Saturday, September 12, 2020

Remembering Bunya

DrMrsBunnyMom and daughter are allergic to cats and dogs. However, daughter dear really wanted a fuzzy, cuddly pet, as opposed to the son's reptiles. Around the holidays, we had actually talked about it some, considering it.

I don't recall exactly how I found out. My daughter may have pegged me as the weak link when she brought me down to the basement (where her bedroom was) and showed me this little fluffster she "rescued" from a pet store for $5; he'd been in a tiny cage all by himself, away from the other bunnies.

We knew NOTHING about rabbits.

First two actions:
1. Return to the scene of the crime and find out what supplies he needed.
Sadly, rabbits are a pet stores way to sell you a bunch of GARBAGE. I do not know the level of knowledge they have about the dogs and cats they sell, but they know squat about rabbits. They sold us a little cage that might have been okay for transport but NOT to live in "for the rest of his life". The food they sold us was awful and the "treats" they sold us with seeds and yogurt could be DEADLY to a rabbit.
2. Take the bunny for a vet visit. We really lucked out here. We didn't know that you need a rabbit-savvy exotics vet for a bunny, not just a dog and cat vet. The vet in our neighborhood was exactly what we needed. Bunya was healthy, we were given educational materials about rabbits, and scheduled his snip for when he was old enough.

In his first days, when we knew less than nothing, Bunya would sit perched on daughter's shoulder like a pirate parrot and watch her on her computer. One time when he had to go potty, she held him over her trash can, and he put out poops like he was a Pez dispenser run amok. But all into the can. She wanted him to keep her company in her bed but Bunya liked to pee there, so that was short-lived.

Six months later, daughter left for college.
Bunya did not.

Since he was now my bunny, I started learning more than our misinformation from the pet store and the literature from the vet. Thank you, internet. I always felt badly about the tiny cage from the pet store and he got increasingly larger quarters as I read more and found them online. We always housed him inside as a house rabbit, so at least we got that right.

Little baby Bunya "helping" me with an annual mailing to my clients.

Eventually, I purchased a chain link fence dog pen that was about 7'x7' and assembled it inside the house. That's the one that stuck. Although the gate was mostly open so he could roam around, that was still his safe space and he would hang out in there. His original cage, to which he was still attached, was a litter box for a while, before we put it away for good.

This is a recent iteration of the bunnies' pen.
Over the years. we bought castles, ramps, towers, tunnels,
a fun house with a digging section, an elevated bed, and much more,
from bunny auctions or the Hop Shop to support rabbit rescues like
The Georgia House Rabbit Society.
From time to time, we would rearrange the furniture
and change out the rugs.

Bunya was a solo bun for about 1-2 years, so he became used to humans. More research led to learning about how social bunnies were and I came across the The Georgia House Rabbit SocietyLearned about bonding bunnies and adoption. Lucy & Ethel were added to the mix.

Our bunnies taught us so much. I love animals and have had several over the years, dogs, cats... but hadn't really thought about bunnies... such different and distinct personalities. Who knew about binkies and NASbunny/zoomies/Buntona 500!?

Ethel would love on everybunny and was an escape artist, our own Bundini. We were never sure if she was deaf or just had selective hearing. In her later years, she would run circles around my recliner, thumping for treats.

Lucy was a fearless explorer, the  most likely to get into mischief and be found in unexpected places when you walked into the room. She could also read minds if your thought was "I'm going to pick up Lucy". You didn't need to look at her or say anything, just think it - and she was gone. One of her favorite hiding places was in the corner of the room under a heavy (immovable) desk, where we could not reach her.

Bunya was the alpha and the brains of the group - so smart! He could even tell time, which always amazed us.

Bunya got poopy butt, which we determined was from vegetables as a regular part of his diet. Bunya became a hay bunny. Well, a hay-and-treats bunny. We had a bout or two of stasis over the years, but Bunya was a champ at taking his medicine.

Love the tongue and cheek action

Bunya became an old man, and lost his sight to cataracts. We got a stuffed bunny to try to have a "third", something for the last bunny to snuggle up to and recall old companions. Bunya and Ethel didn't really take to it, but it's all I have left.

By my recliner.
Ethel would stand there, staring,
thumping, or pooping for treats.
Bunya would pancake there while
I scritched his head, ears, and cheeks.
This is what it looks like now.

As I said, they never really liked the stuffie and just kept snuggling with each other - all the time (unless there was a treat involved and Ethel would leave Bunya's butt in the dust).

We thought Bunya would go before Ethel, but he was here first... and he was with us last.

Miss you, Mr. B

A few posts from over the years:


  1. We learned most of what we know about rabbits from you and Bunya. I'm so sorry for your loss. As much as it is possible for people to love someone else's pet rabbit that they've never met, we loved Bunya. Lucy and Ethel, too, but mostly Bunya.

  2. Like Cindy, we learned much of what we know about buns from you, Bunya, Ethel, and Lucy. We had our Lola for 8 1/2yrs, and found you about a year into that adventure. We were heartbroken, at Lucy's passing. Then we lost Lola the week before Easter, in '19, and were devastated. Then we both bawled like babies, at the loss of your sweet Ethel. Now, so soon after Ethel, Bunya. We still cry with, and for you and Mrs Bunya. Your family have deeply touched our hearts, and we're both crying again. Thank you for sharing your adventures, laughs, and even your sorrows with us. Your research, your knowledge, and your generosity in sharing it all have, no doubt, touched fast more lives than you can ever know. All those memes about not buying bunnies as Easter gifts for kids, nose cartons, for noisy/bustling holiday celebrations, protecting them in the heat... I saved and shared every single one, at the appropriate times, too. Many of my family and friends have commented, over the years, always positive, grateful, for helping them to understand, and some became so enamored, they went out and adopted buns from rescues, too. You've made an incredible, wonderful difference. Thank you.