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Danny Diamond
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Connecticut
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Tonight, my bunny Penelope, died. She had recurring medical condition that just wasn't getting any better, and tonight her condition was the worst I had seen it. To make a long story short, I had to take her to be put to sleep tonight. It was about an hour and a half ago.

I came home with her empty cage and emptied her bedding and her water bottle for the last time. I sat looking at her production box for a long time, and looked at the hairs that were left inside it. That is all that was left of her now. I really never thought I would feel this sad when her time came to an end.

I feel an incredible sense of guilt now. I am second-guessing my decision right now. I wish I didn't sign the release to euthenize her. I could have done more. Who am I to decide that her time is up? Why did I decide that her life should end tonight? She never did anything wrong - she only made kids smile and laugh, and she did it well.

I have a show in 4 days for 100+ kids, and the flyer advertising the show says “Come see if Danny Diamond can make Penelope the bunny appear!”

Well, guess what kids...he can't...cause he killed her! Sorry, I am out of sorts right now.

I am feeling like I can't do the show. Not only am I very upset about this, not only is the star of my show gone, but I now have nothing else to end the show with. But maybe it's what I deserve. I deserve a bad show now, for deciding to end my bunny's life tonight.

Thanks for listening.
You don't drown by falling in the water;

you drown by staying there.



- Edwin Louis Cole
Brian Lehr
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Self-condemnation is a normal feeling in such circumstances. When a loved one is lost, we often blame ourselves: "If only I had done this, or that, or been there when she needed me..." It's a normal part of the grieving process.

As children's entertainers, and animal lovers, our hearts are with you during this time of grieving. It's a difficult moment in your life, but you will pull through. You did what you felt was best for Penelope, and probably saved her from a long period of suffering. Perhaps a new animal will soon join you, but none will ever take Penelope's place. You have had many good shows with her, and you will always have your memories.

See if you can rent or borrow another animal for your next show. Perhaps you can even use the show as a teaching experience for the kids, by talking about your loss, and reminding the kids to always take good care of their pets, and to love them lots.

Keep the memories alive, and go out and make some new ones.

God bless,
Brian
krantis
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AUSTRALIA
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I feel sorry for you! My bunny Melvin and I are very close - even though hes a rascle at times.
I would purchase another bunny if I were you and make a new friend - look at this way - there are plenty of bunnies that need new homes out there - you are giving that one little white cuddly friend the best home out of all the homes he could go to and a fun and colourful life ahead.
I cried because I lost my shoes until I met the man who had no FEET!
Hope that makes you feel a little better.
Mike
JesterMan
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Obviously seeing her with a chronic problem that was at its worst prompted you to alleviate her pain. This was a kindness to her. It is natural to feel responsible, but all living things have an end, and if hers came a short time early, you chose this to end her pain. You didn't make her sick. I am sure that you will soon be recalling the memories and moments in shows, and around your home to you shared, and be glad; and the thoughts of tonight will fade.

As for the upcoming show--You don't, "deserve a bad show", you OWE her a great one for the many times she was there! I agree with the above advice; borrow a friend's bunny, if you can, then think about finding a new partner for your show.
JM Smile Smile

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"... destined to take the place of the MudShark in your mythology... " FZ
BIlly James
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Hey Danny,

Sorry to hear about Penelope.

Don't really quite know what to say but I feel for you mate and I wish you the best.
calexa
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I feel sorry for you. But I would also suggest that you use this experience and explain to the children your feelings. You will be surprise how much they understand........

Magixx
Optimists have more fun.....
Danny Diamond
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Connecticut
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Thanks everyone for your kind words. It was just so sad to empty her bedding last night, and not put new bedding in her cage. Then this morning, I thought for a second that I need to fill her water bottle before I went to work. It's just a sad situation. I know it probably had to be done. She was living a life of constant discomfort and that's no way for a bunny to live.

I don't really know of any other magicians in my immediate area or anyone else to borrow a bunny from for Saturday's show. I am looking though. I thought about buying a new bunny tonight and debuting her in Saturday's show. I know she would likely be very small, because I would buy a baby bunny, but it might the best thing to do. After performing with a bunny for a few years now, I can't picture myself continuing with the kid's show without one now. Is there any reason that it's bad to use a baby bunny in an effect?

Also, to those who mentioned telling the kids about Penelope - are you saying I should tell them that she died? I had the idea to introduce the new baby bunny as Penelope's baby, since the flyer already mentioned Penelope by name and the kids are expecting to see her (I've performed at this place before and at many homes in this town, so Penelope was kind of famous!).
You don't drown by falling in the water;

you drown by staying there.



- Edwin Louis Cole
AragorntheMagician
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Danny,
So sorry for your loss. I also recommend you get another bunny and like the idea of your introducing Penelope's Baby in her VERY 1st Show!!!! Besides my rabbit, Lola, I also use ChinChilla's in my act (their my baby Dragons). The advantages of a Chin are: No oder, No fleas, No people allergies and they live 15 - 25 years and the kids freak out more than for a rabbit. Also the largest is the size of a small Neth. Dwarf.
I for one would not mention that Penelope died, this is a Kid's B'Day Party where everything should be uplifting and for the B'Day Kid.

My $1.25 worth,
Aragorn the Magician
aka: I used to be BOB (It's Cellini's fault)
"All Right, Who's Volunteering to be Turned into a Frog???"
www.aragornthemagician.com
chris mcbrien
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Danny,
Whatever you do, don't tell the kids she died. You have no clue as to wether or not some of the kids in the room have suffered a recent loss that your mentioning your own may trigger a stream of tears. Actually, for little kids, hearing your loss will trigger it anyway.
And, aren't you there to make them laugh?
Be strong, it's a hard thing to say, I've had to do this, too.
Get another bunny that looks like your old one, name it the same name...
And go get'em!
After all, is'nt it what Penelope would want?
With best intentions,
Chris
Steve V
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I didn't read the other posts cuz of the tears in my eyes but I say get a baby bunny and tell them it is Penelope. There is nothing cuter than a baby bunny. I doubt anyone will say "hey, that isn't the REAL Penelope, what is this? A magic show or a Milli Vannili concert?". If they do say it is Penelopes kid and it is trying out for the job.
Steve V
Frank Tougas
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Minneapolis, MN
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Danny,

Don't under ANY circumstances tell the kids about you bunny's death. Get a new bunny and give it the same name. Go out and do the best danged show you can. To do less would be horribly selfish of you.

I know you are grieving but you are in show business and the show must go on. If it can't go on with you - find a substitue magician and give him or her the gig. I don't recommend this as it only lengthens the time it will take for you to recover.

If you have not lifted in spirit within four weeks seek out professional help - there are therapists out there who specialize in pet grieving. PM me if you'd like.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Danny Diamond
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Connecticut
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Thanks Frank,
No worries. My wife has already purchased a new bunny for me and I'll meet my new kid's show partner when I get home from work today. I knew a new bunny was a must, if I want to continue with my shows.

I did some research online this morning and found out that the conditions my bunny was suffering from, were pretty serious and often leads to death. So that made me feel like my decision to end her misery, was the right one. That helped relieve some guilt. I still miss her though, but I'll be fine.

And yes, the show must go on. I will introduce this new bunny as Penelope's baby. I think the kids will love this. It will be a special show for them because they get the honor of being the first ones to see this little bunny in a show. That should make them feel pretty cool!

Oh, one more thing. I never really intended on sharing the news of my rabbit's death with the kids! I can't imagine doing that. But seeing how more than one person suggested it, I was just curious to hear the logic and their approach to doing so.
You don't drown by falling in the water;

you drown by staying there.



- Edwin Louis Cole
Frank Tougas
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Good to hear,
Have Penelope retired from show business and lying on the beach just being a beach bunny! As to what the logic is - it is my guess that using adult thinking processes and logic and applying it to kids that causes it. Kids are a lot more concrete and literal than adults realize and often miss the nuances of adult English.

Frank Tougas

P.S. Tell your wife she's a keeper. Smile
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Scruffy the Clown
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Coldwater,MI
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Danny,
I know how you feel. Four days ago, I had to have my beloved Cat, Josie put down.
She was four, and up till about a week ago, seemed fine. She had lost weight, and was a bit lethargic, but other than that seemed pretty okay.
We took her to the vet and was told she was severely jaundiced, and that ment there was some sort of Liver trouble, On top of that, they sound a rope like mass in her stomach. They only gave her about a twenty-five percent chance. We hated to do it, but the vet said she was very sick and was suffing because she wasn't eating, or eliminating. I hated to do it but, I couldn't let her suffer. This is the one who always watched for me to come home, met me at the door, and wasn't content until I put her on my right shoulder so she could give me kisses.... I could sure use one now...
You did the right thing. It's hard on us, but at least they endured as little pain as possible. I know exactly how you feel. I felt like I betrayed her, But I know I didn't I just couldn't stand to see her go. I hard not to miss her.
KenW
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Why not use Rocky Racoon? You can have a note (waxed) stuck to his nose saying: "GONE ON VACATION....Love P.BUNNY". Make Rocky vanish then during your show, why not have Rocky show up in every trick you perform? How did you get here!!!! A great running gag for the show.Then go into a frantic wrestling match with Rocky and make him vanish using a tear-apart box or "your favorite method".
This way, you carry on with a great show that you are use to performing and you have mentioned your bunny and you have given your audience a happy moment in it's place. Just my thought. I know that animals are now a days looked at by some audience members like they might be mis-treated.My show no longer uses live animals. ROCKY does a great job for me and if done well, NO ONE WILL NOTICE IT IS A PUPPET!
Magically,
KW
Brian Lehr
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Quote:
On 2005-09-20 12:43, Frank Tougas wrote:

Don't under ANY circumstances tell the kids about you bunny's death.


I'm not sure if I totally agree; a lot depends on the performing situation.

My logic for suggesting using it as a teaching tool is that there are many occasions in which we magicians are looking to teach messages in our shows (say no to drugs, stranger danger, healthy eating, etc.). So, depending on the show environment, and with the permission of the parents/directors/bookers, it might be appropriate in certain circumstances to teach on the importance of grieving properly.

That's just my opinion (at this point), and it is not based on any actual experience. I'm not a professional therapist (as I think Frank is), and I am probably totally out to lunch. If so, then I stand corrected.

Actually, this topic could probably become a thread all on its own, so forgive me from digressing from the purpose of this thread.

Danny, glad to hear that your wife bought you a new bunny. Sounds like she has a very sensitive heart. I agree with not naming the bunny Penelope. Penelope was unique, and no other bunny can take her place. The exception, of course, would be if your original bunny was named Lassie. Then you could name all the successive bunnies the same name! (You have to be a Lassie movie/tv lover to understand that one) Smile

Brian
honus
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Danny:

We had to put our old (and she was OLD!) dog down . . . what, three years ago now? I still miss her. But she was incontinent, almost deaf, half blind, and didn't even respond to us any more. It was a hard, hard decision, and I have tears in my eyes right now thinking about it.

You did the right thing, friend. You wouldn't want to be lying around in pain, not able to really live.

Ever seen this? http://www.petloss.com/poems/maingrp/rainbowb.htm

Peace.
RicHeka
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Danny:I am very sorry about your bunny Penelope.The best move you made was getting another bunny right away.(I've been there).There is no replacement for your beloved Penelope,but your new 'Star' will enchant your audience in his/her own special way. All the Best. Rich
JesterMan
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Quote:
On 2005-09-20 14:54, Brian Lehr wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-09-20 12:43, Frank Tougas wrote:

Don't under ANY circumstances tell the kids about you bunny's death.
I'm not sure if I totally agree; a lot depends on the performing situation.

My logic for suggesting using it as a teaching tool is that there are many occasions in which we magicians are looking to teach messages in our shows (say no to drugs, stranger danger, healthy eating, etc.).
I agree with Frank (go figure, two therapists agreeing.) If there was a compelling reason to introduce the idea of a dying pet into the show, perhaps there might be some merit (under very specific circumstances), but this is for an audience with no (stated) agenda, and to put the performer's agenda where it doesn't belong would be wrong. After all, the show is not about us, it is about entertaining the audience.

Danny, your wife is a sweetheart! I like the idea of Penelope retired, with her understudy /daughter finally taking the stage.

What's your new friend's name?
JM Smile Smile

Balloons, Magic, Mayhem & More!
www.AArdvarkEntertainers.com
www.JesterMan.com

"... destined to take the place of the MudShark in your mythology... " FZ
Danny Diamond
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Well, the new bunny is a boy. I have read lots of topics on the Café and articles on other sites, and the boy/girl debate seems to be pretty split. Most people seem to feel that the tempermant of a solitairy bunny doesn't differ all that much, and that regular interaction with people is more important than the sex of the rabbit.

So anyway, I met him last night. He's great. He's a nose-licker and he likes to cuddle up on laps - reminds me of myself - oh, sorry, I didn't mean to type that out loud. Smile

We haven't actually decided on a name yet - but we like the name Oliver so far. It's a frontrunner.
You don't drown by falling in the water;

you drown by staying there.



- Edwin Louis Cole
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