Archive for the ‘easter’ Category

The Easter Bunny!
March 5, 2008

When I was a kid, my mother bought us dyed baby chicks for Easter. They were SO cool! There were four -– one for each of us kids. We loved playing with the little things and we thought they’d be there forever.

Well, they started to grow and were messy and lost their colored feathers, which were replaced by adult feathers. My mother said they had to go and they went to “The Farm,” where, I supposed all would be well and they could be happy and carefree.

One fall not too long ago, a friend called me in a panic. She had been driving by the reservoir and saw a black rabbit running around. It was obvious to her that the rabbit had been dumped off (as there are no pure black, wild rabbits -– that we know of!). Well, she and I spent a good amount of time trying to catch it and when we did, I brought it home for my kids. My stepson and my daughter named it Jake the Bunny. Jake lived out his life here, happy and content.

The point of these two stories is that in both cases, the plan was not thought out very well. Sure, colored chicks are really, REALLY cool to have but what happens when they grow? Much like Jake the Bunny, once grown up, these babies lose their “cuteness” and, too often, their appeal.

Too many times, we bow to impulse and get these animals for our kids, not realizing that they require a lot of care and maintenance that maybe our kids are not yet willing or able to take on. I don’t blame my mother for the chicks -– they WERE cool and if I had my way they would have stayed at our house!

Every Christmas, I get requests for puppies. Every Valentine’s Day, the request is for kittens. And, every Easter, folks are looking for baby rabbits. Let’s take a look at what it is to own one.

Believe it or not, rabbits are easily housebroken -– Jake was! They’re great pets –- they are affectionate and smart. As a kid, my rabbit loved to go sledding! They’re very social and require little grooming (unless you get a longer haired one). They will chase the family dog around if allowed to (safely!) and love to play. They are charming creatures.

They need to be cleaned if homed in a pen. The pens that are often sold at pet stores, however, are WAY too small for them. Rabbits have legs -– LONG legs -– and they need exercise! I’d recommend at least a 5×10 foot pen for them to play in. They can be kept outside but remember, these are social animals! And, the likelihood of the kids keeping up with cleaning and feeding OUTSIDE in the winter is, well, slim. They can live to be around 10 years old so your child may lose interest (vs. hampsters, which live about 2 years). They have teeth that constantly grow so they must be given something to chew so that they can wear down these teeth. They can get illnesses, just like any other animal, so they have to be treated by a veterinarian who knows rabbits.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is this: If you want to get your children a cute, fluffy bunny for Easter, go ahead. But understand that YOU will probably be the one, in the end, who takes care of it after the newness wears off. And you’ll be the caretaker for up to 10 years.

Here’s another thought, though: Every year, hundreds of rabbits are dumped because owners no longer want them. So, instead of buying a baby rabbit, why not teach your kids the value of rescue by adopting a rabbit from a rabbit rescue? It’s an experience they’ll remember for a life time! Contact your local humane society or look up rabbits on PetFinder.com.

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