Dylan Widger

Dear readers,

Life lessons can come in many different forms. Sometimes, they appear as fluffy bundles of joy.

At the start of this school year, I was living alone in a single-bedroom apartment. It was the first time in my life that I had a place to live completely on my own. Everything stayed exactly where I put it, and if the apartment turned into a mess, it was because of my lack of effort –– not because of a roommate.

I loved it––at least I thought I did.

Being able to have my own independent living space was great for a long time. It still is. I don’t have to worry about arguments or disagreements with anyone. 

However, what I have found is that I was missing interaction.

When I would go home for the day, that was it. I was alone with myself until my morning class the next day. I would find myself spending more and more time on campus, starving for some sort of interaction with someone or something.

Recently, a family member reached out to my parents about rehoming their pet rabbit. My family was more than welcome to the idea of adding another pet to our family. However, my mom approached me about having a pet in my apartment. She thought that me getting a pet would be a positive addition to my college life.

And so, Delilah entered my life.

Delilah is a three-year-old fluffy, adorable, perfect little bunny. I don’t know what breed she is (if there are any bunny experts reading this, I would appreciate the help), but it doesn’t matter. 

I love her. And I think you would, too.

The first day I had her was somewhat of a shock. I really didn’t know what to do. I grew up with cats, dogs and a hedgehog, but I hadn’t had any experience with a rabbit. 

I immediately went to Google, searching everything from “What toys should I buy my rabbit” to “How to tell if my bunny likes me.” Thankfully, there are tons of online forums full of advice on taking care of domesticated rabbits. After a ton of research, I felt a bit more confident on how to ensure this perfect little creature would stay happy and healthy under my care. 

The next few days came with a lot of experimentation. She came in a hutch where she had spent most of her time in while at her previous home. In hopes that one day I can let her freely roam around my apartment, I let her loose on the couch with me to see how she would handle it. She started sprinting around the couch, digging into the blankets and jumping and twitching in the air, which I learned is called “binking.” It occurs because the bunny is so happy that it literally can’t contain the excitement and begins leaping for joy.

The next step of experimentation was letting her loose in my bedroom. I learned two things from this. The first is that she loves the freedom and will fight by any means necessary to not go back in her hutch. I can’t say I blame her –– I am sure an apartment bedroom allows for a bit more exploration than her little hutch. However, trying to get her to sit still enough to be picked up takes some work, and once I get her there, I still have to convince her that she is safe and that I am not trying to punish her. The other thing I learned was that she loves cables –– specifically, she loves chewing through cables. 

One new phone charger and many plastic wire looms over every cable in my apartment later, I let her loose again. Again, she loved being able to run around and explore on her own, but as I let her be free, I found another of her passions: chewing carpet. 

Chewing is a natural thing for bunnies to do. It’s part of their behavior and isn’t something I’d ever try to deny her the ability to do. However, with her literally chewing my security deposit away, I went back to the drawing board again on how to overcome these challenges.

She still will do anything she can to avoid going back to her hutch. She has given me numerous scratches trying to get free, but she is starting to calm down quicker and quicker each time.

As of today, I will have had Delilah for exactly a week. I’m still figuring things out and have purchased multiple snacks, toys and things for her to chew on. I am also working on holding her, playing with her and trying to build a bond between us. To her, I am still this stranger whom she doesn’t know if she can trust, but in time, I know things will work out.

The more I think about my experiences with her, the more I start to realize that the lessons I learn from her are lessons that will be useful throughout my whole life. She reminds me of how to be persistent and patient in order to be successful. She has taught me that my floors need to be vacuumed more often than I think. 

And, she has taught me the value of having a companion.

Life lessons can come in many different forms. This time, they came to me in the form of a cute, destructive bunny who has yet to learn to trust me. And I love her all the same.