Tuesday, 1 March 2011

UNLIKELY PET TOYS.

Isn't it funny how children and animals ignore our expensive gifts but have immense fun with the boxes? Upon hearing on PetBunny that some people gave their rabbits cardbord tubes used by construction crews for concrete forms, I decided to mooch a ride to Edmonton, the nearest large city, and buy one for my bunnies. From When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies), here's how an object meant for a building site became a beloved pet toy.

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I had a chance to go with my friend Pete to Edmonton in February and we stopped at the Home Depot. Among all the goodies for sale were cardboard tubes used to make concrete pillars. I was going to buy a six-inch diameter one, but Pete suggested I buy the eight-inch instead.

"The rabbits may need more room to hop," he suggested.

The price was the same, so I agreed. But an eight-foot tube posed quite a problem getting it into Pete's car, until he suggested we ask a store employee to cut it in three equal pieces.

All three rabbits loved their new toys.

Harry tried hopping through his, but the tube kept rolling from side to side. That ruined some of the fun, so I put the cardboard tunnel under the table and propped two water bottles against it. That worked great and Harry loved playing in that tube. It must have reminded him of being in a warren and it possibly gave him a sense of comfort.

Neutrino also loved his new toy. He even slept inside it. I moved the litter box, which he wasn't using anymore, and placed the tube next to the fireplace.

I stashed Gideon's tube under my bed and it took him a while to find it. When he did, he had just as much fun as the other two. I forget what I paid for the cardboard concrete tubes, but the joy I saw in my fur-clad lads repaid me a thousand times.

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When a Man Loves a Rabbit contains many more fascinating stories of life with house bunnies. These range from the tragic to the hilarious. Click here to read more about this book and to order it. You may also e-mail me directly if the comment form doesn't cooperate.