I know. It’s been a ridiculously long time. But there’s this pesky thing called life and it just keeps on messing with me and my plans. On the flip side, it means I have several posts to make to fill you in on some things I actually have managed to achieve, but first, let me show you one of the main reasons while I’ve been MIA.
Say hello to Toby’s shaved butt. Let me set the scene for you. Sunday afternoon, Six Nations rugby on the tv. I go to the kitchen in need of a cup of tea and Toby, as is his way, mistaking himself for a dog, follows me out, into the dining room where his pen is. He stands in the kitchen doorway watching me – he won’t come in, as there’s a step down of about an inch, and Toby does not do steps. Nor does he jump. This is important. I head back into the dining room, he follows, sits between his pen and the hearth and I go up to the bathroom. I come back down minutes later and he’s lying on his side, unnaturally, in his pen, breathing wildly.
Unfathomably, he has a transverse fracture to his thigh. Our amazing vet James, sends his xrays to a colleague who specialises in osteo-type ops and he’s booked in for an op 48 hours later. We bring him home, where, ketamined out his mind more than we thought, he does even more damage, fragmenting said bone by trying to move and falling over.
It’s probably fair to say his op day was the longest day off my life. We dropped him off at lunchtime, and his op was due to begin about 5.30, dependant on when the surgeon finished his previous op about 100 miles away. A pretty severe storm began to kick off, just to wind me up more. Also, I kept forgetting to breathe. About 7.30pm our vet called to say he’d come through the op and was in recovery. He’d call us in another hour or so, to tell us more. I swear to you the hands on my clock did not move at their normal speed. Even though I tried not to look at them.
An agonising hour later, the vet phoned, saying ” he’s doing really well, come and take him home!” I didn’t care about the storm outside – I wanted my boy back! James showed us the xrays, complete with his little strip of meccano plate and bolts before Toby was brought out to us. He was so much better than after the xray, I was amazed – he was much brighter and responded to my voice, sticking his nose to the air vent on his box. I admit I nearly cried when the box was opened – Karen, James’ wife, who is also a vet and had assisted in Toby’s op – had arranged his blanket so that it folded up over his poor shaved butt and that simple act of kindness pretty much took me over the edge.
The next 48 hours was pretty much like having a newborn baby – thankfully without the crying. From the slow drive home, like we were carrying explosives that would go off at the slightest bump, to the two-hourly feeds through the night. He went back for a check the next morning, about 12 hours after we picked him up and James was surprised at the change in him in such a short time – no temperature, wound clean and an alert bunny. We got good at syringe feeding, I pretty much bought out the fruit and veg aisle at the supermarket to tempt him back to real food and we perfected the art of scooping out just enough of the centre of a chunk of banana to fit his meds in without him knowing. Two days after that, we had another check up, where James wanted to see if Toby was able to bear any weight, lifted him out his box and set him on the floor. Toby ran across the floor to me, a proper, even series of hops, like nothing had ever happened. And he really, really didn’t want to go back in. It’s lovely to still be able to surprise an expert! James even took Toby’s photo and put him on the surgery’s facebook page, calling him Toby the wonder rabbit.
As I write this, on Sunday morning, 10 days after the op, he’s in a reduced-size pen, next to the couch Im sitting on. He’s eaten some breakfast, hopped in and out of his litter tray and is currently trying to push the pen four inches to the right, because there’s a sunbeam just out of reach and he doesn’t like to waste a sunbeam. He has another check up tomorrow, where James is going to try and gauge how the leg is healing, before another xray in about 4 weeks. We were watching him the other day and worrying as he seems to not sit with his foot flat on the floor, but toes raised. And then we remembered it had only been 8 days since the op, an op that, for an oldish bunny, was a major deal.
I’d always thought it was a myth, that, if you shaved a tiger, he’d have stripes on his skin, but I know it to be true now, as Toby’s grey splotches show! These coloured tufts are growing fast, faster than the white, plus he’s started to shed his winter coat, so his face is looking almost as scruffy as his rear. But I don’t care. He’s home, he’s doing well, he’s my wonder bun.