Our family had to endure the pain of losing a pet this weekend. It was a pretty traumatic ending to this little creature, but Mommy tried to downplay it as much as possible. To most folks, I know she won’t seem like much of a pet, but to me she was. She was our French Angora bunny rabbit that we got from Atwood’s almost 8 years ago.
I know, I know…” WOW! She lived a long time for a rabbit!” And yes, she did, you are right. But I recently found her with a severe injury to her eye, that was terribly infected, so much so that ants had gotten to the infection. I called our wonderful vet, Leslie Ivie at Animal Care Clinic, and she met me on a Sunday with some antibiotic ointment and told me what I already knew to be true. That we were going to have to have the eye removed.
So, under her suggestion, I had called around searching for an exotic vet, and I couldn’t find one anywhere that worked on rabbits. Which lead me to call my friend, a vet in College Station, he suggested the Small Animal ER at Texas A&M University. Of Course, my alma mater!
Monday morning, I had planned to load her up, drive her the 4-hour round trip, to have the surgery she needed, and life would be great. But, as God would have it, even though I had been nursing her with the antibiotic, and milk in an eye dropper and warm compresses; He knew it was her time. So, at 4:37 on Monday morning, our adorable, fluffy, boat-riding, lake-swimming Oatmeal went to Heaven, in my arms.
Of course, I bawled like a baby, and my husband had to talk me off a ledge. But my biggest fear was telling the boys. But for some reason, kids’ level of resilience is so much higher than ours. Maybe it’s because we are the ones that clean out their cages, or we are the ones that nurse them back to health, or we are the ones that bathe them. I don’t know, but they sure seem to take the death thing in stride way better than we do.
So, what about the parents? Are we just too emotionally attached to these creatures? Are we exhausted? Are we so worried about the impact it may have on our children? What is it? I don’t know, but I do know that I wouldn’t trade my tears for anything in the world. I loved each and every minute I had with that little fur ball. In fact, as I sit here typing on my laptop, I remember all the times she would literally sit on my feet in bed, during the winter months, while I wrote, not moving a muscle, just sitting there and taking it all in while I typed.
She was sort of my little furry sidekick if you will. So again, who do the parents turn to, when their little buddies go to Heaven? When we need to maintain a strong front for the kids. Heck, I’m that mom that cries in front of my kids when I put her in the cemetery before we said our prayers. I think it’s okay for them to see your emotions, and to know you cared so much for a living creature. To me, it teaches them compassion, and kindness towards others. But as a parent, you should learn that it’s okay to be weak, and show your vulnerability. After all, we are just human.