I mentioned in a previous post that I have two rabbits, Maggie and Dean.
Those of you who’ve had rabbits as pets will appreciate their intelligence, humor and, most of all, their tenacity. If a rabbit decides it’s going to do something, the something gets done.
When we brought Dean home, he sniffed out the house, curious-hopped his way upstairs, and found his personal utopia – under our bed. If you’ve ever tried to catch a rabbit that doesn’t want to be caught, you’ll understand why this was an issue.
It was clear the bedroom had to be off limits to lagomorphs. We closed the door, and assumed that would be the end of it.
We were so very, very, wrong.
It started with little scratches at the door. “No, Dean!” I scolded, as I shooed him away.
The scratches eventually stopped.
The digging started.
We couldn’t get him to leave the door. No matter what we did, he would run upstairs and dig at the door, trying to burrow his way into the room. This went on until one day we noticed a hole in the carpet.
We grabbed a small, cement garden gnome and placed it over the section of carpet Dean had been digging at. It was too heavy for him to move, and we hoped it would deter him from his quest.
It did not.
He turned his attention to the door itself. He sniffed at it. Eventually, he found the weak spot. Standing on his back paws and leaning over the gnome, he pushed the door with his nose. We heard a creeeak, and under the bed he went.
We knew we had to up our game.
We padded the back of the door with a rolled up towel, hoping he wouldn’t be strong enough to push the door open with it in behind.
Up the stairs Dean went and, realizing the door wouldn’t budge, he started to sniff underneath it. He flattened himself to the ground, stuck his nose under the door, and gripped the towel. Once he had it in his teeth, he pulled and dug at it until it came free. The obstacle now out of the way, he pushed the door open and went back under the bed.
“I think we need a baby gate”, I suggested, as we tried to chase him out.
We set the baby gate up on the 2nd step from the bottom of the staircase, so that its top was a good 4 feet or more off the ground in our dining room. The whole 2nd storey was now a No Lagomorph Zone.
“There’s no way he’s getting over that”, my husband said.
Dean hopped over to the gate. He sniffed. He backed up and stared at it. He stood up on his back paws to look over it. But he didn’t try to jump, and after about 10 minutes he hopped away from it, uninterested.
The next morning, he hopped over to the staircase, sniffed, looked, then turned to the dining room. When he was about 6 feet from the staircase, he stopped and looked over his shoulder. He pivoted to face the stairs. He stamped his feet, then took off at a mad pace. He launched himself airborne using the first step for leverage and over the gate he went, kicking it down with his back paws as he glided over. Up the stairs he flew, stopping only briefly on the landing to look back at his victory.
We could do nothing but laugh and applaud his tenacity. Dean won, and our bedroom was his.
The moral of today’s story, friends, is simple. Don’t let “the wall” get in your way.
Jump over it.
Kick it down.
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