“For April, BlogPaws celebrates Small Pet Appreciation Month. So all you bunny, chicks, hamster, rabbit, gerbil, ferret, fish, gecko, bird, and other small pet parents: This one’s for you!”
As a family we adopted our first rabbit, after both of our beloved dogs died within six months of each other. No way could we replace 16 years of loving attachment, fun, care-taking and adventure with Dawn and Nabisco.
Nabisco, Alex & Dawn siblings three
As a mom, I knew our child needed an animal to love. I needed an animal to love too. Something about waking up to give care, feeding, giving fresh water and love to an animal remains essential to my peace and happiness.
We learned a great deal about house rabbits.
House rabbits often live 10 years or more.
Rabbit healthy diet requires feeding 90% Timothy hay or Orchard grass.
Feed daily, limited herbs and bites of vegetables.
Rabbits take to litter box training fast.
Rabbits can die of fright.
Rabbits bones tend to be easily broken.
Rabbits love to play and to interact with people.
Rabbits to protect against cancer spayed or neutered.
Not related to rats, rabbits are Lagomorphs.
Rabbits teeth grow, therefore must cut hay and wood daily.
Not sure why I feel guilty keeping a house rabbit. We keep Tuxedo in our kitchen and family room. Because I share hours each morning in silence with our rabbit,should I feel guilty? Love watching him as he goes about his dawn rituals. First, he sniffs the entire kitchen, seeking scraps of snap peas, celery or carrots on the floor. Then he sniffs me, especially my fingers and breath for a hint of his favorite foods. Finally, he cuts a rug. He jigs. He flings himself in zigzag patterns, tossing in a few 360 degree balletic jumps.
House rabbits make fab companions for adults
Tuxedo gaily performs on the blanket and rubber mats. If I am on the floor he hops on, off and around me. I never know when he may burst into action so the surprise delights me every time.
So where does guilt come in?
I feel guilty that I have a gentle and frisky rabbit all to myself. I feel guilty taking such good care of him, while mothers with babies and children live shelter-less in cities nearby. I keep Tux warm and dry. He receives clean water and a fresh litter box of newspapers with dried Timothy grass morning and night. I feel grateful to have room for a quiet and meditative pet. He’s good company on rainy mornings and dark nights.
Why keep a rabbit as a pet?
Once I heard a Zen Master use the example of donkey – donkey. That people as animals have preferences and temperaments that make them compatible or not with one another. This Zen Master referred to simple animal companionship. He made sure to point out that some of our donkey – donkey relationships really work for us. They work when we feel at ease, when we feel at peace. We tend to stay healthier with the right people in our lives. I believe this is true for our pets. I love dogs. I write about dogs. We share a dog.
Tuxedo acts like my husband is a carrot giving tree. Tuxedo loves soft strokes and gentle pets on the side of his nose. When he feels relaxed others can approach and pet him. Sometimes, Tuxedo bites the pen’s metal bars, trying to escape. All rabbits are escape artists!
Tuxedo responds, especially, to me
Each morning I sit or lie on his level, letting him roam. Using food rewards Tuxedo has learned his name and to come when called. He shows me by holding still when he wants me to continue petting him. Tuxedo seems to be all mine.
One day I went into our dining room and made a phone call. I did not know Tuxedo had escaped his kitchen Ex-pen. I felt so engrossed in my phone conversation, I’d forgotten I’d let Tuxedo out of his resting pen.
The thing I heard where thumps. Tuxedo hopped up the stairs to find me in the dining room. He could have made mischief chewing electrical wires or pillows in the family room. He could have jumped in the laundry basket and chewed our clothes. He followed my voice. I heard his thumps coming down the hall.
Since then, Tuxedo has learned to recognize his name and come when called. See the YouTube video I made of him below.
Our house rabbit remains a guilty pleasure. Together, we enjoy plenty of time every morning. I treasure him for his quiet times, lively times and alertness.
Two years ago at the animal shelter, we let Tuxedo choose us. After having visited with many rabbits, one Sunday afternoon at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter visiting room, Tuxedo came to me…full of curiosity, ears up with his black and white nose twitching. He came home with us.
By Deborah Taylor-French
Rabbits fall in the category of lagomorphs not rodents
“…people were already keeping rabbits as pets by the 18th century. British poet William Cowper kept hares in his home to help combat his severe depression, and he wrote eloquently of his love and appreciation for these creatures as companion animals.” Petfinder.com “Do Rabbits Make Good Pets?” by Mary E. Cotter, ED.D,. Licensed Educator, House Rabbit Society
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“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”
― Mortimer J. Adler
By Deborah Taylor-French
Pets Get Through to Our Hearts
Please share Yoshi, the rabbit Alex rescued in Sonoma County. Alex put all she had into saving this little pet’s life. A kind Windsor veterinarian gave Alex a discount because she was saving a life.
Yoshi means good luck in Japanese. She’s sweet-natured, gentle and curious. She also likes being active, will play with toys and keep you entertained, once she gets room to stretch and jump she absolutely glows with happiness.
We love Yoshi. Her name means “good luck” in Japanese. Yoshi received good luck because our lovely Alex saved Yoshi’s life.
Left unattended in a cage at a construction site, little rabbit Yoshi’s leg bled. No one came to take her home. Alex’s friends took the rabbit, but did not have a home for her. They had to keep her outside near their truck.
When Alex first saw Yoshi, the rabbit’s front left paw was raw-pink-red. A large open wound prevented the rabbit from using her leg. She held her leg up and could not stand the pain of placing weight on it.
Alex took Yoshi to a veterinarian who suggested amputation. He believed the rabbit’s leg had been broken and would never heal. Alex could not afford surgery. And more than anything she wanted to try to help Yoshi keep her leg. The Vet gave a course of liquid pain control and antibiotics. He also reduced the fee, knowing Alex did not plan on adopting the rabbit.
Alex treated Yoshi twice a day with antibiotics and pain medication. Alex treated the wound with peroxide everyday for a month.
Yoshi wore a cone head. I worried she couldn’t eat or drink wearing a plastic cone. Yoshi taught herself to scoop up alfalfa pellets into the cone and catch her food as it slid toward her mouth!
After terrible suffering and loneliness, Yoshi healed.
Months of treatment and love from Alex (and a little help from us) this little and young rabbit lives happy and playfully.
Much to our surprise, Yoshi hops quite normally on her once damaged leg. Even her beautiful white fur grew over the massive wound.
The miracle bunny happens to love people and is okay with our small dog. Confident, curious and cute, Yoshi will make you happy everyday, as she has made us.
Yoshi got a new nickname, Hop-along.
Yoshi waits in foster care for her forever home.
Please help this little rabbit get a great indoor home. We hope she can go to a house rabbit family where she will use her four feet to jump for joy.
Please help our Yoshi “hopping” for a home. Sonoma County or nearby would be best. Yoshi comes with a comfortable night time pen.