DEAR FLLOP: Unfortunately, yes. But take heart! These simple etiquette guidelines should put you in good bunny graces.
<KNOCK> <KNOCK> <KNOCK>!
“Police! Open up!” (Door cracks open) “Afternoon, sir. We have reason to believe you’re keeping a pet guinea pig.”
“Yes, Herschel. Want to help me brush him? You’ll have to be gentle.”
“Just the one pig, is it?”
“Only the Herschinator!“
“In that case, I’m afraid you’ll have to come with us.”
The breeder who sold her to me advised me to keep forcing her to be held multiple times a day, which I did, and eventually she relented. But I hated forcing her. Though she never complained after that, I always had in the back of my mind that it wasn’t something she would have chosen — it was a job she had to do.
Your rabbit is peeling the wallpaper off your wall. How do you seek help? Talk to rabbit-lover friends? Call the rescue you adopted from? Google it?
Ever ask your vet?
Bun owners like me often consult a vet about a behavior that we suspect has a medical cause. One example is urination outside the litterbox. It’s sometimes thought to be caused by a bladder infection, so the vet is the obvious person to consult. However, recently I discovered that some veterinarians can also be of help with behavior concerns that aren’t directly linked to an illness or injury.
Come Saturday morning, Moraea, Finnegan, and I head out on an errand. When I open the car door, both bunnies joyfully hop right in. They ride with their noses pressed to the windows, excited to view the passing scenery. Arriving back home, they jump down from their little car seats and cheerfully follow me inside.
OK, that’s pure fantasy. As much as I’d love to bring my little fuzz-faces with me wherever I go, they wouldn’t like it; not one bit.
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“Ahem,” said Finnegan.
OK, Finnegan didn’t actually clear his throat. But he did the rabbit equivalent: hopped over to my chair and looked up at me. A bunny never does this unless he has something to say.
“What’s up, Finnegan?”
“Couldn’t help noticing, you’re eating an apple.” he said, licking both sides of his harelip.
“Breathe deeply so you don’t strain a muscle squealing at how cute she is!”
“Make sure you have lots of photo storage on your phone, you’re going to need it!”
Or, maybe even, “From now on, take a closer look before assuming someone dropped Cocoa Puffs on the living room rug!“
But seriously, if you knew someone who was adopting a rabbit for the first time and you could only give them one piece of advice, what would it be?