Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bunnies

We've been having a discussion on the Timbreblue email list about whippets and pet bunnies. (Bottom line: Not a good mix.)

Pre-whippet, we had a big white rabbit named Lisa.

Lisa was a male, but that didn't bother Jo, who gave him his name. She was about nine, and she chose names she liked regardless of gender limitations. We also had a big yellow tomcat named Mandy. Lisa ran around in the backyard with the pony and the collies with no problems (the pony did step on one bunny with tragic results, but that was Spuds. I think Lisa would have broken the pony's leg if she had stepped on him.) I can't believe I can remember all these names. There must have been a hundred of them during the kid-years in South Carolina, if you include the possum, the raccoon, the squirrels, etc. I was a wildlife rehabilitator so we often had various critters living with us for a few months. My efforts to rehab injured and orphaned wildlife would have been doomed if I'd tried it once we got the first whippet. I remember a fledgling blue jay...but nevermind that. The jay was the last of the wildlife and he just underscored that I needed to be very, very careful with whippets and prey...um, wildlife.

Back to Lisa, though. He was (mostly) housetrained and oh did he love biting electrical cords in half. I worked from home in those days as a conference coordinator and was on a phone call one day with a keynote speaker...Big Deal Phone Call. I had carefully waited till the kids were in school, crated the collies so they would be quiet, and did my best to sound professional. I had the phone cord stretched across the room because I was looking up something in the file cabinet. I heard a noise and turned around to see Lisa sitting up on his hind legs reaching for that cord! I put my hand over the phone and whispered "NO LISA!" but alas rabbits are not especially responsive. The line went dead.

We live half an hour from town so I jumped in the car, raced to Radio Shack, bought a new cord, came home, hooked it up and called the fellow back. I think I made some excuse about a storm and living in the country.

Lisa was the last rabbit who ran around loose in the house. I had to have him neutered for humping my leg (we had a country vet who could not understand why I wanted to spend $50 on neutering a rabbit. "Why don't you just eat this one and get a female?")

During the Lisa years I found a little chihuahua-sized dog by the road. I tried hard to find her owner but no luck. We named her Gremlin and she stayed. Unfortunately she liked to chase Lisa. I kept them separated but didn't worry too much about it because Lisa could beat up the little dog easily.

Once I got home to discover a note from my neighbor Marsha. Lisa had gotten out of the yard and Marcia's dog had gone after him. Marsha screamed at the dog, who dropped the bunny, but Lisa was limp and hit the ground like a load of laundry. Marsha scooped him up and threw him in the car. By the time she got to the vet, he was hopping around the back of the car, so she just turned around and came home Apparently he had fainted.

Eventually though, Gremlin won a fight and that was the end of Lisa It took me two years to 'fess up to Jo what had happened. Since Lisa was living mostly in the yard by then, she didn't notice he was missing for a few days. She didn't much like Gremlin anyway though and that was the final straw. Gremlin went to live with some friends from work, where she spent the next ten years becoming atrociously spoiled.

I believe Lisa was the last bunny. He was enough.

Sharyn

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