Here comes Peter Cottontail, but what will happen after Easter?
They’re fluffy and cute with those long, silky ears, perpetually twitching noses and round, puffy cheeks that beg to be stroked. It’s amusing to watch them hop around using those large back feet and it’s endearing to see them stand up tall, tucking their tiny front paws in towards their tummies, to inspect something beyond their reach.
Because of their sweet, gentle persona, bunnies have earned the role of Easter spokesmodel. So when Easter rolls around parents flock to the nearest pet stores and local farms to buy their child a bunny. What could be cuter presenting a tiny fluff ball sitting in an Easter basket among the candy and toys to a child?
Mom and dad are thinking this will be a wonderful way to teach their youngster responsibility. They think that starting with a small animal like a bunny will better prepare the child for larger responsibilities later in life.
Little do mom and dad know, however, junior will most likely grow tired of his little bunny, probably because of its shy, timid nature and the fact that they are sensitive to loud noises, fast movements and anxious children.
As a result, mom and dad either end up taking care of bunny themselves or surrender him to an overcrowded shelter where, chances are, if bunny doesn’t find a new home he will be euthanized to make room for the next wave of unwanted bunnies.
But the truth is, these curious creatures require a tremendous amount of attention. Rabbits require a constant supply of Timothy hay, pellet food (not the kind with the dried up fruit and vegetables in it) and a daily supply of various fruits and leafy vegetables.
In addition, most people don’t seem to realize that rabbits need to run around — constant confinement to a cage will not suffice. Instead, it breeds overweight, depressed bunnies who become more prone to sickness and disease.
As a “mom” to two adorable little dwarf rabbits, who were once unwanted babies searching for their forever home, I’ve come to fully understand what it takes to raise and keep these skittish, but amazing, little creatures happy and healthy.
My itty bittys, Yiska and Joy, live the high life and have not only taken hold of my heart but have also taken over my living room — their over-sized cage is encompassed by an exercise pen and always remains open. Yiska and Joy have the freedom to hop in and out of or on top of it whenever they please. As an added bonus to me, I never have to worry about them satisfying their insatiable hunger for electrical wires and wooden furniture while I’m away at work.
Don’t get me wrong, rabbits make amazing pets as each one of these intelligent creatures is endowed with a unique, vibrant personality. But before adopting or purchasing a rabbit, thorough research needs to be done.
Remember, the average life-span of a healthy rabbit is 8- to 10-years, so please, before you consider purchasing an Easter Bunny for your child, think about what the outcome will be and be prepared to take on full-time responsibility. If there’s any chance, no matter how small, that your child won’t want to care for the rabbit and you know you would rather not have the responsibility, then please don’t buy a bunny.
But if your heart is set on getting a furry little cottontail in time for Easter, do the proper research and please be willing to open your heart and life to an 8- to 10-year commitment. Believe me, it will be well worth your time.