Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Napoleon the Mighty

Since we are Ornery and we are Women, and I know this group’s founder is a radical, no-holds-barred animal lover, I assume most of us have a great affection for our non-bi-pedal friends, furry or otherwise. I’ve posted an email recently sent by a close friend. Her and her husband have been active members of the House Rabbit Society in St. Louis for a number of years, spear-heading fundraising campaigns and developing some of the most adorable Rabbit calendars ever produced. While she was on vacation last week in Cancun, their beloved dwarf bunny, Napoleon, died quite suddenly of a stomach ailment. She hopes there can be a silver lining in Napoleon's death, please read on:

While we were at my sister’s wedding in Mexico we were
shocked to find that our sweet little bunny Napoleon
had passed away. Napoleon died Wednesday night
1/31/2007. He was found the following day. He would
have been almost 5 years old.

Napoleon was a very special bunny who liked nothing
more than to have attention poured over him. He
particularly liked when you would rub his entire face
and ears at once. He loved bananas and in spite of
being such a tiny bunny was incredibly vocal. We
never realized before him that rabbits could oink like
a pig or coo like a dove. He was always a cautious
bunny who liked to peek out at his surroundings and
explore once he had observed everything. We always
made sure to give Napoleon various hiding places
around the apartment knowing that this made him happy.
Napoleon was such a cute tiny bunny that anyone who
saw him immediately was drawn to him and he ate this
attention right up.

Jeremy and myself have always treated our bunnies as
though they were our children and so Napoleon was much
more than just a pet to us. He was a member of our
family. To loose him at such a young age has left us
very shocked, upset and confused.

Napoleon was always a healthy bunny. Having just been
to the vet two weeks before, they marveled at what
good shape he was in during his checkup. Napoleon was
never sick. His good health has made his untimely
death all the more startling.

Napoleon died because a hole formed in his stomach
causing it to fill up with liquid. The vet who
performed the necropsy said this is not uncommon in
rabbits. During the necropsy a growth was found that
was possibly cancerous. We are still waiting on
tissue samples to see if this growth may have been the
initial cause of Napoleon’s stomach problems.
Napoleon did not stop eating before he died, which
means that he did not suffer long. There was no way
of preventing this tragedy.

I would like to mention, that the Missouri House
Rabbit Society, the organization of which we are
members and who we adopted Napoleon from, holds an
annual vet conference to educate veterinarians on the
best available practices for rabbits as well as to try
to find cures for diseases specific to rabbits.
Studying rabbit health is a much more recent practice
than studying cats and dogs, so these conferences are
very important to improving the lives of rabbits.
Napoleon should have lived to be 10 with a normal
rabbit’s life span. If any of you would like to make
a contribution in Napoleon’s name to the MOHRS vet
conference it would be appreciated by anyone who has
had their rabbit’s life cut short due to health
issues. Please go to the MOHR website.

We feel a hole in our lives at the loss of Napoleon.
He will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
Napoleon’s ashes will be sprinkled where our apartment
once stood. It was where we welcomed him into our
home and our lives for the first time. I have sent a
separate e-mail with some pictures of Napoleon at his
best to be remembered by.
Sandee and Jeremy

2 Comments:

Blogger Billychic said...

Poor little creature...my heart goes out to his family, and me and my critters send all of our love.
People forget that other animals besides dogs and cats can give a lot of love; rabbits and ferrets are two among many others...

11:50 AM  
Blogger BlueChick said...

My heart is with this family and am so sorry for their loss. We lost our bird - an African Grey Parrot - 2 years ago. Like Napolean he caught a cold and quickly passed. We were devastated. My prayers are with them.

1:54 PM  

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