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The Story of Buggy Bunny, Our Beloved Pet Rabbit

We bought our daughter a baby rabbit for a pet when she was two years old. She couldn't say "Bugs," so he became "Buggy."

Katy, Dennis, and Buggy Bunny

Katy, Dennis, and Buggy Bunny

A Story About Buggy Bunny

We bought our daughter a baby rabbit for a pet when she was two years old. She couldn't say "Bugs," so he became "Buggy." We took this little Rex-mix bunny home and then got online to find out how to care for him properly. We found out all kinds of things—including that they are not recommended as pets for small children. They claw and some are biters.

Things We Learned About Caring for a Pet Rabbit

Choosing the Right Cage and Bedding

We read about what kind of cage to choose, and we got one with close-woven wire on the floor (the cages with wire that are farther apart can hurt their feet). We also made sure he had plenty of room. We made sure to get the correct bedding for him. We read that there were two kinds of wood bedding: pine and cedar. Cedar chip bedding is poisonous to rabbits and can make them very sick. Make sure to get the pine bedding, or the shredded paper bedding.

Selecting the Right Food

They eat hay, commercial rabbit pellets, and love vegetables and fruit. We always shared our bananas with him. He got his pick of the peelings and some of all the vegetables we had. We did find a few that he didn't eat, but not many. We pulled fresh grass for him and he ate that, too. He also loved apples and watermelon but not citrus. Surprisingly, rabbits should not be given a lot of carrots or other root vegetables. They are too high in sugar. Dark-colored lettuces are the best over the light-colored; they have more nutrients. Light amounts of fruits and vegetables are best. Hays and grasses are best, as they help wear the teeth down and keep their tummies healthy.

We Let Him Loose for Playtime

We watched as this little rabbit grew, but never seemed to claw or bite. He fit right into our family. We had him in a cage until my husband read on one of his fact-finding searches that they made good house pets loose. We would take him out and play with him several times a day, but he lived in his cage most of the time.

Litter-Box Training

We learned that rabbits could be litter box trained. Cool, we were going to try this. We got a litter box, turned him loose on it, and stepped back to see what happened. We watched, he grew. He used the litter box most of the time. At least he just missed with the solid pellets. I could live with that, and he didn't miss by much. He just didn't get his back feet in the box. It was on tile covered by tarp and an old mat. I just swept it up. He did get better at it. He slept in the cage and went in there to rest. We just put it on the floor with the door propped open.

Katy reaching into the cage to get Flossy (Buggy's girlfriend). Flossy was a gentle bunny as long as you supported her properly. She did not like her back feet dangling.

Katy reaching into the cage to get Flossy (Buggy's girlfriend). Flossy was a gentle bunny as long as you supported her properly. She did not like her back feet dangling.

Our Dog Took a Mothering Role

We had a big and gentle, female mixed breed dog that mothered him. She would groom him and follow him around. She would bring him to us when we could not find him, just by telling her to find Buggy. She did the same when the hamsters got out of their cage. We would tell her to find the hamster and she'd run around the house sniffing until she found them. If she could reach it, she would bring it to us, damp but safe. If she could not reach the hamster, she would yip and get our attention so we could come get it. One got into her dog food bag once. She went nuts barking at the bag. We thought she wanted to be fed, but she had food in her bowl. We finally went to get her some food and there was a hamster. We hadn't even discovered it had escaped yet.

Our little growing bunny was fun to have around. He would sit under the rocking love seat. That was his spot. He would peek out from under and watch what was going on. The dog would stick her nose under and they would play. It never got serious. She was a big dog but gentle.

Rabbits Need to Chew

Buggy loved to have an old phone book to play with. We would put it down in the middle of the room and he would rip pages out. He also chewed on it. Rabbit's teeth grow their whole lives. They have to chew on things or they can grow out through their jawbones. Either give them something to chew or you will have to nip them, like cutting a dog's nails. We gave him wood. Not cedar, as it is poisonous to them. We gave him pine, poplar, and oak. They were in our yard so we just gave him a piece of firewood or a fallen branch. He had a ball. I used the ShopVac a lot. They also need their claws clipped occasionally. In nature, they would wear them down by digging. I used the dog nail clippers. Just don't clip them too short or you can make them bleed. If you are afraid to do these things, use the vet.

Make sure to anchor your electrical cords out of their reach too, they think those are great to chew on. I had one chewed through before we caught him. They can get electrocuted by chewing on the cords.

Buggy Loved to Watch TV

Rabbits like to watch TV. We would sit down to watch TV and he would come out from under to watch with us. Sometimes from the seat next to us, sometimes on our laps, sometimes on the floor. He would stare at the TV if it was on. His head would move back and forth with the action.

Buggy Had a Sense of Humor

When we had guests, he thought it was funny to sneak up under the chair they sat on and poke them in the back of the ankle. They would jump and get all excited until they found out it was the rabbit. You could just about see him laugh over that one. He had quite a sense of humor. He had a hard plastic ball that he would bat around and chase after. He had many similarities to a cat in that respect.

Losing Him Was Hard

We lost our Buggy after five years. We had other rabbits by then. We had put him outside for a few hours to breed with a female rabbit we had, who was almost identical to him in looks except her spots were black instead of gray. We left for a few hours knowing they were safe. They were in a chain-link kennel with chain link on top of it. It had a chain-link floor so nothing could dig in or out. When we came back, Buggy was missing, the female was dead, and the cage was cut open. Someone had deliberately cut it to let their dog in. We never found him or any sign of him. We lost heart about having rabbits after losing him and eventually got rid of the other rabbits. I still miss him and it has been many years.

Should Your Rabbit Live Free-Range?

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Thank You for Reading

I really appreciate the comments that I get on my articles. They help me see if what I am writing is useful, interesting, and informative. If you would like to use the information I've provided, please ask for permission and attribute.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2011 Becky Katz


Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on December 05, 2018:

Bill, nice to see you out running around reading. I do not think I will get any more rabbits. I have wild desert cottontails in my yard, by the herd. I have to keep my veggie garden fenced with chicken wire to keep them from emptying it. I thought about getting some chickens, but really don't want to mess with them.

I will be getting a few goats, just to help keep the desert grass from growing so much that I have to mow. Time saver, if nothing else. Goats only need a little sweet feed and a supplemental feeding of hay. Not much time at all, once you get your fences up. Mine is already fenced, just need a small piece to keep them out of the roses. They do love rose bushes.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 05, 2018:

At one time we had about twenty rabbits. Now we are down to three. No time for them with close to 200 birds. :)

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on November 02, 2016:

Peg, So good to see you here. My son has a bunny that has grown up with his dogs. His dog jumps into the pen to lay down and cuddle with his bunny. Hilarious to see a dog that is bred for hunting cuddling and grooming a bunny. The wild bunnies still are not safe from that dog though. He has gotten out of the yard and gone tearing off through the desert to run a jackrabbit down. He brings them back to his daddy so proudly too.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on November 02, 2016:

Loved reading the adventures of your Buggy and the way he adapted to your dog was amazing. How funny that he liked to watch TV and that he would tease your guests. What a joy to read through the comments of these familiar names from days gone by.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on October 02, 2014:

Kim, Rabbits are surprisingly funny and have great personalities. Try one some time and spend lots of time with it. You will be pleasantly surprised by them. I appreciate you coming by to visit today.

இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу from Niagara Region, Canada on October 02, 2014:

What a sweet story. Terribly sad at the end, though. I have many animals, but have never owned a rabbit. Maybe one day.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on January 14, 2014:

Hi Chris, Rabbits are a lot of fun, We had a ball with them and one of these days we will try it again. I appreciate the visit, votes, and the nice comment.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on January 14, 2014:

This is a delightful article, Becky. I only raised rabbits for the meat, but I am sure they make fine pets. I'd love to give it a try someday myself. Voted up and interesting.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on January 14, 2014:

FlourishAnyway, I totally agree with you, it was sad; and totally heartbreaking for us. I love rabbits and they have such interesting habits and personalities. I appreciate the visit.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 14, 2014:

Awww. What a sad ending to an otherwise delightful story. Bunnies are lovely and often not treated as they deserve.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on February 13, 2013:

Megan, It is amazing how much personality that rabbits have. We have had several of them and they all show distinct personalities. Goats also have quite a bit of personality. I wrote about the goats I had in another article. I really appreciate you coming by to visit and am happy that I could help you with your essay research.

Megan on February 12, 2013:

loved your article! I am having to write an essay on unusual pets & I have included a summary of your article & of course a works cited, so my professor can read the sory! Great work! I too, have a pet bunny, who actually has many "dog traits" as far as his personality.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on April 10, 2012:

djena751, I am so happy that you have found this useful. Bunnies are so much fun and have so much personality. I hope your nephew enjoys his rabbit for a long time. I also hope he spends lots of time with it as they enjoy our company so much. They love fruit, apples and slices of watermelon were a favorite of our bunny. I would cut him a slice every time we had some.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on March 28, 2012:

Eddy, So glad that you enjoyed my Buggy. We enjoyed him for many years. He was funny and amusing. Rabbits really do have very vivid personalities when you get to know them. As for them having more character than rabbits in a hutch, inside dogs have a lot more character also. The more time we spend with an animal, the more personality shines through. Thank you for coming by to visit.

Eiddwen from Wales on March 28, 2012:

Oh what a great hub ;I love animals of all sorts.Both my daughters have a giant house rabbit each.

They are house trained and have such characters ;far more I think than those spending most day in a hutch.

I vote up and bookmark into 'Animals an Nature' slot.

Here's to both of us sharing many more hubs on here.

Take care my friend.


Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on November 13, 2011:

No, Buggy was a mixed Rex. He was the grey and white one. Rex' usually are white with spots, different colors. They also are known for their soft, luxurious fur. He was a good sized bunny, about 30 lbs.

f on November 13, 2011:

Interesting; was it the Dutch variety? (white and black).

Katy on October 22, 2011:

That's cause ONE of your kids happens to love reading and writing.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on October 22, 2011:

Hi Katy, Glad ONE of my kids has finally read some of my work. I really miss him too.

Katy on October 22, 2011:

Buggy was an awesome pet, I'll always love and miss him.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on October 01, 2011:

writer20, Thank you for coming by. We had two rabbits that looked very similar. The other one was black and white. They are Rex rabbits and have the most wonderfully soft fur. Since they are full sized rabbits, their temperament was very mellow. The smaller rabbits tend to be more temperamental. The full size make better pets as far as I am concerned.

Joyce Haragsim from Southern Nevada on October 01, 2011:

Wonderful read I love rabbits, the one in your photo looked gorgeous. I'm so sorry Buggy got lost.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on September 16, 2011:

Charlotte, Thank you for reading. Buggy was a fun pet. I may have to get another house rabbit. I am truly sorry you can't have furry pets. They are so fun and like you said, cuddly. Buggy didn't like to be cuddled but he did enjoy being held if you held him right. He had to feel secure or he would scramble and you would get scratched. He also liked having his tummy scratched.

Charlotte B Plum on September 16, 2011:

Oh what a lovely and sweet story up till the ending!

I'm so sorry about that! I can't have furry pets, but we did have fish for a while and now caterpillars, although its different as you can't cuddle them.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on September 15, 2011:

LaBrahear, thank you for reading and for your sympathy. This did happen several years ago now. We enjoyed him for 5 years, which is about 12-1/3 their normal life span. Our daughter and my husband were terribly upset by this but have recovered over the years. I worked, so didn't get as close to him.

Are yours,house rabbits? I hope you enjoy your bunnies for many more years.

LABrashear from My Perfect Place, USA on September 15, 2011:

I'm so sorry about your bunny. As I read, I was hoping something bad didn't happen. We have two very sweet vbunnies right now. My children would be crushed if something like that happened. Great hub! Thanks for sharing.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on September 11, 2011:

femmeflashpoint, Thank you for reading about Buggy. He was a fun and entertaining friend. I think more people should think about having a rabbit for a pet.

femmeflashpoint on September 10, 2011:

Becky - wonderful story, until the end, and I'm so very sorry! What an unfair loss!

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on September 09, 2011:

funmontrealgirl, I am happy that you found my article useful. Thank you for reading, commenting , and voting.

funmontrealgirl from Montreal on September 09, 2011:

Very cool article about rabbits. Found it useful and voted it up and useful.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on September 08, 2011:

I wish I lived closer also. My babies would have done wonderful as a wrecking crew. I could have kept a close eye on your idiots and kept them on their toes.

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on September 08, 2011:

I wish you lived closer. I'm sure that you and your grandchildren could have done a better job with the bathroom than Pamela, and David could have done my roof.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on September 08, 2011:

Don't threaten me Ian. I am not afraid of your little construction gang. They don't scare me and I'll just sic my grandchildren on them. They will run them off and for good.

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on September 08, 2011:

No. It's eleventh century when we had common ancestors.

Don't try to wriggle out of it. I'm onto you.

If you don't behave, I'm sending around a specialist to have your plumbing down for you.

Be warned!

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on September 08, 2011:

Hi Ian, you old coot. Happy you came by to razz me. I did know that rabbits are not rodents. I also knew they called the babies 'kittens'. I just called them adorable. I never heard them called coneys but they have different names for things in the UK, than they do here. It may be one of the regional things.

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on September 08, 2011:

And I bet you thought rabbits were rodents... well they aren't, they're lagomorphs.

And "rabbit" isn't the name of the adult and the young is called a kitten... Oh no.

"Rabbits" are baby "Coneys".

Mind you, the name changed about ten centuries ago, so I suppose I ought to go with the times.

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on September 08, 2011:

Hi! Becky, I had dwarfs also. They were called: Sneezy, Sleepy, Dopey, Doc, Happy, Bashful, Grumpy and Silly Old Coot who thinks he's being funny.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on September 08, 2011:

Wayne, Thanks for coming by. We had some dwarf rabbits also. They do like to chew, don't they. I tried to keep him supplied with wood, so they didn't chew on the house. My son had a dwarf named Thumper.

Nellie, Thank you for your lovely comment. I had actually forgotten until I read your comment that they were called bucks and does. I guess that is what old age does to some of us. Your mother had what they call albino rabbits. I am such a fan of the big, brown eyes that we never got one. They were so full of depth that I couldn't. We did end up with a blue eyed one from one of the litters. I had never heard of that but it happens occasionally.

They didn't just open the gate, they cut the whole side of the kennel open with wire cutters. They killed the doe and we never found a sign of Buggy. My little girl was devastated. We could never understand how an adult could kill a little girls pet like that. It would have had to be an adult, to cut chain link.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on September 08, 2011:

Rosemay, I had forgotten about the time that dog wouldn't let us get out of our car. We just drove across the road and honked at their door until they came out. They were rather irresponsible.

Dusty, Thank you for coming by, reading and commenting. Buggy was about 15 lbs. but he was solid muscle. I watch all the pets weight because it is so unhealthy for them to be overweight. The kids didn't feed him extra, they just fed him carrots. He always had a pile waiting for him.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on September 08, 2011:

My favorite niece didn't want her young children to have carnivorous pets, so they had rabbits. They were the sweetest pets imaginable. And when I was a kid, my darling mother, who was such an animal lover (all but dogs - she had been terrified by a vicious dog as a child and never got over her fear of them). But she love animals till it was almost ridiculous, and among others, she got a pair of rabbits and let me call the male mine. I named him Bucky, since she said he was a buck rabbit. Like deer, the males are called bucks. He was so cuddly and soft, all white with the rose-colored eyes and pink ears. Such a sweetheart.

I felt badly when you told how your Buggy disappeared. I guess some mean person must have taken him and left the kennel open so something could endanger the female. I know it must have broken your hearts. People who harm animals are reprehensible.

Your care of your Buggy is inspiring, Becky. There's surely a place in heaven for people who treasure and care for animals - and for the animals too.

Thanks for sharing this lovely, useful and touching story as one of your first hubs. I certainly look forward to reading more of your work!

Wayne Brown from Texas on September 08, 2011:

What a sad ending...My girlfriend had a small one many moons ago when I was in flight school. The rascal almost gnawed all the baseboards out of her apartment. His name was "Thumper". Thanks for sharing! WB

50 Caliber from Arizona on September 08, 2011:

Becky great hub, them bunnies can get huge especially if there is a bunch of kids feeding them every time the walk by. I 'd have to guess 20 pound one we had when I was short, dust

Rosemary Sadler from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand on September 07, 2011:

Becky it is awful how some people just let their dogs roam and take no responsibly. And yet they are the ones who create the biggest hew and cry when their pets have to be put to sleep after mauling some child..

When my babies were small we lived in Australia and a neighbors dog suffered with arthritis and was obviously in pain, but it made him rather cranky and quite vicious and would bale people up at their own front gates so people were afraid to step out. I had to call the animal welfare one morning.

Your husband had every right to shoot it.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on September 07, 2011:

Thanks Ian. I have read it before but definitely worth a repeat read.

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on September 07, 2011:

If you want to read a really nice poem, Becky, this is one of Steve's best.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on September 05, 2011:

He moved shortly, always. The other neighbors all figured it out and basically told him to move or else. They all were tired of his dog fighting with their dogs in their own yards.

kayla69508, your comment has been denied because I don't have to put up with nasty comments. Don't bother commenting unless you can be civil. If you want to be a pain in the a$$, go to Yahoo. I won't.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on September 05, 2011:

Just as i thought, a person did it, how cruel. Sometimes it makes a person want to move far away from people...


Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on September 05, 2011:

Rosemay, A jerk, who wasn't happy when my husband shot his dog who had been trying to get our rabbits and goats. We had talked to him several times but he didn't want to keep his dog home. He just wandered the neighborhood getting into fights with the other dogs and animals. Sorry if I am ranting.

Rosemary Sadler from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand on September 05, 2011:

Lovely to se your pets Becky. I loved the idea of them watching TV.

What an awful thing to happen to Buggy and the femail, who in their right mind would do such a cruel thing.

Becky Katz (author) from Hereford, AZ on September 05, 2011:

Will, when we got Buggy, we lived in town. He was a house rabbit. Some things we don't have to wait for. Once you have one for a pet though, you will never be able to eat them again. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment.

Twilight, Ian, so glad you stopped by and reminded me about the electric cables. I had to hang them up as high on the furniture as I could. Either that or put the covers over them. He also chewed on my antique table once. My fault, I didn't notice that he was out of wood.

Twilight Lawns from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on September 05, 2011:

A nice story, but importantly, full of useful information, and information inserted so that it's usefulness was entertaining.