As I start writing this its Saturday morning. If you read the blog a few days ago you will know that Morgan and Russell brought a rabbit home that they found hurt at the hay feeder. They named it Diane. We have spent the last few days caring for Diane as best as we could. The intention when they brought her home was just to give her a more comfortable death which they felt would happen within minutes or hours. We spent the last couple days giving her water, lettuce and cabbage and pondering if maybe she might get better. However, I saw signs of a head injury and with that as the scenario I was prepared for the event this morning when Morgan found her lifeless.
It was a very easy caregiving experience in a sense, there was nothing gross about it and Diane was very quiet. However it caused some hard questions to stir in me and some interesting things to get discussed. I pondered if we had in fact done Diane any favours, we kept her from a cold and possibly harsh end but certainly we had extended her time of suffering. Did she have a head ache? Just how scared was she by this unfamiliar setting? Could she feel that we intended no harm? With all of that stirring it was actually a relief when she passed.
There were some positive things that came out of the experience for sure. Morgan was very enthused by having her in the house and the work of taking care of her. He checked her often. That had me thinking of something I have never thought of before for Morgan, I asked him, “Morg, do you think you would ever want to be a vet?” He said he wasn’t sure. He didn’t say No. He has such a tender and caring heart and loves animals so much, seeing him so attentively watching over Diane it suddenly seemed like a possible fit.
The other piece of the story relates to my blog address a bit (“Iseeyouyouseeme.ca”). At one point Morgan said to me, “Mom, you think Diane has a head injury, so do you think I could cuddle her?” I think what was going on inside him was a thought that if her injury kept her from typical rabbit motion than he could actually hold her without struggle and it would be a terrific cuddle. I said, “No Morg…. you know that phrase I have talked about, “you see me I see you”, well in this case we have to see Diane, see seems stressed by us, I don’t feel that a cuddle with you would make her feel safe. I don’t know Morg. What is going to make her feel safe?” I am absolutely uncertain of whether that was the right call to make or not. I think touch could be comforting, but that comes from my point of view, life as a wild rabbit is not shaped by touch, I think.
The next day Morgan asked me, “how is Diane feeling?” and a moment later after seeing how Jill had herself set up to sit outside and study and had brought Diane out to be in the fresh air and out in the sun he said, “does Diane like it outside?” I find it amusing and sweet how it seemed he thought I would have the inside track on the answer to these questions. I was encouraged though. It seemed he was anxious to see about the situation through Diane’s eyes. Jill had perceived that familiar sights, sounds and smells might help Diane, I think that was a pretty good guess. Maybe when it comes to really seeing the ones around us and the needs they hold it comes down to some guessing, but luckily we do have the possibility to put our questions into words and check out what we are really seeing when we see one another. How those conversations go is another topic altogether, but in this case, I was encouraged by what I heard as we reckoned with our Diane and her needs.
We had had a great day of calving yesterday, many calves were born and all went smoothly. One of the fun ones to discover was the cow who was named after me. So without further ado……let me introduce Kathy and her baby. We have named cows Gina, Jillian and Morgan, so can I invite you to offer a name for this calf. It won’t get a personalized tag, its just that as we interact with the cows and calves over the next 9 months, as we see Kathy with her calf we can say hi to her calf, by name, and think of you. There is a chance we might keep this calf as a replacement heifer, if its a girl, but otherwise it moves on next December.
I hope your weekend is going well.
Kyla should be her name; if male Kale
I definitely think you made the right call with the rabbit, I don’t think wild animals are big fans of humans touching them! Haha..Poor Diane. This reminds me of the half-drowned owl Taylor brought home a couple of summers ago, we fed it a chicken breast and gave it water but it wasn’t enough to save it. I remember having the same thought – maybe we think we are helping but in reality are we just prolonging their suffering? It’s so hard not to interfere with nature.
Clipper for the calf. I have no idea why, it just popped into my head looking at the picture 🙂
Interesting post. Caring for other beings, animals, I think is one of the things that makes us unique as human in the wild kingdom. Animals care for their own, often (not always), but rarely reach across species-boundary like humans do. Hard to judge if every action we take is the right one, but our intentions are usually right. And the dialog you had with Morgan and Morgan with Jill certainly seems worth the effort! God speed Diane!