Tuesday, 19 April 2011


Is it better to make the same mistakes as others or to learn from their misfortunes? The answer is obvious. Like millions of families, we bought a young bunny at Easter without knowing how to look after her. As has happened in many other households, our rabbit ended up in a backyard hutch and died a few months later due to our neglect. This need not have happened. These pets can live up to ten years with proper care and loving attention, things which we never provided our trusting bunny.

I wrote When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies) in the hope that novice rabbit owners would read and be forewarned regarding impulse purchases of living creatures. Here's an excerpt from it that describes the easily-avoidable tragedy of buying live animals on a whim.


On a snowy day in April 1968, my mom and I visited the downtown Edmonton Eaton's department store and we spotted some blond-coloured rabbits in a raised pen.

On a whim, Mom decided to buy one to surprise my sister Diane. Because of the rabbit's wiggly nose, we named her Samantha, after the character in the Bewitched television show.

Diane and I enjoyed our new pet. We loved stroking her soft golden fur and her silky ears. Both of us giggled when Samantha tickled our faces with her whiskers and licked our fingers.

Unfortunately, we weren't as gentle as we could have been with her. We thought it was hilarious when Samantha kicked her legs spasmodically when placed on her back in somebody's lap. We often improperly carried that poor bunny and were entirely too noisy around her.

As I was attending Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind in Vancouver, I was only able to be with Samantha over the Easter holidays. Sent home at the end of June, I discovered that she was kept in a large wooden hutch in the backyard. When I asked Mom why, she said that the mess the rabbit made had become too much for her to bear.

I visited Samantha the first evening of my summer vacation and when I knelt and looked in on her, she hopped from the main part of her cage to her private quarters. I opened the door on the side and she glared at me with large brown eyes?as if I were intruding.
I felt rejected by her.

Besides, it was boring watching a bunny through the wire.

I soon lost interest and the poor animal ended up alone most of the time as we went about our daily activities.


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 work.

1 comment:

  1. Elizabeth, Cinder, and LilyWednesday, April 20, 2011

    Dear Bruce

    My heart bleeds for the bunnies who are kept outside in hutches or cages. If people only knew that bunnies have more personality than dogs and are definately way more friendly than cats. And they can be more expensive than dogs and cats too.

    I hope the Make Mine Chocolate campaigns helps people to learn rabbits are a lifetime commitment, they are living up to 20 years now!

    I also hope people learn they must spay and neuter at 6 months old. We spend alot of time volunteering for The House Rabbit Connection, Springfield, MA doing educational events at pet stores. I feel good when we have touched at least one person.


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