Today's Blog is written by Lhanna, one of our foster carers.
A few months ago, I wrote a blog post on Lucy & Leah, my two foster bunnies.
They were severely emaciated on arrival after being intentionally starved, and our vet did not expect them to pull through at all.
However, a steady measured diet of nuggets, specially selected greens and hay with forage seen them through the worst of it. Never before had I been so nervous about going out to my shed to give the bunnies breakfast; a strong coffee, or a dose of dutch courage was needed before every visit in those first few weeks. When you are in charge of the care of two lops, who weigh only 1.2kg â€“ just over half their recommended body weight, its extremely scary â€“ but it pulls something deep within that you can't ignore, and despite the fear and anxiety, you would do anything to get them better and well. Everytime I went out to see them, they would clammer for attention â€“ sit on my knee and flop next to me â€“ their tiny, yet long bony bodies terrified me, made me cry and made me angry. I channelled all those emotions into their care, and I was rewarded with two confident, self assured bunnies within a few months.
Once they reached a normal weight, they started escaping out their shed pen â€“ so we extended it, and they got neutered. We then moved them into an outside set up, with a house and run with a ramp. The girls loved it, and would race all around jumping of the ramp onto each other and just being bunnies which was amazing to see.
Strangely enough, I never quite seen them leaving me but I never made a move to stop it. In my time as a fosterer I have failed many a time; Alice, Ollie and Freddy are now all permanent residents, having once been fosters. Some bunnies, you just know they are here to stay â€“ that you are what they need, and they are what you want.
I never felt that with Lucy & Leah â€“ which is not something a lot of people understood.Â I loved them â€“ and do still love them, but I knew that what I could provide, is not what I wanted for them.
The day I got the message that they were adopted, I was confused. Initially, I was overjoyed, excited, confused; and then I wanted to know all I could about the family.
And then I was happy.
Despite going through that rollercoaster, I always wanted better for them. My home was their home as long as they needed it â€“ I never wanted them to move foster home, and wouldn't swap trying to catch them in the garden for all the cookies available â€“ but I also would never have adopted them. That's not to say that I couldn't offer a wonderful home to them, as I could have, but could I then do the same for another pair? I had been so successful in helping them gain weight and become the confident, loving bunnies they where â€“ why not save up that knowledge and do it all again?
And that is why I foster.
It's a strange situation fostering, and all the emotions attached to it. However, I think of it like this; I love all the rabbits who pass through my gate, but I also love them enough to let them go. Enough to want better for them â€“ enough to want them to get all that they deserve, and to make new owners happy, and create a positive image of bunnies in their head; to make them fall in love with not just their bunnies, but all bunnies and to carry on the cycle when they pass. If I keep all my fosters, the above is impossible. It is surprisingly easy to say goodbye, when you know the new owners are so excited and want to give these rabbits as good a chance at a fabulous life that I have prepared them for, and told them stories about.
This week, I seen a picture of Lucy & Leah in their new home â€“ playing on grass, next to a tunnel, and clearly close to the photographer. That made me smile; and that simple image of them trusting another person, a person who has done their utmost to provide a life of enjoyment to them, is what I wanted for them. And to see it happen, well it makes it all worth it. No good luck â€“ just Well Done; you deserve it to both parties.