I confess that 6, 7 years ago, I knew nothing about rabbits. Well, at least the people I knew who had rabbits kept them in their backyard in a hutch.....
Randomly my husband and I decided to visit Capital Area Humane Society to meet the animals and he took me into the rabbit room. I had no clue what to expect, but when I came around the corner there was this bunny, tan, kinda chubby, with the sweetest face who put his nose right up to the cage. I took him out not knowing what to expect. And DH and I put him down in the "get to know you room.' Having just been neutered he was WIRED and I was a little bit shocked. I thought bunnies were supposed to be soft cuddly things that you could snuggle with. But this bunny acted like he was on crack.
But...I fell in love. I knew I had to have this little critter as a part of my family. My family thought I was crazy and my hubby was a little shocked, but I was taken with the little guy.
Over the next week Hoosier was put on hold twice and I left for vacation. Each time I learned he was on hold a little part of me got bummed out. I was also having trouble convincing my parents that adopting a rabbit was a good idea.
Yet, in the middle of my vacation I got a call from (now) DH. "Shannie, I adopted Hoosier!!!"
I WAS ECSTATIC! I also was going to have to keep him a secret. My parents weren't keen on it and my college had a strict no pets policy.
But Hoosier and I were fast friends and there were many a times I smuggled his little furry body in and out of my dorm room. My friends who knew about him thought it was hilarious and marveled at my ability to hide him. Don't get me wrong, I know why they had a no pet policy in place and it was for very good reasons! But I was not an average gal, and he was not the average bun. His cuteness won everyone over, including my parents. Especially when they saw he could be litter trained and LOVED apple pie(he was a freak for apple!).
Hoosier recently left me and I admit that most days I still feel this dull ache at his loss. Over the years he and I had grown so close it was heartbreaking to have to let him go. In his old age he developed arthritis, but never willing to back down he would sit at the foot of the couch and stare at me until I picked him up and set him in my lap. When I'd come home he was always ready to greet me. One thing is for certain, no matter how sick Hoosier got he always maintained a sunny disposition. I think that is what made letting go so hard for me. Sometimes I am not sure if its the choices I had to make, or my fear of forgetting him that saddens me more.
But, one thing that will never change is how much he taught me about the love and bond between people and their companion animals. Pets seems like such a..well, the term is paternalistic and for many of us these animals are more than just a pet...they are our COMPANIONS. Our best friends.
Each year at Easter, bunnies will be bought for children, as part of their Easter basket. Many will then be abandoned as families lose interest, or realize that a rabbit isn't quite the kind of pet that they thought they were. In a culture or society of instant gratification we don't often think about the long term consequences of our actions. Buying a bunny for Easter is 'fun' its a part of the 'holiday' a way to 'celebrate' with a real-live bunny!!!
In honor of Hoosier Bun Bun and all the other critters out there........please fill your Easter basket with chocolate this year rather than a live bunny. If you are contemplating a bunny please do your research, I have linked several organizations to my blog. Rabbits are not starter pets and require very specific care and love. You also need a vet that is familiar with rabbit care and health. In the end please adopt. There are so many pets in the world that need a good home....yours could be just the one they need.