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kherrmann3

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As far as large-breed dogs, like an Irish Wolfhound, they live shorter lives from having a deeper ribcage. I think it has something to do with the pressure on the organs, too (as Irishbunny said).
 

Carolyn

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SnowyShiloh wrote:
I'm sad to say that we may be reconsidering getting a Flemmie- someone posted in another thread that Flemmies usually only live about 5 years, and it seems like most of the Flemmies on this forum haven't made it even that long. My bunnies dying is one of my #1 fears and I don't know if I want to intentionally fall in love with a rabbit that will probably have an even shorter life than usual. I mean I'm not even "over" Tallulah yet and it's almost been a year- she's been gone for way longer than she was ever alive! Cinnabun died almost 7 years ago and he's been gone for almost as long as he was alive too (just a month or so shy) and I'm hardly "over" him. I don't know if I can handle one day having so many dead bunnies (the idea of one day not having Rory, Skyler and Phoebe Mae is way too depressing)or if I should get a rabbit that will likely not live very long :cry2

Hello SnowyShiloh - TinysMom and all the other very wonderful Flemish Lovers in this great thread! :D

You have been given great advice/input about your concerns with regards to the Gentle Giants. It is said that they don't live as long as smaller rabbits,BlueGiants knows especially what she speaks of. She's had years and years of experience breeding and loving these precious animals.

My Flemish Giant is now 5 and 1/2 years old and she's doing incredibly *knock on wood*. She's an absolute Love. I have kept her weight at around 17 lbs. which I think helps take some of the edge off. I know when Apollo died, he was 21 lbs. and he had a lot of other stressors come into his life when his Mom adopted about 5 bunnies within a short period of time. Between the excess weight and having been the only bun in the house for years to being one of many, he had developed stasis and unfortunately some bad decisions were made and sadly he passed away. It broke everyone in the forum's heart, especially his mother's who willnever love another rabbit the way she adored Apollo.

I can only say that I've encouraged everyone I know that really loves rabbits that they really need to experience the love of a Flemish Giant. They are truly unlike any other. They love so fully, express it all the time, and as my boyfriend just said last night, she's like having a child. (She will nudge him and do what she has to to get his attention when he's slow at doling it out. If he doesn't take to her tries to get attention, a small love nibble will always make him react!)

I had two house rabbitswhen I saw that Cali was up for adoption on this forum. She was 6 months old and her previous owner put her on a plane from CA to CT to come to her forever home. Ever since, life has been so incredibly full with this baby of mine. She gets along with everyone and everybun, if only Tucker (my Polish) would drop his incessant need to show her that He came first!!Cali has never done anything to make him react the way he does.

Every day, and I do mean - Every Single Day - I am amazed at how calm and loving she is. Never saw her get mad inher lifetime. She only gets her feelings hurt. For example, there was one time she went to nibble on some electrical wires and I yelled at her. She immediately jumped up on my lap and started licking my hand. It took me about 15 minutes to convince her that I still love her, she was just doing something that could hurt her. Needless to say, I don't yell at her after that - I call her name and she comes running.

I can only offer you this advice. By not getting a Flemish or being afraid of losing him/her too soon, who are you really depriving? No matter what pet you get, there are no guarantees that they will live a long life - even in the best of care and even with animals that have a very long lifespan. I get that the lifespan isn't as long as others, but I'm so glad I didn't let that stop me from getting Cali. The millions of moments of pure love and enjoyment I've gotten from her have taught me some wonderful life lessons that I would not have learned without her. Also, I had been told by a very reputable Holland breeder once that Hollands don't usually live past 6. My Holland, Fauna, is now 9 years old. Did I spend nights crying and worrying about her? You bet I did, but had I followed thatadvice, I would've lost out on years of an incredible love and life with her.

I know it's cliche to say, it's not how they died, it's how they lived, but it's true. Like you, losing my rabbits is my #1 fear. Having lost a best friend, Buck Jones, (Carl Lewis), I can honestly say that the void of losing someone you love never is healed. It never goes away. I miss Carl as much today as I did the day he died, but if he wasn't in my life, I guess I would be spared the pain of the loss of him, but I also would've missed out on all those wonderful times and the love we shared being friends. Would I have done it differently and walked away when our friendship started to sprout? No Way!! Even though he is gone now and has been for 4 years, having him in my life were some of the best years of my life. Same goes for my rabbits, Tucker (Polish, now 8), Fauna (Holland now 9) and Cali (Flemish 5.5, soon to be 6.)

I know I'll be devastated when I lose them, but it won't take away the comfort they gave when I needed someone to hug and cry on their shoulder - Flemish are so good with that! Or when I needed a laugh, to see them do something silly, or when I just needed to see that there is good in this life - to look down and see those rabbits makes me feel that there is so much to be grateful for in this life. They helped me to see that life is so precious and to not live in the future because you never know what is going to be here today, but gone tomorrow.

To you, I would say - Go For It! You have a huge heart and a huge bunny would be a perfect fit. To protect yourself from pain also is denying yourself of an amazing experience of unconditional love and affection. The medical field is getting better and better as the years pass, as are the breeders in their knowledge of the animals, so an animal that's lifespan was once only 5 years can be extended to twice that given the care that is given and the professionals that are out there that are worth their weight in gold as they continue to learn. To deprive yourself of that would be a shame - not only for you, but for the Flemish waiting to love you and yours.

Don't base your decision on when they die, base it on the life they'll have with you. That's the best advice I can give you. Yes, one day my rabbits will die, but I'll know in my heart that life and love were given a gift for the years that I had them - only to know that someday when my turn comes, I'll join them and we'll never be apart again.

I hope in some way, after all that has been said by the others and myself, this helps you. Just think of all the happiness you would've missed out on if you lived your life focused on being afraid of getting hurt. What kind of life would it have been? You wouldn'thavehalf the people in your life if you had taken"the safe route". How fulfilling would it have been when you look back on your life in the end?

Kudos to the lovely comments and support to those who have supported SnowyShiloh in her decision in this thread...on behalf of Flemish everywhere - THANK YOU!! Your babies in spirit are still very much alive in your life even if you can't see them physically.

One last thing, I also would NEVER give up seeing everyone's reaction to Cali the first time they see her. It's absolutely Priceless! They're afraid of her, when it's really Tucker that's the Bad *ss! The proof is in the pictures below!





Best of luck in your decisionmaking.

:)

-Carolyn, Cali, Tucker and Fauna




 

Carolyn

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P.S. There was a great thread that was called Flemish Fever..don't know if it's still in the archives, but I know TinysMom had made another when the new forum started. You might find it somewhere in these archives. :)

P.S.S. I have a the largest dog crate I could find for Cali and it works like a charm. Got a great deal on it, brand new, on ebay.
 

TinysMom

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Carolyn - thank you for your reply. As usual - your wisdom and insight brought tears to my eyes.

I used to not want a Flemish doe - till Carolyn shared one time how Cali is a "friend" to her and how even though she is a doe - she is very loving and would sit with Carolyn and cuddle, etc.

Because of this - I hope to get a doe sometime...and not just limit myself to bucks.

Snowy - whatever you decide - you know we love you and we'll support your decision - right?

I guess I reacted the way I did - because I used to live my life based on my fears and concerns and I tried to insulate myself from pain. I missed out on a lot of things because of that.

As most folks know - last Sunday would've been Tiny's fourth "Gotcha" day had he lived. I only had him for 2 years and 11 months...such a short time.

But - he taught me so much - he loved me so unconditionally - that when I think of how I might've deprived myself of his love by not getting him - it makes me cry.

It reminds me of the old quote..."It is better to have loved and lost...then to never have loved at all.."

:hug2: - no matter what your decision is...
 

Carolyn

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TinysMom wrote:
It reminds me of the old quote..."It is better to have loved and lost...then to never have loved at all.."
Well, that certainly wraps up what I was trying to say all along!

Peg, thank you for your compassion for Snowy to solicit another Flemish Fanatic's opinion. My heart breaks for you knowing that it's been 4 years since your baby became an angel, but I truly in my heart-of-hearts feel that your Tiny remains by your side and looks forward to the day when you can see him again physically as he knows your eyesight is limited being human. You have done a great job of keeping his memory alive, which is also painful, but healing at the same time. He'll never be forgotten. I still remember how patient he was with all your babies. Your good deeds will be rewarded richly - I don't know how or when, but I do know that as true as the saying is above, so is the saying, "What goes around, comes around."

I'll be thinking of you today and praying for Tiny to give you a sign that he is still nearby. Listen to your heart - you'll feel him.

As to your memory of me with Cali, I distinctly remember one time when I had a particularly difficult day at work. I went home and was able to finally let my feelings out. I picked up Cali and cried many tears in her - which she absorbed like a sponge and kissed me until I stopped crying. The spirits of this breed seems like such an "old soul". They seem to know instinctly what you need and are eager to deliver. With a love like that, it's no wonder that they remain in our hearts forever.

Take good care and keep up the good work you do here. :D
 

TinysMom

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Carolyn wrote:
TinysMom wrote:
It reminds me of the old quote..."It is better to have loved and lost...then to never have loved at all.."
Well, that certainly wraps up what I was trying to say all along!

Peg, thank you for your compassion for Snowy to solicit another Flemish Fanatic's opinion. My heart breaks for you knowing that it's been 4 years since your baby became an angel, but I truly in my heart-of-hearts feel that your Tiny remains by your side and looks forward to the day when you can see him again physically as he knows your eyesight is limited being human. You have done a great job of keeping his memory alive, which is also painful, but healing at the same time. He'll never be forgotten. I still remember how patient he was with all your babies. Your good deeds will be rewarded richly - I don't know how or when, but I do know that as true as the saying is above, so is the saying, "What goes around, comes around."

I'll be thinking of you today and praying for Tiny to give you a sign that he is still nearby. Listen to your heart - you'll feel him.

As to your memory of me with Cali, I distinctly remember one time when I had a particularly difficult day at work. I went home and was able to finally let my feelings out. I picked up Cali and cried many tears in her - which she absorbed like a sponge and kissed me until I stopped crying. The spirits of this breed seems like such an "old soul". They seem to know instinctly what you need and are eager to deliver. With a love like that, it's no wonder that they remain in our hearts forever.

Take good care and keep up the good work you do here. :D
Just to clarify - its been four years since we got Tiny- about 14 months since he became an angel.

I often feel his presence when times are tough. Sometimes I will sit and hold another bunny - and I love on the bunny and recognize that it isn't Tiny...yet...in my heart - its like he's still there.

As much as Art loves me - my kids love me - my family loves me - Tiny was the absolutely first one ever who loved me unconditionally. He saw me at my worst - when I shook him one time in anger because he hurt another buck while defending himself.....and instead of rejecting me - he chose to forgive me and love me anyway.

I rarely lose my temper anymore. I saw in Tiny's eyes what it does to others - and I saw in his heart what I wanted for me - a love for others.

So many people have told me that I made Tiny come to life for them - but the fact is - in many ways - he made me come to life - to live realize I needed to live life more fully - to enjoy every moment of every day.

I will always cherish my big boy...and I am truly convinced I will hold him again some day when I too cross the bridge.

Till then - I often picture him sitting beside Buck Jones....chatting about all the bunnies running around waiting for their people to cross....


 

Carolyn

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Wupps! Sorry for the mistake in years.

Forgive yourself...Tiny has. You don't have to keep beating yourself up. He was loved and he knew it and returned the feelings. Let go of the negative. He wouldn't want you holding onto it.

I totally believe it when you feel that you sometimes feel Tiny in others. It's one way he can make himself known to you. Trust your instincts!

:D
 

Carolyn

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TinysMom wrote:
Till then - I often picture him sitting beside Buck Jones....chatting about all the bunnies running around waiting for their people to cross....
No question about it! I know Buck is with them. I can see it clearly!!!
 

SnowyShiloh

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Sorry about the delayed reply, I was at school all morning/afternoon and at work all evening. I haven't been on a computer since last night!

Thanks so much for your insight, Peg and Carolyn. That was so sweet and kind of you to care and spend the time to type everything out. Sorry my reply isn't so long, I'm not always very eloquent.

Thanks for the tips on keeping a Flemmie's weight down to help keep him healthy longer. That's good to know!

I think I'm just heartsick over Tallulah. I think about her every day... she is to me what Tiny is to Peg. I feel like I was so robbed by her being taken so young and I just don't want that to happen again :cry1: We were planning on naming our Flemmie Libby Lu if it's a girl, Lu after Tallulah just like Phoebe Mae is named after her (I called her either Mae Mae, Lulu, Lula or Lu 99% of the time).

I'm still undecided at this point. The fact that as far as I know there are no Flemish Giants in the Fairbanks area makes up my mind for me for the time being. Maybe if the doe-less breeder still doesn't have any does by the time of the fair in August, perhaps there will be someone else's Flemmies at the fair. Or maybe we can take a road trip to that breeder in Glennallen BlueGiants knows. We'll just have to see.

Thanks again so much!
 

Carolyn

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Good luck in whatever it is you decide. It sounds like you'd be a blessing for any animal to have as a parent. I do know what you mean about being reluctant because of the pain of losing the others. Give yourself the time you need. I get the feeling of being robbed and it's very hard to shake. When the time is right, you'll know.
 

Hazel-Mom

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I don't know why people say that Flemmies live only 5 years? Maybe that's true when they are extensively used for breeding, but as pets they can live to 8 years and longer.

We have a friend who had one live to 10 years old. A cousin in Belgium has one that is currently nearly 8.

I think with good, regular care they can have the same lifespan as most rabbits.
 

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