Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dealing With The Death of a Pet

We lost a pet this week, our rabbit, Bunbun. This is a first that Joey has been able to understand what was happening. Kate is still too young at 2 and a half, to really get it.

Bunbun was probably about 7.5 years old. I adopted him from a local animal shelter 6 and a half years ago and they estimated his age at right around a year old; someone's Easter bunny that was soon neglected once the novelty wore off. He was an English Lop that had a load of personality and a nibble taken out of one ear where a bunny in another cage at the shelter took a territorial chunk out of it. It gave him character.

As soon as I found him laying peacefully on his side I had to decide how to proceed with the kids. I called my husband and then pulled Joey over to talk to him. Kids will amaze you every day and this day was no different.

I told him Bunbun had died and watched as the words sunk in and the tears came up in his eyes. I held him as he cried. Then he stood up and looked at me and said he was glad that Bunbun was dead. Honestly, this statement took me aback. I asked why and he explained that now Bunbun got to be in heaven and it was better than here. Big stuff for a 6 year old. A friend of mine passed away a few months ago and he asked me if maybe Patti was taking care of Bunbun now and I said I thought that was very possible.

We are a family that will always have pets so death is something that will be dealt with time and time again with them. Death is part of life and I don't want to hide it from my children. I hope I was able to let Joey deal with the experience in his own way. I gave him the information and was here for comfort but he has to grieve and process in his own personal way.

We buried him out in the yard in a flower bed where we can plants some flowers for him soon and Joey can visit with him. He made him a grave marker and put a couple of his toys down in the dirt and mulch. I slept with Joey that night and held him and calmed him every time he woke up upset. It was most possibly the worst week for a pet rabbit to die - right before Easter with rabbits everywhere. The rawness of the wound getting picked at every time we see one in a flyer or decoration.

Bunbun may not be here in the house with us any more but he is in our hearts and this is the message I want my children to carry with them as we go through this loss and future losses. That being said, I have made the proclamation to the other animals that there will be no more dying for awhile. That's it. Foot down. It is so.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rites of Spring

I love my clotheslines. I love the way the clothes smell. I love that it's better for my clothes. I love that it's better for the environment. I really love that it's free and I love the almost zen effect of actually hanging everything on the line. It can not be rushed. It is simply done one item, one clothespin at a time.
I may not have access to the full clotheslines yet but I will use what I can get to without snow gear. To me there is nothing sweeter than sliding into bed with fresh sheets dried on the line. It's a slice of heaven at the end of a busy day.