Duke's Story
October 18, 2016 - Part 3 - My Life and Changes
Duke

It has been awhile since I felt like communicating. This is such a hard time for me. Sometimes I just want to lie down and not get up. It is so hard to be interested in anything. My whole world is turned upside down. I have lost everything I know. My Dad is gone. I know now that he cannot come back. My heart is broken and I feel so empty.

I keep saying over and over the words that auntie said to me – "You are going to get through this day." Then I feel a little better.

I usually have memories of my life before all this. I remember playing in my house in my special rabbit land, pets from Dad, having dinner with Dad, and romping with Gandalf, my friend. I sleep and then I wake up confused. It only takes a minute for all the reality of my situation to set in! Then I realize my life has completely changed. No Dad, no Gandalf, no rabbit land. Sigh. I guess I can appreciate the soft fleece blanket under me and the pets and music during the day. I guess I could. Deep inside I am hurting and I do not know how to make that go away.

One day Auntie came to sit by me and she talked to me about staying in a special place for a while where I could have healing time and lots of love. She whispered that she had made the arrangements and told me that I could begin to heal in this special place and it would help me stop hurting.

I had the oddest reaction. Hmmm, I do not think I want any more changes! I have had enough. I like it right here just fine! I was alarmed. But she continued to let me know I was safe, and it was just a little change. Then I relaxed somewhat. I was a bit curious about what was to happen next! Then I got scared again. I am a tangle of emotions!

I was grumbling. Honestly, I just wanted to go home. I want to go to my rabbit land. I want my Dad. I am so mad. I want everything to be just the way it was. I am so nervous about more change and I feel that no one wants me! But she kept reassuring me that I did not need to worry. Auntie loves me. She said so. And I know it is true. Rabbits know. She said that I would be happy once again, even if I could not imagine it right now.

She bent down and made me a promise to me. She said I would be happy once again and that my heart would heal. She said I was going to go to a special place and stay there for awhile and that I would like it. Then she reminded me that the lady I'd be staying with was the special person who gave me my first grooming when I arrived after the long trip. I remember her! She was very nice to me.

So that very day Auntie gave me a sweet treat of banana, then bundled me up in my very own carrier and off we went.

When I arrived, a nice lady there held me in her arms and even though I felt so deeply unhappy, I could feel the comfort of her arms and relaized that I could just let go and feel how I felt. It was ok. She cradeled me gently and talked in her special way. It was a perfect moment. I felt calm, and I relaxed.

Another bunny came out to see me too. That was good. She seemed ok. She did not bother me, she just looked. She has white front feet. She just runs all over just like I once did. Maybe this is not so bad.

Then I was introduced to my room. I like this. My new foster mom even made me a house where I could hide if I felt like it. And I did go deep inside and stayed there only peering out to check if I hear a noise or if that rabbit came by.

I did my best to not act scared, but I was. It was a new place. I felt insecure. I had food, water, nice hays and a soft place to be, but it is all so new. But I sure like the other rabbits. Everybunny seems ok. There is lots of hay too. This home is filled with love and everything here is relaxed. I finally relaxed enough to go off to sleep for a long time inside my new little house.

I woke up to dinner time, a lucious plate of greens! I liked that but I did not want to come right out of my house. I looked carefully from side to side and all around. There was no one to worry about. The other rabbits were already eating and I carefully crept out of my house and truly enjoyed the wonderful food. No one bothered me at all.

My foster mom was there and she talked to me during the day and she took my picture too! Then one day, when I did not expect it, she came right up to my room. She brought me special treats. I was a bit timid at first, but I took it from her hands and looked at her. She looked right back and petted my head ever so lightly, and then left me to enjoy my treats and the day. I do feel safe here.

I have the most wonderful dreams of Dad and how he held me.

It is really true that I can visit him in the land of rainbows, if only in my dreams. It is as if he is really here with me. When I visit him and talk to him there, it helps me. My life is changing now. I know I need to move forward and now I know I can do that and still see his face and feel his love.

October 8, 2016 - Part 2 - A New Beginning
Duke

I woke up in the Haven, next to Dumbledore, after having had a complete meltdownthe night before. I woke Auntie up thumping and very upset. Auntie came running and scooped me up. She asked me what was wrong. Really??? What was not wrong? I feel so lost. I was scared. I am lonely. I miss my dad. Everything is changed. I do not have my rabbit land. None of my special blankets! And no Dad. She seemed to understand, I don’t know how. She kissed my head and snuggled me in a blanket and told me bedtime stories about bunnies and veggie gardens and magical fairies and she let me know how special I am. She talked about me and said I was beautiful. I relaxed and I got to sleep right next to Dumbledore. He did not mind and he just looked at me, then rolled his big willow ball. He seemed friendly. Anyway, that is how I got to be next to Dumbledore.

Duke

I fell fast asleep and in the morning I woke up to Dumbledore and his big ball with a bell in it. Geesh!! Then I noticed I had a mound of fresh green hay, a plate of greens, even pellets and a big dish of fresh water. I loved that breakfast, For the first time in days I felt comforted and I could sense that all around me the other rabbits were happy and that helped me to relax.

Duke

In a while Auntie emerged from her office and she had a guitar. Oh boy, I like the guitar. She played a bit for me and she sang my name. Oh, That felt soo good. Then she told me a story as she played.

Duke

It seems that there was a man who had a bunny and he loved the bunny so much. Every day they would play games together and they loved each other. When it was cold outside he and the rabbit would look outside together as they stayed warm and snug in the house. In the sweet afternoon they would sit together and look out into the trees outside and watch squirrels and the deer as they walked by and played.

Duke

The man even had food for the deer and the squirrels. That bunny liked to watch everything safe from the couch or lounging on the carpet safe inside. The man and the bunny loved each other and had a very special life, every day doing human and bunny things. Then she played a new sound. It was my dad’s song. She said that it was just for me from my dad who had to go away. It sounded just like Dad. I remember Dad. The sounds were soft and I started to feel uneasy. So Auntie picked me up and we sat on the couch and as she promised, she began to explain what had happened and why I was here. She explained in human talk but I understood her. Each sentence came with a gentle pet and a hug, always paying attention to me and my response. I listened carefully. My ears stood straight up and she continued.

Duke

She explained that my Dad had been very sick. He did not want to worry me so he did not say anything. Then one night he went off to bed just like any night, then he fell asleep and he never woke up. She explained that is why he did not come to bring me greens or pet me or sing me songs. That is why he could not get up when I came to find him. He had actually passed away. Then she told me all about the land of rainbows and about this bridge. She let me know that I could visit my Dad anytime I wanted to in spirit and just to think of him and he would be there. Not the same way we were, but in a new way. She said he was not sick anymore in this special place and that he wanted me to know that he loved me. He was happy I was safe. He was so sorry I was scared. He wanted to get up to help me, but he could not. He did plan to see me again.

Duke

Somehow hearing all this and accepting it were two different things. I felt a bit stuck. She said she understood and that it would take me time. She said it was ok to be sad if that is how I felt, yet to know I am loved and safe. She said she loved me and that one day when I was ready I might accept a new human family. Well, I was not ready for any of that! Then she helped me get comfy on the couch and played the guitar a bit more until it was time for lunch. I went back into my own area and had some greens and settled in to try and absorb all that I had just heard and felt. I don’t want to think about it anymore. it is just too much for right now. Then I looked over and noticed that Kathryn and Dumbledore were looking at me. They were very still and seemed aware of how I felt. I guess I am not alone.

Duke

I know now my Dad is not here and now I know why. My feelings are no longer hurt thinking that Dad just left me. There is something so final about this day. I still really miss my Dad. Here is his picture. Auntie reassured me that I will be safe and loved. She gave me a new willow ball and fluffed up my fleece blanket. Then she went back into the office and I stayed very still with my new friends to think. I hope I will have bunny dreams of the land of rainbows tonight. I want to say goodbye to Dad.

October 6, 2016 - Part 1
Duke

Hi my name is Duke, I am the son Of Rick. I call him Dad.

One night very late when I was sleeping I heard a big crash and that startled me. I jumped up and everything seemed ok. Then the house was very quiet. I stayed awake to wait for my Dad to come in to feed me. But it was late and I fell asleep again. Then in the early morning hours I got up and hopped around and ate some hay and waited for my Dad to come to give me my greens. He always shops for fresh greens for me. I love parsley and romaine! Well, Dad did not bring me any greens and the house was very quiet. There was no music, no sounds as usual and I noticed I did not even have fresh water.

The house was sort of warm and I went into my rabbit land house where it was nice and cool and was quickly lost in rabbit thoughts. What I would do next? Maybe Dad is still at the store. I wish he would come home soon! So it was still quiet and I romped and played and had some hay. I was starting to feel lonely. My dad usually picks me up and cuddles me. I wondered where is Dad? I like it when he sings to me and when he plays the guitar. That is so wonderful.

The day went by and soon I felt sleepy again and dozed off. I woke up in the middle of the night and it was all dark. It is never all dark. I felt confused and a bit scared. I moved my hay box closer to my house and went inside to wait for Dad. He did not come. Before I knew it, it was morning again. I heard some banging sounds, knocking on the door and voices, but no one answered. Dad must not be home. I waited for him to come to bring me my veggies, but he did not come. I stood up as tall as I could to look around but I did not see him. I wondered where he went? It seemed like a long time but then I was not sure.

Later that day I heard sounds again at the door and the sounds of a lady talking. But Dad did not answer. I guessed he still was not home. I was hungry so I ate more hay and was sort of mad because I did not have any veggies. That was just unacceptable! Where was Dad!!! The next day I woke up to the same stillness in the house. No veggies, no music, and Dad did not come to pick me up. I felt so sad. I thought maybe he did not love me anymore. I pouted and felt sad and sulked all day. Then I noticed my pellets were also getting low and so was my water! What was going on? I stomped my foot and did all I could to make Dad come to feed me. He still did not come to feed me. He did not pick me up. No dad anywhere. He usually comes right away if I thump.

Days and nights seemed to blend together. I lost track of time and I did not feel very good. I was sad. Then one evening I ate the last of my pellets and I was really hungry. So I ate as much hay as I could, then I felt better. I felt uncomfortable and uneasy anyway. Something was wrong . The house was too quiet. I though I am alone. No Dad. He is just not here. He did not hear me thumping and he did not come to pick me up or bring me veggies.

I fell asleep again after worrying for hours and looking everywhere in rabbit land for any veggies left or pellets and my water dish was also getting really low. I tossed my toys about as was really bored. But I did not have much energy. I do not feel good. I usually get to romp and play in the hall and in Dad’s room. Where is he? I felt extra sleepy so once again I hopped into my house inside of rabbit land in the cool, soft room of my very own and fell into a deep sleep.

As daylight lit the room I could not see Dad. There was no sounds except from downstairs. I was scared so I thumped and thumped and thumped. I finished the last of my water and there were not pellets left and I ate hay. No greens at all! That must mean that Dad had not gone to the store. I wondered where he was. I missed him. I had not been held or petted in days. I didn't I have much food for days and no water. I did not feel good. I tried to push my way out of rabbit land but I was not strong enough. Then finally I made it through. I hopped into the kitchen., no Dad. I hopped into the other area in the living room and the office. But No Dad.

Then I went into Dad’s bedroom – There he was. I think he was sleeping as he did not get up to see me. Something was not right. All this time Dad was right here. He did not move. He did not respond to me in any way. I felt afraid. This all scared me. I ran out of there as fast as I could then I hid in my house inside of rabbits land. I wished and wished that Dad would wake up. I waited and waited. He did not get up. Something was very wrong. I was feeling frightened for the first time. I just could not stop thumping – it seemed to come naturally and I was frustrated and afraid. Then I heard the knock knock on the door again. I was hoping all the noise would wake Dad up. Then I heard voices – lots of talking and sounds. Then lots of people I do not know raced in talking and calling my Dad’s name. I hid.

There were several people and they walked in and then even more people came in and out of our house. I did not understand what was happening. Then I saw them take Dad away. He was still asleep. I could see him go out the door and I thumped but he did not look at me. Then the nice lady who come in talked to me. She asked the people to help her to pick me up as she did not know how. Before I knew it I was in my carrier. I thought that was good, that maybe I could go with Dad. Nope, that did not happen. Dad went off in a big car and I stayed there with the lady. I watched it all from my carrier. There was nothing I could do at all. She took me down to her house. I was so confused. None of this made any sense at all. The nice lady gave me water to drink and food and I heard her calling on the phone like Dad does. Then she talked to me and assured me I would be ok. I did not feel ok. But it was very good to have water and she also gave me greens. She's nice I think. I wonder where they took Dad. I’d like to go home now.

But soon it was night, I did not get to go home. I was set up in a small room in the lady’s house with my water and a blanket and a litter box and hay. Even though I was extremely worried, I was also exhausted and fell asleep. I was so disoriented I hardly knew where to find my litter box and it was dark in the room. The nice lady had put a nightlight on so happily I adjusted and found my way around. I felt so weird. So lost. Dad is not here. I expected he would come to get me. Then I was awakened when yet another person came to see me! She came to the lady's house to help me. She was from The Rabbit Haven. Now that I know. She was smiling and sweet and she knew exactly what I needed… A big hug, lots of reassurance and food.

After I ate, she packed me up and we went on a very long car ride in the mountains. It seemed like we were moving for so long. Like a whole day maybe. She really did make it nice thought she bought me wheat grass and very fresh greens and put that in my carrier. Ahhh –After being so hungry at first it was great. But, I did not care for the long trip much even thought she sang to me along the way and reached in to my carrier to give me pets. I like her. Maybe she is taking me to my Dad. My mind was a mess. I was completely lost. I was trying to keep it together and not give in to being so scared. I was just very still, but I could not stop shaking.

Towards the end of the day the car stopped and I thought maybe I was home. She got out and there was another person who opened my carrier and looked inside to see me. It was not my Dad, but she was nice and she showered me with affection and welcomed me. I know her, it was Auntie Heather! She told me everything would be ok and she would explain everything to me later. Geesh – what a relief. Then she played music. That helped. Then before I could even think about it much I was at a place called the Haven. I have to admit being held felt so good. I was shaking, scared and excited at the same time. I recognize this place. I have been here before. I remember. One time during a big storm my Dad brought me here so we would be safe. What a relief. I am in familiar surroundings with other rabbits. This is good.

I had a nice massage and then a grooming session and plenty of play time in a special area with a soft fresh comforter under my feet. I stretched out –relaxed and then I got to go to my very own room. Here I have beautiful fresh pellets and lovely hay a pile of greens and lots of fresh water! Heaven!!! There is also this other rabbit next to me His names is Dumbledore. Isn’t that a funny name? Auntie talked to me and told me to relax and settle in and tonight we are going to spend some time together and we will talk. Right now I just need to settle in I feel relaxed for the first time in days! More later. It has been a big day. Maybe Dad will come back and sing to me tomorrow.

Love, Duke

Designed by James Farris