The wind beneath my wings
by Sallie Castro
Wilbur existed on September 10, 2011. He was a six-month-old Netherlands dwarf rabbit at that time. He was crying on his first night with me because he's missing his peers while I got depressed because my ex-girlfriend Jade and I just broke up. My son who was in middle school was at three-day camping in Muskoka. I gave Wilbur his food and water, pet him and told him sorry if I could not attend to his needs at the moment for I am down in the dumps too. He settled in as I put on the light, still pet him and said everything would be okay.

Forgetting Jade was not easy. I drank a lot of beer and red wine as I burst in tears whenever I thought of her. I believed she loved me yet the hypocrisy in her is stronger than to introduce me to her family and friends. She was anxious to stand by me for she couldn't accept sarcasm and judgment from the ones she cares especially her parents, siblings, close relatives, best friends and co-workers call it also selfishness on her part. For the succeeding days, Wilbur saw me sobbing drinking heavily so I could sleep. I even laid down on the washroom floor and he was there guarding me all throughout. He never made noise, he just stood there to be sure I was safe. I got him by my arms and told him how Jade and I met as friends then fell in love.

Wilbur in human years as a six-month-old bunny was 5.5 years old, too young for the drama, the emotional problem, the drinking spree but he never complained. His presence made me move on fast as he did funny stuff especially when I gave him food as if he prayed, his two front paws clasping each other. He also played with papers, cardboard, styrofoam, bathroom tissues; hid in his box house, peeked from there then tore some parts of it. One time I caught him chewing on it.

He looked so adorable when he hopped, made his ears up, down or back, when he tried to put away his tray then I put near then he put away and so on. It's like who's the boss scenario. He walked away after that and stayed near the toilet bowl or under the kitchen table. When I have another girlfriend who I truly love, I excitedly mentioned it to Wilbur who saw me eyes to eyes as if he could really comprehend my story.

I was used to see him as I came from the grocery store (No-Frills, Metro or Shoppers) or whenever I prepare something to eat. Aside from his Timothy hay, nibbles and treats, Wilbur loved veggie pizza, bagel with cream cheese, pechay or bok choy, banana, apple, breadstick, dry noodle, mixed nuts, baby carrots, lettuce, a little piece of cake, shredded cabbage, broccoli, strawberry and cauliflower.

When his long nails were cut and he was silent even if he's in pain, I comforted him and cleaned his paw. I then clipped all of his nails to avoid another damage in the future. It happened one more time after three years but he was not afraid anymore. Wilbur hurt himself when he fought hard with the huge styrofoam inside his box house. His neck had small blood on it that I threw the cause of its irritation. I cleaned the mess as well as his neck and he began to be playful once more.

On April 10, 2015, two big men fixed our clogged toilet bowl. My furry friend was terrified that I had to carry and comfort him. His heart was beating fast. I consoled him more. The place where my son, Wilbur and I lived had its fire alarm straight for 10-15 minutes. My rabbit ran and hid as he was very scared of the noise. It occurred on the morning of April 15, 2015. He never ate anything after that but he still hopped going to his usual places. I gave him a simple bath to clean some dirt in his fur, paws and face. I know he never liked it because he wanted to be set free while being in the tub.

I gave him food and fresh water before I went to my room to listen and watch music videos. He never touched his food nor drink water. My son was playing his Xbox One. On midnight of April 16, 2015, I saw my best friend his head slumped on the floor, so soft and no more pulse or heartbeat. His eyes were wide open, his teeth discernible which showed that he never wished to leave me. I performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration which I learned when I took PSW course several years ago. I was so desperate to bring him to life again but I failed. I carried him in my arms, hugged and kissed him while telling him, "Please come back, Wilbur...come back to me, Wilbur!"

I am heartbroken, more sad than when Jade and I separated in 2011. I lost another close buddy who manifested real friendship and untiring companionship. I can have another bunny, dog, bird or cat, but no one can replace Wilbur in my heart. He was, in fact, the first pet I love after my canine best friend died 17 years ago. I had budgies before, a puppy yet Wilbur stood out from the rest.

Thank you, Wilbur for the five-years of life you shared with me. I really appreciate our bonding moments, your comradeship, your unconditional love. You will surely be missed. I love you so much and rest in peace, my dearest Wilbur.
Comments would be appreciated by the author, Sallie Castro
Tech Support
The Rainbow Bridge Pin
The Poem