Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rabbit on the Menu

Does this photo anger you? It should. It angers me. It angers me that rabbits are showing up on more and more dinner menus these days. It saddens me to think that some chefs are so clueless to what these animals mean to so many people that they must concoct an eight course menu, with the theme "Duelling Rabbits" to see how many ways they can serve up our companion animals to their hungry clients (a San Diego restaurant did this very thing a week or so ago, despite the many calls and letters of protest that ensued once RabbitWise got the word out about this.)

There is no question that human beings are a gluttonous species. Is it any wonder the majority in this country are obese and suffering from so many ailments? We tell ourselves we are on top of the food chain so that gives us the right to eat anything and anyone we choose. We are so devoted to satisfying the growling of our stomachs that we refuse to see that what we are putting on our plates are the remains of fellow beings who have every right to a full life on this planet as we do.  I wish every person could spend a day--just one day--with a rabbit and really engage with this animal. To deepen and strengthen our own humanity, we must be willing to reach out to other beings and to really see them for who they are, not WHAT we think they are. We don't have to see animals as food or a byproduct just as most people today do not look upon African Americans as slaves. We can change our perceptions and act accordingly. For the sake of the future of our species in an overpopulated world whose resources every year get scarcer and scarcer, we must do this.

The Hoppy Vegan

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Letter to Woodstock

Dear Woody,
It was one year ago today that we let you go to the Rainbow Bridge after your valiant fight first with crippling spondylosis and then cancer. I still cannot think of you or talk about you without crying. You were and always will be my heart bunny. I can smile now in remembering you but always,
always through tears. I still laugh when I recall the day you ripped open the bag of Care Fresh and spread it all over our basement carpet in protest of our spending too much time at the computer and not with you. You stood there so proud as “Dad” and I laughed and took your picture.

And how sweet were you when Cinnamon, so young when she came to us that she could not yet be spayed, kept trying to mount you, and you patiently endured it, occasionally giving her big kisses on her head to calm her down?

So much has happened since that very sad day when we said goodbye. Your “dad” and I are divorced. I live in a new place and never see Dad or the other rabbits now. Cinnamon is still with me. She has had a tough year too. She lost her second friend Boo only two months after they met and fell in love. Now she shares her home with a handsome and sweet grey rex named Benjamin, who was saved from certain death at a kill shelter by Lori Sundberg of Friends of Rabbits. You would like him, Woody—he is very very sweet though sometimes a little clueless when it comes to Cinnamon. He needs to kiss her a little more. It is so funny how he gives me this puzzled look when Cinnamon nips him in the butt out of frustration. Still, she adores him and gives him so much love just as she had loved you. Cinnamon took such good care of you. I tell Benjamin he must never take her for granted, when she loves another bunny, she really loves that bunny. Benjamin is a very lucky rabbit in so many ways.

I only wish he would react to Cinnamon the same way he reacts to a slice of watermelon! Women of any species do not appreciate coming in second after food!

It is so strange to be in a place where there are no memories of you ready to spring up and haunt me. In a way this should be comforting, starting a new life for both Cinnamon and me in a place that will not conjure up sadness and loss. And yet I wish your presence was here somewhere. I even miss those hard days during those last months when we had to bathe you every night. I might have been tired and exhausted after a long day at work, but it was a privilege to be able to care for you and give you as much good quality of life as we could as those days grew to a close. I still smile when I think how you enjoyed your spa treatment in the foot spa converted to a hydrotherapy pool. How it drove Dad crazy when I sang “Happy Talk” to you at bathtime. He so hated South Pacific, that song in particular. But it made you happy. And how you loved your treats, even up to the day you died, you just loved those sugar free cookies Dad used to eat. To this day, I cannot look at those cookies in the store anymore without wanting to cry.
I hope the day will come when I can talk freely and often of you without crying. As I look back on this year, I know that day is not here yet. I weep even as I write this letter. I hope somehow the feelings behind these words are reaching you somehow. I do believe in my heart that one day we will all be together again. Call it Heaven, Rainbow Bridge, whatever. I look forward to seeing you run to me, a whole bunny once more, and leap in my arms just like you did two weeks after we brought you into our home, when you showed me that despite how badly you were treated in your first home, you still trusted human beings enough to know I would catch you when you jumped. I miss you, Woody and will love you forever, as I am sure in her heart, Cinnamon will too.
Love, your mom

Monday, July 16, 2012

Christmas 2009 with Woodstock

He and Cinnamon used to live in our basement. They loved it when we used to light a fire in the fireplace. It was so cozy. I miss those times -- and that fireplace!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Remembering Woodstock Week (Rabbit Not the Concert)

A sad anniversary is coming up later this week (for which I will post an appropriate tribute on Thursday). My Woodstock died a year ago and as many of you know, he was a special boy. I want to celebrate him by posting some photos this week of this very special rabbit.

The early days (you can tell, see how small Cinnamon is--she is the one on the left)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rabbit Sighting

On the way to work this morning, I spotted at the side of the road a young wild rabbit poised just outside the brush, facing the two lane road my bus was traveling on. There was no mistaking his/her ears, high, facing forward, furry brown-furred body poised for flight. Inwardly I prayed he/she would turn and go back to the brush. I don't know what predator may await this rabbit there--fox, raccoon--but surely the road only brought certain death. I wonder now as the day wanes and I get ready to feed my own rabbits the feast of greens in my refrigerator, what choice did this little rabbit make? Imagine how one's fate can change in mere seconds by one simple choice. How many of us have made such decisions that in the end have changed our lives forever? Something to ponder on this otherwise dull Tuesday afternoon.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

High Praises for Local PetSitting Service Company

They say a good auto mechanic is worth his/her weight in gold. I would add petsitter to that as well. And I can honestly say that I have been so blessed to find one who not only knows rabbits but goes the extra mile for her clients.

Divine's Pet Care ( is a mother-daughter business which operates out of Dulles, Virginia. They handle dog and cat boarding and grooming, as well as rabbits.  As we all know, most petsitting services have plenty of canine and feline experience, but finding anyone familiar with our lagomorph friends is another story.  I was highly recommended this service by a fellow rabbit lover who urged me over and over to call Divine's, that I would be so pleased.  Well, happily, I finally listened. Indeed, I have thus far used Divine's services twice now (and plan to use them forever, frankly!). The first time was in an emergency situation, when I had to go back to my hometown due to a death in the family.  My family and I knew this death was coming days even hours away but when was uncertain. Divine's assured me that whenever I had to get on that plane, they would be there to watch my Cinnamon and Benjamin, and sure enough, they were.

The second instance ended up becoming another emergency situation of sorts, though the week I had booked with Divine's was a preplanned vacation. What we hadn't planned for was the devastating derecho storm that swept through the mid-Atlantic area the night before my scheduled flight to Boston. Power was lost to, as it turns out, millions of people, including myself. As I lay in bed that night, praying the coolness in my condo would last a long time, I wondered frantically--did my petsitter have power? What was I to do about Benjamin and Cinnamon? I certainly couldn't leave them behind in a condo with no air conditioning to go to the airport.  In the morning, as my house got increasingly warmer, I frantically called Divine's but couldn't reach them. Then I tried calling friends, but their phones were out too. What was I to do?

Hurrah!! Finally, after calling probably a dozen times, I reached Divine's owner, who must have wondered, geesh, lady, get a grip, calm down, all will be well. Thankfully, she did have power and she came over that morning to whisk my bunny kids back to her place, where they enjoyed a week's vacation themselves outside my stuffy condo.) Divine's concern for their clients is outstanding too.  One reason my rabbits stayed the week (my power had come back on that Sunday night, so they could have technically been brought back to my place that Monday) was that Cinnamon, going through a terrible shedding phase, exhibited signs of a possible blockage. Divine's monitored and treated Cinnamon for this, in addition to a sore front paw that we decided was a result of "stubbing" and not anything more serious. 

Finally, when I returned from my vacation today, my rabbits were already here, waiting for me, and greens which Divine's had left over from the week were in my fridge, sparing me a trip through 100+ degree heat to the supermarket to get them their salads for the next couple of days.

What is also wonderful about Divine's is (for additional fees of course) they will get your mail and papers for you while you are away, water plants if necessary, etc.  I was also very touched that Divine's owner sent me a text that first night I was away from my guys, to update me on how they were and on whatever antics my rascally rabbits got into that day. I was able to at last relax and feel at ease, knowing my furkids were being cared for so well.

I think it is so fitting that this pet setting service is called Divine's.  I know I found its services to be a major blessing. If you live in Loudoun or parts of Fairfax County, Virginia  (her coverage area is limited, as it is a small family run operation), give Divine's a call for your next boarding or grooming needs, especially if you have rabbits you are loathe to leave when you go away.  I cannot recommend this petsitting service enough.