A Prince Among Rabbits…

It is very rare that I write anything personal on this blog. Preferring instead to share the nice little things of life, things to eat, things to grow, things to make and do. However, I wanted to share this little story of my rabbit Dylan, for anyone who has ever loved and lost a beloved pet.

I have nearly always had rabbits, I kept rabbits how most people keep rabbits, in a hutch outside, moving them over to a run in the daytime for exercise, feeding them and stroking them, but largely leaving them to be a rabbit. My rabbits have all lived long and healthy lives, in pairs and plenty of room to run and stretch….but I felt like they tolerated me, rather than loved me back.

At the early part of the year, I found myself rabbit-less for the first time in a long, long time. I realised as the months stretched on that my garden without a rabbit had no soul, in fact my life was missing that little bit of joy, I always got from being near my bunny friends. So I decided to have another rabbit, but this time I wanted things to be different, I wanted my new bunny to be a part of the family, and to be a part of our lives every day, and to have a mix of being inside with us, and being outside (as rabbits truly love to be).

I researched breeds, and we settled on Belgian Hares, we had the room for them, and I wanted an intelligent and playful friend. Have you ever seen Belgian Hares? They are  rabbits, but they have been bred to look to like Hares, the only word to describe them is magical.

The day we went to see Dylan, I wasn’t sure what to expect, he was a Belgian Hare, but somewhere along the line he had acquired an English Spot colouring. He did not look like a traditional Belgian Hare, but there was something about his pictures I liked. He had slightly wild but kind eyes. We first met him in the garden of the breeder, he was running free with his siblings and he looked like his legs and ears were all a little bit too big for him. I looked in his eyes, and knew he was the one for me.

The coming months were challenging (I had never trained a rabbit before), we kept him the house with us at first in a puppy crate, we taught him to use the litter tray, we taught him to know his name (although he didn’t always obey!)…and most importantly we taught him to not be afraid of us, he bonded with us and us with him, and in the end he was much like having a little dog. He would spend the day running free in the garden with us, he would spend rainy days in the house with us, he was as much part of the family as our cats and dogs.

Over the time I had him, I lost both my dogs, they were both 18 years old (I had them when I was 21) and they died within 3 weeks of one another. Of course, I was heartbroken, and he kept me happy, he gave me a distraction, and it helped to have a playful, joyful friend around. The house didn’t seem as empty.

When the evening came, we would collect him from his run, he would run over to the door, and I would let him out and he would hop down the yard and straight through the cat flap into the house, and then when he had eaten and had a run, he would hop up onto the sofa for me to stroke his nose, and he would curl up next to me and go to sleep. When he wanted my attention, he would nudge the back of my legs with his nose, so I would stroke him. If I crouched on the floor he would jump straight on to my back. We would chase each other in the garden, and he would ‘binkyโ€™, so I knew how happy he was.

My rabbit Dylan was very special, he made me feel special.

We only got to keep Dylan for 6 months in the end, he died just recently, a little spark of pure joy, gone too soon. Anyone who has ever had a beloved pet will know this feeling……

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……..but I suppose the purpose of my post is not that he is gone, but that I am so thankful that he was ever here at all. I will never know why we get to keep some things and not others, I was so lucky to spend 18 years with both my beautiful little dogs, but not so lucky with Dylan.

When we open our hearts and our homes to animals, we just never know how it is going to go, but I got to have the relationship I had always wanted with a rabbit, I got six months to share my family with him. I got to truly know rabbits for the wonderful, loving, deeply social creatures that they are by having one of my own, properly.

He loved me, and I loved him.

He was and always will be a Prince among rabbits.

Wishing you long friendships with your furry friends, truly one of the magical things about being on planet earth…x

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5 Comments

  1. So sorry you lost Dylan too soon. I understand your loss. We had a rabbit a few years ago, a giant white. Like Dylan, she would come inside with us at night time, and run around loose outside during the day, when we were at home. She was as much a member of our family as our dogs and was good mates with the Labrador we had at the time. Rabbits are truly intelligent and affectionate animals. You have some beautiful pictures of Dylan to remember him by, along with your wonderful memories. xx

    Liked by 2 people

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