Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bingo's Non-Adoption

This afternoon I enticed Travis, just back from a semester of teaching in Minnesota, over to Animal Rescue League for an afternoon of rabbit-petting (the shelter's Hug-a-Bun Sunday). I hadn't been over there lately due to traveling and the Blackboard class, so I wasn't sure how many familiar faces I'd see.
Sophia and Charlie were still there, as was Babs and the charming spotted pair Hansel and Gretel, but who did I see in the corner cage but... Bingo!
A few weeks ago, Bingo was going into a frenzy of excitement whenever I arrived. Then he was due to be adopted. But here he was in his old spot and looking quite dejected.
Suzanne, one of the official rabbit volunteers, said that he had almost been adopted, but that the girlfriend of the guy who wanted him was much too hesitant about the project and seemed to think Bingo ought to be confined to a small area. This would have been even less appropriate for a rabbit like Bingo than for the average rabbit, so the adoption never went through.
I had, for no rational reason other than wanting Bingo myself, had a feeling that maybe the adoption wouldn't take. I'm glad to know that Suzanne and the other official volunteers (I'm completely unofficial) look out for the rabbits' best interests so carefully. Bingo needs lots of mental stimulation, much of which comes from exploring his surroundings. He's not a good candidate for life in a confined space. He loves two things: activity and petting. If he gets enough playtime, he's ready to be held and petted for long periods, but even without playtime, he needs his petting.
I petted Bingo for a good long time and then we let him roam the room while the other rabbits were petted in enclosures or on laps. He was in a better frame of mind by the end of the day, but was definitely in slow motion compared to a few weeks ago. Suzanne confirmed that the rabbits tend to get depressed if they stay in the shelter for several months, despite the best efforts of the volunteers. I'll have to make a point of visiting him more while I'm in town.
Other rabbits had some very good petting from Travis and the other attendees. A couple of rabbits were brought over in the hopes of finding companions, which was interesting to watch, but no definite matches were made. Anjou, a white rabbit, was introduced to Jubilee and briefly to Sophia, but he was more in the mood to sit on his human's lap than to meet other rabbits. It's possible he was afraid he was being brought back to the shelter to stay.
A very large rabbit--fifteen pounds so not one of the real giants but hefty nonetheless--got to meet Maggie, Jubilee, and Sophia. He was thrilled. Jubilee wasn't crazy about him but both Maggie and Sophia thought he was awfully appealing, even though he was at least three times their size. I thought it wouldn't be hard to bond him with either one of them, but his humans were really looking for a doe closer to him in size, so for the time being Maggie and Sophia will have to live without him.
Travis was much impressed with the friendly rabbits and knowledgeable humans. We agreed that we should mention the rabbit get-togethers to our colleagues, since some of them would really like a pet but feel that grad school isn't the time to get one. An afternoon spent petting shelter rabbits benefits both rabbits and humans.
When I got home, Ms. Spots indicated that she thought the number of scents on my clothes were a bit overwhelming, even though some were familiar. Orion, as usual, took no interest in all the scents and merely wanted to be petted.

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Blogger Kristen said...

Oh, poor Bingo! Well, I am glad the adoption fell through considering the terms. Hopefully someone else will come along soon who will want to provide him with lots of toys and hopping room.

June 23, 2008 8:10 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

Yes, it's too bad I'll be gone for a month and can't play with him.

June 24, 2008 11:20 PM  

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