for him. Olive no doubt would've wanted it. We knew this, but we weren't really keen on the idea of getting another rabbit. It was still too much to handle. So after a good chat with my buddy John Squires, who for a few days the ONLY person I had the energy to talk to and really became a big help in all this, I realized we *had* to. So 2 weeks to the day, we took Charlie to meet his new friend, Penelope. She was just sitting in a cage all by herself. We fell in love all over again. But it still felt weird. So when we brought Charlie, they bonded in the same way he and Olive did. It was another "meant to be" moment.
|Charlie and Penelope! They've definitely become best friends!|
Quite frankly, Olive left a huge impression on Laurie, me and Charlie. There's not a day that goes by that we don't talk about her or think about her. We continue to cry. But Charlie, he seems to have done just fine. We think. There's no way to read his mind, but he certainly kept Laurie and us sane in our worst moments. And truth be told, my love of Charlie has grown even more.
In my dream world, we'd have 3 bunnies in our lives but I know without Olive, we wouldn't have Penelope. As I said, I'm sure Olive would've been fine with that.
So. There it is. I don't look forward to September 3rd, because I know how miserable I'll feel. But I feel like writing this helped lift a weight off my shoulders, if that makes sense. This felt very therapeutic. Not in a "letting go of Olive" but a "letting go of the pain". Because when I do think of Olive, I smile. That's what she was best at. Making everyone smile.
So, Olive, I hope you're tearing out all that delicious hay and grass over at the Rainbow Bridge. I look forward to when we meet again...
|I'd give everything I own just have this moment one more time.|
Thanks for reading. I'll return to the pop culture goofball stuff sooner than later.