Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bunny: A life well lived.

August 6,2001-June 21,2012

I remember the first time I saw her.
I was in a difficult period of my life mostly because of my own poor decision making.
I was going thru an odd, overwhelming process of recovery.
I had bought a chihuahua named Scarlet.
After just six months Scarlet was killed by a car at my parents' home.
Six months into recovery and my recovery puppy died.
I went back to the same lady who had sold Scarlet to me.
I looked over the sea of chihuahuas. 
Talk about some yapping. Glory.
And there she was.
I think it was her expression that caught my eye.
She had such a worried look about her. 
Her little eyebrows were full of emotion.
I said,"That's the one I want."
The lady replied,"You can't have her. I want to breed her."
I left.
Apparently the lady called my mom and said that I actually could have the little white one because she knew that I would take good care of her.
It was around Thanksgiving.
I was getting ready to go to a family gathering and as I stood in the bathroom fixing my hair, Bunny literally sat on my foot.
I was her person.

I didn't know what he was about to tell me. Last Thursday Ross led me to the front porch and closed the door behind us.  He had come home early from work and wanted to talk to me.
"What are you about to tell me?", I said with a nervous smile.
He took a deep breathe,"It's Bunny."
"What?", I asked as I covered my face with both of my hands.
"Your Mom found her. She died in her sleep.  I'm so sorry, Baby."

It was the second time that he had left work early...for Bunny.
The first time was when I was seven months pregnant with Ellie Kate and I had returned home from school with no Bunny to be found.
And now before me stood my dear husband.  In all of my quirkiness of love for my little Bunny, he had embraced me.
When we were first married, we (meaning me, Ross, and Bunny) moved to Louisville, Kentucky.  Remember, I was her person. 
Ross and Bunny had to get use to each other.
He told me that when I would leave for work in the mornings, the door would close behind me and Bunny would look at him as if to say,"Why did you make her leave?"  Then she would have nothing to do with him as she made her way to her bed to mope until I returned home.
She moped to the point that we considered getting her a pet.  We ultimately decided that unless Bunny could learn to clean out a litter box, she was not ready for pet ownership.
I remember laughing hysterically one day when Ross told me,"She really thinks that you gave birth to her."

Now he was having to tell me the news that he knew would break my heart.
And then in a statement that made me hug him tight, he said,"I want to drive you to your parents' house so that you can see her again."
 At 6 p.m we loaded up Jack, Emmett, and our best babysitter Lindsey. (Ellie Kate was already at my parents' house.)
We drove to Ariton. 
I walked in and there at the end of the counter was a shoe box.
I opened it to find my Bunny.
And then I sat for a while and cried and petted her.
When it was time to go, we all gathered around.
Ross said, "I'll say a prayer."
I quickly interjected,"First you should share some of your memories about Bunny."
He briefly gave me a "Really?" look.
Then he proceeded,"One of the first times I met Bunny..."
I interrupted,"That's not a good memory. You should share another one."
He said,"Okay, I'll share two Bunny stories."
He started again,"One of the first times I met Bunny was at Amy's apartment in Troy. Bunny was sitting in Amy's lap. I leaned in to give Amy a hug and Bunny quickly launched toward me actually lodging onto my nose.  Thankfully, she didn't bite down."
True story.
He continued,"The other story about Bunny that comes to mind was when we lived in Kentucky. I was ironing a shirt in our extra bedroom. Bunny walked into the room, around the ironing board and sneezed directly on my foot.  She then turned and left the room."
Of course, we all laughed.
Then my precious husband prayed.
It was a sweet prayer of thanks for giving us pets and the joy that they bring into our lives.
After that we left returning home around midnight.
I love my husband.

On the way home I talked about how weird it felt to lose Bunny.  It was as if a chapter of my life was closing. It was another reminder that I don't get to choose how quickly or slowly the pages turn.  As I said before Bunny came into my life when things were difficult.  My mom use to call her my little enabler because on days when I felt depressed, Bunny would snuggle up next to me and we would sleep for extended periods of time. 
She was a source of unconditional acceptance.  She was never once not happy to see me.
She has traveled extensively even taking a few airplane rides.  Thanks to my Dad she was heavily medicated during those trips. I remember taking her out of her carrier in the Atlanta airport.  I wrapped her in a blanket covering everything but her little face.  Then I sat looking proud of my bundle and watched as people rounded the corner.  They would glance down at what appeared to be an infant in my arms. They would quickly look away only to return a last fleeting glance.  I knew they were thinking,"I guess every mom does think their baby's pretty."

Ross and Bunny both hung in there and whenever a storm came, she actually would go and sit beside him.  I think he made her feel safe.
She was probably just fully accepting my husband when I brought home Ellie Kate from the hospital.
Bunny simply acted as if Ellie Kate did not exist.
Complete denial.
Of course, Ellie Kate learned to crawl.  She began reaching and grabbing.  So Bunny spent more time at the safest place in our home, underneath our bed.
And before Bunny even knew what had happened we welcomed two more bundles into our home.
Her method was one of avoidance.
With the craziness of three young children, Bunny never necessarily helped out, but she did always offer that same sympathetic look of concern with her one eye and wrinkled brow.
And when Jack would snack, Bunny knew to appear because finally we had a baby who liked to feed her whatever he was eating.  She did have to approach cautiously though.  Jack was bad about appearing on her blind side and popping her on the rear.  He always followed this obvious insult with a deep baby chuckle of laughter. But he did feed her.  Of course, he also stole her food which can explain his shiny coat  hair.
And so Bunny suffered through children.
It wasn't all suffering.
I think she enjoyed Ellie Kate's tea parties.

I was blessed to have my little companion for the amount of time that I did. 
I think she had some cat in her because she had more than one life.  Several years ago Bunny cheated death when she got hit by a truck and survived.  She lay in the road until another vehicle came along.  The driver thought she was a squirrel but his daughter who is no doubt an exceptional person recognized that Bunny was a dog.  They rescued her from the road.  She was left with a black eye that made her look as if she'd been in a bar brawl. (Of course, Bunny didn't go to bars.)  That accident left her blind in her left eye, but as mentioned in a previous post it only heightened her other senses causing her to still be an ominous threat if the situation called for such.

My college roommate called to check on me after Bunny passed away.  We laughed as we remembered taking Bunny along with us in college.  Around Christmas time we would put her little santa hat on her head. She would spread Christmas cheer as we picked up our food at a drive-thru.  We quickly realized that people are so much nicer to you when you have a dressed up chihuahua.

It seems that everyone knew Bunny.
Thank you for indulging me by letting me just be my quirky self and post about my sweet, little chihuahua. 
She will be greatly missed.

I've had people ask me how Ellie Kate has handled it.  Well do not worry for a moment about her.  Remember she was at my parents' home when my Mom discovered Bunny?  My Mom told Ellie Kate that Bunny had died.  Her reply,"She never done that before."  To which my Mom responded,"No Ellie Kate, Bunny never died before."
When I was petting Bunny in the shoebox, I picked Ellie Kate up.  Looking over at Bunny she said,"Yeah, she's dead alright."
A couple of days ago when Jack dropped some food on the floor, Ellie Kate said,"Oh Bunny will get...No. Bunny won't get it because she's dead."
And now when she sees a picture of Bunny she says,"Bunny was alive in that picture."
I asked her if she was sad at all about Bunny and she said,"Yeah, but I'm not going to cry."
And I think this event of Bunny passing has led Ellie Kate to other conclusions. Just a few days ago she told me and Ross that we are older than her and her brothers and that we would die before them.
I would like to say that she was choking back tears, but I think she was just letting us know what to expect.

And so our household carries on.
We have so many Bunny stories, songs, and inside jokes that will be told and retold.
She's in countless pictures and videos.
I am sure that at some point there will be a picture post just for her.

I'm sad but I'm also grateful that I got to be her person.


Annette said...

One of the funniest but saddest blog posts I have ever read. I remember Bunny. I believe we came over on her birthday. She had a birthday hat and we sang happy birthday to her. Your family is a hoot. Miss you guys.

holly said...

I'm laughing and crying with/for you. So sorry you have lost your friend, but so glad you have so many memories with sweet Bunny!

molly b. said...

Emailed you :)

Donna said...

What a sweet Bunny you had. You are hysterical- I read the parts about Ellie Kate outloud to Marc and we were rolling - "she never done that before." Bunny had a good run- thank you Bunny for being such a good companion to your momma in good times and bad. Rest in peace!

black tag diaries said...

oh amy... such a great tribute to little bunny. she will indeed be missed. i'm so glad i got to hug you in person on saturday... it did my heart good to spend the day working/playing with you. xoxo

Tara Harden said...

I'm laughing and crying, laughing and crying. I will never forget Bunny.... Or her Mother Theresa look...