Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A little bit about bunnies ....

I am so lucky to be able to go to the woods every morning with my good dogs!  In my books it is the very best bit about being retired and more than compensates for the more modest income of my pension.
Everyday there are fresh new scents!   Every bit of weather changes the trail in some way so that, like the proverbial river, our feet never set on the same path twice.
Even though we have a lovely big play yard that is the envy of my friends, there is simply no substitute for rummaging around the trails and along the riverbank!
Spring Solstice is often spent sliding on icy trails ... so even if the forecasted snow comes later this week, for today it is just a joy to have bare ground and see brown bunnies :)    My burly bearded flannel coated buddies take it as a very good sign we are seeing so many rabbits this spring.    
For a few years after their comeback was deliberately fostered as a February tourist attraction, folks often overlooked that bald eagles are basically birds of prey.   As they spread into other habitats, rabbit populations were almost decimated until they adapted to the 'new' danger.
Domestic rabbits are at great risk this time of year .. so it is also a lovely thing to see so many good education programs out there to discourage parents from impulsively buying bunnies for Easter for their children.
For a long time, rabbits really were 'second class pets'.   When parents discovered that the bunnies did not actually grow up to be pussycats with cute ears .... they were often abandoned in the wild in spite of being utterly unprepared to fend for themselves   :(
Four years ago, a good friend of mine who is an experienced (and award winning) rescuer started up the first  Bird and Small Animal Rescue in Newfoundland    Before long, she became so busy that she had to bow out of working with the SPCA. Her experience with the SPCA stood her in good stead ... and last week her rescue became an official Non Profit.  
This year, she had an ingenious 'adoption' campaign of plush bunnies ... and chocolate lovers in the area are often able to help with her very successful chocolate bar fundraisers.
For anyone thinking of getting a rabbit, her website would be well worth the visit!   There is an excellent Education section on proper care and husbandry that also includes an awesome page about Rabbits and Easter.
Here in Nova Scotia, for anyone with their heart set on a rabbit ... it is often possible to adopt a bunny.      Right here, right now ..... Romeo is available for adoption at the Kings SPCA Branch.
At the end of the day,  kindness to animals is a very effective way to teach our children the core value of respect for life.    It sends a very mixed message to children to get a poor little bunny or chick for Easter and expect them to believe that it magically disappears when the novelty wears off.
What time is it?   It is always time to remember that a rabbit is a living breathing sentient being ... and that the best approach is often to be responsible enough to take a cue from the Make Mine Chocolate campaign.

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