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Posts: 1
Hi there I am new to this site.

We had our bunny brothers Chocolate and Ginger for 8 years. Sadly Ginger escaped May last year and we never managed to find him. Chocolate had got out many times (they outsmart us all the time) but always went next door so we always knew where to find him. Well this was the first time Ginger got out and alas we never found him. We grieved him but always lived in the hopeful belief he was out there running free. That is what we told our daughters. I know the sad truth is a domesticated bunny doesn’t last long in the wild so underneath felt devastated. In the light of this it made us appreciate Chocolate more and the need to be free. They’d always been handled loads and put in secure runs for exercise but we decided to rabbit proof our garden and let him run free during the day which he loved. He had many favourite spots in the garden and was oh so happy he would literally hop about. He would also always happily spend lots of time in his hutch and had the run of our house too. He never dug anywhere he was so happy with his territory. He would sit with us all in the kitchen and made us all laugh with his antics. We all loved him so much and all visitors too he was such a character. He seemed to really enjoy being around people. So on Friday night we forgot to close the door of his hutch. It was a fighting thing in our house the girls always saying it was the other one’s turn etc and we used to tell them the dangers of leaving him overnight and often found they had neglected to put him away. They are teenagers. Obviously we would always shut the hutch if we found they had not. You never really believe it will actually happen. Friday night one daughter was out and the other was playing with him. I think I said to her don’t forgot to put Choccie away I do pretty much every day so sure I did. Anyway usual thing she said in a minute and went back to PlayStation. I sat watching him in the garden on the sofa in the kitchen as I often did and I fell asleep there as I also often do. Anyhow I woke up and went up to bed as it was dark. I’d forgotten about Chocolate. In the morning .... hutch open no sign of Chocolate. Daughter didn’t remember to put him away, I didn’t remember to check before I went to bed. He’s gone. No exit routes from the garden and fur outside his hutch. He’s been taken by a predator pretty sure of that. I feel absolutely devastated as do all of us. We let him down. It is our fault. We didn’t protect him and now he’s gone and probably had a horrible terrifying death and we could have prevented it. The guilt is tearing me up. I miss the little guy he was one of the family. I don’t know how to live with this awful thing that has happened and the feeling that we should have prevented this when we so easily could have. We are all blaming ourselves. I just don’t know what to do. Any support on how to cope and come to terms with this would be so appreciated. Thank you for listening.

Posts: 171
I'm so sorry.  I recently made a mistake that resulted in my dog killing my kitten.  I was devastated I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, was sick to my stomach and absolutely angry at myself that I wasn't more careful.  The fact is that I did the best I could, I put a lot of safe guards in place but on that day I made a mistake and it happened right in front of me. 

The truth is mistakes and accidents happen and I know that these words don't ease your pain and guilt right now but none of you would have purposely let this happen.  You did the best that you could.  It was a tragic accident.  I actually sought counseling to help me because seeing the event was so traumatic that I couldn't stop playing it over in my head.  I felt I let an innocent, beautiful and trusting creature down.  I set my kitten and my dog both up for failure.  

Time and counseling has helped, I still have my moments where I feel guilty and I miss her terribly but I keep telling myself that I loved her, nothing was purposeful and I did the best I could.

Your pain and grief are recognized, it is my wish in time that all of you can realize that it was an accident and when you are ready you may all forgive yourselves.  Again, I am very sorry.  Please keep reaching out.

Posts: 138
KatKat is spot on. It's a terrible tragedy but just a mistake. I am truly sorry for your loss and I know anything short of bringing your bunny back won't do much good right now. What helps me a little...and it's only a that I know the souls of our pets are just fine. They get to move on along their journey and perhaps find another family to bring joy to. It's us who are left to find a lesson in the loss and learn to appreciate the amazing gift our pet was and vow to do better next time.
They forgive us..they understand and know not to judge..they are better then us in that way. Be gentle with yourself...we all are doing our best in this journey called life..I wish you the best and thank you for sharing. -Katsu's dad
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