Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Goodbye, Ell Oh Ell Ay.
[The Following is from an email I sent today.]
With sadness I have to share the news that my rabbit, Lola, passed away this afternoon.
I’d come back Sunday night from a great trip to Boston to find her acting a little lethargic, and her left eye weeping. She sees the vet every three weeks for her teeth, so I knew to just keep an eye out for any signs if infection, weeping eye being one. She was otherwise fine.
When I came home from work the next night, last night, her eye looked irritated, and there was a sty-like protuberance from the corner of her eye. Her attitude seemed good, so I decided to take her to her vet first thing this morning. This morning the redness had increased and the eye looked worse; by the time we arrived at the vet the eye had swollen dramatically and was bulging. She also couldn’t blink.
The vet thought it was a tumor or abscess behind the eye, but would need to take the eye out to tell. Problem was, she had deteriorated alarmingly rapidly; her breathing was now labored and raspy and her weight was down, making her poor candidate for surgery. An X-ray showed her heart was enlarged and fluid was in her lungs, indicating cardiac disease (her heart and lungs had always sounded fine in her exams). They kept her so that they could treat her, but euthanasia was discussed as a very real possibility.
The vet called me a couple of hours later at work to say Lola was doing worse and it was time to consider euthanasia. I went home, got Rudy (so he could say goodbye) and drove to the vet. Lola looked bad: her eye was something out of a horror movie, and she was weak and breathing rapidly. She seemed happy to have me snuggle her and kiss her nose: she laid her head weakly under my chin as she always does, her good eye almost closed, and gently rubbed her teeth together in a bunny purr. They had given her parsley as a treat (she LOVES parsley), and I was grateful that they were being so kind. I let Rudy spend some time with her and then the vet and I took her out back.
Because I have euthanasia experience, the vet was fine with me assisting. It was quiet and peaceful, and she didn’t suffer. She was in such bad shape that while it was so sad, I didn’t feel guilty about it, and I was grateful that I was able to be with her at the end, rubbing her head and telling her what a good girl she was.
It’s never easy to say goodbye to a pet, and I’m sad, but she had a great life: stealing my wine from an unattended glass, and apples off the table; racing around the apartment, leaping onto my lap, climbing anything she could get those big paddle-feet on. She was much loved, and in the end she didn’t suffer. What more can we wish for?