This morning when I went out to feed the rabbits, I opened the door to the Rabbitry to find Sid paralyzed and screaming. I immediately pulled him out of his cage and laid him outside to inspect him for a cause. After checking his eyes, nose, ears, stomach, and vent I couldn’t find a single thing wrong with him. But there was obviously something wrong because he was very limp and was laboring to breathe. There were no signs of disease or illness or even the notorious wool block. That’s when I decided that he would need to be put down. It’s pretty horrible to see an animal visibly suffering. I turned around to get my pellet gun and when I turned back to Sid, he was already gone.
I fear he may have broken his back.
Obsidian had only been with us for four months, but he was already growing on us. We nursed him back to a healthy weight and even arranged for “dates” with the ladies. He was really turning out to be a good rabbit. Sid was a very spirited buck and I think that may have even led to his demise. Even a large breed like French Angoras are very fragile creatures.
As parents, Trevor and I are very open with Cami on the subject of life and death. Considering we grow and raise our own food, we feel that we need to be. But this is our first real encounter with the death of an animal on a personal level (excluding the hand-me-down goldfish that died last year). Sid was a “breeder” for the herd which meant that he was not meant for food in any way. This left me a little unprepared as to how to explain to Cami why Sid was not in his cage this morning.
She cried for a little bit and then decided that she would take care of his babies for him. I can’t help but cry a little as I type this just because I am so proud to have raised such a compassionate little girl. Cami realized that Sid couldn’t be there anymore and that she could be. She knows what death means, but she also knows what life means.