Sad News…

We lost two bunnies this week.  Gwendolyn, our older doe, passed away in her sleep.  We had no idea of her age, got her mature from a lady that had her a few years and had gotten her as a mature rabbit with age unknown.  Angoras are senior at four, and well, it seems it was her time.  She wasn’t sick or acting badly, just passed away.  It was very sad.  She was such a good girl and a great mom and a super auntie.  The little bunnies kept looking at her and nuzzling her, they could not wake her up.  Even Grizelda seemed a little odd, as she was sitting near her cage mate, just watching her.

And then yesterday, our new bunny Elfaria passed away.   She was only 3 months old.  Jessy noticed something was not right with her, and got her out of her cage as she began to have seizures.  She seemed to come out of the first batch and Jessy was trying desperately to assess what was wrong.  No bleeding, no discharge from her nose or mouth, just a limp bunny, barely breathing.  She could not hold her head up and her body was like she had no control.  Like she had a stroke or something was very badly wrong.  Within moments, she closed her eyes and died in Jessy’s arms.

I had just gotten there, called from my errand to town and the feed store.  There is nothing worse to come home to find your child sitting in the kitchen, crying, with a dead pet in her arms, especially a young, new baby.  It’s just not something that is easy to write about or talk about.

We wrapped her in a nice soft towel and said our goodbyes.  Maggie made her a little grave out in our pet cemetary next to Gwendolyn.

It’s so easy to assume that the two are related or that somehow we did something wrong, but rabbits are very sensitive creatures and without a necropsy, there is no way of knowing.  I called our vet and asked her what she thought and she said that rabbits are not normally animals to have seizures unless there is an accidental poisoning or a congenital issue from birth.  Elfaria was not outside, she was inside, pampered and loved on by Jessy in her office.  Right next to Velvet, her other “pet” bunny, whom is fine.  The office is air conditioned, so I don’t think it was heat related in any way.  We don’t use a lot of sprays or anything like that, so I’m just not sure what might have poisoned her, and not Velvet.  A week ago we did use a flea fogger in the house, but all the animals were outside for the whole day, well past the 4 hour danger time.  And that was a week ago.  And neither of the rabbits had fleas…  we check them all the time.  Just the dogs and cats at the moment…  with this dry hot weather, they are awful this year, just dreadful…

Little Elfaria was a chewer, and she was very bad at nibbling on anything and everything she could get to.  We had to be super careful of anything in or near her cage.  I fear that she might have gotten into something, unknown to us and it might have been her downfall.  It’s so hard to know.  I wish that I could have afforded the necropsy, but it wouldn’t have brought her back and we just really could not afford that at this time.  We will have to just ponder why, and watch all the other bunnies very carefully.  It’s just sad to loose two within days of each other, but I’m fairly sure it was not related.

Gwen lived outside, in our attached screen porch, with the other Angoras, and never had any contact with Elfaria and Velvet, aside from each being around Jessy.  And we knew that Gwen was older, but didn’t know how old.  She had done so well with her litter, we thought she might have been younger, but I guess she was not.  I’m glad she got a chance to raise up her babies, though, she was such a loving and caring mother bunny.  She really was.  Seeing her and then comparing her with Grizelda was like night and day.  Grizzy is just so so at motherhood.  She just seems to not really care too much about the whole occupation.  Gwen, on the other hand, was worse than a broody hen!  She fussed and groomed the babies and was always just hovering over them.  And they adored her.  You would go and see her laid out and her babies all snuggled up and climbing on her, grooming her with their little baby attempts, just hanging out with their ma all the time.  Heck, Grizzy’s three little kits started sneaking over to visit Aunt Gwen as soon as they could squeeze through a little opening between the two does adjoining cages!   They knew who was the nurturing mom!

Well, right now, we’re not sure about the future of our little rabbitry.  We have Cornelius, our pedigreed buck, and Grizzy, our random English doe.   Ozwald, our older neutered buck has gone to live with the neighbors and keep their bunny Antoinette company.  He has his own cage but they are next to each other and get play time in the big outside grass pen often.  We have the three little cross bunnies, which are adorable and I think Jessy wants to keep the little black one since that is a rarer coloring in the Angora world.  She doesn’t want to breed Grizzy again since she’s just not very good at motherhood.  And I’m just not sure if she’s ready for another doe baby right now.  I’ll let her tell me when she’s ready, if she’s ready.  She’s just not sure at the moment.

And that’s fine, there’s no rush and no ‘need’ to fill, she loves the little babies and is such a good mom to them, so attentive and careful with their feed and care.  Jessy is my attention-to-detail kid.  She knows all the animals so well, she can wake in the middle of the night and let you know she heard a distress signal from a hen out back and wake you up to grab the herd stick and a flashlight to save the day.   She is super in tune to all the animals and is always the first to know if someone is not feeling right or looking good.  I checked on Elfaria and Velvet that morning, and didn’t think anything of the way Elfaria was acting or laying, but Jessy knew the minute she saw her that something was not quite right.

Jessy is always my nurse assistant when we have anything medical to do.  She can get a pill down the most reluctant of cats and she’s not put off by an oozy abscess or a bloody wound.  She’ll even go to bat for chickens, whom scare her greatly with their flapping wings, but still, she’ll rush in and save them from drowning in a storm or from attack by a possom.  She’s just that way with her little animal friends.

They all love Maggie, and follow her around the yard because they know Maggie is the chief of feed.  She is the farm manager, as we call her, and she is good with day to day handling of them all.  But Jessy?  Jessy is our resident vet tech.  She is in charge of the wellbeing of all Windhaven’s menagerie and it hits her very hard when she looses anyone, especially her two bunny children.  And so much so, her little birthday bunny girl.

I hope she will heal and find a little solace in her three little babies still here.  They have another two weeks until they will be ready for new homes.  And perhaps, after that, she might consider another little doe or two to build back up her plans for her rabbitry.  We’ll see.  In the meanwhile, she’s got her little bun bun flock to fuss and love on and she’s content to spoil them for a while longer.



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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


Sad News… — 2 Comments

  1. I am very sorry for your loss. It hurts so badly to loose a pet. I have been through it many times and it is never easy and alot of times we never know what happenend and why. I feel bad for your daughters broken heart, they are so young and take it so bad. I still cry over every chicken death, I feel like I let them down some how by not protecting them better. Its just so hard when you raise them from babies and “you” are all they know. Heart breaking for sure, it happens and it will probably happen agin. Hope she will continue dreaming and planning and not let this discourage her. It sad, but it is a part of the big picture of it all. this is the part we all hate. My sweet husband surprised me with a birthday Billy goat so I could start my dairy herd……2 hrs later….(per the horse)…. I didn’t have a goat aymore. That fast, that tragic and I wittnessed it all. I was so heartbroken. The family he bought him from even tied a big red ribbon around his neck for me. He was just a young year old little beautiful buckling and had been a family pet of the children. It was just so so sad, I cried for a few days. I cried for him, the family we got him from, my husband.
    I knew we had to get another cause I wasn’t going to let this be how my goat story ended. We bought another and learned a few things about new goats to the farm in the whole sad process.
    Please give my condolences to your daughter, my thoughts are with her today.

  2. Sherri, Jessy and Maggie,

    I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of two of your lovely bun-buns. The animals in your care are so beloved and well cared for. They are Blessed and so are you ladies.

    God Bless you all,
    Suzanne in NW Illinois @whycuzican