Let's start at the beginning, shall we? In the middle of September, Olivia and I went to pick Eva up from a playdate at a friend's home...where we were introduced to their litter of baby bunnies.
During this meeting, I was asked to take photographs to "send to Daddy to convince him!" (Little did they know that Daddy needed less convincing than Mommy.)
After a lot of research (the Facebook kind and the expert kind, of varying weights in my mind) and lots of patient advice from my friend and happy indoor-bunny-owner Jen, we actually made the monumental decision to allow the girls their first pet. (Liv has no memory of our beautiful yellow lab, Belle.) There are so many benefits of pet ownership for kids, which I won't list here, and at this point we realized they are actually old enough to do most of the caretaking associated with owning a bunny...plus they've been begging for years, and they really are wonderful, responsible young girls (if I do say so myself).
We called dibs on a grey male (if there was one in the litter; it was too early to tell the sex of the bunnies at the time) and waited for our potential pet to be ready to leave its mother.
In the meantime, we spent over $300 preparing for our free bunny: starter kit including cage, food dish, water bottle, food pellets, hay, wood pellets (recommended by a friend as a litter), litter box, chew toys, brush...I'm sure I'm leaving something out.
Finally the day arrived when we could bring our bunny home. Compared to a new puppy, Thumper (creative, I know) transitioned quite easily. He didn't want to eat or drink the first day, but then decided it was safe and hasn't stopped since. He's the quietest pet you could imagine - another plus in my mind.
I was worried about having a pet smell in the house and - while perhaps I have just become desensitized to it - the only time I notice a scent is when urine-soaked litter goes too long without being emptied. The bunny himself has no smell, nor do I notice anything from his "droppings".
After only a few weeks, Thumper is actually doing quite well with litter training too - yes, you can litter train a bunny! Strategic placement within the cage is crucial: bunnies like to, um, eliminate while they munch on their food, so we arranged things so that his butt is in the litter tray whenever he's eating from his food dish or hay manger, and it really seems to help, as we hardly ever find droppings elsewhere in the cage now.
He's a super cuddly bunny and loves to be held, which is exactly what the girls were hoping for in a pet. While I've read that caged bunnies should have at least three hours of play outside of the cage each day, I have to admit we haven't worked up to that time yet...though now Thumper does come out to play for frequent short periods on the kitchen floor, where I know we can act quickly if he forgets to wait for the litter box (though so far, so good).
Recently Thumper celebrated his first Halloween with us...and the girls insisted that he needed his own costume!
While I swore that we would not be spending ridiculous money on a pet, we do plan to have him neutered in the new year when he's old enough, as we've heard that can have really positive effects.
So, is anyone else out there as shocked as I am that I just devoted an entire post to a pet? What's next, cooking posts?