Tuesday, 17 May 2011

SUNBATHING BUNNIES.

The public's lack of understanding regarding rabbits continually astonishes me. While riding in a friend's pickup truck recently, I mentioned to him that my dear companion, Carolyn, died of bloat last August. He was shocked as he only knew of cattle perishing from that malady.

This reaction of my acquaintances to the facts about house bunnies is no rare occurrence. People generally don't allow them a chance to be themselves. Most rabbits end up in tiny hutches with little social interaction. No wonder they withdraw into themselves and seem witless. Living with these misunderstood pets has taught me much. One of those surprising facts I've learned is that they love to sunbathe. During the months when the sunlight fell on the floors rather than on the walls, I've been treated to the sweet sight of bunnies contentedly flopped out like a human at the beach.

I wrote of how my long-eared companions enjoyed the simple pleasure of sunbathing in When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies). Hear's an excerpt from my debut memoir in which I described one of many episodes of my furry friends soaking up the rays.

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That spring and summer, a sunbathing fad had set in at my house. Harry had found the sunlight by the stove. And as the morning sun shone into the living room each day, Neutrino discovered the pleasures of laying in it. Now I had three rabbits who loved lounging in patches of sunlight. I suppose it might have been age-related, but they all enjoyed soaking up the rays. When I had time, I'd lay with my bunnies and pet them.

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Since the publication of this book, I've adopted four bunnies. Whenever they had access to a patch of sunlight, I invariably found them either lounging contentedly or washing themselves.

Of course too much of a good thing could prove fatal. If you have a rabbit, make sure he or she can hop to a shaded area or, better yet, take the poor creature inside as a house pet. bunnies can overheat and die if left in temperatures above thirty degrees Celsius (ninety degrees Fahrenheit) for more than a few minutes. No animal-loving person would leave a dog or cat in an enclosure where she or he had no cool area to go to. Why then treat rabbits differently?

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.