They call me “Smokey” aka “Monkey”. This is my sanctuary for special need rabbits and this is my story….

I’m an Easter Bunny from 2010.You know the drill… backyard breeder, raising baby bunnies to sell to places like Tractor Supply. “Daisy” and I were the left over bunnies from Easter. We were larger than the other bunnies. No one gave us a second thought because we weren’t as cute and tiny as the other bunnies that were sold. My nose was stained brown from the drainage of a bad upper respiratory infection I was trying to fight off. As each day passed, my infection got worse. I had no energy and just laid around. 

One evening, a gentleman came to Tractor Supply. He stared down into the pen where Daisy and I lay quietly. This man, whom I now call “Papa”, knew immediately that I was in trouble and would surely die without medical treatment. He asked the employee to put the rabbits into a box and scurried back to his place of employment. The nursing supervisor decided to take Daisy home. As I wondered what would happen to me, I felt the gentle embrace of hands around me as I was lifted up out of the box. The owner of the business was holding me tight up under her chin. She immediately realized that I needed medical attention. I was given antibiotics for my upper respiratory infection and by the 5th day I was feeling much better.  

The first year of my life was a very hard time for me. I struggled through treatments of multiple antibiotics, steroids, nebulizer treatments, nose drops, eye drops and bronchodilators. I was diagnosed with chronic respiratory infections (also known as “Snuffles”) which eventually turned into pneumonia. That was the scariest time for me. I couldn’t breathe… I lay on my blanket, wheezing with my mouth open. I couldn’t breathe through my nose. The x-rays showed fluid in my lungs and thickening membranes along the bridge of my nose making it impossible for air the flow through… thus requiring open mouth breathing. 

Although I could hardly breathe, I refused to give up. I used every bit of energy, I had, to eat fresh parsley and hay. When I was dehydrated, my caregiver would syringe feed me water. The constant antibiotic would give me diarrhea. My bedding was changed several times a day.

In January of 2011, after persistent medical care, I started recovering from the pneumonia. I was off all medication. I grew stronger with each passing day. Because of my strong will to live, I was finally able to enjoy life. I have access to most rooms in the house and love to sit in my box of hay on the couch. I run to the refrigerator, anytime I hear the door open, for a treat of fresh parsley.

In June of 2011, I had to have a tumor removed from the side of my chest. The incision stretched from mid back around to the far side of my belly. I recovered quickly from the surgery and was relieved to find the tumor benign. Within 5 months, the tumor returned and I had to have it surgically removed again in February 2012. Once again my recovery was uneventful. 

 I feel fortunate to have someone that is willing to give me the chance at life I so desperately wanted. I could have given up, but because someone cared enough not to give up on me…I’m here today!

I’m thankful every day that someone is willing to care for bunnies with special needs!

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