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Niall and Champion: Embracing a Lifetime of Love

It’s National Pet Week, a week to celebrate the relationships between people and their pets! Today, we’d like to share the journey of adoptive parent Niall and his current rabbit Champion and explore the events that brought them together.

Niall’s journey with rabbits has been both rewarding and challenging. It began with a childhood Christmas gift, Nibbles, who gave their family eight years of companionship. Reflecting on those early years, Niall acknowledges the obstacles that often come with receiving rabbits as gifts. He notes that had he been older, he would have been better equipped to provide the best care possible. 

Later, during his undergraduate years, Olive entered his life as a Craigslist rescue, becoming a constant companion through the challenges of early adulthood. Olive was a golden child (other than her insatiable need to dig). Her unwavering presence shaped his daily routines and provided solace during turbulent times. Niall originally contacted HRS to find a friend for Olive, but Olive preferred her position as ruling bun.

When dear Olive passed on, it wasn't just a loss of a pet; it was the departure of a beloved friend who held a significant place in Niall’s heart. Olive was more than just a rabbit; she was Niall's "raison d'être," his reason for being, and the impacts of losing such an intensely close bond cannot be overstated. Niall took time to mourn, to process the depth of his emotions, and to honor their bond. 

When Niall felt ready to open his heart and home to another rabbit, he wanted to support a formal adoption agency that prioritized the well-being of the pets above all else. HRS stood out as an organization dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming rabbits, without any intention of profiting from their care. Niall later returned to HRS, ready to give somebun a second chance in life.

Enter Champion. Ever since Champ arrived in 2020, Niall's home has been filled with warmth and personality. Champ’s authenticity shines through in his daily routines. He knows when Niall wakes up, and he’ll spend the day with Niall in the sunroom as he works. About an hour after Niall relocates for the evening, he can count on the familiar sound of Champ's galumphing out of the sunroom to join him.

Niall and Champ may not share exactly the same interests, but their bond is strengthened through play and connection. Champ’s favorite game is coaxing endless pets from Niall, but he also enjoys their shared target training sessions (read: treats!) The clicker training provides almost a common language between the two, helping to turn negative experiences, like entering a carrier, into positive interactions. 

Having a house rabbit like Champ also comes with its share of responsibilities and concerns. From managing litter box habits to ensuring a safe environment, every aspect of rabbit ownership requires careful attention and consideration. Despite the challenges, such as Champ’s missing front paw, which seems to hardly hinder him, and a life-threatening health scare, Niall’s dedication to Champ remains steadfast and their bond only grows.

For those considering rabbit adoption, Niall offers two pieces of advice: have a plan and be patient. Preparing resources, such as a trusted vet and emergency supplies, and educating yourself about rabbit care will set you up for success, while patience and understanding are essential for building trust and fostering a strong bond with your rabbit.

Reflecting on their journey, Niall is deeply thankful for Champ’s companionship, which has brought immense joy and comfort to his life. Their relationship exemplifies the profound bond that exists between humans and animals. Adopting Champ from HRS wasn't just about doing it right; it was about embracing a lifetime of love with a remarkable rabbit, along with joining a support network of rabbit lovers who share the same sentiment.


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