Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.
– The Wizard of Oz

8 years ago, my heart was broken for the first time. I limped away from that relationship, emotionally wounded and scarred; though our break-up was truly for the best, at the time I missed him desperately.  I missed coming home to him.  I missed going out with him for adventures in the city.  I missed sharing dinners, watching movies, snuggling on cold nights… and finally I concluded that this was the perfect time to adopt a pet.

I was much too busy to get a dog.  Fresh out of a 3 year relationship and newly single, I was also not willing to become “that cat lady.”  Finally, after many long nights of research, I discovered lop rabbits.  Given my situation at that time, I was particularly intrigued by the fact that lop rabbits have the ability to die of heartbreak upon separation from someone that they are attached to. In the book Lop Rabbits as Pets, their disposition is described as follows:

They reflect their environment and do not do well shut in or placed by themselves.  Known as the lovers of the rabbit world, they have been know to become lonely to the point of going off feed and even dying of a broken heart.  Lops thrive on attention and the activity around them.  A Lop is an animal that is always tuned in to your moods and feelings and the environment; thus you can see a reflection of yourself by observing your Lop.

 

My lop rabbit

My lop rabbit

I found Sir Tenderloin by happenstance, in a small pet store on 6th Avenue. I had asked to hold a dwarf rabbit who proceeded to throw a fit, kicking and squirming wildly when he was taken out of his cage.  Just as I was putting him back in and thinking, “Maybe I don’t want a rabbit after all…” I noticed the cage just below.  Inside it was a squirrel-colored lop rabbit, lying happily on his stomach with his feet sticking straight out.  When I asked to hold him, he came out of his cage peacefully and immediately relaxed into my arms.

The best cuddler

The best cuddler

Not wanting to make a rebound / impulse purchase of my very first mammal, I made the trip across town to my apartment on 7th Street.  I thought that, if I still wanted the lop rabbit by the time I got home, it might be the real thing… And as soon as I walked into my bedroom, I began mentally re-arranging my furniture, trying to figure out where I was going to put him.  I ran back to the pet store, and the rest is history.

Us

Us

Our time together has been filled with many wonderful adventures, which included the Bunny Bris party I threw for him on the day before he was neutered.  My friends came over to meet the rabbit, sip on drinks with penis straws and play Pin The Macho On The Man while blowing penis whistles in celebration!

After this it was quite easy to litter train him, so that he did not need to live in a cage and could have full run of the apartment.  I also trained him to walk on a leash so that we could spend many spring afternoons romping together in Tompkins Square Park.  I always looked forward to coming home to him, to going out with him for adventures in the city; to sharing my fresh vegetables with him at dinner, to watching movies with him in my lap and to snuggling up with him on cold nights.  He loved my friends and always cheerfully welcomed guests and pet-sitters… especially if they came with dried orange-flavored cranberries as a treat.  Last summer, a 3-legged cat named Easel came to live with us – he and Sir Tenderloin became fast friends who snuggled, groomed each other, shared a water bowl and sometimes even a litter box.

Bunny & bathroom

Bunny & bathroom

A spring day with friends in Tomkin's Square Park

A spring day with friends in Tompkins Square Park

So now I should apologize to all of you for not having blogged since the end of July.  Among a long list of other things that have been keeping me from my online home, my pet rabbit Sir Tenderloin has been in and out of our veterinarian’s office  since I returned to NYC from Vienna this summer.  Nearly 8 years old, he was having some serious complications with a corneal ulcer that led to the removal of his left eye in early September.  He recovered fantastically, grew his fur back nearly immediately, and we found that he still had the energy of a much younger rabbit.  Since his recovery, he and I have once again had many happy day trips around the city and have spent many evenings in, watching movies together with his one eye and our 3-legged cat Easel James.

Post-operative bunny

Post-operative bunny

It hurts my heart to write that Sir Tenderloin started showing terrible signs of an infection on Monday night and died suddenly yesterday. He was in the company of Easel and my partner, who had generously dedicated his day to caring for Sir and making sure that he was comfortable.  He helped me to give him a beautiful funeral during which we played Coldplay’s Green Eyes, one of Sir Tenderloin’s favorite songs.  My deepest gratitude to him for all of his help and loving attention, and to Hara, Adrian, Beth and Ryan for their attendance at the burial on such short notice.  Many thanks also to countless other people for their kind words of sympathy…

I feel like a lop rabbit – my heart is broken, because I am now separated from someone that I am so very much attached to.  I am grieving, and I miss him so much.  I am comforted to know that Sir Tenderloin passed surrounded by friends and family who showed him every moment that he was loved.

Advertisements