Friday, 30 November 2012


Rabbits enjoy chewing. This fact was first demonstrated to me when I adopted a Himalayan bunny who I named Gideon. Since rabbits don't understand punishment, I tried distraction instead.

My friends on the rabbit lists helped me with the chewing problem when they told me about cardboard box houses and how much rabbits enjoyed chewing them. In my When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living with Bunnies) memoir, I wrote about how I invented a chewing game for Gideon. Here's how it happened.


One November afternoon, while shopping at Dickensfield Mall, I found a cardboard box with hand holes and no lid. I took it home and decided to play another prank on Gideon.

I placed the box over him and waited to see what he’d do. Would my bunny bro try to chew his way out?

At first, he pawed at the holes. When that didn't work, he started nibbling at the bottom edge of one of them. My bunny buddy made steady progress and the hand hole grew larger. He tried several times to hop through it, but broke off the leap at the last minute.

His whiskers must have told him it was still too small.

Finally, he leapt through the new opening and took his bearings. That silly rabbit seemed to be having so much fun chewing the box and ripping it up that he almost forgot he was escaping it. He hopped in and out of his former prison, rejoicing in the novelty of his newfound freedom.


When a Man Loves a Rabbit contains many more vignettes of my life with house bunnies. Please check it out by clicking on the Bruce Atchison's books link on this page.

Meanwhile, check out my newly-published How I Was Razed memoir on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Virtual Bookworm pages. Type "How I Was Razed" into the search box to find it.


  1. Dogs also like to chew on things. Years ago when I was single, living on my own, and working at the nursing home, my dad had an Irish setter named Maud who loved to chew on paper. Heaven help you if you left any important documents lying around. This was right after the Iran Contra controversy which involved a lot of paper shredding. I joked to Dad that Oliver North would have offered Dad a lot of money for Maud so he wouldn't have to use the paper shredder at his office to dispose of his evidence.

    This also inspired a scene in my novel, We Shall Overcome, in which my heroine is almost arrested for having a stolen ring that her fiance bought for her at a pawn shop. When her fiance rushes home to retrieve the receipt, he discovers that his Irish setter, Molly, has chewed it up. To find out what happens, you'll have to read the book.

    Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of
    We Shall Overcome
    How to Build a Better Mousetrap:
    Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver


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