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Unexpected Joy of a Pet Rabbit

A Pet Rabbit

Story by Marie Fletcher
Leoti, Kansas


When my daughter and her family took a trip to Disney World, they left a baby rabbit in our care. I had never heard of a house rabbit. I always thought of bunnies outside in hutches or running through the grass. This tiny French Lop rabbit, the only one in his litter to survive, enlightened me.

We were hooked when the little one, who had arrived in a carrier with a hot rock wrapped in a soft cloth to keep him warm, opened his bright eyes and began to jump and play. He bonded with us and vice versa.
When my daughter’s family returned home for the summer, there was too much work to be done around their ranch for anyone to bottle-feed a baby bunny. So this small, floppy-eared ball of fluff became ours. We took him in as a pet rabbit.

That Wascally Wabbit
My husband, Ralph, named the speedy little bunny Bugs, and our pet turned out to have as much personality as the famous cartoon character. This house rabbit has more curiosity than a cat. He explores, sniffs and licks everything within reach. Extremely affectionate, Bugs loves to be stroked and petted. He can’t purr, bark or wag his little tail, but he cuddles and closes his eyes in pure contentment.

As with all pets, even free ones, there is a price to pay. Bugs likes to dig through the grain and pellets in his dish to get at what he wants. The rest of the food ricochets all over the utility room, and by morning it looks much like a disaster area.

Comic Relief
Bugs has small pieces of apple, peach, mulberry and willow branches to chew on to keep his teeth worn down. They have to be trimmed otherwise. We change his litter every other day. Rabbits are very clean. If their litter box is not renewed frequently, they will find another place to “go.”

Bugs starts our day off right as we laugh at his antics. After being locked in the utility room all night, he scratches at the door to be let out as soon as he hears us moving around. He zooms around the house, up and down the hallway, through the wood box, over the ledge, popping up in the air like a kernel of popcorn on a hot skillet.

Finally, with ears flopping and tail bobbing, he leaps to the nearest empty lap for some caressing. If he doesn’t get enough attention, he pulls at a sleeve with his teeth or licks a hand.

When the rest of the family learned of our new baby, they showered us with gifts. Bugs has a new log-cabin house, toys, four flavors of yogurt drops for rabbits and many vegetable chew sticks. We were surprised to find there was so much on the market just for bunnies.

Yes, we have learned a lot about house rabbits. Bugs is such a character that it would not astound me if one of these days our “wascally wabbit” sat up in front of my husband and asked, “What’s up, Doc?”


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