Sunday, December 2, 2018

Pew! Pew!


ab·scess/ˈabˌses/
noun
noun: abscess; plural noun: abscesses
a swollen area within body tissue, containing an accumulation of pus.

synonyms: ulcer, ulceration, cyst, boil, blister, sore, pustule, carbuncle, pimple, wen, whitlow, canker;
inflammation, infection, eruption


In July, I lost Russette. In July, someone dumped more than a dozen rabbits in a local metro park. The story got this little blurb:


Maybe it was the vulnerability, maybe it was an actual ounce of kindness in my cold cold heart – either way, I jaunted on down to the Humane Society to see if I might lend a hand. And yes, there were over a dozen rabbits abandoned and now the females were housed in a giant pen in the middle of the Humane Society's lobby. Well, they were pretty sure they were all females. (They weren't).


I Googled "Sly Guys" and this is what popped up. In fact, every male rabbit I sexed HAD that exact look on his face. But seriously, have you ever looked at Google Assistant's logo?

I mean ...

Anyhoo ...
The rabbits were all English Spots in some way shape or form. Some were REWs. Some had the tell-tale spots. Some were quite a mix. Some had scarring where tags had been ripped out of their ears.

There were two in particular. Two that picked me.
"It's WAYYYY too soon," I told myself.
Fred (the other human) said, "As soon as I saw the article I knew we would be bringing home rabbits."
I couldn't help it. I picked one.
I picked TWO -- but ...
This is the story of one.

May I introduce, Miss Snow and Miss Jackson (No relation to Sammy) respectively. They were (apparently) a post county fair dump. How do I know? (you may ask).

The dump was Wednesday, July 18th.
Rocket Science 101
It doesn't take a psychic to figure it out.

Miss Snow and Miss Jackson (No relation) were spay and in my home by August 1st.
I spent time on bonding and had a sweet, albeit ornery pair of gals on my hands. Then, I packed them into a carrier and visited my rabbit savvy vet.
Miss Snow = 100%.
Miss Jackson = Not so much.

The look on the vet's face was disheartening. “She has an abscess.”
An ABSCESS! 

An ABSCESS!
And Oh, Gawd did I ever hear some horror stories about bunnies going through/living with abscesses.
Surgery was scheduled (SURGERY!) and so began my many sleepless nights of research and worry.
The procedure would be done with 

SIDE NOTE: May I advise anyone who is dealing with bunny issues to sit down and have a heart to heart with their vet as opposed to researching the internet first.

It's the equivalent of this.
Miss Jackson (Cause we're nasty) went into surgery with her "Miss Jackson" attitude.


I loved on her as much as I could before it was time for medications and being strapped down.

<3
She came through with flying colors. There were four "roots" that went pretty deep (down to her mandible) but seemingly not THROUGH said mandible.
Ugh.
The next several weeks were filled with meds, critical care, rinsings and Manuka honey.

Manuka Blossoms.

I about fainted with each rinsing. Hey. Even SUPERGIRL faints. Don't Judge.

Hear that, girls? We can do ANYTHING!
Seriously though, I had to lay down after each rinsing treatment.

I parted the girls for both hygiene and safety. But they remained right next to one another, separated by only a wire pen wall. When Miss J felt better (healed a bit), I began to allow them some supervised time together. All was well. WAS being the operative word. I am not sure what happened in that blink of an eye on that gray November day …

Miss Jackson was grooming Miss Snow and had stopped. I was sitting right there. Miss Snow put her head under Miss J and all of a sudden – FUR FLYING! SWEARING! SCREAMING! And that was just ME!
Yes, it happens. But I still feel horrific.
And Miss Jackson's wound was torn open. * sigh *
So THIS was definitely on me.
[insert self-loathing here]


An immediate call to the vet for both advice and to see if I could get a Xanax.


Water ain't gonna do it.
or two ...



After a half dozen texted photos it was off to the vet! As fate would have it, it was actually BETTER that the wound was that open now. The Dr. stated that had it not happened, he would have reopened it. As he saw it, Snow did us a favor.
Those type of wounds are better if healed from the inside out. And what appears to be something “healing up just nicely” could actually be “Healing from the outside too quickly”. And so – "Dr. Snow" to the rescue. 

The nurse is not amused.
My heart could NOT take it so they were separated PERIOD.  Rebonding would wait even though everything was fine up until then.

Now … Miss Jackson is good to go albeit a slight bald spot on her cheek still. 

I'm in ur baskets folding ur laundries.

And … I have slowly begun rebonding. This is frustrating, I must say.
Miss J still grooms Miss S. But by Gawd when the grooming stops Miss Snow gets QUITE irate. So … for now, there will be plenty of stress bonding.


Here we see Miss Jackson and Miss Snow huddled together on a bathroom mat surrounded by a floor of lava. (Neither of them will venture out on tile). It's slow. And I think it is so slow because I am such a mess over all of the above.

So until they love each other in each others' space again, it's switching spaces, litter boxes, lovies, short dates and lava. Lots of lava.

Lava
Any advice is appreciated.
As is any Xanax.

Walk it off, Supergirl!


And to Dr. Timothy Reichard:





Thursday, September 20, 2018

Of Love, Loss and Letting Go.

For my part I know nothing with any certainty,
but the sight of the  the stars makes me dream.
- Vincent Van Gogh

Grief is an odd thing, isn't it? For me, this process is like an ocean washing onto the shore. Everything is calm then the tide starts to come in and before I realize it, I am standing in a puddle of tears. What could be considered even odder is when it is over a beloved little heartbeat that was once at my feet. But it is what it is and it is how I feel.

I believe that people can and do spiritually bond with animals. I believed this as a kid playing on the neighbors' farms. I believe it today. The unconditional love that these beasties give transcends any of us. Animals just are. They are who they are supposed to be (given environment and temperament) and act accordingly. There is a light about them that I rarely find in humanity.  I was blessed to have the bond seemingly returned.

I also believe as creatures of the field (and sky and sea), they are perfect in creation therefore they return to the Creator. There is no dogma to sift through. There is no judgment. They are innocent. This may be considered a new age placebo or anathema or whatever. But it gives this old girl comfort.

In saying “good-bye” to Russette, I have accepted that it is probably going to be a life-long journey. I am not good at letting go by any means. I fight. I kick. I scratch. I cry. I will always have that Dutchie girl-shaped hole in my heart. Thank God my rabbits help make my heart large enough that it won't collapse into itself. So … I am ok.

I wanted to do something to help the absence. I wanted to do something to – I don't know – bring her briefly back? This is my project of love, loss and letting go.

Since Russette was always at my side during my arting adventures, it only seemed fit to do a piece of her. Of her leaving me.

She would run across freshly inked drawings and canvasses. She would steal pencils and paint brushes. When I would use a portable drawing board she would sit in my lap under the board. This was part of my process for almost a decade. This is the first piece that I didn't have to go get another pencil or chase after that specific color pencil she ran down the hall and hid somewhere.
It was a lonely drawing.

Russette giving pointers
Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here is a favorite of mine. One afternoon the song played and that was it. An idea hit. Note that what I see in my head is NEVER what the final ever looks like. I just trust that the idea/imagery will take me somewhere.

I wanted a mixed media. Something that represented all the media that Russette spilled, chewed, stole, walked across: An organic element coupled with computer graphics.

She started as a pencil sketch on Dura-Lar with inked blues on the back. Acrylic inks and acrylic gel for texture are the front. Color pencils fill in some details. I really love the color pencil over the acrylic gel.

Fabulous phone photography
The above image/process shows the final steps.
After all was complete – I put it away for a while.

My concept of death is hopeful at best, terrifying at worst. As a kid I used to imagine “the cosmos” as the place of spirits. Mine were similar to Carl Sagan's COSMOS – without all of the math. My cosmos are overwhelming, beautiful, engulfing and welcoming. Now came the computer part. Much was experimental. Much was me looking at old pieces and NASA photos. Some was me staring at the wall.

I represent death in my symbolic work with the white/greyish eyes.
Her heart-light took some thought and trial. But I like where it ended.
Circles are feminine and connecting.

Memories fade. I wanted to somehow represent that she was leaving. She was free. But she was also disappearing because the Earth doesn't stop. The sun comes up and those left behind have to return to the Land of the Living. Returning to the Land of the Living sometimes feels like dying.

Go.
Happy travels until we meet again.


HOW I WISH YOU WERE HERE
Mixed Media


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

MY HEART HAS JOINED THE THOUSAND ...

Russette
Originally, this rabbit was under my daughter's roof. Due to life, they both came to temporarily live with me. I refused to let the little one leave.

She looks so innocent here
Her name was initially "Russel" -- we soon discovered "Russel" was "Russette". The first time I took her outside, Russette ran. She made a bee-line to a squirrel. I was following quickly behind, worried that it would not end well. They kissed. Then they both casually went their own ways.

This was just the beginning of nearly a decade of one of the most ornery Dutchies I have ever known. Russ was an expert at stealing art supplies, taking pencils while still in my hand, running across canvases and spilling inks. My studio was her favorite room.

She eats art supplies
I also had to keep the bathroom door shut. Russette loved to be IN the bathtub ... whether I was bathing in it or not. She was NUTS and full of unending energy.

I wasn't kidding

Every day

Breathtaking
If you ever wanted to know where she was, she was either asleep in my eye or at my feet. The little heartbeat.


Her illness was hidden. By the time she let me know it was too late.
This time, I had no choice. I had to let her leave.




Her ashes will be here tomorrow. She'll be where she belongs.





Thursday, June 21, 2018

SUMMER!

MERRY SOLSTICE!

Tis' the longest day of the year (and I'm already bored)! It technically began at 6:04 EST. Some people flock to Stonehenge to celebrate the event.

*The cell phones make it for me.
*Modern technology shamelessly colliding with ancient Pagan ritual brought to you by Getty-Images.
I am not some people, however. I would much rather travel to BUNNYHENGE.

DUN DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN
BUNNYHENGE is located right next to the Newport Beach civic center, inside the newly created Civic Center Park, Orange County California.

The California Curiosities blog site offers a humorous read about this work. Please check it out. It is worth the read although the author is DEFINITELY not a rabbity person. The author actually asks the question, "Who would think this is a good idea?"

Me.
The sheer awesomeness of the BUNNYHENGE circle even caused political strife!
"The city had intended the assembly to be a play element for kids, but residents wondered if they might actually be some form of public art. They also wondered how much the things had cost — $221,000, they learned, for the set of 14 along with two 8-foot-tall specimens planted elsewhere at the Civic Center.
There were so many questions that the city finally dedicated a Web page to the 'Rabbit Story.'"
OH! FRUGALITY!

The powers of the BUN. ALL HAIL THE BUN!

That Lady's towels are holey.
Get it? Holy/Holey?
I just wish it were closer so that I could go full weirdness on the Summer Solstice at BUNNYHENGE!  ("BUNNYHENGE " must always be in all caps, bolded and italicized).

FROM A FAN!
From Dana X! Sent to me because it reminded her of Sammy!
Does this remind you of Sammy?

Sassy Sammy


TILL NEXT TIME ...
Know that Russette stands in judgment of us all ...



Saturday, June 2, 2018

STILLNESS SPEAKS

LANCE UPDATE
The old man seems to be doing much better! Thank you all for the well-wishes! As I type this, he is devouring endive and pushing Russette out of the way. Well, pushing her out of the way the best he can. She's a bruiser.

•The Oxbow Joint Support is a big hit with him.

•As of yet, there is no need for but baths. It is just getting his back foot INTO his ear that is the issue so far.

•Aaaaaand he just pooped right . outside . the . clean . litterbox.

He's tired of my crap.


MINECRAFT
I absolutely love it when I hear from the humans. I love it, even more, when they share their stories, art, shenanigans with me! Veronica wrote expressing her son's want to share his "RABBIT ISLAND" with me.

Let's see: Rabbits + Minecraft = SO.MUCH.YES!

Minecraft Obsession

SILENT REFLECTION
May brought more loss this year. The month is always a time of transition but this year it seemed to be moreso than other Mays. A much-too-young friend of beasties (and humanity), who struggled much of their life, left this world. And left us to remember him.

And now there is a space.



Sunday, May 20, 2018

GRANDFATHER LANCE

Greetings all you bunny freaks!
Let us take 30 seconds to watch GODZILLA -- as presented by
30 Seconds Bunnies Theatre!




Make sure to travel down THAT rabbit hole and lose several hours of time viewing classic movies (old and new) performed in 30 seconds ... by cartoon bunnies! (And show the humans some love!)

SPRING FLING
Well, it's that time of year AGAIN. Grandfather Lance has an ear infection. This happens every change of the main seasons. The vet explained going into winter things pipe up because the body is adjusting to shedding and growing out a new coat. Springtime brings -- well shedding and the Spring crazies.

Naturally, I phoned my veterinarian the MOMENT I noticed Lance was "off". (I put off calling the doctor for myself for months, mind you). As is typical -- he was on vacation for 2 weeks.

Of COURSE, he's on vacation!
You may think I panicked. I did. But that's beside the point. This Rabbit Woman has a backup rabbit-savvy vet. (And if THAT vet was on "vacation" then I have an EMERGENCY VET). Off we went to the backup rabbit-savvy vet. Who was not in. But there was a new doctor there -- Backup to the backup!

Of COURSE, she's not there!
Dr. Backup Backup Rabbit Savvy-Vet looked 16 and, refreshingly, had the same enthusiasm. I have been to this rodeo many times so basically dictated what I expected.
"I LOVE BUNNIES!"

As nerve-wracking as it was to have a total stranger touching my precious cargo, it was acceptable. And she was open to what I had to say.

I had brought all of the previous meds that Lance was prescribed and then left the appointment as a walking apothecary.


AGING BUNS
As in "bunnies" -- albeit my behind is aging as well. As it turns out, Lance's newest diagnosis shows him having the beginnings of arthritis. He can no longer get his hind leg up to clean his ears. The wax builds up and then it turns into a science class petre dish. I will be cleaning his ears for him once a week from now on. And perhaps -- this will help with the infections. (right).

I have now added joint support to the digestive support supplements as well as a probiotic. Again, I hardly exercise and barely remember to take vitamins. Ok, fine. I don't exercise. This is what my counter looks like:

I am giving Lance Critical Care.


Lance loves it and eats every bit. Somehow, however, he manages to get it all over me, my clothes, the floor, etc ...
My clothes after a Critical Care luncheon
I decided to maneuver him over a bowl as I fed him off of a spoon. Grandfather Lance had something to say about THAT:
He bites me because he likes me!
He is recovering well.
I am running out of clothes.