Sunday, July 12, 2009
Bo-Bo and Digger join the family
I got it into my head earlier this year that what we really needed was a rabbit hutch with a worm composting pit underneath it for our garden. Sounds like a really homeschooly kind of thing to do, don't you think? Mostly it was for me, but I knew the kids would go along with it too. And what do you know? Nik didn't even object -- normally he is the one who puts the kibosh on my random, out-there, ideas. But soon after he gave his thumbs up, (like the next day because I was worried he would come to his senses) we built a de-lux rabbit hutch in the back yard. The only real hitch to the plan was that we didn't have a rabbit. Or worms. I went to the SPCA but they would not let me adopt since it turns out they consider rabbits more of an indoor kind of pet. As soon as I told the woman we had an outdoor hutch she literally grabbed the application form out of my hands. Pet stores wanted $50 a piece for rabbits that were "guaranteed for three weeks." So that was out, too. I had about as much luck finding worms. I made about 10 phone calls to every sort of environmental and agricultural service I could think of. Strangely enough, if I wanted to keep the worms indoors then I wouldn't have this problem. Apparently worms are also indoor pets.
Then, as luck would have it, a neighbor told me that another neighbor wanted to get rid of her rabbit. Ah ha! A lead!!! I quick visit revealed a nice brown rabbit in an outdoor hutch. I asked the woman why she wanted to get rid of the rabbit and she answered vaguely: Oh, I want to spend more time on the garden. It didn't occur to me to wonder about that until much later. The rabbit -- Bo-Bo, put up quiet a fight as the husband and wife both tried to grab him so they could put him in our box. When the woman finally pulled him out she quickly thrust him into the box and shut the lid, as she was doing so, I gasped to see that her arm was covered in blood.
"Your arm! It's bleeding!!"
"Oh that? Um, it was bleeding." she told me, as if to imply that she had just been walking around that way before we got there. As if this wasn't a rabbit induced injury.
But anyway, I had my rabbit and the kids were thrilled. All the way home I heard the guy thumping loudly against the walls of the cardboard box. It sounded a bit menacing. Aren't rabbits meant to be docile? I should have thought about turning the car around. But oh well, I had my rabbit. And he was free!!
Unfortunately, as you might have guessed, Bo-Bo isn't the friendliest of rabbits. In fact, if rabbits could growl I'm sure this one would. But he is old after all. And he does poop a lot so I'm getting what I want from him. ... still, I started wondering if I shouldn't have been more selective when a friend told me that she used to have a rabbit that her kids could hold.
Not long after that I happened to be at a local hardware and lo and behold, I found that they were selling baby rabbits. Timidly I reached in to pick one up -- my only experience so far had been growling, scratching Bo-Bo. But this little guy just practically jumped into my hand then curled up in a ball and went to sleep as I pet him. Ohhh, this is what we had been missing.
So you guessed it, the new guy came home with us. But there was only one problem: I was afraid to put this dear, sweet, baby in the same hutch as Bo-Bo. The last thing I wanted was for my kids to witness violent scenes from the animal kingdom. So I let the new guy: Digger, stay inside. We put him in his box at night and whenever we had to go out but otherwise he had the run of the place. The kids were beside themselves with Joy.
The only problem?
Hop poop, Hop poop, Hop poop. That's pretty much all rabbits do. I spent a LOT of time picking up little rabbit turds. Bo-Bo was beginning to look a lot better. Digger had to go.
Armed with a water squirter, we gently introduced Digger to his new companion. But here's the other thing I learned about Bo-Bo: he is, um, rather affectionate if you have long ears and fur. It also didn't matter to Bo-Bo that Digger showed no interest in returning his affections. It also didn't matter which end Bo-Bo tried to, um, investigate. He was just really happy to see another rabbit, let's just put it that way. Digger seemed unfazed and unhurt. Sami and Oliver seemed utterly fascinated. I was just happy there was no bloodshed.
Next up: mail order worms!!