This week has been a little stressful, and not because of SlytherBun’s growth spurt or work. On Sunday I finally accepted that Julius was tired of living with his painful arthritis and clogged tear ducts. Making the decision to help him hop to the Rainbow Bridge’s Great Meadow was a necessary one for his peace. For the past few days, I noticed that he was eating less and less of his daily breakfast carrot to the point that I had to hold the carrot in front of him so he would eat it. That Sunday morning I let him have all the chocolate he wanted. Lovingly I fed him his Hershey’s Special Dark squares one by one as he gobbled each one up. The three girls naturally wanted some too, and I obliged them a few pieces. I had tried to feed him other treats; he only wanted the chocolate. But I have always said that when Julius stopped eating chocolate, I knew he was ready to leave us.
Throughout that morning, BFF kept asking me what I wanted to do. My answer was steady: “I’ll email Dr. Bonnie Brown at Jolly Pond so we can set his appointment tomorrow.” BFF would sadly shake his head and walk away, leaving me to cuddle with Jules. When I had placed a blanket down on the floor so I could sit with him, an idea of having SlytherBun with us popped into my head. Great minds definitely were thinking alike because just then BFF had our daughter in his arms for me to take. I softly put her next to Julius’ face and said, “JuJus, look who’s here to see you!” On cue, Jules lowered his head towards SlytherBun and sighed as her wandering arm touched him. My heart melted as I snapped photos of them. Watching the three of us, BFF asked me, “Have you realized why I keep questioning you on what you want to do?” Tearfully I nodded and replied, “JuJus can’t wait for tomorrow. He wants to go now.”
I felt my entire body shake as BFF reached for the special Clapotis that hangs in their room. Starting with Caesar’s departure in 2010, all our buns who are leaving are wrapped in this luxurious and beautiful shawl while we say farewell to each other. Caesar, Sweet Pea, Bashful, and now Julius have snuggled in the silk and merino. “When do we go?” I asked BFF. He replied, “The emergency animal clinic said we can come whenever we are ready. Are you ready?” Looking around the room while cradling Julius, I gestured for BFF to grab the large carrier so the girls can come too. BFF shook his head and told me what the girls already knew: JuJus was going. They had previously said their good-byes to him and showed it. Both had been avoiding him these last few days to give him his space. We then proceeded to the animal clinic. While there, Julius refused to eat anymore chocolate, no matter how much I tearfully begged. As the medication did its quick job, he sighed, snuggled in my arms, and left to his heavenly home.
While letting go of Jules, I was reminded of what a dear friend told me recently after I sent her a photo of SlytherBun wearing the sweater my friend made for her: “Such a fine thing for me to receive right now when I’ve just heard that a very dear old friend died last night. It’s babies that take the sting out of death.” SlytherBun and our other rabbits are keeping BFF and myself occupied by focusing on their daily needs. If we did not, our hearts would never heal, and we could not adopt again. Julius arrived 2006 at my life when Hayley died in my arms. He was mischievous, often gave cranky looks, adored chocolate, loved corn chips, and bonded with BFF so tightly that he would listen to BFF over me. Rest in peace, JuJus. Be sure to share the chocolate with everyone else! =:8