Thursday, November 14, 2013

Forever home for our bunnies!

Cookie, sweet and adventurous
I haven't explained yet how and why we still have the bunnies, have I? Looking back through my more recent posts, I realized that I said we just had them for the summer, etc. But, nope, they are still with us! Here's how this happened.

Honeybun, dominant and a little set in her ways
During the school year, Dash's classroom had two rabbits, two guinea pigs, and two turtles that I know of; there may have been more. Mrs. C. loved her animals and the enrichment activities (animal care and feeding) that they offered for the students, who of course adored all of them as well. Dash, in particular, begged us to get him a bunny as a pet for months. Watching them over the summer was, in my mind, a trial run to see if our household could support a rabbit or two.
Bunnies sharing a snack

I heard some rumblings from a parent or two over the summer about the rabbits, with comments like (insert comically musical voice), "Ohhhh! So *you* have those rabbits, hm? I was woonderiiing how that was goooiiing!" But it wasn't until I caught the parent of one of Dash's classmates at the grocery store in August that I found out what the tone behind the comments meant and why Mrs. C. had been so quiet all summer.

Because of all the mess that six animals (especially the large rabbits who were often left running wild in the room, to be sure) were making in the small classroom, the school custodians had held a meeting with the principal. They were tired of cleaning all the animal feces. The students created enough of a challenge for them, and they hadn't signed on to be zookeepers as well. The ultimatum the principal had given Mrs. C. was "no more animals."

So, the bunnies couldn't go back to the school. Where would they go if we tried to return them? With the "bad rep" they had gotten with the other parents (that is, messy and stinky), would any of them step up? I had litter-box trained them and we all had gotten pretty attached to them. The idea of our rabbits going to a shelter... well, not going to happen. After a family meeting about the bunnies, we agreed to keep them. I insisted that we would get them spayed and change their names, since they were ours now! I was never a fan of the name "Mary Potter," and even less fond of "Bugs Bunny" for a female rabbit. Their new names are respectively Honeybun and Cookie (with prior names as nicknames when they slip out).

They're still not free range in our home, just because they chew on everything. They occasionally escape through a door left cracked open, and we end up chasing them under a bed or couch. It's working out just fine to corral them to the back hallway/bathroom, or alternately, the kitchen as needed. Just for fun, I sometimes let Cookie have an adventure in Dash's bed, hopping over all of his toys. I've tried it with Honeybun, but she seems more stressed out by the change in scenery than loving it. They do love getting their faces scratched! Over time, I'm hoping they'll get comfortable enough to get more snuggly with us. If not, there's plenty of love to go around! We all enjoy Cookie and Honeybun's company. Well, maybe except for Weegee the parrot. He's still not sure what to think.

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