…continued from “From Nature to Nurture”
We decided to adopt “Pumpkin”, a black and white male lop-eared bunny. Before we could take Pumpkin home and begin a new phase of our married lives, he had to be neutered. That meant waiting another two weeks before we could actually bring him home. I had already waited this long to have a pet in our apartment. I figured I could wait two more weeks. Besides, that gave me time to double-check and make sure all was in order for Pumpkin’s arrival. Also, I could research even more, although I had read so much information that I felt I had exhausted all available resources on caring for pet rabbits.
Within a week of bringing Pumpkin home, we took him to a local vet that practices exotic pet medicine, as rabbits are considered to be exotic pets. We had to treat him for ear mites by giving him ear drops in the morning and at night for one week. Administering refrigerated liquid into the ears of a squirmy rabbit with powerful legs is definitely a two man job.
Pumpkin had been completely and perfectly litter box trained prior to his arrival. The advantage of this was that we could let him explore the apartment. At night, he spent his time in the bunny room, with a baby gate blocking his exit. In the morning, I’d let him out to roam. I soon learned that confining him to his room during our absence was a must. The day I learned this important lesson, we had given him free roam of the apartment while we went out for a few hours that morning. When we returned, I couldn’t find Pumpkin anywhere! Frantically searching, I feared something bad had happened. Finally, I found him. I had left my bottom dresser drawer open and he must have hopped up into it and back out on the other side so that he was actually inside the dresser. Fortunately, he was rescued unscathed.
For me, there was one major drawback to having Pumpkin as a pet. It was an issue that even with all my extensive research, I had foolishly overlooked. First, before doing any research, I should have sat down and written a list of things that I wanted in a pet. The first bullet point would have been “cuddle ability”. I had a lot of love to give to a pet. One way that I wanted to demonstrate this love was by holding and snuggling my pet. Pumpkin, however, did not like to be picked up. And I didn’t want to force the issue, because a rabbit’s kick is so powerful, that in trying to escape it could break it’s spine. Therefore, I could not hold him. To someone else, this could be considered a minor issue. For me, however, it was a deal-breaker.
To be continued…