My husband never had any type of pet before, ever, so a dog or a cat was just too much of a leap for him. So I thought, how about a rabbit. The lop-earred ones even resemble dogs a little, with the long ears hanging down; maybe a white one with spots.
There are several breeds of rabbits, ranging from the smallest, the Netherland dwarf, at approx 2 1/2 lbs:
to the largest, the Giant Flemmish, averaging 20 pounds:
There are several types of lop-earred rabbits. The smallest is the Holland Lop, which usually averages about 3½ - 4 pounds.
The American Fuzzy is the same size and shape only, well... fuzzier. Here is an example of a beautiful American Fuzzy:
Then there is the mini lop, which is a little larger.
The English Lop, which usually averages at 10 pounds or more, has 19" long ears!
And all the way up to the French lop, which usually weighs 12-14 lbs or more.But back to my story...
I decided the cute little Holland lop was best for me. We found some breeders in Pennsylvania to take a look. The first place we went to - Wow – it was huge; at least the size of a double garage with cages upon cages of rabbits, including just born tiny babies, a play area with exercise equipment, grooming area… It was pretty amazing.
Then we went to this other breeder/farm?? I found out they were bred for either pet or MEAT! He had just a few cages in his backyard.
He placed this young brown "tort colored" Holland lop in my arms, and the little guy looked up at me. There was no way I was leaving him there. We named him Cyrano.
Cyrano started out in a nice sized rabbit cage that we bought for him. But a few months later we got him a huge double decker condo. The upper floor was carpeted and that was his play area. Downstairs was vinyl flooring, with his kitchen on one side, and bathroom (litter box) on the other. But whenever I was home he also had the run of the house.
Here is an example of the condo we got for him:
OK, he did destroy a couple of rugs, and you really need to rabbit proof your house for exposed wires, etc, but he had such an adorable personality. He was very lovable, and so soft and loved to be brushed.
He was large for a Holland lop at 5 lbs!
We enjoyed 3 great years with this wonderful little guy.
Then he started to get a blockage in his urinary tract. The vet and I were trying to get this under control, but it was just too much for the little guy. I still miss him, but he was also responsible for the door that opened and let in two beautiful puppies – first Giupetto, then Gianna. (Another story for another time.)
I hope you enjoyed my story, and remember there are so many different pets to choose from, but the most important thing is that you do some research before-hand, so you choose the right pet for you and for your living arrangements.
Think about whether you will be able to devote the proper time and energy necessary for the pet you choose. Research the proper size cage or housing requirements, exercise, grooming needs, any special food, lighting or heat requirements, etc, before you start your search.
And enjoy a wonderful life with your new pet.