Abigail sat in the middle of the living room floor. She watched Dad as he approached, towering over her.
“Hi baby, how are you today?” he asked. He knelt down to give her a pet.
Normally, Abigail would run back to her home base by the window for pets. She felt more secure there. But today, she decided to take a big step and let Dad pet her right there out in the open.
Almost three years had passed since she came to live with Dad. In all that time, he had never hurt her. Sure, there were times where he had to pick her up, but it never ended badly. It just scared her. Being a Netherland Dwarf rabbit, she was very small, and weighed only two pounds. Everything looked big to her! On top of that, Netherlands were Polish rabbits who were bred with smaller wild rabbits, so it was in her genes to be wary and skittish, just like her wild cousins.
At play dates, Abigail noticed that her larger cousins didn’t seem to be as nervous around humans. Take Bentley for example. At twice her size, he was immediately OK with Dad petting him. But it had taken Abigail months to build up the courage to just let Dad pet her.
Dad gave Abigail her morning massage, rubbing her head and her cheeks. Then he gently stroked her tiny ears. She loved that. She closed her eyes and tooth-chattered.
“Wow, this is new,” whispered Dad. “You never let me do this out in the open.” Dad decided to lean in and try and give her a kiss on the top of her head. Usually, Abigail backed away. But today, she was a brave girl. He had kissed her on the head before when he held her, and nothing bad had happened, so she fought her instincts to run, and just lowered her chin to the floor and let him nuzzle her head and her ears.
“This isn’t so bad,” she thought. She let him continue.
Dad was elated. After three years, she was finally opening up! With some rabbits, it just takes a lot of time and patience to gain their trust.
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