Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters



This story may be published or reprinted in the hopes
that it will stop unethical breeders and those who
breed only for money and not for the betterment of the
breed. Copyright 1999 J. Ellis

I don't remember much from the place I was born. It
was cramped and dark, and we were never played with by
the humans. I remember Mom and her soft fur, but she
was often sick, and very thin. She had hardly any milk
for me and my brothers and sisters. I remember many of
them dying, and I missed them so.

I do remember the day I was taken from Mom. I was so
sad and scared, my milk teeth had only just come in,
and I really should have been with Mom still, but she
was so sick, and the humans kept saying that they
wanted money and were sick of the "mess" that me and
my sister made. So we were crated up and taken to a
strange place. Just the two of us. We huddled together
and were scared, still no human hands came to pet or
love us.

So many sights and sounds and smells! We are in a
store where there are many different animals! Some
that squawk! Some that meow! Some that peep! My sister
and I are jammed into a small cage. I hear other
puppies here. I see humans look at me. I like the
'little humans', the kids. They look so sweet, and
fun, like they would play with me!

All day we stay in the small cage. Sometimes mean
people will hit the glass and frighten us. Every once
in a while we are taken out to be held or shown to
humans. Some are gentle, some hurt us. We always hear,
"Aw, they are so cute! I want one!" but we never get
to go with any.

My sister died last night when the store was dark. I
lay my head on her soft fur and felt the life leave
her small, thin body. I had heard them say she was
sick, and that I should be sold at a "discount price"
so that I would quickly leave the store. I think my
soft whine was the only one that mourned for her as
her body was taken out of the cage in the morning and

Today, a family came and bought me! Oh happy day! They
are a nice family, they really, really wanted me! They
had bought a dish and food, and the little girl held
me so tenderly in her arms. I love her so much! The
mom and dad say what a sweet and good puppy I am! I am
named Angel. I love to lick my new humans!

The family takes such good care of me. They are loving
and tender and sweet. They gently teach me right and
wrong, give me good food, and lots of love! I want
only to please these wonderful people! I love the
little girl and I enjoy running and playing with her.

Today I went to the veterinarian. It was a strange
place and I was frightened. I got some shots, but my
best friend, the little girl, held me softly and said
it would be okay. So I relaxed. The bet must have said
sad words to my beloved family because they looked
awfully sad. I heard "severe hip dysplasia," and
something about my heart. I heard the vet say
something about back yard breeders and my parents not
being tested.

I know not what any of that means, just that it hurts
me to see my family so sad. But they still love me,
and I still love them very much! I am 6 months old
now. Where most other puppies are robust and rowdy, it
hurts me terribly just to move. The pain never lets
up. It hurts to run and play with my beloved little
girl, and I find it hard to breath. I keep trying my
best to be the strong pup I know I am supposed to be,
but it is so hard. It breaks my heart to see the
little girl so sad, and to hear the Mom and Dad talk
about "it might now be the time."

Several times I have went to that veterinarian's
place, and the news is never good. Always talk about
congenital problems. I just want to feel the warm
sunshine and run, and play and nuzzle with my family.

Last night was the worst. Pain has been my constant
companion now. It hurts even to get up and get a
drink. I try to get up but can only whine in pain.

I am taken in the car one last time. Everyone is so
sad, and I don't know why. Have I been bad? I try to
be good and loving. What have I done wrong? Oh if only
this pain would be gone! If only I could soothe the
tears of the little girl. I reach out my muzzle to
lick her hand, but can only whine in pain.

The veterinarian's table is so cold. I am so
frightened. The humans all hug and love me, they cry
into my soft fur. I can feel their love and sadness. I
manage to lick softly their hands. Even the vet
doesn't seem so scary today. He is gentle and I sense
some kind of relief for my pain. The little girl holds
me softly and I thank her for giving me all her love.
I feel a soft pinch in my foreleg. The pain is
beginning to lift. I am beginning to feel a peace
descend upon me. I can now softly lick her hand.

My vision is becoming dreamlike now, and I see my
Mother and my brothers and sisters, in a far off green
place. They tell me there is no pain there, only peace
and happiness. I tell the family good-bye in the only
way I know how, a soft wag of my tail and a nuzzle of
my nose. I had hoped to spend many, many moons with
them, but it was not meant to be.

"You see," said the veterinarian, "Pet shop puppies do
not come from ethical breeders."

The pain ends now, and I know it will be many years
until I see my beloved family again. If only things
could have been different.