Lily and Milo
We’d been considering adopting rabbits for about a year, partly for the “adorable companion” factor, and partly because they seemed to be somewhere between a dog and a cat in terms of work required. (Also: Rob’s highly allergic to cats.) During that time, I had done a lot of reading about rabbits, their diet, behavior and health issues — mainly through the House Rabbit Society and its Maryland / D.C./ NoVa chapter — and I went into it with a good idea of what to expect.
That said, when it finally happened, I don’t think I was quite ready for the crushing emotional weight of the responsibility: Are they fed? Are they watered? Are they pooping? Are they happy? Are they annoying the neighbors? Who takes care of them when we’re away? (Keep in mind that my only previous pet had been a betta fish, about ten years earlier, and I’ve not yet stepped into the emotional minefield that is parenthood.) It took a week or so to settle into a solid routine with them, and I think they’re still slowly warming up to us.
We adopted the buns from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. We were particularly interested in a bonded pair so that they wouldn’t be lonely while we were away at work during the day. Milo and Lily had been surrendered to the shelter a few weeks earlier for reasons that were a little unclear (I’m not sure how much information the volunteers I spoke to knew or were at liberty to disclose), but they seem to have been well cared for prior to their arrival. As we were introduced to the rabbits, we spoke at length with the shelter’s rabbit specialist, who gave us excellent advice about diet and local vet and pet food resources.
As they’ve settled in at our place, it’s been neat to see their very distinct personalities start to come through. Milo is sweet and easygoing, but terrified of the Roomba and sometimes prone to early-morning “feed me now” thumping. He’s very good at disapproving. Lily is very curious and apt to explore — and actively tests any system that tries to contain her. She’s also a chewer and likes to gnaw on anything from kitchen baseboards to the bars of her cage.