Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Friendship of a Dog and a Rabbit

Since today is the 2nd anniversary of the day that my brother and I rescued our rabbit, Geronimo, I thought that I'd share the story of how Geronimo and our golden retriever, Finnlegh, became best friends. You'll also learn a bit about how Finnlegh came to live with us as well as a quick description of Geronimo's rescue story, although you can read more about his rescue story in the post that I wrote last year on the first anniversary of the day that we rescued him. Enjoy!

We bought our golden retriever, Finnlegh, from a breeder in 2012. We had lost our beloved golden retriever, Angel, at the age of fourteen when we had to make the tough but caring decision to put her down. We didn't think that we wanted another dog right away but she had left a space in our hearts to give to another dog. We searched for a good breeder and brought Finnlegh home. He grew into the perfect dog for our family; hyper and active at certain times and sweet and quiet at other times. Sometimes he'd race around the yard but then in the house he would curl up and nap or give us tons of sloppy kisses. During the Winter of 2015, there was a new addition to our family. We rescued a rabbit. He was born from domestic rabbits that had been breeding outside in my Grandma's neighbourhood. He was approximately two months old and was hopping around in the snow in -18 degrees Celsius weather so we brought him in out of the cold only to find that his eyes were stuck shut. We got him some help and found out that he had been dehydrated but he was going to be okay. We made the decision to keep him instead of him going to someone else and we named him Geronimo.

Of course, we had a challenge to face. Finnlegh was a golden retriever: a dog bred to retrieve animals for their masters while hunting. Naturally, he chased small animals and birds but could never catch them. This situation was going to be different. If Geronimo was running around and playing in the living room, Finnlegh might bite him or scare him too much for his little heart to handle. We had to teach him to be gentle with our new rabbit since we wanted them to get along and not have to be separated. We would let Geronimo hop around and play on the couch and if Finnlegh went to nip him or play with him in a rough way, we would stop him and tell him to give kisses. He eventually caught on and would give Geronimo such a sloppy kiss that our little rabbit's fur would be all wet. As Geronimo learned to hop off of the couch and play on the floor, we helped Finnlegh adjust to that too. All of the encouragement paid off.

With continued commands from us, Finnlegh learned to be gentle with Geronimo. Finnlegh would go and sniff our rabbit or give him a kiss. Sometimes Finnlegh would be lying on the floor and let Geronimo hop right on top of him. When our rabbit became playful, Finnlegh would become playful too. He would chase Geornimo a bit and sometimes they would play a mix between a game of hide-and-go-seek and tag around the old trunk that we use as a coffee table. Finnlegh and Geronimo have become best friends, which would fascinate people who see a relationship between a dog and a rabbit as being extremely difficult. It also teaches us a lesson: If a dog and a rabbit can become best friends, maybe it's possible that we humans can get along better with each other and we can make the world a more peaceful place.


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