Archive for August, 2008

Meet Jasper, and learn a little bit about the woman who saved him.

Friday, August 15th, 2008

A note from Marcy, founder of SaveABunny:

Jasper is a very cute, neutered dwarf mix boy who seems to have lived a hard life. From the little we know about him, he lived alone outside in a hutch in Oakland and was not treated very well. He has the saddest look in his eyes and he cringes when you touch him.

He looks like an older gentleman. His teeth are not fabulous and his eye is weepy—perhaps from an issue with his teeth? He will see a veterinarian soon and we will know more. Our goal is to do what we can to make his golden years be filled with love and not disappointment in people. Jasper didn’t ask to be someone’s unwanted pet. How tragic to live his entire life being neglected, or worse—mistreated and then left alone at a shelter to be euthanized.

It is the “throw away” bunnies like Jasper that make rescue work especially sad and challenging for me. As I walk through the shelters every day…passing row after row of bunnies each needing rescue or they will be euthanized…who do I pick if I can only save one or two out of the dozens?! And the rabbits all know and sense who I am. They pick up on the energy that I am the rescue person who both understands and hears them. They sense I could save them, so they run to the front of the cage and call out to me. They all want to live.

Bunnies like Jasper, though, are often so beaten down from heartbreak that they sit hunched in a corner as if they have given up hope that life has anything good to offer them. They know that their time left on Earth is limited, and like others around them, they will be euthanized because no one wants them any longer.

So, they slowly raise their heads and look at me—half expecting that I too will turn away from them and the other half desperately hoping I will see them and save them. All I can say is that it is devastating to leave these sweet little beings behind. It makes me really angry that our little volunteer run group is their only hope and that we simply do not have the space and resources to save them all. It is truly haunting to remember all the little faces and I can tell you that it doesn’t get better with time. It’s been ten years of this intense work for me and I still cry and remember each and every rabbit.

So, that brings me back to Jasper…Yes, I picked him for rescue over another healthier, younger rabbit. It was a very tough choice, but I feel strongly that our commitment to help the special needs rabbits who others leave behind is part of what gives SaveABunny our integrity, passion and uniqueness as a rescue group.

It is expensive, lonely and heartbreaking to rescue rabbits, however I can tell you with all certainty that some of the most incredible, resilient and loving rabbits we have ever met are the ones that had the worst situations. With love, patience, conventional and alternative healing we see miracles. Even in a very short time I have seen a brightness start to return in Jasper’s eyes.

However, the reality is that most people will ultimately only want to adopt a cute, little bunny without issues. So a bunny like Jasper will need to stay here for as long as it takes to find him a forever home. Perhaps he will live his days out as a SaveABunny sanctuary rabbit surrounded by volunteers who love him, or maybe we will be lucky to find him a forever home.

Either way, that’s what we do here at SaveABunny. We love each rabbit. Thank you for supporting our work on behalf of these amazing little survivors.

To sponsor Jasper, visit the SaveABunny website.

On making a difference.

Friday, August 15th, 2008

I went to my first SaveABunny outreach last month at Pet Food Express in San Francisco.

Since I’d never done one before, I warned the other volunteers in my email: “I probably shouldn’t be left alone at any point,  because I’ve never done this before, and I don’t actually know that much about rabbits yet. I would probably get us sued or something. So, I really want to help out as much as I can, but I know I’m not going to be the most useful person to have around my first time. I’m probably going to be asking a lot of questions and generally being awkward.
Just warning you guys!”

Obviously I was pretty nervous. Who am I to hang around in a pet store answering questions about rabbits when I don’t even have one of my own? I don’t even clean cages! I’m just a writer! I’m good at two things: sitting at a desk and being a smartass. And I’m not even very good at sitting at a desk – I fidget all day. Sometimes I spin around in my chair and make myself dizzy just to be moving.

Well, despite my warning, the other volunteers were happy to have me tag along. And I’m glad they did.

It was the easiest, chillest day off I could have possibly had without incorporating pina coladas. Kara and I set everything up and put out the bunnies, then pretty much just hung out. People came by, we talked to them, they were cool. I knew a lot more than I thought I did and I was able to answer all kinds of questions. Frankly, almost everyone in the world knows less about rabbits than I did after my first five minutes on the SaveABunny website. If you read this blog, you are probably more than qualified to do a SaveABunny outreach.

But the full realization of how truly easy it is to make a difference didn’t come until a few days later. I was up at 4 in the morning with some friends, having a philosophical conversation. (Not something I do habitually, by the way.) Somehow, the subject of changing the world came up.

It sounds so big, “changing the world.” It sounds impossible. And it probably is! The world is huge! No one can really change it. That’s where our conversation stalled out for a long, awkward moment.

I looked around at my friends. They’re great people, I love them tons, but I realized – I couldn’t think of anything that any of them were actually doing to change anything. For a second, I couldn’t think of anything I was doing, either. Then I remembered the one time I’d done outreach for SaveABunny. And this blog. And how simple is it. I knew I wasn’t changing the world, but at least it was something.

I’m not trying to change the world – no one here is. I’m just doing small things here and there when I feel like it and happen to have time. It sounds like a lazy form of volunteering, (it kind of is) but if I had just gone home early today and watched The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, instead of remembering that I wanted to write this blog, and then actually doing it, it may never have gotten done. And because it did get done, I hope at least one person will think, “You know what, I’m free next weekend. Maybe I could do an outreach or something.”

Our core philosphy at SaveABunny about volunteering is that no matter what you do or how much time you have, there’s something you can do to help. If your only skill is underwater basket-weaving, you know what, we could use some baskets. Maybe we could make bunny-friendly baskets and sell them online to rabbit owners. Or use them for thank-you baskets to reward generous donors. Or just keep hay in them.

The moral of the story is, it’s way, way easier than you think it is to make a difference. And not just with SaveABunny – with anything.

In the grand scheme of things, we can only, ever make small differences.

But those are really big differences to the living beings effected by them.

Horoscope for Leo: Watch out for bunnylions!

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

In celebration of the sun sign Leo (July 23 to August 22), we’re dedicating August to the very special rabbits at SaveABunny who belong to the Lionhead breed. (And, of course to our founder Marcy, who is a Leo. Happy Birthday Marcy!)

Lionheads are a new breed, with a fluffy mane around their heads that makes them resemble their namesake feline. They come with friendliness and fluffiness in equal proportions, and are easy to train – but easier to love.

Meet the Lioneheads currently on the SaveABunny website:

Kingsley:

Hunter and Holly:

Macaroon:

And Wooly Bully:

Some interesting facts about Lionheads:

  • Both the boys and girls have manes, but the girls’ are usually less pronounced.
  • Lionheads, especially ones with straight ears, don’t require the same heavy grooming as other long-hair rabbits.
  • Lionheads were originally bred in Belgium, supposedly by crossing a miniature Swiss Fox rabbit with a Belgian Dwarf rabbit.

Happy August everyone – and we hope you’ll come by SaveABunny and meet some of these adorable maned bunnies!

The ultimate eco-friendly urban pet.

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

That’s right, we’re talking about rabbits. Here’s why:

1. They eat hay. The meat industry produces more greenhouse gasses than all the gas-guzzling SUVs in the world. If you want to keep your cat or dog properly nourished, please, feed them pet food with meat in it. Bunnies, however, are 100% vegan – no guilt, no cows, and sea levels stay where they are just slightly longer.

2. Compost. Sure, if you live an apartment building, you’re probably not growing tomatoes (at least not very well,) but there are urban growing plots and back-yard farm communities in almost every city, where bunny poo and leftover hay would be a much-appreciated contribution. Plus, the new plants absorb carbon, and provide you with food, sans pesticides, salmonella, pollution, and expensive cross-country transportation.

3. No walks! No matter how disgusting your sidewalks are, your dog still needs to get their cute little paws all over them – twice a day. I don’t know what goes on in your urban neighborhood, but in mine…. uuhg. Point being, your bunny stays clean and saves you from dealing with the local riff-raff.

4. Bunnies are the ultimate small-space survivors. Of course, no one wants to be cooped up in a tiny pen, and at SaveABunny we always want our rabbits to have free run at their adopted homes, but even if you live in a one-room studio where you watch TV from your bed and eat breakfast at your desk, if the place fits you, it’ll fit your bunny, too. Seriously- they evolved for tunnels.

5. Impress your friends and confuse your landlord! Cats and dogs require big extra deposits, but rabbits tend to fall in the “small pets” category, and if you work it right, you can save yourself some moolah. Plus, you’ve got an instant ice breaker – sure cats and dogs are cute, but they’re not gona provide any conversation fodder beyond, “Oooh, she’s so cute, what’s her name?” Bunnies, on the other hand, are an urban enigma – no one knows much about them, and what they do know, you can pretty much contradict all night long.

So, there you have it, bunnies are the best pet you could possibly have if you’re an adult living in a city and you care at all about the fate of the world. Plus -

they’re really cute!

(This is Alvin. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t love to give him a little eco-friendly rub behind the ears!)