Pet of the Day

May 2, 2007

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Flower, the Pet of the Day
Name: Flower
Age: Four years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Mini-lop rabbit
Home: Austin, Texas, USA
   Hi, pet lovers, my name is Flower. This is my story.

    I don't really like to talk much about my early life. Suffice to say that I lived with a family who taught me to love and trust folks. I still don't know what went wrong, but one day I ended up at a place called an animal shelter. There were rows and rows of cages there full of pets nobody wanted. I never saw my family again.

    The people were caring at the animal shelter, but I was scared and lonely. I didn't know what was going to happen to me. The only good thing was that they gave me a huge crock of bunny food and kept it full all the time. I found out that eating settled my nerves. I ate and ate and ate all day. When I wasn't eating, I washed it all down by drinking whole bottles of water at a time. It helped, except I gained a bit of weight. Well, more than a bit I guess. I hate to admit it, but pretty soon I was so big that I couldn't even keep myself clean. It scared me but I didn't know what to do.

    Then one day a lady came in and took me away to a house where there were lots of other rabbits. I found out that she was a volunteer with a group that saved rabbits like me from the pound and helped them find new families. If she hadn't come and rescued me ... well, let's just say I wouldn't be talking to you today. The lady was kind but really strict with me. She put me on a diet, which I hated! I could only have a scant quarter-cup of food for the whole day, and my water bottle was tiny and had a picture of a hamster on it. It was humiliating to say the least. But I have to admit I did start to look and feel better, and I was soon able to fix up my fur and start looking nice again.

    I was at the lady's house for months. Other bunnies got adopted, but not me. Then in the fall of 2005, something called a hurricane happened far away. I guess it was pretty bad, because the lady's house got even more crowded with homeless rabbits. One day, I heard the lady talking on the phone about some other rabbit. That happened a lot, so I didn't pay much attention. The rabbit was a hurricane refugee, and he was fighting with the old bunny at his new home. The lady said something about a swap. The next thing I knew, they were talking about me! My heart leaped. I couldn't wait to hear what she said about me. I was astonished to hear her say that I was obese (not true, I was never more than plus-sized), that I was a diva (so not true), and that I didn't want a boyfriend (true -- I am single and proud of it).

    Soon I was loaded into a carrier and driven to a new house. Two kind faces peered at me as I huddled in the back of the carrier. What if they didn't like me? What if all they saw was a fat diva who guzzled her water? They dragged me out of the carrier and put me in a big cage. The rescue lady went off with the hurricane bunny. I'm not sure but I think he hollered, "So long, sucker," on his way out the door.

    My new owners petted me gently and sat with me for a long time. Then they gave me some yummy endive and some hay. Hooray! Real food! That night I got to meet the old bunny. He turned out to be a great old coot who was almost ten years old. His name was Bear. He was blind and crippled with arthritis, and he had only one ear. I thought at first he had been in the war or something, but he said it was just life and he didn't mind. He told me that he had lived with these people all his life and that I had come to a great place where the people loved and understood bunnies. He had received unconditional love and lifetime care. All four of us sat together that first night and watched "Desperate Housewives."

    Since that fateful day, my life has just gotten better and better. For one thing, I'm not hungry anymore, because in addition to my bunny food I get greens and as much hay as I want. I get to play outside in a huge yard almost every single day. I even have a place where I can dig a hole as deep as I want, just like a wild bunny. I never guzzle my water anymore, and I'm in great shape (not all of us are meant to be a size 2, you know). At night I live inside. Sometimes I play with my rope toys, but mostly I like it when I get to hang around with my people. We eat supper, read, talk, sing, and watch TV, and they hug me and kiss me and tell me how beautiful I am.

    Until last summer, each night I sat right next to Bear. I learned so much about how to be a pet bunny from him. I really respected him, and we never fought or even had a cross word. But I couldn't help but notice that he wasn't doing so great, and then one day he stepped on a rainbow and was gone.

    I've been the head bunny around here ever since. In fact, I've been told I'm the Queen. That sounds much better than diva, don't you think?

    If you ever decide to adopt a bunny, contact your local rabbit rescue organization and give a bunny like me a chance. You won't regret it!

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