Sweep was a black doe born in 2010. She came to us in October 2017 with her sister Sooty who has head tilt and could no longer cope well in her old home. Both of them have delightful temperaments. They are some of the nicest rabbits that I have met, very sweet natured and calm. Someone brought us a buck who had been in another rescue for a long time with repeated failed attempts at bonding him. We have called him Mr Spice. They had adopted him to go with their rabbit but it just wouldn’t work and they didn’t want him going back where they got him and back into a small cage so they brought him here. We put him in with Sooty and Sweep and they managed to calm him down from being a panicky ball of fear aggression flinging himself about with mad abandon to a happy little loved up husbun in remarkably little time. When I first put him with them he charged about posturing and threatening them while they calmly ignored him. When he finally sat still Sweep stretched out her neck to him and gently licked his nose a couple of times and then went back to ignoring him. You could almost see the cogs turning in his head while he tried to put that completely unexpected behaviour into his world view. She had just told him that he needn’t worry, everything would be fine, there was no need to defend himself. By the next day the expression on his face had changed entirely and a couple of months on and he is just a happy little rabbit instead of the ball of nerves who arrived. That could have been very different if not for Sooty and Sweep.

Following the successful bonding with Mr Spice when Minerva lost Juniper I thought of  Sooty and Sweep’s lovely natures and decided to try bonding her with them. It was a great success so when poor Blue was left alone and awkward little Phyllis too I added them to the group too and we had a group of six for a while until Blue became bossy and Phyllis upset everybun so they had to be removed.

Unfortunately Sweep had a problem with one of her back feet since she arrived, a growth that affected the joint. In spring 2019 it ulcerated so we moved them into one of the piggie sheds in order to keep it dry so it could heal. It did so quite well although never enough that we could risk it getting wet. They weren’t content with just the covered run on the shed so when it was dry we took to letting them loose around the Sanctuary. They loved this! In July Sweep’s foot took a turn for the worse and became infected despite the antibiotics she was on. She became ill and died quite suddenly before we could control the infection, but she had already become quite frail and was obviously feeling her age. I am glad that she was able to have so much time out and about enjoying her last summer. Quality of life is the important thing.