In Memory Of Penelope

Well. I’m gonna give you a heads up. This could be a long and very emotional ride ending in the loss of a pet. If you wish to avoid it, I don’t blame you. I’ll return to writing fun, nostalgia, silly stuff soon. But this is something I needed to do for myself. If you do continue, which I thank you, please note that I can possibly hop around a lot. Given the circumstances, I’m sure you understand. Thank you.

Took a small break from writing. A lot of real life stuff happened and well, it all kinda sucked. I guess the one thing I feel most comfortable discussing is the loss of my beautiful baby rabbit Penelope, who my wife and I have made a huge part of our family for 8 years. 

Sadly, God decided it was her time. Penelope Jane was born in 2012(adopted by my wife and I in 2014), and in fact, celebrated her 10th birthday in March. Anytime a rabbit makes it to double digits, is a miracle. The lifespan of rabbits isn’t as long as say a cat or dog. So, naturally, you cherish every moment and memory you have with them. Spoil them with love, affection, a caring household and the promise you’ll never give up on them. All animals deserve that. And that’s exactly what Penny got. 

What really confuses my wife and I, and perhaps adds to the pain, is just how sudden it was. Monday night, she was fine. Running around, stealing treats from our other bunny, laying out and enjoying life. Then the next morning, she wasn’t eating, drinking, kinda hunched up and not doing anything really. This caused huge concern and minor panic.

So we took her to the vet for what we thought would be a minor visit in which we’d be told that she has gas or stasis which could be affecting her digestive tract. Since bunnies have very complicated digestive systems, it’s important to catch it early. Since she wasn’t feeling well, we brought her best friend Geoffrey, who has become her soul mate since we adopted him last year. He doesn’t like the vet either, but then again, no bunnies do. But at least he’s protect her and take care of her.

Sadly the vet didn’t give us great news. Penelope had blockage and her stomach had grown 4-5 times the normal size. We had a few options:

  1. Liquid medications, but with the blockage, there was no guarantee she’d be able to take them and pass them through.
  2. Take her to Cornell for a few days for medical therapy to avoid surgery. In theory, a great idea but still no guarantee it would work. But Cornell is 2 hours away and Penny can hardly handle a 15 minute car trip. If she was stressed before, she’d straight up pass out on the way down. Besides, the last thing we wanted to get was a phone call telling us she passed away in a cage in a medical facility in between therapy.
  3. Well…due to her age and the high risk of that both options present, I think you know what the last option was. And sadly what we were forced to do to save her life…

We had discussed every scenario possible to avoid our last option. And after a very very emotional 2 and a half hours, it was decided by us that we had to let her go to save her. Even as the vet came in and had me sign the agreement, I looked at my wife with tears in my eyes and kept asking if there were any list options. Then I looked down at my sweet innocent baby and realized, no matter how hard we all tried and my gosh did we try everything, it had to happen. We said our final goodbyes, we let Geoffrey snuggle with her one last time until he decided it was time for us to let her go. Finally we gave our perfect little beauty so many kisses and we handed her over. After 8 years, she was gone.

I keep telling myself over and over that we did this to save her but I just can’t get it out of my mind why it happened. How it could’ve happened?!?!? Penelope had always been in perfect health, never got sick or injured. If she had, it didn’t last nearly as long as others. We never really got a straight answer. She could’ve swallowed something, eaten something. Idk. 

Penelope was a unique bunny. She didn’t fight being picked up if you attempted to do so, but she wouldn’t be too happy with you. She never craved attention or affection like the others. She let you know when she wanted it. She never gave bunny kisses(when a bunny licks you), but she’d nudge you with her cute nose to tell you she loved you. From the way she ate her food, drank her water to the way she’d stand so proper and classy, even to the way she’d just flop over, she was different. One of a kind. In fact, we all felt like she was the most mature one in all our family. Hence the nickname “The Boss”.  

Oh and you’ve never truly experienced joy until you heard that rabbit snore up a storm. She had a very unique and relaxing snore. Kinda like a white noise machine. There were times I’d actually fall asleep on the couch listening to her snore. 

A lot of crying, a lot of sadness, a lot of confusion. Everyone mourns in their own ways. I’m a little more open with it than most. Always have been. Heck, even as a kid, I’d cry while watching a cartoon in which a character would pretend to be dead. Specifically that Donald Duck cartoon where he pretended to be dead. I guess you become super sensitive to death when your dad dies when your 6 and one of your best friends dies in a car accident when you’re 10.  It always hurts and through the years I’ve learned many ways how to cope, but you never truly get over these things. 

Penelope was special. To me. My wife. To Charlie and Geoffrey. She kept us in line, she kept us whole, she kept us happy and kept us loving. And now she gets to share that with so many others at the Rainbow Bridge. Which is a nice thought to know. I mean, someone’s gotta keep all those animals in line, right? :)

Thank you Penelope/Penny Jane/Punky Bunster/PJ/Sweet Baby P/the bunny with a million nicknames for providing us with so much love and memories. You were a gift that we cherished every day of our lives.

Til we meet again,

Your loving family

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