porches + pets | the deer, the dog + the bunny

Once upon a time there were two bunnies… no, but really, we’ve been seeing a Mr. + Mrs. Bunny around our yard for at least half a year now consistently. They have been eating everything they can find in our yard and on multiple occasions have not been shy about doing so! Obviously, this is proof of reason–their babies have arrived!

This morning started like so many in our house–looking out the kitchen window at our pet family of deer. We’ve never fed them anything (besides a couple dozen roses + a few hosta) but they are always around, week after week they stop by + sleep under the neighbors trees. They have been around since we moved in last summer.

So, we let the dog out for his walk-a-bout the yard despite the usual breakfast guests + though the deer were initially alarmed by his presence, they went on about their morning rituals. Then a couple of moments later, they all perked up + stared in Chipper’s direction for a time without breaking their stares, so we looked to see what he had gotten into + very long story short, he had found this little sweet bunny somewhere behind/beneath the girls’ playhouse!

It was comical, in part, because our dog was out of view during this standoff, so when we started to call him, he ran from behind “the tiny house” + sort of flicked his ear in our direction as if to say, “I got a situation back here”. In a way it was such a sweet series of events. Those of you who know Chipper, know he has a long record of incidents with other animals (deer, in particular) + let’s just say they all end up making us laugh, even long after the situation has passed. This is our dog at his finest.

The poor thing was terrified when our careful pup tried to pick it up to bring it to us, but once we collected the bunny safely + gently to see if he was hurt or worse, we could see he was mostly disoriented with a bit of a floppy foot. “He” looks to be maybe a week or two old, so we put the little cutie in this shallow plant nursery box to show the girls + further inspect + research if there was anything we could/should do.

The morning was full of all the excitement of a nature show in our very own backyard!

Our concerns, being the parents we are, but uneducated about wild animals, were 1. was it maimed? 2. should we feed it something? 3. was he abandoned? Upon further investigation, wild bunnies do not thrive in human care + only eat 5 minutes per day total. Ryan read that the mother bunny will most typically come back by nightfall to check on her babies + it is not correct to assume any baby bunny has been abandoned. Knowing what everyone says about bunnies, we have reason to believe there may be more where this one came from. Being a little leary of putting this one back right away due to the floppy foot situation + a hawk always making rounds through the neighborhood, we kept our fluffy friend sheltered on our patio for further observation + he/she settled right in + rested the day away. My intial instinct was to take him to a veterinarian (ours sees all sorts of animals), but we think little “Leo” is going to make it in the wild as he was born to after all! I am so glad + the girls are too. How sweet is this tiny creature?! You can eat all my coneflowers next summer little one, rest up!



Our hero, Chipper the shelter pup!

*Update: When we dropped the bunny off at the apparent nest, we found another bunny there as if he had been waiting for “Leo” to return!  His sibling, who seemed to be much healthier than our convalescent, got a bit spooked by our prescence + subsequent drop off activity + ran off immediately right through Walker’s legs as fast as a little bunny can—so C U T E!  That little bunny wasted no time finding his/her way through the back fence where we have seen the adult bunnies come + go many times.  As of this evening, it seems our little friend found his way out as well!  Bless their hearts.  I hope we will see them again soon, happy, healthy + with full cotton tails!

 

This is Mary Catherine signing off from our backyard where nature is NEAT!

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