Daring Tales of a Determined Woman: Losing Fur Babies

goody and gert

It’s been a pretty rough morning for me. I’ve lost another fur baby, one that has been making my days brighter for ten years. Gert, my little black bunny friend, has crossed the Rainbow Bridge to see Goody, her life mate. Imagine the flopping of two lop-eared lovers when they see each other again!

On my most recent trip, (the subject of my next blog,) I noticed how many people travel with animals now. Never have I seen more fur babies in an airport. Something tells me that with the world the way it is these days, and not getting any better, humans have to rely more on living, breathing things that don’t judge them, expect very little, and give so much more than they receive. Sitting here in my empty home without the gentle tap, tap, tap of little feet above my head, reminding me that Gert’s there waiting for me, I can certainly relate. She’s been gone less than twelve hours and I’m already lonely.

Gert first came into my life in 2009, after a particularly cruddy breakup. She was the better choice for me. I already had Goody, her sweetheart, but having them both around was truly double the love. Ahh, the stuff that bunnies can get up to! I’ve read that two rabbits can be very hard to pair. I’ve done it twice without a hitch. Goody had already had one girl love. Gert was her second. As for my relationship gone bad, I’ve hardly thought about him since, and never heard from him again. But Gert stuck with me through thick and thin. As a matter of fact, she waited for me to get home from more and longer trips than any bun I’ve ever owned. Not that she was pleased about that, but she managed to win the heart of her babysitter even while her beautiful heart waited patiently for her traveling mommy to walk through the door again.

I’ve owned buns for a good deal of my life, and all of them have been with me for at least seven years. Only one has outlived Gert. I was really hoping that she would set the record, but I knew she was getting weaker. Nevertheless, she was a fighter. Gert went partially blind after an eye infection about a year ago. One day while I was at work she took a tumble, broke some teeth, and stopped eating and pooping. However, a trip to my amazing vet had her back to health in a few weeks. Gert had a bit of a renaissance after that, getting plump and seeming like a new bunny again, in spite of her nine years. But there’s only so long that an old body can feel new again. In the end, the decision between diminishing quality of life and just not wanting to deal with loss is a tough one. Gert made the choice on her own, stretching out in a comfy box bed I made for her, and was gone within an hour.

I’ve been bawling all morning. Nothing lights up Facebook like the news of the passing of a beloved pet. Been taking comfort in the kindness of people I’ve never met before. The kindness of strangers. This isn’t any easier than losing a human being that you love. The silence is just as deafening. The sense of loss is equally as strong. The knowledge that my whole routine has to change now, again, is debilitating. And the questions, of whether I made this important little fur ball’s life as best at it could be, swirl. I can only pray that the answer is “yes.”

I feel warm and fuzzy about commemorating Gert’s life here. It’s the least I can do for a little black bundle of bunny joy who offered so much and asked for nothing more than fresh carrots and spinach and a good head scratch.

I love you, my little old lady. Under my feet and forever in my heart.

See you on the other side.




Author: barblee

Barb Lee is a native of Western Massachusetts who loves to write, travel and hike the world, and hang out with her beautiful Jersey Wooly bunny Muffin. Her whole life changed when she was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in October of 2019. By January of 2020, she was bouncing back in a major way. Now, in addition to all her favorite activities, she wants to help others make the most of life following a devastating diagnosis, while she continues to beat the odds.

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