Column: Pet rabbits can be a blessing
About a year ago, I became the proud owner of a house rabbit.
If you ask my kid, she’ll tell you that she is the owner. The rabbit, on the other hand, will tell you that we’re her staff.
Here’s what happened. El Sobrino got married in January, right after graduating from basic training at Lackland AFB. The bride had a pet rabbit, a beautiful black-and-white Dutch rabbit she had named Oreo, which she could not keep. We were asked if we would like to keep the bunny as a pet — it’s just like having a cat, my new sobrina said. Since our previous attempts to introduce a cat into our household weren’t successful, we said yes.
I wasn’t sure about the arrangement. We have a dog. We have a couple of mapaches that live in the tree outside. We didn’t know anything about rabbits. But Oreo arrived, playing it cute and cuddly, and we changed his name to Daryl. .
The rabbit bit everybody on the first day, except for the dog who got una cachetada bien dada — with claws. Within a few days, the internet told us that house rabbits can live up to 10 years and that when a bunny leaps into the air and kicks its feet, it is really happy. We learned that when bunnies get bored, they love to chew wires and floorboards. Within a week, we learned that rabbits — even the single ones — do better when they are spayed or neutered. And within a month, we learned el conejo was a coneja. She became Buniteen.
Every other month, the Alamo City House Rabbits group hosts a seasonally themed “hoppy hour” social gathering at the San Antonio Humane Society so San Antonians with house rabbits can bring their pets together, a rabbity version of a trip to the dog park. Through the efforts of this group, we’ve learned what to do to keep Buniteen healthy. We also learned that, sometimes, bunnies — just like other little creatures who are bought as presents — end up thrown out or abandoned. She went to a Fourth of July party, wore a tiny costume to a Halloween party and, last week, took a beautiful photo with a teensy fake poinsettia on her ear.
We’ve learned more about rabbits than we ever thought we would know, but mostly that a tiny little creature can give you a lot of love. Buniteen greets us every morning, reminding us that with the right attitude and a piece of banana, life can be very good.
I caught her staring at the twinkling lights on the tree, and I think she was reminding me to count her as one of this year’s unexpected blessings.
Then again, maybe she was just looking at the wires.