September 4th, 2015 ("gotcha day") - January 19th, 2019... that just wasn't anywhere near enough time together. It's a little weird figuring out what to call him in his obituary, as Layne had way to many nicknames! Incoming huge wall-o-text... sorrynotsorry, lol... when all this happened, I had JUST gotten bummed out that my old blog was no longer on the forums and was debating starting a fresh one to introduce (or in Nala's case, re-introduce) our bunns to RO. I didn't get the fun of debuting this adorably precocious Polish mix before he was so rudely taken from us. Anyway, I talk too much but right now it's really therapeutic and I won't be offended that people don't read it all! ~~~~~ Some backstory... My husband had a cat, Roo, who was born on his 11th birthday. Nearly 17 1/2 years later, in May 2015, Roo had a blood clot and spent some time at the emergency vet. He recovered from that initial clot but suffered a second stroke in his neck/shoulderblade region that wouldn't break up and we put him to sleep on 8/5/15. On 9/4/15, hubby abruptly decided that it was time for another cat. We went to the HSPCA website to look at kitties but somehow detoured to the small animal section first, where we saw Layne's pic and bio. As soon as Jay set eyes on him, he announced that we HAD to get him, too! He later told me that he originally picked Layne out mostly for me... but regardless, there was something about that cute little bunn that called out to both of us immediately. I said that the last thing we needed was another rabbit... but that he really was adorable and I'd take a look at him when I went to the shelter (hubby didn't feel ready to look at cats for a couple hours, so he sent me to scout/narrow down the choices before bringing him back the next day). Sure enough, Layne won my heart and I brought him home that day. He was only maybe 4-5 months old at the time and about the size of our dwarves. Before we knew it, though, he grew into an 8 lb potato of a rabbit! On the way home, I had some old-school Alice in Chains songs playing and our new bunny seemed to really enjoy the music... so when I got home, I asked my husband if we could name him "Layne" (after Layne Staley, the original lead singer). At the time, I never imagined how many nick-names he'd pick up in his 3 1/2 years with us! Layne came home adorable, sweet, soft and snuggly. As I cuddled him, we joked that he was like a little lamb - earning him his first nickname of "Lamb" (or "Lambers"). After we'd had him a few days and he'd settled in, he started acting a bit cocky and entitled. I accused the little bunny of "getting too big for his britches" - earning him his second nickname of "Mr. Britches." Once we'd had him a while and really bonded with him, hubby started referring to him as "our son" or "our rabbit son," which caught on and became his third (and most popular) nickname - "Son." Eventually, we also decided that he looked like a giant potato, which became another inside joke. At some point, I got back into our Nintendo DS and was playing a lot of Pokemon. I thought Layne looked a lot like Ampharos or maybe Flaffy. Also, we'd joked a bit about previously about how he reminded us of an anteater or something because of his long, slender snout. Combined, these two things led to him being called "Lambers, 'the anteater pokemon.'" We also always laughed when we saw a human who reminded us of Son. Spike on Buffy, Bart on The Simpsons, Justin Timberlake when he's dancing around (I will forever laugh at the mental picture I created of Son wearing a little rabbit-sized suit and tie)... Lately, whenever I went out into the living room, I always looked over to the rabbit condo and greeted Nala and Layne in a sing-song voice, calling out something like either "Good morning, *****es" or "Hi Nallies, hi Son-potates (mocking his potato-like physique)." ~~~~~ Anyway, I got up around 2:30 pm on Friday the 19th and went to make the rounds (food/water check for cats, rabbits and birds and removing the previous night's dinner dish from the gliders). When I got to Nala and Layne, they still had some pellets left from the night before, which immediately got my "mommy" senses tingling. Nala's a dainty eater, not one to sit there and destroy a pile of pellets until they're gone. She eats until she's full and then stops... and while she likes treats, she's usually content with a small amount and then goes back to her hay eating. She's also a little less than half Son's weight and is 6 1/2 without ever having a single medical issue. Layne did something silly-seeming a couple days before and I didn't think anything of it at the time. I caught him sleeping with his chin rested on the edge freshly filled water bowl, dewlap hanging down onto the surface of the water a little. He also seemed a smidge loafier than usual the previous day or two but not enough to make me realize that something was actually wrong. When I found the pellets still there, I immediately grabbed the blueberry-infused Craisin bag and offered treats. Nala, unsurprisingly, rushed to shove her nose through the condo grido as soon as she heard the bag and eagerly gobbled down her treats. Son, however, showed no interest. I tried every tempting treat, fruit and veggie I had on hand with no luck. I wasn't sure how long he hadn't been eating and didn't know if he was pooping or not since he shared a condo with Nallies... but we're pretty poor these days and it was nearly 3 pm on a Friday, making the "wait and see" approach potentially very costly. We definitely couldn't afford the emergency vet at $125 just for the exam fee, so I immediately called the regular vet to make sure the exotics guy was in and then packed the pair of rabbits up and got in the car. Unfortunately, we also couldn't really afford an extra $129 for x-rays to determine for sure if it was a blockage (especially in light of the fact that, if it was, he'd need surgery which would most likely be in the $1000 range). It makes me really sad that doing anything and everything to try and save him wasn't an option... I curse my car for blowing the slave cylinder to the clutch among other issues and racking up over $800 in unexpected repair bills at the start of January. Anyway, at the vet, Layne got sub-q fluids (100 ccs), a pain medicine shot and a shot of some sort of antacid (with another shot due to be given 24 hours later). The vet said his tummy felt a bit bloated. He didn't want to give metoclopromide in case it was a full blockage but said the antacid would also help stimulate the gut to keep moving (just not as forcefully as metoclopromide) and said if Layne wasn't better by the next afternoon, I could come pick up more pain meds. He also told me to syringe-feed him. I was iffy since I was under the impression that you shouldn't syringe feed if a blockage was suspected but the vet assured me that small amounts would be ok. Throughout the next hours, I dosed Layne with Simethicone, syringe fed him about 5 ml at a time of pellet slurry and syringed him water. He threw a bit of a fit about the water at times but always ate up the slurry without complaint. I tried to get him to run around (since that can stimulate the bowels). I also kept him in a hospital cage set-up so that I could monitor whether he was pooping. I didn't want to poke at him and bother him too much but was syringing him food, water and/or medicine every 3 hours or so, plus snuggles and nose-rubs, of course. I'd checked on him last a little after 1 am. Just after 2 am, I was about to clean the cat boxes 'cause someone had made 'a stinkin' and I didn't want Layne having to smell that... but as I crossed the living room, I could see him flat on his side in the dishpan litterbox I'd put in his hospital cage. I knew the second I laid eyes on him that he was gone... then I had to break the news to my hubby (and poor Nala).