It is really hard to write about the loss of my bunnies, Sweetie and Snickers. Some of you may remember the column I wrote “Sweetie gets a Snickers” when we adopted Snickers from HRS and convinced my very alpha bunny, Sweetie, to accept a companion. Snickers, sweet and angelic, was perfect for Sweetie – a true curmudgeon – and their incredibly close relationship taught me many things about life and love.
They bonded after a harrowing two weeks of getting to know each other and I never tired of watching their love grow. At first, Sweetie just seemed to tolerate Snickers, then one day she sat down beside him and that was the beginning of one of the most beautiful friendships I have ever witnessed. Sweetie, I believe, felt responsible for Snickers, as he was neurologically compromised and she would nudge him to go to different rooms and outside on our enclosed deck to have fun and a change of scenery. Snickers, in turn, would wait patiently for Sweetie to come back from areas of the house he was unable to access. One time, when I accidentally shut Sweetie outside on the deck, he pushed at the door until I realized she was out there and let her in. And to think – some people don’t think that bunnies can think!
What is so amazing about your very first bunny couple is watching just how developed their relationship becomes. People may think that Swans are committed couples but I don’t think they have anything on a bonded bunny couple. They communicate in so many ways and not just with thumping. I have seen one just turn an ear and the other will come over. Sweetie was meticulous with keeping Snickers clean, especially his watery eye problem and when Sweetie wanted attention all she had to do was present and he would groom her for hours. I never tired of watching them and the positions they assumed. They would frequently form a heart as they lay side by side and I felt it represented their love for each other.
They had five happy years together and then Snickers fell very ill with epilepsy and would frequently have seizures. Sweetie would become visibly upset with the seizures and it was heart wrenching to see her comfort him. Then we found out Sweetie had a lung tumor. I was afraid she would die in two weeks but we had another 9 months with her. Snickers died in May and Sweetie, grieving, was ready to go in July. Although I knew she was very ill, it was difficult to let her go. I gave her lots of attention and I will never forget the bunny kisses she gave me.
Sweetie and Snickers were my first rabbits and it didn’t take long for me to be smitten! Why – I am not entirely certain – except it has something to do with the sly way they seem to communicate with eyes, ears and any thing else that will get across how they feel. My favorite memory of Sweetie is when I had been out of town for a few days and had endured the classic “bunny butt pose” from her. I went to Snickers and started loving on him and here comes Sweetie. She stops right is front of us and pees! She definitely told me she was P.O.’ed and that she hated me going out of town. And it never failed that I had to win back her good graces every time I came home from a trip.
Now, Sweetie and Snickers have left me way too soon and though still grieving, I can appreciate the sweet memories of them more each day. Their legacy to me is a new, beautiful bunny couple, Darcy and Trixie. It is a new adventure watching our relationship develop as I try to teach them what they can and can not chew and they try to teach me bunny language and something else – love is expressed in many ways – sometimes without speaking a word!
The tribute above was written by Edie Sayeg in loving memory of her 2 bunnies, Sweetie and Snickers. It is thanks to them that Edie discovered her love of and commitment to rabbits and led to her eventual involvement with the Georgia House Rabbit Society. She is now Co-Chapter Manager and the Chair of the Board of Directors. It would seem we all owe Sweetie and Snickers our gratitude for all they inspired.