Monday, November 25, 2019

Sometimes Far, Sometimes Near

It's been months since I quit working for one of the rabbit rescues.  I knew the job was important. I knew I liked it.  But I never, ever figured that quitting the job would leave such a large hole in my life.  I have moped about it.  I have cried about it, and I think about going back...a lot.  The other job-writing for a newsletter- becomes active about every three months, so I spend a lot of time not involved with rabbits these days.  Most days, the rabbits seem so far away.

The other day, my job with the newsletter began and viewing the adoptable rabbits brought me all back.  I looked at one pic after another- their beautiful, gentle eyes...their fuzzy, little bodies...such beautiful creatures they are.

My roommate has put his foot down and has put the kibosh on any pet coming into the house, due to lack of space, and lack of money.  He is right about both, but the future is a different story.  I have put my  foot down and have demanded pets in our future apt.   So, that's the way it is. 

So, I asked people who have rabbits and are keeping them tucked away in the garage, or backyard...wherever they are that's not near the family...please...rethink what you are doing.  Embrace your rabbits, not as farm animals, but as members of the family.  Give them a chance.  They are not dogs, so don't expect them to be like dogs.  They are not cats, so don't expect them to be like cats.  They are rabbits.  Go from there.  Do your research...and remember..LOTS of time outside the enclosure...enclosures that have lots of space, not cramped cages.  Do your research.  And for goodness sake, be vigilant with cleaning that litter box.  Rabbits that smell reflect the way they are being taken care of , not them.  Keep the litter box clean and you should be fine about that.  Ask detailed questions about different aspects of their lives...even when it comes to the little box.  Embrace them.  Love them. Love them.  Love them.

As for me, I'm so close to asking for my job back, but my problem remains the same...lack of time.  Hopefully, after I conquer a few more milestones in having my own business, I will be able to go back...although I do leave the possibility that I will go back, much, much sooner.  All I know is that I miss it very, very much. 

1) Hudson, S., (2019, Spring/Summer) (newsletter article), Preparing to Adopt a Bunny: Addressing Human Needs and Responsibilities, Friends of Rabbits
2) Carlson, L., Lennon the Bunny, (blog channel)
*Note: If you visit YouTube clips on Lennon the Bunny, please be aware that according to Carlson, Lennon was raised somewhat differently than other bunnies and therefore, she seems to like stuff or tolerate things that other bunnies don't. Please keep this in mind when viewing Lennon's clips.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

My Life has Changed Forever

I've been planning to have more posts about science, particularly biology, and was looking forward to writing them, especially one about teeth.  However, a few things happened, which lead to me taking a break from this blog.  The first thing was that my hands were giving me lots of trouble.  Carpal tunnel symptoms are very adept at finding me.  So for months, my hands were plagued with pain and odd, uncomfortable sensations.  Keeping my typing down to mainly just my two volunteer jobs helped a lot.

Somewhere around June of this year, my frustration of not being able to work a salary job due to two disabilities took a turn.  As throughout these past 3 years, there were moments when I thought, "Wow, I'm doing so well, I think I'm ready to work again," only to be followed by some setback.  I was a 0 on the dial of life, which is better than a negative number, of course...still...

Now, in Sept., I'm a business woman, getting ready to open her own business and market her creativity....later on this month!  I live as a business woman and think as a business woman...all the time.  There's a lot of things I can rightly attribute to my transformation, and that includes the rabbits.  During the 1990s I rode an enormous wave of creativity in art and the written word, but by the early 2000s, such gushers had dried.   While there were cracks and stirrings as the years went on, writing for a rabbit rescue really set me back on the path.  For every newsletter, I create short pieces of whimsical writings.  The most current newsletter also includes an article that I wrote.  Volunteering for rabbit rescues has benefited me in almost every facet of my life.  Volunteering truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

The People Connection (Curing the Post-graduation Blues Part 2)

Leaving North Dakota and going back to South Dakota was extremely difficult.  This was the place I had spent the darkest days of my life.  I wasn't interested in crawling back into a lightless tunnel of woe, pain, and disgust, but economics lead me to the doorstep of my former roommate- in South Dakota.

I seemed to be okay at first.  For months I filled out online job applications for positions all over the country with confidence and hopefulness.  As the days dragged on and my physical pain began overtake me, my activities began to changed.  Actions, such as filling out applications morphed into sitting and staring- either because I was too out of it, due to lack of sleep, or I didn't want to move due to pronounced pain. Almost everyone I knew had left town and my world become smaller and smaller.

Enter the rabbits.  Not a day goes by now that I don't speak to someone in the rabbit community.  My partner from work offered friendship to me, and I communicate daily with people in my rabbit Facebook groups.  In general, advocacy people are really great people to befriend.  They are friendly and patient.  They are kind, yet brave.  They are self-sacrificing.  They are heroes, and great people to have in your life.

However, there are exceptions.   When I first came back to town, I attempted to join a local group that helps humans.  What I got was incompetence, arrogance, and rudeness.  Dropping them from my life opened up a door that lead to some really wonderful people.  Preparing to bring rabbits into my life certainly seems to be the gift that keeps on giving.  As I continue to live on a steady stream of contentment, various aspects of my life continue to change in a positive way.  Sometimes, even just thinking about that brings me close to tears.  So here's to the rabbits and the people who strive to protect them.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Curing the Post-graduation Blues

In the winter of 2012, I packed up my stuff and I went up North to complete my education.  It was cold and dark, and at times I felt like I lived on "the edge of the earth."  Flying squirrels, cackling crows, hoots in the night, extreme cold, thick ice, and the cloudy, starless sky- the good and the bad of Northern life- they all seem so far away now.

Graduation from grad school was a wonderful time- full of hopes and dreams and joy.  With a 4.00 semester GPA,  a 4.00 overall GPA,  and golden recommendations, I knew I was on my way.  But then came the walkers, and the creams, and the oral medications, and the circular bandages, and the doctors, and the foot pads, and the infections, and the physical therapy, and the pain.  For over two years, my life was not my own.  And all my hopes and dreams melted away for the umpteenth time.

Enter the rabbits.  I started work on a volunteer basis for two rabbit rescues- each one over 1,200 miles away. Each job offered different opportunities.    Physical exercise strengthens my body.  Advocacy work strengthens my soul.  And now, weeks later, I look around and almost all the voids are gone.  How did that happen?  When did that happen?

Rabbit rescue work, fills me with feeling.  It is immensely rewarding.  It is humbling.  It is interesting.  It is joyful, and sometimes sad.  It is fantastic.  It is awesome. And, it is one of the greatest, truest things I've ever done in my life!

If things in your life aren't quite right and you find yourself searching for something, consider volunteering to help those in need- humans or animals.  Don't let distance stop you.  The phone and the Internet are wonderful implements that can get you where you need to go.  It's just a matter of connecting with flexible agencies and organizations.  And maybe one day, you too will look around, and will surprisingly find, your voids have been filled, your spirit has been nourished, and your soul has been strengthened!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Helping Rabbits in Need

It's amazing how two little creatures that I have not even met yet, have changed my life.  My credit score went up again.  I've entered a whole new community.  My love for reading non-fiction books is being nourished. My body is getting stronger through exercise.  My mind is focusing less on my disabilities.  I'm even finding different ways of dealing with the pain when it comes.   All of this is happening because I am prepping myself financially, intellectually, and emotionally to be a bunny mom!

My future bunnies have done so much for me.  I want to do more for them, and all bunnies.  Creating this blog and doing volunteer work doesn't seem to be enough for me.  I want to do more.

Many animal shelters and rescues have wish lists.  Some are listed on the right side of this blog, towards the bottom.  However, there are many, many more in existence. You can pick one from this blog, or search the shelters and rescues on the Internet.  Wish lists allow you to see the specific things that shelters and rescues need, such as blankets, food, toys, etc.  Tending to a wish list allows you to play Santa whenever you want!  There are many other ways to help, as well:

AmazonSmile has a program that will donate when you buy items from Amazon.  Amazon states that "AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you...The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases."  Now, 0.5% does not seem like much, but the more people that become involved, the more money will be donated.  Over time, things do add up.

Learn about AmazonSmile:

Charities that are interested in receiving donations through AmazonSmile should visit to learn more.

Helping rabbits and others in need can be as simple as using an Internet search engine.  Goodsearch, helps a variety of people and animals.  When you use the Goodsearch search engine, money is donated to a charity that you pick.  Again, the amount is very small, but don't let that discourage you.  Great things happen when tiny strides of progress are combined.  If you want to help rabbits through Goodsearch, you can choose for Special Bunny (an agency that helps bunnies with disabilities and non-disabled rabbits) to receive donations when you search the Internet.


1) Amazon, About AmazonSmile
2) Goodsearch
3) Special Bunny

Wednesday, December 26, 2018


Christmas came and went.  Parts of it were very pleasant.  Parts of it were incredibly difficult.  I have not one, but two disabilities, and other physical difficulties.  After eating processed and ready made food for year straight, I decided to fix lasagna...a meal I haven't fixed in about 25 years.  It took 5 hours and those 5 hours were full of stress and struggles.

Earlier in the day when delusions ran abound, and I actually thought that the coming dinner would be easy to fix, I found myself daydreaming...a lot.  I dreamed about Christmases that have passed and about ones to come.  I was pleased to find that I had so many beautiful memories, starting from my childhood and continuing onward through time.  In the future I saw myself with two rabbits on Christmas.  They were not presents.  I had had them for a while. I had brought them lots of gifts.  I was still living with my current roommate (who is sick this Christmas season), and everything was nice.  I was happy.

I know in reality, things may not work out...I know that.  But I think I have a good chance of making this work.  You see, I have a theory.  I think a lot of people are bringing rabbits into their homes without preparing for them, which includes doing research, rabbit proofing the home, reading up on disorders so they can be more likely to notice if something is not right, educating themselves on rabbit behaviors and rabbit communication, and making sure they are financially ready to buy everyday things like food, and financially ready to combat challenges like medical emergencies.  Do most rabbit owners have pet insurance?  I wonder.  I wonder...if everyone took the time to prepare...really prepare for having a rabbit (or any animal they plan to get), would the animal rescues and shelters be almost empty?  Hmmm.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Credit Scores and Healthcare Plans

Pets can decrease stress, reduce depression, raise quality of life, lower anxiety, and even add years to your life. Although some scary, health-related situations can arise with your pet, overall, having a pet keeps you calmer while certainly making life more interesting...and better! 

 But can having pets increase your financial stability?  I certainly believe that.  With a twitch of the nose, and a thump of the feet, Muffin certainly isn't going to expand your wallet.  But it's the commitment to provide Muffin with food, safe and enjoyable housing, and access to medical care that can keep you on the straight and narrow.

I grew up in a middle class economic status that did not transfer to my adulthood, once I moved out on my own.  Through the years, there was one huge barrier after another.  When it seemed like I was almost at the end of the tunnel, and I had finally achieved a graduate degree, lack of experience in my field, lack of overall experience, and the development of a second disability all hit me like a ton of bricks.  As I watched opportunity after opportunity fly out of my grasp, my credit score reached new lows.  It just seemed like something I couldn't control and something that I had to accept.

Enter the least in my mind.  I knew, if I was going to have pets...any pets, things would definitely have to change.  With my two disabilities competing with each other to see which one would be the alpha (lol), and other physical troubles, I made a commitment to lift myself up financially.  Any animal coming into my home would have enough food, health insurance, and a medical emergency fund- in case insurance did not pay for a particular medical problem.  That was exceptions!

Once I made that commitment to my future pets, things just fell into place.  I started approaching my financial difficulties like a person on a mission, instead of someone who had been beaten down by the system.  I contacted some of my creditors, and made plans. And today, only some weeks later, my credit score is up 25 points!  Some potential employers and landlords use credit scores as a measuring stick...fair or not.  Having a higher credit score also increases chances of being able to get a credit card, with a good amount of money on it, that can be used for medical emergencies.

So here's to Muffin and all her friends, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
For those of you struggling to provide a stable environment and good healthcare for your pets, these resources may be able to help:

A credit card specifically designed to pay for medical expenses of animals and humans.

Health plans that provide help for small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.), cats and dogs by lowering your animal's medical bills.

Article about health insurance for rabbits appearing on a website that's about dogs. :-)

Health insurance for rabbits, guinea pigs, other exotic animals, and dogs & cats.  To reach their exotic pet page, click here.

 Helps you keep track of your credit score so that you can get financially healthy.  Provides information for free. 

Tips and Notes
1)  Read insurance information and other healthcare plans carefully.  Don't assume your healthcare plan(s) will be accepted by the animal clinic/hospital you plan to take your pet to.  Don't assume you can combine more than one type of coverage.   Speak to billing offices of the clinic/hospital you plan to take your pet to, and the billing offices of the agencies connected to the healthcare plans you anticipate on using. Ask way in advance.  Don't wait until there is an emergency.

Nationwide states that they are the only insurance agency that extends health coverage to rabbits. Kimberly Alt of the Canine Journal backs up this claim.

2)  Find out if the healthcare agency you are thinking of using for your pet covers medical conditions that are related to a pre-existing condition.    Nationwide expresses that they do not cover pre-existing conditions.  According to Alt, currently, "no pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions" (2018).

Pet owners who have the Pet Assure plan need not worry about pre-existing and hereditary conditions.  However, this is not an insurance plan and coverage only goes so far as 25% of the cost.  Furthermore, the agency states, "you cannot combine the discount with other discounts or service packages.

 Are there healthcare plans out there, that can be combined with pet health insurance or other pet healthcare plans? Are there any new health insurance companies that actually do cover your pet for pre-existing conditions? Research! Ask questions. Gather good, solid information.

1)  Michigan City Animal Hospital (Oct 3, 20170), How Pets Enhance Our Quality of Life
2) Alt, K. (July 13, 2018), Canine Journal, Best Rabbit Insurance:  Hop Your Bunny Into Coverage Today
3) Nationwide (2018) [conversation with sales rep] 
4) Nationwide, Bird and Exotic Pet Insurance
6)  Robinson, K.M., Web MD, How Pets Help Manage Depression
8)  Oaklander, M. (Apr 6, 2017), TIME, Science Says Your Pet is Good For Your Mental Health