Sunday, September 12, 2010

Walter Discovers the 1-900-Hotline

I’ve come across a lot of suggestions for simple rabbit toys: cardboard boxes filled with hay, old paper towel rolls, towels and blankets, paper bags, etc. I love these suggestions because all of these things are pretty easy to find around the house, easily replaced, and [mostly] recyclable.

Most importantly, these items cost next to nothing. This is essential, since Walter gets bored of toys within 48 hours. Being able to offer enough of a playtime variety without breaking the bank is critical to both Walter’s mental and physical stimulation, as well as my wallet.

Of all the suggested homemade toys, Walter’s favorite is the phonebook. In the age of the internet, no one I know uses a phone book anymore, but it’s still customary for most apartment complexes to provide one for each unit. Or, in our case, at least two per household. Why anyone needs two phonebooks in a one bedroom apartment is beyond me, but Walter is glad to have them.

He has a great time tearing out pages (and sometimes chewing them, if I’m not careful) and gets excited when he figures out how to flip to the next page. The great part for me is that the book is enormous – no matter how many pages Walter yanks out, there are still hundreds more until the book is devastated.

Walter has two phonebooks. We keep one just outside his cage, in front of a doorstop that Walter likes to nibble when no one’s watching. We put it there to block the rubber stopper and encourage him to play with something else. The other phonebook is in Walter’s favorite hangout spot: under the couch. Walter will spend hours underneath our sofa, and the phonebook gives him something to focus his energy on.

One day, Paul and I decided to give the apartment a good cleaning, including under the couch, which was now full of bunny fur (and dust bunnies). I pulled out the phonebook to begin sweeping. When I looked to see what page he was on, I saw something typical of an teenage boy, but surprising for an adolescent rabbit – the book had been opened to the “Escort Services” section of the yellow pages!

Amused and slightly mortified, I tried turning the page to something more appropriate, but Paul insisted that I let Walter enjoy his "alone time" under the couch. ;)

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