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name is Tracy Soltesz. My husband, Harold Chittum, and I decided last September
that we would look into adopting a bunny. We found the Ohio Chapter of the House
Rabbit Society and there on the homepage was a picture of Dolby. He reminded me
of a rabbit my family had years ago. What a cute little brown lop! After some
discussion, we decided to get the ball rolling on the bunny adoption. Several
weeks (and much money spent on bunny stuff) later, we brought Dolby home. I
can't say that the entire family welcomed him with open arms or paws, as the
case may be. His kitty sister Fran and brother Ed weren't exactly sure about
this little brown thing. Ed was convinced that Dolby had fangs and glowing red
eyes and would probably eat him. Ed is afraid of everything. Fran made the first
move (she is in the picture below). She has decided that Dolby is OK and will
lie near his cage to keep him company. Dolby seems to appreciate this and will
leave the upstairs part of his bunny condo and will lie on the bottom floor near
Fran. He has been bad a few times with Fran. He seems to enjoy scaring her by
lunging at her. This makes her hiss, which appears to be Dolby's cue to do it
again! He has also chased her out of the room. Ed has finally decided to come in
Dolby's room, but not too close to the bunny condo. He is still a coward.
We have learned some things since Dolby has moved in: Mustard greens are no good. Bananas are just OK. Apples are pretty good. You can never have enough carrots. Raisins ARE candy. The best way to start the day is with a big salad with plenty of parsley. The most important thing we have learned is that he is such a joy! There is nothing like watching him run up and down and around his condo when he gets a baby carrot or watching him tear around the room doing wild binkies all the way. Oh, he can be a handful, especially when he kicks out all his litter from his litter box. But he knows he's cute, so he gets away with it. I'm not sure when he got the upper hand, but he has us wrapped around his little bunny foot. He may be a little bunny devil, but we wouldn't have it any other way. Dolby is our little bunny boy.
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Hello, my name is Jocelyn Robbins and I live in Clifton, Ohio, with my parents and my bunny, Rosie. Rosie came to me as a Christmas present a year ago (she will be two in November ). She is a mini lop and she is mostly white with gray splotches and a little brown behind her floppy ears.
When the weather is warm, after work we like to go to Petsmart and wander around. I bought Rosie a harness and leash and she drags me all over the store. You should see all the people looking at a bunny on a leash. When I'm home, she runs around my room and plays with a wicker laundry basket and her other toys. She's so funny to watch. She'll come over to me and rub her chin on my leg or fingers and then jump like 1 foot in the air sideways. She licks my fingers and rubs her chin on my nose. I love her so much. And let me tell you, she just absolutely loves these banana yogurt drops that I buy her from Petsmart. She will drag the bag of them out of her basket and try to tear into it to get them. I have to constantly hide them or put them in a higher spot.
When she gets tired and I need to go to bed for work the next day, I tell her we need to go to bed and she hops back into her cage and lays down. In the morning she's ready to go, but I have to leave. I feed her hay and the pellet food and a yogurt and tell her I will be home soon. I wish I could take her with me.
Rosie is a very special bunny to me. I do hope she is with me for a long time. I just recently got engaged and we will be moving to Fairborn, Ohio, later this year or beginning of next year. I think she will be very happy there -- lots of room to run!!
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From The Outside by Steve Borne
The most regal and Royal Rabbit Freifrau Zosia was not fooling me. She was working-class stock. Muscular and modest. A dependable four-door Chevy Caprice.
The messages began arriving. Regal Bun Freifrau Zosia was faltering.
Beneath a palpable glimmer of hope, Elle sighed 'the sigh.' The sigh each of us knows. A sigh not one of us can avoid. The sigh of resignation.
Elle rolled up her sleeves and went to work. Providing practical and thoughtfully researched information regarding Lagomorph pain management and treatment options, she showered Rejeanne, Regal Zosia's owner, with emails brimming with concern, encouragement, advice, and empathy.
The resiliency of the human spirit is, at the very least, miraculous. I am continually comforted by viewing this resiliency as evidence of grace. Working in, and woven through, all of our lives.
Day after day, as natural endings always progress, an up and down movement ensued, until finally, the clear-cut medical diagnosis appeared -- the eventual and inevitable ending of a long, well-lived life. Simply old age. Knowing her fondness for Zosia, Elle took the news, with what I believe to be, an awe-inspiring level of emotional maturity.
But even so, a vague flatness descended upon our home. Avoidance and withdrawl. We did not speak of our friends. Deep, toward the back of our hearts, we awaited the news. The news none of us can control or avoid.
I can't speak for my wife, but during these times, times when I'm hurting, my mind tends to latch onto irony and absurdity as its 'drugs of choice' for relief from my pain. I don't recognize this weakness in my nature, if it is indeed one, as cynical or bad, but as simply my way of remaining buoyant amidst life's storms. A way of dealing with the realities associated with being a spiritual being in physical form. In other words, when life appears out of control (which is basically always) and I don't know what else to do, instead of fretting and worrying, I search for humor- everywhere.
Several weeks later the news arrived. The Regal and royal Freifrau Zosia had been 'put down.' Elle informed me that the Doctor had commented on the amazing strength Zosia had shown during her final visit to his office. I hid it from Elle then, but this bit of information was one she needn't explain. For I had recognized this truth about Zosia. From the get-go, I had seen in her, quite a bit of me.
As I was taught by my father, and my father taught by his, I bit my lip, looked through Elle and into the distance, and asked her to provide my condolences and heartfelt sympathies both to Rejanne and Alex. Then, went back to locating something humorous to cleanse away my hurt.
Several days passed and Elle started one of her 'box projects.' She often displays her love for others by mailing them a collection of thoughtfully chosen tidbits. (She included some sheddings from Brulee, Zosia's pen pal here in America) I see this to be one of the fundamental differences between men and women. Women often nurture their grief into creative outlets, (my mother would always bake a pie and fry a chicken for the grieving) while most men, it seems, tend to hunker down and put on their best brave stone-face.
Just a day or two ago, Elle forwarded me an email with an attachment- quite simply, one of the most beautiful photos I've ever seen. In the foreground, a meandering path through a lush and magical garden, and in the background, a valley spreading out, a verdant rolling meadow, then giving way to towering snow capped peaks. It was The Most Regal Freifrau Zosia's burial plot.
Rejeanne gently lifted Zosia's lifeless body from the wicker basket she had carried her home in, and lovingly placed her in a small box filled with hay, some greens, and her favorite scarf (you know, the one always lying under the table in the living room) and it was then, at that very moment, according to Rejeanne, that she really realized that it is was now a final goodbye forever.
|It was also then, exactly at that moment, upon reading
this section of her email, that I also completely recognized myself in
Rejeanne. Like her, I stay tight lipped as long as humanly possible, hold
out for miracles until the very end, and tend not to open my umbrella
until begins raining. And today, I must reluctantly admit, it has been
The most royal and regal Freifrau Zosia bridged a friendship across the Atlantic that carries on to this day. She was buried in a most lovely plot outside Basel, Switzerland, by her best friends and lifelong companions, Alex Auer & Rejeanne Zbinden. She will live on in our hearts as the Most Regal and Royal Freifrau Zosia, but she still doesn't fool me.
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Bigwig (10/20/98 - 5/15/02)
Dear Bigwig, we miss you everyday. I miss your bunny kisses on my nose, I miss your big, long, beautiful ears, I miss the way you came thundering up to greet me. I cherished every moment we spent together. From the day I met you when you were a baby and you sat up and put your paws on my ball cap, to the day I kissed your ears one last time before you slipped away. I loved you so much, Big. You were my first bunny. You amazed and inspired everyone who met you. You are the reason I am involved in rabbit rescue. Your legacy will live on in every rabbit I save. I miss you so much, Bigwig. You left us too soon, and there will always be a Big hole in my heart. I await the day when we can snuggle together again…save some bunny kisses for me.
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Cynthia and Scott Hatfield
Muffin (5/97 - 9/15/01) and Daphne (11/99-11-03-01)
Muffin came into our lives as a severely neglected bunny, covered in feces and fur mites, with his teeth so badly overgrown that he was unable to open his mouth to eat, drink or groom himself. Muffin recovered well and became a member of our family. He was a very loving bunny, peaceful and really laid back. He clearly needed a mate, and shortly after he joined our family, we invited Daphne into our lives. Daphne was a house rabbit rescue; she had been running wild in a park. For the first few months to a year or so, Daphne continued to run from us - she was high strung and skittish. Nevertheless, we proceeded to "bond" them. Perhaps the world's most difficult bonding experience; Muffin wanted desperately to love Daphne, and Daphne could only think of getting away. Needless to say, it took a long time, and Muffin's lovely lop ears were never quite the same. But it was worth it; they lived happily together for the next several years. Over time, Daphne had settled down, and would now allow us to love and pet her. They went everywhere with us: camping, on vacation, to visit family. Both bunnies were true house rabbits, although Muffin stayed in the kitchen (home base) much of the day, Daphne could be found lounging in the living room, or sleeping under our bed. They also loved their outdoors exercise time and would line up at the front door to be let out in the morning or evening. Once outdoors, Muffin would liven up, and run all over the yard often digging for the sheer joy of it. Once he scared me by going down the ravine behind our house and hiding under a pile of leaves and sticks. Daphne, however, was content to run in my flowerbeds and garden and sample the plants. This summer we returned from vacation to find Muffin had an infection - Pasturella. We tried everything for the next 2 and + months, but eventually we had to let him go. Daphne, who had never been sick, was never quite the same after Muffin died. She developed bladder sludge, which we successfully treated, but died suddenly from an internal bleed only 7 weeks after Muffin.
Muffin, we miss your sweet nature and the thumps of your feet chasing Daphne down the hallway. Daphne, we miss your "begging" for treats, and your unique way of bringing us joy with your playful antics. We miss petting and loving both of you; our house is empty and our lives will never quite be the same. We hope you are together, now, playing freely forever.
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Gary and Sue Embree
|Ophelia Embree at ease||
Ophelia at work
Spencer Embree, "Senior Rabbit in Charge"
|And finally, hoppin'round with Ophelia & Spencer --|
Photo collage by David Sharpe
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Tonya J. Mitchell
BUNNIES "Just in time for Easter" read the words on the display. "I want this one!" "No, I want that one", I heard a small child say, To his exasperated father who said, "OK but only one", A small fortune he charged on his account, Before the salesman was done, They headed home and for a while his son had laughed and played, For his sons' happiness, this father felt, It was a small price to pay, This adorable bunny so very small, Grew bigger every day, And soon a full-grown rabbit had filled his tiny cage, His son soon lost interest and no longer did he play with this bunny, once so loved Now sits alone, day after day, So they take him to the shelter, another rabbit on death row, "He'll be fine", his father chimed, "c'mon, it's time to go", Another life abandoned, Tears fall from my eyes, With every passing Easter, The sign reads, BUNNIES, "Just in time…….
Written February 23, 200l
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