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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Find Yourself Some Bunny To Love


About two years ago, I was standing in the checkout line of one of my students. Jen was a quiet, friendly girl who had no idea that her next sentence was about to change my life in a very profound and meaningful way. Here is what she said to me:

"Oh, Mrs. D., you know, you can pick up any of the bunnies anytime! You don't even have to be buying one. As long as the top is off the little display area, you're free to pick them up and hold any one of them."

Suddenly, it was as if there was a tectonic shift below my feet. Continents collided, oceans spilled their briny and finny contents onto arid sands and arctic shelves alike. The earth held still, no longer rotating upon its axis while black holes swallowed light years' worth of galaxies and celestial bodies of planetary relics. The jet stream halted its flow and not a breath of air moved, not even a whisper of a breeze; majestic eagles and mighty condors gliding on its updraft began to plummet to the ground, saved only by genetic instinct bred of generations. A small child at a church carnival in Boise wept as her scoop of raspberry ripple ice cream fell off its cone and plopped on the hot pavement.

My pen jerked an extra "S" and I wrote "Pet Supplies Pluss" in the Pay to the Order of blank on my check. "What!?" I said, snapping my head up to meet her gaze.

"People do it all the time," she said. "That's why they're in there."

From that moment on, I have been a shameless bunny visitor to my local pet store. I go there simply to pet and hold bunnies. And I don't care who knows it.

Oh, sure, I used to pretend I was there to actually buy a bunny at first. But only if someone came by or seemed to be looking at me. And, yes, I used to actually buy something when I went. I cannot tell you how many separate cans of cat food or cat toys I used to buy. But after a while, I just went there for no other reason than to hold and pet bunnies. The nice thing about our pet store is that it is in the same shopping strip as a Target and a grocery store and a Home Depot. That makes it way easy to simply stop off and grab some bunny time.

Feeling depressed? Go and hold a bunny. Feeling bored? Go and pet some bunnies. Too cold outside to do much of anything? Go hold bunnies. Too far away from payday to feel good about shopping for shoes? Go grab some bunny time. Spring break this year was, as you know, in March. In Northeast Ohio, March is Wintertime. Spring break made me want to slit my wrists. It was cold, dark, depressing, and awful. I basically camped out with the bunnies.

Now, you might be saying, "Nance, why don't you just go ahead and buy a frikking bunny already?" One word: RICK. The husband is not on board with a bunny. He has basically said that until Emily (the blind toothless 18-year old cat) dies, there will be no more pets. (Interesting note: He tried claiming the six outdoor pond fish as pets. I maintain they do not count. Can I get a ruling?)

Jared claims that soon, the pet store people will be "on to" my bunny habit and will put a stop to it. That they'll one day come up to me and say, "Excuse me, ma'am, but you can't just keep coming in here semi-weekly and pick up the bunnies and cuddle them and then leave. In the first place, it's just weird. In the second place, at some point, you should buy one or at least have the intent to buy one. Finally, we are not licensed therapists." After I tell Jared to shut the hell up, I tell him not to worry. For, it is at this point that I plan to play my trump card and this it is: I will tell them that I am a Bunny Whisperer.

Mainly because I believe that this is true. All bunnies love me. Not once has a single bunny struggled or resisted me. They all snuggle up to my neck and chin and relax completely. I speak softly and calmly to them. And when I leave, they all look sorry to see me go.

How does that old song go? "You're no bunny till some bunny loves you...you're no bunny till some bunny cares...."

21 comments:

  1. You've just given me something to add to my list of things to do while unemployed.
    I live next door to one of the biggest pet stores in the city, and never go in because I have no animals....

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  2. I've never held a bunny. I'm thinking it feels like a short legged fat cat for some reason. I don't see a problem holding them in the store, after all we can squirt free lotion on our hands at the cosmetic counter...right? Pluss, when you just visit them from time to time you don't have to clean up after them. ;) Bunny whisperer, who knew?

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  3. Nance,

    Pretty soon the owners of the bunny shop will be treating you in the same way the casino owners treat a card counter who tries to play blackjack in their casino.

    They will BAR you from their store and you will have to resort to disguises.

    I can see it now. The bunnies will be waiting for you to come in and whisper sweet nothings to them but Nance the school teacher does not appear, but Mata Hari does, or Mary Poppins pops in or Alice in Wonderland appears from behind her looking glass. You will become a master of disguise.

    You will spend every waking hour devising costumes and schemes that will allow you to pet the bunnies.

    You think you are getting away with your nefarious scheme but the pet shop owner is sure to recognize you, despite your clever costume as you stand there petting your favorite gray and white bunny in your Marie Antoinette outfit.

    He will tell you that although your costume was quite clever and he didn't know your nose or your lips or your eyes,he knew it was you because he recognized the HARE.....

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  4. There's a pet store near us that lets you hold puppies! They have roughly 2 dozen puppies or more, and you can hold any one you want. I mean, it's obviously meant to help you decide which one you want, but my friend and I have gone just to play and cuddle them. They also have bunnies, but the bunnies are always skittish around me which makes them hard to hold. It makes me sad.

    On several occasions, I've befriended birds. I can't remember what kind of bird, but more than once I've been holding one that just will not let go of my hand. I don't blame it--there are too many birds in those "cages".

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  5. OMG!!! You've got to be kidding me?!?!? This is totally something that I would do! Actually, I often pet the bunnies in the said store. However, I am most definitely not a bunny whisperer, they always run away from me as though they don't want to be bothered and my feelings are always hurt. It seems like the birds there don't like me either :(

    I used to be a frequent visitor to the pet store at the mall so I could play with the the doped up puppies. Because I am a Dog Whisperer, they all love me and want to live with me. But those puppies are full of diseases (says my dog groomer friend who has seen lots of them die) so I don't dare hold them anymore in fear that I may pass something along to one of my precious pups or far worse, my baby boy!

    The fish in the pond are NOT pets.

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  6. Ohhhh!! BUNNIES!!! I WUV BUNNIES!!!

    That's such a cute widdle bunny, too!

    Odd, I've never thought about going to the pet store to cuddle with a bunny without apparent reason. I'll have to try that sometime...

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  7. Oh, and fish are fish, not pets.

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  8. ck--seriously, even though i care about my fish, they are not able to even BE petted. and i highly recommend bunny visiting. just don't take all the clowns at once. lol.

    nina--i always feel sad for the dogs at Petsmart when they have the rescued dogs. they look so sad and you KNOW they already have sad stories! as you know, i am not a Dog Person, except for watching Dog Shows.

    jenomena--i once had a finch named...ATTICUS!

    nancy--you really had to reach for that, but it was just about worth it. good puns always are. and i am not at all averse to going to great lengths if it means i can continue to hold bunnies.

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  9. simplypink--i've never thought of my visits as "bunny sampling." but i really, really like it! thanks!

    princess of the universe--glad to help! enjoy your visits. you may even end up adopting. bunnies can be litterbox trained, you know.

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  10. Oh, Nance, this post and the fact that you are a bunny whisperer is absolutely delightful!! I needed this post today. I never knew you could pet the bunnies like that eiher. Your son's comments are hysterical, but really you are doing them a great service. Imagine how much happier and healthier those bunnies are because they are getting love and affection!! I have never petted one before in a store because I thought it was not allowed. I absolutely adore bunnies. Right now I satisfy myself by loving on my son's chinchilla (as much as Mr. Chinchilla, i.e., Balashi, will let me ... usually when I have raisins in hand). The two bunnies shown here today are so very sweet.

    Maybe I've already told you but I decorated my son's nursery in Peter Rabbit and I still have most of those items. I just reincorporated them elsewhere in the house. LOL

    Thanks, Nance, the bunny whisperer. I bow to you for all the love and affection you give to those pet store bunnies.

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  11. Take all the clowns at once? Who said anything about taking the clowns?! ;D

    BUNNIES!!!

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  12. ck--there is nothing like quality time alone with bunnies. seriously, i am going there this weekend.

    shirley--i'm so glad my post was therapeutic for you! and i had no idea chinchillas ate raisins. that sounds so funny. AND I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE SAVING THAT CHINCHILLA FROM BEING A COAT OR A JACKET! YOU ARE A HERO.

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  13. Fish outside in a pond, not a pet. A fish in a tank in the house, yes. Our fish has a great personality, actually.

    As for the bunnehs, I think they are cute, but they are all yours.

    If we were to ever get a furry non-dog pet, it would have to be a guinea pig.

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  14. I'm totally with you, but for me, it's horses. I don't want to actually have to feed and clean and pick up after a horse, but to go and pet them and just *be* with them...I love that.

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  15. Petting bunnies is nice. Owning bunnies is not says the woman who cared for a friend's bunny for more than a week once. Even my children agreed with me: giving the bunny back at the end of our week together was the best part.

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  16. When I was younger, one of the pet shops in town had a parrot for sale for about $1,500. It talked quite a bit, and so my mom and I stopped in whenever we drove past it. Just to say hi.

    Then someone bought it. Boo! Didn't they realize it was there solely for my entertainment?

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  17. *whispers*

    bunnies! ;D

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  18. i.h.--but you should be glad, at least, that it found a home. hopefully, it is not being taught naughty words, though. if i had a talking pet, i would teach it marvelous literary quotes. but likely it would pick up the less stellar comments we make at the Dept.

    v-grrrl--i remember well your bunny-sitting ordeal, but remember that, like children, someone else's do not have benefit of YOUR rearing. your very own bunny would be much different and much better.

    j.@jj--horses are too tall for me. i cannot really cuddle them.

    gina--i used to have guinea pigs. they were very cute and had lots of personality. they used to whistle really loudly when i'd open the crisper drawer. and i loved bathing them.

    ck--you're like a blog stalker. lol.

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  19. I love the side bunny photo and quote...so very cute!

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  20. Nance...I am so glad that you received this news. I know how you love those bunnies!!! By the way...that 3rd paragraph is something to be envied...the writing is just exquisite! One question...Boise?

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  21. nina--thanks. i like that one, too.

    tera--lol. you must have a new post up, or else you wouldn't have stopped by. hee hee. and thanks for noticing that third paragraph. it was fun to write it, and i'm sorta proud of it myself. yeah, Boise. i was going for a real middle-american sounding city.

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