HELLO PET LADY,
I'm writing about my beautiful white dwarf bunny, Hopper (a.k.a. "Hop"). He's very mischievous, and when I let him out of his cage after work, all hell breaks loose. He eats candles, eats the wicker coffee table, and now he is pulling up carpeting from the middle of the floor in my living room. I know my landlord isn't going to be too happy when he sees the holes in the carpet, and I'm thinking about gluing the strands back to the floor. Hop has already eaten through my magazines and photo albums. I leave out food, wood chew blocks, and rabbit toys, but he still continues to destroy my house! I don't want to banish him to his cage forever—nor do I want to give him up! Any tips?
DEAR STOP HOP!,
Bunnies! Aren't they adorable. Coincidentally, dear Stop Hop, the Pet Secretary just brought to the attention of the Pet Lady a missive from one Leslie Pazoureck of The Humane Society of the lovely Jet City and mighty King County; your woes of the chewing of Hop read as a cautionary tale in light of the words of the kind Ms. Pazoureck. Herewith:
"March is Adopt-a-Rabbit Month. But we at The Humane Society want to caution people against adopting a rabbit as an Easter gift. The novelty usually wears off in a week or so, and when a family realizes how much day-to-day work is involved, the animal is, sadly, often turned loose or given away to organizations like ours. A great way to get to know more about rabbits and their care is to foster a rabbit (typically a four-month commitment with all training and supplies provided); would-be rabbit owners can get a solid understanding of how caring for rabbits is quite different from caring for cats and dogs (and, hence, why rabbits—or any live animals—make very poor Easter gifts for children). And volunteer foster parents for rabbits are in high demand. For additional information, call (425) 641-0080 or visit www.seattlehumane.org."
Indeed, what Ms. Pazoureck may mean by "getting to know more about rabbits" may be familiarizing oneself with their chewing capacity. The Pet Lady's experience with rabbits is limited to a pair of earmuffs she had as a Pet Girl and a bunny she found at large in Volunteer Park one sunny spring day some years ago (which, it now seems clear, was likely an Easter rabbit cruelly abandoned to the wilds). The P.L. picked the rabbit up, petted it thoroughly (soft as earmuffs!), and took it back to the Pet Manse, eventually consigning it to a nearby conscientious little girl. So, having herself in effect fostered a rabbit, the P.L. heartily recommends it; and perhaps, Stop Hop, your bunny Hop would benefit from the distraction a companion foster rabbit would provide. The Pet Lady is sure Ms. Pazoureck would be happy to estimate the efficacy of this plan and consider loaning you another rabbit (male, for god's sake), or, alternately, direct you to one of The Humane Society's fine rabbit-related seminars (surely they offer one on Entertaining Your Rabbit Friend So as to Circumvent the Wholesale Consumption of Your Home). Happy Easter!
The Pet Lady
Pet query? Send photos and letters to The Pet Lady, c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.