Thumper a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit - sitting in his litter box

I’m coming clean!

Last weekend Gainesville Rabbit Rescue informed me that Orlando Rabbit Care and Adoptions (ORCA) had a Netherland Dwarf up for adoption. I wasn’t looking to adopt but I filled out the adoption application. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be I thought.

Monday morning Sue from ORCA contacted me and inform that Butter, that’s his name, was already spoken for BUT they had received information about another Nethie that needed a home. Later that evening I spoke with Sue and she placed me in contact with his owner. Here’s where Thumper, featured in the photos comes in. He was purchased from a breeder for a little girl, unfortunately, she became allergic and they needed to re-home him quickly. He is approximately 6 months old and needs to be neutered. I made arrangements to pick him up on Wednesday.

The night before was very emotional as I needed to move Cooper’s urn from inside his cottage. I dusted and cleaned his entire room and re-arranged his hat collection. I set Cooper’s urn on the back ledge, against the wall, centered in the middle of his hats and crowns. I set both Angel statutes I received as gifts at his sides and placed his Mickey ears and first crown on top of the urn. Then I prayed. I prayed to Cooper and asked him if this was okay if I was making the right decision. I asked him to give me a sign that I could bring a bunny home and into his area. I lit a candle and continued praying.

The following day after work, I headed his way and came home with Thumper. Upon his arrival, he inspected Cooper’s room entirely. He binkied and climbed on everything. He was happy and made himself right at home! I had brand new toys for him, Oxbow Animal Health had sent Cooper his sponsored box for April and May. Unfortunately, Cooper wasn’t able to enjoy neither as this was the time he became ill. I spent the evening with Thumper, and three months after Cooper’s passing I found myself sleeping on the floor of Cooper’s room again. I was afraid Thumper would jump out of the enclosure. That night he was a busy body, exploring every inch of Cooper’s area, climbing onto the terrace and stretching as far as he could reach to look out the window and gaze into the stars. He would stand on his tippy-toes and sniff every hanging light and the letters spelling out Cooper’s name. He is the tiniest, little guy, litter box trained and extremely friendly. I had mixed feelings about having another rabbit shortly after Cooper’s passing, but my heart was at peace, I knew Cooper was okay with my decision. But our happiness came to a quick stop.

On our way home I felt my lungs a bit tight, I suffer from asthma, I brushed it off thinking it was the excitement. As the night progressed I felt them getting tighter and my rescue inhaler wasn’t helping. I fought it throughout the night but eventually had to put on a mask. I couldn’t breathe and my medication wasn’t helping. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t stop thinking – his fur was affecting my asthma. Around 3 AM I drafted an email to Sue, I wouldn’t be able to keep Thumper. But I couldn’t press send, I kept thinking that this would go away. But who was I kidding, this happened when I fostered a rabbit in hopes of getting Cooper a mate. I knew my symptoms would get worse so I sent the email. He finally settled down and we both got some sleep that night.

The next morning I made arrangements with Sue to meet later in the evening to surrender Thumper. My heart was broken. He was such a sweet little guy, he deserved a loving home and it couldn’t be ours. I came home from work that evening and packed everything I had set out for him. I sent him with all new toys, fresh hay, and food.

During the years I spent with Cooper I never realized the reach and impact I had on the bunny community. It wasn’t until Cooper’s passing that I realized that I had made a difference and had helped make the world a better place for rabbits. At least in a small way, but we helped make a difference.

When I was handing Thumper over to Sue she said something that resonated with me. She said, “it was such an honor to help find YOU a rabbit”. Help find ME a rabbit, me – Cooper’s mom, I was left speechless. For me, everything I did was for Cooper’s well-being and to help others through my experiences with him. I was humbled by her words.

I kissed Thumper goodbye and handed Sue a large bag with all his old and new items. I told her not to hesitate on asking me for food and supplies for Thumper, I’d be more than happy to support him until he found his forever home. Let’s pray that this day comes soon!

34 thoughts on “I’m coming clean!”

    1. They are the same breed, but his fur is completely different from Cooper’s.

  1. I’ve gone through allergies with cats. When I started dating my now husband, he had two cats. One would come near me and my eyes would water and swell up and I’d break out in hives. After a few months, I adjusted and didn’t have any issues with her. When she died, we got a kitten, and I went through the same thing with him for probably the first three months we had him. Again, my system adjusted and we happily live together now.

    My 6 year old is enthralled with rabbits, which is how we came to follow you. I told her she can’t have one until she’s at least 10 and can do the majority of the care herself. Last weekend we came across a two week old bunny. I snuggled him under my chin, and wouldn’t you know it, had hives afterward.

    With asthma it’s a much different level of risk, but hopefully you can find somebunny you can adjust to.

    1. Oh dear, I’m so glad your symptoms adjusted and things worked out for you.

      About 7 years ago I fostered a female rabbit in hopes of bonding her with Cooper. They were fine together but it was a struggle for me, I ended up going to the hospital twice in a month. Asthma is completely different unfortunately.

      I did have allergies with Cooper’s fur when he was molting, but allergies are manageable. 🙂

  2. Wow, what a emotional back and forth story! I am so, so sorry it didn’t work out with Thumper. 🙁 I know what you mean, i don’t have asthma but I have allergies but Sunshine’s fur bothers me way, way more Winnie’s fur. I’m glad you could spend some time with him and hopefully you’ll find a new friend who works out for you soon! Winnie made me sadder in some ways that reminded me of my first rabbit, but after a little while my love for him really helped help the loss I felt, and I’m so grateful I was able to adopt him. So much love to you- and my fingers are crossed your next bunny love comes soon. ❤❤❤

    1. Thank you Sarah, I hope one day I can find a rabbit with similar fur. For now, I’ll continue to smoother Moto 😜

  3. Sending love and prayers your way. What a big, wonderful, and giving heart you have. You were and ARE such an amazing bun-mom. You and Cooper gave largely affected the bunny community worldwide. No act is too small for you and Thumper was loved well in the short time he was with you. Who knows, maybe Cooper’s spirit came to visit in the night and binkied with a new friend for a moment. 🙂

    1. Aww, that is an amazing thought. Maybe they did binky together.

      Thank you for the kind words ♥️

  4. You’re so brave & loving beyond words. I hope you’re feeling better physically & emotionally. Pls take care of yourself. I tried to foster a fam of momma bun & her 4 babies. I seriously thought if I could handle 1 PuppyCat, then 5 more only meant 5x more poop. Uhm that wasn’t the best decision of my life.

    1. Oh dear, I’m sorry things didn’t work out. Sometimes our heart is bigger than what we can actually handle ♥️

  5. I’m a great believer in fate and maybe Cooper was sending you the sign you asked for – maybe Thumper wasn’t the fur baby you were meant to love and help. Maybe there is one that will need your love and dedication more. After we lost our first girl, Fluffles, I swore blind we would never have another. Then, scrolling through Facebook, I saw a picture of Poppet on our local rescue page. Her eyes were sad and for a moment I considered going to get her. I checked back for weeks and she was not being rehomed. We took the plunge and fostered her to begin with. There was never any doubt that she was going back to the Rescue: she is my furry best friend! She was our meant to be and I’m sure Fluffles pointed her in the right direction. Your meant to be will find you, with a helping hand from Cooper. Xx

    1. Aww, thats amazing. I’m so glad Poppet has a loving home. I believe so too, when it’s meant to happen it’ll be Cooper’s will ♥️

  6. I have asthma and allergies too. I have two dwarf rabbits and recently rescued a third who is a lion head dwarf mix. I had a severe reaction to her fur for about two weeks – and then miraculously it went away. She no longer makes me sick. I think my body acclimated. So sorry for your experiences I know this must have been so hard.

    1. I fostered a lion head mix in the past and held out as long as I could, but I became too ill. That’s how I knew I couldn’t keep Thumper 😞♥️

  7. I know it didn’t go as planned but I think for a night, both you and Thumber had the love you needed. Maybe this was just a taste of things to come for you. ❤️ Praying for you and sweet Thumber.

  8. Dear Andrea, I can’t even imagine what you have been through. Although I fear my time will be sooner than later and because of you I cherish every single second with my Chester that I can. I have had loss of dogs but I am so much more attached to my buns than I ever thought was possible. Only you in your heart will know the right time and the right buns. Many of my friends contact me when there is a buns locally that needs a home. It completely breaks my heart when I have to say no knowing they may not get the home they deserve. But my buns is over 12, blind and doesn’t play nice with others. I can’t do that to him. Bringing a new buns in would be too much stress for him. Saying no to others is almost as painful as loss. But your memories, your love of Cooper will get you through and he will send you the perfect match. Until then cherish your memories and know all the good you are doing in the world💕 love, Hillary

    1. Hillary thank you. I’m so glad that my experiences with Cooper have helped others. I too have lots pets in the past, but losing Cooper has been devastating. I’ve never experience pain like this. 😞♥️

  9. Is it possible that it’s not the rabbit but an allergen on the rabbits fur that they picked up in foster care and perhaps you weren’t allergic to cooper because he lived in your environment? Just think’n out loud.

    1. I fostered another rabbit in the past, I held out as long as possible but I became too ill. It’s the different type of fur, it’s happens with other animals as well depending on their fur. 😞

  10. I would ask Cooper to send you someone. When my bunny Coney died, I grieved for several months. I like you, wasn’t going to get another bunny. But as I was going to the feed store to get cat food, I looked up and right above my car the cloud formed a bunny. I thought it was just a coincidence. Anyway once I got to the Sutherland the lady in there asked me if I wanted a bunny because she had been told my bunny had died. She told me she had a bunny and wanted to give him to a good home. That’s how I got Odin. I believe in my heart that Coney knew I was lonely and sent Odin to me. Cooper knows how badly you miss him and he will do the same. Good luck 🍀🍀🍀🍀🐇🐇🐇🐇

  11. Oh you brought tears to my eyes! You’ll find a good match with a very lucky bunny, I’m sorry it didn’t work out with this new bun bun 💙 love Cow the rabbit and her husbun Bear.

  12. Thanks for sharing. Some people don’t understand how easy it is to become attached to an animal.

  13. Aww what a gorgeous bun Thumper is 😍 so sorry that it didn’t work out this time, I’m sure there will be another love to help fill your bunny shaped hole in your heart someday xxx

  14. Thumper was very cute! I’m sorry it didn’t work out. Cooper was such a special bun and maybe someday the right match will come along. 🖤🖤

    1. Thank you Tiffany. Yes, Thumper was adorable it’s unfortunately that I couldn’t keep him. But I know when the time is right, the right bunny will come in to my life.

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