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In Memory of a Special Friend

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Bubs enjoyed the Summer sunshine in the afternoons upstairs - until sunset

Bubs was my pet rabbit. No, she was more than that ... she was my companion for eight years when every morning brought a beam of sunshine as I greeted her with joy. With her it could not have been otherwise.  She was brought to me only weeks old in 2003, a tiny ball of fur that soon showed her character in many ways.
She insisted on climbing onto my comfortable settee, running along the back of it and then sitting on my shoulder to share TV viewing. It was not long before she decided to attack the settee, tearing chunks out of the arms just for the hell of it. I have been settee-less ever since. Her next project involved stripping wallpaper off the walls. I decided to join in and we ended up with no wallpaper anywhere. Just new walls with fresh emulsion. 

Bubs as a baby with a friend

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I decided that such a powerful character could not be locked away in a hutch but should have the freedom to show her potential. So she was never locked up in a cage or hutch but had her own areas both upstairs and downstairs and trained herself to use the same spot for her physical relief. She ate the best ... brocolli, fresh greens and celery. There was always fresh hay for her daily need of roughage. She went on several trips to the vet who expertly cared for her.  Her most remarkable trait was her strong assertiveness, being completely territorial. Everything was on her terms. Oh, I forgot ... she enjoyed the occasional strawberry, especially the green stems. A bonus was that I could enjoy them, too. 

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On one of her faux fur rugs - luxury!

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Fresh hay in her ever-open hutch upstairs

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Inside for a bite

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A fresh bowl of dry mix

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Posing with her favourite statue

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Her beautiful intelligent face

All animals need to be looked after on a daily basis and it is through this care that you build up a bond. In the case of Bubs it was definitely loving care and nothing was too much trouble. During this time I needed to go into hospital twice for surgery and on these occasions I found a wonderful animal sanctuary at Mongeham near Deal in Kent. There she had contact with other animals and as much hay she could eat. She was totally unfazed by dogs walking past her and showed a keen interest in all that went on around her. The kind lady looking after them all noted how intelligent Bubs is. Just look in that face above. She understood more than she let on.
I am guilty of withdrawing too much from society during those eight years ... to the point of becoming almost reclusive.  I spent as much time as I could with Bubs, often driving home furiously to see how she was. You see, most animals are gregarious and need company, whether of their own kind or of the human variety.
Rabbits, like other creatures, communicate with body language. You can tell you when they are happy and when they are not. She also reacted to the sound of my voice, soft and low, with rolling over and rapidly licking her front paws and the forefront of her chest. This was the body language of supreme happiness. Her displeasure was revealed by sitting close to a wall and facing it. I would have to go through a list in my mind, determining what was amiss and eventually arriving there by a process of deduction. Life was never dull with her.

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Bubs with some old familiar friends

It was having Bubs that gave me the notion of becoming vegetarian. I thought the smell of burning animal flesh might offend her. Besides, the very thought of rabbit stew seemed positively barbaric under the circumstances. The health advantages of vegetarianism became very clear and obvious ... and so a vegetarian I became and I have never looked back. I shared the brocolli and celery from then on. Oh, I forget the juicy gala apples that my little furry friend enjoyed now and then. Running out of these apples was also a reason for the face turned to the wall in a clear message.

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June 4th, 2010 - by a bookcase

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A bit of grooming before settling down

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Bubs is now getting on a bit and likes to just lounge around with her old friends

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Her loving nature

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Snuggling up

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The last photo ever taken of her alive on Saturday afternoon, April 2nd, 2011. She died in my arms around 11.30pm that night. Here she is lying under my desk, relaxed and apparently content. She ate some fresh greens and nibbled on a juicy gala apple. I carried her upstairs with me later. Much later in the evening, she had trouble breathing. I picked her up and then her back legs began kicking. After I put her down again, she ran towards me to be picked up again. I cradled her in my arms and spoke to her softly and then she relaxed for a few moments. These were moments of deep meaning for me as she gently nipped me with her teeth. Then the legs kicked violently and soon after she died. It was all over so suddenly.
She was laid out over the Sunday and buried at Thanet Animal Cemetery at 11-30 am on the Monday. I am awaiting the headstone.

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"Long to reign over us ......"

Bubs was buried at 11.30 am on Monday, April 4th, 2011 at the Animal Cemetery near Monkton in Kent

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A place of peace and tranquility

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Bub's headstone was erected on July 12th, 2011.

(below) close-up of her plaque as 18 months old

At that age she had a 'ghost smile', evident in this picture of her on the plaque. 

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