Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Bunny Named Bunny

Referring to my previous post, I could mention that Bunny #3 (named Bunny), was my favorite. I attended California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (aka Cal Poly Pomona), California, where I received both a Masters and a Bachelors degree in Microbiology (more about all this another time).

One of the classes I took in my undergrad years was Immunology and Serology. Part of the lab work was to inject cute little albino bunnies with stuff (nothing that would make the bunnies sick), then collect blood from them and go through an isolation and purification procedure to get the antibodies the bunnies made against the stuff. When the academic quarter was over, we had a choice of bringing the bunnies home (only catch -- we had to donate some of our own blood for the same class), or leave the bunnies there. If we left them, they ended up in one of the zoology classes' labs where, sadly, they would endure open-heart surgery and then would die. Needless to say, I took my team's bunny home.

Over a period of a few months or so, Bunny had the free run of an enclosed patio. She could hippity-hop around, hide, eat or do whatever she wanted.

The best part was when I called my girlfriend (now my wife). The phone was by a door that led out to the patio. So I'd sit on the doorstep, talking on the phone, often for an hour or more. Bunny would come over, go in betwen my legs and turn around, facing away from me. Then she'd settle down while I petted her until well after the phone call was finished. None of the other bunnies or the guinea pig seemed to appreciate the affection the way Bunny did.

One of Bunny's favorite places to be petted was just a little above her nose. I noticed that when a male and female are together, the male will lick and nibble the female there, and the female seemed to be in bunny heaven when he did.

Bunnies also like being petted and rubbed around the base of the ears. So--if you have a bunny or the next time you're in a bunny's company, consider letting it know how cute you think it is by petting it in those places.

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