Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Happily Hopping Hares

I know my A to Z theme seems to be all about animals. It's not. I promise. It's just that animals have always been a big part of my life. And, during one long portion of my life, my family raised and sold rabbits.

The first thing I want to mention is that not all hares are rabbits, but all rabbits are hares. There are actually other animals with long ears that resemble rabbits and are also called hares. It's just that I have something else reserved for the letter R.

My mother had always wanted to raise angora rabbits in order to sell their fur. You don't kill these rabbits for their fur. When they reach a certain age, you take a special brush, and simply brush the shedding fur off. Then you sell it.

by Jigra Knits on Flickr
We had other types of rabbits too, which we sold as pets, or other non-kill purposes. We sold one batch of rabbits for a TV show. If you ever watched the sci-fi comedy The Greatest American Hero, you may remember an episode that was all about a cage full of rabbits. Those were our rabbits, and they went on to be given away as pets.

I also took one of the angoras to keep as my own pet. It was a cute little gray ball of fur, so I called him Grayball. He was the cutest little thing you could imagine. I loved him very much. I wish I had pictures, but I guess we never took pictures of any of the rabbits. Instead, I grabbed one from Flickr.

Here's where my cute little rabbit story turns deeply depressing. Please stop now if you want to have a happy day today.
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^ That is a line of tears. Here's another warning, just in case you skipped ahead. This next part is really depressing.

First, my little Grayball died when he was still very young. He had a horrible seizure that wouldn't stop. He just kept seizing and seizing. My dad had to take him out and put him out of his misery. I was so heartbroken. This was the second time my dad had to do something like this. I will talk about the first time when we get to the letter S.

Now it gets even more depressing. Our neighbors let their horrible, violent dog out while we were gone, and it broke into our yard. All the rabbits were in cages, but this dog somehow managed to tear the cages apart -- I don't know how they raised their dog, but the thing was vicious -- and killed almost all of our rabbits.

I was so happy to get home and go out and see the rabbits, and was met with a horrible scene. I can't even describe to you how horrible it was to see that.

We had maybe two rabbits left, and I was always in charge of catching them. I was always gentle with them, and they liked me. This time, however, the rabbit I was trying to catch was terrified. When I tried to catch the poor thing, it bit my ankle and held on. My instincts made me fling it off by kicking my leg out. My dad had to catch it.

My dad was so furious, he took one of the bodies of the rabbits and laid it on the front porch of the idiots who let out Cujo. Those people were jerks anyway. No wonder their dog turned out that way. They probably beat the thing or something.

We never raised rabbits again. My parents thought about it again after we moved into a house that had a fence that was more secure, but there is more rural land in the area, so we feared that other wildlife may get to them. We never wanted to go through anything like that again.

22 comments:

  1. I had a neighbour who raised rabbits and which was my play mates for some time. They are such lovely things. But sorry to hear about urz.

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    1. They're fun pets, and so very cute and sweet. They were all so friendly, and easy to keep happy.

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    1. Definitely. It's the owners who create bad dogs.

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  3. Ohh what a sad story about your bunnies. You must have been traumatised. I'm curious what you will be doing for the letter R now?

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    1. I was. I try to block it out. I was in charge of feeding them morning and night, and I always loved holding them and caring for them.

      For R, I actually wanted to write a humorous post about rotating rides... along with a side note about what it's like to live on a farm (using the word "ranch," even though they aren't quite the same thing).

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  4. That is a truly sad story! How beautiful an experience you had that was unfortunately cut short. Luckily your love of animals never falter because of that.

    Writer’s Mark

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    1. Thank you. Pets do continue to improve my life, even when it's difficult to lose them.

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  5. Such an adorable hare, but losing a pet is difficult. I always try to hold on to my fond memories, but the difficult ones make my writing so much more palpable.

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    1. True. It does give me something to write about, but more than that, it gives me an experience or life lesson I can use later. Thanks

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  6. That rabbit in the picture looks so plushy and cuddling that at first I doubted it was alive. I didn't even know there were such things as angora rabbits. I learned something new.

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    1. They are even softer and more adorable than their fake counterparts. :)

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  7. Hi Kristen, I'd like to send you an email of the winnings from my blog giveaway. Could you please send me your email to nlarondajohnson-author@yahoo.com. Thanks!

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  8. Aah I'm sorry you have such a horrible memory. Poor bunnies!

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    1. I know, they were such sweet little things. Thank you for your comment.

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  9. Oh Kristen...I'm sorry. I have a similar sad rabbit memory. :( *hugs*

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    1. I'm sorry you have a similar story. Thanks for the hug.

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  10. Sorry for your sad memory :( Gosh, those are some cute bunnies though.

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  11. Oh Kristen, that is so horrible. My brother went through something similar with the chickens he raised but it was a wild coyote or some other big cat that got to them.

    I have a happy bunny story for you though...a few years ago my hubby Ken was standing out in the alley in the back of our apartment complex with a friend of his when they saw this little black bunny hopping towards them. They started calling him over and he ran right over to Ken who brought him inside our apartment.

    This little guy was so tame, so sweet and loved being held and petted. We were going to keep him but my daughter turned out to be really allergic like she is to dog and cats so we found a family who had a house and a big back yard and already had 3 bunnies and gave him to them.

    Dark Thoughts Blog

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    1. Thank you so much for the happy bunny story. :)

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