View Full Version : I just got a very cute email!

24-08-2006, 08:54 PM
I've just had this emailed to me :D I thought that it was too cute not to share!!

Rabbit Stories #4: 4 August 2006
A Tale of Two Bunnies
How Calvin and Pyewackit Taught Us About House Rabbits
By Laura L. Barnes
HRS educator, Champaign IL

Calvin was an "impulse buy." I had wanted a pet rabbit since I
was a kid, probably because they seemed so cute and cuddly.

Quentin, my husband, works for Motorola. Every summer, they
have a picnic for the employees. At the Summer 1994 picnic,
they hired a local farmer to bring some animals for a petting
zoo. In addition to goats, sheep, and a couple of chickens,
he brought eight or so baby harlequin rabbits. The kids were
all clamoring to hold the cute little bunnies. So was I.

I took one of them from a kid who wasn't being very careful
and I held that bunny for the next two hours. After 30 minutes,
the farmer told me that I could buy him for $5 and that he
wouldn't grow much more. After 90 more minutes, I convinced
Quentin that a rabbit would be the perfect compliment to the
guinea pig we already had. So we took our baby bunny home,
stopping at the local pet store on the way for a cage and
some supplies.

We did everything wrong with Calvin at first, including
sexing him. He was so young that his testicles hadn't descended
yet and we thought he was a girl. We bought some books on
rabbits, but none of the local bookstores stocked the
House Rabbit Handbook.

Quentin decided to see if there were any rabbit newsgroups
on Usenet and found alt.pets.rabbits. From there, I found
out about House Rabbit Society and an e-mail discussion list
called Petbunny. That's when I really started to learn about
rabbit care.

As Calvin matured, we started letting him out of his cage to
explore the dining room. His potty habits gradually improved
(neutering helped) and we started letting him into the living
room. We were very careful to barricade any small openings that
he might try to slip into. Generally, he respected the barriers.

After about nine months, we decided it would be nice to get
Calvin a buddy. So I asked my Petbunny friends for advice.
We really wanted a girl, but a very nice PhD student from the
University of Illinois e-mailed me twice about Pyewackit, a
four year old male Dutch Dwarf cross. He and his wife had a
small daughter who was becoming allergic to him and they
wanted to find him a good home. Quentin and I discussed it
and decided to give it a try. So in April 1995, Pyewackit
came to live with us.

By this time, Quentin and I thought we were pretty
experienced bunny people. We were wrong. Pye was an
experienced house rabbit and he trained us. Some examples:

-- Two hours after arriving at our house, he was zipping up
and down the stairs like he owned the place. Calvin had never
even glanced at them.

-- Before we let him into the living room, we barricaded
the spaces behind the furniture so the bunnies couldn't get
into them. Pye immediately went over to one of them (a pillow)
and started digging at it. After awhile, he stopped and we
thought he had given up. The next day, he ran over to the
pillow, grabbed it in his front paws and flipped it over his
shoulder and had instant access to all of the really fun

-- When he couldn't get behind the furniture, he hopped up
on it. Calvin was always pretty big and wasn't much of a
jumper, so we hadn't even considered that problem. One of
Pye's favorite things to do was hop along the back of the
sofa. He also liked to jump up onto the dining room chairs
and hide out. We called it Pye's Treehouse.

-- One night, Pye was sitting in the dining room doorway
while Quentin and I were watching TV. Suddenly, we heard a
loud *thump.* We both looked up but couldn't figure out where
the noise came from. Then we heard it again. *THUMP.* That's
when we realized that it was Pye's way of saying, "You're
ignoring the rabbit. BAD humans." So Quentin went over to
pet him and apologize.

We're only human, but we did eventually learn what Pye was
trying to teach us. Rabbits are smart (I think Pye believed
they're smarter than people), independent, curious,
affectionate, and often single-minded.

Pye and Calvin never did become buddies. About a year after
Pye came to live with us, we adopted Jessica, a spoiled,
oversized Holland Lop princess. Pye fell head over heels
in love and even staged a cage break to get to her while
she was quarantined upstairs when she first came home.

We adopted Rosie, a New Zealand White, in 1997 as a potential
mate for Calvin. Calvin thought he was human, so he wasn't
interested in her. She now sleeps in a double decker condo by
herself. She and Jessica finally reached an uneasy truce
(scaled back from two years of all-out war).

Pyewackit, the rabbit who trained us to be proper humans,
died in March 2001 at the age of 12. With his passing, he also
taught us how to mourn for a rabbit. Calvin followed a year
later. Jessica joined them two springs ago. Rosie is nine now.
She revels in being an only bunny and reaps the benefits of the
lessons Pye taught us and that we've passed on to Tessa,
our daughter.


Leah xx

24-08-2006, 10:34 PM

Awww thats lovely!!

the happy bee
24-08-2006, 11:43 PM
That's such a sweet story. I love their training in the paws of Pye!

25-08-2006, 03:39 AM
A lovely story :love: