Speak Eagle

Trapped by His Own Teeth

Everyone once in a while we get stuck. We can’t move back, can’t move forward, and can’t see beyond our own pain. We need someone to help us, to communicate with us in a way that will help us get unstuck.

The other day, my poor bunny, Louie, found himself in this dreadful position. I discovered it when I went to feed him his favorite collard greens, but he couldn’t eat them. He was acting funny, with his chin stuck to his chest, shaking so that his big lop ears shook, too.

So, I decide to investigate. Louie wrapped in a towelI wrap him in a towel, lay him in my lap and turn him over to get a closer look at his mouth. With so much fur, it’s hard to figure out exactly how he is stuck. I move some fur away, and am shocked and repulsed by what I find. He has somehow impaled himself with his bottom teeth!

Since rabbits are considered “exotic animals,” I know a typical vet won’t see him.  There is no way to free him but to get the scissors and try to cut him free. With scissors in hand, I absolutely cringe as I make the first cut. Expecting a loud bunny scream and a lot of blood, I’m surprised to find that he doesn’t scream or bleed at all. In fact, his flesh cuts much differently than I expected cutting flesh to feel.

Wait.  It isn’t flesh at all!  It’s a big clump of bunny fur!  Whew. Let’s all breathe.  Louie had only gotten his teeth caught in his thick fur.  Now, that’s manageable surgery.  I breathe easier and with a little effort, finish cutting through to the other side of the clump of fur.  Then, I pull off the hair that had gotten wrapped around his teeth.

He is free!  He stops shaking, and I’m certain his wiggling nose says, “Thank you, dear mother.”

long bunny teeth
Here’s a photo of long bunny teeth I found on the web- this isn’t Louie’s actual teeth but shows how long bunny teeth can grow!

However, I know what the real problem is. It’s his bottom teeth. They are too long. They are clearly impeding his eating and the hazard of trapping himself yet again in this same way still looms in the distance.

So…I realize my mission.  I have to trim his teeth.  So I do what we all do when we have no idea how to do what we know we have to do- I watch a YouTube video- a video in which a bunny expert calmly uses wire cutters to trim her rabbit’s teeth.  And she confirms, yes, a rabbit can actually die if his teeth get too long.

I find our wire cutters.  Actually…I find my husband’s guitar string cutters. (Sorry, babe). guitar string cuttersI again wrap Louie in a towel and turn him over. Then, I pry Louie’s little mouth open with one hand so I could see his terribly long teeth, and with my other hand, I CLIP, CLIP! those very long teeth off, being careful to make a clean cut, then checking for sharp edges, and leaving enough length so he can still chew his food.

Louie eating collard greensAs he hops off happily to eat his collard greens (and my boys search for the teeth that had gone flying through the living room) I think of how I can get stuck so easily.  Stuck judging.  Stuck criticizing.  Stuck believing I’m right and someone else is wrong.  I can’t move back, can’t move forward, and can’t see beyond my own pain. And I’m thankful for the friends in my life who can see I’ve impaled myself with my judgment and unforgiveness, who have the courage to say difficult words- telling me to trust God, to forgive, to find compassion, and to press on in love. For it’s only in those things that we, too, find true freedom.