Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Flopsy Parker: A Little Bunny that Gives Big

Editor's Note: The following post is a guest post written by Gretta Parker, Flopsy's adoptive Mom and the co-founder (with Flopsy) of Baskets for Bunnies, a non-profit group which helps shelter/rescue bunnies in many ways.  Recently she did a campaign that helped collect over 2000 rabbit toys for bunnies in rescues and shelters. Even more recently, Flopsy Parker has passed away on December 28th, 2011 from a kidney ailment.  This post is a dedication and tribute to his legacy on his birthday! His birthday is today, January 10th.  Please read this and support Baskets for Bunnies.  Tomorrow, Rabbit Slippers will feature an interview with his human mom....so stay tuned.  Flopsy's love and legacy continue...

 I had never owned a rabbit before when I adopted Flopsy Parker. I knew the first time that I took a photo of Flopsy that there was something even more extraordinary about him. I am not trained in photography at all, and I can say in the 100’s of photos I have taken never once used a flash. The camera loved him, sometimes it looked like he glowed. Some days he was so beautiful he did not seem real.

I remember thinking in the beginning how could someone surrender such a beautiful rabbit. After adopting him, I learned a lot of people abandoned their beautiful rabbits, many of which were Easter gifts. I learned the plight and overcrowding rescues and shelters face. There is a combination of factors, rabbits need lots of care, people do not research a pet before buying, and many grow tired of their pet then dispose of it.

I created Flopsy’s Facebook page to educate other people of these things. I took his beautiful photographs and taught myself how to photo edit. I made educational posters, and funny posters for him. I met more and more rescues. He got on the news, in magazines, and in the paper. I was not prepared for all the outpouring of love for him. Flopsy got more and more friends so much so that I decided to go one step further. I worked up to 86 hours a week to raise the money to pay the legal fees to start a non profit.

I started Baskets for Bunnies, with the idea that a non profit could support other non profits. I could use it to raise supplies, that rescues needed so they have the capacity to rescue more rabbits. I could not adopt anymore rabbits, but I could give them the life that I provided Flopsy. I sent rescues things like fleeces, toys, play cubes. We support monthly not just a onetime thing. Right now funds only allow for about 7.

On December 28th, 2011 Flopsy died suddenly of a kidney ailment. I thought I was going to die with him at the moment. I sat for days watching and reading the posts. I began to understood the magnitude he had had. Posts from people saying he had encouraged them to adopt, or to educate their kids about bunnies. He lived a short life but a big one in the fact that he raised a lot of things when we needed to. The Toys for Hops fundraiser raised 2000 toys that are all over the US right now in shelter bunny cages.

 I adopted Flopsy for $7.50, he gave me every skill I needed by just being him. He was my inspiration. I will always work with him, as his mother. I want his images to always make people think about adoption. I realized I had lived my life with him like Alice in Wonderland always chasing the white rabbit. He led me for the first part of the journey, now it is time for me to do the next part alone. He was a great teacher, I learned all the skills I needed to without him saying a word.

 I want to build the Flopsy Parker Memorial Sanctuary to be an Easter Bunny retirement home, it will cost about 5K to get it up and ready for buns to come live there. I want to place his ashes in a memorial in there as well. His final resting place will be like his life- among bunnies he helped but never met. I also want to use Baskets for Bunnies to start a nationwide rabbit spay and neuter program. I am working on a children’s book “The Easter Bunny Who Grew Up” on his life, all the proceeds going to help build a Sanctuary. If you would like to help or donate visit www.basketsforbunnies.org

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  1. Flopsy is in your heart and is so proud of his Mommy for carrying on to help all his friends especially building the Flopsy Parker Memorial Sanctuary<3. I think you are doing the greatest thing for Flopsy and all the other bunnies that need you<3 Please Keep me posted of your journey!!!

  2. What a lovely story, I'm glad Flopsy has taught you so much. Wish I could keep a rabbit too, but I wouldn't have the time to fully keep one happy :-)

  3. I will NEVER forget the night Flopsy passed away! He lives on in my Heart forever.