Your Pet Loss Stories

'The Joy of My Life'

by Hannah
(Tampa, FL)

I got her when I was 11 years old, a month before my birthday. I'd always wanted a bunny, and I was supposed to get one for my birthday. But the second I saw her, I knew she was the one I was supposed to have. Joy was the best bunny I could have ever asked for.

About 2 months ago, Joy passed away. She had a protozoa that most bunnies don't die from. She had been sick for about a month or two. She couldn't even hop. We would move her around her cage for her and give her a daily bath because she would literally sit in her own urine, which eventually burned through her fur and caused her entire side to be scalded. We would put lotion on her skin, and hold her and just love on her. She was the most amazing little bunny.

However, the day came when my mother ran into my room and said something was wrong with Joy. I ran out to her cage, and sure enough, there she was with her head on the floor of her cage just laying there. I immediately grabbed a towel and wrapped her up in it and brought her to my room where I sat holding her and crying the whole time. My dad eventually came in and said we had to bring her to the vet... I knew what would come.

We took her to an emergency animal hospital where she lasted through the night. In the morning we took her to her vet who had worked with her since she was only 3 months old. When we laid her on the examination table, she laid her head down and just laid there. The vet took one look at my darling bunny, and looked at my mom and nodded. I knew what that meant. I had to make the decision of whether or not I should put down my rabbit.

I'm 18 years old and I was the one who had to decide since Joy was under my name and I was now a legal adult. I told the vet that I did not want her to be in any more pain. We'd done everything we could do for her and I knew
it was time to let her go. I was alone with her for a little bit, while my mom called my dad to come to the vet and the doctor was getting the needle ready. Joy gave me a few little kisses, and I knew it was time. She was practically telling me so.

When my dad got there, he gave me a huge hug, and we talked about the procedure. Joy had already had a catheter in her leg from the previous vet who knew she wasn't going to make it. Because of this, Joy did not feel the prick of a needle. She felt nothing. We pet her and talked to her as she began to fade. I learned a while ago that when bunnies are happy, they grind their teeth. Well, Joy ground her teeth until I felt the life go from her. Because of this, I know I did the right thing. Joy had already closed her eyes before we put her to sleep and it felt like she was telling me it was okay.

We buried her in a sweet little wooden casket in my backyard where there will be a memorial garden just for her.

I remember the first time she growled at me when I was trying to get her out from under our Lazy Boy chair. I remember the first time she thumped at me when she was angry, and it scared the crap out of me. I remember the first time she ever licked me on the nose and how special it felt that she'd officially chosen me as her companion.

She was the most amazing rabbit, and she held on until she couldn't any more. I will never forget the 7 years I spent with her. Those years were the most special years of my life. She was my one and only true friend. She knew everything about me and she loved me anyway. I would tell her all of my secrets, and when I felt like I had no one, she was there.

I will miss her more than words can ever say. I cannot explain the grief that I went through and continue to go through every day without my little baby bunny there.

I will love her forever.

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