Their story -
To look at them now, you’d never know that Sarge and Petal started out as sworn enemies! In September of 2015, Petal was a recently bereaved little widow, and Sarge was the new guy, brought in relatively soon after the passing of Petal’s mate, Palmer (also a rescue in his day), because Petal had gone on a hunger strike. The vet’s advice was to bring the new ‘friend’ (ehem) sooner rather than later, so that Petal would eat again, if only to keep the new arrival from getting all the food.
So Sarge was brought by his foster-bunny-mom Lisa, and introductions were made. Let’s just say it didn’t go well. The fur flew from the very first minute: Petal was NOT having some dumpster diver guy (Sarge was rescued from such a place…) all up in her business. Poor Sarge had no idea what he’d done to deserve such a rude welcome, but he gave back as bad as he got.
Within a few days, the living room was divided by an X-Pen and a modus vivendi was achieved for Sarge and Petal (and for their bunny mom, Cynthia, who had other things to do besides bunny refereeing, so something had to be done). Any and all attempts at bunny dates were big fat failures. There were regular skirmishes at the border, which quickly acquired the nickname of “The Bunny Balkans.” Petal’s favorite mean-girl activity was to lie in wait until Sargie went up to his favorite Balkan spot to flop and nap. The tips of his big, beautiful ears would sometimes stick through the interstices of the Bunny-Balkan fence: just what Petal was waiting for! She’d creep up, like a cat, while Sargie blissfully slept, and bite the living crap out of one of his ears. Predictably, Sargie would squeal and growl, and a very self-satisfied Petal would binky on over to her box (which Sargie very much wanted to control, and couldn’t get to: a source of great frustration in his little bunny world).
So. This was how we lived. And it seemed like this would be the status quo… At the advice of experts at T.H.E. Rabbit Resource, we even ceased attempts at bunny dates, because they just seemed to make things worse.
One day around the time of Valentine’s in 2017, Cynthia was making dinner, and there was some noise up at the Bunny Balkan Border. Thinking it was Petal torturing Sargie again, Cynthia came out of the kitchen to referee. And instead was greeted with the sight of Petal grooming Sargie’s head through the fence. Cynthia was neither drunk nor high at the time, and thus was forced to believe her eyes. A bit later, more noise at the border. This time it was Sargie, grooming Petal. The ice had been broken! After a year and a half of complete bunny stand-off, it seemed that bonding was going to happen!
And it did. Gradually, over the next few months, to insure that no backsliding happened, with the union culminating during the summer at their pet-sitter’s, while Cynthia was away. When they came home, they were sharing everything from food bowls to litter boxes, not to mention fun and cuddles and grooming (and, yes, humping: Sargie is the humper, as was to be expected).
Lesson: don’t give up on bonding efforts!! Some pairs are tougher nuts to crack than others, and S&P were among the toughest. The X-pen divider—adopted out of necessity, so Cynthia wouldn’t be driven completely around the bend—is actually kind of a good solution, and probably should have been deployed before introductions. Let them get used to one another, get curious about one another, and the rest will follow. But on their terms, and according to their schedule! We hoomins have to learn to be patient!
Donate through Paypal using the button above, or visit our donations page. Your contribution will help save homeless rabbits from brutal conditions so they can live in forever homes as wonderful as Cynthia's.
It took time, but their bond was worth it.
Sarge and Petal didn't hit it off immediately, but when they did, their Mom Cynthia knew it was something to celebrate.
Cynthia has teamed up with an anonymous donor to match every donation until further notice up to $1000 in honor of their long courtship.
Sarge & Petal Valentine Fundraiser!
Sarge and Petal have
been bonded since Valentine's day 2017.
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