Tuesday, 15 April 2014

RIP Alice, the rabbit

When I went to let the chickens out this morning, I noticed that Alice, the grey and white Dutch rabbit which we have had for some years now, was huddled in the corner of her hutch, not really herself.  When I came back in, I told the EFG to get up and come and have a look at Alice; we got Alice out of the hutch and I cradled her in my arms, stroking her, for about half an hour, and we gave her some water through a dropper. It was clear that she was in her last hours, and we wanted to make them as comfortable for her as we could. I sat with her in the greenhouse where it was warm, and then I brought her up into the conservatory, and the EFG prepared a box for her with some shavings and straw in it.  The EFG had a cuddle with her, and then I had her back, and held her for quite some time longer.  She began to move her head back and stretch a lot, which I knew meant that her time was coming, so I put her in the box so that she could be more comfortable, and kept stroking her, and talking to her.  Just after 10am, she took one last breath, a bit like a yawn, and she stopped breathing.  It was gentle and peaceful.

Alice was descended from the first pair of rabbits that the girls had when we moved in here in 2004, quite a line of descent over multiple generations.  It is likely that she was one of the rabbits in the pictures in this post. Her death this morning came as quite a shock to us because she was as right as rain yesterday, eating and eager to see us whenever we were near her hutch - we kept popping over to see the rabbits a lot yesterday as we were outside for much of the day, and there was not a hint of anything amiss.   It struck me with some force later on this morning to realise that poor Alice's is the first natural death I have ever witnessed, and it really made me think.  Jennifer Worth writes eloquently and with feeling in her books about death, and it is a part of life we don't always think enough about.

RIP Alice - you will be missed.


Bridget said...

Sorry to hear about Alice. It's always sad when they pass no matter how old they are. Hugs to you all x

Compostwoman said...

We did a similar thing with the passing of our much loved Monty puss cat - so often our companion animals are pts at the vets so we do not see how an animal dies naturally

I have helped lots of animals onwards over the years - and feel honoured, if upset, to help them go

Sue said...

What a wonderful way to go, at the time that is right for you, knowing you are loved, held by the ones that love you the most and surrounded by warmth and love.

If only all animals AND humans had an end like this.

RIP Alice, it seems you had the best human family you could ever have wished for.


Angela said...

Always very sad to lose a family pet. I am glad you were there with her - thinking of you all xx

Lyssa Medana said...

So sorry to hear about Alice - sending hugs to all. WS xxx

Morgan said...

Thank you all for your kind comments : it felt like such an honour to be with Alice in her last moments, and to be with her when she went from us. UJ has taken her home with him tonight to bury her in the orchard.

Lesley said...

We had a similar situation with one of our rabbits in the summer. It was very sad and very moving. Thinking of you all, Lesley x