Thursday, February 9, 2017

Bunnies Bunnies Everywhere!

Picture a warehouse full of long tables, wire cages, and thousands of rabbits. Thousands. There are big rabbits like Flemish Giants that look like medium sized dogs only more fleshy, loppy, and lazy. A young girl lugs one around. Its legs dangle almost to the floor, and its head bobs like a large Raggedy Ann doll. There are the tiny rabbits. The dwarf hotots that look like fancy Guinea pigs wearing eyeliner. And then there are the medium sized rabbits. This is where we fit in, amongst the mini lops with their long wide ears, the dutch with their clean fur lines (like oreos), and the mini rex with their velvety coats. Soon the long tables are filled with waterbottles, towels, hay, grooming kits, and breed standard books.

It is the PASRBA rabbit show. And it is our first year to come as more than spectators and buyers, but as participants in the youth show.

We watch the judging begin...all senior buck dutch rabbits are brought to the judging table. The distinguished, white-haired judge looks with a critical eye over the judging stock. Seriously, he looks as though he's walked out of a masterpiece theater episode with his expression of proper distain. All he needs is a pipe and a tweed jacket. The mini lop judge looks like a California beach girl, down to the sunkissed, straight hair and the sunglasses with blue lenses that perch on her head for the entire six hours of judging.
The rabbits are judged by a "Standard of Perfection." We experience the gamut of results: one disqualification (poor Snoopy!), a third place, a fourth place, and a winner for variety. Amelia's Tetrus, shown below, is awarded first place in Otter category.
The true joy comes in selecting new rabbit purchases. We are so grateful for kind, experienced breeders who take the time to teach and train when we purchase a rabbit. These nationally ranked breeders are willing to invest in the 4H-ers. They lower their prices by more than $100/per rabbit.

We come home with six new rabbits...and a new breed (Netherland Dwarfs for Elise). We also bring home a new set of cages, because, well, SIX new rabbits on top of our somewhat large brood already at home. I have a shocking moment of "What have we done?" when I see our new line up of cages. But then I remind myself that life is short. And bunnies are joy. So the more bunnies, the more joy!

We stop for dinner because everyone is starving. You get really hungry when the day starts at 4AM. We ride the high of the event; everyone has something to celebrate whether a win or a new rabbit. We splurge and purchase a bakery item for everyone!
When we return home, it is late. But even though it has been a long day, everyone rallies to clean the garage to make room for the new set of cages. We sweep, organize, rearrange, and install plastic sheeting. 

Why do we do this? Why do we turn our garage into a barn? Why do we invest time and money into rabbits? Why do we spend an entire Saturday at a rabbit show? Well number one, it's a family activity. Rabbits are the only activity, besides church, that every member of the family can do together. My teenagers are as engaged as my eight year old. Number two, cuteness!! Oh we love these fluffy sweet creatures. Holding rabbits is like holding handfulls of joy, laughter, and comfort.

Meet Lucy. She is my rabbit. Yes, I bought her at the show. And yes, she is as sweet, floppy, soft, and cuddly as she looks.


  1. You are amazing Holly! I'm so grateful for your example!

  2. And Lucy looks like she belongs to you already!