Saturday, September 12, 2009

Farewell, My Friend

A long, but interesting account of our life with a special companion
Dark and cloudy, rainy, cold and sad, is this day. I feel the heaviness in the empty and quiet house.

As the fuss around the house slowed down with Jachym leaving for the siberian husky speciality yesterday alone (representing our sled dog shop), and his mom, who was visiting for 2 weeks left for the airport, heading back to Czech Republic, it would have been lonely enough, but it is our mascot Roger´s leaving during this night, that makes the world a dull place.

Our 6 years old bunny´s heart stopped beating during early morning hours. He passed away silently in sleep, I assume.
Walking into the kitchen without this cheerful soul greeting you is so odd and leaves such an empty feeling.

Roger was a character not mentioned very often on our homepage or in this dicsussion, but many of you who visited our place had a chance to meet him and recognise his unique - unbunny-like character.

It is at least apropriet that I share today the story of Roger´s life. A story of a bunny, who did not think he was a bunny and a tiny, brave animal who was a huge part of my life together with Jachym.

When Jachym and I´ve been together only for a year, we went to a huge pet products fair in Germany, for business trip. During the weekend, we took a walk around the show ground and amongst hundreds of bunnies, guinea pigs, hamsters and zillions of other small pets, we spoted a dwarf rabbit baby, about 4-6 months old. He had striking markings, which we later learned were a rare Japanese coloring. He had an aura that talked to ours and we could not forget this tiny creature for the rest of the show. He was not for sale, as none of the others, he was a "model" for terrariums, crates, and accessories for bunnies. As the fair neared the end, we unconsciencely wandered to his exhibition, and talked with the staff about inquiring for him. They didn´t want to, but agreed to ask the boss and in about half hour we were allowed to take him with us! We went around, bought him a travel kennel, feeder and watering system, and from a company selling bunny kibble and other yummies, we obtained a large stock of food. The dwarf rabbit food was called Roger.
Since we were both into Monty Paytons then (we still are, as a matter of fact), and just recently watched The Life of Brian, we rememberd one of the most funny scenes,where some guy´s name Roger was called, and so we thought that this name is meant to be.

Roger (read it with a French pronaunciation! "Rogééé") became a part of our life. We had him at home, later on, when we started nearly living in our office (working till late nights every day), we moved him to the office and shop, to give him a company and to have a near contact.
We made a strong bond and he became more than a pet. He could run lose and loved being cuddled and rubbed behind his years.

At times we had a company for him of a similar kind - once we had hamsters, and later Jachym brought from one of his business trips a guinea pig girl, whom we named Rhoderick (also from the same Monty Payton scene), but she was a scared little unhappy crature and reached her destiny when a dog, belonging to girl who worked for us, broke into the room, attacked the crate and killed the guinea pig. Roger was hiding in the corner of the cage, where the dog could not reach, kept his cool and thus survived the attack.

Roger was never afraid of dogs and never ran franticly around, nor paniced about anything. He was the coolest character I´ve ever known, amongst dogs, horses, cats, or whomever else.
He liked the dogs and showed them sume guts. Sooner or later, every dog we had, gave up chasing him around his crate, because Roger always went forward, and if the intruder wasn´t polite, he bit him in the paw or simply counter attacked. The dogs gave up and soon just layed around or ignorred him.
Puppies always learned a great deal about respecting other animals and craetures of different kinds, shapes and sizes. He was our socialization teacher.
We raised 7 litters while we had Roger and he tought them good lessons.

He was never afraid of anything and as fast as he tought the dogs to respect him, he made friends with our new kittens. There wouldn´t be a day when Ronja came home and first thing she´d do would be go to Roger´s crate, lean against it several times and they would sniff each other and say hallo. It was very sweet to see these friends and I will miss those moments a lot.

When the puppies were born, we always moved him to my office, where he loved it, having company for several hours straight, as I worked on the computer.

But Roger wasn´t just a brave, friendly and cool bunny, he thought and behaved like a dog. He was incredibly smart and funny. He made so many comic things and made us laugh often, when we sat in the kitchen with him, or just watched him while eating or cooking.
He had the most unusal and totally un-rabbit way of resting, be it just laying down or actually sleeping. He laid in many typical dog positions, including curling up! Those of you who spent some time at our place will remember that.
He had so many antics that led us to realize that Roger either was a dog in his previous life or will definitely become one next time. But I for some reason believe he actually used to be a dog, perhaps one of our guys, who left too early, and came back to spend the time that wasn´t given to him previously, with us.

He hated cleaning up, and attacked the little spade we used to take away the old wood chips. He would also rearange his food dish, when we dared to place it on an unusual spot, where it did not belong! After we cleaned up the crate, Roger would spend at least an hour cleaning after us, putting things back in order and on their correct places. And you should see his totally angry looks. Oh yes, he was upset about us making a mess in his house.

I think his unusual behaviour would have actually been interesting for some professional study.

But there is mainly one story, which shows how little we, humans, with all our sience and technology, know about the universe around us.
Couple months after we moved here, our old house dog Happy got a stroke in the middle of the night. We haven´t heared anything, after all she didn´t make any sounds. But it was a strange noise that woke us up in time to be able to safe Happy´s life. It was Roger, hitting the crate with his paws repeatadly for a long time, until we actually woke up. We heared the sound from the sleep, but in the beginning, did not pay attention to it, but as it was so intense, loud and non-stopping, we actually woke up and went to check out what´s wrong. We found Happy faltering and struggling around, her eyes and head ticking wildly.
As soon as we took care of her, Roger stopped.
We took Happy outside and I gave her Reiki for as long as she shook, until she finally calmed down.

Happy actually got over the stroke (despite the sceptic prognosis of a vet), which left her just with a mild motorics problem, so she had a bit funny walk, but was a happy dog, and lived to reach over 16 years.
Shortly after she died (she was put to sleep inside the house), I lit a candle beside her, and then I heared Roger start making the same sounds like those, when he warned us about Happy.
He never made that before or after.

She used to sleep beside him (she loved cats and other animals as well), and they were really attached to each other strongly especially after her stroke.

And so it all hit me when I thought about Roger´s life and the big impact of this tiny animal on us, this morning, as I petted his silky fur and said my last good bye.
I have a reason to believe Roger was Happy´s litter brother Kipp, my second siberian. He was a special personality, unlike husky behaving in so many ways (except for the great work ethic), and always a very special character. Kipp died in a huge tragedy, being shot, in just 2 years of age. He was a unique character, left way too early and had special ties with his sister Happy, whom we acquired as an adult, from a bad home.
And so was Roger. I do not believe in coincidence.

So with a heavy heart I wish farewel to you, my friend. I was given the chance to meet your beautiful soul and I will forever be enriched by that. We WILL meet again!

Katerina and Your Pack

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