09-14-2005, 12:21 AM
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I have never posted on this board before but I need some advice.
I've got this nasty habit of rescuing animals (and kids, but that's an issue for another board!). Currently I have two cats, two birds, a rabbit and a snake. I take care of them primarily by myself (my kids help with what they can) in addition to being a student, taking care of my own three kids - two of which I homeschool, taking care of three teenagers (mostly from afar), taking care of my house, and babysitting two additional kids full time. There's more, but you get the picture.
I'm feeling really stressed lately about having all these animals that need to be cared for and fed and demand so much of my attention. But I'll get to that in a minute.
This morning my rabbit bit my baby. This is the first time he's been aggressive in any way in the three months we've had him. The baby did nothing to him, just hooked his fingers around the bars of the rabbit's cage to stand up. There are a number of things that could have contributed to it. First, the rabbit is old enough that we need to get him fixed soon. I know they become aggressive sometimes when they need to be fixed. Also, I was about an hour later feeding him this morning than I usually am. This is the first time this has happened, and I didn't think it was a huge deal because I fed him alot very late last night, so he shouldn't have been starving to death. And I was about an hour late letting him out of his cage. Normally he spends the day running around the house.
There was alot of blood, and I'm scared it will happen again. On the one hand I just want to get rid of him, but I've come across so few people that are nice to animals that I'm torn up about it. I also feel that when I got him I pretty much accepted responsibility for him from now until he dies (even though I didn't purposely get him because I wanted a rabbit). My kids are attached to him and he's always been a nice rabbit. And I'm almost certain (but not comepletely) that once he's fixed he won't bite again. But then I think about the fact that he's so picky about his cage that it has to be thoroughly cleaned every morning or he poops and pees aaaaalllllllllllllllllll over the floor. I can't even do it the night before, which is alot more convenient to me. I have to feed the rabbit countless times a day because we feed him a natural vegetable diet. He's chewed up many of our game and puzzle boxes (my fault because I had forgotten we were keeping them under the spare bed), as well as all the books on our bottom shelves, our door frames, our carpets, the trim on our stairs, toys, furniture.... I realize that this is just part of having a rabbit, you need to bunny proof the best you can and just watch them all the time. But it's wearing on me.
And the biting thing REALLY disturbes me, even though it was just once. It was bad enough we were considering bringing him to the hospital for stitches.
How can I feel better about this? How can my kids feel better about this? He's really like part of my family. How can we deal with this quickly, but make sure that he ends up with people that will really care for him and treat him well?
Or how can I keep him and make sure the biting doesn't happen again and drastically cut down on the amount of time that needs to be invested in him? I know that's not really practical, but I wish it was.