Tuesday, December 15, 2015

RIP Austin Pawers

Last Wednesday (12/9/2015) we said a tearful farewell to our boy Austin. He had started resisting food and water, which is never a good sign for rabbits. We made an emergency visit to the vet, who told us that Austin was having trouble breathing and that his heartbeat was extremely irregular. Our fella was tired.

Austin came into our family, along with his friend Simon, in 2004. Where Simon was very open with his affection, Austin played his cards closer to his chest. It took a couple of years and a lot of patience for me to develop a relationship with him. It wasn't until after Simon's passing two years ago that Austin respected me enough to give me kisses.  To be honest, I didn't expect to ever see such a level of affection from our guarded bunny. Over the last two years when I was dealing with health issues and living with the loss of my brother and Simon, Austin proved to be the ideal companion. We developed a friendship on his terms (as it typically works with rabbits), and he stuck by my side.  I could tell that he loved me, and he showed it the best way he knew how.

At the vet, a sweet and unexpected kiss goodbye.
As I type this I am tearing up again, thinking about my final moments with my little friend.  We were in a room waiting for the vet, and when Leo briefly stepped outside of the room Austin unexpectedly reached his head up to give me a thorough cheek wash. It was an incredibly sweet moment; I truly sensed that Austin knew he was ready to go, and that he was saying goodbye.  After we received his prognosis I spent a final five minutes on the floor with Austin, at which point he gave me a few more bonus kisses (which Leo captured on my phone).  At a time when I was trying to comfort him and assure him that he would be OK, he seemed intent on doing the same for me.  It was such an affirmation of the unlikely bond that we managed to form with each other, and a special gift that I will never forget.

Thank you, Austin, for all of the life that you shared in your eleven years with us. You have a permanent place in my heart. Rest in peace, my sweet boy.


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