Chapter 61 – The Big Foster Fail
Abigail watched as Dad dug out her carrier from the closet and placed a fresh towel in it. Unlike normally, he didn’t try to coax her into it. “OK, I’m off to pick up the bunny at the shelter,” announced Dad.
A short drive later, he pulled up to the shelter. He handed the carrier and the paperwork approving him to pick up the rabbit to the woman behind the counter. “Just have a seat over there. We’ll go get him,” she said.
A few minutes later, the woman called his name and handed him the carrier. “We’ve had him for three weeks, but he needs medical attention so we can’t adopt him out, and we don’t have space to wait for him to heal,” explained the woman, “His ear is bitten and he his feet are bleeding, probably from living in a wire-floor cage. Someone found him in the park and brought him to us. He weighs about four pounds, but he’s probably not fully grown yet.”
Dad peered in through the bars of the carrier. A small white rabbit with dark brown ears, brown “eye makeup”, and a racing stripe down his back cowered in the corner of the carrier, wondering what was happening. His markings suggested he was part English Spot. Dad whispered, “Well, hello there! I know you’re scared, but don’t worry, you’re safe now. I’ll take good care of you. I see you have a racing stripe. That’s funny. So does the car that you’re going to ride in.” Dad strapped the carrier into the passenger seat of his Dodge Viper, which was blue with white racing stripes, and they zoomed off for home.
As they cruised down the freeway together, Dad pondered what to call his new friend. The paperwork said the bunny’s name was Eneko, but Dad wasn’t very fond of that name. He wasn’t even sure how to pronounce it. He was pretty sure the rabbit didn’t care. Being a car enthusiast, and being that the rabbit was part English Spot, he thought about British car names. “Hmmm. Lotus? Aston? Martin? Bentley? Yes. Bentley. That has a nice ring to it!” he thought. “How about if I call you Bentley?” he asked. “Fine with me, thought the rabbit. You can call me anything you want. I’m just thankful to be out of the shelter!”
Dad had blocked off an area with an exercise pen in a small room downstairs on the bedroom level. He covered the carpet with fleece, just in case Bentley wasn’t litter trained, and set up a litter box and a hay tunnel. He prepared an orange tray filled with fresh greens, just like Abigail’s. He set the carrier down and opened the door. “Welcome to your new home,” he said, “I know it’s kind of small, but it’s only temporary.”
Bentley hopped out. Immediately, he began exploring his new home. Unlike Abigail, who was very shy, Bentley was gregarious and curious. He hopped up on the table and then onto the window sill. He sniffed everything, and binkied. He was SO happy to be out of a cage.
Dad sat with Bentley inside the pen for an hour, just watching him and letting him get used to his new surroundings. Before long, Bentley was peering through the ex-pen bars, wondering what lay beyond. It was clear this area was too small for such a lively bunny. “OK, I’ll let you out. Let’s see how it goes,” said Dad. Joyous, Bentley began to explore the rest of the room, and before long, he hopped up the stairs to explore the kitchen.
When he came back down, Dad reached out to pet him. Bentley lowered his head and granted him permission. “Thank you so much for saving me,” thought Bentley. “I thought I was a goner.” Dad recognized what a special little soul this rabbit was. He wondered who else could give him a better home. “Bentley, would you like to live here forever?” asked Dad. Bunnies can judge a human’s character quickly by their actions, and even though Bentley had only known Dad for a few hours, he could tell he was a kind person. “Oh yes!” thought Bentley, “That would be wonderful!”
“Well, so much for my being a foster parent,” thought Dad. It was a big foster fail. But that’s not how Bentley saw it. To him, it was a big foster success!
That night, for the first time in a long time, he slept soundly, knowing that he had found a loving forever home.