When she first arrived she was not particularly human friendly and would lunge and attempt to nip you if you tried to pick up her food or water bowl.
|Opal, the fierce.|
I'm writing about her because of an incident that occurred this past week. We try to get the bunnies outside early in the morning for some fresh air and exercise...before the heat becomes oppressive and unbearable. Opal was out in an enclosure and I went in with her to groom her a bit since she was molting. The grooming is important because bunnies can't vomit and ingesting too much hair can be life threatening for them. I was stroking and ruffling her fur to get the loose hairs to come out and she was enjoying the attention. I was kneeling/squatting and this was becoming uncomfortable so I wrapped up the grooming session and stood up to prepare to move on to another bunny. Opal, with perfect timing and intent, threw her body across my foot and lay down on it. I'm fairly illiterate in bunny speak but I got the message loud and clear...she did not want me to stop and really really wanted some more attention.
It was an anguishing moment because I know full well all of the shelter buns get short-changed on their needs for attention and touching and being talked to. There aren't enough human animals or enough time to give them what they need and deserve...it is so painful to know this. I felt so bad for her, as well as impressed as hell that she had figured out how to make a clear and convincing statement about what she wanted...a statement that a human animal would have to be unconscious to not understand. Those bunnies are amazing folks, and Opal is as amazing as any of them.
I know that almost any shelter/sanctuary would be so appreciative of any assistance they could get from folks...and taking the time to pay some special attention to a lonely and emotionally needy bunny, dog, cat, bird, horse, cow, goat, pig, sheep...and on and on and on is one of the niftiest gifts that can be rendered. Grooming, petting, paying attention to, communing with...these are all needs that these animal folks have and providing those experiences not only is good for the particular animal...I guarantee it is good for the provider too.
If you can, take the time to connect with an animal rescue operation and ease into being a valuable and needed provider of emotional goodies for the innocent ones. Gifting this sort of emotional nourishment to other animals is a 'sustainable' behavior, because the act of giving results in receiving too. Sort of a perpetual motion emotional apparatus. Fun stuff.
And do, if you are not already living as one, please consider becoming an ethical vegan. It helps everyone, including the whole planet.