Wednesday, January 4, 2006

My Friend Tory

This is exactly how my friend Tory is!  I remember her having rabbits and sleeping on the couch to take care of them.  She let them go when they were big enough at the park or in the wild, I think.  She has gone to shelters for some of your own animals, her love for them amazes me, but then she amaze me as she is that wonderfully special kind of person that she is!  I honestly don't know another living person that cares for animals, their own and the world's as well as dear Tory.  She carries 40-50 lb. dogs upstairs, feeds the ill ones by hand.  But most of all she loves them as they (animals) love all of us, unconditionally.   And I miss her.  Must write her!!   (I know it's my turn to write- I promise to write very soon. And she is always in my heart.)  I hope you each have a friend like Tory in your lives!

Love, Merry
by Monique Koeleveld

      This is an amazing story of the tiniest little wild baby bunny
you can imagine -- who championed the odds and embraces life despite
his handicap.
     It has been a life experience unlike any other, seeing him
develop, never giving up, and bearing testimony to his intense will
to live.  We can all learn from such an indomitable spirit, to fare
so well despite dire circumstances and prevailing disability.
     One evening, I was walking the dogs with my friend.  The dogs
found a nest of baby bunnies that I believe had already been attacked
earlier in the day.  A momma rabbit makes her nest in fairly
unprotected areas to ensure her best chance at survival, but often at
the demise of her babies.
     I was able to retrieve the two bunnies who were still alive, and
another one who was injured.  Shortly after returning home, I lost
the little one I was hoping would survive.  I discovered puncture
wounds on his little chest and concluded that between the injuries
and the trauma, his little body and spirit simply gave out.
      That left Kelsey, clearly the runt of the litter.  He was barely
half the size of his siblings and had sustained a puncture wound
above his left shoulder.  I immediately called my friend, Gayle
Lanter, who gave me a recipe for bunny formula.  (Thank God for
Gayle!)  I was sure he would pass also, but now 8 months later, he is
still alive.
      The idea was to rehabilitate him for release back to the wild,
but his injury left him with neurological damage.  He cannot sit up
and hop like a normal bunny without support.
      Kelsey was no more than a few days old when he entered my care.
He had very short fur, short little legs, eyes closed, ears very
small and flat to his little head.  He could easily have fit into the
smallest chicken egg.  I toted him to work in his little basket with
heating pad and "diaper" bag for 6 weeks.  Thankfully my boss was
very understanding and supportive.
      In that time, I transitioned him to solid food and reduced the
number of feedings a day.  Transitioning a baby bunny to solid food
is extremely difficult.  The gut is sterile when the bunny is born,
so formula feeding has to be done under very sterile conditions.
Having no way to get all the ingredients for the bunny formula during
the late night hours I brought Kelsey home, I gave him homemade
Pedialyte his first night home.  I have read that it is important
that the bunny's tummy be free of the momma's milk before formula is
introduced, so the Pedialyte feedings may have also contributed to
his successful survival.
      He became quite domesticated.  I have him in his own home, lined
with a thick towel and water bottle fashioned on the outside of his
home, as he can now drink from a water bottle without assistance.
His daily maintenance is time-consuming, gladly provided.  I no
longer have to syringe hydrate him.  He has completely weaned himself
from requiring help eating.  He eats completely on his own.
      He loves his fresh greens, apple, carrot and rabbit pellets.  He
is now able to sit up on his "elbow" without support, a grand
improvement.  He is out with my other furry kids every night.   He
loves to be out with my cats and enjoys doing his little leaps (with
      This is all very, very unusual for a little one that is meant to
be wild and live in the wild.  Once I realized that Kelsey would not
be able to survive in the wild, I did the best I could to help him
adjust to home life.
      Through his lick kisses, body language, his vocabulary,
wonderful appetite, and impeccable grooming habits, he communicates
to me that he is a very content little bunny -- indeed, happy to
embrace life to the fullest.
      I am in total awe of this perfect little creature.  It is an
honor to give him love and care each and every day.

           -- Monique Koeleveld    <jasper_4_16 @>

Monique says, "I live in Madison, Alabama, with my furred and
feathered children, most of whom are rescues.  I have been an animal
lover all of my life and am deeply passionate about the plight of
animals and animal welfare issues."

Thought to Ponder . . .

Live each day with a little less fear
and a little more faith.


yankeygr said...

What a great entry, Merry! I to am an avid animal lover. I once took in a tiny little creature that was so small that I didnt even know what it was. I had taken it away from my cat. I rushed to the pet store a purchased some kitten formula and bottles and a ton of other items that I thought I might need. After a couple of weeks of touch a go, I discovered that I had the cutest little squirrel, that thought that I was its mommy. She couldnt be released into the wild, so I kept her until I found a home for her. That took about 10 months. I still miss Peanut, everytime I see a squirrel. Love ya, Rhonda

stormie4851 said...