Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Princess Jewel

Princess Jewel passed away at 7:10am.

We both knew it was her last day. From the time I got home last night, I didn't leave her side. Her breathing was slowing,it was all coming to an end.I talked to her all night,petted her and told her about how special she was through the years. How much she was loved. She died in my arms peacefully after 7am.

Each one of our bunnies had a chance to say goodbye to her. Rabbit behaviorists say that's a good thing for them. We brought her to them. Baxter and Twizzle stayed a respectful distance, but were quiet and knew something had happened. Greyton,gentleman rabbit that he is, hopped over to her and sat next to her for about 3 minutes.He knew. He gave her a gentle nudge then hopped off and sat in the corner by himself for awhile. He had said goodbye.

She had lived as full a bunny life as one could hope for.Just over 10 years. It was in 1997 when looking for a companion to our first rabbit, Austin, he was paired at the House Rabbit Society shelter with Jewel. She had this bossy attitude that kept Austin in line. We were so taken with her beautiful blue eyes and soft coat.

The first few days at our house she beat up Austin something fierce. I was so ready to give her back to the shelter. But then Jewel did something that changed my mind.
She would do this little digging motion then flop over on her side-looking for petting. It's a true sign of contentment and trust for a rabbit to do that, and over the years I got her trained with treats to do "the floppy" on command.

We knew right away from her attitude and territorial personality that she should be called Princess. She took to the name right away and absolutely adored being the center of attention. We always had trouble bonding her with the other bunnies due to her jealous streak. But once we recognized her as "royalty" she was so good and never got into trouble. Her previous owners abandoned her due to excessive chewing, but we soon gave her hay baskets and she was content to spend the day eating them.She was always wonderful about her food and hay, and until this summer when her arthritis problems started her downward turn she was never ill.

Besides doing the "floppy" for me, I loved our reading time together. I would lay down on the bed wth a book and put her up there with me. Read read read- pet pet pet. She just loved spending time with me. At night, she slept in a nest of blankets on the floor of my side of the bed. If I ever woke up in the middle of the night I would reach down and pet her. She would make her little clicking noises.She was loved.

Always excited about fresh carrot-tops and Cheerios. Always the lady of the household. Always the Princess.

My heart is broken today, as I said goodbye to her, as I clean up her room for the final time. The memories of this special rabbit will never be forgotten by us.

And then I think about the Rainbow Bridge:

There is a bridge connecting heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills, and valleys with lush green grass.

When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. The old and frail animals are young again. Those who are maimed are made whole again. They play all day with each other.

There is only one thing missing. They are not with their special person who loved them on Earth. So, each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up. The nose twitches. The ears are up. The eyes are staring. And this one suddenly runs from the group.

You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet, you take him or her in your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.

In memory of all loving pets and their special friends...

Thank you all for your good thoughts and nice comments.

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