No, I'm 53 years old and post-menopausal, so our household will not be increasing THAT way!
We aim to be welcoming two bunny furbabies into our home sometime in the Summer. But because we want to do our best by them, we're taking our time to bunny-proof parts of the house and all of the garden.
We recently gave away two big chairs that had been in our living room about 20 years to make room for a bunny crate. Next on the shopping list is two door gates to make sure they are corralled into the living room when they're out of their crate.
We have three rolls of chicken wire ready to block off gaps in the garden that would cause problems such as the gap behind the shed. That way, the little guys can have the run of the garden with no need for a pen. Lots of fun and exercise for them!
Mr D is in the process of sorting out some trunking to cover any low-level wires that run around the living room wall.
I've drafted my Dad in to help, and he is cutting some 2.5 inch wide strips of black cardboard for us to block off the bottoms of the living room cabinets so that the little buggers can't squeeze underneath and get stuck - it's amazing how elastic bunnies can be, especially when you don't want them to be - I know this from exasperating experience! I'll be going over to see my Mum and Dad on the 17th May, so I can pick up the strips then, and have the cabinets all sealed off and ready soon after.
Then it will just be a case of looking for the right bunnies to come and join us. We want to rescue, and we have a couple of strict requirements to make sure we can do the absolute best by them, so we can't just grab the first to bunnies that come along. We want a pre-bonded pair so that we know beforehand that they get along. Also, they need to be fairly petite breeds. We don't have a huge sleeping crate for them, and two big bunnies might feel a bit cramped in it, especially on the occasional days when we're not around to let them out. So we're looking at Netherland Dwarves, Polish, Mini-Rex, Mini Lops, Dutch, or any of the small breeds. So for that reason, it may take us a few weeks to find the right furbabies!
This whole project has come out of me missing having a small furry around the house. We lost our last pet rabbit in 2004, and we decided not to get any more for a while because we were doing a lot of travelling at the time, as well as working long hours, and I was just starting to get busy with the dapplegrey art stuff, so we decided to take a bunny break. But I've always missed them.
When I was a kid, we always had rabbits. My Dad doesn't like dogs and my Mum doesn't like cats, so rabbits were the 'compromise' pet. I got my first rabbit, Snowy, when I was eight and he died when I was seventeen. From then, I was hooked! We had 'houserabbits' before they were even a thing. None of our rabbits had a hutch, they all lived in sheds, or in the house, and had plenty of running space. When you invest time and effort into bunnies, you really see what fascinating and intelligent little guys they are. As long as you respect the fact that they are a prey animal, and so instinctively, they are very cautious and skittish, and you don't act in a way that is liable to traumatise them, you'll have a gorgeous, funny and loving little friend for years.
So, here's a little tribute to some of the bunnies that have paved the way for our two new friends (whoever they may be):
Snowy - 1976 - 1985
Snowy was the first bunny in my life, and he's the reason I've loved them ever since. He was a great little character, and used to follow me around the garden like a little puppy. He was the most precious little soul. When he died, it was the first time in my life I'd ever seen my Dad cry.
Oscar - 1985 - 1995
Oscar was the boy that saw me through my formative years. My parents got him for me three months after we lost Snowy I was a teenager when we got him and a married woman when he died. Oscar might have been tiny, but he had massive 'tude!
They say you should never chase a rabbit (goes back to the whole 'prey animal' thing.) So I never chased him - but the little sod used to chase me!
Oscar used to like to sit on my lap for hours and be petted - he'd even grunt and throw a tiny tantrum when you put him back down on the ground. I met Mr D when I had Oscar, and Oscar never liked him - he refused to ever acknowledge Mr D's existence. Mr D never lifted a finger to Oscar; he never harmed him in any way. It was pure jealousy!
In the last six months of his life, Oscar had a starring role in our wedding video!
Fidget - 1986 - 1992
My Grandma retired in 1985, and she knew how much I'd loved Snowy and how much I loved Oscar so she decided to buy a bunny to keep her company during the day while Grandad was working. I think it's fair to say Fidget was spoiled rotten!
Brandy. 1992 - 1999
Brandy was a rescue bunny, who was rejected by his family because the mother hated him - she decided he 'looked demonic' with his pink eyes.
Seriously?? The stupid bitch! How 'demonic' can a cute little bunny look?
We took him in, but my current bunny, Oscar, was having none of it, and despite being half Brandy's size, he pummelled the living daylights out of him. So I couldn't keep Brandy, and he went to live a happy, totally spoiled life with my Grandparents who adored him after losing their beloved Fidget.
Blossom 1997 - 2003.
We bought Blossom along with April on the understanding that she was a girl, and two girls are more likely to get along. Then she turned out to be a boy, so a quick 'snip snip' visit to the vets was in order!!
Blossom was the sweetest, most placid bunny, and a great friend to April. He was so mellow and quiet, almost to the point of being torpid, that Mr D was convinced he had 'some kind of brain damage' XD
April - 1997 - 1999.
April was my first girl, she was also the biggest bunny I'd ever had. She was a madam, but a very lovable one. She adored Blossom and lavished hours of devoted care and attention on him, even when he didn't want it.
Unfortunately, It turned out that April had an undiagnosed heart condition. She had been unwell for a few weeks, and she had a heart attack and died in my arms when she was two years old.
Dougal - 1999 - 2004
We rescued Dougal as a friend for Blossom after April died. Blossom was so mellow, we were confident that he'd accept another bunny without too much drama.
We think Dougal was about three when we got him. And he was a very sweet, friendly little boy.
Angus - 1997 - 2004
Angus was small but he was mighty! He was a little pocket rocket with more energy than I've ever seen!
He would charge around the living room at a million miles an hour and I'd suddenly find myself with a lapful of small bunny demanding to be fussed! On one notable occasion, I was eating my dinner on a lap tray and he ended up standing in it! (I didn't even get an apology!) :D