Once Upon A Time there was a small, orange Pomeranian dog called Bunny. She had magical powers. However sad the people were, when they saw her they smiled and felt happy.
This is her story.
As I write this our world is in a very bad place. A virus tears through everything familiar and makes it unfamiliar. The news is teeming with worrying stats and trends. To combat that distress there are also uplifting posts and funny distractions to balance our anxiety and increasing isolation. I have always been aware that images and videos of Bunny bring people joy. Anyone who meets her speaks about how happy and loved they feel when they hold her. There seems no better time to share her with you, in the hope this will be a moment in your day that is brighter because of a very special little dog.
Bunny was born in September 2008 from two posh Pomeranian parents and her destiny was to be a breeding dog. She lived in not particularly kind conditions at the initial breeders for a year before going to a second. He was to own her for approximately five years. Her life there was very harsh and squalid. I do not have precise details and I do not particularly want them. I do know she had an inordinate amount of pups – far more than a registered breeder should have wrangled out of her. She lived in an extremely confined space, had her thick coat shaved and didn’t have a proper name. That breeder was finally notified he had too many dogs and Bunny was taken in by another registered breeder who gave her an actual name. She was there about 9 months before the magical day she was to become mine.
Having lost my precious Pomeranian Delilah after fifteen years, I adopted a little rescue six months after her passing. She was a Pom cross named Diva and my plan was always to have two fur babies. I began the search for Diva’s companion and was put in touch with the breeder where Bunny had gone to live. I was hopeful I could go on a waiting list for a Pomeranian puppy. After chatting with the breeder, I shared I would also be more than happy with an older, retired dog. She mentioned she had an orange girl who would be needing a permanent home. In my mind I did not want an orange Pomeranian as that was the same colouring as Delilah and too painful after mourning her so deeply. However, I made the jaunt out to see the breeder.
She carried out an orange Pomeranian whom she had called ‘Penny’. Penny was newly pregnant and would need to have her puppies before going to her forever family. When she placed ‘Penny’ in my arms my heart lurched as this rather worried little creature snuggled into me. Wishing to not seem hysterically desperate I nonchalantly said yes… I would probably adopt this dog and purchase one of her puppies as a package deal. What I wanted to do was run to the car with her in my arms and never let her go. She radiated love and a transparent need to have a human to call her very own. This tiny waif needed desperately to be the centre of someone’s Universe. I would move heaven and earth to be that someone. I reluctantly handed her back over to finish out her term and have the puppies. That night it was agreed upon that she would definitely be mine. I was beside myself with anticipation.
In truth I didn’t like her designated name. It was the same name as that of an extra marital affair my then husband had indulged in several times over his history. It was a name he delighted in hurting me with. My new fur baby had not had the name very long. Yet I didn’t want her to be confused now she actually had one, instead of merely being a number.
After some deliberation I decided to call her ‘Bunny’.
Bunny and her little puppy (who was to be subsequently called ‘Bear’) came home to me on August 9th, 2015.
Diva sniffed the new arrivals and they swiftly became a pack of three. There was the odd small tiff between the girls because Bunny was a protective mother over her diminutive, rather obnoxious son. If Diva had a toy or treat Bun thought her weeny Prince should have, she would bustle out of her bed and snap. Diva always backed down and it stays that way even today. Bunny is never challenged over a bed or a prize by the others. The days of her going in to bat for Bear however are long gone. She seems to view him more as an adult kid who still hasn’t moved out when she’s trying to have a pleasant retirement.
At first Bunny was rather puzzled by her new life. She was unused to beds and toys and hand cooked dinners. She soaked up cuddles but she also hid away in small spaces. Her little expression was often worried and a bit sad. I spent a lot of time reassuring her and trying to make her feel secure. She didn’t know how to walk on lead and outings rather distressed her. She never barked. She utterly didn’t understand toys. But she utterly knew I was becoming her person.
As the months went on some of these things improved. Her condition blossomed with good food and exercise. In February 2017 I ended my marriage and the four of us relocated to our new home. Diva and Bear were a closely bonded pair and a happy unit. And Bunny? Well.. Bunny finally came into her own. ❤ Already unrecognisable from where she’d started out at her adoption, Bunny was now in a quiet, stress free home. Everything revolved around her. An adopted pooch momma’s dream come true. The last remnants of the shy traumatised dog melted away and The Bun hit her stride to become one of the most charismatic orange fluff balls that has ever been.
In July 2017 we had all travelled to Melbourne as a family where I was performing with “My Fair Lady” at The Regent Theatre. Bunny came onto the radar of the cast members and a campaign was started to have her in the theatre for a show. After months of touring the Company was tired, missing home and it was a morale boosting exercise. To convince management, posters made by the performers went up around the backstage corridors. The ‘Bring in the Bun’ Movement was launched with rampant enthusiasm.
And indeed Bunny had her great day in the theatre. She was cuddled by the likes of the magnificent Reg Livermore, adorable Tony Llewellyn Jones and lovely Pamela Rabe. She got to come to stage warm up and spent her afternoon nursed on the laps of Company Management. It is something that show team remember as a highlight of a long run in a cold, mouldy venue. Three years on she’s still visited by some cast. In fact, one of them now owns Bear’s brother ‘George’ from Bunny’s final litter.
After sojourning back to Sydney in early August 2017 Bunny has gone from strength to strength. She’s become rather bossy and she’s also learned how to bark in protest. It is possibly the funniest sound I’ve ever heard. A petulant ‘”MEH” that demands instant attention. She bustles up for her meals and likes to be hand fed her breakfast. She scrabbles at my lap to be cuddled. She goes nuts for a walk and then, like anyone with a built in slave, demands to be carried for most of it. She will happily sniff and traverse certain stretches of path and and then parks her fluffy butt and refuses to budge until she is lifted and carried aloft like some small, revered orange Pontiff.
About a year ago I came home and found her playing with a toy. I cried that day. It was like she had finally forgotten all she’s been through and learned a final, wonderful thing. Her little face was so proud and excited as she busily rolled that treat ball. She beamed at me with all she had.
My other two dogs are extraordinarily happy, but it must be said that Bunny is the happiest dog I have ever known. I sincerely hope she does not remember the suffering of her first six years. I think not in detailed terms, but I believe she does express every day that she loves her life and she knows it is very different from where she started out. She certainly expresses that she loves me in a way that makes my heart ache. Every meal, every toy, every bed, every word of love and cuddle, every day is enjoyed to its fullest. She’s a living, breathing epitome of gratitude and being in the moment. She reminds me that I am lucky. Bunny also gives me purpose when life seems a little bleak. Purpose to make every day she has wonderful – to make up for when she was a forgotten little breeding dog living alone and untouched in a squalid box. Her look of love and happiness can change a fraught moment into a beautiful one in less than a second.
Bunny will turn twelve in September and it is my fervent hope that I have many more years with her. As a canine helicopter parent, I have the vet check her over carefully regularly (including blood tests) and I am assured she is in excellent health. Her hearing is going and she has had a couple of very transient minor seizures so common in Pomeranians, but she is something of a tiny Titan. Once a scared little forgotten dog – she is now The Bun beloved by so many.
My adorable, demanding, eccentric, joyful, ever smiling fur baby.
It is easier said than done, but I think Bunny’s message to us humans at the moment would be a simple one. Be happy and grateful for all you have that is wonderful in your life. She does not dwell on what has been because she’s busily soaking up what she has now. Dogs live in the moment.
Stay safe and I hope Bunny’s story brought you a smile at a time when they are a little scarce. This too will pass. The Bun guarantees it. xx
I am heartbroken to add to this piece that my most precious Bunny passed unexpectedly on May 16th, 2020. She became off colour for a couple of days and I took her to my vet the afternoon of 15/5/20 who diagnosed a tummy bug and found a heart murmur (which had not been there at her last visit only a few months beforehand). That evening I raced her into Sydney University Vet Hospital when she became very disoriented and had an episode of not breathing properly. She passed away at 5.20pm the next day on a ventilator and despite every effort, nothing could be done to save her. The staff did everything they could and she was kept as comfortable as possible the whole time. She was with me for just less than five years and changed my life and the decisions I made in my life irretrievably. All for the better.
With thanks to everyone who has loved Bunny and followed her stories. For all the dogs I have loved (and I am sure I may love in the future) The Bun will remain a unique, shining light of pure joy. If love could have saved her she would have been here forever.
Especial thanks to Dr. Rachel Soh from University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Sydney who showed such compassion and worked so hard to save her.
Rest Peacefully my Bun-Bun. Until I hold you again at The Bridge. xxxx