The longer the wait ...

By David Dickson

Adopting an animal is not a decision to be made lightly. It’s a big commitment! While love at first sight can and does happen, that’s really only part of the picture. There are plenty of other considerations to examine before taking the plunge. However, it’s a funny thing. Even after doing lengthy research ahead of time, especially if it’s your first time adopting an animal of a certain species, that magical connection seems just as spontaneous and enchanting even when you’ve been hoping and dreaming, waiting and planning to adopt.

Eleven-year-old Kristen from Cedar City, Utah, had been asking her parents to adopt a rabbit for over a year. During that time, the family had an upcoming move planned, which meant the decision to adopt had to put off for a little while. Undaunted, Kristen used the extra time to research everything she could about rabbits: how to care for them, what they needed to be happy, and, of course, where she might be able to adopt one.

HEKristen double rabbit adoption
Kristen with Biddy Girl and Rocky Top

That research stage truly is important for any pet, but may be even more so with rabbits. Best Friends rabbit manager Debby Widolf explains that sometimes potential adopters think that rabbits are a perfect first pet for their young children. Often, quite the opposite is true. Rabbits can be and certainly are great pets, even for families with young kids, but they’re also a lot of work and require a certain level of understanding. Rabbits don’t always want to snuggle, for one thing, which can be hard for young kids who want their new pet rabbit to behave like the puppy at their buddy’s house down the street.

In this case, the research only strengthened Kristen’s resolve. After the year was up and the family settled into their new home, Kristen still wanted a rabbit more than ever. Seeing how she’d discovered Best Friends during her investigating, she managed to convince her parents to plan a family trip down to the Sanctuary (shrewd kid!). To be clear, while Kristen was prepared to be the primary caregiver for the rabbit, this would be the whole family’s decision, and the whole family’s companion animal.

All her persistence paid off, and the family came down for a visit. There was one rabbit in particular that Kristen had had her eye on before even arriving. "Biddy Girl was a bunny I originally picked out on the Internet," she says.

Biddy Girl came to Best Friends several years ago from a rabbit rescue like no other Best Friends has seen before or since. Biddy Girl lived with over 1,000 other rabbits in a single backyard in Reno, Nevada, where a population explosion resulted from unchecked breeding. Many of the rabbits were painfully shy toward people in the beginning. After all, they’d had such little contact with humans. Over the years, however, the Reno rabbits have come to accept and trust people much more than in the beginning.

When Kristen and family arrived at the Sanctuary, they spent time visiting all the rabbits. Gotta make sure you give everybody a fair chance, right? Yet once Kristen met Biddy Girl face to face, along with her bonded friend Rocky Top, Kristen was sold. Love at first sight, indeed! (Even if it took a long time to arrange!) "She just lit up when she found them," explains her mom, Nancy.

Just because you come in with a hunch, hoping for that spark, that connection, it doesn’t make it a guarantee, or any less special when it does happen. There’s nothing quite like the chemistry of meeting for the first time.

The whole family felt the same way and decided to adopt. Kristen now enjoys waking up every morning early to feed the pair their pellets and give them fresh water, as well as plenty of hay. Then she makes sure they have lots of tasty greens after school. She plays with them every chance she gets. Kristen is finding out that rabbits do indeed take a lot of work, but she’s having a blast. When asked what she enjoys about each rabbit, she said, "Rocky Top is inquisitive, shy but wants to explore, and just his whole character. Biddy Girl lets me pet her, she just chills."

Kristen’s 5-year-old little brother also enjoys being around the rabbits, especially when he gets a chance to feed them some greens. For anybody who has never watched a rabbit eat a stalk of cilantro or parsley, sucking it into their mouth like a spaghetti noodle one tiny bit at a time, it’s quite an impressive sight. "We all enjoy the rabbits," adds Nancy.

Rocky Toy and Biddy Girl might have had a rough start back in their early days in Reno, but as Kristen and family have found out recently, the longer the wait, the sweeter the reward! Congrats to all.

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