Through Abigail’s Eyes: “Fixed” | Small Pet Select

Abigail gets fixed


Dad vacuumed up Abigail’s area and set the dustbuster down on the floor. A curious Abigail hopped over to check it out. It was shaped kind of like a rabbit. She sniffed it. It smelled kind of like a rabbit. “Could this be my mate?” she wondered. She circled around it, binkying and dancing, trying to elicit a response.

Dad chuckled, “Sorry Abigail, but that’s not your new mate. But I think it may be time to get you fixed.” Abigail thought, “Fixed? Why? I’m not broken.” Dad had read that female rabbits had an 80% chance of developing uterine cancer by age 4. Getting her fixed would eliminate that possibility. He certainly wanted Abigail to be around a lot longer than 4 years! And, this would also calm down her frustration to mate.

Dad called up Abigail’s vet to schedule an appointment. Her vet was nice and very experienced with rabbits. Even though this was a routine operation, he still wanted someone experienced whom he could trust.

On the morning of the operation, Abigail sensed something was up. Instead of their usual routine of breakfast, followed by a massage, Dad came straight towards her with a deliberate pace. “I’d better hide, just in case,” she thought. She started to run off, but then she felt Dad’s hands wrap around her tiny body as he grabbed her. He never did that! “Put me down!” she shrieked, letting out a blood curdling scream that sounded like a bird screeching. It startled Dad so much so, that he almost dropped her. Quickly, he placed her in the carrier. In a soothing voice, he said, “I’m sorry, baby. I hate to do this, but it’s for your own good. Trust me.” Abigail worried, “Is he was taking me away? I don’t want to leave. I like my home!”

After a short car ride, they arrived at the vet. “Don’t worry, sweetie. I’ll be back for you later today,” he promised. Abigail put on a brave face, as rabbits do, but inside, she was terrified. The vet took her in the back, and put some drops in her nose. Soon, Abigail felt very sleepy. Try as she might, she couldn’t keep her eyes open, and she dozed off.

A little while later, she woke up and looked around. Nothing looked familiar. She noticed the fur on her tummy was missing. “What happened to me?” she wondered, “I want my Dad!”

Late in the afternoon, the vet came in and announced, “It’s time to go home!” Abigail was excited. She peered through the bars of her carrier and heard Dad’s familiar voice, “Hi sweetie. Are you OK?” She was relieved. Dad had come back for her!

Dad knew that it wasn’t good for a rabbit to stop eating and pooping, so it was important to get her system going as soon as she could. He fixed a tray of her favorite foods and set it down in front of her. Abigail sniffed at it, but she didn’t feel much like eating. She was still a little groggy and sore. She just hunkered down by her home base, happy to be home and safe.

When darkness fell, Abigail watched Dad set up a bed on the floor near her. “I just want to keep an eye on you tonight. I want you to know I’m close by,” he explained. That night, the two of them slept soundly, side by side on the floor.

Sunlight filled the room the next morning. Dad opened his eyes and looked over at Abigail. She was already awake, staring back at him. “Good morning! How are you? Did you sleep OK?” he asked. As he headed to the kitchen to fix breakfast for her, he passed by her bathroom spot and noticed a small pile of poop.

As only a bun parent could understand, he was overjoyed! A pooping bunny is a healthy bunny. It meant her system was working again. She was going to be OK.

Dad turned and flashed a smile at Abigail. Now that she was fixed, they could look forward to many happy years together.

Through Abigail’s Eyes: “Rabbit Hobbies”


The sun peaked in the window and gently woke Abigail. She yawned and stretched, and sat up. It was still early. The house was quiet, and Dad was still asleep. Abigail began her morning ritual and headed over to her bolt-to spot for her morning workout. Being a house rabbit, she didn’t need to go foraging for food like her wild cousins. She had her hay tunnel, pellets, and water available all the time, and fresh greens served to her twice a day. But rabbits are industrious by nature, so they like to have a project or a hobby to keep themselves entertained. Some like to dig. Others like to chew. 

Abigail was a digger. She liked digging. It was good exercise. Her long term project was to widen the entrance to her bolt-to tunnel. Every morning, she would dig for hours on the carpet. It was slow going, but she was in no rush. To her, it was like humans going to the gym to work out. 

Usually, when Dad got up, she’d take a break to eat her breakfast and get her daily massage. Then, she’d go back to digging for awhile before she took her half-nap. 

One day, Dad brought in a grass mat and placed where she dug. Dad explained, “Here Abigail, try this. I read some rabbits like to dig and chew on grass mats.” Abigail looked at the grass mat and thought, “This is just in my way!” She grabbed it with her teeth and moved it aside, and continued to dig on the carpet. Dad just laughed. He didn’t mind that she was ripping up the carpet in that spot. It was hidden from sight anyway.

Whenever something new entered her territory, Abigail had to investigate. It didn’t matter whether it was a box, a piece of furniture, or a book lying on the floor. If it came into her space, she made it her business to know what it was. 

Rabbits also like to chew. Their teeth are constantly growing, so they have to chew to whittle down their teeth. In the wild, there was plenty to chew on. But in a house, there wasn’t. When left with no alternatives, rabbits tend to chew on baseboards, furniture, or their favorite, Apple cords! Fortunately for Abigail, Dad always provided more desirable alternatives, like oat hay in the foraging tunnel, twig balls, mobiles, and towels.

Sometimes, Dad would just lay a towel down by her home base. Bunnies are very particular about such things, so no matter how he arranged it, it was never quite right. Abigail would spend hours rearranging it just so. 

A bored rabbit is a naughty rabbit, so Dad always made sure there was something to keep her entertained. In turn, Abigail was a good bunny, and never destroyed his furniture. 

Want to learn more about setting up your rabbit cage and tying toys to sides for resistance? Watch this!

Through Abigail’s Eyes: “My Space”


The twig ball came rolling towards Abigail. Even though it was bigger than her head, she grabbed it with her teeth, and with all her might, flung it back towards Dad. Dad grabbed the ball and tossed it back at Abigail. Abigail liked playing this game. It usually went on for five or six times and then she’d get a Healthy Snacker as a reward.  

Just then, the ball sailed past Abigail and landed against the window by her home base. Dad reached over to grab the ball, but Abigail lunged at him and grunted, “Stay out of my space!” Dad pulled back. “What?” he asked. Abigail thought, “Doesn’t he know? This is MY space!” 

Although Abigail considered the entire living room her territory, she understood it was shared space with Dad. But there was a space along the window which she reserved only for herself. It was her safe zone. She had marked it with little poop signs, which, to a rabbit, said, “Abigail’s space. Keep out!” Any rabbit would know that, but humans seemed to think that stray poops were the result of poor bathroom habits, rather than signage. Abigail thought, “He must not read rabbit signs. How can I explain it to him?”

Abigail looked around. Running along the wall was a long black “root”. Dad had said something about “covering the cords” with it when he placed it there. Using her teeth, Abigail moved the root about six inches away from the wall, all the way along the window. “I’ll draw a line that he can see!” she thought. When she was done, she looked up at him, and with her eyes, said, “this is my space!” Dad watched her and smiled, “OK, I get it now. Don’t cross that line!” Just like humans, every rabbit likes to have their own personal space – a place where they can go to be alone and feel safe, and not be messed with. Abigail knew her Dad was smart enough to figure it out – and respect it. 

And he did.

Through Abigail’s Eyes: “Godmother”

CHAPTER 10 – Godmother to a Rabbit?

“I’m back!” announced Dad, as he burst through the door. Abigail sat up and rotated her ears towards him. She tried not to look too excited, but she was so happy to hear his voice. He had been gone for days, and even though someone had been looking after her, she was wondering what had happened to him. Did he get lost? Did he get eaten? She worried that he might never come back. As Dad knelt down to give her a pet, she flashed a worried glance at him. “Don’t worry, Abigail, I’ll always come back to you,” he reassured her. “But what if you don’t?” she wondered. Little did she know, Dad had it covered.

When Abigail came into his life, Dad rewrote his will to make sure enough money was set aside to cover her expenses for the rest of her life. He calculated how much she’d need in food, supplies, and medical care every year, and then multiplied it by the life expectancy of a house rabbit – about 12 years. It wasn’t a trivial amount of money, but he wanted to make sure she would have a good life, even if he wasn’t there, and didn’t want her to suffer because her new caregiver couldn’t afford her. 

That was the easy part. The harder part was finding someone who would look after her with the same love and care as he did. “Who of all my friends would be the best guardian for her?” he pondered. He went through the rolodex in his mind of all of his animal-loving friends. Some would probably just put her in a cage, and that wouldn’t do. Some had other animals who might get along with Abigail – or might stress her out. She was so tiny. He didn’t want to take the chance. 

And that’s when Abigail’s Aunt Chelsea popped into his mind. Aunt Chelsea was a gentle soul. She was responsible. And she loved all living beings. In fact, it was Aunt Chelsea who had encouraged Dad to adopt Abigail in the first place. One day, Dad asked Chelsea, “I want to designate someone to take care of Abigail in case anything happens to me. Would you be her godmother?” Chelsea was taken aback for a moment. “Godmother to a rabbit?” she thought. But she adored Abigail, and without any further hesitation, said, “Yes! Yes, of course!” And with that, Dad had peace of mind, knowing Abigail would be in good hands should anything happen to him. 

So Dad wrote her into his will as guardian for Abigail. From then on, he shared all of Abigail’s antics and preferences with Chelsea – what she liked to eat, what she liked to do, how she liked to arrange her territory, what treats she liked, and how she liked to be petted – so that Chelsea would really know Abigail.

Dad looked into Abigail’s eyes as he stroked her little ears and said in a soothing voice, “Don’t worry, Abigail. Aunt Chelsea is your godmother. She will look after you if anything happens to me.” Abigail seemed to understand. She liked Aunt Chelsea. She knew from the moment she met Chelsea that she could trust her. Abigail closed her eyes and relaxed. She had a godmother!

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Through Abigail’s Eyes: “Summer Heat”

Abigail Summer Heat


Abigail flopped on her side and sprawled out on the carpet. It was no use. No matter what she did, she couldn’t cool off. In the blink of an eye, spring had turned to summer. In one day, the weather had gone from pleasant to sweltering.

“Hot today, isn’t it?” asked Dad, as he breezed through the room, wearing shorts and a T-shirt. “Are you OK?” he asked. Abigail looked up at him, forlornly, and with her sad eyes said, “If you think it’s hot, try wearing a fur coat! Can you do something about this?” It seemed to Abigail that Dad was the god of light because he could make the darkness disappear at night, so maybe he was the god of weather, too. 

Dad knew rabbits didn’t handle heat well. But it was late in the day already, so he had to make do with what he had. Opening the doors and windows didn’t help. It was even hotter outside. He grabbed some ice packs from the freezer and wrapped them in a towel in front of a fan, and aimed it at Abigail – homemade air conditioning, so to speak. It might have helped. A little. But Abigail still looked miserable. 

Fortunately, as the evening progressed, the outside air cooled down so Dad could open the windows. On TV, the weatherman announced, “Tomorrow’s forecast is more of the same." Dad looked at Abigail, still flopped on the floor, and vowed, “I’m so sorry, Abigail. I promise, I’ll do something tomorrow.”

Early the next morning, Dad left the house. A few hours later, Abigail heard his footsteps approaching. They were much heavier than usual, though. Dad came in and set a big box down on the living room floor. “I have your answer!” announced Dad. “It’s an electric cold air machine!” Abigail hopped over to investigate. For the next few hours, a curious Abigail watched as her Dad sawed, drilled, and painted. He cut a hole in the wall, built a frame, and placed the big white box in the hole. As he was doing this, the temperature began to climb again. Abigail dreaded another hot day.

Just as the heat was becoming unbearable, Dad announced, “OK, I’m done. Let’s try ‘er out.” He pushed a button and the big white box made a humming noise. Like magic, Abigail felt cool air blowing on her. “Ohhh, this is nice!” she thought, “I was right! Dad must be the god of weather!” She positioned herself on the floor right where the cool air was the strongest. She settled into her loaf position, ears back, and enjoyed the cool breeze. Dad laughed, “Nice, huh?” For the next couple of hours, Abigail parked herself there and didn’t move.   

Later that night, when the evening air had cooled down, she ran through the living room, binkying. It was her way of saying “thank you” to Dad. She was a happy girl!