The Crazy World of Rabbit LoversPublished March 20, 2013
The day I got my first rabbit, I knew I’d never be the same.
I was a junior in college and had just moved into an apartment with three roommates. My boyfriend at the time suggested we stop in at the local pet store to look around.
It was love at first sight.
That little brown ball of fur just called to me. (It didn’t help that I had just finished reading Watership Down.) I brought her home, named her Fiver and we became the best of friends. Fiver lived with me through four apartments, three states (including one excruciatingly long drive to move from Florida to New Jersey), five jobs and two boyfriends. She was my rock through the unsteady first few years of “finding myself” after graduating from college.
Was I crazy in love with my bun? Yes. Am I alone? Not at all. As I came to know more and more about rabbits and the people who love them, I began to recognize one common thread: We’re all a bit obsessed.
Still think I’m a little crazy? Well Carrie Henderson feels the same way … and here is her story.
Falling for Bunnies
Although Henderson is madly in love with rabbits now, she hasn’t always chosen to have them in her life the way they are now. “Before the two rabbits I own now I had dogs, hamsters, gerbils, an assortment of foster pets and a cat,” she said. “I had never heard of people keeping rabbits as pets indoors. I didn’t know they could be litter trained, and I didn’t realize they had such distinct personalities.”
It was a funny twist of fate that led Henderson to her love of rabbits. “I found out about Rabbit Sanctuary [where she now works as a rabbit socializer] through the website VolunteerMatch.org,” she said. “I was actually looking for an opportunity to meet men, but when I saw there was a place as a rabbit sanctuary, I was hooked.”
Five and a half years later, Henderson still volunteers at the sanctuary, working with shy or aggressive rabbits, helping get them used to positive human contact. “I work with others to do monthly health checks. I also write a weekly blog for the sanctuary and write some of their fundraising letters.”
Now the proud owner of two rabbits—9 and a half year old Frederic, an English spot, and 6 and a half year old Kenzie, a Californian—Henderson can’t imagine ever not having them in her life. “Rabbits are gentle, curious, loyal, intelligent and social,” she says. “They’re more affectionate than cats and less needy than dogs. They are fragile physically and require a lot of work, but the payoff is worth it.”
Besides love, affection and companionship, Henderson’s furry friends also provide her with creative inspiration. “I’m completely bun crazy—I’ve even written a book, well, Frederick has written a book, about house bunny life,” says Henderson. (Check out Confessions of a Bunny Blogger here.) “My life before rabbits seems so dull and pointless. They have brought a great deal of joy and love into my life.”
Henderson spreads the word about her love of bunnies as much as she can, too. She talks about the sanctuary whenever and wherever she can (so much so that her doctor’s receptionist has started volunteering there, as well).
“I don’t think people know how interactive a bunny can be,” Henderson says. “The stereotype is of a lone bunny outside in a hutch. This is the absolute worst fate for a bun. They need social contact with humans and/or other buns, and they should be housed indoors where they are safe from the elements and predators, and they’ll get the attention they deserve.”
I know that my current bun, Nugget, would agree. All he ever wants from me is love and cuddles (and the occasional carrot).
And I’m happy to oblige.
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