CHAPTER 239 – Getting Old Sucks
Squeak, squeak, squeak, went Abigail as she munched on her greens. Dad’s ears perked up. He recognized that sound. Abigail watched as he knelt down in front of her and stared at her. “What?” she wondered. “Abigail, are your teeth bothering you again?” asked Dad. Abigail thought, “Well, maybe a little.”
It had been a year since Abigail had her near brush with death when she stopped eating because of her teeth. Getting old sucked. Even for a rabbit. Her teeth had grown at odd angles and were no longer wearing evenly, causing them to dig into her cheeks. It hurt so much, she stopped eating. Which was never a good thing for a rabbit. Fortunately, supervet Dr. Stern was able to save her. At her six month checkup, her teeth had been fine.
“I don’t want to take any chances,” said Dad, “I’m taking you to see the vet.” “Oh, no! I’m fine!” she thought. Rabbits were very good at hiding their ailments. They hated going to the vet.
A few days later, Abigail saw Dad approaching. Even though he tried to act nonchalant, her rabbit sense told her he was up to something. She darted off to hide behind the couch. “Drat!” she thought. Dad had blocked the other exit. As she turned to run back the other way, Dad caught her. “Gotcha, sweetie!” said Dad. Abigail squirmed but it was no use. “Don’t worry, you’ll be OK,” he said soothingly as he petted her. Abigail was not convinced. Off to the vet they went.
Abigail sat on the examination table as Dr. Stern checked her teeth. Dr. Stern said, “Yep, her teeth need trimming again.” Even though she still looked like a baby rabbit, Abigail was middle-aged now. She was 7 years old, which is around 57 in human years. Being a car guy, Dad wanted a “look under the hood” as long as she was “in the shop.” Dad asked, “As long as you have to knock her out to file her teeth, could you take some x-rays to check for sludge, teeth issues, and growths? And do a blood panel, too.”
Dad looked at Abigail and reassured her, “Don’t worry sweetie. I’ll be back later to take you home.” He gave her a pet before the vet took her in the back.
Later in the day, Abigail woke from her nap. Soon, she was back to her feisty self as the vet tech picked her up to put her into her carrier. “I want to go home!” she thought. She heard Dad’s familiar voice. “Hi Abigail. I told you I’d come get you!” he said.
Normally, she didn’t like being picked up but she knew Dad was her protector, so she hopped into his arms and listened as the vet gave Dad a report, “We filed her teeth so they’re even again. Her blood work looks good. But we did notice a small mass in her chest cavity. It’s possible it’s the start of thymoma. It’s not bothering her now but we should keep an eye on it. Bring her back in 4-6 months and we’ll see if it has progressed.” That was not the news Dad wanted to hear but he preferred to know in advance rather than be surprised when it was too late to do anything.
The checkup reminded Dad how precious life was and that he should cherish every moment with Abigail (as well as all the other rabbits at the House of Buns.) At home, as he lifted her out of her carrier, he gave her a long hug and a kiss on the head. “I hope you know how much you are loved and cherished, little one,” he said as he gently set her down on the floor.
As Abigail hopped off, she thought, “I do, Dad. I do.”
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