This is a long one so grab yourself a cup of something sweet.
A long story shortened goes something like this:
I was doing just fine, I was making my way through life just fine.
I was learning to be without my Ella Luna, missing her like mad and
still reeling from her death at the beginning of June of 2012.
Despite all that, life was wonderful
I have so much to be joyful about, a super sweet honey & 3 lovely bunnies (Jin, Jaks & Roo)...
Yet still, I had this unsettled & unhappy feeling, like I just wasn't doing enough.
Now, I always have massive pressure on my little shoulders
because one dream of mine hinges on the another.....
being a successful artist & having a rabbit sanctuary/rescue.
The successful artist/business owner bit has to come first so I can turn it around to help animals.
In the meantime I do what I can, where I can, including in our little home.
Anyhow, almost as soon as Ella Luna was gone, I was ready to bring home a new baby.
I felt very uncomfortable & felt very idle with only having 3 bunnies in the house,
when I knew we had room, time, money & love for atleast one more.
If I am not in the place where I can start my rescue
then I can atleast make sure our house is full, right!?
I wasn't trying to replace Ella Luna in anyway shape or form,
it was just a deep desire to help another bun.
But, you see Ella was the apple of our eye...
so it took us time to heal & though I was ready right away to adopt. Jonathan wasn't...so we waited.
Then 6 months down the road on my birthday,
I got lovely presents as always but the biggest surprise,
The biggest gift of all, was a little piece of paper that sweetly said something like...
"This is a coupon, good for the adoption of a few rabbits"
That was Jonathan telling me he was ready to bring more long-earred love home...
and not just one but he wanted to adopt 5.
Now, that may sound crazy to you BUT we've had 8 rabbits in our home once upon a time...
it was crazy and chaotic but also wonderfully full & satisfying,
so we knew what we were getting into.
So we started looking at the shelter websites and of course instantly fell in love....
I'll cut a long story short and just get straight to the introductions.
You've already meet our beautiful Teela
whom we adopted & brought home at the beginning of December.
(she's the new apple of our eye by the way, ha ha & is settled in beautifully
& perfectly & is Oh So Lovely).
We have also adopted from the shelter & welcomed into our family a tiny little boy,
He's around 2 years old and an Hotot English spot that we've named
(Flynn Weetabix Saile-Peterson)
Nicknames: 'Sous Chef' & 'Little Street Thug'
Flynn (formally known at the shelter as Weetabix) was in the shelter system for way too long...
he was our first pick when we first looked at the adoption web pages
even though we knew he was considered a special needs rabbit.
He was actually adopted by us before we even laid eyes on Teela actually BUT
he was sick with ISC Syndrome & was on a couple rounds of antibiotics etc so it was a few weeks
before we were allowed to go and pick him up and bring our little guy home.
It was difficult to go there and adopt Teela and leave Flynn behind for further treatment
but we also really respected the shelters dedication to making sure each animal adopted out was in
tip top form and not in danger of making any other animals already in our home sick.
He finally came home to our warren on December 28th.
Flynn was a stray..whether he was abandoned or lost we'll never know
but he was a little lost bunny alone in the big mean city...
we're so grateful he made it safely to the shelter.
He LOVES his snuggles, oh my...this little guy just melts into our arms & LOVES to hang out
with us in the kitchen and help us taste test (hence the nickname Sous Chef).
He loves to hang out on the couch with us and watch tv. He loves to be snuggled under a blanket.
For such a little bun, he has a HUGE appetite but because of his ISC syndrome,
we do have to watch his diet carefully much to his chagrin, ha ha.
He's super clean and does all his business in his potty like a good little bun too.
He has a rough side to him but we have to appreciate it because it's probably why he survived the streets. It's not looking like we'll be able to bond him to any of the others, anytime soon...he seems to just want human company thus far and he is famous in our little warren for his growling...
but really it's sweet because it's all mostly noise with very little bark.
We are SO happy he's here our Flynnster, he's settled in nicely.
THEN, guess what....we adopted a 3rd bunny from the shelter...AHHHHH.
He was in the shelter a very short time but Jonathan saw him and fell head over heels,
like I did for Teela
and I am so glad he did because he's an awesome rabbit.
He was only 8 months old when we brought him home, a tiny sweet little Lionhead...
we've named Yuuji
(Yuuji Dumbledore Saile-Peterson)
Nicknames: 'Oh Bearded One' & 'Our Little Billy Goat'
Yuuji (formally known at the shelter as Dumbledore)
was one of 8 babies in an unplanned/unwanted litter.
We were allowed to adopt him and bring him home when we went back to pick Flynn up.
It was extra extra goodness to our hearts that because we we adopted Yuuji & Flynn
two other rabbits from another shelter, who were going to be euthanized,
were immediately transferred to the THS because suddenly there were 2 spots for them...
yayyyy...so we feel like we helped 4 bunnies that lovely day.
Yuuji is one special bun...like I said I am glad that Jonathan said "We must adopt that one", ha ha...
he is the gentlest and happiest and funniest little guy...and oh so sweet.
He loves strawberries, hanging out on the coffee table and loves his cuddles.
Even though Jonathan is the one who picked him out first,
I am the lucky one who Yuuji has chosen as his best pal.
He LOVES to climb...hence the name 'our little billy goat',
we've, never had a rabbit climb like this one.
And boy oh boy this little rabbit has brought our rabbit-proofing skills to a whole new level, ha ha!
He LOVES to play and popcorn and zoom and bounce about like theres no tomorrow.
He is is well behaved with his potty habits and doesn't chew anything he's not suppose to.
He has his favourite spots on the couches and on top of the couches, like a cat, ha ha.
And he has his own window to the world, which he spend atleast 5 hours gazing out of each day.
and he is just a purely joyful and sweet sweet rabbit and again we're so glad he's here with us.
It's been so chaotic but lovely to have these 3 babies,
every single one completely different from the next.
It was also really difficult because at the exact same time that we started to take the steps to adopt,
well that's when Roo got sick and started going downhill really fast...but we didn't want to back out
on the adoption plans because at that point we both fully knew it was the right thing to do,
to increase our family and to help out rabbits in the shelter system.
So, Roo getting sick and spending time with him during his last weeks ON TOP
of settling in the newbies was the main reason behind my 1.5 months absence/break.
But WAIT, we're not done...the story continues...
So we had already adopted Flynn, but he couldn't come home to us for some time...
we fell head over heels in love with Teela and drove the 1000kms to go pick her up and while there
saying hello to Flynn and adopting Teela we first laid eyes on a big Lionhead...
I heard Jonathan say in a reverent tone 'WHO is THAT?' and my eyes took but 1 second to fall upon
the same beautiful rabbit he was admiring and say in return '...I don't know, who IS he?', ha ha.
Well it was a big boy that had numerous problems and
wasn't anywhere near being ready for adoption.
And we knew we had our hands full with the newbies and with Roo and well we were in love
but at the time we couldn't do anything about it...
but that rabbit stayed in our hearts and minds let me tell you.
and now he is here...I can barely believe it, ha ha.
His name is Frenwyck
(Frenwyck Domino Saile-Peterson)
Nicknames: "Blue-Eyed Babe", "Muppet", "Panda Bear" & "Frenwyck The Magnificent"
He is around 2 years old and is a gorgeous Angora Lionhead.
Formally known at the shelter as Domino....
He came home to us about 2 weeks ago.
Even when we knew we couldn't have him, we both felt like he was ours,
we both felt like he was meant to join our family & our motley long-earred crew.
He went up for adoption & but we still had our hands full with Roo Boo.
We were sure someone would snatch him up...he was too beautiful & special not be but he wasn't!
For whatever reason he sat there, probably because he was considered a special needs adoption.
So after Roo left us, we acted very quickly,
we knew we had Roo's blessings to rescue another babe,
and we took the steps right away to start the adoption process &
to get approval to be his forever family.
Frenwyck, the poor blue-eyed babe, went through so much and was at the shelter so long,
his care takers said he was starting to get really really grumpy & sad & despondent.
The size of the pens at the shelter are pretty decent but
Frenwyck is a bigger boy & needed abit more room.
Plus he had so many problems...he was a surrender to the shelter (thankfully!).
His so called 'family' moved and dumped him off on a neighbours front door stoop.
The neighbours tryed keeping him for a few weeks but eventually surrendered him.
Apparently he was skin and bones when he arrived at the shelter and very sadly at some point,
he was feed or somehow ingested poisonous matter which has left his liver permanently damaged.
The whole thing is really upsetting to me and I am still in the process of
letting go of my anger towards these assholes who couldn't be bothered to take care of such
a special and magnificent creature.
Because his liver is compromised now, he has to be on a super strict diet with no sugar at all
and he'll have to get blood tests every 6 months.
He is also prone to calcium (like Roo was) so we have to be on top of that.
When we first saw him, he also had really bad sores on his feet from urine scald
BUT, the Toronto Humane Society did an amazing job of healing him up...and we continue.
He is a beautiful rabbit. He's about 6 pounds right now but still quite underweight...
our goal at the moment is to fatten him up some whiles still watching his diet closely.
I was nervous with him at first to be honest, there was something very serious about his stance...
but now only 2 weeks in, I've realized that he is a super gentle guy.
He LOVES to play and popcorns around his set of rooms almost all day long, ha ha.
He really likes to throw himself over and stretch right out to sleep and he loves it when you lay out beside him to keep him company....he really likes to be pet when he's not busy.
He seems quite interested in being buddies with Teela and she with him, so fingers crossed!
There is an intelligence to this ones eyes...something special.
Whenever I hug him I feel like that little girl in 'Despicable Me' I feel like screaming 'HE'S SO FUZZY".
So there you have it...you know the big announcement I was sitting on.
You've meet our new babies....aren't they wonderful.
(this isn't news to you if you've been following my Twitter Tweets though I suppose).
I am so proud of us.
We realized something wasn't quite right...we figured out what it was...
we decided what to do about it in a way that respected both of our wants & needs...
we took our time and made plans together...
we took the steps necessary to make it happen...
we made something wonderful happen on a manageable scale...
we trusted that what should happen would happen but we were still proactive...
we listened to our guts as to which babes needed us the most &
we feel like we've made the best, most precious & wonderful choices...
..we helped our hearts to grow & expand...
we helped 4 more animals out there in the world that needed our help and love....
We successfully survived our first shelter visits together because we had each other but also
because the Toronto Humane Society is a place that has our gratitude, respect and support.
We have 4 out of the 5 babies that we wanted...they are home.
My head has been really bad lately & I've not been able to spend much time in my studio or
get done what I really wanted to share with you...argh!
So let me post today something that's not art or rabbit related...lets do my yearly book review.
It was a pretty decent pile...24 novels.
These seven I loved and thought were fantastic & brilliant...
These 4 I thought to be really good...
These seven I thought were just okay...
And these ones I didn't like at all and there's one that I am tempted to burn!!!
So what were your favourite and worst reads of 2012???
What does your 2012 book pile look like???
(feel free to put your book link posts in this posts comment section).
This is a very difficult and heavy post for me to compose.
I've been putting it off but fact is that if I don't do it, I'll continue not wanting to blog.
I'll continue with this numb feeling & not wanting to say out loud that...
Our Roo Boo is gone...
He passed away on January 26th at 10:05pm
Our handsome Roo has had to leave us and has flown away to be with his Ella Luna.
He passed away just as he lived his life, peacefully, gently & with giant strength & beauty.
We miss him like mad...he was an amazing rabbit and an amazing friend...a real solid soul.
He left us just a short 8 months after Ella Luna passed away...
I am not ashamed to admit that Ella and he were the apples of my eye...
so it's been a really rough year to see two of my best & favourite babies go.
I send out to the universe, a big thanks to our Jaks, for becoming buddies with Roo
and giving our big boy lots of snuggles & kisses during some of his last months.
Love to our Teela too, for being understanding that our boy needed few but gentle visits from her.
Also, thanks to our best friend Maria, she was Roo's Auntie & she spent lots of time stretched out on the floor with him, when he was well & when he was sick, he really grew to love her.
And to my mom & dad, who never left our house without giving Roo a pet first.
But mostly I thank my Jonathan...
whose shoulder I constantly soaked, whose strength & gentleness soothed my torn heart &
who helped me bolster myself up to be the best mom I could be to Roo in his final days.
He hung on as long as he could. Our giant Chinchilla, our 12 pound baby...he had an enormous spirit.
We got the hypercalcemia disease under control & his bladder emptied of calcium and sediment
within a week of diligent & patient work but apparently this was just a 'surface' problem.
He started falling over at the beginning of December not because of the bladder issue
but because he was suffering from spinal/neurological degenerative disease.
Apparently 9 years old is very old for a large bunny like him.
Over just a few quick weeks, he lost of the use of his back legs then his front legs.
So I put him in a giant basket and never left his side...(that's why I was away for 1.5 months)
I carted him around the house with me from room to room. He even slept in the bed with us.
He had to have assisted feedings 4 times a day for over a month, he wouldn't give up, so either did we.
I am so grateful that the last week or so of his life was very sunny,
so he spent alot of time napping away in the sunlight which he always loved...our sweet boy.
Right up to the end he was smothering my face with a million kisses...
seriously I think I got over a million kisses from this precious precious heart.
Near the end he couldn't hold his head up, he didnt' want to eat...and well it was the hardest decision to
help him pass right up until the moment we knew it was the right thing to do.
He went surrounded by immense love, with sweet words whispered in his ear & encircled in our arms.
I still can't believe my boy is gone.
He was a best friend and one of thee most special rabbits I've ever had the honour of being a mama too.
I'll miss him every single day until the end of my time.
I fall asleep every night with visions of him and Ella bouncing around together somewhere wonderful.
And whenever I start to fall apart, I quickly remember Roo's grace & strength & utter sweetness
and I remember that he was extremely happy in his 9 year life.
Every time I take a nap, I think of our boy....because boy he LOVED to nap our handsome boy....
and every time I hear a snore, I will smile & think of him again because oh boy did he snore our boy.
I will go forward with his strength now part of my strength & I will always always feel
blessed and grateful that I was the one who found him in a park so many years ago...
one of the best days of my life.
Miss you baby....miss you so so much...thank you for all that you were and will forever be.
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Hi There & Welcome To My Art & Rabbit Filled World
I am Mandy Saile (pronounced Sigh-Lee), I am a maker of whimsical artwork & handmade lovelies. I am a multi-disciplinary artist but my oh my how coloured pencils make my fingers tingle. My work is meant to inspire & act as a reminder towards all the abundant joy & beauty in life whiles also telling stories about kindness & connection, espeacially between us & the animal kingdom. My artistic journey is not an easy one by far for I am a chronic & acute migraine/headache sufferer but I can now see a serendipitous connection between the pain I live with & the whimsical work that I make. When I am not creating artwork or nursing head pain, you'll likely find me just being with my handsome beloved, doting on our wonderful warren of 9 rescued house rabbits, working on our cozy little abode, curled up with books, soy lattes, jazz & chill step or out in my kayak. I make my life & art amongst the green sea of trees, sparkling lakes & crisp fresh air of North Bay, Canada.
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