Meet Poppet, our newly three-legged bunny.
Kaspa and I enjoyed our two week break and at the end of our first day back, a busy volunteer day, I went to feed the much-loved temple bunnies with 3 year old Felix.
It took me a while to notice that Poppet wasn’t coming out of the hutch. When I looked closer I saw the blood, and that her back leg was at a horrible angle underneath her. I won’t go into details but when I picked her up it was a traumatic sight. We think she caught her leg in a slatted chair – I still can’t understand how she broke it so badly.
Felix was amazing and ran to get a grown-up as fast as he could. We rushed off to the emergency out-of-hours vet in Worcester, trying to balance speed with not bumping her around too much. I couldn’t imagine how much pain she was in. The vet said she’d keep her comfortable overnight and then we could take her to our own vet in the morning.
Rabbits are more difficult to treat medically, both because of their size and digestive systems, and because vets don’t get as much experience as they do with cats and dogs. We did some hasty Googling that evening and I spent the night worrying. Would she survive the shock? The anaesthetic? Would they save her leg? What would happen if not?
The next day we said goodbye to her at 10am and waited. It was 3.30pm when the vet called. She’d made it through the op, was eating well, and by 5pm we were asked to come and pick her up.
She’s currently in a temporary pen in the living room with her friend Peter for company (I just went in to check on them – Peter is licking Poppet’s head, and Fatty our old cat is hanging out nearby). She’s already managing to hop around remarkably well, and the prognosis is good.
Whilst waiting for the news I couldn’t concentrate on anything and so I had lots of time to look at the beautiful blue sky and contemplate. Life is so short and unpredictable. Most (all?) of the discomfort I experienced from the time we found Poppet injured was because I wanted thing to be different than they were, and I wanted to be in control. I wasn’t in control of how far away the vets were, or whether or not she was going to stop breathing on the journey. I wasn’t in control of whether she came round after her operation. Of course, I manipulated the situation as much as I could – barking orders at poor Kaspa, interrogating the vet about her surgical skills, beating myself up for leaving the chair in the rabbit’s enclosure – but none of these things made any substantial difference to the outcome.
By the grace of the Buddhas, Poppet has been allowed some more time alive – to flop over and roll in the sunshine, to race up and down the grass, and to snuggle under Peter’s belly.
It’s often in the midst of crisis that we realise how much we take refuge in the things we can’t control. Remembering this, I might do better during the next crisis, but I probably won’t. Instead I can relax, knowing that the Buddhas accept me just as I am, and give thanks. Thanks to the overnight emergency nurse who found & fed Poppet dandelion leaves. Thanks to our vet for her kindness. Thanks to the insurance company for paying most of the £750 it cost. Thanks to Felix for staying calm. Thanks to the supportive friends, the car, the Chinese takeaway we had at the end of a long day, the people who grew the carrot Poppet just munched…
And thank you to you, for reading and for caring. Namo Amida Bu.