Saturday, June 22, 2013

Remembering Giol

Giol, #1 daughter's pet rabbit, died this week.

My wife came in Tuesday evening, worried, and told me that Giol was lying on his side and not breathing. She wanted me to make a closer inspection, and I can't say I blame her for doing so. We all liked that little furball.

He was in his pen, lying on the grass, on his right side, eye open, and definitely not breathing. His death probably came some time during the afternoon or early evening: and was, from all indications, quite peaceful.

My daughter had found him, years ago, at a animal clinic/pound in Alexandria. He was one of a number of rabbits recovered from a botched breeding operation, and was nervous: even for a rabbit. I gather that he had not been treated well by the humans or his fellow-rabbits.

#1 daughter thought he was cute: nothing unusual there. There are very few critters she doesn't think are cute. She named him Giol, and took him home with her. Giol was something in the neighborhood of a lop rabbit, with ears drooping and a lovely fur coat. A grayish fuzzy patch on the back of his neck gave him 'character,' and was a legacy of his less-than-happy experiences at the breeding operation.

Giol calmed down rather quickly, under the circumstances, and lived at various times with #1 daughter, in our house, and in a portable rabbit run we built for him. My daughter was moving back to Sauk Centre, having found a place where she could keep pets. We liked the little fellow, but several members of the household are very sensitive to pet dander: which made life a bit more complicated.

I wish that Giol could have lived long enough for #1 daughter to take him back to live with her. But he had a long (for a rabbit) and rather good life. At least, I hope so. We made a point of moving his rabbit run periodically, giving him several square yards of fresh grass to supplement his rabbit kibble. Then there were the occasional apple cores and other treats. He was particularly fond of mint.

I picked up #1 daughter around 10:00 p.m. Tuesday, driving her back to Sauk Centre. We picked up a styrofoam cooler and several pounds of ice on the way, which we used to preserve Giol's body until the next day. #1 daughter and I stayed up rather late, distracting ourselves by watching a few episodes of an anime series we like.

By early Wednesday afternoon, #1 daughter had picked a spot under some lilacs in the back yard and dug a rabbit-size grave. It had been Giol's favorite spot on those occasions when she had him out of the rabbit run. She and I laid him there, still looking as I'd seem him Tuesday evening. She set an apple core by his head, and plans to plant mint there.

Sentimental man that I am, I'm weeping while writing this. I miss that little fuzzball.

These photos, taken a few years ago, are from earlier posts.
(September 28, 2009)

Giol, #1 daughter's rabbit, under the back stoop: his new favorite place outside.

Giol has this "cute" thing down cold.

As #1 daughter observed: from this angle, Giol looks like a fuzzy eggplant. With ears.

Caught in the act! The infamous "chips" incident.

(June 23, 2009)
My wife came up with an excellent idea for keeping Giol out of the way.

Simplicity itself: Place laundry basket on floor; place rabbit in laundry basket. Result: instant rabbit playpen.

Then, the rabbit realizes how easy it will be to jump out.

Putting another laundry basket, upside down, on top of the first worked quite well: until Giol learned that he could push the top one off. #1 daughter eventually used duct tape to fasten the top on.

(April 10, 2008)

#1 daughter brought her rabbit, Giol, along with her. That was a treat, for me anyway. Our son likes the rabbit too. Giol likes to nap behind the couch, and under the chair I use in the living room. It's a bit of a treat, feeling his whiskers when he sniffs my feet.

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