This year is rapidly drawing to a close and I felt that I needed to close it with this tome from my heart.
This was a busy year for me filled with the publishing of my new book, The Bunny Lover’s Complete Guide To House Rabbits and lots of rescue work with several local rabbit organizations. I am a busy volunteer for both the San Diego Humane Society and drop in monthly to the Escondido Humane Society to work solely with the rabbits. The San Diego House Rabbit Society is my first love and commitment and they garner most of my attention and time. I take my job as rabbit educator very seriously and am happy to say that my wife and I are driving forces in their efforts to change the way the public thinks about pet rabbits.
As always in life, this year has been a huge challenge. Several of my bunny friends have seen their lives take new uncharted paths and they were not alone, since we too have been challenged in ways that we never dreamed of in the past 12 months. The economy has put a crimp into many people’s lifestyles and so I know that we were not alone in feeling the crunch, financially.
I knew that we would never get rich off my new book, but it’s sales and reach have far outpaced my wildest dreams. That is a good thing, because one thing that I have noticed in these tough economic times is that many family pets have suffered from it all.
Pets who have been with families for years are being dropped off at the shelters because the people just cannot care for them any longer. I have been touched by this phenomenon over and over again, since these troubled times started. It breaks my heart to think that a once loved animal is now fighting for his life in a shelter, where he is afraid and exposed to all kinds of sad things. Often some of these animals go from a good life in a warm friendly home to a small cage or enclosure where they rarely get out or get pets. This has to be extremely unsettling for a pet who cannot understand why these things are happening to him.
I often wonder, what they think caused this to happen to them. I worry that they feel that they did something bad, so bad that they were abandoned and left behind. Who knows what goes on inside their little minds, but I am certain that they simply have no understanding of why they are suddenly there.
Putting my heart and soul into helping forgotten and left behind animals has changed my life and made my little problems in life seem small and inconsequential. It has also helped me through many tough times and count my true blessings over and over. It has been an escape for me many times this past year. I know I have helped change some lives for several of my friends and the bunnies that I work with. That alone, has made the struggle worthwhile.
There were so many brights spots this past year. Big orders from other rabbit rescue people for my book, because they felt it was the best educational tool available to teach newbies about having a pet bunny. It validated all the hard work that my editor Rani and I did to create it.
Meanwhile, Rani fell very ill and went into the hospital with failing kidneys and heart. She has since had kidney and heart surgery and is expecting to do several more. My thoughts and love go out to her, because she was my inspiration and support during the trying times of writing and publishing my book. It would never have been half as good as it is, without her guidance and knowledge.
Several of my bunny friends lost their jobs, place to live and even their health this past year. None of these things is ever fun, but they have all remained up and full of hope for better things to come. Their spirit has charged me up to expect great and good things this coming new year. I am putting my efforts and energy into moving our mission forward in the coming months. My biggest hope is that things will get a little better for pet bunnies everywhere, as a result of all of the good-hearted people out there who are working to change the way the public looks at their pets. Being the optimist that I am, I believe that we ARE making a difference.
What will my next project be? I have so many ideas and thoughts, that even I do not know for sure. I know that my plate is full and that I have a lot to do, but I am definitely going on with my fight to effect change, however small or seemingly meaningless. So in the vein of seeing the cup half full, I believe that it WILL be a better year for rabbits, if not just because so many people out there are working to hard to make it happen.
I learned this year that one of the greatest people I have ever known, passed away a couple years ago. His name was Robert Sturner. He taught me many things and changed my life forever. One of my favorite things that he showed me was that whatever you consistently and constantly dwell upon in your life, will become a reality. I truly believe this and live my life according to this important message. Dreams can become reality and create huge change, if you believe enough and do what it takes to make it happen.
Change will happen and that is a given. What direction changes take are determined by the dreamers who dared to think about things that many people told them were crazy or impossible. New ideas and ways of thinking are being fostered and dispersed every day and with the advent of the internet and international media, faster than ever before.
Someday, I dream of a world where pets do not suffer and experience only love from their owners. Pets have enriched my life beyond words. I cannot imagine a life without their blessings and love, which is second only to family and friends. Many people in the world have no family or good friends and so the love that they share with pets is the only goodness in their lives. More people need to experience this and they will when they discover how the unconditional love of a pet is life changing and beautiful.
Some of my friends lost pets this year. I shared in their tears and sorrow, as I truly know the depths of sadness and despair that can result from such a loss. It is like losing a close family member. Just the thought brings back the heart wrenching sadness that I felt when losing my last pet. The only thing that allowed me to mend was the love given to me by my new pets that we rescued, since. I feel blessed that I have so many cool loving bunnies to share what is left of my life with.
Now that this year is drawing to a close, I put forth that we CAN change the direction of everything and part of doing this is changing the way that we think and act. Those are the things that we personally can control. We cannot control the thoughts and actions of others, but we do affect them with ours. We can be the example for what is good. We can be the torch that shines into the darkness. Through our light, we can make it better.
Let’s light the world!
The Bunny Guy