Saturday, March 17, 2012

Nibbler's Story

contributed by Beth Brandt

Hi, I'm a private individual who has volunteered with bunnies at a couple of
  shelters around Sacramento, CA.  I fostered a Netherlands dwarf for the
  Placerville SPCA in Roseville, CA.  He came to me after being returned (or
 turned in) by two different families for aggressive behavior.

  So I did a little on-line research.  Netherlands dwarfs are known for being
  cage aggressive.  They should NOT be given to children.  But they are so
  adorable it's almost impossible not to buy them in the pet shop.  And they
  are small, only 3#.  So unaware parents think they are perfect for kids.

 I took in "Spike."  Set up his cage in my bunny room.  Second day I had him
 I took him out to my tv chair and let him go from my lap to the top of the
  chair.  He likes being high and able to everything going on in the room.
  However, I wasn't expecting him to pause by my face and take a bite from my
  cheek.  I made no sound and let him continue to the top. (I was unwilling to
  discipline him for misbehaving when he was in such a new place and probably
  scared.) I petted him and put him back in his cage after 10 minutes.  Took
  care of the bite.  My husband wanted to return him immediately and name him
  "Jaws."  But I knew that if I returned him he would have been euthanized
  because they could never let him out to anyone.

  I named him Nibbler, yes, after the Futurama cartoon character.  He
  continued to grunt like a little pig and try to lunge when I'd change his
  litter or feed him.  But I learned to reach for him behind his ears,
  starting with petting him there.  Three months later I was called by the
  PSPCA rabbit person and asked how it was going and would I be interested in
  keeping him. Yes!  Arrangements were made and Nibbler is mine.

 For the last year at least Nibbler has been at home with me.  He doesn't
 even grunt anymore when I work with stuff in his cage.  He loves being taken
  out and allowed to run loose in the bunny room. It's wonderful watching him
  dart this way and that and do binkies in between.  Lots of energy for a 6
  1/2 year old!  I'm told their life span is usually only six years, so I
  refer to him as my old man.  He loves sitting on my chest (he's light enough
 to not bother my breathing) and being rubbed along his jawline.  If I stop
  petting he moves his head against my hand so I'll start up again. He even
  "purrs" for me - the light grinding of teeth that indicates complete
  happiness. He lets everyone in the house pet him now - but definitely has
  bonded to me.

  I'd say that this is a rescue that's worked.

Beth Brandt, The Bunny Lady

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