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Thread: My wonderful Artie, my soulmate 11.08.2004 - 22.05.2013

  1. #1
    Wise Old Thumper Bunny Buddy's Avatar
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    Jun 2008

    Default My wonderful Artie, my soulmate 11.08.2004 - 22.05.2013

    I've left this a month as I've found it so very hard to write but now it's time to write his tribute.

    Artie joined me at 11 weeks old, bought from Keighley Market. He was in a cage with guinea pigs one of whom was chewing his ear, he took a swipe at it to get it to leave him alone... shortly afterwards he was in a cardboard box and heading home with me

    I had bought him as a companion for Bungee but it didn't work out as it transpired she was no keener on rabbit company than she was human, her loss as a sweeter companion you couldn't meet. Artie was always buzzing with excitement and right from day one was a very licky, affectionate bunny. Most of the first 6 months of his life he barely kept still, it was only after the snip that he calmed down a bit - he was just constant motion.

    Artie spent the first four years of his life living in my living room near the front door which is all glass and he just loved to sunbathe - there were times I'd stroke him and his fur was really hot from the sun. He also loved playing with cardboard boxes and could rearrange them for hours. His base at that time was a large dog crate and he would sit in his bed on the top shelf watching the kitchen door and expect me to deliver treats to him - he never came to the nearest point to beg, he just knew I'd find his little face so appealing that I would always go to him, he had me so well trained.

    When Artie was four years old we sadly lost Bungee and Scrabble within 9 weeks of each other and that year gained Esme as a companion for Artie, and also Rudy and Tinkerbell. I had to have a big swap round as Tink was too good at escaping and needed a pen with very high sides, it was at that point that Artie and Esme moved into my office and my bond with Artie became extremely strong as we were in each others company for many hours each day. Artie was having fairly frequent stasis episodes by this time which also became a reason for us to have a strong bond as I spent so much time caring for him and stressing over him and he knew just how much he had come to mean to me.

    In April 2009 I rushed him to the vets in pain to be told that the cause was bladder sludge and an x-ray showed that his bladder was so badly affected that he would need surgery (cystostomy) to remove the calcium - this meant opening up the bladder. He had never been away from me to stay at the vets before and it was hugely stressful leaving him there. I was very scared that I'd lose him and it was then I realised just how much he had come to mean to me. He was away from me for 6 days recovering from his surgery and it was torture each day to be told that he needed to stay to be cared for another 24 hours, but I came to accept that I was being told he was recovering and that he would be coming home eventually. It was so, so wonderful when he came home and I knew he was better.

    His condition needed managing though and this meant initially day patient stays at the vets to have his bladder expressed under sedation, this happened every 6 weeks and usually included an x-ray. The treatment fairly soon changed to the bladder expressing happening in a consultation without sedation and he was such a good boy. Artie most definitely knew that anything being done to him was to keep him well. He travelled well the 20 miles each way and he was just so, so good at being handled and it must have been quite unpleasant for him. He had about 40 appointments for this to be done. He had a few more stasis episodes along the way but on the whole was quite well as the treatment regime was keeping his condition under control.

    Then on Thursday 7 July 2011 after he came home from having his bladder expressed Artie was obviously uncomfortable and refusing food, I rushed him back to the vets where he was admitted. The following day I got a phone call from FHB to tell me the devastating news that the x-ray showed that Artie had kidney stones. At that time she didn't intend to do anything about it, just get him out of this stasis episode and see how he coped. Sadly events took a very bad turn and one of the kidney stones moved and got stuck in his ureter. We had a very traumatic few days of wait and see if it passed on its own and the team at the vets monitoring closely and planning how to deal with it. I don't think I've ever been so stressed as I was those few days, knowing that I could lose him and that he was in great danger but I couldn't be with him as he needed to be there being closely monitored. Then on Tuesday I was told it had been decided that surgery would have to be performed that afternoon. They were hopefully not going to remove the kidney but just the stones. I agreed to a surgery that had never been performed in rabbits before but had been very successful in dogs. The next 3 hours was the most incredible gut-wrenching ordeal, waiting for news. At 5pm I was told the operation had been a success and all the kidney stones had been removed (one kidney only) and that he was coming round. It was the best news I could possibly have hoped for. When I collected him from the vets having been parted from him for a week I was cuddling him on the examination table whilst being talked through the op, treatment etc and Artie was licking my arms as he was as happy to be back with me as I was with him. This of all my memories of Artie is my strongest and fonded memory, I was so desperate to see him and the way he was licking me suggested that being reunited was just as wonderful for him as it was for me.

    Sadly only 4 weeks later the stones came back, he was in pain again, another stone got stuck in the ureter causing the situation to be critical again and this time the only option was to remove the kidney. Again an agonising wait to be told the news. Again my nearly seven year old bunny got through major surgery He had another stasis episode only about a month after this and I really donít think Iíve ever been so scared sat in that waiting room waiting to find out if the x-ray showed the kidney stones were back as that would almost certainly be the end of my soulmate and after everything we had been through in the last few months I just wasnít emotionally prepared to lose him at that time. The news came that it was just a digestive upset and Iíve never been so relieved. I had to leave him there but so, so relieved to know it wasnít serious. He was more precious than I could begin to explain. From that day I spent many, many hours cuddling Artie, he spent many, many hours seeking attention and craving cuddles.

    So, that was 20 months before he passed away. He had another 20 months of very happy life where he was well, he blatantly felt well, was enthusiastic for his food and for life and interaction with the human who doted on him.

    I wonder how many licks he gave me in his lifetime? Over a million maybe. How many nose rubs did he get? How many times did he nudge me to urge me to continue stroking. Ö. Sometimes when he tooth purred the purring just went on for ages he was just total and utter contentment

    Iím so very, very lucky to have had Artie in my life and even more lucky to have had him with me eight and a half years. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Frances Harcourt-Brown and her team for keeping him well and bringing him back to me on three occasions over the 4 years he was health compromised.

    Artie was the rabbit of a lifetime, it was such a privilege to have shared 8.5 years with him. If this pain I feel on losing him is what it takes to have a bun so special in my life I wouldnít change a thing but I will miss him forever.
    Last edited by Bunny Buddy; 22-06-2013 at 11:12 PM.
    My heart is in a thousand pieces for my soulmate stopped running today (22.05.13)

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper Tuckerbunnies's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    North Yorkshire


    So very very sorry

    Such a lovely tribute for him,

    Binky free forever at the Bridge little one xxxxxxxxx

    Thinking of you and sending hugs ((()))

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  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper MimzMum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Heart&Soul:Alaska, Rest of me:Oregon


    What a lovely tribute to him. Such a cute picture too, with him oozing through the bars there.
    I am so sorry he has gone to the bridge, but not doubt he is watching you from there and longing for the day he can snuggle with you again. ((((((((((((((((Huge hugs)))))))))))))) xxxx
    Binky free Artie xxxx

  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Back Under my Stone :-)


    (((((((((((((Hugs))))))))))))) xx

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  5. #5
    Forum Buddy Zoobec's Avatar
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    Feb 2013


    I'm so very sorry for your loss. What a lovely tribute to an amazing rabbit. Binky free Artie. Hugs xx

  6. #6
    Mama Doe
    Join Date
    Dec 2011


    So sorry for your loss.

  7. #7
    Warren Veteran Roly Poly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South Wales


    I'm so sorry, such a beautiful tribute to your special friend.

    Sweet dreams Artie xxx
    My precious boy, I miss you so much

    Rolo - 18th March 2009 to 14th April 2015

    Sleep well baby, I love you

  8. #8
    Wise Old Thumper hurricanhoney's Avatar
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    Jul 2007


    Sleep tight Artie

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Mods Room!!


    So sorry for your loss

  10. #10
    Forum Buddy susie bun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010


    I'm sorry you have lost such a special bunny friend. xx



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