“You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.” -Amelia Earhart
When our furbabies hop to the bridge, we take comfort knowing they are now pain free, enjoying the freedom of endless fields, and eating treats to their little hearts’ content. We smile, knowing they are looking down on us, grateful for the love and care we were able to provide during their time here. While the loss of a furry family member is excruciating, we know this is because of the mutual love we shared with them, and these angels in the sky leave pawprints in our hearts that are with us indefinitely.
It is my belief, when an animal passes on, if we so choose to open up our hearts to rescue another furbaby, this new animal is sent to us from above, carefully selected by the ones we have lost. This past weekend, Easter Sunday as luck would have it, my conceptual belief of what our furry angels in the sky do to facilitate the adoption of our new rescue companions took on a very physical meaning when a new addition to our family was quite literally sent from above.
Until recently, our little family was comprised of my husband, myself, and two Flemish Giant rabbits, Betsy and Alfred. In January of 2018, Betsy, my first rabbit, went to the rainbow bridge, leaving me absolutely devastated. I had adopted her shortly before my mom passed, and much of my grief was absorbed by my new furry companion. After realizing how much she had helped me, I decided to train and certify her as a therapy rabbit. After passing the Pet Partners evaluation and certification process, Betsy dedicated four of her five years with me to bringing comfort and care to those who needed it most, primarily sick children. During this time she had touched many people’s hearts, but none deeper than mine. Since rabbits tend to be very social animals, I was also concerned how her absence would affect our other Flemish Giant, Alfred. While he had never bonded with Betsy, he certainly enjoyed her company, and the loneliness he would experience was worrisome. When Tracy, a volunteer at A Home for EveryBunny, reached out to me regarding a four month old Flemish Giant female who had recently been surrendered to the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center, the timing seemed right, and her age after spay would be a good bonding age for Alfie, who had just turned a year. Everything seemed perfect….except for one very large obstacle. Distance.
“Never do things others can and will do if there are things others cannot and will not do.” – Amelia Earhart
The four hour drive from Milwaukee to Iowa City would normally be a weekend excursion for my husband and I. Something I would truly look forward to, ESPECIALLY if I knew it meant bringing home this sweet little (big) girl. Unfortunately, due to recent health issues, I knew this simply was not feasible. My heart sunk as I sent off the email explaining the situation and declining the offer. Little did I know the inherent passion and perseverance the volunteers of A Home for Everybunny possess. Tracy, working with the rescue’s director, reached out to Pilots N Paws, an organization comprised of volunteer pilots who assist in the transportation of rescue animals. My idea of “angels in the sky” quickly expanded from simply furry companions who have passed to the inclusion of the kind hearted volunteer pilots of this organization, one of which graciously agreed to fly this new addition to our family from Iowa City, IA to Waukesha, WI. The flight was originally scheduled for March 24, but due to inclement weather, was rescheduled to the following weekend. On April 1, Easter Sunday, Tom Bragg, a volunteer pilot for Pilots N Paws and Tracy Ksiazak, a volunteer for A Home for EveryBunny, forwent their Easter plans to deliver our true Easter Bunny, Amelia Earheart (Mellie) to her new forever home.
We are eternally grateful to both organizations, especially Tom, Tracy, and all those who helped in the coordination of this very special Easter gift to our family. We would also like to welcome Mellie to our family, and look forward to many years to come of a mutually shared love and happiness!
**Please note, while adoption of animals from rescues and shelters is ALWAYS the best route, we strongly encourage anyone considering the adoption of a rabbit to do their research, as it is a 10-13 year commitment, and not something to simply be done as a “cute Easter gift”. Having a rabbit is much more equivalent to having a dog or cat, not a small animal, and should be treated as such.**
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