Life Lessons

My Rabbits Are My Life Coaches: Six Life Lessons Worth Learning From Them

They do more than just making me and others go, “Aww.” They have taught me to become a better person in many ways. Their lives are no different than ours. Dig in to find out how I benefited from my relationship with my furry companions.

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment on animals.” 

Immanuel Kent

I am the proud owner of two adorable rabbits: one male named “Bubble” and the other being female named “Lovey”. It all started when my girlfriend’s unquestionable love for her bunnies influenced me to get my own furry companions.

Lovey has been with me since late October 2018. Her first companion “Nevey” passed away due to an unknown illness on the first day of September 2019. On the other hand, her current companion, Bubble, was adopted earlier this year after his previous owner saw that he did not have the time to look after him. Oh, Lovey and Bubble are more than two years old now.

After having rabbits for more than two years, I can say that there is no comparison for the addiction and companionship of my beloved rabbits. Approach any bunny owner you know, and they would probably tell you the same thing about their bunnies as well.

It seems that rabbits can teach something new about ourselves daily. Lovey and Bubble have taught me lots of things that I did not even know, and they have shaped my character for the better. Again, ask any bunny mom or dad, and they are likely to tell you that their pets have imparted on them at least one pearl of wisdom.

Below are six important lessons that I have learned from my bunnies.

1. Take Time To Explore Your Surroundings.

When was the last time you took the time to visit your local national reserve? Chances are, there are plenty of excitements everywhere for many of us, just waiting to be revealed. Whether due to work, school or other obligations, it is not difficult for each of us to fall into the same old rut.

Before rabbits came into my life, I did not see myself as an adventurous person. I would lock myself in the bedroom, stream dozens of shows on Netflix or play Counter-Strike for hours before coming out for food. When it comes to falling into the same old routine, we are no different from our pets.

So, when Lovey and Nevey came into my life, their world changed drastically. New scenery, bigger space to hop around, and new toys to interact with to keep themselves entertained. I moved my workspace from my bedroom to the living room so that I can keep an eye on them to make sure they do not chew on things that may injure them.

Although it was annoying to periodically drag them away from hazardous household items such as live electrical cords and candlesticks, I am glad that Lovey and Nevey pulled me away from that small, stuffy bedroom. They have educated me that it is easier than you might think to spice up your daily routine or surroundings.

2. Fortune Favours The Well Groomed.

Do not get me wrong; I appreciate a lazy weekend spent on the bed, especially after a hectic week of work. However, if my rabbits have taught me another thing, it pays to look amazing and feel amazing.

Whether it is owning the room when interviewing for the job of your dreams to feeling especially posh before painting the town red with your partners in crime, grooming is important to our health and happiness.

Think about it, before we attend a gala, we would take a shower, dress ourselves up nicely by putting on the best formal garments we have in our wardrobe, mask our natural body odour by spraying perfumes on ourselves, putting on our most striking footwear before driving a flashy car to the venue. Why do we go through that hassle just to show up at a gala? It is not only about the formality of the event; it is also about presenting ourselves at our very best. One study found that when you feel good, it is good for your health and happiness.

My small, adorable companions set a magnificent example when it comes to keeping well-groomed. Some first time-pet parents may not be aware that rabbits are extremely clean animals by nature and groom themselves frequently to keep their fur tidy and clean.

3. Find Time Each Day To Rest And Recuperate.

I would go for easy, long runs three times weekly. When I am not on the running track, I will take the time to rest my legs so that they are primed for activation by the time the next running session comes. If not that, I would do some light core and upper body workout at home.

Science informs us that rest and relaxation are important to our health and wellbeing as human beings. While we are constantly rushing to any number of obligations and may not get the recommended hours of sleep every night, it is crucial to make time daily to recuperate and reset. It allows us to reconnect with ourselves and our body to heal from whatever micro-injuries we suffered while working out.

I know this may sound counterintuitive from what I said earlier about trapping myself in the bedroom all day. However, that was too much R&R, I will admit. Nevertheless, whether this rest and relaxation process surfaces in the form of a power nap or even just finding time to read Reddit posts and chill, it is important to make time each day for the sole purpose of rest and relaxation for the sake of our overall wellbeing. Just do not overdo it.

For my rabbits, dedicated time and space for rest and relaxation is just as vital. As prey species, rabbits have an instinctual need to find cover from environmental elements that may put them in a state of stress. Aside from stress instincts, my rabbits have fundamental needs for rest and relaxation, just like us.

4. Eat Your Greens and Stay Hydrated.

When I was a young boy, I stubbornly refused to eat my greens. As a result of my stubbornness and refusal to listen to my mother’s nutritional advice, I was punished and, to some extent, caned. It was not until many years later when I started to include greens in my diet, but it was very minimal.

Oh, did I mention that I hardly drink water at home too? When I was a die-hard gamer, I rarely pause to grab a cup of water in the kitchen. Heck, I rarely drank water from the bottle of water my mother placed on the study table in my room. Little did I know that the pimples which were erupting all over my face and the periodic episodes of constipation I was experiencing were due to lack of hydration.

When my rabbits became an integral part of my life, I started to purchase greens from the local supermarket to ensure that they have the proper nutrition to be at the healthiest each day. That realisation alone made me reevaluate my less-than-optimal nutritional diet. During the process, I recalled what my mother said to me when I was a rebellious child: “Who knew how right my mom was when she pleaded with me to adopt a well-balanced diet and remember to drink enough water.”

My rabbits have imparted on me the fourth lesson: just as the right nutrition is important to our health, they rely on me to provide the right food so that they can live a life free from any health issues.

5. Time Spent With Friends Is Never Wasted.

Look back at the most memorable experiences that you had over the years. Maybe it was the time you went for an overseas getaway or that awesome electronic dance music festival that you attended a couple of years ago. Whatever those memories may be for you, I am assuming most of them earned a special place in our hearts, mainly because of the companionship of friends.

Rabbits and human beings are social creatures. When talking about the basic need for companionship and socialisation, my rabbits are no different. Hence, shortly after Nevey passed away, I adopted another rabbit from the local rabbit shelter and named him “Chandler”. Sadly, Chandler passed away earlier this year and to fill that void again, I brought Bubble in.

“Why are you so persistent on having two bunnies?” you may ask. The reason is simple: rabbits benefit tremendously from the companionship of another mate. A single rabbit occupying the whole space without a best friend to mingle with would behave the same way a human being would if he or she has no friends to interact with.

I am grateful to have a small group of dependable friends. You do not need to find and adopt three or more rabbits to keep your single rabbit company. If Lovey has taught me one thing when I was looking for another compatible companion, it is to have one trustworthy friend than to have a thousand acquaintances.

6. Tell Your Friends And Family You Love Them Every Day.

Life is too short and precious not to express your affection for those who you value most. If it has been too long since you last contacted someone special to inform them how much you love and appreciate them (especially in the era of Covid-19), now might be a perfect time to do so. It is not a time-consuming process, and you will brighten their day (and yours) in the process. Go on. I have time.

Every rabbit displays their affection and joy in their distinctive way. Some bunnies are naturally more outgoing and affectionate than others. However, all rabbits will undoubtedly find their own unique methods to connect with their caretakers on an emotional level. In my case, whenever I kneel on the floor, after a while, Lovey would approach me and express her love to me by licking one of my knees. Bubble does the same, except instead of my knees, he goes after one of my hands.

Fostering the human-animal bond is one of the most pleasurable moments of being a pet parent. This point alone sends a message. A message that is important to all of us: make sure to make time each day for those who matter the most to us.

Final 2¢: Hopping To Conclusion

If you own a rabbit, you probably digest this story with a nod and a smile on your face. If you do not have one and believe a rabbit would want to be adopted by you, do your homework first and learn more about rabbits before adopting you.

Lovey has taught me that love is always available around me. Chandler has taught me that life is short and because of that, make good use of it while it lasts. Nevey taught me that being a good friend is all that you need. Bubble told me that keeping yourself clean also means keeping yourself healthy. Here is another takeaway: being a pet parent builds your patience.

I love my rabbits dearly — they listen to my worries, do not asks questions and do not criticise me. My life has been a wonderful ride so far because of them and I look forward to many more years with them. Who knew that pets could be such good life coaches? I guess it’s true when pet owners say that the best therapist has fur and four legs.

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