Bella Donovan Died 24 July 2013
Friends or work colleagues whom had never met Bella would say “Does she not dig to get out of the garden” Blimey if only they knew the Diva Bella whom digging would be to tiring and a general waste of her energy. She loved to go out in the back garden and when you went in the kitchen she would come behind you and go to the back door and sit there waiting , she would just nod her head at the door and you knew it was time to open the door. She loved to have the back door open and lay there shooting the breeze in snow, sun or rain which could be a bit tricky at times. Her cute face when you closed the back door as the rain was whooshing in would make you melt and you would feel compelled to open the door again.
Bella had autistic traits as she would followed the same path around the garden to check the flowers with a nibble, pots, bbq and other bits and pieces before settling for the vegetable trug. We think Bella sitting under the vegetable trug made her the queen of the garden as she could view any movement from the back door and it provided the practical protection from the weather. She would sit asleep for hours under the veggie trug and get up and go and trim her favour flowers normally from the bottom of the plant and then leave them in the borders – as though it was fun! Then back to her comfy spot to sleep and do the routine all over again. You would have to go up to her to grab her attention to say we are back are you coming down? She would look up be stroked but was nonplussed until she took a big yawn stretched her body and think about coming down the garden to sit with you. She loved to be tempted with flowers or carrots from the garden but many a time would just push the temptation away saying "Oh please, not now!".
Getting her into the house from a long day in the garden you think would be easy but if she wanted to stay out what a saga. You would clap your hands saying Bella time to go in, Bella time to go in – clapping your hands and she would do a runner up the top of the garden hiding under tables or similar with you chasing her and looking a complete idiot to the neighbours in your PJs. After two rounds around the garden she would come to the back door and wait until you open the curtain on the back door so she could get in. Let me tell you she could get in but preferred to be pampered and not use any more effort than required.
She so hated the kitchen floor of stone and would be cautious so we had to put a rug down and she certainly stuck to the rug. Let me say no ordinary rug but the plus pile in a colour that we would say she needs the best. Her favourite place in the living room was sitting or more like lying in front of the hearth all stretched out to her length or flopping over into a deep sleep. Not one to be picked up Bella would come to your feet and nudge you to have her head rubbed but she made sure you had to stretch your foot – so always on her terms and you could not oblige her demands.
She loved to rip paper and you had to make sure you never left any important papers within reach as she would have them. On several occasions in the early days I would pitch up to work with great bites out of documents and had to say the rabbit had it – it became a standing joke!
In winter when you wanted to keep the heat in and doors closed proved a challenge as Miss Bella liked doors open for freedom. No fear she would go to the door to get it opened or would scratch at the door then loved you to go through with her to the kitchen to eat but wanted the kitchen light kept on. If you retreated to the living room and switched the light off back she would come until you kept that light on…. Funny how no light on at bed time though.
She hated being brushed and that is the time you would see her strength by expressing herself clearly – "no way thanks mum". We did perservere but from the early days and over the five and half years her attitude never changed on this task.
She knew who would give in to her cute pleading face for a treat or going into the kitchen knew the fridge meant food. She would wait until you opened the fridge and then wedge herself so you could not close the fridge or until the curly kale or carrot tops came out. I would say you are not daft Bella and she would happily trot to her food tray.
Bella never had any interest in going upstairs and we think it was too much effort for her. She would go into the downstairs toilet and lie there in the cool or under the dining table on days when she definitely did not fancy going out. God help you if you disturbed her as you knew it!!!
She loved her holiday which were spent at “The Bunnery “where the owner has her own French lops and it was the only time Bella was in a hutch. When we say hutch it was mega size so Bella had the room to move and to be honest when put in she just took it in her stride. We had no worries about her being away as we had the confidence that it was home from home.
We lost Bella to fly strike and never would want to ever experience this for a bunny as it takes hold suddenly and aggressively. The vet really gave my lovely Bella a go with extensive treatment but we had to agree in the end 24 hours that if she had any pain then to put her down. Sadly Bella died at 6 and half years having given us such pleasure, laughs and a routine and we have a massive gap in our lives now.
We have Bella cremated on the same day and two hours later could pick up her ashes. They were compassionate and empathetic and put her ashes into a cardboard shaker with a lovely wild flower design so we can put her ashes in the veggie trug. We plan to plant curly kale on top of Bella which is her all-time favourite food.