Friendship is something I take very seriously. I’m loyal to a fault. I used to think that I had to remain loyal to my best friend no matter what. I had other friends and even a counselor tell me to get out of the relationship, but that didn’t seem like an option to me because I wasn’t the type of person to end a friendship, that thought never even crossed my mind.
Four years ago I rescued Hortencia, she had five babies the very next day. Tofu was one of them. I was a little overwhelmed to say the least and was appreciative when my best friend offered to take one. She chose Tofu’s only brother, Chiquito. He looked just like Tofu but he was tan instead of grey.
Two weeks later I found out she had adopted another rabbit. A girl. My first thought was uh-oh. Then I thought well she is 24 years old she should be able to handle it. It’ll be okay.
A month later I was on the phone with her and I asked about Chiquito, she said he was fine. That was the beginning of the lies. She lied to me for 6 months about Chiquito. She did eventually tell me that she lost him. That she was sitting on the front porch with him one day and he must’ve run away. She looked everywhere for him, she said.
That was it. I finally had the courage to quit our friendship. Now, I’ll always regret not ending it sooner. I could’ve saved Chiquito’s life. I could’ve saved her other bunny, Isabel’s life.
I’m writing all of this because I just got an email from her. She’s tried to contact me a number of times over the years and I’m sure the fact that we’re in the same city again has prompted this attempt.
Here’s an excerpt from the email: “More than anything though, I am sorry for being so stupid with regard to Chaquito. It breaks my heart that I allowed him to be in harm’s way and accepted it as my only option for even a moment. I can’t believe I let a day go by before admitting to you what a fool I knew I’d been to take the risk I took with him that day. The decision was emotional and completely selfish. I convinced myself of a lot of things at the time. When I look back, I see how far I was from God’s intention for life and love of all forms. I am still not where I’d like to be but I am working harder than ever to get it right.”
She goes on to say, “You may remember, I had Izabel put down when her dental problem became unbearable for her. I still don’t know if there may have been other options there, though I was told there were none. Honestly, I held on to a vague sense of guilt about being a bunny owner after letting go of Chaquito. **** and I think every day what an amazing gift it is to have any animal in our care—aside from the occasional chaos and the money that can become an issue—they are like our children and bring us unspeakable joy.”
Re-telling the story about Chiquito still makes me cry. I just can’t get over it. And I did not know about Izabel until this email. (Malocclusion or overgrown teeth is treatable, you would very rarely have to put a rabbit down because of this. Here is an article about how to handle malocclusion.)
I think of the life my little Tofu gets to enjoy, and the fate of his brother and it kills me. What would you do if your friend did this? Could you forgive and forget? Should I?
What happened to Chiquito ended up being a major theme in Equal Hoppertunity. If you have a domesticated animal that you don’t want to care for any more, don’t let them go! There are lots of other options. Read this blog post and if you still need help you can always email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll help you!