Wed 6 Dec 2006
Comments Off on Oliver & Tapsi; an international HRN love story with a sad ending
Tapsi is a German bunny.
I moved to Boston for a job last year. For the beginning I left my two bunnies Tapsi and Lopsi with my mother in Germany. I just wanted to get settled first. Unfortunately, Lopsi, who was a very cute Holland Lop, started getting heart problems. He just had very bad days and nobody really knew why. Suddenly, in May, after I was at home visiting, and preparing everything for their trip to Boston, he felt asleep and did not wake up any more. I was devastated. My vacation was over and had to leave back to Boston.
I canceled the bunny Ticket with Pet Air, because I did not want Tapsi to fly as cargo all by herself. My mother was worried, because Tapsi did not eat for almost a week, but then she recovered. I knew that I had to wait over the summer until I could plan Tapsi’s flight as carry-on luggage, because it was just to hot outside (on both continents).
My boyfriend volunteered to fly her over in September. So I bought a ticket for him and Tapsi (she counts as excess hand-luggage) with Delta from Frankfurt via New York to Boston for September 20th. Also, he regularly visited Tapsi at my mothers, just to play with her. She was very lonely. That time, in June, I had already seen Oliver’s picture on the House Rabbit Network Homepage. I knew, when nobody adopts him until Tapsi gets here, he will be her mate. First, I wanted to adopt and elderly bunny. Tapsi is eight and a baby would be nothing for her. Secondly, he has the same facial expression as Lopsi had, also being a slightly overweight Holland Lop.
When September 20th was getting closer everybody was getting nervous. How will little Tapsi take the long trip (14 hours from door to door). She is this very tiny chinchilla colored Netherland Dwarf. We were equipped with about five different health certificates, three different containers and all kinds of medicine. Luckily, everything went very well. Delta Airlines was very friendly and nobody had an issue with the bunny. Tapsi mostly slept in her little Cabin Carrier on the seat next to my boyfriend (they had given him a seat with an empty seat next to him). In New York there was a misunderstanding about little Tapsi being a wild baby rabbit. That is just the way she looks. However, when my boyfriend showed him the Health Certificate with her picture, stating that she was an eight year old pet rabbit, she was all set to enter the United States of America.
In New York I met them at the airport to fly on to Boston. Tapsi was very relaxed. In the middle of thousands of people waiting to board she was sitting in her carrier and chewing greens. For the last hour she was placed under the seat in front of us. We covered her with towels, so she did not get a cold. Arrived in Boston she was still chewing greens. In my apartment I introduced her to her new exercise pen. She ate right away. The first week she just had to fight her jet lag. She was hungry and up at very awkward times, but generally she adjusted very quickly. When two weeks were over, and Tapsi was doing great in her new home, I called the House Rabbit Network with the intention to adopt Oliver. I felt she was ready to be bonded again, after the lonely summer.
The following Saturday Tapsi and I went to Suzanne’s home to meet Oliver (and all the other cute bunnies). In the “dating exercise pen” Tapsi and Oliver liked each other right away, just that Oliver liked her too much. He was very frisky and tempestuous. Too much for the little old lady. However, I decided to take him home. The love was basically there, it just needed some work. I had a large cage set up within Tapsi’s Exercise Pen, so they were separate, but could see each other. The second day I let them together. Oliver kept being frisky, but there were no fights. There were already times when he was grooming her. She enjoyed it. Occasionally it looked like she startled when she looked up, realizing that it was not her old friend Lopsi grooming her, but Oliver. Also, Oliver asked her to groom him. Something Lopsi never did. For the next week, I left them together during the day and separated them during nights. They were doing well and Oliver’s frisky behavior was diminishing. Oliver really enjoyed the good food and that he could run around. Tapsi enjoyed the new companion.
After the work week was over, I decided, that they could finally be together. I allowed them to be together for 24 hours a day, and both of them are very happy. Tapsi decided that she wants to keep this cute little fellow. Hopefully he will stay with her with the rest of her life. I could not stand her being left alone again. I saw him in the Internet and felt in love with him for Tapsi. I was right: He is the type of bunny guy she likes. After a week he has learned to treat her like a lady.But also he encourages her to be more outgoing.
Oliver enjoys his new live: eating greens with his companion, cuddling with her and exploring the big apartment we all live in.I would encourage everybody, who has an old widowed rabbit, to bond him/her again. Two unhappy bunnies are two happy one’s now.
-HRN Volunteer: Corinna-
A sad post-script from the editor:
Sortly after adopting Oliver into her home, Corinna lost Tapsi to a sudden heart-attack. For the short few months that they were together, Oliver and Tapsi were very happy. Corinna often spoke of how Tapsi was acting like a younger bunny again because of Oliver’s company. Corinna plans to try to adopt a friend for Oliver from HRN after they’ve had some time to get over their loss.