Charmin joins the family.
The day we brought Charmin home - Aug 18, 2008
Lenée and I both loved animals. One day in August 2008 we were driving home after spending the day at Ventura Harbor. On the way home on the freeway we drove past a pet store in Santa Paula. Pet stores to me and Lenée were like Harley Dealers. We were irresistibly drawn to them. So we got off at the next exit and turned around.
When we arrived at the pet store we visited with and talked to every critter in the store. We were especially drawn to a very large cage with 2 Holland Lop bunnies inside. We already had a bunny, Oswald, who was also a Holland Lop. We got Oswald back in April 2003, so he had been with us for 5 years already. We found out that the two bunnies in the cage were a mother and daughter. The tiny little daughter was the last of a litter. All of the other babies had been taken home by customers. But the little one that was left remained unclaimed. Lenée and I could tell that something was wrong with her physically. All 4 of her legs pointed straight out to the side. She couldn't walk or hop - all that she could do was scoot along the floor much like a seal. We enquired with the proprietor and found out that the little bunny was the runt of the litter and the weakest. She had been born on the 4th of July just a month earlier. Unfortunately the pet store was not familiar with rabbits and mistakenly raised her on a slick floor. This prevented her from getting traction, resulting in a condition known as "splayed legs". The other bunnies in the litter made it ok because they were stronger, but not this little one.
Lenée and I left the store heartbroken. This was on a Saturday afternoon. We so wanted to take the little bunny home, but I was already dealing with helping Lenée with her physical challenges, and we also had a bunny and guinea pig of our own to take care of.
On Monday I went to work. I just couldn't get that little bunny out of my mind. I called Lenée from work on my lunch break and talked with her about the situation. We both knew that taking on a special needs bunny would be an inordinate amount of work, but our hearts so longed to take her home. We both agreed that we had to bring that bunny home.
After I got off the phone with Lenée she immediately called the pet store in Santa Paula. She talked to the owner and said we were the couple that had visited two days earlier and we wanted the bunny. The owner was silent for a few seconds, and then responded to Lenée "are you serious?" Lenée said absolutely. It turns out that the owner had called a company 30 minutes earlier to come and take the bunny to euthanize her. After hearing from Lenée, the owner called the company and cancelled the request. The driver was literally enroute, only minutes away, to take the bunny away for euthanization.
After I got off work Lenée and I hurried down to Santa Paula some 45 minutes away. When we arrived the owner related the story about the cancelled euthanization to us. We were shocked. We had literally saved her life by 10 minutes. She was the softest thing we had ever felt, so we named her Charmin. She was full of the most loving and curious personality, and was just a joy to behold. We tried multiple treatments with different veterinarians to fix her legs, but nothing worked. Charmin lived with us for 4-1/2 years before she died of complications due to her physical challenges. Nonetheless, we gave her 4-1/2 years that she never would have had. I have never been closer to an animal in my life.
Lenée Longshore Meekbunnyrabbitspecial needs