Dillon Aspden Marshall
2/8/2007 - 7/5/2016

DILLON (2/8/2007 -7/5/2016) Aka Dill, Dibblet, Dibber, Dilland, Diblet, Dingleberry. Dillon was the bunny that started at all, and he wasn’t primarily my bunny but the bunny of my friend Elaine. On my birthday in 2007 I had taken the day off, and was driving around with my friend Elaine; she wanted to go to an auction to look at horses but for some reason the auction was postponed, and we ended up looking at Pet Shops. Since her cat Claudia had passed away some months previously she fell in love with a tiny rabbit called Dillon, who she ended up taking home. At the pet shop he had come up to her, and she said to herself, “When we go back later if he does that again I’ll buy him”. Well he did, and she did. Dillon was a regular visitor and I came to appreciate what great pets rabbits are. She also acquired another rabbit called Sasha, and they had two litters: Dill was the daddy of three of my buns – Biggles, Max and Thumper (as well as Lucas, Mia and Rory). I only saw Dillon in snapshots of course - he would be brought over; he knew me, and liked visiting. He would watch the other bunnies from the safety of the sofa, and from time to time pick up the courage to explore. He would jump down, they would sniff, and he would run back up onto the sofa to the safety of Mum. I heard stories about him of course. He and Sasha lived in a hutch in the yard, but would come in for an hour or so each evening. They had a little rug where they sat, and would hunch there together and watch TV. They would also be let out to run around the yard, especially in the summer, which they loved while everyone else was fussing over barbeques and the like. Dillon was also a chatterbox: when you picked him up and stroked him he would climb up to your face and chatter away: he was a very vocal bunny. As Elaine would say there was not a nasty bone in his body: a very sweet tempered, friendly and gentle bunny. One year he was taken into a rabbit breeders show held in the village church every year, and won a ‘Best Pet’ rosette. Another year Elaine, who worked at the time in a local pub, brought him in as the Easter Bunny during a children’s Easter Party. The tots sat in a circle, and Dillon dutifully sat in the middle of it and then did the rounds -climbing on the kid’s knees, submitting to being stroked and tickled, and generally doing a sterling job. I myself recall sitting at the bar with him. In autumn 2011 Sashie had a stroke, and came to live with me (she has her own orb here), and after a while noting that Dill was pining she adopted one of two sisters from the local RSPCA -a beautiful white bunny called Blossom. Tragedy struck immediately however -unused to her new situation she basically stuffed herself with hay, and had to be rushed into the vet. Despite an operation and apparent recovery, she passed away a day later. Discouraged and sad, I nevertheless encouraged Elaine to adopt her sister Buttercup -Dillon would still have a friend, and the one thing she could still do for Blossom was give her sister a good home. So it proved: Dillon perked up again, and the pair were very happy. On occasion, during the annual two week family holiday, I would board Dillon and Sashie, and later Dillon and Buttercup. When I was at work or at night they would stay in my outdoor hutch (rearranged to their own tastes by them), and when I was home they would pretty much sit on the sofa with me. Dillon loved my garden, he would just sit there in absolute bliss. The plants, the shade, the grass: he just loved the place. Last summer (2015) upon their return, I strongly suggested that Dillon, given his age, should not be left out again in the coming winter. Living arrangements did not make this feasible however, and Elaine did a brave thing and asked if they could stay on with me. And so for the last nine months of his life Dillon (and Buttercup) lived with me. I have to say, Dillon took to it like a fish to water. Never interested in bunny hierarchies, he fitted right in. After overcoming initial nerves he just jumped in with the others, and made friends with them all. He was already friends with Max, his son (and before his sad passing, also with Thumper). His other pal was Bugsy, a young buck I recaptured as a pet who had been dumped in a country park, and they would often chill out and groom together. He loved the warm too -a rug in the corner, sitting by the fire. At night he would be in a hay filled cage with Buttercup and so they never lost their bond, and when at work the two would have the run of the kitchen together. When Max passed over in March Dillon had outlived all his family, and I have to admit I kept an anxious eye on him. In late April Elaine spotted what she thought was a cataract in one eye; the vet indicated that it was in fact a bacterial infection. He was loathe to operate given Dillon’s age and so we tried antibiotic drops for a week, but the eye inflamed and got worse. He started to lose his appetite and I had to supplement it with syringe feeding. A revisit gave a choice of two evils -let it linger in which case he would certainly deteriorate, lose strength and be in much discomfort, or risk an eye removal while he was still in decent health: if successful his prognosis would then be good for the natural time left to him. The second course seemed to offer Dill the best hope, and so the next day (Thursday) he was booked in. As he was being weighed he jumped up on my knee as if to say “Don’t leave me here Steve!” It was with a heavy heart I left him for an anxious day. But there was an emergency -he wasn’t operated on and so I brought him home, for readmission the next day. That evening he was in good spirits, and played and mixed with the others. Bugsy and he were pals together again. The Friday was again anxious, but he pulled through the op, and they were happy with the results. He was drowsy and unhappy of course, but that was to be expected. He came home, and spent the night in a heavily hay padded cage, after sitting on my knee. The Saturday I was in work from early afternoon, and so made arrangements for Elaine to collect him, plus instructions for feeding and medication. He had been drowsy in the morning, and so as I was working it started to worry me in case he had a reaction to Baytril, the antibiotic: this is possibly what caused the passing of one of his sons, Thumper. I rang Elaine about 6 pm with my worries, but she assured me he was quite perky: eating, cuddling, even playing a little. I got home early at nine and popped my head in her door. Dill was sat there and looked up at me. I said Hi and asked if she could mind him for another half hour while I cleaned, washed etc, and then I would collect him shortly. At nine thirty she rang me in tears: she had been cuddling him a last time; he climbed up her, snuggled up and quietly passed away. I too was/ am heartbroken. The passing of an animal friend is always very hard, and with Dillon especially so. He gave me three very wonderful bunnies who brought me a lot of happiness, and I had hoped to give him a long and happy retirement, but in the end it turned out to be far too short. Goodbye for now little friend, and be happy with the others in a nicer place.

Previous Home: Sabden, England
Parents: Steve Marshall
ORB Sibblings: Biggles Marshall  Toffee Marshall  Sasha Marshall   Thumper Marshall  Max Marshall  Misty Marshall  Beth Marshall  Flash Marshall  Bugsy Marshall  

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