Rescuers rarely have the chance to choose their life companion animals. The animals choose them. It’s a luxury we often give up because, in the long run, we know the right animal always stays around and it keeps us a hair's length from being classified as hoarders and crazy folk! In the words of our Volunteer Coordinator, “we get what we need, not often what we want.” So true!
I have always admired giant bunnies, Flemish Giants, Giant Lops, any of the large breeds, I just think are spectacular! I had visited another local rescue years back and stared in envy at their group of Giant Lop bunnies, wishing that I could snatch them up, but knowing that "acquiring" such a luxury was not what I should be looking for. Rescuers have to stay strong and resist such “silly” desires at all costs!!
Bunnies are the third most abandoned animals in Southern California and the shelters are almost always full of them. Wee Companions has rescued them for years, but our adoption rate is slow and frustrating. I was used to the pattern in answering calls to relinquish buns to us, "Sorry we are very full right now". Anyway, I was doing email duty one night, just after Thanksgiving, a couple of years ago, when such a call came in asking if we would take their bunny. Sighing, I stated the usual...."We are really full right now", sounding like a recording to myself. However, I must have been feeling “the vibe” because I asked them to tell me about the bunny in case I had anyone looking.
First words were, "Well, he is a 13 pound French lop.....yadda yadda yadda.....neutered, house bunny, yadda, got from breeder...yadda, chewed on our furniture...." My stomach was hit by a punch, I bit my fist while listening, using every ounce of restraint to hold back from cutting him off and screaming, "YES, I will take him!!" Drawing on my drama lessons of acting cool when indeed flustered, I slowly stated that, "Maybe... we could find room for him….”. Well that was the start of our love affair and Wilbur came to be our Wee Companions Ambassador.
However, all was not champagne and roses at the start. I was so excited to have a giant bunny "in house" and he was set up in our main room so I could get to know him and "bond" to our new "baby". But he didn't do too much, he certainly did not connect with me and seemed distant and depressed. I put it down to the change of home, he was 3 years old when brought to us so I just thought he needed time to get used to us. Pretty much nothing but a huge lump of molting fur that sat and did...well…nada!
A group of Healing Touch students came to the rescue to lay their magic hands on some of our animals in need. Wilbur was presented and in deed according to those that can detect such things he was "very closed down" and "blocked". I respect all modes of alternative or supplemental therapy and was happy for Wilbur to receive some treatment.
Slowly sparks of personality started to show itself and I believe the Healing Touch had broken through his shut down heart and given it a nudge. Maybe saying, “it’s ok, life can be fun again!”
The highlight of Wilbur's life came in the form of a teeny 5 week old female baby bunny that the local shelter needed to place ASAP and there was a distinct lack of cage space. "Mabelene," named so because of the beautiful dark eyeliner around her blue eyes, became his life and soul, and he became the uncle she adored.
They are still our ambassadors and both have distinct personalities that they share with me and others that have met them. There is no doubt as to the magic of big buns!!!!!!!!!