Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What my rabbit is teaching me about love...

Last Fall, my husband brought a rabbit home from a customer call. The first thing I said when I saw the little fellow was, "What is THAT doing here?"  Having owned a pet rabbit before, I had no desire to deal with the chewing, the cage in our already too small house, the droppings, etc.  Then I saw him.  He was adorable, small and beige, with luminous, soulful dark eyes.  The thing that really won me over, though, was his teeth.  He had a disorder that caused his front teeth to grow at an accelerated rate, making it impossible for him to file them down in normal rabbit fashion by chewing and gnawing on things.  His top teeth were so over-grown that they parted company at his bottom lip and spread outwards like a grotesque smilie face. His bottom teeth stuck straight out from his jaw. It was awful.  I took one look, swooned in sympathy, gathered him into my arms and fell in love.  I had illusions of restoring health and happiness to this pitiful specimen of rabbithood.  Boy, was I in for a surprise.

I named him Pippin, because I can never pass up an opportunity to use a Hobbit name.  I did some internet research and discovered that Pippin's teeth would need to be cut.  So after much courage-building and pep talking, Marc and I did the operation. I held him upside down in my lap, all the while crooning encouraging words to all of us, but mostly to Pippin. And Marc wielded the pliers with skill and speed.  Within seconds and with very little fuss, Pip's teeth were cut down to a managable size. He barely flinched.  I almost vomited.

Pip soon became a valued and interesting member of our family. We were able to let him run loose outside  for several reasons. Firstly, the problem with his front  teeth meant that he didn't use them at all.  Being unable to forage for food himself outside, he depended on us for his pellets and so could never wander away from his food source.  He also wasn't able to indulge in the pesky gnawing behavior that could wreak havoc on phone and electrical cords, table legs, shoes, etc.  Secondly, and probably most importantly, Pip fell in love with our dog, Mini. He became her constant companion, her adoring admirer, and unfortunately a torturous source of irritation to her.  He was in her face constantly.  He sniffed her food, drank her water, and indulged in several amorous rabbit behaviors that might win a female rabbit over, but simple served to make a usually docile Mini snarl.

Rabbits, when they are in love, show it in interesting ways.  One way they show their affection is by hopping in circles around the loved one.  Pip does this to me, too. It's a sign of appreciation and care. I think it's cute. Mini doesn't. Pip can actually circle Mini's hind legs while Mini is running away from him. It's fascinating to watch.  Male rabbits also show their sexual interest in a potential mate by spraying their intended w/a foul, urine-type liquid from their back end.  Mini gets sprayed several times a day. When rabbits are really happy, they "binky", which is simply a joyous, twisting leap into the air.  Pip sprays while doing a binky, which results in a stream of "ew" that lands in arced droplets on anything in the vicinity. Mini has wisely adopted an attitude of resigned acceptance about it all.   

I have to admit, I have learned many things by having Pippin around, and by watching him with Mini.  He is funny and sweet, cute beyond belief and full of attitude.  Tomorrow, I am going to tell you one thing in particular that Pippin has taught me, one spiritual principle that he unwittingly illustrates with dedicated beauty every day, and that I long to emulate.  God is creative in the ways that He shows us Himself and how He works in our world.  I'm a simple person, and I love it when God meets me in my simplicity.  For a little guy, Pip has been a big teacher of profound and Godly truths.  But that's tomorrow's post...


johnnyacousticuk said...

Hi Kelly. John Here. Really enjoying your blog. Can't wait for tomorrows.
Los of love.

Kelly said...

Thanks, John. I'm glad that you are enjoying it!



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