On a fateful day in November I walked into a Petco with my Mini-Rex Orio to buy some feed and meet Karen the local Bunny Magic representative. Setting Orio on the table, I held onto his harness tie and started to get acquainted with Karen. As we spoke, a chubby little Tort Holland Lop hopped over to Orio and snuggled up as if he had belonged there all his life. Karen and I watched in wonder as the two new buddies sat peacefully side by side.
Karen told me his name was Bambi and that he had been surrendered to the shelter at four months old because the previous holder had found out she was pregnant. I hadn’t been looking for another rabbit, and really wasn’t sure about having two, but watching them together, I knew I couldn’t let that pass by. Karen turned to me and said, Keep him for a week, and see if he fits in. By the end of day two, as she knew it would be, my heart was won. I changed his name to Max, and he became a forever home for my love and adoration.
I will never forget his loving kindness, or his hilarious antics. From a greet at the door by "dancing" little love circles (although he was altered), to the binkies and bunny “Zoomies”, or even combing through my hair on nights we were snuggled up in bed. I will never forget the first time he asked me to play tag, or the way he licked my face after scaring me half to death in a game of "chase" only he knew we were playing while I lay on the carpet reading to him. Twice I came home to find only his butt and back legs stuck out of the hay and kibble keeper, munching to his hearts delight, pieces of the bag strown everywhere.He loved to eat, and often mumbled and grunted his way through any offered meal and any bunny happy snacks.
He also loved to "fold clothes" and decorate. He had ideas about everything! From where litter boxes and natty towels should go, including the day he thought I should really do something about our green tiled linoleum bathroom floor. He was so proud to show me his "handy work" which included several linoleum squares he thought looked better pulled up and jammed around the bottom of our toilet! Max also specialized in CD organization and would often ‘help’ me by tossing my business media into different piles while ‘we’ took inventory.
He never met a barrier or carrier he liked, chewing through two baby gates and three bunny bags before I finally gave up and had to just shut the door on his room if he needed to be safe while I vacuumed and cleaned. As for the bunny bags... we finally met an extra large striped ferret carrier that was immune to his teeth of bunny steel.
Two moves and a lot of life and love latter, Max found himself rooming with me and Orio in an upstairs room at my brother’s house. Nights were spent cuddling and days were spent lounging in a large habitat set up just for him. (Orio lived in the habitat above… they never bonded)
Late December of last year I came home to a sight no bunny lover ever wants to see: my sweet brown baby Max had a runny nose. After a vet visit the nightmare diagnosis was confirmed, it was Snuffles. Many visits and antibiotics later, he never recovered his spunk, preferring to lay with us, and run around the floor or lay underneath his habitat. After being his now usual self last Saturday morning, eating and all, when I fed him that night, he refused his offered salad and oats, and did something I had never seen him do- he laid down in his food. When I picked him up his legs lagged down and by morning, there was not even a response to the syringe feedings. I called every emergency vet I could, no one had a doctor, and I knew deep inside that my baby was going to go home. There was hope against hope, but inside, I knew. I decided to take him to Karen, which was an hour away. I held him and stroked his face and back for the ride, and I truly believe he held on as long as he could. When we got to Karen’s, I handed her to him, she held him and loved him, and within moments, he left us.
Few other times in my life have I ever been that devastated in a moment, as when I held him for the last time. The only assurance I have is that God arranged it so that he was with the people who loved him best, Karen, myself, and my partner Christopher. Moments after his passing, we held him and each other all at once, and cried. I loved him deeply, and still do, and I know it is the same for Karen and Christopher.
I laid him to rest beneath a beautiful flower garden, and my mother has planted small purple perennials to cover his spot. Soon, I will add a stone rabbit for a headstone.
Max- you have my heart love, and you always will.