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Nancy - September 2012 to 13 May 2022


Mama Doe
**just to warn there is graphic detail about nasal secretions further down**

Nancy came thumping into our lives on 28th July 2013, as a new companion for our Nethie boy, Will.

Will had sadly lost his sister, Poppy, a couple of weeks earlier. We took him back to the Rescue he had been adopted from for a bunny speed dating session.

Nancy was the third rabbit he was introduced to and it really was "love at first hump" for Will, who was besotted with her. We brought them home together in the carrier and continued to bond them at home. Within a week they were properly living together.

Nancy was totally different to Will. She was like him inasmuch that she didn't like being picked up, but sit down next to her and she would lie down and let you stroke her for ages. If you stopped, she would nudge you to continue.

She preferred OH to me and would hop up on to his lap for strokes. It was only in the last year of her life she would sit on me and not try to jump off (although I think that was more that she couldn't be bothered)but she did enjoy being stroked and would often fall asleep on me.

She was a greedy girl and absolutely loved her food. She soon became Nancy NuNu, (after the vacuum cleaner in the Teletubbies)or The NuNu, (son) or Nunu Bunny and sometimes even just Nu.

Nancy was definitely the boss and Will was constantly grooming her. We had to sneak him extra treats as she was so greedy. She would occasionally groom him but was certainly the groomee, not the groomer.

However she totally changed after Will had EC. When he was wobbly and had head tilt she let him lean against her, she groomed him constantly and even let him have first dibs at food time.

After he recovered she still let him lean against her for balance when he was washing- although she no longer held back from food and treats.

Nancy had quite few health problems in her lifetime. Minor things initially with the occasional weepy eye meaning tear duct flushes were often needed.

At the beginning of 2018 she was eventually diagnosed with EC, after initially being treated for urine infection. (She did not have the more obvious neurological EC symptoms). She responded well to Panacur (stopped the excessive drinking) but was left with a little urinary incontinence.

At the end of the same year she developed a facial abscess which our amazing vet removed totally, together with two troublesome teeth. She made a full recovery from this procedure.

Midway through 2020 a tiny growth was noticed just inside her mouth when having a vet check at vaccination time. We hadn't even noticed it and it certainly wasn't stopping her eating. As she was nearly 8 we decided to "keep an eye on it". And she had 3 monthly vet checks (even during lockdown).

She was as active (for her) as ever, still doing zoomies and (not very high) binkies.

In the spring of 2021 at one of her regular check ups, our vet suggested an elective dental as one of her teeth was showing signs of growing into her cheek and he wanted to avoid another abscess forming. At the same time he did a biopsy of the (by now bigger) mass in her mouth - still not causing any issues with eating.

This was when we found out about her rare, benign tumour. She continued to be eating well and was still reasonably active.

After the biopsy was taken, it seemed that the tumour started to grow faster and was starting to show from the outside. By the end of 2021 she was struggling to keep it clean and certain things she could no longer eat, including her favourite thing - banana. She tolerated well our help with bathing it but it was becoming a regular thing.

Early in 2022 we took her to the vet thinking the time had come to let her go. She had lost weight and her poops had become smaller and darker as she was struggling to eat hay.

Alex the Amazing vet suggested a de-bulking procedure which, if successful, should take no longer than a dental. The procedure went well, you couldn't see any lump and within days she was back to eating banana and, more importantly, hay.

She quickly regained her lost weight and big golden poops returned. She was like a new bunny.

Sadly on 6th May she had trouble breathing. She was mouth breathing and bubbles were forming from her nose. She sneezed and a large, clear, jelly like bubble came out and her breathing eased. We took her straight to the vet.

She was given oxygen and treated for a respiratory infection but we were warned it could be the tumour causing the problem as it would almost certainly be growing inwardly too.

Once again she seemed to recover well. However a week later, whilst still on Baytril, she suffered the same breathing difficulties.

So we made the decision not to keep treating and called vets to make the appointment. Thankfully Alex was working and we booked her in.

I wanted to pick her up and cuddle and stroke her but we decided to leave her snuggled with Will.

We called our (adult) son to tell him and asked if he wanted to come over to see her, which he did.

Before he left to go back to work (fortunately from home) I asked if he wanted to give her cuddle. He declined but I watched him go over to her and stroke her. Then he kissed his hand and stroked her again. He was very tearful and put his sunglasses on for the walk back to his place.

We finally took her to the vets later that morning. OH and I were both so upset, even Alex the vet was choked as he's helped her through so much over the years.

It nearly broke me when brought her home to Will. He went straight over to him and groomed her. We left him with her and after about 30 minutes he was back sitting in his usual spot so we took her out and laid her to rest in her favourite spot in the garden.

I miss her so much. Certain things and songs remind me of her. The Hawkwind Song "Silver Machine" in particular - if you know it, sing "Nancy's an eating machine" instead of "I've got a silver machine".

Today would have been her 9th Gotcha Day and I finally feel I can write about her life.

(nb there is a thread in health about her tumour if anyone wants more info).

Some pictures of our girl- banana on a stick pic - she didn't eat it all. This was shortly after her de-bulking procedure. And the first time she'd had banana for a long time. OH let her have a few bites as usual and after she'd had her fill she just kept licking the banana like a lolly as if to say "I'm full but you're not having the rest"

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What a beautiful girl she was, and such an amazing life with you her family, and Will. Thank you for sharing xxx
Nancy was indeed a very special bunny :love: I'm so very sorry she had to leave you, your husband and of course Will.
Your lovely tribute to your beautiful Nancy brought tears to my eyes.
I enjoyed hearing how she helped Will though his health crisis,including sharing food!
She certainly benefited from your wonderful care and had such a strong will to recover and enjoy life.
Sending hugs to you all.