God writes our story.
I am still learning to surrender the pen.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Loss of Nooma

Over four years ago Walter and I were just recently engaged and living together. On a work trip to Indiana I fell in love with a rabbit at Petco named Chester, but our distance and situation couldn't allow us to get a pet just then. A few weeks later we were home and thought we go to Petco again. This may sound rude, but when my eyes met a different bunny, I was glad we never got Chester. This sweet little bunny was tiny, and all white except her ears and a thin lining around her eyes. I told Walter I had to have the bunny with eyeliner and we brought her home.
A little back story, we knew NOTHING about rabbits... and neither did Petco. We bought her after being told she was a 'he' and 'about 3 months old'. Through having her we realized all our information was wrong. We learned she was indeed a 'she' and a dwarf hotot (hoe-toe) rabbit. Our first try at getting additional information was a little over a year ago when we took her to a local vet. We were scared and again told wrong information. I wrote about that here. She was sneezing and we were told she probably had some sort of growth in her brain that would soon kill her, and there was nothing they could do since her lifespan was 3-6 years. We had had her for almost three years at that point. 
We gave her the antibiotics and held our breath for weeks about when she would go. But soon, the sneezing stopped and we soon realized the vet was a quack.
We became members of The House Rabbit Society and learned a lot more about our Nooma. There was a lot of healing that needed to be done in her, as her personality was 'standoffish' and very independent. We learned Nooma must have been at least 2-3 when we purchased her according to researching about her size and growth patterns. We learned the life span of a dwarf hotot can be anywhere from 7-10 years, we just still had no idea on her age.
But she seemed to be a healthy, happy rabbit and we weren't worried about her.
A lot of people don't understand falling in love with rabbits. They're not the same as dogs, and Nooma wasn't a big fan of getting on the couch and cuddling. She allowed us to hold her for short periods of time and would sit on a table with us from time to time. However, for the most part, most of our interaction with her was at her cage, stroking her fur from the open lid, or feeding her treats. She loved the sound of the rustling bag treat and would always come running. She would also 'flop' down for naps where it looked like she had been shot. After the first few scares, it was hilarious to see. She also had a special 'happy jump' that was like a skip and it was wonderful to see as well.

Saturday night after Walter came home from work he brought the dogs in from outside and rustled the treat bag for Nooma, but she stayed under her hiding spot. Walter was worried she was hurt and ran to her cage to pick her up. She wasn't hurt, she wasn't in pain... but she was gone. 
Walter then had the terrible duty of coming upstairs to tell me. He held me as I screamed and cried. He supported me as we found a plastic storage box and filled it with her favorite things: an old fabric placemat she would snuggle with, blocks to chew on and play with, and her favorite treats. He laid her in the box, and I wrote her name on the lid. I wrote her a letter and Walter and I both signed it "Mommy" and "Daddy". I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed and we dug her grave with a hand shovel under a tree we all loved. I placed her in, and Walter filled the hole, and she was gone. Never again would we see her 'happy hop' or have her run to us for treats.
It all happened so fast, I was in shock... but Walter had to make the tough decision of telling me we needed to bury her immediately. He wanted to look out for me, even though it was late at night, because I was pregnant and it was time to let her go. 
Over the weekend he let me cry on and off when I wanted/needed to, and never lost patience with me. He allowed me to cry hard on his shoulder, while encouraging me to calm down to protect the baby in our tummy. 

To you, she may just be a bunny... nothing more special than a goldfish.
But to us, she was our first pet together that first made us a 'family'. And I will never stop missing her.

Nooma last Easter.

Nooma the first night we got her.

The first night at a 'family'.

Holding her for the first time.

Checking out Daddy.


  1. I'm so sorry you guys. I know how much loosing a loved one (even "just a pet") hurts. *hugs*

    1. Thank you. One of the hardest nights that I can remember. I'll miss her forever.