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June 2010

Wild Bunny: Lessons in Life & Death
800 547 Jenni

Our daughter rescued a wild bunny from the jaws of our dog a few weeks ago. Last year our dogs found some newborn baby bunnies, but I thought they were too new for us to save. This one looked a bit older.

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Raquel was so excited to have a cute, baby bunny as a pet.

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We were a bit nervous, but figured it probably wouldn’t bite her, and it never did. I wondered about the challenges of trying to keep a huge wild hare as a pet in the future, but decided to just wait and see what would happen.

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We’ve been eating goat yogurt made by a friend of mine, and it just so happened that there were baby goats at the time. So I thought the raw yogurt would make fairly good food for the little rabbit. We tried some stuff from the local farm store, but the bunny wouldn’t touch it.

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Raquel just poured the yogurt in her hand and the bunny lapped it up. The other kids loved the bunny also.

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Most the time Raquel kept the bunny (who she named Skyler) to herself, but when she shared everyone was happy.

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The bunny came out of shock within a day or so, and was social and fun.

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One time she left the bunny unattended and it hopped off. It took us a couple hours to find it, hiding behind a cabinet. Things got a bit dramatic with Raquel wailing in despair and then screaming in elation when the bunny was found.

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The bunny started eating food out of a dish. Gradually Raquel spent less and less time snuggling because of school and other activities.

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One day the bunny got really weak. Raquel spent a whole day nursing it back. I think if she had spent one more day, the bunny would have been all right.

But we didn’t think much of it, and Raquel went to school as normal the next day. The bunny didn’t survive. Raquel was so sad. I felt badly that I hadn’t been more aware of the bunny’s needs myself.

Sometimes as a mother I walk a fine line between managing things myself, and letting my children be responsible enough to learn the tough lessons and consequences of life.  Losing pets can be hard on the heart of any mom, and it has been on mine.

But as I reflect, it was a joyful experience that taught us all some valuable lessons.