The statement “More Than Meets The Eye” is made famous by the Transformers cartoon which made its debut in the 1980s. Vehicles turning into robots seemed to have captivated children and adults throughout the world. I believe it all boils down to expectations. No one expected the possibility of a little yellow Volkswagen Beetle to turn into a cute robot and that brings me to the subject of today’s post – expectations.
There are a few occasions throughout the 7 years being in the hobby that I have encountered people who have obtained rabbits from me after being captivated by the photos of cute and cuddly rabbits that I have posted on this weblog. Some of the rabbits lived up to their full lifespan in their new homes but other did not. One reason stood out among the many reasons that these rabbits were returned to me and it was that “he/she is nothing like how you describe rabbits in your blog”.
I guess we all have expectations of our pets. Our judgement may sometimes be clouded by cuteness just like how it was when we first started dating our wife/husband. We can only see all the goodness until we start living together after marriage. When the breeder go through all the necessities, all the eager owners have in their minds is to bring bunny home and miss out on all the important points – that they need to be litter trained, given food that helps reduce odours and the correct way of handling their new pet. It is not surprising that after a couple of days that I should receive distress calls telling me that bunny is urinating all over the place and hates being handled.
A rabbit will never behave like how you want a dog or cat to behave. If you want to have an animal behaving like a dog or a cat, get a dog or a cat but I must say that rabbits do have their own personalities that differs from individual to individual. You just have to “tune in” and get in sync or be vigilant by observing their body language to gauge what he/she is trying to tell you. Rabbits definitely communicate very differently from your regular dog and cat.
While we are at this subject, I cannot help but to also ponder on the question of sustainability. I recently read a post in one of the facebook groups asking why there are many rabbits being put up for adoption – whether it is because of the Easter season or otherwise. In this region I believe that rabbits for adoption is not seasonal as compared to the western countries. When we see that there are rabbits up for adoption, we will always question the reason behind them. I can understand the many reasons and some may make sense while others not. I have come to the conclusion that as long as there is a pet industry, we will never be able to escape from the issues of abandoned and unwanted animals. Crude, but that is reality and it takes everyone to just be the responsible person and do what is right if animal welfare is what we are after.
As pet people, first and foremost our intention and expectation from our pets is companionship. We may want to fulfil our sense of responsibility over another living being. Perhaps keeping something alive is treated as a personal achievement and that gives us joy to see our beloved pet thrive in our hands. Maybe and just maybe, we have the desire to go through the different phases or levels of difficulties in raising animals as pets. For example, Level One is keeping some fishes, Level Two – a hamster, Level Three – a rabbit and slowly graduating to let say – a Tiger?
Whatever the reason, I believe it is all about the expectations we have from our pets.
As for me, I have always been an animal lover and rabbits have always been a part of my life. I find great joy to know that they are happy under my care and they grow and remain beautiful until their last breath. Most of the time, it is the vow I make for each and every rabbit that I own. It is a simple vow that they will live a good life whether under my care or someone else’s I have chosen for them. For those that I have decided to import from the USA, I always make a silent vow and wish in my heart before they are being sent over to me. It is only fair to treat them well because these rabbits go through the long journey and they will have to endure the change of climate which is the toughest element that they will have to get used to.
Through my observation, the rabbit hobby can be quite monotonous in general and having friends can help motivate and keep us interested. Most friends that I know were able to stay in the hobby for a very long time because they spend a lot of time competing in shows and also being involved in helping out in the clubs. More often than not, they enjoy the company of friends.
Very often you will find yourself looking for other activities to complement or supplement the hobby. My advice based on experience is that you should not deviate too far from the focus on your pet as it can get out of hand sometimes. For example, most of us like to purchase a nice skin or cover for our mobile phones and if not careful, you will end up with many that are redundant and not being used.
Besides the usual bunny chores, there are only two other activities that I enjoy doing that is related back to the rabbits – photographing the rabbits and writing on this weblog. I am really happy to have many photographs of my rabbits throughout the year. I had previously made plans to consolidate and produce a photobook for this weblog’s 5th year Anniversary but it did not happen.
This year being the 7th year in the hobby, I finally had the time to order a photobook to commemorate and celebrate the best rabbits that I have owned throughout the years and also friends I have made in the hobby.
May you also find a reason to stay in the hobby.