Unlike some of my neighbors, I’ve always liked rabbits, and once had one as a pet. I stop and say hello whenever I see them. The main reason my neighbors aren’t big fans of Peter and Roger is because of the damage they can do to their gardens. I get it, those little buggers can be voracious vegetarians. They are also diggers, and one has left a good-sized hole in the middle of my backyard. Whenever I see a rabbit, it always takes me back to my bike rides with Skittles, our crazy dog.
Skittles had two mortal enemies, cats and rabbits. I never understood why, but I’m pretty sure it was genetic. She was a beagle / basset hound, so she was a born huntin’ dawg. Now that the weather is warming up, I’m reminded of the bike rides we used to take. She would bolt down the driveway like a bat out of hell, with me struggling to keep up. However, once we got to the end of the block, she would settle into a more comfortable pace as we made our way to the first stop. The Pee Tree.
I always had to be exceedingly careful. After almost pulling us into the path of an oncoming school bus once, I decided to limit our rides to early mornings on the weekends. There was only one problem with that plan. Rabbits tend to come out during the early morning and evening hours. If Skittles spotted one while we were riding, it could have meant certain death for both of us.
One day, as we were making our way around the block, there was a frickin’ Wabbit Convention on the corner of the street. Three rabbits were on the sidewalk, comparing notes on who had the tastiest vegetables in the neighborhood. Since they were on my left side, and Skittles was on my right, it could have ended very badly. Thankfully, Skittles’ attention was elsewhere, and I managed to get us around the corner without incident.
The other day, I was out for a ride by myself. We would always finish up with a sprint down the street. Without thinking, I said, “C’mon pup!”, and picked up my pace. It was very easy to picture her there, galloping along beside me. As tears welled up in my eyes, I realized I still wasn’t over losing my crazy dog, and I probably never would be.
I spotted a pair of rabbits in our yard yesterday. I remembered how Skittles would instantly go into stalking mode, silently willing me to open the door and release the hound. With eight lucky feet between the two of them, they might have had a chance. I can easily picture her chasing cats and rabbits in Heaven. Miss you, pup.
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