I have a sad story for you...
A couple of days ago I was with my daughter when I decided to get some gas. Every time my gas tank hits the halfway mark, that's way too low for my comfort level so as OCD as I am, I have to fill up with gas before it gets to the line. (And I always take it to the exact rounded dollar OR the 50-cent mark...I can't tolerate uneven change when the gas pump stops. Another OCD thing.)
So at EXACTLY $48.00 I stopped topping off the tank, got in the car and left. As I was driving down the road I saw a small animal flopping around on the side of the road. As I got closer, I noticed that it was a bunny rabbit that apparently got hit by a car. I told my daughter about it since she didn't see it and she immediately burst into tears. "Mom, why do you tell me stuff like that?" She was so upset.
I asked her, "What do you want me to do? Go back and get it?" As soon as that slipped out of my mouth, I thought: What the hell am I thinking? We can't just go get a half-dead bunny on the side of the road?
"Yeah, let's go get it," she said. Tears and sadness instantly gone.
So, at the next street light, I did a quick u-turn in front of about 20 racing cars. (The benefits of owning an expensive BMW is you can beat most of the cars out on the road, making these kinds of driving risks doable. Sometimes I actually believe I was a race car driver in another lifetime.)
"We'll take the rabbit to the vet, okay?" I knew the bunny would have to be put down the moment we got there.
Then, I had to make one more u-turn to get this bunny who was still there, helplessly flopping around and nearing closer into traffic. It was only a matter of time before somebody else hit him. He looked like he was in A LOT of pain. (They say rabbits don't ever express sounds when in pain but he had to be hurting because there was severe damage to this little dude.)
I popped open the trunk, took out my UCR blanket, and demanded my daughter close the trunk while I rushed to scoop up the little guy before the next on-rush of traffic came in. Some idiot in a silver Nissan was staring at me, missing his green light, wondering what the hell I was doing. He was probably thinking it was a small dog or a cat...not a rabbit. Who would pick up a half-dead roadkill rabbit, after all?
After scooping the bunny up, I wrapped it like it was a newborn baby as gingerly as possible and handed him off to my daughter, instructing her to get into the back seat while opening the door for her. She put the bunny in the middle, clicked in her seat belt, and sweetly talked to the bunny the whole way down the road while I started to ask Siri to call every vet in Stevenson Ranch: none were open at 6:30 p.m. EXCEPT for one, which was closing in 30 minutes; I only needed 6 minutes to get there. The bunny was really calm. I think he knew we were there to help him.
We went into the vet and explained the situation. I told them that the bunny sustained a severe injury by being hit by a car and that I needed the vet to put him down immediately, to take him out of all the pain. It took forever it seemed for the actual vet -- a short, mild-mannered blonde woman in her 50s -- to come out and talk to us. All the while we had the bunny still wrapped in a blanket with his nose sticking out for air...fleas jumping around everywhere. Never did I see fleas so large and I used to live in Florida where I thought I'd seen the largest fleas and cockroaches in the world. Not the case. The fleas this rabbit had on him were the size of large gnats.
When the vet started talking to us, she was very calming and had a serene way about her; I instantly felt better. I knew my bunny would be in good hands.
She explained the damages to the rabbit, which I already suspected. She said there was head trauma and a lot of internal injuries and explained how they would put the bunny down. Gas mask first and when the little dude was sleeping, a needle to finish him off; he wouldn't feel a thing, I was reassured TWICE (because this was important to me). Because my daughter was there, the vet said, "And the bunny will go over the rainbow bridge into happy-land." My daughter looked at the woman like she was crazy; she is, after all, almost 10 and is well beyond that kind of description for dying, death, and making it to the other side.
I asked about the body of the bunny. What do they do with the body? I couldn't fathom them throwing this adorable bunny into the trash. The vet said that a company picks up all animal bodies, cremates them, then they spread the ashes in the ocean. Somehow this seemed far-fetched but I needed to buy it because that's what I wanted for my bunny.
They charged me about $100 to put the bunny down including a small donation I contributed for animals that didn't have enough food. I didn't bat an eyelash, paid the money, and felt awash with gratitude that I had the ability to pay for things like this. To me, this was necessary. It was required. The bunny may be considered a run-of-the-mill wild animal that most people wouldn't think twice about but it was important to me that this damaged little guy wasn't in pain anymore...and that he could die in peace.
I was sad...all night. Into the wee hours of the morning. Because I didn't actually know where the bunny went.
After my mom passed away, I was able to visit her and my grandmother on the other side. So I know all about the other side. I've even seen my cats and dogs there.
But what about the bunny? Does the bunny get to go there too? I'd like to think he would be there, maybe with his mommy now. But what if he doesn't go there? If not, then where?
This bothered me...still does. Deep down I'd like to think I know the truth; he's in a happy place on the other side eating grass in beautiful picturesque meadows by a glittering crystal clear waterfall. But is that really true? Is that where he got to go? The same place the rest of us good people go?
What do you think?
See you at the top!