Friday, March 29, 2013

A Real-Life Velveteen Rabbit

If you clicked on the Animal Rescue Site button on the right of Lull today, you might have read Rusty’s story.

Abandoned in a Florida park, the red bunny was noticed by passersby because he sat calmly in the same place day after day, never moving from his spot. (You might ask, Why didn’t anyone help him?) One day a passerby saw the bunny with some soccer-playing boys—whose ball was none other than the little cottontail. Thankfully, that passerby intervened and changed the cottontail’s life.

The passerby contacted H.A.R.E. (Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education) and the organization got Rusty the medical attention he needed. Turns out Rusty has congenital hip dysplasia, making his hind legs splay out uselessly. What’s more, he once had a broken femur that had healed crookedly. The bunny had already been through so much that surgery didn’t seem a good option. So he was fitted with braces.

Braces? For a rabbit?

Yup. (Hey! If a goldfish can swim in a harness, a bunny can hop in braces.) And Rusty gained more than mobility: He became an ambassador at H.A.R.E., where he’s befriended and calmed rabbits of all types and personalities. He has friends!

Rusty is no longer seen as an object or a used-up pet. He’s deeply loved by humans and peers—a real bunny.

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become real.”
—from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

[Illustration by William Nicholson.]

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