No manuals come with animals. . . No manuals come with humans, but somehow we muddle through in raising both.
In the midst of all of the busyiness of summer days we had to learn a hard lesson with two of our animals. Shadow and Jingles, Hannah's rabbits for 4-H, we got them when they were just weeks old. She carried them home in her lap, stroking their soft, black fur, envisioning many special moments with her new bunnies. She began rising early to care for them, feeding, watering and cleaning a cage - she was truly dedicated to her work, always rising without delay. Her care became more involved when she found out she had not two girls bunnies, but a buck and a doe. She watched them grown, practiced her showmanship routine and anxiously awaited the upcoming county fair where she would get to show them for the first time.
Tragedy struck shortly after she got their ears tagged for showing - Shadow became sick quickly and died. No one in the house knew what happened, until a week later, Jingles experienced the same sickness. Jingles was brought inside the house, hydrated and feed with a syringe for several days. Seeing improvement, she took him outside on a beautiful sunny day to play in the grass. Everyone thought Jingles was on the mend, until last evening when he took a turn for the worse and died in the night. GI Stasis is the culprit for both of their deaths. Learning lessons the hard way is not always comforting, but does it not say in Psalm 23: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Hearts are broken, tears have been shed over and over. What a mess we've made, but we need to chose to take today in its stride. . . to learn from our mistakes. . . to see the fingerprints of God in the midst of this mess. All life is fragile, both human and animal. . . .