Riley, My Faithful Companion
At the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, I lost my beloved Australian Shepherd, Riley, to old age. Naturally I was heartbroken; I had spent 15+ years with my faithful companion taking walks, playing ball, and with me administering medication as Riley was diagnosed with epilepsy at age six.
I spent the next several months in lockdown with most of Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. It gave me plenty of time to think and mull over the decision of adding another pet to our household. How would it impact our family dynamics? I had two cats and was concerned how they would react to a new animal. I wasn’t entirely convinced another dog was what I wanted either; Dogs need training, socialization, and regular exercise. I wasn’t sure I was ready for that commitment again.
While having a conversation with my husband one day, he said, “Why don’t you get a rabbit?” That question led me to PetFinder where I learned there was a rabbit rescue located in Erie, and it wasn’t long before I was in contact with the Erie Area Rabbit Society and Rescue. (E.A.R.S)
I visited the shelter and met with co-founder Ron Steger. Ron gave me a tour of the shelter and introduced me to the rabbits. My first impression was that it didn’t seem like a rescue at all, at least not in the usual sense. There was no odor, there was no barking or loud noises, everything was neat and orderly. I was impressed and knew immediately I was in the right place. In fact, this was something I wanted to be a part of. Not only as an adopter, but as a volunteer. Ron was so helpful and shared his knowledge and passion for rabbits with me. He made such an impact that I didn’t just adopt one rabbit, but two.
Rabbits are often misunderstood and in the following posts we’ll explore rabbit diet, care, preferences, and intelligence. In the meantime, a lot of useful information can be found at rabbit.org.