Our family lost Rusty the wonderbun back in May. I haven't posted about that loss because I haven't been able to put into words what an amazing rabbit he was, or how much his loss hurts. Also, I've felt the need to keep that loss fairly private. I don't think Chris or I can bear the hurt and anger of reading some stranger posting a comment like, "Oh come on, he was just a rabbit."
Have you ever heard someone who has had lots of a certain kind of pet always talk about one in particular? They may have had 5 dogs over the course of their life, but there's just one they always tell stories about, and talk about how great he/she was and how much they miss him/her. Rusty was that pet. Maybe I can illustrate it better than describe it. This is a quick video I took of Rusty in the last year of his life.
Not only did he regularly come when called, but Chris could get Rusty to chase him from the kitchen to the living room every night before his dinner. I only wish I had gotten a video of the chase.
We still miss Rusty very much. I especially miss the way he used to sleep on our bed each night near my feet. That being said, we did finally take a trip out to the SPCA a few weeks ago to visit quite a few rabbits who were there, waiting for good homes. We spent time with several rabbits, and decided that one rabbit would never be able to fill Rusty's shoes, so we adopted a pair.
Introducing: Dutch and Pepper. These two are litter mates, male and female, who were already bonded. They were rescued from cruelty/neglect at the end of July. We're not sure how old they are. The SPCA thought 5 months, but our vet suspects younger. We started out by putting them into the cage together with Rusty's old litter pan, which sort of worked, in that they used it, but they also picked 2 or 3 other spots in the cage to use. after reviewing the litter training bits of the House Rabbit Society website and talking to our vet, we added a second litter pan. Now they use only the pans, and often sit in them as if they're sitting in matching armchairs. They also currently have a litter pan in the living room for when we let them out, but we're hoping that when they're a little older we can eliminate the room pan. I mention all this because one of the first questions we're asked about pet rabbits is whether they're litter trained.
Dutch is the male rabbit, and mostly black; Pepper is the female and has more traditional dutch breed markings with her white shoulders and feet. We've been greatly enjoying their antics, although we wish they were more comfortable being touched. Right now, they love to come up to us, bonk us with their noses and even put their front feet on us, but they're skittish about being touched. This will change over time, as they get used to humans. It's frustrating right now, because they're so cute and we want to pet them.
Dutch's specialty is speed: