December 23, 2007

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas: A Holiday Tale

Do you hear what I hear?
So early last week, having found a little white rabbit on the website for the Frederick County Animal Shelter, we traveled 85 miles to pick up Pink. Like Elvis, Pink (who was supposedly also at least part lionhead) was a rabbit given up by a family who didn't want him. Pink was owned by people who had five dogs and "no longer had time for him." Given his age--just under a year--Pink was likely a poorly thought out Easter purchase. Poor Pink. White rabbits with pink eyes are generally adopted last. We met Pink's foster mom, Patti, who fosters a number of rabbits and who has a business taking pet photos. He was larger than I expected, easily twice Elvis' size, but she put Pink on my shoulder and I just melted. His paws were dirty and he had an ugly scab from his neutering and the not-lovely pink eyes, but he had a little mane and beard of the softest white fur and a wistful expression and no forever home if we rejected him, so we packed him up and drove back home and settled him into his new quarters in one of our two "rabbit rooms" (the master bath with a new large cage).

The next day we went to work and when I came home, I sat on the floor to clean his cage, something I'd always enjoyed doing with the Bunnyman. While I spread clean newspaper in the bottom of the Bunnyman's cage, I'd read and pet the Bunnyman, who would stretch out next to me, clicking his bunny teeth in a kind of purr that happy bunnies have. Pink wasn't purring though. As soon as I sat down and reached into his cage to clean it, this formerly docile bunny turned into a maniac, rushing at me and lunging, snapping his teeth and biting. He bit me on the hands and the arm and the leg, drawing blood and causing terrible bruising. With his red eyes he looked like a little vampire bunny.

I called Patti, shaken and crying. I needed to bring the bunny back; he wasn't working out. He hated me. Patti promised to take him and said she'd rehabilitate him; that sometimes stress turned little rabbits into bunny monsters. Perhaps, she theorized, he didn't feel well. His neutering scab didn't look right to her. And he'd lived in four places (his originaly family, the shelter, Patti's after the surgery and then our house) in just a short time. He might be scared and uncertain. I couldn't bring him right back anyway; it would have to wait two days to Saturday--the drive to Frederick is too long at night and in holiday traffic. And she told me to push his head down if he rushed at me to bite, and to blow in his face, which bunnies don't like but which is non-violent. So the next night I followed her suggestions, talking calmly to Pink, blowing a puff of air into his face when he got edgy or too close. It worked; he calmed down and began to relax. He watched me warily at first, and then he came closer, nudging me and finally creeping into my lap to have his ears rubbed and his back stroked. He did the tooth purr. I emailed Patti and said I'd keep him another week. Yesterday I told her he could stay permanently.

He's perked up. His incision has healed and the green scab has fallen off. He drank a lot of water for a while and slept deeply in his little dishpan litterbox. He ate everything brought to him and asked for more. Little by little he became less hostile, then less wary, and now he plays with his pinecones and his cardboard tubes and does little jump-and-twists called binkies.

Pink is home for Christmas.


And here's another shot of Elvis, our other Christmas bunny, who looks and acts more like a puppy than a rabbit. Elvis was neutered Friday, so he's a little subdued today; normally he tears around sniffing everything, licking your face, squirming, jumping into your arms. Tonight he's had his dinner of hay and fresh cilantro and parsley and carrots, with a tiny syringe of fruit-flavored anti-inflammatory, and he's nodding off in his little box.


Merry Christmas from our hutch to yours! Stitching pictures to come when I've had a chance to do something other than shop and cook and clean and bunny-tame.

12 comments:

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Oh I am so happy for Pink! i am glad it worked out as he is a handsome fella. I know neither of them will take the Bunnyman's place, but they will help to fill that void! What lucky bunnies they are to have such a good mommy!

Carol said...

Merry Christmas Glenna!

Sue said...

Bless Your heart!!!! Poor little guy...he probably spent the first part of his life defending himself from 5 dogs...and good for you for giving him a second chance. For once horrible traffic is a good thing! Have a great Christmas Glenna.

Vonna said...

What a cute pair...I'm so glad everything worked out fine :)
Merry Christmas from our hutch too...since we've multiplied like rabbits over here! LOL!

Anna van Schurman said...

I love your photo/title combo--very effective. And I'm also glad that you Pink's story has a happy ending.

Wendy said...

Merry Christmas, Glenna!

Wawanna said...

They are both so very sweet, never knew bunnies could live inside and be such pets. Adorable! Hope all continues to go well with Pink, bless that little sweetheart. Just think how terrified you would be. You have a very kind & understanding heart. All God's creatures are special.

Barbara said...

I left a comment last night, but my Internet connection was wonky and I see it didn't "take".

I think Pink is such a lucky bunny to have found you - I hope he and Elvis enjoy many happy years with you. And I'm looking forward to lots more bunny tales about the two of them!

Michelle said...

I am so glad to hear that Pink is adjusting to his new home. I am so sorry to hear that you are also having to do testing on your kitty. I hope that things look up for you and your little ones from here on out. I'll be thinking of you! Big hugs. I am doing a little better today, but Romeo's blood tests were not good news. I can't wait to hear more about the new adventures of Elvis and Pink - they are too cute!

Deborah/LavenderRose said...

Oh, my goodness, Glenna, I was so worried about Pink during the story! I'm so glad he settled down and was just frightened and unsure about what was happening to him. He couldn't have found a better home and mom with you. Thankfully, you now have him safe and sound. He's beautiful..and I just adore Elvis, too. Do you think they'll ever be friends? Hugs, Deb

shakatak66 said...

Just wanted to drop by and wish you all the best for the remainder of the festive season - and hope that 2008 is a wondrous year full of peace, love and happiness ... and plenty of stitchy goodness :)

Margie said...

I love to hear your bunny stories. I'm so glad that you are able to give Pink his forever home. :-)