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Chloe was my second rabbit and was adopted from Furry Friends Foundation in late January of 2004. When she got to her new home (my bunny-proofed bedroom), she was nervous but soon started exploring and refused to be caged. Within the first two weeks of settling in, her real personality emerged. She seemed to be a timid, reserved little lady but as she got comfortable, she became demanding and dominating! Initially, I adopted her in hopes of bonding her with my male bun Scout, but the bonding attempts were all unsuccessful. Both rabbits wanted the upper hand and neither would back down. After a few more failed bonding attempts with other rabbits, I realized she wanted to be on her own. I didn't mind because I knew that I would keep her regardless.

She was my most beautiful rabbit for sure; white with black spots and patches all over, long girlish whiskers, a pointed elegant face and a soft round body. Our personality traits are very similar and I think we developed an understanding between one another because of this. She was always a bit aloof and seemed to enjoy her solitude. She was very territorial and greeted everyone with her signature aggressive grunts and honks. She wouldn't let you pet her unless she marked your fingers under her chin first and was known for chasing people out of her room if they smelled of another rabbit. She was a skeptical girl but still enjoyed spending time in my arms receiving affection. As these characteristics and habits of hers became more apparent, I began to respect her for who she was and let her live as an independent lady.

Although she was a solitary rabbit, I knew she was happy because before every meal, without fail, she would run, jump and leap around me, then under the bed (usually two laps), then back into her pen to eat. Sometimes she'd jump so high in excitement for snacks that she would grunt a little upon landing as if the wind was knocked out of her. I'd often wake in the middle of the night to hear her running laps around the room - over and over. But like all rabbits, she was a hellion at times too. She chewed the baseboards of the walls in both apartments she lived in with me, tore up the carpeting corners in my current apartment, and would wake with the sun and start chewing anything she could, possibly to wake me up for breakfast. I suppose that's not being bad, that's just being a rabbit.

Throughout the two and a half years she lived with me, she always seemed a bit susceptible to G.I. stasis. However, there was never an instance that led to a vet visit until last Thursday. I got home from work and when I went to feed her she was hiding under the bed and uninterested in food. I gave her some leftover pain meds from Theo (who went through the same thing the previous month), syringe fed her critical care, and massaged her belly. I could feel a large gas bubble that, even after two 45 minute massage sessions, wouldn't budge. I did all I could without any change and she seemed increasingly uncomfortable. I packed her up and took her in to Animal 911.

I didn't know how serious the situation was until getting a call the next morning saying she'd taken a turn for the worse. I then went in to see her knowing that this might be our last encounter. The nurse brought her in wrapped in a pink towel and put down a handful of parsley in case she felt like eating. She looked sad, tired and out of it. Poor thing had a catheter in her left paw which she tried to shake off as I attempted to feed her. She ate a couple tiny bites but that was it. Her eyes were teary - maybe because mine were? Perhaps our understanding of each other was present even under the dire circumstances. Later that night she went into a seizure and then into cardiac arrest. They began CPR on her but I had them stop even though I had not made it to the hospital yet. I didn't want to prolong her pain any longer. I can only hope that she was at peace and too confused to know what was happening. She passed away at around 8pm on Friday August 11.

My rabbit friends Matthew and Rachel said that I was welcome to bury her up at their farm in Galena. They have an animal cemetery there where other rabbits have been buried - some of which are also Furry Friends alumni. I really can't think of a better resting place for her.

This is the first time I've lost a rabbit and am thankful for all the people that have been supportive and helpful. Especially Matthew and Rachel (specifically to Rachel) for introducing me to Chloe and helping me bring her into my life, Jon for helping me get through the weekend and for allowing me to put up this tribute, to the people at Chicago Exotics and Animal 911 who cared for Chloe and for doing their best, to Dr. Gallegos for the kind, comforting and informative words and for taking the time to talk to me, and to my friends, especially Will and Lisa for listening to me cry.

Chloe is an irreplaceable rabbit to me that I feel fortunate to have met. I see her as the sister I never had... only in rabbit form. Although she was probably bound to have a shorter than average life, I am still much obliged to have known her and would not have had it any other way.