Bugsy Marshall
10/31/2013 - 05/17/2018

Bugsy (31.10.2013. -17.5.2018.); aka. Wugsy, Mr. Wugs, Wugs, Bugsy Boy, Bugsy Manno, Bugsy The Man. Bugsy’s birthdate is really notional -he might have been one or two years older; all I can say is that he was quite young when we met, and we met in quite an odd way. In 2013 I took voluntary redundancy (to get more money as redundancy seemed inevitable at the time), and while looking for work I worked as a volunteer ranger at Beacon Fell Country Park, in north Lancashire. I usually worked at the weekends, and at lunchtime I would eat my sandwiches in the Visitor Centre. There was also a café here, and looking out of a window at an embankment behind the centre was a bird table, and the people in the centre would look at the birds as they ate. One Saturday in January 2014 the squeals of children drew my attention to an orange grey rabbit, almost hare -like in appearance, scrounging for scraps beneath the birds. Enquiry revealed that he had been around about a week – some nasty idiot had tired of their toy and dumped him. The café people had christened him Bugsy, and left out bits of veg for him each morning. Knowing it was only a matter of time before a visitor dog or fox got him, I gained permission to catch him. For the next 4 -6 weeks I would get up before six, drive the 18 miles to Beacon Fell and wait behind the Visitor Centre facing the embankment with the bird table, armed with a flask of tea and a bag of rabbit greens and treats. The deal was that I must finish by the time the café opened at 8.30 am. Bugsy was curious from the first, and would emerge and hop down looking at me, and devouring the goodies I threw his way. I would talk to him: “Me and you will be mates Bugsy,” I would say. He started coming closer but one failed attempt revealed he was lightning fast, and so I invested in a mammal net and a live trap. This I could only open when I arrived, and had to close when I left – there are strict laws regarding unattended traps. I needn’t have worried. Within five minutes of placing it for the first time it snapped shut. Bugsy’s curiosity had got the better of him, but now I could take him home and he would be safe. He settled in really well under the benevolent dictatorship of my rabbits Misty, Max and Thumper. He got cross with no one, and essentially just liked to have a quiet life, chilling out and relaxing. My over- riding image is of my three orange bunnies Dillon (oldest), Max (middle) and Bugsy (youngest) hanging out and sitting together, like three blokes sat outside a summertime pub: no doubt talking about the bunny equivalent of football. Bugsy was a cuddly ball of fluff, but he wasn’t a bunny who liked to be picked up and hugged. He would do his best to avoid this, and once caught he would tolerate the petting for a while, before he could get away. He was never a biter or nasty though. A show of affection from him was to nudge you occasionally and maybe sit near your feet. Rarely he would sit on the opposite end of the sofa from you. Like many of my rabbits, he loved the summertime garden, and hiding among the shade and the plants -my small garden is a mishmash of shade and plants, much appreciated by rabbits. As far as I recall he had no health problems, and was generally a quiet but contented bunny, with several friends and a very even temperament. I separated him from my two alpha males Bertie and Woody, but even then he would just avoid trouble rather than get involved when they did meet. Everything seemed fine until on Wednesday 16/5/18, on my day off, I found him sat on his own in my kitchen. I picked him up and he let both my friend and myself cuddle him -this was not like him. I suspected stasis and took him to the vet that evening. She suspected the same o a bug, and he was given fluids, Baytril and a course of Emeprid. There was some gut motility so this was more of a precaution than anything else. He was off his food and so I syringe fed him. After a week off I was back in work Thursday morning to be up at 4.30 am. I was worried when I went to bed so I took my pillows and duvet downstairs, lay out some cushions and slept next to him, sitting him inside Ziggy’s little indoor kennel (they all love it) along with hay, food and water. I slept a restless night, reaching out periodically to scratch his ears. Around four he came out, and so I picked him up and put him on the other side to me, on the rug by the fire; I got up early and did my chores of cleaning and setting the rabbits up for the day. I fed him again, and hugged him: he seemed weaker and I feared the worst, but still hoped it was only stasis and he would pull through. Work was a torment really, and I raced home arriving at 3.15 pm. Bugsy was dead on the floor, his friends Ziggy and Fluffy in the room looking very subdued. I placed his body next to all of my bunnies so they could see. Bertie was in the same room but locked in a cage while I was at work so saw all. He gave me a mournful look as if to say “He’s dead isn’t he?” Billy sniffed and looked dolefully at him, and little Chip gave him one last groom bless her heart. And so a quiet and gentle little friend has passed away. I suspect he was older than I thought when I rescued him, and his clock had simply run out: the symptoms of a rabbit passing and stasis are pretty similar. So goodbye for now little mate x x x.

Previous Home: Sabden, UK
Parents: Steve Marshall
ORB Sibblings: Biggles Marshall  Toffee Marshall  Sasha Marshall   Thumper Marshall  Max Marshall  Dillon Aspden Marshall  Misty Marshall  Beth Marshall  Flash Marshall  

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