This weekend I said goodbye to my first baby, my bunny Dusty. Dusty came into my life during a time that I was very lonely, a few months out of college, working at a new job, single and living with three engaged girls. I was stuck in San Diego for Christmas, my first year away, and I decided that I wanted a pet. We couldn't have a dog, and I'm not a big fan of cats. Growing up we had a few rabbits, so I set out to the pet store to see what they had. There was a new bunch of baby dwarf lop ear rabbits and I fell in love with the runt of the group. I got everything I needed and headed home with him in a little box. He was so sweet and little that he could fit in the palm of my hand. He would just snuggle up in my lap like I was his mommy, and I loved having him around to care for. He turned out to be quite the sun bunny, always sprawling out in the sunshine by the back door. As he got bigger, I bought a leash for him and would take him to the park and the beach where he loved to hop in the grass and tear around in the sand. We always got lots of surprised looks, then big smiles as they came over to pet the beach bunny.
To keep him smelling fresh I would give him baths, which would make him shrink in size as his fur got all wet. Then afterward he would go running around flicking his feet and shaking his ears to get all the water off him. He loved to be brushed and pet, and when I wouldn't give him attention would come prancing over my laptop and jump on my back if I was lying on the floor. He always had me laughing when he did his rodeo bunny stunt, jumping high in the air and spinning around. As a baby his ears stood straight up, but as he got older they started to droop down. One ear lopped over before the other, which I referred to as his teenage years.
I moved a couple time over the next two years, but he always acclimated well. When Jason and I got married we moved into a bottom floor condo, so the patio led right out to the grass. A few times Dusty would chance it and hop out there, he was surprised by a dog coming around the corner and would bee line it into the house, running in place as his feet hit the tile. After an hour or so he would have the guts to come out from under the bed.
When we moved up to Seattle we spent our first month at my parent's house which has a nice lush backyard. Dusty was in heaven! He would run from end to end, jumping in the air and spinning around. He munched on everything he could find. He even made a place for himself under the side table next to the sliding back door. Our townhouse would not have been fun for him, so he stayed with my parents where he was loved and spoiled like a grandchild.
He was pretty much potty trained and would scratch at the back door to go out to the bathroom. He starting following my dad around the downstairs, and always loved it when he would sit down and pet him. My mom spoiled him with carrots and lettuce, which he loved. Every time I would go over to visit, he would run over like he still knew who I was even when it had been a long time.
As Taylor got older he became more interested in Dusty, wanting to go check out his house in the garage and pet his head. I wish they had had more time to get to know each other.
He had been on antibiotics for a little cold (so the vet called it) when he stopped eating. My dad tried to nurse him back to health, but he was just too sick and on Saturday night I got the call that he had died. I was more emotional about it than I expected myself to be. Maybe it was all the memories I had with him. Maybe it was that he had so much personality that I felt like I had lost a person. Maybe it was a bit of guilt that I hadn't done more for him. I miss my Dust Bunny, and I cherish all the great memories I had with him. Dusty, you will never be forgotten.
Dusty in his teenage years
Sleeping in the sun
My sunny bunny
My babies hanging out
Hanging in the backyard