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2020 Reflections - It's not 'just' a rabbit.

Hi friends, Happy 2021 - I hope you’re all doing well 💗

I wanted to start the year with a short reflection on 2020 and the role that our rabbits played in getting us through the year and bringing us moments of light in some of the darker times.

In October last year (2020 lol), some of you reading from Instagram may know that I had quite a few scares with Butter and a number of rough and stressful vet trips. After the last few scares with B, I had promised to explain what was wrong with her and what the vets had said, however I never ended up doing so. This is mainly because I had quite a traumatising and upsetting experience and didn’t have the energy to get into it and was truly just happy that she was okay.

I’ll keep it brief, but essentially I was worried B was going into stasis at 11pm one night, so ended up taking her to the emergency vets. Unfortunately I had a very traumatising experience as the appointment was very rushed, not enough was explained to me, and worst of all, after arriving home after B had been given medications, she was almost non-responsive and I genuinely thought she was dying. I ended up having to take her back to stay the night there, and the next morning when she was home again and a little better I was honestly just grateful to have her back with me. A day or two later, she unfortunately began displaying the same symptoms so I rushed to my regular vet hoping they’d be more helpful. Unfortunately, the appointment I then had was even more traumatising than the one before. We were seen by an extremely obnoxious and un-professional vet who seemed more concerned with rushing the appointment so he could get home on time. He still wanted to prescribe the same medications the emergency vets did, even after I highlighted how B had reacted to them a few days prior, and EVEN after he outright stated that he did not diagnose stasis. There are plenty more details I could disclose, however, the worst of all was the following:

I highlighted some of my potential concerns (that she could have an ear infection) and then began questioning him on prospective next steps. I asked “okay, so would imaging be the next step to identify if she has xyz”. To which he responded “err… well, I guess that depends on how much you want to do for a rabbit… but then again I guess rabbit owners are doing more these days”. I truly cannot explain the anger, frustration, sadness and absolute disgust I felt in that moment hearing those words. I wanted to scream at this guy, I was furious, but above all I wanted to take P&B home and get out of there as soon as possible. I have since made a formal complaint (as there were many other reasons why the appointment was terrible), however the words he uttered really stayed with me. The fact that anyone, let alone a vet, could imply that a rabbit was a lesser pet than say a dog or a cat and didn’t deserve as much care, is beyond me.

2020 has been a year beyond comprehension, from COVID, to the BLM protests, to all the natural disasters and accidents across the world, to all the political uncertainty and financial struggles for many. The mental struggles of being away from friends and family, of being isolated, of losing loved ones, of having to adjust to a new normal that feels anything but. I don’t believe there is any one across the world that didn’t feel the impact at one moment or another. For so many of us, our bunnies were the little lights that got us through this year. They were our life savers, they gave us smiles and took away so much of the loneliness many of us felt. For many others without bunnies, I truly believe bunny Instagram was a community which provided many smiles, laughs and moments of happiness all over the world.

So after my personal experience with Butter, and after the world's shared experience of the craziness of 2020, I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge how our rabbits aren’t ‘just rabbits’ and how they are incredible, intelligent, loving and amazing creatures. Moreover, how they absolutely made this year a little more bearable.

They aren’t ‘just bunnies’.

It isn’t how far you are willing to go for a rabbit.

They are members of our families.

They aren’t less than cats and dogs.

They are our worlds.

It’s the moments when they jump onto our beds in the morning to wake us up because we’re late for breakfast.

It’s the moments when they nudge our hands because we stopped petting them.

It’s when they excitedly run around our feet in circles because they know it’s time for food.

It’s when you’re sad and they start licking your face, and because it tickles so much you can’t help but let out a smile.

It’s when you’ve had an awful week, month - year even, and they are there waiting for you when you come home and can’t wait to see you again.

It’s when you’ve spent a whole year trying to get to know a slightly nervous one and then you finally break that wall and they trust you.

Its the way they snatch food away from you and get greedy.

It’s the way they settle down in front of you to be pet and fall asleep.

It’s the way they chatter their teeth in absolute bliss when you are petting them in the best way.

It’s the way they are absolutely nuts - the zoomies and the binkies they do make them such incredibly entertaining and unique pets.

It’s the way they stand up on their hind legs in the most adorable way and look up at everything curiously like little meerkats.

It’s when they get really close to your face and their whiskers tickle the heck out of you.

It’s the way that no matter how much fur you get in your mouth, eyes, on your clothes, in your food, you wouldn’t ever ever change them for the world.

It’s the way you think your bunny has died when you hear a loud bang and see them flopped over, but instead they’re just having the best nap ever 🤣.

It’s the way their cheeks look while they’re munching on hay.

It’s the way they destroy everything in your home and yep… you STILL love them… even then.

It’s the way their lips go bright red when you feed them strawberries and their bums twitch when you feed them bananas.

It’s the way they rest their paw on your leg and look up at you with those bunny eyes like “pls… just one more treat mom?”

It’s the way they look like perfectly baked loaves of bread when they go to sleep.

It’s the way they all have incredibly unique and hilarious personalities.

They are intelligent.

They are loving.

And they are equal to other pets.

They deserve just as much as any cat, dog, or other.

They are our worlds, and to us, they will never be “just a rabbit”.

Thank you for reading friends, I really hope you could relate.

Finally, a few days ago on my Instagram stories I asked for people to share their favourite positive moments with their bunnies from the year. There were so many beautiful moments shared, some honestly got me a little teary, so I thought I’d include them all down below in case anyone needed a little smile and a reminder of some of the more positive moments of 2020.

Happy New Year every-bun, we truly hope this year will be a little more positive than 2020, however, above all, we hope that you & your buns will be hoppy and healthy 💗

Lots of love, Tamara, Peanut, Butter & all of the Plants xoxo