Our beautiful rabbit Doof is no longer a bachelor. He never complained about his solitary state, but we worried that he was lonely. We always worry that our pets might be lonely, but we especially worried about Doof because he lived in aloof splendor in our back yard.
After being rejected by the local animal shelters because Doof lives outdoors instead of inside, we turned to Craigslist and quickly found a perky female rabbit whose owners were moving to Oregon. Meet Pumpkin:
Pumpkin is a feisty rabbit who was found in a box in her former owners’ back yard. She knows what she wants and flicks her white tail or gives a little grunt when she doesn’t get it.
The courtship itself consisted of a meeting in the living room of Pumpkin’s former family, where the two rabbits each tried to show the other one who was boss by climbing on top of each other. The one who manages to get on top is the boss. (Life is simple in the rabbit world.) The results of this first meeting were inconclusive, but we thought since they didn’t actually try to kill each other, the outlook was good. So Pumpkin and all of her rabbit paraphernalia came home with us and moved into the back yard.
It took a few days of chaperoned visits and chasing and mounting each other before they came to an understanding. When they started to groom each other, nibbling on each other’s ears and (in Pumpkin’s case) pulling out little tufts of Doof’s fur, we knew the corner had been turned. They were ready to share the same food trough.
Now they act like an old couple that has been together a long time. They sleep nestled together. They dig holes together and hide in the bushes together. Once I came into the back yard and found them both sitting together on our folding camp chair. The only time they fight is when treats appear. Then they scramble on top of each other and try to grab the food out of each other’s mouths. When it comes to food, it’s every rabbit for him or herself.