Two Dutch Girls on a Road Trip to Wiltshire

Road Trip 2017 (2) - Richmond to Chawton to Salisbury.

Good afternoon! Would you like to join me for the second part of my road trip in the South-West of England? A long time wish of my daughter...

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Who wants to go chasing rabbits? -Or Keeping Strays 3

Honing, in all his splendour.
My darling daughter adores keeping pets. She has grown up with dogs, cats, doves, ducks, guinea- pigs, fish and rabbits. But when she reached the age of 11, and our last guinea- pig had died of old age, I put my foot down. No more rodents. I was extremely busy, and the cleaning of the hutch came mostly down to me.

She pleaded, moaned, sulked, sweet-talked, but all in vain - my foot was firmly down. For about a month.
Then, late in the afternoon of a drizzly April day, our dog Gina took my husband into the woods (no, this is no mistake on my part) and chased after something yellowish. My husband went to investigate, thinking it probably was a cat. But it turned out to be a shivering traumatised domesticated rabbit. My husband couldn't let it sit there, where Gina had it backed into a corner under a large tree. So he took it home.

When I came home from work, I was informed that there was a rabbit in the shed, but that it wouldn't survive the night, as it was in a terrible condition. It was dirty yellow, bald in most places, mangey, and had a large festering wound around its neck where there had been a rope.
So we gave it a nest of warm hay, some water, and left it to die in peace.

My daughter couldn't face looking at it the next morning, so I went. To my amazement I was greeted by a curious, very much alive rabbit. But it still looked awful. We made an appointment with the vet, who told us it had fleas, lice, mange, needed anti-biotics for the inflammation of the wound and the colour was due to it being absolutely covered in urine. He estimated his, for it was a guy, age to be anything between 4 and 10 years old. He injected it, salved it, powdered it, and we got a carload of stuff for keeping it in medicines.
My daughter proudly named it Honing, meaning honey in English, due to its colour.

Honing took up residence in an emergency shelter in the garden, whilst my husband quickly banged a new hutch together. When he inspected his new home, some hours later, Honing immediately started re-arranging his bedding, grunting and snuffling, and then when it was put down to his satisfaction, he started grooming himself. He was the most ugly rabbit imaginable. Hardly any hair, and the hair he did have was short, dirty and dull.

We gave him the run of the garden, trusting our cat (then Tigger) and Gina to leave him in peace, which they did. He could get into his hutch by means of a chicken stairway, but his preferred perch was on top of the woodpile. There he sat for hours and hours, surveying his kingdom. As soon as he was insect-free, and his wound had healed, his hair started growing back in, and to our joy he turned out to be snow white, and long haired. He kept himself immaculate. 
 Gina and Tigger respected him, he only had to grunt to make them back off.
Our previous strays:
Snuitje, guinea-pig: dumped on us by someone wanting to get rid of it;
Snuf, rabbit: we bought this one!
Tigger, we adopted him from someone who turned out to be allergic to cats.

Honing stayed with us for four years. Then, one morning, he was off his food, and died in the night.
He was an amazing rabbit.