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R.I.P. Alice

          As you can imagine, this is not an easy post to write.

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          On 30th January 2014 it was Alice’s birthday, she was three years old.  Who could have known then that just two weeks later she would no longer be here.  We’ll never quite know what was wrong with her, but she stopped eating, she would have had her own reasons, but from then on it was a downhill spiral, with the end arriving at an alarming speed.

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          I was away in Cardiff, I’d travelled by train and was unable to get back until my return train ticket allowed me to travel.  When Alice didn’t come out of the hutch on Saturday morning and refused to eat even a treat, Hubby reacted with amazing foresight and took her straight to the vet.  It was unheard of for Alice to refuse food, let alone one of her favourite treats.

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          Rabbits have a very delicate and complicated digestive system, and although the vet couldn’t feel any blockage in her insides, they listened and said things didn’t quite sound right so immediately started her on medication to help sort out any problems.

2012-06. Alice tube.

          Alice had a “comfortable” night.  I guess comfortable is code for don’t really know, Hubby had a rubbish night at home alone, and poor Pepper spend his first night ever alone in our garden.  I woke up from “unpleasant” dreams (you don’t really need the details) at about 3.30 am and eventually phoned the vet at about 5.30am to ask how Alice was doing.

2012-04. Sheltered Alice.

          She had eaten some dandelions during the night, just one or two leaves, but enough to give us all hope.  She had passed water in the cage and we were all “waiting for poo” !

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          After the dandelions didn’t arrive at the other end, Alice was given an x-ray, there was no blockage, and no obvious reason for what was happening to her.  From here on Alice’s health took on an ever quickening downward spiral.

2012-03. Sleeping beauty.

          I visited the vet on Monday on the way home from the train.  They don’t know what caused Alice to stop eating, rabbit’s health in general is still very much a law unto itself.  Everything that we do know was used to give her every opportunity to recover, but she’s not in pain or any discomfort any longer.

ALICE

Broken glass

          This morning was forecast to be a real pea-souper of a fog so I took my camera along to work with me with the plan to wander and take a few eerie photos on the way home.

          Needless to say this didn’t happen, I had a text when I turned my phone on at lunch time saying there was glass in the garden and the rabbits were acting very frightened and aggressive.  Hubby had managed to persuade them into the safety of the hutch and run for bed but had not managed to check them out before they went in so I hurried home, not quite sure what to expect.

          A quick peep outside showed that the glass wasp-trap which was usually sitting on the table was in pieces on the floor (lots of pieces) so at least the puzzle of where the glass had come from was solved.  There’s a path which runs along the other side of the back fence and we were worried that someone had thrown a glass bottle over, accompanied with a bigger worry that they might have enjoyed doing it enough to do it again.  So the fact that one of the furries had just knocked the wasp-trap off was quite a relief.

          I had to wait for daylight to arrive properly before I could start sweeping up so Alice and Pepper stayed safely inside the hutch for a while longer.  After the clean-up I lifted the lid of the hutch and plucked Alice out quite easily to inspect her feet and undercarriage.  No problem there, another relief.  Pepper didn’t prove quite so easy to pluck out of the hutch, but eventually he gave in and let me catch him.  Another relief, no cut feet and a beautifully clean undercarriage.

          All’s well that ends well, when I checked again just now, Alice is sitting under the table, a favourite resting place of both bunnies, and Pepper has retreated back into the hutch, still feeling safer sleeping in the daytime inside.

          Since I didn’t manage to find some pea-soup pictures to share this morning, I’ll take you back to our weekend in Medway when I first realized the fog could be just a much fun as the sunshine.

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           More from before : Goings on in “my garden” and pictures from a weekend in “Medway” in January 2012.

Furry fluff balls

          It was a cold and frosty morning but I’m still trying to get the feel of  the new camera so I took it out to play in the garden.  Alice was more interested in a broken suitcase which was heading for the bin than in the camera.  Look how porky she’s grown over the winter, a combination of too many treats and not enough exercise.  (Her and me both !)

1. 12-01-2014. Suitcase.

          Since they nibble at my yard brush at any chance they get, when I had the chance to buy a new one at a really stupid price I did, and left the old one out for the rabbits to play with.  Here’s Alice digging at the bristles and flicking bits of dry mud into the air.

2. 12-01-2014. Yard brush.

          Pepper is still a little wary of me following him around with the little red camera, mostly because Alice thinks I belong to her and tends to chase Pepper away if I give him her share of attention.  I can get a closer picture from further away now so he’s happy enough to sit still and watch from a distance.

3. 12-01-2014. Sitting.

          Eventually he got bored with watching me and went off to play. This part of the garden has no grass, it’s a playground full of stones, bits of wood and old branches. They rearrange it regularly although I have to add the odd brick here and there if they dig in the wrong place.

4. 12-01-2014. Washing.

          The following day started off just as cold but the sunshine enticed the two of them to snuggle outside for a spot of grooming. Alice does most of the grooming but Pepper does wash her ears from time to time.

5. 13-01-2014. Grooming.

          After a while they settled down to a bit of sun snoozing and I left them in peace and went back indoors to see what I’d caught on the camera.

6. 13-01-2014. Sun-snoozing.

          More fun and games in the garden with Alice, Pepper and other “Furry Friends“.