My love affair with bunnies began about five years ago. I was assisting the owner of a local fruit stand, who told me about a customer whose doctor thought she might be allergic to her bunny. The owner asked me if I could house the bunny, and I agreed.
My new boarder came complete with food, toys, and a spacious cage that I could have never afforded myself. I just had to provide love, attention, and care. I was even given a “rabbit 101” manual so that I could learn bunny ways. I hopped, so to speak, into my new duties with both feet, and I was hooked.
I joined the House Rabbit Society; learned about bunny care, including how to bunny proof my home; and looked forward to coming home and letting my new roommate out of the cage to roam, explore, and share bunny love.
Unfortunately, it became clear that the fruit stand customer really loved her bunny. Although it was hard, I told her that she could take him back.
Alone again in my apartment, I started spreading the word of my newfound love of bunnies. Shortly, a local animal shelter called to see if I could house a rabbit who had been left with them. A young couple had given up the brown and white Dutch because they had little time to be with him and he stayed in a cage all day. I was glad to take him—and also grateful that a vet lowered the usual neuter fee.
Once again, it became a pleasure to come home from work to let my new bunny, whom I named simply “Bunny Number 1,” out of the cage so that he could roam and play. As Bunny Number 1 became accustomed to his new home and the aggressive hormones were no longer in control, I bunny proofed the house again and let him roam free during the day. However, I felt guilty about leaving him home all day with no companion.
I didn’t have to wait long before the shelter called again with another bunny who had been abandoned. This one was all white with gray on the tips of his tail, nose, and ears and pink eyes. I immediately fell in love with him, and the shelter helped pay for the neutering. Bunny Number 2 joined our little family, and he seemed happy, since he licked everything in sight (which I learned was a good thing). I felt better that Number 1 had a playmate—even though the extra animal could generate a lot more bunny excrement!
Sadly, after four years, Number 1 became very ill and died. Number 2 and I stayed by his side as much as possible during the last three days of his life, giving him extra loving care. He is buried outside my front door and is still with us in spirit.
After a grieving period, I realized that we were back to the same problem as before—no companion for Number 2— whom I renamed Number 1.
I look forward to a call from the shelter sometime and Number 1 having a companion again if possible, but for now, Number 1 is the only man of the house.
by Sharon Parrott
House Rabbit Journal Volume 5, No. 8