A Place of Comfort and Cheer
I’ve been a member of HRS for over a decade but, with long work hours and an exhausting commute, my involvement had been limited to monetary contributions and attendance at special events. It wasn’t until HRS national headquarters and shelter was established that I was able to increase my involvement. I remember sitting on the floor listening to plans of what the rabbit center was “going to be.” To me the place looked spacious, but dull and office-like. Little by little the shelter was transformed to such a cheerful place, I now look forward to my weekly visits.
It’s remarkable how quickly one gets to know the shelter rabbits as individuals. The first rabbit, Adam, arrived at the shelter bursting with energy and personality. During his stay before his adoption, he would push his nose through the latticework of his enclosure to touch, sniff, or taste anything that came by. Shy Liberty, formerly a laboratory rabbit, began to trust people who offered a gentle touch and fresh greens. Lucy tried to thwart the advances of the ever-amorous little Herbie. Young Dylan and Inya seemed to grow right before my eyes. Teddy Bear and Suzanne Plushette bonded quickly with people and asked to cuddled.Adopters of many of our “graduates” have written to tell about their rabbits’ lives. We were so happy to hear that shy and tidy Priscilla had found a rabbit friend and a loving home. That Trixie is a one-bun home entertainment center for her new family. That Rocky, once so despondent over the loss of his Cinders, is kicking up his heels and known as the “rock star” in his home.
As a volunteer, I also had the pleasure of organizing spring luncheons which brought volunteers together at the rabbit center two weekend days in May. The luncheons lasted well into the afternoon, for once rabbit people get together, it’s hard to get us to stop talking. We share joy in life with rabbits, and tips and suggestions on how to better care for our rabbits.
At the center, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to people seeking information about rabbits as companion animals. One person was seriously considering giving up her rabbit. We discussed her situation and I made a trip to her home. Written information, bunny toenail clipping, suggestions about diet and how to arrange her rabbit’s quarters made her feel she could keep her rabbit. Not everyone’s problems are so easily solved, but it is gratifying to feel you can help people who want to do the best for their rabbits.
My work schedule may complicate my life again, but I hope I will always have time to volunteer at HRS. I would highly recommend it to others even if time only allows a few hours a month. I feel the rewards far outweigh the effort. Last week I found myself in the position of needing comfort from HRS friends. I lost my beloved 8½-year-old rabbit, Penny, and was heartbroken. In some places the response might have been “she was just a rabbit.” But here was group of people who knew exactly how I was feeling and who did wonders to comfort me. Later I made my rounds from one habitat room to the next, saying hello to my furry friends. A trio of baby bunnies, Mocha, Latte, and Java, couldn’t wait to get out for exercise. As they scampered and “danced” down the hallway- nearly tripping me- I felt a smile return to my face and laughter lighten my heart.
by Carolyn Mosher
House Rabbit Journal Fall 2001: Volume IV, Number 6
French translation here.