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Creek Running North
March 27, 2005
Happy plain old Sunday!
An Easter message from the House Rabbit Society:
"Contrary to Eastertime hype, rabbits and small children aren't a good match. The exuberance of even the gentlest toddler is stressful for the sensitive rabbit.
"Children like a companion they can hold, and cuddle. That's why stuffed animals are so popular. Rabbits are not passive and cuddly. They are ground-loving creatures who feel frightened and insecure when held and restrained. The result: the child loses interest, and the rabbit ends up neglected or abandoned.
"Easter bunnies soon grow large and reach adolecence. If left unneutered they will chew, spray or dig. Many end up neglected or abandoned. The result? Humane organizations such as House Rabbit Society see a huge increase in the number of abandoned rabbits after Easter. Help us stop this yearly cycle by educating yourself and others!
"Rabbits are not low-maintenance pets, and are a poor choice as a pet for children.
"They have a lifespan of 10 years and require as much work as a dog or cat.
"Your home must be bunny-proofed, or Thumper will chew cords and furniture.
"Rabbits must be neutered or they will mark your house with feces and urine.
"They should live indoors, as members of the family.
"Clearly, rabbits aren't for everyone. Are you a gentle adult living in a quiet household? If you think you're someone who would enjoy sharing life with a rabbit, please visit your local rabbit-rescue group."
Posted by Chris Clarke at March 27, 2005 09:24 AM
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I remember one easter when a kid down the street from Dad's apartment was given a baby bunny. It wasn't hopping high enough on its own, apparently, so the kid and his friends and brother took to throwing it high into the air, letting it land on the concrete driveway.
It didn't last long.Posted by: Craig at March 27, 2005 01:04 PM
What a lovely picture at the beginning of your post.Posted by: oldwhitelady at March 27, 2005 01:51 PM
That is a beautiful photograph. There is something about those colors in the garden, the rabbit's color, the handle of a shovel or a rake-- all together like a perfect summer afternoon.
Good reminder about rabbits and easter.
Being a city kid, we, along with our neighbors, didn't branch out too much from the cat/dog/occasional small caged rodent tradition of pet ownership.
I had, of course, a country-mouse cousin my own age. When they got a bunny to please the kids, I learned quite effectively that rabbits, though cute, were more or less as friendly as squirrels, and equally capable of causing injury.
I hated that little rodent. It lived to be 14 or something, of course. Bitter, jumpy little thing in a house with grabby kids, over-friendly dog, and at any given moment, 2-5 cats of varying levels of domestication.
Clearly, Rabbits aren't for everyone.Posted by: Alex at March 27, 2005 03:39 PM
I remember when we kept the second grade class bunny, Hershey. Late on Easter Eve, he suddenly began hopping like mad, went up the stairs, hopping straight in the air.
Possessed with the spirit of the Easter Bunny, I guess.Posted by: KathyF at March 27, 2005 03:41 PM
I never had a pet bunny.
But once upon a time, I was a lab assistant in a physiology and biophysics surgery, and I worked with lots of bunnies. I'll say no more.
There was one word we used a lot: "friable". Bunnies are very friable. They drove us nuts.
No, it doesn't refer to cooking.Posted by: PZ Myers at March 27, 2005 04:59 PM
Thistle has taught me a lot about the rabbit world. He's like a bunny squared: some domesticated breeds, such as lops, apparently like to cuddle. Whereas rexen will deign to allow you to pet them at times, and suffer your monkey cuddling fetush only with the utmost reluctance and occasional biting.
One of my pals said something like "think of rabbits as small fuzzy horses, and you'll know what to expect from their personalities." Not a bad approximation.
Kathy, the behavior you describe probably meant Hershey was enjoying himself. Rabbit folks refer to it as "binking" (i know, ugh). Thistle does it at high speed sometimes when he's in the yard: he can literally do a horizontal 360 in mid-jump, land and continue at full speed on his orignal course. It's impressive.Posted by: Chris Clarke at March 27, 2005 05:13 PM
I was gonna mention binkying, the evil rabbit woman I got myself mixed up with used to talk about that (she did rabbit rescue.)
There was another odd word she used to talk about in the same ssentance usually, "binkying and ______" but I don't remember the other one.Posted by: Craig at March 27, 2005 05:54 PM
There was one word we used a lot: "friable". Bunnies are very friable. They drove us nuts. No, it doesn't refer to cooking.
"loose and large-grained in consistency"?Posted by: Chris Clarke at March 27, 2005 06:27 PM
Yes. Crumbly and fragile. Doing surgery on one was a constant teeter-totter between having it wake up in the middle of a laminectomy (not good. and screaming rabbits make everyone think you are butchering babies) and having it go into cardiac arrest.
I preferred cutting up monkeys. They smelled bad and they were mean as piss and you had to wear chain mail gloves so they wouldn't bite your arms off, but at least that seemed like an appropriate response to getting operated on. After a while, you started to resent bunnies for being weak and sensitive.Posted by: PZ Myers at March 28, 2005 05:55 AM
I had rabbits as a kid (as a 4-H project), and they were all odd. There was the big black lop doe who liked to bite fingers and her own tail, the agouti lop buck who was sweet but dumb as a stump, and several Netherland dwarfish creatures, one of whom was fond of escaping his cage (a hutch raised several feet off the ground!) and roaming around the backyard until the dog found him, at which point he'd scream a blood-curdling scream so we could rescue him. Alas, the last time he did this was when we were not there to hear him.
I like rabbits, but I've never thought of them as easy pets.Posted by: Rana at March 28, 2005 10:04 AM