When in doubt, adopt a rabbit

What do you do when your kids want a dog but the oldest is asthmatic, your husband’s not that interested in getting a cat and gerbils or goldfish won’t cut it?

Your family adopts a rabbit.

The Davis family of Kettering – dad Dometrice, mom Sarah and daughters Samara,13, and Aysia, l0 – did just that. And they haven’t regretted it.

Clover, a Holland Lop, joined their family about three years ago. His coat is a beautiful mixture of white and browns. A small rabbit, he weighs around three pounds. Clover displays many of the typical rabbit mannerisms and then some.

Of the many rabbit breeds globally, the Holland Lop are among the most popular in U.S. homes. Many families keep them as pets because they are curious, smart, and have unique personalities. Rabbits are social by nature and will form close bonds with other rabbits and people, according to lionheadrabbitcare.com.

Clover is a happy rabbit. He zooms around the house and jumps in the air, doing what experts call “binkying.” He snuggles with family members and loves to be stroked. Often, you’ll see him lying on one side or “flopping” – a clear sign Clover is relaxed and content.

Rabbits' noses are very sensitive. They use them to investigate their environment. Clover loves to explore his home as well as his backyard, using his nose to nudge not only inanimate objects but his family as well.

The colorful rabbit is smart. He quickly learned to use the litter box. Dometrice taught him tricks. Clover can spin, stand on his hind legs and jump on command. He is always rewarded with treats, a favorite being strawberries.

Clover, like other rabbits, has scent glands on his face. Sometimes rabbits will rub their chins on something to tell others the object is theirs, marking their territory. Clover increased this “chinning” behavior when the Davis family adopted Buddy, a toy poodle, two years ago.

When a rabbit is upset or angry it will thump on its hind legs, stomping a foot on the ground. This alerts others, both rabbit and human, there is something to be wary of. Certain sounds will set Clover “thumping” his displeasure, such as Buddy crunching loudly on a treat. Laughter from Samara and Aysia and thumping from Clover occurs when Dometrice puts on headphones and sings.

One morning, Samara returned home early from an outing with her father. The Davis family, not expecting her that early, were still sleeping when she knocked on the front door. No one heard her. Not even Buddy.

She continued to knock. No one heard the knocking – except Clover, that is. The rabbit’s cage was positioned with a clear view of the front door. The small rabbit could see Samara waiting for someone to unlock the door.

Clover did what rabbits do when upset. He started thumping. He thumped loudly and long enough to wake his family up and then to hear Samara’s knocking.

Sarah laughed at the memory:

“I never would have guessed when we got Clover we were getting a ‘watch’ rabbit.”

Mini Holland Lop characteristics

1. Origin: Bred as hybrid of the French Lop and the Netherlands Dwarf.

2. Breed: Recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) in 1979.

3. Lifespan: 5-7 years.

4. Adult weight : 2-4 pounds

5. Size: Small or dwarf rabbit

6. Colors: light/dark orange, mix between purple and grey, dark brown, luminous brown, white, black

SOURCE: lionheadrabbitcare.com/mini‑lop‑vs‑holland‑lop