Sunday, December 28, 2014

in memory of a good rabbit

Yesterday morning my husband went out to do the chores, since the older two boys had left at 7:45 for track practice. Yes, they practice over break, and yes, the college boys join in when they are home. We were in a bit of a rush ourselves, as we had tickets to a matinee performance of La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC, my siblings and our Christmas gift to my parents.

I knew what he was going to say the minute I heard him knocking urgently on the back door. Oreo the rabbit had died.

His first day on the farm, May 2007

Oreo, a black Dutch rabbit, has been a fixture in our lives for many years, ever since 2007 when Secondo was finally judged responsible enough to have the rabbit for which he had been begging for years. We found a breeder in MA, perfect timing for a wedding we were attending over Memorial Day weekend. When the breeder handed the kit to Secondo, he immediately snuggled up against Secondo's neck. That was all it took: no other bunnies were even considered.

Meeting new children; he was always friendly

For the rest of his life, when anyone picked up Oreo, he would snuggle up right under the holder's chin. He was an affectionate and amiable bun, and so won us all over. We never imagined, before owning one, that a rabbit could have such personality and be such an engaging pet.

Keeping Primo warm at a 4-H petting zoo in 2008

As my friend Jenn pointed out when I shared the news of his passing, he was a bunny of many lives. He survived a dog attack rescue (we will never know the truth). He survived a blockage while we were on vacation, thanks to dedicated nursing by Patty. He survived not one but two bouts of fly strike, the first nastier than the second, but both life threatening.

His first 4-H rabbit show

He put up with many a rabbit show and petting zoo and costume contest, all in the name of 4-H.

4-H show 2011; slightly tubbier but in surprisingly 
good shape after his first bout of fly strike

Through it all, he continued to snuggle against our necks. He loved to be petted and would fold his ears against his back in pleasure, pulling himself up into a compact soft furry ball that your hand just ran down over, getting as much pleasure as (I assume) you gave.

February 2014, still loving to be held (even though he doesn't look it)

My husband and I knew he was slowing down considerably. For a few months now, I had suspected that this was going to be his last winter. He died on a relatively warm day, outside in his hutch, the place he most preferred to be. Oreo, devoted pet of Secondo and connoisseur of dandelion leaves, you will be missed.


  1. So sorry to her it, Kris. I never realized rabbits were that long-lived. 7 years is pretty impressive.

  2. I'm saddened to hear this. My deepest sympathies to the whole family, and especially Nate. Bunnies are very special friends.