“I don’t think it’s necessarily healthy to go into relationships as a needy person. Better to go in with a full deck.” Anjelica Huston
I think I’ve been played (successfully) by a creature with a brain no larger than a lima bean.
My Baby’s been conditioning me for this moment since the beginning when I was warned she was too skittish to adopt and yet she sidled up beside me. Then within weeks of adopting her the odyssey began. I spent hours per day (and
literally thousands of dollars) administering multiple drugs 4x per day, visiting specialists over an hour’s drive away and coaxing her with her favorite tidbits to nurse her back from the brink of death. I’d hold her in my arms until she felt secure enough to relax with her eyes closed (no easy task with a rabbit that by its very nature is hard wired to be on the alert for predators). But her closed eyes gave her a modicum of relief from the pain brought on by neglected eye ulcers, so I wanted her to keep them shut as long as possible. That is how I slowly earned her trust. We even secreted her away to a couple of inns when Jon and I had a romantic getaway planned, or changed our accommodations to Residence Inns and called her a dog, so her routine and her trust would not be broken.
Then late one night last week, I heard the great white rabbit I call “Baby”, crash into the trash barrel. Immediately I got up, held her, told her how sorry I was that I moved the barrel. I admonished myself for not realizing that her vision was diminishing faster than she realizes and that little changes can have devastating effects or her navigation abilities. I held her on my chest until she closed her eyes and purred her clucky little purr, then gently rested her on the floor and gave her a few treats. I got a little sleep and heard crashing and scratching at the plastic barrel, again. Whoops, moving it again even though it was back to its original position caused distress, too. I picked her up, held and soothed her, then gently put her on the floor with a few more treats. Every couple of hours or so, it happened again. The fourth time I decided to put the barrel up high so she couldn’t crash into it. But by now the sun had come up and I looked into the light barrel I’d been hoisting around. I found a solitary item. Jon’s discarded apple core
My pathetic, sympathy desiring, emotionally needy, mostly blind, great white rabbit found an apple core in a 3-foot trash barrel with a scent resistant liner. She can hear one rice-sized treat dropped onto a counter top. She scents and will go after parsley you ate an hour ago – talk about a hare-ball! She has certifiable super hero skills for finding food. And yet I can’t stop thinking of her as needy.
I’m rational enough to realize that she probably only ever has four thoughts: Food, love, nap, and scared. But it’s hard not to feel that MY trust has been broken especially when we came home late the next night and found she’d succeeded in knocking over the barrel, though it had been emptied the day before. So my super needy, super hero food-finder rabbit also has a better memory than I do. Who remembers what got thrown out yesterday? A very cagey, free-range house rabbit, that’s who.
I have to start giving her more credit.
©2011 by Alison Colby-Campbell