Friday, November 5, 2010

Rabbit Meets Dog

Walter and I are dog-sitting for a friend for the next few days.  My rabbit’s exposure to dogs is limited to Buster, my family dog, who is thirteen years old, arthritic, and scared of everything.  They’ve only met twice.  The first time, Buster shook with fear while Walter hopped around him, sniffing and trying to make friends.  This ended badly – Buster got sick and threw up out of anxiety.

Buster (left) and Rocky, our family dogs (RIP Rocky)

Buster wasn’t always scared of small animals.  He used to chase squirrels, rabbits, and even attempted to chase deer in our yard.  I guess with old age, he began to fear the critters that could outrun him.  While I do feel badly that my dog was terrified of a little Walter rabbit, I was grateful that Walter’s first meeting with a dog was such a gentle, unaggressive one.

Not to say that Roxy, my friend’s dog, is aggressive or anything.  She’s a really sweet, affectionate puppy.  But she’s also incredibly curious and still has that keen hunter’s instinct.  I fear that her curiosity will lead to an injured bunny, even if it was just an accident.

Roxy, in a quiet moment

So, Walter will be kept in a separate room from the dog and me for most of the weekend.  I feel terrible about locking him away for so much time, but I don’t trust that he’ll be able to safely roam free with the dog around.  They had their first meeting today.  After setting up Walter’s temporary playpen/cage, Roxy snuck into the room and whimpered while staring the rabbit down, checking him out.  Walter, to my surprise, didn’t hide from the dog but instead ignored her completely.  He went about his routine, investigating the playpen, chomping on some hay, and looking for ways to escape the confines.

I am dog-sitting until Wednesday.  I have a feeling it will be a long five days…  Wish me (and Walter!) luck.

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