sunny bunny

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sunny Bunny - Piper Belle
unknown - March 15th, 2010

Beauty is ever to the lonely mind a shadow fleeting
She is never plain, she is a visitor who leaves behind
the gift of grief, the souvenir of pain

Christopher Morley

When I adopted Piper in mid October last fall she was very thin. The shelter didn't know much about her as she had arrived there via the dog catcher - no one ever came to claim her. It was obvious that she had very recently had puppies, that she had possibly been still nursing when she was picked up. She mothered stuffed toys and squeaky balls, gathering them like babies in the nest she made in her kennel at the shelter.

She & Bess hit it off, instantly, and like a house on fire - the cowboy and I would often comment how lucky we were to have two dogs that played so well (and so much) together. Miss D, the senior boss dog of our new pack of three, was always content to referee, to step in with an intimidating snarl if she felt Bess & Piper were getting too rough with each other. Quite suddenly Piper stopped tolerating Bess. She didn't want to play anymore and really seemed to want nothing to do with Bess. We assumed that it was because Bess was growing so much bigger than Piper and Bess (a 9 month old lab puppy) was/is rough, rowdy and a brat - most of the time. I began to worry that Piper was depressed and I wondered if she'd be happier in a home where she was the only dog. The next sign that something was amiss was Piper became very finicky about her food, her appetite was at times non existent. I spent many days trying to dream up something that would appeal to her. Eggs one day, beef another, cottage cheese ... She was already such a thin dog it became crucial every day that I got her to eat at least two small meals.

A few weeks ago we began to notice her breathing was laboured and she had developed a retching cough. We went to our local vet twice. Blood work, stool samples and a possibility of lung worm - perhaps ? maybe ?? It could be this ?? It could be that ?? This weekend Piper stopped wanting to go on our twice daily walks, it became nearly impossible to get her to eat anything and her breathing had gone from laboured to a puffy kind of shallow panting. I decided it was time for a second opinion and yesterday we took her to the vet in the nearby town, 45 minutes away - to the vet who has been looking after all of my animals since I've lived in this little village - 17+ years.

Everyone made such a fuss over Piper yesterday in the reception area at the vet's office. Everyone always does - everywhere we ever went people were always so drawn to her. That face cuter & sweeter than a stuffed toy dog, the funniest most expressive ears, the waggiest tail, huge gigantic paws that looked as if they'd been grafted on her from some much larger breed. A shaggy, wiry coat the colour hinting at some coyote heritage and her personality as warm and gentle as a lamb - Sunny Bunny I nicknamed her just days after she came to live here.

Piper's xrays yesterday showed a chest cavity filled with tumours. Lung cancer. The vet suspects that she may have been much older than we initially thought and that yes she must have had this cancer for some time. I was talking to MLou this past Saturday and I remember saying how I was worried that PB might have heart failure she seemed suddenly so very frail and weak. As the vet and I looked at the xrays yesterday she just put her arm around my shoulder and said I'm so sorry Susan. Oh ... I'm so sorry Piper Belle.

She was with us for 5 months. She simply adored the cowboy. Every single night she sat between us on the sofa to watch the evenings movie presentation. She watched each movie with such intensity that the cowboy would tease her and suggest perhaps she was paying such rapt attention just in case there might be pop movie quiz in the morning.

Miss D loved her, we all loved her and we already miss her. Sleep tight sweet Piper Belle.


  1. I'm so very sorry for your loss, but happy that you were so blessed by her companionship, and she by your love.

  2. Oh Susan, I am so sorry you've lost that lovely little girl. I've so enjoyed seeing her funny face in your photos. She had a wonderful life with you. My condolences to all of you.

  3. Susan, I was so sad reading this. gave Piper a most glorious gift. The end of herlife was full of love, fun, adventure, companionship,nurturing,contentment and safety. We should all be so lucky.xoxox

  4. My deepest sympathy to you all, Susan; she will be sorely missed. Piper Belle came into your life when she was needed, and you gave her the love and companionship that she needed in return. A short time together, but oh, how happy it was! I know you will take comfort from that.

  5. Oh Susan I'm so so sorry for your loss. Piper Belle's last months were so filled with love and warmth and care... oh jeez I don't know what to say... I'm so sorry.

  6. I adopted a stray when he was nine, and he actually lived to be almost 16. I figured I gave him a nice retirement - lots of good food, love and long walks. I feel that's what you did for your sweet girl - gave her bliss at the end of her life. What a blessing you were to each other! I'm so sorry....

  7. Anyone who has had a pet to love
    Knows how sad it is to say
    My sympathy to you.

  8. tears and that horrible choking sensation is all I can feel right now.... sorry Susan that you are having to go through this...



  9. I am so sorry.

    But you have given her a great life.

  10. We are sad, no tail wags today, but tomorrow. Pet everyone for us.

  11. Oh Susan, bless your heart. It is so sad to learn of your loss, but I am glad that Piper Belle got to be a part of your loving household.

  12. Oh, no, Susan! Such a shock! I loved her. Tears and hugs....I wish we didn't have to go through this. They are all such precious gifts. Why? I don't know.

  13. Dear Susan,
    I read from afar everyday, first thing upon logging on in the AM.
    I am so sorry about Piper Belle, it was such a shock to read.
    Tears were shed here. I send my best wishes to you and your brood for the loss of a cherished family member. Her pictures are a beautiful tribute.
    You gave PB so much in her last months, you receved so much in return.
    Best wishes,

  14. Piper Belle was the most wonderful sweetest little thing. I'm so sorry Susan.
    I might be facing this with my beloved 14 yr old Pavel in the next few days.

  15. So saddened by your loss Susan, such a short time with a lovely, lovely girl. ((hugs))

  16. So sorry to hear about your loss. You are a kind heart for having taken her in and giving her the love that she needed and taking care of her. I share in your grief, as I know the feeling of loosing our beloved pets. Hugs ....

  17. I am reading this a day late, but I just wanted to say that I'm sorry. Sending hugs to you today.

  18. We are all so sorry to hear about Piper. The photographs show a glow in her face - a sure sign that she was loved and knew it.

  19. OMG!!! I am just now getting to read some posts I have fallen behind on and tears are pouring down my face! Dear Susan, dear Piper Belle! I am absolutely heartsick! I just cannot believe it! Such love and kindness you showered upon her for the last 5 months of her sweet life. It was meant to be. She was a blessing to all who knew her, both near and far! Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers and it is my belief that you will see her again, one day, along with Jake and Emma Jane Louise and any others who have gone before. I am just so very sorry!!! Love to you all.

  20. I read the bunny's story and I just thought "How fortune turned for both she and you, and that she found love and happiness, too. That is how all life stories should end...She was loved when she found you...

  21. Oh, dear Susan, I am so sorry for PBs passing. This is a lovely tribute with INCREEDIBLE photos--truly. Wow. Pipe was very very loved as much as any animal coudl be. you will meet again I am sure of it.

  22. oh no dear Piper Belle. So sorry to hear the news Susan.


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