Sunday, July 21, 2013

Everything happens for a reason

    Yesterday something totally unexpected happened that proves what I believe: Everything happens for a reason.
  My friend Lori, who has recently been having heart problems,loves animals. They're literally her life. She has loads of animals of her own, and she works as a vet technician. In her job and life she frequently finds herself in situations where she ends up rescuing animals. Sometime she finds new homes for them, but a lot of the time she keeps them. Once when I was with her we had to move a snapping turtle out of the road so he didn't get smashed.In that case she didn't need to be involved after just moving him to safety, but it isn't always like that.
  We had been talking about going somewhere this Saturday to just hang out and have fun.We debated staying here in the town I live in, or going to some other nearby town. (She lives out in the country.) I voted for 'some other town', since I'm always here. So she randomly picked a small town nearby and we went out for lunch. After lunch we did  a little shopping and then headed down the road to see what else we could kill time with. As we came to a park, (The kind with boating and camping, etc., not a playground.), Lori turned in. She had been trying to find out if they had horse riding trails and she wanted me to see the pretty view overlooking the water. As we came to the parking lot we saw a car parked along the edge. When we pulled along behind the car we saw that the guy in the car was just sitting there looking at something. What he was looking at kind of left us with our mouths hanging open. There, just grazing and hopping around, were 8 rabbits! I was sort of stunned, as I said, "Those aren't wild rabbits." They were domestic bunnies. Seven of the eight were lop earred bunnies, and the eighth was a small white bunny with red eyes. Apparently the guy had just seen somebody pull in and just drop off the rabbits. He didn't want to leave them there, since they probably wouldn't have survived the night,but he had nothing in his small car to take them in and besides was on his way to a reunion. He'd been trying to contact his daughter and grandson, who had rabbits, but they weren't answering their phone. Also, they lived so far away it probably wouldn't have done much good.Soon the bunnies would probably hop off into the woods they were right on the edge of and be gone. Lori and I were flabbergasted that anybody would do something like just dump off 8 rabbits,but Lori said she had seen it happen before. Then we remembered the fair had recently ended. These rabbits had tattoos in their ears for identifying them for exhibiting. They were someone's fair project and now they were no longer needed. Pretty heartless behavior. These rabbits were far too tame to survive in the wild. They had no fear of anything. Also, it's very irresponsible to introduce non native species into the wild. Either they won't survive, or they will survive too well, threatening native species. (We're having that situation with lady bugs around here. You may think ladybugs aren't important, but apart from being important just because they are part of the natural order of things, they also serve a very useful purpose, eating pest insects and keeping the population of such insects at a manageable level. The local chicken...FACTORIES, (The only way to describe it.) have created a major fly problem. When local ladybugs couldn't handle the problem, Japanese ladybugs were imported to help. You might think that was a good idea, but you'd be wrong. The non native ladybugs turned out to be far more aggressive than the local little red guys.They are much bigger and eat EVERYBODY, including the native ladybugs. We have hardly seen red lady bugs for the last few years. The larger brown lady bugs have nearly taken over (although we do see some hybrids.) They also BITE, and like the red lady bugs, they smell.With bigger bugs you get a bigger bite and a bigger smell...)
  Anyway,after the initial shock we immediately began to think, "What do we do? We can't just leave them here to die." Lori decided they looked healthy;clear eyes and good coats were a couple of signs.She always carries a small pet carrier with her in case of,well, with her I guess you'd say 'the inevitable'. We knew we couldn't get all 8 into it though. What to do? We started picking up bunnies, and they didn't run at all. There were a couple of half hearted hops, but mostly they just sat and let themselves be picked up. We got about 5 of the smaller ones in the carrier and she put a couple more in the back seat floor of her truck,(Which we had decided to take instead of the car because of flood warnings. Oh by the way, my basement flooded again too. Not as badly this time, luckily.)See, something else that we just happened to do that was perfect. Once the bunnies were in the truck she opened the carrier, but most of them preferred to stay inside. I got the last couple out of the ditch and we debated if they would jump out of the back of the truck. Lori was a little worried about them peeing in the floor. I said, they could jump out, and it's only two more. At this point we laughed about the idea that if you have 6 rabbits peeing in your truck, what would two more hurt?
  So we carted them back to Lori's house.I had a bunny a few years ago.(That was Lori's fault. I just went for a visit and came home with a border collie and a rabbit!) His name was Gabriel and I loved him dearly. Gabe had a stroke at one point and for a few weeks had to be hand fed and given water, and bathed by me because he couldn't get up. After a while he got well enough to clean most of himself again and got around ok, but he was blind in one eye and wouldn't come out of his cage any more.He lived for several years after that though and was a lovey boy. I still miss Gabe and get a bit sad every time I throw away the cauliflower leaves he used to love. I have thought many times about getting another bunny, but the short life span  put me off. Unfortunately I'm a sucker for a friendly animal, and I made the mistake of bonding with the next to last bunny I picked up. He's dark brown with tan highlight hairs. He rode part of the way back to Lori's on my lap and is a real snuggler. At her house we put the rabbits in a stall.Lori kept saying stuff like, "You can take yours home in the carrier." "There's a towel in the carrier."(Because the brown bunny had been wet from the park and then kept sitting with his front legs in the water dish in the stall.), and "Yours is blah blah..." I'm such a push over. I couldn't resist and besides, how was Lori ever going to find homes for EIGHT bunnies?
  I brought 'mine' home and Ivy immediately named him Jerome, after composer Jerome Kearn. 

  She had actually said a while back that that was going to be the name of our next pet, since our last one, my parakeet, is named after Irving Berlin. (Don't ask me why. I just kept thinking 'Irving Birdwing'. And by the way, I got Irving because I went with Lori to pick up HER parakeet, and bonded with Irving, who was a three week old baby who loved to be held.) Jerome has settled in nicely and is already enjoying laying in the fireplace like Gabey used to do. 

We were meant to have Jerome, and Lori was meant to save those bunnies. Otherwise we might have stayed here,or gone to another town. We might have lingered longer eating and/or shopping and the bunnies might have already hopped off into the woods.Lori might have driven the car and been less inclined to take a chance on bunnies peeing in it. (Nah, she still would have risked it.) We might not even have pulled into the park in the first place. She kept laughingly saying, "Why?! Why?!" I said, "Because it's what you're meant for. It's your calling in life." Like I said, everything happens for a reason.

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