“…it can be the most rewarding thing to give someone a second chance at a happy life.” ~From Finally Home~” ― Elizabeth Parker
We visited the Flemish Giants at MSPCA Nevins Farm in Methuen. The 14 baby rabbits and their 3 parents, surrendered after a misguided attempt at Easter rabbit sales (UGH!), held court in the rabbit room. They were oogled and ooo-ed over again and again for their sailboat-sized ears and long lanky bodies, but tentative toddlers and their cautious handlers ultimately move toward the “apple heads”- the rounder-faced, diminutive bunnies who will never need to be weighed on a dog scale. (FGs routinely grow to Cocker Spaniel weight ranges averaging 15-17lbs at maturity, though 20+lbs is not unlikely.)
Even as babies, the Flemish Giants look like adults with a hint of the wild. And rabbit newbies guess incorrectly that the half-pint rabbits will be tamer, calmer, more portable, and more loving. They buy into the con of the Baby-Faced Nelsons. However, among the rabbit savvy, it is generally accepted that larger rabbits are easier going and sweeter tempered, though, individual temperaments may vary. Flemish Giants, specifically, were bred for their gentleness, so if they are more difficult to tote, it is due to weight, not demeanor.
And then we saw “him” – a 3-month old baby with flip flopping ears and a creamy Siamese Sealpoint cat coloring. His name is, of course, Thumper, and he fits in the palm of my hand. If he weighed more than a pound of powdered sugar, I’d be surprised. Thumper is so absolutely adorable that once you see him no other creature in the world could, by comparison, be called adorable. No still picture could do him justice. He is the one who would elicit the “Cuteness overload” comments on FaceBook. And he has the personality to match. Thumper is high spirited and popped up in the air then raced around the pen only to pop again and again in the sort of excited-to-see-you dance that lasted clear til he was sure his spell of charm was cast, and then, Thumper heavily plopped himself down on his side too pooped to pop – this rabbit will be adopted before the weekend ends. Decisions must be made quickly.
But, I sense my calling is to come to the aid of animals who need a little more consideration, who might be overlooked because they are too big, can’t figure out the steps to the “adopt me” dance, or how to play well with others, or maybe it’s that their ruby eyes are too pure and knowing for the average-hearted person to feel worthy in their presence or they may exhibit social or physical differences that make people hesitant. All I know is that I have never been wrong in my choice of animal companion and consider myself the more fortunate because somehow it is the animal that needs me, that I need most, and we are equally rewarded for finding each other. Thumper will find another home. He doesn’t need me.
To be continued….
NOTE: Considering a rabbit? Learn before you adopt and then please select a bunny from a shelter rather than a breeder.
House Rabbit Network http://www.rabbitnetwork.org/
House Rabbit Society http://www.rabbit.org/
MSPCA Nevins Farm http://www.mspca.org/adoption/methuen-nevins/
(c) 2012 by Alison Colby-Campbell