It all started late at night. My husband and I were sitting on our front porch, smoking. The bushes rustled. I ignored it and we kept talking. Then, the bushes rustled again and out popped a little white ball of floof. We sat there for many seconds, looking at it, trying to decide what to think of this thing on our lawn.
After the shock wore off, Chris got nervous because this bunny looked like a baby. He went up to it and scooped it up. For its part, the bunny was compliant. We brought it inside, I wondered in my head if it was unafraid because it was rabid, and we told the boys to keep their distance. We retreated to the porch again to decide what to do with it.
Chris was worried that it was a baby and was going to die a horrible death in the wild and he took it upon himself to save the bunny. While we were outside, in the process of deciding that we were, in fact, heroic and going to save this little bunny life, the boys were naming it Snowball.
Snowball was teeny and wonderful and cuddly and we got to keep him for four beautiful days. We took him to the vet and got him antibiotics for an illness that the vet thought was one he had been carrying perhaps his whole life. And we all loved him so much.
On the morning of the fourth day, Snowball had passed away. We were all crushed, but we learned a brand new thing about our family. We are bunny people.
The day he passed away, I started to look online. I wanted a bunny, not to replace Snowball, but because of him. But because he was so teeny and fragile, I knew we needed a more solid bun this time around. I specifically looked for a bunny that was the opposite of Snowball. I wanted a black, female, large bunny. Snowball, as seen in the photos, was itty bitty. A fully grown dwarf, that could fit into one palm.
I found one. Online, the animal shelter had a couple of bunnies and they looked awesome, so I went in to see them. That is how I met Phoebe. She was everything I was looking for and she came home with me. The boys were thrilled.
We knew we were getting her fixed, for her health and our sanity. She became a little more aggressive and when we explained that to the clinic that was to spay her, they moved here appointment up. She got fixed.
In the meantime, Kayden and I went to the pet store and saw this SUPER fluffy bunny, named Sir Ian. Kayden asked if we could get him. I reminded him that we were new to bunnies and that we were still adjusting to Phoebe, as she had been living with us less than a month. He understood.
HOWEVER, a few days later, Chris and our friend went into the pet store to buy things for our friend’s ferrets. So, they got back and we chatted. And then Chris goes to the truck and comes back with…Sir Ian
Kayden recognized him immediately and was overjoyed.
We learned, through both experience and research, that bunnies don’t always get along. We only let them out of their cages separately at first. Phoebe was still healing from her surgery anyway and wasn’t up for a lot of playing.
We started to let them out together. Suddenly Phoebe ran. She wanted to play. We think. She chased Ian and we got worried and kept them separated.
A few weeks have passed, now, and though they are not bonded (snuggles, grooming, inseparable) we think they are on their way. Phoebe loves to chase Ian. And we think, based on the fact that Ian will jump off the couch, thump his feet, and if Phoebe doesn’t chase him, keeps thumping, that he enjoys it too. They seem happy.
And for one day, they did so many things like bonded rabbits do. They cuddled, groomed, and stayed very close to one another. So there is progress. For the most part, they do their own things and just play a couple times a day. And that is good, too.
Ian has an appointment at the Vet on Wednesday, and because of the things that I have read, Phoebe will be in attendance as well. They are happy, they roam free during the day, and are caged at night. I am trying to instill bedtime routines into them, but it is just about as effective as instilling it into the children. So maybe, some day.
In the meantime, we watch the bunnies interact with each other and we laugh. And I often think of Snowball, the little ball of fluff that we summoned with our smoke, who not only enriched our lives with his presence, but also led us to Phoebe and Ian. For those things, I will be forever grateful.