With 3 kids, we reached that inevitable discussion of our kids wanting a pet! How fun to play, run, cuddle and take care of. Sure, they agreed to do it all… feed it, clean it, care for it. There could be so many valuable benefits to the addition of a pet to our family.
As parents, we (really my wife) contemplated the time, cost and work that would land back on us (her). Because of our busy lives, the verdict was bunnies! So sweet and cuddly and they can even be potty trained!
Surendipitously, my daughter’s teammate had a bunny with a litter. So we chose 2 brothers and my son named them Tyrone and Ryder. We were off! My son and I built a hutch. My wife began buying greens. We fed them and watched them grow. The kids took photos of them. 9 months in, the experience has been the opposite of what anyone imagined.
Bunnies instinctively know they are prey. As babies, they are ready at any moment to run away. Despite there being very few predators in our home or backyard, when any of us approach our cute bunnies, they bolt, slide and squirm to run away as fast as possible. If we lie flat on the ground and offer them a snack, maybe if we’re lucky, they will carefully approach, grab the treat and run for cover.
For me, our hope for cute cuddling and a new best friend has become a daily reminder of what fear looks like.
Every day if I walk by without even seeing them, I hear their feet scurrying on the floor in a desperate panic for safety. I am reminded how fear can force us to bolt and squirm from anything that could be scary or unknown. Right now, our bunnies miss out on all the hugs and petting of someone who dreams of loving them. But Tyrone and Ryder remind me every day not to be so focused on being safe and protected that I miss out of opportunities that could be fantastic. My bunnies remind me of how I do not want to live my life.