I adopted a shy rabbit.
A rabbit that was overlooked for a solid eight months.
A rabbit who already had a slim chance due to his red eyes.
A rabbit that was being raised for food this time last year.
A rabbit who was not used to being loved.
A rabbit who was afraid of every sound.
A rabbit who is the love of my life.
As all of my friends and family know, I adopted my very own rabbit on April 1st of this year. I had been volunteering with my local rescue for the past two years, learning as much as I could about proper rabbit care and saving up so I could financially afford all the costs that came with. Since my boyfriend and I already had a dog, we had decided a larger breed of bunny was necessary. A small bunny may get confused as a chew toy. After weeks of searching Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet, we found a rescue in New Jersey with several large adoptables. The rescue was about an hour and a half away from where we lived. I emailed the rescue, told them all about myself answering every question my rescue asks potential adopters. The owner of the rescue promptly got back to me and I told her what I was looking for. She was able to narrow my search down to three different rabbits, all of which she had in her home and knew their personalities well. She would be putting all three on hold, knowing whichever one we chose would have a great home. We set the meeting date to be April 1st.
Immediately, I began buying everything I knew I needed. The costs quickly added up. My boyfriend repeatedly told me that at no point could I give up or say this was too expensive. Once the rabbit was in our carrier, he or she was our’s for the rest of its life. I said the expense was worth it. These rabbits deserved to be spoiled and loved for however long they have left.
Mentally, we had narrowed it down to two rabbits. A large flemish mix named Savanna and a large Californian named Rhett. My boyfriend has always had a soft spot for Californians, so that was his pick. Savanna was mine. Once we met the rabbits, we actually flipped. Matty thought Savanna was so sweet. Rhett, meanwhile, wanted nothing to do with us. We could not pet him. He would run around the room and sniff us. If we moved too fast, he was gone. I made sure to spend time with both, even if I couldn’t pet Rhett I could at least sit in with him. As the hour progressed, the shy bunny boy stole my heart. Yes, he wasn’t affectionate, but I knew he needed me. He needed a patient household, one that would understand what he’s been through in his short life.
So we took him home. The rescue was surprised. She must have asked me five times if I was 100% sure and that this wasn’t an April Fools’ Joke. Rhett had had many potential adopters come in and change their mind due to his shyness and especially due to his red eyes. I told her I loved red-eye white bunnies, his eyes just made him special. As for being shy, I knew once I earned his love, I’d have it forever. Earning his trust would be one of my greatest accomplishments.
We took him home, knowing full well he wouldn’t be a lap bun. He would not cuddle us and prefer to be on his own. I spent the first few days simply sitting in with him while I did assignments. I wouldn’t try to pet him, but would let him come to me. On day three, Rhett met Sammie the dog face-to-face. None of us knew how this would go. After an all over sniff, Sammie licked him. He licked her back. In no time they were sitting and lying near each other on the floor. He wasn’t scared of her. She knew to leave him alone. Sammie would bring him his toys and make sure he didn’t get too close to the edge of the bed. When it was veggie time, she would lay on the floor and eat with him. When Rhett gets put away at night, he thumps in anger and Sammie cries. Sometimes she’ll even lay outside his cage and fall asleep.
We got lucky.
As for Rhett and his shyness, he’s still shy around people he doesn’t know. When he sees me, he comes running. I’ll lay on the floor and he will begin to climb all over me and nudge me for pets. If I stop petting him, he’ll gently nip and pull at my clothes, wanting to make up for the months of neglect he once faced.
We’ve had Rhett for two weeks and he’s come so far already. My boyfriend, Sammie, and I love him with our whole hearts and couldn’t be happier that he’s home.
I’m excited to see where this adventure takes us.