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Thread: Toffy

  1. #1
    Young Bun
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    Default Toffy

    Well, as this is a place to remember our rabbit friends who are no longer with us, here's a story dedicated to the memory of Lucky, Fudge and Toffy. (Fudge - you weren't a rabbit but you belong here too.)

    My involvement with rabbits started almost accidentally: I used to go horseriding and the owners of the riding school were looking for a new home for the rabbit and the guinea pig their children had as pets. They got bored of them and on top of that the family had bought some terriers. The dogs were of course terrorizing the rabbit and his companion. So they were offered for adoption. Free with a hutch and a small run thrown in the bargain.

    So we took them home: Lucky, a velvety black buck and Fudge the guinea pig. They were clearly bonded and inseparable. Lucky didn't just put up with his rodent companion but looked after him like a father, giving him regular grooming sessions. They had always been kept outdoors so they became our garden pets. Lucky was a totally chilled out character, always happy to hop over to us and lie down in front of us demanding some attention. Fudge was more cautious, usually hiding in his small den or snugging up to his adoptive parent.

    Then next year tragedy struck. To this day I feel ashamed about our ignorance of rabbit diseases; we didn't know that Lucky had not been vaccinated against myxomatosis. So when he developed the usual symptoms we took him to the vet. To his credit, he tried his best to save him although he knew the odds were heavily against us. Lucky was getting worse and worse until we realized that he wasn't going to make it. And yet, almost blind from from the horrible swelling on his eyes, he would still give Fudge his regular grooming every day.

    Until then rabbits had been just one of those cute but insignificant creatures but Lucky's illness brought something out from all of us. I was incredibly affected by his fate and felt responsible for his illness. When it became clear that it was kinder to put him to sleep rather than let him carry on deteriorating, I felt the worst kind of guilt coupled with a feeling of hopelessness. I don't consider myself particularly sentimental - I was almost 40 at the time, a middle aged man who had spent some time in the army, but I was crying for day. I sat at work in front of my computer with tears running down my face.

    After we buried Lucky in the garden, we had to face another problem: Fudge fell into a depression. He wouldn't come out of his hut and he wouldn't eat. Within a few days we panicked and decided the only way forward was to get him a companion rabbit. So we drove to the nearest pet shop to look at rabbits. It was not us though who chose a rabbit. Without a shadow of doubt, our second rabbit chose us. There she was poking her head out of one of the pens and almost asking us to take her. There was something in her eyes. You're all rabbits lovers, you know whet I mean.

    So we went home with Toffy. Then the awkward moment came: will she get on with our grieving Fudge? We were told rabbits and guinea pigs were not an ideal pair. On top of that we doubted that Toffy had ever even seen a guinea pig. So we took both of them in the house and cautiously let them loose.

    The sight of a rabbit had an immediate and profound effect on Fudge. He ran out of his den, scurried over to Toffy and buried his head in her fur. Toffy looked puzzled for a moment, not quite sure what to do with this strange creature but then gave him a tentative lick. Within less than a minute they had bonded and from then on they never showed anything but affection towards each other.

    Toffy stayed with us for seven years. She was grey all over - indistinguishable from a wild rabbit - fairly large, moderately friendly towards us - we were allowed to stroke her but only on her terms - an excellent substitute mother for Fudge and in general, the owner of the entire garden. Lucky never showed any interest in digging, whereas Toffy turned out to be an excavation expert. She worked tirelessly for weeks, her burrows and tunnels extended several meters underground and forked out in different directions. Funnily enough, after digging for a fortnight and coming up with an impressive design, she would invariably decide to fill it in again. In the summer months whenever we had the back door open we let her out in the garden, so she had a lot of free range time. She would look around, binky and zoom, chew everything chewable and then when she had had enough of fun, she would go back to her run entirely voluntarily. As an outdoor rabbit, she was also totally oblivious to the cold. She had a warm hutch with a straw bed that she never ever used; even in the coldest winter day she would prefer sitting on the frozen grass.

    This time we knew better and Toffy had her regular vaccinations. Apart from taking her to the vet for these, she was completely healthy all her life. In her later years there was a tiny bit of furring on her teeth but even that did not require any treatment. As nature ran its course, Fudge died after five years and we tried to find her a companion and introduce another rabbit to her but it never got anywhere. It wasn't just due to not trying hard enough; she would tell us in some way that she did not want anybody else in her garden. She was very set in her ways. She put up with the cat though, they mutually respected each other and avoided any conflicts although they were not friends.

    Toffy lived a happy life. She was part of the garden and part of our lives. When we built an extension, she observed the building works from her run, then in the evening when the workers had left she came out and carefully examined every brick, breeze block and paving slab. She rubbed her chin against anything new, accepting it and approving of it. She was the best building inspector we could have. If she hadn't liked something, she would have told us.

    Toffy died peacefully after seven years. Whilst it was sad to see it happen, at least this time it was natural and free of illness and pain. One day she just wouldn't eat her breakfast, drank a little water, lay down on the grass in her favourite spot - next to the wire mesh where she could see everything - and a few hours later she passed away. If I could choose they way I die, this is the way I would like to go.

    Toffy was so much part of our life that when she died the garden looked empty without her. That was when we realized that every time we looked out of the windows, we all subconsciously checked that she was there, safe and sound. But she was more than just a pet rabbit in the garden. There was also something intangible between us, a certain connection, an understanding. She knew us and she became one of us. Toffy, if you still exist somewhere out there, beyond this worldly existence, I hope we gave you a good life. You represented something without which life would be poorer, less worth living and you made us better humans too. I hope you know what I mean.

  2. #2
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    Thank you for sharing this. I really enjoyed reading it

    I am so sorry that you lost Lucky to horrid Myxomatosis and I'm also so sorry that you have lost Fudge and more recently also Toffy. They all sound as though they had wonderful lives with you. I could particularly identify with this quote taken from your thread:

    "You represented something without which life would be poorer, less worth living and you made us better humans too."

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lagomorphine View Post
    Well, as this is a place to remember our rabbit friends who are no longer with us, here's a story dedicated to the memory of Lucky, Fudge and Toffy. (Fudge - you weren't a rabbit but you belong here too.)

    Toffy died peacefully after seven years. Whilst it was sad to see it happen, at least this time it was natural and free of illness and pain. One day she just wouldn't eat her breakfast, drank a little water, lay down on the grass in her favourite spot - next to the wire mesh where she could see everything - and a few hours later she passed away. If I could choose they way I die, this is the way I would like to go.
    .

    What a wonderful way to go, and what a fantastic tribute to amazing rabbits.

    Thank you for taking the time and trouble to post that heartfelt tribute xx

  4. #4
    Mama Doe Pets mum's Avatar
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    A beautiful tribute, to three very lucky animals. I say lucky because they had an amazing life with you, to love and care for them. Thank you for sharing, you brought a tear to my eye, but also a smile to my face xx
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pets mum View Post
    A beautiful tribute, to three very lucky animals. I say lucky because they had an amazing life with you, to love and care for them. Thank you for sharing, you brought a tear to my eye, but also a smile to my face xx
    I agree with this. They were really loved and cared for. What a beautiful tribute.

  6. #6
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    I hope they have all met up again Somewhere out there and can discuss their wonderful lives.

    What a lovely tribute.

  8. #8
    New Kit Whitesnowy's Avatar
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    I red your story and I'm happy that you have all the wonderful moments with your pets. What fascinated me most was what Lucky was still doing in his last moments
    almost blind from from the horrible swelling on his eyes, he would still give Fudge his regular grooming every day.


    That was when we realized that every time we looked out of the windows, we all subconsciously checked that she was there, safe and sound.
    And I also painfully know what is to look at the place where he used to be but he's not there anymore.

  9. #9
    Warren Veteran Glingle's Avatar
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    A wonderful tribute x

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