This article is a wonderful summation of the article I previously posted about why rabbits make good pets, focusing on why rescued rabbits are good pets. I strongly support "adopt; don't shop." There are so many rabbits in animal shelters; therefore, we house rabbit enthusiasts have the opportunity to provide a loving home for a rabbit, or rabbits, who doesn't/don't have a home.
*As long as you (the human) are prepared to give your bunny the care and attention s/he deserves. If you are, then a rabbit is for you!
Are you a working professional? If you answered, "Yes," then a rabbit is for you. (Please see disclaimer* above.)
Congratulations! You qualify as a potential rabbit owner! From one working professional to another, do permit me to tell you why a rabbit is a great pet for you:
I need to tend to a few things before I craft my next blog post. In the interim, click here for a great article that champions rabbits as pets, while emphasizing the care and attention that rabbits require and need to live healthy lives and to fully be a part of your family. After all, if you are a pet lover like me, you acknowledge that pets are part of the family! This article relays the basic information needed to determine if a rabbit is a good match for your family.
I have a theory, backed by my own experiences, that rabbits are the best pet option for working professionals. I will share my theory with you in a subsequent post, for I have decided that first, I must address what is, perhaps, one of the primary reasons why people become frustrated with rabbits as pets: chewing. I will admit; rabbits chew EVERYTHING: cords, phone chargers, books, walls, doors, base boards, shoes, rugs, furniture, window sills, blankets, pillows, food bowls, rims of their litter pans, pant legs, piles of laundry, and the list goes on. (Please note: the items contained in this list are household items of mine that have been chewed!)
Why do rabbits chew? Well, their teeth are constantly growing, and chewing trims their teeth. The degree of chewing is indicative of the rabbit’s personality and intelligence. (Trust me; rabbits are smart little critters with a higher degree of intelligence than most people give them credit for.) As the pet owner, we, yes WE, have the responsibility of providing healthy options for the rabbit to chew on. This discussion leads me to one of my soap boxes of rabbit ownership. If one choose to have a pet rabbit, one must acknowledge that one has selected a pet that will chew EVERYTHING; it is the human’s responsibility to maintain an environment devoid of items the rabbit should not chew while full of options that the rabbit should be encouraged to chew. A rabbit is going to chew no matter what, so as the human, once must be prepared. Hence, the Oath of Rabbit Ownership.
I (insert name here), being of sound mind and body, do hereby acknowledge that I choose to have a pet that will potentially chew everything that I own. Therefore, I accept the consequences and responsibility for providing alternatives. I also acknowledge that oftentimes, rabbits are going to chew what they’re going to chew and accept that my furniture will be characterized by chew marks.
I have taken the Oath of Rabbit Ownership and strive to provide an environment that provides plenty of chewing options. (For a list of suggestions, please visit the website of the House Rabbit Society.) Please take a moment and view the snapshot below of the bunny room. (Yes, Cider has his own room in my house. I have recently moved, so this picture shows the bunny room at my previous house.) Let’s examine what Cider has at his disposal to chew. It may be difficult to see in the picture, but the most important component of the bunny room is endless access to fresh timothy hay, contained in the hay rack in the cage. (The cage door is always open, so Cider can come and go as he pleases.) Hay is a staple of a rabbit’s diet and important in trimming teeth. Next, notice the two cardboard boxes full of cardboard boxes and paper towel rolls. Cider enjoys tossing these around and trimming the edges. See the metal box? That’s a nesting box that contains hay and cardboard shreds for Cider to burrow in, commonly called a “diggy box.” Cider also has a timothy hay tunnel and an untreated grass mat to chew on, and a cardboard tube to chew on and hop through for some exercise and entertainment.
Now, let’s discuss one other item in the room: the phone book. See it there, directly above this sentence? I am known among friends and colleagues as a hoarder of phone books. Cider loves to chew books. (A quick glance at the books on my bookshelves will confirm this. When I moved, I set up a reading nook in the corner of the bunny room. I ultimately decided to move the bookshelves into the hallway after many days of returning home from work to discover the works of Eudora Welty and Virginia Woolf in the middle of the floor with chewed spines.) I acknowledge that my rabbit loves to chew books and provide him with reasonable alternatives: phone books.
I’ll conclude this post with one of my favorite pictures of bunny destruction. Should I go out of town for a few days, my parents live nearby and will frequently bunnysit. Cider will typically go to their house for vacation where my parents set up an area for him in the basement. In this picture, note the diggy box, the cardboard tube and a cardboard box of boxes. That timothy hay tunnel that was featured in the previous picture? Take a look at it now! Somebunny went on a chewing terror and destroyed the timothy hay tunnel. That being said, that was the entire reason why Cider was given the tunnel! In destroying the tunnel, he wasn’t chewing or destroying anything else. His energy was directed towards an item that was purposely placed in his proximity for this reason.
Or, Why I have a rabbit named for an apple product
Arbuckle. Sherlock. Quasar. I have an ongoing, seemingly endless, mental list of names for bunnies. My first pet bunny was Thumper. Any guesses as to the inspiration for that name??? (A rhetorical question, I know.) Thumper was a brown and white female rabbit who, in truth, didn’t look anything like her namesake, but I was about 5 or 6 and really into Disney movies.
After Thumper crossed the rainbow bridge, my family and I adopted Sneakers from the Houston SPCA. (My family lived in Houston for a brief moment of time.) I was granted the responsible for naming her. Sneakers was a Californian rabbit, a name that refers to the color pattern. I’m not really sure what the coloring pattern has to do with California, but that’s the name of the breed nevertheless. Californians are mostly white with greyish ears, feet and nose. The breed is also characterized by the red eyes. Sneakers had the grey feet with white toes; it almost appeared that she had on two pair of Converse All Star sneakers. Her adoption coincided with the Clinton presidency and Socks the cat. Remember Socks the cat? Yep, he was the inspiration for the name “Sneakers.” I guess one could say that he inspired the naming of pets after footwear.
(P.S. After reading this post, my sister reminded me that it was she who commented that Sneakers looked like she was wearing sneakers. This would explain why I do not recall how this particular name became a consideration. I do remember like the name Socks for a mostly black cat with white feet, so I am fairly certain that the name "Sneakers" was an easy sell.)
My family had other rabbits, named by other members of the family. My sister’s rabbit was Cutey, brother of Thumper, who lived for many, many years. We also had a bunny named Little Bunny, although no one person in my family was responsible for naming him. When he was given to us as a baby, he was in poor health, and my mother, not wanting us to become too attached to someone who might not live long, did not permit my sister nor I to name him. Well, a few days turned into weeks, which turned into months, which turned into years. Prior to Little Bunny crossing the rainbow bridge, my mom had adopted Smokey (whose original name was Fluffy) who ultimately came to live with me during my second year of grad school.
How, then, did I come to choose the name “Cider” for a bunny? Well, the truth is simple; I didn’t! I’ll explain. I found Cider at the Roanoke Valley SPCA in autumn. When perusing the website, looking at pictures of bunnies available for adoption, I couldn’t resist looking at pictures of kittens available for adoption as well. I observed two orange kittens named “Pumpkin” and concluded that the staff of the SPCA must have a “go to” list of names for critters who come to the shelter with no name. Associating apple cider with this time of year and discovering that Cider himself likes apples as a special treat, I concluded that Cider must have needed a name and this was the one bestowed upon him. Prior to adopting him, I fostered Cider for a month as he healed from being neutered. At the time, I didn’t feel it was my place to rename him before I officially adopted him, and after a month of calling him “Cider,” I decided to keep the name.
So what’s in a name? For Cider, it’s the result of circumstance, and I consider it an homage to the organization that took him in and cared for him. The name “Cider” was bestowed upon him by the SPCA staff, and I happily call him that as a tribute to the work the organization does for homeless pets who are waiting for their forever home.
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." -Juliet from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare