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!