Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The 14th Day of Christmas: The Bunnies of Christmas

 It's a pleasure to be sharing in this special blog share, The 25 Days of Christmas,  started by the Parga's Junkyard Blog. I hope you check out the other blog posts sharing the holiday season with 24 bloggers who have joined forces to make this season a bit more magical..

25 Days of Christmas

 The Bunnies of Christmas...

 Often the Holidays can be a difficult or lonely time for those who have no family or friends nearby, or are left behind because it is difficult to manage having one come to visit for a holiday visit-perhaps due to constraints of illness.  Or sadder still, whether through ill family relations or neglectful family, the elderly or disabled family member is left behind.
It is usually difficult for an elderly or sick person in a nursing home, hospital, or assisted living facility, who receives few or no visits, to watch others receive visits or go out during the holiday season.  I have seen this first hand, having worked in nursing homes, a rehab hospital and mental health facility for about 18 years. Even the smallest gesture is appreciated by these people and can mean a lot.

On the other hand, the warmth of a hug, for example, is nice when given by perhaps a staff person or visitor from a church, it is not always the same as when these people participate in interactions with animals.  There is something about animals, that for most people will let them feel even more relaxed and free to enjoy the interaction than with people they aren't as familiar with. Often times the results are amazing!

For years, I have participated in pet therapy programs with various animals owned by facilities or more often with bringing in my own houserabbits (litterbox trained and all!).  Come share this recent holiday season visit at an assisted living facility and feel the holiday magic yourself with the bunnies of Christmas!

A group was already assembled when we arrived.  Two bunnies, Grumbellina, a diva, a six year old not-so-mini Mini Lop breed and a male Angora (trimmed down) named Goldilocks (we thought he was a girl at first! And he was so pretty!) went with me to participate in the visit to my mother-in-law's assisted living facility. 
We let Goldilocks have the run of the room for he is quite social and good at making the rounds! One lady was quite taken with Goldilocks and at one point, with my help, scooped him up to hold him, which is something he loves! I gave raisins to a few ladies who were interested in giving one to Goldilocks as he made his rounds about the room.  A couple of ladies felt frustrated that he wouldn't take raisins right away, but he eventually did and he pleased his public!

Grumbellina, the black and white diva made the rounds with me visiting with people who held her or wanted to pet or touch her, depending on their comfort level.

During the holiday season, these visits can make an extra special difference because of the instant unconditional love and rapport most people seem to have with the rabbits.  It is special because it is a two way interaction that brings about the the touch, the socialization among the human peers and with the rabbits.  Bunny visits are also special during great one on one.

It is often done in a resident's or patient's room for loners or perhaps bed-ridden people.  It also makes a setting less clinical or institutional. It makes it feel more like home.  

During this visit, we also answered questions about rabbits, which brought about much laughter. The visiting continued while the facility person passed out some "Eggnog bars" they made earlier in the day.
Still, like with people, we can all feel a little tired and welcome a little private space with a bit of quiet time to ourselves.  This is one reason, it is a good idea to bring more than one rabbit during visits with more than a few people. The rabbits can take breaks and also share the "workload". Grumbellina didn't want to visit as much on her own, making as many rounds as Goldilocks did, after being held. She visited a bit then ran away for some privacy under a chair.

The bunnies and the people seemed to truly enjoy their visit.  The bunnies enjoyed some extra special treats as reward for their work and a bit of quiet time if they wanted it when they went home.

This special time makes the people the bunnies visited feel more like the special people they really are.

Thank you for sharing this visit with us!

Mary Ellen

 You can find related posts (on bunny visits in nursing homes) at , , from my own experiences.  In the very near future, you will be seeing an interview with Bunnies in Baskets, an organization that takes the art of bunny visiting to a new level! Keep your eyes peeled for that post which will be coming very soon.

Visit the Rabbit Hop Shoppe for great rabbit-themed holiday gifts and cards.  They can be customized, usually ship in 24 hours and are great quality.Click on the Santa Bunny picture below!

Santa Bunny "Hoppy Holidays!" Greeting Card
view more products by RabbitHopShoppe visit Zazzle


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  1. Great idea. I am from the 25 days of Christmas Blog share. I am already a follower.

  2. Thanks Amy! I am glad you stopped by! I was nervous a little while ago because the post disappreared from the page. I ended up having to re-write it.
    Mary Ellen

  3. i popped over from tiaras & bowties...this is so touching! blessings to you to sharing love and kindness with people during the Christmas season!

  4. This is just the sweetest post ever. I am a follower. Merry Christmas!, and thank you!