Saturday, March 17, 2012

Nico's Story

contributed by Kerry Stevens

Growing up in South Dakota, I was used to seeing deer in neighborhood yards, along with the usual standard issue brown squirrel.  However, when my husband and I moved to Texas, I was amazed and delighted to see cute, furry cottontails skittering about.  I became so entranced by them. Much to my neighbors’ amusement and husband’s amazement, I was able to hand feed about three wild squirrels every night.  Falling in love with these creatures, and like so many uninformed people out there, we went to go buy a rabbit from the local pet store.
Finding that the pet store was out of rabbits, we went to the nearest PetCo.  After a clerk informed us that they do not sell rabbits, he unknowingly ignited our desire for rabbit rescue after referring us to the North Texas Rabbit Sanctuary (NTRS).  I scoured through the Petfinder listings, determined to find our bunny, and had my heart set on a rabbit named Cinnabun.  With the adoption application completed and the appointment confirmed with NTRS, I could hardly wait until Saturday to take Cinnabun home!
Saturday arrived and boy, Cinnabun was as cute as ever!  The moment she sat on my lap was…nice.  She was a lovely rabbit but I didn’t feel a connection with her.  So, as Cinnabun was returned to her pen, I spotted another similar looking, sweet boy named Nico.  Nico had been given up twice.  The first time was due to his family’s apartment complex not allowing rabbits, and the second time, his family changing their mind that a rabbit wasn’t right for them, so he was relinquished back to NTRS. 
Nico quietly sat in my lap like a good boy while I petted and stroked his soft fur.  Torn between the two rabbits, my husband and I left the sanctuary.
I felt conflicted.  Like so many pre-conceived notions with rabbits, I hadn’t thought about choosing one based upon the person’s connection and the bunny’s personality.  Originally, I had my heart set on Cinnabun, so Cinnabun should be the one to come home with us, right?  And yet, I could not stop thinking of Nico…the way his adorable little head rested on his paws while he quietly sat on my lap.  His calm and gentle manner as I stroked his soft fur.

Fast forward over one year to today, we are happy to report that Cinnabun was adopted by another wonderful family, and Nico was truly the right one for us.  He is considered “Momma’s bunny.” Nico will spend long periods of time being loved on by Mom.  We have a unique tunnel game where I drape a blanket over my body and get on all fours on the floor.  Nico loves to dart in and out of the blanket looking for the pockets of light out of the blanket tunnel.  He has sensed when I am sick before I know it.  When he curls up by my stomach a certain way, I know it is time to see a doctor.  He is still our gentle and sweet soul.
It is because of Nico, that our love for rabbits has blossomed.  In fact, it grew so much that now my husband and I have three other rescue rabbits Piper, Tokki, and Yoshi, all adopted from NTRS.  It is because of Nico that we are now vegetarians, and avid volunteers with NTRS.  We encourage the public through our rescue work and blog (www.twobunnyblog) that adoption is the best option.  Remembering that it is something we once did, we educate people that pet shops and breeders often do not have the best interests in mind. 
It was truly God’s divine intervention that He brought NTRS and Nico into our lives.  We couldn’t imagine our life without any of our precious fur kids!
Kerry Stevens

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