Cookie the Bunny (April 2011-December 2013)

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Tatum falling in love with Cookie immediately.

We got Cookie last June at the Mohawk Valley Poultry Swap.  She was tiny and adorable and Tatum fell in love with her immediately.

At first, we built her a hutch that lived in the garage. She had room to hop a bit and all of her needs were met.

Still, while bunnies like to hop, they also need to be able to burrow and dig, and we didn’t want to deprive her of that.

In the warmer months, we would take her out everyday and let her hop around and burrow and dig in the part of the garden that wasn’t planted or at least alongside the parts that were.

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A meeting of the General Council

These outings were always well attended.

The dogs and the cats would come to see what this delicious looking adorable creature was up to.  Periodically, the dog, cat, and rabbit would meet at the point where the fences come together, each in his or her own sector, and just look at each other.  I could see where Gary Larsen got his inspiration for the Far Side comic strips every time.

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Amy proved to be an excellent lapin lover

Cookie was, among other things, a popular tourist attraction.  Every visitor to our little farm would invariably end up holding her for at least a little while.  Some folks would find themselves carrying her around for ages without a second thought.  If it was someone’s first visit to the farm, Sophie would run off, collect Cookie, and thrust her into the arms of whoever seemed the most likely candidate for lapin love.

She was not a high-maintenance animal.

This morning, I looked out the window and noticed that Cookie was uncharacteristically still in the center of her enclosure.  Dave happened to be outside at the time and I asked him if she was okay.  He walked over and looked at her, looked back at me, and shook his head.  Something had gotten her during the night.

My older daughter wanted to blame one of the barn cats.

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Perhaps Jammie the Cat did eventually jump the low fence

It’s a reasonable assumption.  This particular cat spent a good amount of time camped out just on the other side of Cookie’s fence.  We always marveled at the fact that the cat didn’t just hop the low fence and have at it.  Maybe he finally did last night–maybe not.  We’ll never really know and, of course, it doesn’t matter at all.  If Sophie wants to blame the cat, that’s okay with me.

Cookie’s life may have been short, but we think it was about as good as a bunny’s life can be.  She got to live outside, while still having a reasonably safe enclosure, food, water, and lots of room to dig and burrow.  Her elaborate system of tunnels will, no doubt, be used and enjoyed by future inhabitants.

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So long, Cookie!

We have experienced more death in our life as farmers than we’d expected.  There are the planned ones (namely pigs and roosters), but then there are the ones that you just don’t see coming (Simon the cat, Cindy the goat, and now Cookie the bunny).

People say you get used to it over time, but that’s really just not true.  I don’t think we ever get used to someone we love going away forever.  Simply by choosing to keep pets (of any kind) we are knowingly signing up for eventual heartbreak and yet we do it all the time, again and again.  I guess it’s just worth it.

Now, let’s go get ourselves another bunny!

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8 Responses to Cookie the Bunny (April 2011-December 2013)

  1. TWO bunnies. I believe my bunny keeper friend vehemently assured me bunnies get very lonesome. So go on. Go get Cookie 2 and Cutter.

    • That’s interesting. When we got Cookie, we were planning on getting two bunnies and the woman selling them would only sell us one. She said that bunnies do not like to share their space with other bunnies. Since then, I’ve noticed that everyone seems to keep only one at a time. I’ll have to do some research.

  2. Paul Peña says:

    My condolences. It IS worth it.

  3. :( That was somewhat our fate with bunnies, too. And still, I sometimes find myself pondering getting another one!

  4. Youngest son requested a brown bunny from a litter my mother’s rabbit had. Being my mother she gave him TWO black ones, both males. Male rabbits, in particular, do not like to be in the same pen once they reach adolescence. These two would fight until blood was drawn. We finally let them free range. We could pick them up at first and then they became too “wild”. We could not catch them this fall. One met his demise in the road and the other has not been seen since Christmas day. I share your love and heartbreak for any farm animal but it does come with the territory.

  5. CJ says:

    RIP Cookie – love to read about your farm but couldn’t do what you do – I would spend half my time crying over dead critters…..
    Happy New Year!

  6. Bill says:

    I read this when you posted it but am only now getting around to commenting. We know what it’s like to lose a pet rabbit. Our daughter’s rabbit Tobi made the trip here with us from Florida (where he once escaped under the fence in our backyard and miraculously survived a couple of days in the suburban wild before we found him, returned him to his cage and no longer gave him the privilege of hopping around in the yard), but died a while back. Presumably of old age.

    When I was a boy I kept rabbits for while. I kept them in a pen that was a few feet off the ground. It was thrilled when my Daddy built a fence to put them in (mainly because it meant I wouldn’t have to clean the pen anymore). They loved their more natural environment. They dug a den and had babies. But one morning I went to check on them and they were gone. I found only the balled up remnants of one of them. I like to like the others abandoned the area, but likely they were all killed and eaten.

    I agree with you that death on a farm is unavoidable, and like you I don’t ever want to get used to it. We’ve lost several kids during this kidding season. A few them I had to euthanize. That really sucks. There’s been a lot of death here over the last few weeks, most of it just the kind of things that are “normal” for this time of year (hunting, processing animals, dealing with varmints, and the fact that farm animals just die sometimes). It’s farm reality, but it still sucks. What sucks worse, I think, is a life oblivious to this reality.

    • Very true, Bill. I often wish I could maintain an emotional distance from all of them, but it’s just not what I’m made of. I imagine if I didn’t care about the animals, they wouldn’t enjoy the quality of life that they do–and that’s really been the point all along.

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