Yesterday, on Saturday 13 March 2021, we made the heartbreaking decision to put our lovely Sasha Bunny to sleep.
We had her for 2 years, and in that time we spent 16 months dealing with her health issues. This started out as the odd evening where she would stop eating, and this eventually would turn into monthly vet visits, week long stasis bouts, and many a sleepless and stressful night for all of us at home. We had a medical kit in our kitchen which included pain relief medication, gut stimulants, Critical Care and a large stock of syringes to hand feed her everything whenever she stopped eating.
We would spend some evenings setting multiple alarms throughout the night so that we could get up and force feed her Critical Care so that her gut didn’t go into complete stasis. An activity that no one enjoyed but she would have died a painful and slow death if not for this type of intervention.
We were on a first name basis with our local vets and almost every single month we were having to carry her down there to get them to check her over. We took her in a car journey (a 2 hour round trip) to see a specialist vet in London and have more tests done on her to find out why she was so sick.
And everything came up blank. The specialists weren’t sure what was wrong with her and our local vets had no idea. We were told that we could arrange to have a CT scan and MRI scan done of her, but that these would most likely come back blank as well and there was also a heightened risk that she wouldn’t wake up from the anaesthetic.
We discussed re-homing her, to give her to a family that could dedicate the time, energy and money needed to look after her complex but unknown needs. But the reality was that such a person would never come along. That it would take a very special kind of angel to take her on and for her to be ok. And the thought of her being in one of those cages, watching people walk past her day in and day out with not one person stopping to rub her head or play with her, would be the cruellest fate imaginable. That we would never know where she was or if she was even still alive. If she ended up in a hutch in someone’s back garden and would never again be able to flop or binky and be her true playful self.
We decided that the best thing we could do for her, the kindest and most loving thing we could do for her, was to put her to sleep. And it was the hardest decision we have ever had to make. For the whole week beforehand, we had watched her hunched over and in pain, and just watching her knowing that we couldn’t do anymore for her. All we could do was sit with her and make her as comfortable as possible and hope that this episode would move on quickly. The worst thing was that on that Saturday morning, while we came into the room expecting to find a dead bunny, we found our silly Sasha back in action. Binkies galore, zoomies around the room, and we were both nearly mauled when we gave her pellets. Pellets which – for the first time in 5 days – she happily ate without any issues.
But we couldn’t keep putting her through it. Our vets and even the specialist vets were completely out of ideas as to what it could be and the only way we could have found out would have been to put her through very invasive, highly risky surgeries and procedures that would more than likely not even lead us any closer to answers. We went back and forth with both sets of vets multiple times discussing the outcomes, and for 5 days I don’t think either of us slept or ate or drank anything as we tried to care for Sasha and do what was best for her.
It was a horrible day. At least for us. For her though, she got to have one final day where we played with her, chased her around the room and cuddled her as she napped. She got to binky like a mad bunny all morning and eat banana with no limitations. She was her wonderful, silly, happy bunny once more and I will forever be thankful that we got to spend one more day with her as that silly bunny that we loved more than anything.
We started March 2020 as a family of 6, and yet a year later we are now just a family of 3. Merry and Pippin hurt, but they were old and it was their time. Sasha was only 2, and by rabbit standards still a young bunny with a long life ahead of her. But whatever was wrong with her was something that we believe she had been born with. It was something that we could never have anticipated and it was something that we could very likely never have found out the truth about without putting her through hell. But I also know that in her two years, she never went a single day without binkies, without a warm rug to sleep on and a huge living room to play in. She never had to fear for predators or the elements because every night she was snuggled up with us and Lola in front of the TV. She could flop wherever she pleased and pellets and fresh greens were never in short supply. She had us wrapped around her little paws and she never knew a day where she wasn’t loved or safe. She never had to question if she mattered. Because she was, and always will be, our darling Sasha.
I did not know it was possible to cry so much. I love her. I will always love her and I will always miss her. But I also know that now, finally, she is at peace and will never have to experience that pain ever again. She will be our happy binky bunny forever. Even if this mean that I am miserable for the rest of my life, it would have been worth it to know that she never had to experience pain ever again.
I am sorry for the somewhat depressing note. If any of you have ever lost a pet then you know how heart wrenching it can be and just how big a hole they leave in your life when they go. I am so honoured to have been Sasha’s mom and I am so thankful that we got to spend even 2 years with her. She taught me to never take anything too seriously. To always appreciate a soft rug and good banana. To always be willing to play. She also taught me just what I am capable of withstanding and I am very proud of me and my partner for making this decision in her best interest and not ignoring the issues just so we could keep her with us. It was not fair on her and it would have been unkind to keep her living in pain just so we didn’t have to say goodbye.
I am going to take a week off from posting now to just…be. I am going to celebrate the life of a truly special little bunbun and spend some extra time with Lola and my partner. Just us three. I’m going to give Lola so many cuddles that she will probably end up hating me! Our family may have gotten smaller this year, but I truly believe that we have managed to give all of our fur babies the best lives possible, and that is something that I will never doubt.
Sweet dreams Sasha Bunny. I will love you endlessly and your brothers will be there to meet you at the end of the rainbow bridge.
Stay safe everyone, and give all of your pets extra treats and snuggles in honour of our silly bean. I’ll see you all next week.