Harley was my first bunny. Before he was mine, he belonged to my much younger half-sister. And like so many bunnies, he was purchased from a pet store when she was 9 years old because she thought that bunnies were so cute and she really, really wanted one. And like so many bunnies, he ended up poorly cared for and outright neglected because she grew tired of him and had no idea how much work goes into properly caring for a rabbit. Finally, in December of 2008, I convinced her to let The Husband and I take him after hearing him bang around in his cage, desperate for food, water and attention.
Here's what he looked like the day he moved in.
After about 6 months, we moved him upstairs to the main floor of the house, where he would follow us from room to room. He wasn't a cuddler, but he liked to be near us at all times. He had become a very different bunny from the terrified little guy we had brought home...and a pair of rabbit lovers were born.
Then, one night in late January of 2010, Harley started to seem a little "off". When it became apparent that he was having difficulty breathing we rushed him to the emergency vet, but it was too late. I'm pretty sure that he died in my arms on the way there, although they did try valiantly to revive him. My little Harley was gone. I have never cried so hard in my life. To this day, I still tear up just writing about it. I swore I would never get another pet, much less a rabbit, because the pain of losing him was so horrible.
After he died, the house seemed so quiet and empty. The Husband and I missed having a happy little fuzzball in our lives.
About two weeks later, I saw an ad for a local "Pet Expo". Dozens of animal rescue groups from around the area were converging on a local convention center to spread the word about rescue animals and to meet potential adopters. At first, I wasn't sure I wanted to go. I thought it would be far too difficult to see all those animals only weeks after losing my Harley. But, we had been talking about adopting a dog, so we decided to go take a look.
And that's where we saw this little guy:
|Walter - 2010|
The day that we met Walter he was sitting in a little basket in the rescue organization's booth and when I stopped and asked permission to pet him they asked me if I'd like to hold him. I actually had to pause for a moment and think about it because I wasn't sure I could cuddle a bunny without bursting into tears after the recent loss of Harley, but he was so cute I just couldn't resist. The moment they put him in my arms he stretched upward and tickled my nose with his whiskers before snuggling into my chest. It was love at first cuddle!
The Husband and I went home that day and began seriously discussing whether or not we were the right forever home for this special little fellow. Within days we had decided to contact the rescue group and see what they thought. It turns out that our childfree, rabbit-experienced home was just right for Walter. He moved in a week before my 30th birthday and brought his best friend, Spot, with him.
|Spot - 2010|
Today, Walter and Spot pretty much rule our lives - and we like it that way.