Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Restaurant Breakfast

This morning we went out to breakfast and I saw something I've never seen before. 

A group of people were seated at a table close to us. They opened the silverware & asked the waiter for a pitcher of hot water. The waiter brought the water & I thought they were going to make tea.

But instead, they took all the silverware and placed the portions that would go into their mouths into a coffee cup. Next they poured the hot water in the cup allowing the utensils to soak until their food arrived. 

Next, they meticulously dried each utensil with napkins making sure each tine of each fork was dried and almost polished with the napkin. Spoons and knives were polished in a similar manner.

The ritual took a good bit of time.  

I wonder why they didn't insist on going back to the kitchen to wash the plates and glasses they used.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Linc Rabbit glared at the human that put him in a pen. Plotting his escape, he settled and stretched out on his fluffy bed. He closed his eyes pretending to sleep.

As the human opened the door to Linc’s prison, Linc pounced and bit the hand as it slipped handfuls of tender, aromatic greens into his bowl.

Linc’s ultimate deception worked and he prepared for his escape, but the aroma of tender salad greens proved too tempting. He calmly grabbed mouthfuls of salad and munched as the door closed and the human left to bandage his wounds.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Haunted Apartment

When I was in college, I lived with a roommate in an apartment across the street from the university. It was a modern apartment building, but it still seemed to have a spirit attached to it.

During the winter, my roommate and I would sit in the living room watching TV after class. From time to time, we'd hear vague moaning noises that seemed to come from the attic of the building.

There wasn't attic access from any of the units and we'd look at one another & ask, "Is that you?" Knowing full well, we couldn't make a sound like that.

After a few weeks, the sounds started getting closer to us. It would sound as if it were coming down the stairs to join us in the living room. The sound was very directional and we'd both stare into the same general area to see anything that could be making the sound.

One afternoon when I was alone in the apartment, I glimpsed a guy standing at my bedroom door staring in at me. He was pale, looked to be about 19, wearing a plaid shirt and faded jeans.

Not expecting anyone to be standing at my door, I looked away for a moment then looked back toward the door. He was gone.

A week or so later, my roommate asked if I had ever seen a guy upstairs about our age. I said yes and started to describe him. I'd add one element to the description and then my roommate would add the next element. We saw the same figure in the same location; about 2 weeks apart.

We had friends that would come over and hang out with us. They heard the sounds as well and one said the sound followed him home after one of his visits. On another day, this same friend came over, but didn't knock on the door. He told me later that he felt compelled to look up at my apartment's upstairs window.

Standing in the window, was a dark figure. The figure was covered; head to toe in misty blackness.

My friend ran home and didn't contact us for a week about what he'd seen.

During that week, when my roommate was home alone cooking dinner; he looked up from the stove toward the kitchen door. He saw the same black figure blocking him into the kitchen.

He was terrified and ran from the apartment. He went over to the friend's house where he learned that he too had seen the black figure.

The final thing in that apartment was late one night. I had turned the lights off downstairs in the living room and was heading upstairs to bed. Again, let me stress that all lights were turned off in the entire apartment.

After crossing the living room and when I reached the bottom of the stairs, I noticed a red glow reflecting off the walls. I looked back into the living room and in the middle of the room was a young man with golden hair standing perfectly still. He was surrounded by a red glowing light that seemed to come directly from him.

I stood mesmerized for a moment then as quickly as it started, the light and the man was gone.

After the red light/man, we didn't hear any other strange sounds or see the other man or black figure. All ended that night.

I have to admit that I don’t believe in ghosts or the paranormal, but the things that happened in that apartment don’t have a logical explanation.

Monday, August 5, 2013


Enteritis in rabbits is a bacterial infection that can hit rabbit litters shortly after they are weaned from their Mother’s milk.

It causes diarrhea, alkaline cecum and allows the growth of bacteria such as E Coli or Clostridium.

The rabbit generally stops eating which further upsets the tummy causing bacteria to not pass in the stool.

Why am I writing this? We got word from the breeder that Enteritis has hit the barn where the rabbits live. She’s lost two bunnies from 2 litters as of this writing.

We are beside ourselves with worry.

We have to trust the antibiotics the breeder is giving the remaining rabbits will knock this out. We’re also keeping fingers crossed that they survive. 

We originally planned on getting them on August 18.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Simple Question – Not So Simple Answer

I sent a text to the Breeder: “What food do you recommend for the rabbits when we get them home?”

The answer back: “Purina Professional Rabbit Pellets until age 9 months. They need the higher protein since they are bigger bunnies.”

I Googled: “Purina Professional Rabbit Pellets”

I clicked the link and went to the website. I saw the block “put in your zip code to find a dealer.” I did. There were a few within a 25 mile radius.

I started calling. “Do you carry Purina Professional Rabbit Pellets?”

“No, just chicken feed” or “No, just horse feed.”

“This is nuts,” I thought. I went to Amazon.

They don’t carry it and they carry EVERYTHING!

I knew I was in serious trouble.  I called my pet shop where we’ve been doing business for years. I asked my question & “No, we don’t carry that.”

“Can you order it?”

“No.  We don’t have a relationship with that distributor and can’t meet the minimum order requirements.“

They did offer to check with some other people they knew.

I got a call a few days later. Sure enough, there is a vendor 27 miles away. I drove over there this past Saturday and bought 50 pounds of rabbit pellets. It was a great experience.

The store I went to was an old fashioned feed store. They had bird seed, chicken feed, horse feed and yes, Purina Professional Rabbit pellets.

I was very grateful not only to them, but the dedication of the staff at my pet store: Pet Supplies Plus.

At least I have what I hope is a month’s supply of bunny food.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Southwest Airlines ran a special on tickets. Hubby couldn't stand the idea of riding in a car all the way to Maryland to get the rabbits.

He’ll fly up and get the hotel room. I’ll drive up and will transport the rabbits back after a night or two in the hotel.

It looks like this is happening.       

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bunny Update

 They are on solid food now, but still like a little milk from Mom.

I’ve been checking prices at Amazon for baby bunny foods, but think I’ll talk to the breeder before getting it. Don’t want to change brands and maybe upset their diets.

We are toying with the names Blink and Link. Hubby came up with those after seeing the latest pictures.

Works for me, but it might sound too much alike for the bunnies. We’ll discuss.

Friday, July 19, 2013

I Happened Upon A Deer

Until Thursday, I never knew that deer made sounds.

Thursday was a warm day, the warmest so far this year.  Having a touch of spring fever, I took off early from work to go with a buddy bike riding.  Raleigh has such nice greenways and they give us city dwellers much needed time to commune with nature.

We were on the lower end of the Crabtree trail near Laurel Woods when a bird’s nest caught our attention.  We heard some young birds fussing for food and saw Mom darting into the nest to calm their racket.

Across the creek, a woman was walking in the brush along the edge.  She started to call out, not to us.  It became obvious that she was calling her dogs that had wandered too far away. 

We went back to our bird watching when we realized that both the calling from across the creek and the barks of the dogs had changed their tones.  The dogs were running, yelping and growling.  The underbrush was rustling with the new activity. 

The woman began to yell the dog’s names and new phrases.  “Stop!  Get off!”  She picked up a big stick and was swinging it at the dogs, which was no small feat since she had her other arm in a bright blue cast. 

That’s when we heard it, a bleat similar to a goat or sheep.  It was the sound of terror and pain.  It was a wild animal sound that I’ll never forget. 

A lady from a nearby apartment came down to the trail.  She heard the commotion and recognized the bleat that we didn’t.  “A deer,” she said.  “I remember that sound from living in Maine.”

We called out to the woman across the creek.  She was pulling the dogs away and was attaching the leash she had been carrying. 

“The dogs ran up a deer,” she called. 

We called after her to see if the deer was hurt and to get her name, but she took off quickly through the ticket not saying another word.

We backtracked down the trail until we could cross to the other side of the creek.  We found the thicket of briars, wild roses and brush. 

Lying there was the young deer.  It’s leg broken, bone protruding through the thin flesh; a hunk of meat missing from the rump and another from the neck. 

It tried to stand, to run away.  Instead it hobbled and crashed into the creek.  The lady, a nurse, rushed into the cold creek and held the deer’s head out of the water to keep it from drowning. 

Remembering the cell phone, I called 911.  “Is it OK to call 911 for a deer?” I asked.  No one knew for sure, but that was our only choice we felt. 

The 911 operator was patient with us as we tried to describe where we were on the bike trail.  This was no easy task given that there aren’t many identifying markers in the woods. 

We explained that we were near the Golden Corral headquarters on Glenwood.  That’s where the animal control officer parked when she got there a little later. 

By this time another walker had joined our little group.  He supplied a yellow, plastic poncho that the animal control officer and the lady from the apartment managed to get under the injured deer.

Forming a human chain, we passed the injured animal up the creek bank, but once we were on dry land, the officer gave us the bad news.  The deer was too far gone and too badly injured to try to save. 

She said as we carried the deer to the officer’s truck that she would go to a vet’s office where the deer would be humanely euthanized.  She wouldn’t suffer too much more. 

With a heavy heart I walked back down the trail to my buddy and my bike.  My only thought by this time was not of the injured deer, but of the woman with the cast. 

She had thoughtlessly allowed her dogs to run free, attack one of God’s creatures, then committed the worst sin of all, by leaving the injured animal to suffer and die.

I wonder if she was able to sleep that night.  I know I didn’t.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

They are Getting Bigger by the Minute

A bit of time has passed and the bunnies are now about four weeks old.

They are looking more adult and are already as big as Buddy was. I’m guessing that they are about a third of their adult size now.


been reading about the Flemish Giant rabbits and the articles we’ve found say they are gentle and very laid back.

We hope they will snuggle on the sofa with us while we watch TV. Buddy used to do that & was very happy as long as the volume on the TV was a little low and we kept rubbing his back.

It’s a very relaxing way to spend the evening.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bunny Bedroom

We have a security system with motion detectors. The rabbits would set the alarm off if not confined during the night.

But these are going to be big bunnies; about the size of a small breed collie.

We are thinking about buying four Wabbitat pens and joining them together to make a really large pen. They would be fully carpeted to make sure they don’t hurt their feet. We’d put two end to end; taking out the end panels and roof. We’d stack two on top; removing the floor. That way the rabbit could stand up. They’d be 74 inches long and 38 inches tall with a carpet floor.

That should work shouldn’t it? Pictured is a single unit. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

And on the Eleventh Day

At about eleven days, the eyes are open wide. The buns are looking around at the world trying to understand what they see.

They are nursing and growing quickly. They change so fast at this age.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A One Week update

An update on the new bunnies. They are growing so fast. It’s been about a week and eyes are beginning to open a bit.

It’s amazing to see the progress. We’re feeling like new papas and really anxious to bring them home. But we know we have to wait.

They have to start eating and get well established on regular food before they can come home with us.

We are talking about a pen for night time sleeping. Don’t worry, they will run free in the house all day; that is right after we get them litter box trained.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Moving On with Baby Steps

I haven’t been on here is a while.

Sorry, didn't mean to state the obvious. 

We started debating getting another rabbit a few days after Buddy died. We found out that a breeder that we trust and have been talking to for many years on Twitter had a litter born just a couple of days after Buddy died.

Somehow, we thought it fate that we were supposed to get one of those rabbits.

She normally doesn’t sell to the public but only to other breeders in the Flemish community.

But she made an exception for us. We committed to getting two bunnies from that litter when they are three months old.

It’s tough to wait, but we know it’s meant to be.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fur to Ashes

When I was a kid, I saw the movie “The Vikings” which included a scene where a deceased warrior’s body was placed on a boat which was set ablaze and sent down river. It was a most disturbing image in my young life. 
I wondered and asked my parents why anyone would burn a body just as we burned rubbish in burning barrel we kept in a field far from our house. (It was the early 60’s in rural North Carolina. There wasn’t trash pick-up.) 
That image popped back in my head today, oh so many years later, because today is the day I return to the vet’s office to pick up our rabbit, Buddy’s ashes. 
I’m feeling a lot of guilt in having his body burned, but I know it was probably the best thing. We will buy an urn and place his ashes on a shelf in our home along with his picture. It will be a small shrine to his love and our love for him. 
But still there is that guilt that swept over me.  This was a much loved member of the family that I used to hold. This was a member of the family that so totally trusted me that he didn’t fight at all as the vet stuck a needle with poison in him that would end his life and with it his suffering.  He just looked at me with the trust and love. 
And now… he’s reduced to ash. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The End

This has been a very rough few weeks.

The original diagnosis from the vet was incorrect. Not a tumor pressing on the lungs, but congestive heart failure with lungs filling up with fluid. In either case, it was a death sentence.

We came home with medication to treat the symptoms and were told we could have the lungs drained every few days. There was that glimmer of hope for us to grab on to.

What we weren’t told was our precious four legged child would never act like he once did. He’d never hop up the stairs to his favorite chair for a nap. He’d barely move at all. He wouldn’t even eat. Not his healthy greens we purchased every two days from the fancy organic market down the street or even the junk food; dried blueberries we got at Costco.

He never acted the same. It was like he knew what the doctor said and he wanted us to know that he was ready.

He stopped eating so we tried to force feed him. We’d fill a feeding syringe with Critical Care flavored with apple juice. We’d inject the food and he’d spit it back on us.

He was doing pretty well last Wednesday night. He cuddled next to me for lots of rubs. I put his favorite cilantro in front of him and he half heartedly nibbled a bit; I think more to please me than to fill his own needs.

But Thursday morning when we woke up, he couldn’t lift his head; breathing was labored. Since the vet’s office didn’t open for another two hours, we ran out to pick up bagels & coffee but by the time we got home, he was on his side unable to move.

Hubby gathered his frail little body up and put it in the carrier. I rushed to the vet; calling along the way to let them know I was headed over there.

When I got to the vet’s office, she rushed us back to an examination room. The vet took one look and said it was my decision, but it was really time. I sobbed uncontrollably as I signed the paper to put him down.

I rubbed his head while the doctor did what she had to do. The process was quick. One syringe of clear liquid, and his heart stopped. The eyes were wide open, as if staring at me.

The vet gave me a few minutes alone with him. Involuntary muscle twitches started that confused me. His little tail started to move. I yelled for the doctor & she said he was dead. It was just final impulses from his brain. That little tail wag I hope was a sign that I did the right thing.

Many tears have been cried over the last two days at our house. Many more will probably come. We are two heartbroken souls trying to get through to a day when we won’t hurt so bad.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sick Bunny

Hubby only had energy to lay on the sofa on Saturday. He had been running a high fever due to a stomach problem and had no energy.

I let Buddy Rabbit out to get his hour of play time and sun, but he also seemed lethargic. He lay in the sun and didn’t make an effort to move much at all. He didn’t poop or pee, but I didn’t think much about it because it was later than his normal outdoor time. I assumed he used his litter box before going outside.

When he came in, he went right to Hubby’s side and lay on the floor beside him.

I figured that Buddy sensed that Hubby felt bad. After Hubby’s last surgery, Buddy never left his side. I guessed this was the same.

I lay on the floor beside Buddy to rub his head. My hand slid down his back, toward his shoulder blades. I was surprised that I could feel his bones of his shoulders as pronounced as I could.

Over the previous few days, I noticed that he was leaving a lot of his food, but he had always been a finicky eater. He still begged for treats, so I thought things were OK.

I looked more closely. The movement of his nose was more pronounced; more deliberate in each breath. I told Hubby that I thought Buddy was sick.

Buddy had a scheduled doctor visit on Monday; routine teeth trim. I figured he could wait until then.

Sunday, Buddy seemed the same, but Hubby’s fever broke during the night. Two strong antibiotics had done the trick for him. He was able to sit up and move around more. He was weak, but better. I rented a movie which occupied some of Hubby’s time.

During the day, I stayed by both Buddy & Hubby; Buddy getting head rubs which seemed to comfort him. I didn’t see any change in him and I quietly worried.

Monday morning, Buddy didn’t even eat treats. The time arrived to carry him to his vet appointment.

Normally, he fights getting into his pet carrier, but today was different. He didn’t have any fight left in him. We put him in the carrier without any bunny protests.

At the vet’s office, she asked how he was doing. She said his breathing didn’t look right. I gave her the list of symptoms. She was alarmed by his weight; a full pound lost.

She anesthetized him and x-rayed his little body. The x-rays showed what appeared to be a lump on his lungs pressing against heart & lungs. There was only a tiny pocket for air to flow.

She took a syringe and drained his lungs. They were full of fluid. That helped greatly with his breathing. She repeated the x-ray and the new x-rays showed a larger capacity for air.

I talked to the vet about possible treatment. She spent hours with Buddy and me.

We are going to take Buddy to get an ultra-sound on Wednesday. There is a vet oncologist in the area and we will be talking to him very soon. Our primary Vet suggested that radiation therapy might extend Buddy’s life by a year. It wouldn’t get rid of the tumor, but would shrink it.

My question for the oncologist is “What will be his quality of life?” If his final year is going to be pain and suffering, I don’t want to be selfish and keep him alive just for us humans. Both of his human dads love him too much for that.

Writing that last paragraph is causing the tears to flow again and I’m having trouble seeing the monitor to type this.

This is a tough decision that we have to make. It’s one I never wanted to make.

Sunday, April 7, 2013