Living with two bunnies is far from boring! How did this come to be, you may ask? Well, last summer, my boyfriend's parents rescued a little bunny found on a work site. This bunny was tiny and white, enjoyed being held and ran around free roam. I had never seen anything like it! I had no idea that bunnies could just live in your house like that. In my mind, they were a lot like rodents or mice, antisocial creatures pooping and peeing every step they take. But this little bunny was completely different! I was so sad to find out about a month later that the bunny didnt make it. They figured it was due to some digestion issues with some veggies it had eaten. Bunnies have very sensitive digestive systems, especially when they are young. My boyfriends family was so upset about this bunnies passing that I decided to gift them with one! I had no idea what I was doing so I asked a friend and was referred to a local breader of fancy rabbits called Holland Lops. Within a few days, my boyfriend and I were on our way to pick up a five month old boy bunny, later to be named Bugs.
Over the next few months, I really just loved the idea of having a pet bunny and went down a rabbit hole (hahaha) doing research on what it entails. I already had a 13 year old pup, Pookie, and wanted another pet to keep her company. I make Pookies food from scratch and have her on a vegetarian diet, so I do not want another pet that will put me back in the world of buying canned pet food made from who knows what. Rabbits are vegan and mostly eat hay - the perfect pet for me! When I started looking into breeders, I found tons of information on how over bred they were and that the shelters were actually full of unwanted rabbits! I check the local shelter and sure enough, I counted almost 30 on their adoption page! I was shocked and heart broken! I knew if I got a bunny, it would have to be rescued.
Then, a friend of mine that had purchased rabbits with the intention of breeding contacted me. She decided she had taken on too much and decided not to breed after all. She was about to have a baby and needed the rabbits gone as soon as possible. She had two that were bonded, a male and female. I couldn't bear the thought of them being seperated and going to different homes. I knew I would have to take them both! Half excited and half a nervous wreck, I said yes! I agreed to pick them up in about a weeks time, to give me time to prepare my space.
I bought conduit and wrapped all the exposed wires in my house and anything that they could potentially chew through and destroy had to be put up high, such as house plants and books. I bought a 6ft metal play pen that I would keep them in until they were litter trained and adjusted to their new environment. And to make sure Pookie was ok with having two bunnies for roommates. I went back and forth between being completely excited to completely terrified, wondering if I was taking on too much! I own and operate a business and have a lot of other projects going on in my life - was this a good idea?!? I decided I would try it and if it didn't work out, I could always rehome them. But I had to atleast try...
The first week of them being home was exciting! It was hard to get anything done besides sitting in the floor watching them! Pookie sat next to me and we both just stared at them for what felt like hours, or days.
I quickly realized I would have to get them spayed and neutered. They had never lived outside of a cage before and all the new space was making them feel safe to expand and procreate! I made them an appointment immediately and after about a week when they were all good and healed up, I took the pen down and gave them free rein of the house! They were getting to run and jump for the first time and it was the sweetest thing to witness! Pookie and I enjoyed evenings watching them run and explore their new space, using their full bodies for the first time!
I purchased a wooden cat litter box cover to hide their litter and hay and give them some privacy. Plus it keeps everything contained in the box for super easy clean up.
I make them salad every day and give them dried herbs in the evenings to add variety to their diet and for a special treat. I take time to hand feed them and work on building a relationship with them each day. I love seeing them get more and more comfortable around me and follow me around the house throughout the day.
Watching the bunnies has taught me a lot about energy and balance. I would have days where I would just go, go, go, on my feet 12 hours or more. Now, I try to mimick their behavior by finding balance in my input and output. I may have a busy morning but after breakfast, I may sit down and read for 15 or 20 minutes before beginning the next task. This actually helps me maintain more energy throughout the day - I always thought it would slow me down! It keeps me grounded and out of my busy thoughts, as well. Total win!
They have also taught me the value of being gentle and loving, yet stern and forceful when needed. These sweet things are covered with soft fluff, even on the bottoms of their feet! No protective shells or barriers. They hop around as if they are riding on clouds and will nudge me ever so gently to get my attention. But when I hold out a treat for them, they reach up and get a good grip on it with their teeth, and then yank it out of my hand so hard! When they find something they want, they have no problem reaching out and grabbing it! What a great quality to have.
The bunnies helped me in remembering how involved with the local shelter I was in college, as it is where I did my internship during graduate school. I felt led to reach out to the Sevier County Animal Center to volunteer and just give support to those working in the shelters all day because of their love for animals.
Bunnies have so much personality and make great companions for humans. I hope that more people see what great house pets they make and that they can be trusted to live life outside of a cage. If you are looking for a new pet, be sure to check the local shelters or community members for pets needing a home. If you are looking for some service work and have a heart for animals, check out local rescue groups and shelters, as they are always needing a helping hand.
Much love and many blessings to you all! Until next time, Bun Buns!