My sweet Barley
If you have been following my blog, you probably know that I used to have a Yorkie for 17 years. When he passed away a huge void was left and although I would have loved to get another dog, it never really worked out. My daughter owns a Holland Lop and receommended I look into getting one as well. I have to admit that everytime I visit her I am amazed at how playful her bunny is. So first I had to really read up about the living requirements for a rabbit. After all a bunny grows and can live up to 10+ years. This is a long term commitment and shoudl not be an impulse buy.
Lionhead Rabbit at a Shelter
The next step was to figure out where to buy the bunny from. I started to look for breeders and actually found one really close by as well. Breeders charge anywhere from $100 to $200 for a young rabbit, with the price usually dictated by the unusual markings and eye color. However there was a long waiting list and considering that a Holland Lop's so called baby stage is relatively short, I wondered if maybe I could find a young one at a shelter. I signed up on Petfinder and started to get email notices whenever a new Holland Lop was available for adoption. I also found rabbit rescue organizations, like the Bunny Bunch, which is a non profit, no kill rabbit rescue and education organization. Rabbits that are up for adoption usually have an adoption fee associated with them, that is much less than buying from a breeder and it even covers the cost of a medical exam and spray and neutering of the bunny.
The 1st cage set up
Once I had ordered the cage, supplies and set up the playpen the hunt for a rabbit started. I found Barley at theBunny Bunch . In my mind I wanted a young Holland Lop, prefereably under a year old with super cool markings and was scanning the space for that perfect one. The Bunny Bunch has a huge selection of different rabbit breeds that are kept in large playpens. When I stepped into a side room that had even more bunnies in it, a white Holland Lop immedialtely hopped up to greet me. When I stuck my finger in the cage, my finger was licked and of course elicited exclamations of delight on my part. Since a white, 2 year old bunny was not on my radar I went outside again to continue looking. However, the friendliness of Barley had won me over and I was drawn back just to be met with more friendly greetings. Well, the rest is history, I took Barley home that same day and after almost a week have totally fallen in love with this 2 year old.
She is litter box trained, follows me around the studio like a little dog, loves to snuggle and even walks on a leash. Although she still does not like the harness - it's a bit stiff! I did not expect a rabbit to be so friendly and to bond to so quickly. Considering how many rabbits are out there looking for someone to love them, I am so glad that I adopted this cutie. I could not be happier and I think Barley is happy with her new home as well.
I will be sharing my habitat set up and share more about how I am clicker training Barley in future posts. As a new bunny owner I love to hear your stories, so please leave your links in the comment sections so that I can visit your blogs.