Roger- Arrived 05-09-2008 - Died 22-08-2013

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Flashy

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My Roger Foger,

Hey ho. I thought I might be writing this soon, then I was sure I wouldn’t, because you were getting better, and then BAM. I am.

It’s been a long journey chap, hasn’t it. Shall we start at the start?

I’d just taken on my first foster, Summer, when the Deputy Manager at the RSPCA called and asked me to come down because she needed some help. I remember that call because I was sitting only about 100yrds away from the RSPCA with a puncture!

I rocked on up about an hour later and was taken into your area. You had a load of hutches and a lot of space and you were running in a blind panic. I never really understood what that meant until I saw you that day- up the wall, bouncing off anything and everything- not really seeing or aware of where you were. But in a tiny place, you would just cower. Very sad. My advice, for your safety, was to confine you, because then you couldn’t and wouldn’t run. This was ignored. We talked and you had been living with a wild colony and had been caught by an Inspector because you were black. You had the wildie shape and I’m sure you were complete wildie with a domestic ancestry in there somewhere.

I was then told that you weren’t coping and so there were only two options, which was for me to have you and see if I could bring you round, or you would be PTS. Well, that was a no brainer. You had to stay there to be neutered and 3 days post neuter you came to me.

We had a Fort Knox type setup for you. I just had a tiny hutch, inside a large run. That meant you could be shut up in the hutch whilst we sussed each other out, and I could get in the run and shut the led- this meant you could not get out or lost. On 5th September 2008, you came home.

And then we set to work. I was able to work really intensively with you. I would sit in the run for hours. I would sing to you (with the theory that anyone could sing the same song and you’d know). I gave a running commentary whenever I was outside so you’d never have any surprises (the neighbours must have thought I’d gone nuts), and you were placed right outside our French patio doors so that you could see movement from us and learn there was no threat.

It took me 5 days. Only 5 days! And then you hand fed. That was the most massive celebration ever. You didn’t like hands, or movement, but you would take food. 5 days. Still, even now, that astounds me. To see you go from where you did, to who you became, and the pit stops along the way was a privilege.



And we kept working. Quickly I was able to stop confining you to the hutch and allow you access to the run. You would run over to hand feed through the bars. I kept working and working with you.

After three weeks I was satisfied that you were secure enough in yourself to bond you with Summer in an open topped run (that was brave of me!).

That bond was amazing. Love at first sight. I think that’s the only one that has ever gone like that. I put you both together, you crawled straight over and groomed Summer’s eyes and that was that! She took total advantage of your lovely nature and you worshipped the ground she walked on. She’d only been with me a while but we’d fallen for her, head over heels. We fell for you too.



It was only a short time later I stumbled across ‘Floppy Mary’ as she was then (you know her as Tilly). She wasn’t being treated properly at the Centre (she had head tilt) and so she came home too, and was then bonded into a trio with the pair of you. And there you stayed. The little wildie who worshipped and adored the girls who were inseparable and best friends. You were the most ridiculous and mismatched trio, but you worked!



You guys came inside quite a lot and you grew and changed. Yes, you didn’t like movement but it scared you less and less. You ran around like a mad thing, especially with them. Remember how Summer used to run around with the treat ball and you and Tilly would run behind picking up all the food she was ignoring? You guys were hilarious.

You were a great group. I officially adopted Summer in the January (the 17th) when we found out she had cancer that had spread. My plan was to rehome you and Tilly when Summer was gone, but it didn’t take me long to work out that just wasn’t going to happen, so you guys were adopted on the 24th April 2009.

Summer stayed until the 19th June 2009, and was so lucky to have you both, and then you and Tilly were a pair. You were funny as a pair. You did ‘ok’ but I would have preferred you both to be in a trio, but you were happy. Again, you lived inside and outside as and when needed ad eventually Tilly succumbed to what was probably secondary lung cancer. You were with her to right before we left for the vets. You doted on her. You were amazing.

Then you were alone. And it was horrible. You existed. You came out to eat and poo, but you essentially build yourself a nest and stayed there for 5 months. It was horrible. I needed to get you a friend but the one I felt would suit you best was inside and I couldn’t move her outside.

The infamous Sandy- the one who had been dated with almost every other bunny here and fought them all. Not you though. When you finally met you did your Roger thing and you crawled over and groomed her straight away. You melted her. I was so pleased. I bonded you guys as quick as I could, sleeping right by the patio doors. You guys never, EVER fought, but you did like a good old chase at 5am.



She brought you back to life, and you gave her more than she had ever had before.

That was May 2010. You guys were great. She was a confident and bolshy bunny and she shared that with you. You become confident, you enjoyed a stroke, even seeking it out! You didn’t like hands or any perceived threat, but when you felt safe, you did enjoy those things.

You guys were great together for those three and a bit years. You gave each other so, so much. You were pretty much inseparable.



Sandy wasn’t a healthy bunny and especially over the last year or so, you did your duty. You stayed with her, comforted her, doted on her too. When you guys were separated, neither would eat. You needed to be together. You did great for her- you did more for her than anyone else could.

Then we got her better and we saw some of your very Roger ways disappearing. You stopped chasing and you stopped trashing. So, that can only lead me to think you did that because you knew she, Summer and Tilly were all damaged and flawed. So we got Sandy better (or we thought we did) and you changed too.

You guys were very happy together and very much more loved up. Then you got ill. And we went back and forth to and fro the vets to try and work out what the bloody hell was wrong with you. I KNEW there was something. I knew it. No one could find it. They believed me, but we couldn’t find it. I do wonder if your change in behaviour was related to your health, but my gut says it wasn’t. I hope it wasn’t because you were ill for longer than I realised.

Then you lost your love. She died. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. You sat with her. You were the loyal friend to the end.

That started an insane time of stress but we did manage to locate your abscess. You didn’t pine this time though, like before. You didn’t change at all. You were bright and lively, you pottered about. You coped well with your medication. With the handling. I felt so hopeful for you.

Yesterday we got the all clear from anything contagious and you were going to be bonded with Dopey 1 and Lightning. That would have been awesome. I never got to tell you though.

I went out in the evening and you were collapsed on your side. You looked dead and I had to watch to see if you were breathing. You were. I scooped you up, called for help and we shot off to the vets. I cuddled you and talked to you the whole way. I told you I loved you. That you weren’t alone. That you needed to fight. That I was here. Then, when I ran out of stuff to say, I apologised in case I snotted on your head. I apologised for holding you so tight.

The moment that sticks in my head was when I got really close and whispered ‘I love you so much’ and you raised your nose up to mine. You knew, I know it. You knew. You did, somehow, make it to the vets and you were in a better place- I guess I had warmed you up. You could now hold your head up.

As we pulled into the vets car park ‘Broken Strongs’ started playing on the radio. The opening lyrics are

'Let me hold you
For the last time
It's the last chance to feel again’

Isn’t that just weird. The timing is weird.

Thankfully, it was Katherine, one of two favoured and trusted vets. Relief! She put you on a warmer and I stroked your nose. She checked you over and, other than a low temperature, all seemed out. We debated what to do and we went for warming you up and seeing what happened. So we left you there and I promised to be back and promised you wouldn’t be alone- I didn’t know if I could really keep to that but I was desperate to.

We got home I did the rest of the buns, and then Katherine called. You were warmer and alert, but your body was not cooperating. Your left side was also worse than your right. We made what we felt was the best decision, and we decided to let you go. We shot back to the vet hospital and as we went in I went ‘Hi Roger’ and jut chatted away and your left ear came up.

I cradled you and watched you. You seemed dazed but were alertish, but your body didn’t want to play. For other bunnies we may have given a chance for recovery but I didn’t feel it was the right thing for you- a bunny who is not a fan of hands, or being held, or who loves to run and play and is so active. I think it would break you because you’re already alone. So I cradled you and talked to you as you left. You were very peaceful and I know you knew I was there.

Katherine was amazing. She talked to you like you were her own. You left us, for Sandy, Summer and Tilly, and your previous wildie friends, surrounded by love, and you knew it. I know you did.

And then you’re gone.

A great, gaping void.

I’d never met a wildie before you. I’ve never worked so hard and got so many rewards from a bunny, before you (and after you). You were my first ‘death row’ bunny.

You were extremes. You were extremely fast, extremely sleep, extremely loving, extremely nosey, extremely excitable, extremely scared of hands, extremely enthusiastic. You were in a league of your own. You’ve given me a love for other bunnies like you and I can confidently say, at some point in the future, I will have other wild rabbits (presuming wildie crosses that have come into a rescue and can’t be released but need to go to an understanding and aware owner).

Roge, you taught me a lot. So much. You gave me so much pleasure and I have so many good memories. Hand feeding was amazing. Bonding with Summer and Sandy, was amazing. The photos from the photoshoot reflected you beautifully. I LOVE that you got to a point where you would come and sit on my lap and stare at me. You would come and sit on my lap, stare at me, and then tuck your nose in my hand. That moment was amazing. I remember the only time you escaped (when we were getting you in the carry case for vaccinations) and you hid in the ivy and me and mum dived in from either side, missed you and ended up holding hands- you were safely returned to your carry case though. Nothing like a good adrenalin kick in the morning.



I was desperate for you to live inside, and that was my aim for the future. It would have been hilarious- you were just amazing at your climbing up, jumping down, and exploring. Nothing was safe. You couldn’t live inside with Sandy because she was very territorial and would get referred aggression. Eventually, as one of my healthy bunnies, I wanted you to live inside as the others passed away. I think we would have had a blast.

You were never should have been here. You should have been in the wild. You should have had that freedom I couldn’t offer you. But you have had a longer life here. I do think it’s been a happy one, but it’s just not what it ever should have been. I feel privileged that you came here, you became a part of our home and that you thrived. You trusted me. You did. In a wildie kind of way.

You were so beautiful. I loved your shape. I loved your sleek fur. You were a very proud and refined bunny. You had dignity.

I don’t know if I did the right thing, Roge. I hope I did. I really, really hope I did. I feel like I let you down, like you were saveable. I don’t know if that’s just grief, or if it’s real. We now have an empty enclosure and that’s horrible. I hate that we lost you and Sandy, entirely unrelated, within 3 weeks of each other. There is a massive hole. I hope you are together now.

You will be together for eternity in this world. You’re both at the Crem and your ashes will be put in a pouch together. You’ll be together for ever.

I don’t know what to say. I feel this hasn’t done you any sort of justice at all. At. All. Maybe I’ll come back and add things later. I will add a video though.

I can’t express this Roger. I can’t express it. Please know how much I love you and how sorry I am. I just. I love you.

Run free, run really fast. Binky free, binky really high. Have fun. Be free. Be what you should have been in this life and couldn’t be.

I love you.
 

Flashy

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These two are from after Sandy died)




Loving life inside








Roger

Arrived 5th September 2008 – Died 22nd August 2013
 

Tauntz

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My most heartfelt condolences. Right now the pain of the loss of Rodger is still so painfully tender & raw but you have some wonderful memories to help you through these days. My heart & prayers go out for you at this time.
 

Nancy McClelland

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Such a wonderful tribute for a beautiful bunny. Our hearts go out to you in your time of loss and mourning. We have a couple of new rescues, one being very skittish but is coming around nicely now. Rest in peace little man and binky free, you are loved and missed.
 

jemm

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A very moving tribute to Roger, I can easily see how much you cared about him. I'm so very sorry for your loss.



Me too :(
And me, what a lovely tribute, and brave of you to do it so soon. Run free little Roger
 

Deliciosa

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Roger's story made me cry like a baby. It sounds like he was a beautiful bun with lots of personality and tons of love to give.
I am so, so sorry for your loss but please remember you gave him his very best shot.
Rest in peace, Roger. Binky free at the bridge. :rainbow:
 

Chrisdoc

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I´m always drawn to the bridge posts but always feel afterwards that I shouldn´t have as I bawl like a baby reading about these wonderful animals that have been such en enormous part of all our lives.

What a wonderful story of Roger and what a character he must have been and how lucky was he to have met you and had a life with all his ladies and it seems like he thoroughly enjoyed it although it was tinged with sadness as he lost his ladies but still soldiered on.

A beautiful story and you did the right thing. I think you knew Roger better than anyone else on this earth and you knew when it was the right time to set him free, even he was telling you that with his body, his ears and his eyes. He sounds like he was an exceptional bunny.

THe photos are beautiful but I´d love to see a video of him. I think that seeing them in movement gives them so much more.

I´m sitting across the world from you on this bright, sunny Sunday morning and am thinking of that wonderful little black bunny. I´m am sure he is having a blast now reunited with all his ladies who left before him. Thanks for sharing with us this beautiful tribute, he won´t be forgotten
 

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