An Afternoon with Gumbo
My parents were quite interested in seeing Guinness again, but it turned out that someone else had shown an interest in adopting him, and while Ms. Spots had liked him, he hadn’t shown a visible attraction to her.
So, since Gumbo had been the last rabbit she had shown any liking for yesterday, the HRS worker thought we should present him first today, as obviously Ms. Spots had been tired and testy by the time she met him. Gumbo is a smallish black and white male with the general body type of a Dutch rabbit, and while he is rather shy, he has been very friendly with people he got to know well.
Ms. Spots clearly had the whole situation scoped out as soon as we arrived. By the time Gumbo was brought to the enclosure to meet with her, she was very much at ease. Her reaction upon seeing Gumbo again was to go right up and give him a friendly greeting.
Gumbo was a little uncertain, since she had been unpredictable towards him yesterday, but he was definitely willing to give her a chance. She was very interested in getting acquainted and cuddling with him, and we gave both of them lots of positive feedback for every friendly gesture. Since it was going well, and we all thought Gumbo seemed like a nice rabbit, we ended up focusing on getting the friendship going between the two rather than bringing in other rabbits. During the next hour, there were a few moments when one or the other did lunge threateningly, but it seemed clear that this was from nervousness, not dislike. Most of their interactions were neutral to extremely positive. Gumbo remained shy, but Ms. Spots repeatedly presented herself in her friendliest manner and snuggled up to him. Both felt comfortable enough to groom themselves and eat some hay. The HRS worker said she thought Gumbo was more nervous about being watched than about meeting Ms. Spots, as he isn’t accustomed to being the center of human attention.
We decided that Ms. Spots would return for another visit on Saturday and that Gumbo will probably be coming home with us on Sunday. At the moment Ms. Spots is communing with my mother, who was fascinated by the whole rabbit-introduction process.