Rabbit Therapy

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We’ve recently bought Eldest a rabbit. He’s a Mini Rex and he’s been named Blizzard (the rabbit, not Eldest).
It’s the first pet that has belonged to Eldest. Before Blizzard all our pets have been family pets. So this is a big step of responsibility for Eldest. We’re very much hoping that he will rise to the challenge.
The Mini Rex has an extremely soft coat. This is a wonderful thing for Eldest who spends a lot of time seeking soft things to stroke.
Caring for Blizzard has already started a lot of interesting discussions. When we brought the rabbit home, away from everything he knew and into a world full of different sounds, sights and smells, the boys noted how similar it was to when they came home. Eldest asked me how I had taught him not to be scared of me so that he could try the same trick with the rabbit. Watching as the rabbit gradually grew in confidence and came to trust Eldest and even to snuggle up to him, was a bit like watching the boys learn to trust us as parents. Thankfully, Blizzard settled in a lot faster!
Talking about the right food to feed Blizzard and the importance of limiting treats has been interesting. I think it’s strange for Eldest to see this from the other side, as it were. Maybe it will help him to understand why treat foods have to be limited for humans too.
I had heard that pets could help children develop emotional literacy. But it was still a lovely surprise to hear Eldest describing how Blizzard kicking up his back feet can be a sign that he’s excited. Eldest really wants to know how his rabbit is feeling, and is making an effort to understand his rabbit’s world view.
Of course, pet ownership is never without its challenges. Eldest has found cleaning out his rabbit’s hutch quite a challenge. Eldest intensely dislikes getting dirty. But, he knew that cleaning out the hutch was part of the deal. And, to his great credit, he has joined in with the unglamorous task and pushed past his distaste for Blizzard’s sake.
I am so pleased that we got Blizzard and very proud of how well Eldest is taking care of him. Long may it continue!

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4 thoughts on “Rabbit Therapy

  1. Ah that’s lovely to hear. We have guinea pigs and have had similar conversations. We also have a bit of cuddle time after school as a way of calming down, and it’s really helped Mini open up and talk about his day, whilst therapeutically stroking the guinea pig. There is a lot to be said for pets.

    Thanks for linking up to #WASO

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