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Column: Life as a rabbit’s mother

'Waking up to the sound of chewing in the middle of the night is a daily event to me.'

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Column: Life as a rabbit’s mother

"The moment Sarah stepped inside our house, I knew she was going to be my best friend."

Photo by Josselin Ramirez

"The moment Sarah stepped inside our house, I knew she was going to be my best friend."

Photo by Josselin Ramirez

Photo by Josselin Ramirez

"The moment Sarah stepped inside our house, I knew she was going to be my best friend."

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Waking up to the sound of chewing in the middle of the night is a daily routine for me. My lovely rabbit, Sarah, stays awake while I sleep. The moment Sarah stepped inside our house, I knew she was going to be my best friend.

Sarah was shy during the first few weeks; she would run away from me but once I had food in my hand, she would come to me. Rabbits need time to know their owners and surroundings before they reveal their real personalities. If you are an impatient person and want to receive love right away, rabbits are not for you. I became closer to Sarah by laying down on the floor to be in her point of view and letting her come near me. Another way was providing her needs every day.

I’m constantly looking after Sarah. I pick up after her, make sure she is healthy and happy, clean out her litter box every day, provide her with toys, buy hay constantly and swipe up what she drops, the list goes on. Rabbits will chew your cords, shoes and furniture. I had to rabbit-proof my entire house. This meant putting cord protectors around every cord we own and fences in places where she isn’t allowed to go.

Once Sarah jumped inside the turtle tank, my heart stopped as I quickly ran toward her to wrap her and and gently dry her. If rabbits interact with water for a long period of time without drying up, they can become sick and it can eventually lead to death. Like cats, rabbits groom themselves multiple times a day as a form of bathing. Rabbits don’t bring odor or have bad breath. The only way a rabbit will bring odor to your house is when you don’t change their litter boxes.

With the help of food, Sarah was easier to train than my dog. Sarah is trained to play dead, wait for me to finish filling her bowl with food and other tricks such as doing circles when told to. Rabbits are intelligent animals; Sarah even understands when I’m not feeling OK and she will come to comfort me.

I don’t like loud noises. I hate when dogs bark loudly or birds chirping every second, but lucky for me, rabbits are quiet animals. Sometimes I forget she even exists because she is so quiet. Though on rare occasions, Sarah will feel unsafe and not be in the mood to be around anyone; she will growl as a warning to not disturb her. It is scary but it means I need to back off and she will eventually come to me when she is out of her mood. But she doesn’t do that anymore; you can say she went through a ‘teenage phase.’

Sarah has also helped me with my diet. I used to eat lots of meats and snacks, but lately, I’ve been eating vegetables and fruits daily. Sarah and I sit on the floor or the bed and watch YouTube videos while we share blueberries.

Rabbits are loyal pets; Although some days Sarah can act like a diva, she will come back to me at the end of the day for her daily cuddles and kisses.

Sarah made me a positive person. I have a reason to be home because it feels like she is my child who I must feed every hour or she will give me attitude.

Adopting Sarah was the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Now, another will join our bond.

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Column: Life as a rabbit’s mother