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In 1996 I was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. I was determined to learn to do my own injections of insulin by that summer. After I was diagnosed many of my friends stayed away from me. For the rest of my 7th grade year I had no friends. Or the couple that I had always made fun of my deadly disease. Almost every weekend when everyone else was out with their friends, I was sitting home alone.
As summer came I knew I'd be bored the whole summer. Then one day we went to our local pet store. As I walked in I saw him. He was the most adorable thing I had ever seen. I picked him up, he sniffed me and then began to snuggle up to me and give me kisses. My mom saw me and said, "Don't even think about it! We already have a cat, a bird, a dog, and fish." I put him back. Then a kid, a little younger then I was, came and picked him up. The bunny began to kick and tried his best to pry himself out of the child's arms. He jumped out of his arms and into the cage. When I saw this I knew that this rabbit had to be mine. That night I talked to my father about the rabbit. I told him everything that happened. He told me, "Do some researching, and if you seem to know enough, then maybe we'll see."
The next day I begged my dad to take me to the library. As soon as we got back I opened the book and began to pack my head full of rabbit facts. When I was finished I told my father everything I knew. He seemed very convinced, but all he said was, "We'll see." That is usually his answer to everything though. As dinner came along it was time for another shot of insulin. I told my father that I was going to do it myself. He gave me this look that said, That's what you have been saying this past week. But all he said was, "Okay." I cried. I knew that if i did it my parents would probably get me the bunny. I closed my eyes, put the needle next to my skin and slowly pushed it in. I felt it puncture my skin. The only thing left out was the pain. I opened my eyes and started yelling, "I did it! I did it!" I was still crying, but they were tears of happiness.
The next day we walked to the pet store. We looked at cages and food. Actually we looked at the prices.Well, my parents did. I was holding the rabbit. As I walked back to where my parents were, I looked at them with hopeful eyes. My mother turned to me and said, "You are getting your rabbit." I kissed her, my dad, and the bunny.
As we got home I knew exactly what to name him..... Blinkin, after a character in the movie Robin Hood Men In Tights. After one day in his cage I convinced my parents that he was ready to be held. I held him and kissed him and let him run around the house. When I got up and moved I was lucky to look backwards because I almost stepped on him. What I mean is that wherever I went he would follow me. H gave kisses to everyone. He was the most loveable thing in the world. My parents loved him because even though I kept him ouside his cage for hours he never left presents on our carpet. I was so happy because I finally had a friend, even though he was an animal. Then my mom said she wanted to make him an outside rabbit. But since it was in the middle of July we would only keep him outside during the night. Since I had to get up around 8:30 am to do my insulin anyway I would bring him inside then. Then the day after we had him for two weeks a tragedy fell upon our home. It was a Sunday morning. My mom would usually check on Blinkin before I got up. That morning she didn't. When I came outside he would usually get up and run to the cage door. When I walked to the cage he didn't get up. I thought maybe he was sleeping. I opened the cage door and he still didn't budge. I looked at him and saw that he was still breathing. He was in the far back corner of the cage so I could only move him but not pick him up.I managed to turn him so I could see his face. His face was all wet, like he was drooling. He was breathing fast. At that moment I just ran inside and got my mom. She managed to pull him out. She put him on our chair. She told me to go wake up my dad. As I was going downstairs I heard her say, "Oh, No!" I ran down woke up my father and ran back up. My mom was holding him and crying. My best friend had died in my mother's arms.
The best thing we can say is that he died of the heat. We even blocked off the sun from shining in his cage outside. It just wasn't enough. I'm still heart broken from my loss. I can't explain how much he meant to me. He is now buried in my backyard. We can't plant flowers because my dog would trample them. My mom said that the flowers would mark the spot where he is buried. I don't need flowers for that, I will always know where he is.....in my heart. This may sound mushy to some people, but i don't care. I loved Blinkin and i still do, I always will.
Today I'm 14 and have two lop rabbits. They are both females. Since they don't get along together they are in separate cages. One is named Blinkin because she looks almost like him, the other is named Lucy. I did not know it but after I named her I looked at the calendar and realized that that the day I got her was St. Lucy's Day. I love them both to death. I haven't even had them for a year yet. Because of what happened they are both kept inside at all times. On occasion we do let them run outside. Taking care of two rabbits is difficult and a lot of hard work but I love them so much that I don't call it work anymore. I know that Blinkin will always be in my heart. He will always be a friend never to be forgotten by my whole family.
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Though it seems like yesterday, it was two years ago that we rescued our Nell from the park where she had been abandoned. It was around October, and the weather was chilly (normal for Ohio). Someone had dumped a pair of domestic rabbits in the park like rubbage, and they had been living as best they could under parts of an unfinished bridge for some time. We immediately decided to rescue them, but doing so was far harder than it seemed. It took us four hours one day to round up one of the rabbits, a brown one with a white bib, whom we decided to call Nell. The other rabbit, a black lop, was impossible to catch and we gave up for the time.
Nell adapted quickly to living in our house; making her an outdoor rabbit was unacceptable to us. On November 13, 1996, Nell presented us with a litter of eight. Shocked, because we hadn't been expecting this at all, we quickly moved Nell's cage to a private room where she could nurse her young without the dog nosing around. It was a few nervous days before we learned that rabbits only nurse once in the middle of the night. Despite our worries, Nell raised all eight just fine. The group took up residence in our bathroom and it was always amusing to watch them hop on top of the toilet, then the sink; and sometimes they would get stuck in the bathtub, making an awful racket until someone came and took them out. To our surprise, Nell taught the babies to use the litter box as soon as they were out of the nest and we have had to clean up no more than one or two stray bunny balls since.
All the while, we were still searching for Nell's mate. Sometime during mid January, we gave up, deciding that the poor animal had probably succumbed to the harsh weather. That spring, as the winter snows were melting, we were driving past what was now known as the Nellie-Bean Park, I looked out the window and thought I saw something small and black in the woods. Getting out to investigate, I found the little starved lop huddled on the bank of the creek, unable to access his home due to the flooding. He saw me and started running, but because of his weakness, could only run a few yards before he stopped, panting, and waited for some horrible monster to come and take away his life. I scooped up his horridly thin frame and took him home. Even after his ordeal, the vet gave him a clean bill of health. We called him Chester. He shares a bedroom with my parents and gives us "bunny circles" around our feet whenever we enter the room. He is the classic cuddler and will sit contentedly on a lap for hours, watching TV and clucking happily.
Chester and Nell continue to live with us along with seven of their babies and my sister's rabbit, Oreo, whom we had adopted prior to acquiring Nell. Sadly, one of Nell's children, a female named Bonkers, had to be put to sleep shortly before her birthday due to a huge abcess in her right cheek. I cried for days after we lost her. We had done everything we could, operating many times and trying to drain the pus from her cheek. She had to be syringe fed yogurt four times a day with special medicine and endured many painful drains in her cheek. Finally, we decided that the situation could only get worse, and since she was in obvious pain, my angel, Bonkers was put to sleep. We tried to get our bunnies adopted, but no one wanted them. Two got adopted by some friends, but we had to take them back when they became too much trouble. They are all either spayed or neutered and live together in our home. My dad built special cages for them, giving them three times as much room as in the cruel wire cages they sell in pet shops. On nice, sunny days, we take them out in groups to exercise in the bunny playpen and they are all quite healthy.
Even if someone wanted to adopt one of my buns now, I doubt I could part with my beloved companions. They are very much a part of my life now and it pains me to think of what end they would have seen had we not cared enough to take Nell in for that harsh winter. In my nightmares, I see ten cold, frozen, dead rabbits, lying unnoticed beneath an unfinished park bridge in a world where no one cares.
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Kathryn Chmiel, Wheeling, WV
My rabbit is a dwarf. He is grey with dark grey hears and nose. Super cute! He weighed 2.4 lbs. last month when I took him to the vet. I named him Dakota Sioux although I mostly call him Little D because he is so small. It turned out that he is a great pet for apartment dwellers although I'll have to replace the carpet when I leave. He likes to chew it when I am not looking. Anyway, he has no cage. He runs free and is well litter trained. In fact, he trained himself. He is well loved and very spoiled. In the mornings, he likes to jump on the bed and wake me up. He does this in many ways like chewing my hair, doing doughnuts at the foot of the bed, or jumping over my face from one corner to the other (my favorite). I live alone except for my bunny but he is the perfect companion.
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Richard and Amie Peoples
We have several rabbit companions. Pumpkin, Cayanne, Pepper, Princess, Woesy, Carl, and Diddlebun. Pumpkin is the eldest of them and he is our guardian. He predicts storms as well as visitors. He knows when one of the dogs is inside. He's a mini-Rex with a maxi personality. If you sing to him he'll come up and beg to be petted, if no singing he stays shy. Cayanne is the mini-Rex grand dame. She is also the softest of all of them. She's not a bit shy and will when offered raisins in your hand, go so far as to take the raisin box and stick her head into it, ignoring the handful of fruit. Pepper is a giant chinchilla who is just getting to know us. She'd rather not have you touch her ears, but if you must to pet her, she'll endure it. She comes out of her hutch just to stretch on the carpet, and then try to pull it up. Princess is our Polish lady. She is an attention hound who was an Easter return to a pet store, and just kept getting returned due to an attitude problem. What an attitude she had! The pet store was so surprised when we told them we still had her! She went from an angry bunny to one who just thinks laying on linoleum in the summer with her legs out behind her is the thing to do. She is currently doing battle with snuffles and wants extra attention AND extra oats. Woesy our Dutch, is the trickster of the bunch. She is mischievous in nature, and really has an addiction to petting. To her, any attention is good attention. Carl, our other male, is a multicolored satin. He's shy, and hates linoleum. He isn't very bold, and is very methodic in checking out new situations. He likes to be petted until he decides it is time to run. Then he is off again. He has the idea that whatever he decides is what everyone should do. He gets the parrot into quite a tizzy. Last is Diddlebun. We bought her on impulse from a pet store chain that had let her be abused by the larger rabbits in the enclosure. She was ill fed, had little fur, and was dehydrated. Of course I was in love. We took her home and she gave us so many bunny kisses we thought she was going to try to replace the shower! Now she is a well adjusted, furry little vixen who just loves to see what she can get into. My husband caught her removing the drywall from the corner of the wall, and she's so cute he couldn't get mad. However, one of us follows her around now. She's greased lightening until she dashes into the kitchen; then we have her on the linoleum, and she's catchable. The parrot just stands and yells at her, "Hey, you bunny! You're in trouble now, mister!" She looks at him and runs off.
Our lives would be dismal without our bunny companions. They are much more than pets. We even bought a Suburban so they could come on trips, visits, vacations and picnics with us. Now we're planning on a bigger RV with windows they can sit and look out while we drive. (If they can't see out the Suburban windows they get car sick...) People look at us like we are the crazy ones. We think they don't know what they are missing!
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Here is a photo of my rabbit friend Gideon. I adopted him from the Edmonton SPCA on August 18, 1997. It was love at first sniff as he checked me out and appeared to like what he found. I had to have him right then and there.
According to the people at the shelter, my rabbit was a 2 year old female who was a stray. When I took Gideon to get spayed on September 3, I was told that he was male and the operation would be $40.00 cheaper.
I really enjoy Gideon's companionship and his presence is the final ingredient in my quest for happiness. I had 4 years of hardships, which I won't go into here, and I had lost my beloved French Lop named Floppy in 1995. I now live in a fairly quiet neighbourhood and my landlord said I could have a rabbit. I had a bunny-shaped hole in my heart for 2 years and Gideon has filled it very well.
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I've enjoyed my first two issues of Harelines. My bunny's name is Benjamin and he's 3 1/2 years old. He's a black mini-lop. He weighs 4.8 lbs. His full name is Benjamin Bad Boy Bunny. He has no cage and he owns the whole house, but is kind enough to let us stay here as long as we do what he wants.
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