Ten Years a Rabbit

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Today, we celebrate Peanut Chew’s 10th birthday. This is a huge milestone for such a little creature. Shocker. Now, I didn’t start out as a rabbit lover. In fact, when the idea first occurred to Melissa I dismissed it. At that point I was more of a cat person, we had had Mathew, our family Maine Coon, for over 20 years, and I didn’t even think of any other type of animal. Let alone a rabbit. But something peaked my interest, not sure what, and it has been true love ever since.

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So, to be honest, we don’t officially know Peanut’s birthday as we do with Cassie and Chloe. I know, another shocker right, we’ve been celebrating on this day for the last nine years. We got him on January 8th in 2006 and we were told he was about 9 weeks old so we just guessed the date. But in all fairness, we needed to give him a birthday, so at least we could celebrate each year and know how old the little man was.

After talking about getting a rabbit on and off for some time, Melissa and I finally decided to go pick up a rabbit. We had been living for the last few months in an apartment and figured we needed a little fur in our lives. Our thought was that this was supposed to be a dwarf rabbit and that he wouldn’t get that big. But he ended up being something between a dwarf and a regular bunny. Which was fine, either way he didn’t get that big.

We went to one of the local pet stores that sold rabbits, the one by us is Pet Goods, and we had an option between two. I personally like the rabbits with the ears sticking up, not the lop eared ones that hang down. When we walked in to decide which bunny Peanut was lying there against the window, relaxing and I instantly knew he was to be ours.

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Something just clicked and I knew that was our bunny. After we collected all we needed to make sure he was going to be happy (cage, litter, food, bowl, water canister, hay, etc) and a little bit of deliberating on the part of Melissa, we got the little guy. They put him in a little box and off we were.

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Next, we had to decide on a name. For some reason I instantly thought he should be named Chewbacca, after the tall walking carpet from the original Star Wars trilogy. I was instantly vetoed and was told “It should be Peanut, since he’s supposed to stay small”. Somehow, we compromised and his name became Peanut Chew. We threw in my father’s first name as Peanut’s middle name and that was that.

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We stayed in the apartment with Peanut for a few more years and it was a great little home for the small wonder. He was given access to everything, while we were there. Mostly the living room, dining room and the small hallway to our bedroom. We tried to keep him out of the bedroom, but that would always manage to get in there.

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One quick story that comes to mind was this one day that he got into the bedroom and I walked in on him roaming around. I went to go get him and he ducked under the bed, which, from my recollection, the only thing we had underneath of there was a metal cover to where the air conditioner went. I freaked because I didn’t want him on the metal cover in case there were sharp edges on it and he was being a jerk and not coming out from underneath. I called for Melissa for help and she came running and as she was coming around the corner Peanut ran out from under the bed and right in the same direction. She startled him as she appeared and he leaped up in the air in shock and drop kicked off of her leg and into the living room. As I write this I’m laughing.

Here are some quick ones:

The apartment was where we learned to keep the under part of the Christmas tree covered because noisey little bunny would go under and not only eat the tree but strip wrapping paper off of presents.

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One day the apartment association was having all of the windows replaced and they needed access to the room, however we didn’t have a place for Peanut to go as Melissa and I were both busy with work and my parents (who normally can take care of Peanut) were also busy. Which left us with no place for the little rabbit to go. I somehow managed to put him in the walking closet and left the window cracked with a fan on to give him air and keep him cool. He was fine.

We also tried to have Peanut sleep in bed with us, that lasted about 30 seconds as he jumped off and ran into the living room.

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One morning I woke up and the top of Peanut’s cage was open. Where could he have gone?! I looked all over and finally look under our entertainment center and he was there. I went to grab him and he thumped at me and ran away. I finally got him and put him back but he was very cocky thinking he could do whatever he wanted. When we moved out of the apartment we would realize that a lot of the wires under the entertainment center were almost completely chewed through leading my father-in-law to ask “How is he still alive?”

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In 2008 we moved into our house and with that came Peanut. He went from the small apartment into the big house and we didn’t quite know where to put him. This would take a few months to figure out as we had him in three different places before settling where he has been for the majority of his existence.

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For a few months Peanut had the run of the living room until we got Rocket Dog (now known as Rocky). Rocket is a little chihuahua that was never meant to be our dog as he bonded with Melissa’s father from the very beginning. Rocket would stay a mere two weeks at our house before being taken back to where he always belonged, with Bruce.

I’d joke that Peanut got happy after Rocket, then Rocky, left and could be heard singing a song to the tune of Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, but instead of Billie Jean, it was Rocket Dog.

“Rocket Dog’s not my brother…”

Look it up if you don’t know the song.

A few more months would go by and as fate would have it, I saw a little flier in the local A&P supermarket (which is as of this writing, closing) with some local person selling some Golden Retriever puppies. Melissa had always said that if I ever saw Golden Retriever puppies for sale we would get one.

And we did.

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Cassie Mae would be brought into our new house in late September. He didn’t really care at first and she didn’t know any better. And we did everything with them. These two were our kids. We even dressed them up for Halloween.

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Cassie and Peanut have an interesting relationship, they tolerate each other. Peanut wants her to go the way of Rocky and Cassie just wants to taste him. But they live, side by side with each other. Mostly ignoring each other.

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And all was well…until March of 2009.

Peanut just stopped eating and just laying there. We thought maybe he just wasn’t happy about Cassie staying around. Then when day we got home and he was just laying down with his head on the litter of his cage and he wasn’t getting up. We rushed him over to his vet.

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After some investigating they did an x-ray and found a ball of (from what we remember was) calcium in his system that was blocking him from going to the bathroom. And it had to be removed.

Now, when I tell you Peanut is legendary, I’m not kidding. This vet’s office still tells stories about that rabbit that had that surgery. We went in with him about a year ago to the doctor that performed the surgery and all the vet techs were chattering about this rabbit and how special he is.

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When we got to take Peanut home after the surgery, he was skinny and had to have a cone around his head. But we were thanked by another vet there (both of which are still there and we love both of them) because he said that most people would have put the rabbit to sleep and we gave this “remarkable little animal” a chance.

Peanut was back up and moving soon after all this.

It would be Peanut and Cassie for some time after this, until that fateful day we were told that Cassie’s dog mom and dad were having another litter. And in December of 2010, we welcomed Chloe Alabama.

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Our little Chloe was a bundle of joy from the very beginning. She barked at Peanut the first time she saw him but has been in love her rabbit brother ever since. I’ve caught her staring at him adoringly many times, she walks over curiously when he is out in the living room and sit next to him and he allows it. I feel like he genuinely likes Chloe. Probably how different of a personality she is to Cassie. These two really enjoy each others company.

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For the next few years these three were our kids. Honestly, they still are, they are our fur babies.

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Then Miles came and Peanut has mostly been un-phased by him. The two of them haven’t had too much interaction with each other. Peanut is in his cage and only comes out after 8 at night (something that has always happened) and Miles is usually asleep by that time. Only on purpose do these two meet.

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But Peanut seems indifferent to Miles. Which is fine.

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As Peanut has gotten older, he’s definitely slowed down, no longer does he venture very far from his cage, gone are the days when he would wander upstairs and into one of our bedrooms upstairs. He doesn’t eat as much or as fast as he used to. He spends a lot of time laying down and relaxing.

But not to worry, he’s still the little bad rabbit he’s always been, knocking over his hay when he does go behind his cage, trying to open the top of his cage when food is coming over to him, thumping hopping around.

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We love our little rabbit, happy birthday Peanut Chew.

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