Old dogs (or Rabbits)
(I took loads of photos for this post and now I can’t find my memory card, so all the photos on here are pretty old ones. Just thought I’d say before you wonder where Bunny’s cherry-eye had gone).
My rabbit, Bunny (I know), is getting very old now. He’s pretty much totally blind and we’re sure he can barely hear. But this doesn’t hold him back in the slightest.
Every few days we let him and the guinea pigs have a run around in the hallway (not at the same time, may I add). The guinea pigs are also sometimes allowed into the sitting room under supervision – we just shut all the other doors, open their cage and let them hop in and out at their own will. My grandma especially loves watching them run around her feet – she’s fascinated by them! They’re usually very cautious and run back to their cage at the slightest noise or movement. We’ve got them pretty well trained, actually – if you just clap your hands behind them a few times when it’s time for them to go back in, they know their time is up and go straight inside to the food in their cage.
Bunny, however, is not allowed in the sitting room. He’s much faster and much more curious than the pigs are and likes to get into all sorts of nooks and crannies – usually ones with important wires somewhere near them. For his run around, we block the bottom of the stairs, lift up the curtains by the front door (which he has always been very attracted to and likes to rub his scent all over) and close all of the downstairs doors. The problem is, Bunny just LOVES being around us. Whenever we walk past his cage, he puts his paws up on the bars and moves them from side to side like he’s playing the piano just to get our attention. Another of his favourite poses is to sit with his paws on his water bowl that’s attached to the side of his cage (he can’t drink from a bottle) and look as cute as possible so we all aww and ahh over him and give him a stroke. So you can imagine how frustrated he gets when he’s finally let out of his cage and yet he can’t get any closer to us. He can hear us all in the sitting room watching telly or what not, but he can’t quite get to us. Until now.
That’s right, Bunny’s learnt a new trick – he can now open doors. He’s somehow learnt that if he scrabbles at the bottom of the door and throws all his weight against it, it’ll ping open and he can dash in and enjoy our company. That means one moment we’re all quietly sitting watching TV and the next the door flies open and a very excited and proud looking rabbit appears in the middle of the floor. He knows he’s not allowed in and that he’s doing something wrong because he doesn’t try to get anywhere. He knows we’ll catch him, so he just bounds into the middle of the room and does a little skid before stopping and looking at us all, as if to say, “HELLO!! I’m here! I know I’m not meant to be, but I just couldn’t stay away from all you lovely people. Don’t be cross, look how cute I am – how could you ever stay mad at me?”. And he’s quite right – it’s impossible to get annoyed with. Instead, we all just burst out laughing before someone picks him up and gives him a cuddle which I think, in the end, is all he really wanted.
There are many reasons why he adores us all so much – not just because of the dry food and the water and the clean cage, I think this is the world’s most spoilt rabbit. The only wet food he really likes is the odd grape (actually, he loves these – he shows his appreciation by doing a little ‘grape dance’, where he holds the grape in his mouth and hops around his cage in front of us before settling down and nibbling on it), he gets treated with digestive biscuits and a new part of his routine is breadtime. Just before he settles down to go to sleep (usually about 9:30pm), we give him a slice of white bread. He absolutely loves it and eats about half before going to sleep and finishing the rest in the morning before we’ve woken up.
He may be old, but he’s no fool. He’s got us absolutely wrapped around his littlest claw and he knows it. But we don’t mind, because with a baby face this cute, we knew from the beginning he’d be able to get us to do anything for him.