Almost seven years ago, Simone, Kate and I went to a plant auction at Narellan. We wandered in to a different hall, and saw the small animal auction. It was awful – I won’t go on about it. But the crux of the matter is that someone bid on a lot, won it, but found he had bid on the wrong lot – he thought he was bidding on quails, but instead found himself with a guinea pig, and a tiny, filth covered baby dwarf bunny.
A woman standing near us took the guinea pig, the box was passed under our noses and Simone and I looked into the box, saw the tiny pathetic bundle, and we both knew we’d have to do something. Our eyes met, and we went to the guinea pig woman to talk. She was taking the piggie to be a friend for a recently bereaved pet, but couldn’t take the rabbit. We made a commitment that we would care for him.
Way back then, we each had one rabbit (we didn’t know that rabbits are social animals, and need to live with friends). I had Fuzz Bucket, the bunny of Doom (female), and she had Dennis Hopper (male). The little one turned out to be a boy, so we determined that she would take him.
At first we called him Stinky, but decided it needed dignifying, so we added the “Mr”. Then we added the “Bargain”, for reasons I can’t explain beyond the obvious. Stinky wasn’t right. He wouldn’t eat, and his poop consisted of jelly like mucous. We looked this up on the net (it was a sunday night) and found that the condition is common in rabbits that are weaned too young. It’s called Mucoid Enteropathy, and was invariably fatal.
Simone mixed up some sports drink and water to get some fluids into him until we could get him to a vet, and mushed up some rabbit pellets with mashed pumpkin to try to get him to eat. He survived through the night, and the next day the vet was amazed at what he had been through. She gave us some meds, but warned us that he wasn’t out of the woods, and it was still very likely that he wouldn’t make it.
But he did. The Stinker had a slew of medical problems, he was probably a backyard breeder reject – he had a wonky penis, and peed on his leg every time he had to wee. He had bad teeth that needed to be clipped regularly so he could eat, and he had infection after infection – including facial abscesses like the one Custard is dealing with now.
And he just kept on fighting. A little bunny who was never too large to sit on the palm of my hand, he continually amazed us with his fighting spirit and tenacity.
So I am sure you will understand how sad I am that Stinky gave up the fight last night, while cradled in his mum’s arms.
Rest in Peace, to the bravest little bunny I have ever known.
PS. Harrison, the bunny rightly named after one of the silver screens great leading men, also passed away yesterday. My heart goes out to his mum Dionne, and I hope she gets some answers soon.