Mufasa, I'll never forget the first time I saw you. You were getting your nails trimmed (something we never got good at doing!). She asked if I wanted to hold you...I said no because you looked like you weren't a very happy bunny -- nail clip time was always stressful.
I had no idea that day that your little 3.5 lb. self would affect my life so deeply. The following summer I realized how awful you were being treated and knew that I had to do something. My love of animals outweighed my fear of not knowing how to care for a rabbit. I asked if I could have you -- and, as I suspected, your current owner didn't love you like you deserved, she drove you the whole 4 hour trip from Traverse City down to Ann Arbor the very next day. I'm still mad at myself that I don't remember the exact date, but I had no idea you would mean so much to me.
Over the next 5 years, I learned how great of a pet a bunny could be. As friendly as a dog but as quiet and relatively low-maintenance as a cat, why would anyone want anything else? We would lay on the floor together for hours at a time -- you would kiss my left hand while I pet you with my right as we watched sports together. There were the scary nights with loud thunder that would make you stomp your foot and there were the nights where I was sad and just needed a friend to cuddle with and talk to; but we were ALWAYS there for each other. You were the most useful bunny a single guy could ask for too. Most of the girls thought you were SO adorable (how could they not?). There were a few though, who didn't understand why a man in his late 20s would have a bunny. You helped me realize very quickly what kind of person they were (certainly the kind I didn't want anything to do with).
It's kind of weird now, not having you around. The vet told me you would live until at least 10, if not 12 or 13. That made your 8th birthday this year pretty hard. But don't think for one second I didn't remember it. The way I see it though, it was better to have you for 5 fantastic years, than never have you at all. Your little back was against the wall right from the get-go. I still can't believe that pet store almost put you down when you were just 6 months old. She told me the stories; how you were kept in a little basement with dirt floors all by yourself and that she just couldn't let you die. Though she wasn't very good to you after that, I'm so glad she found you when she did.
Perseverance, your ability to love and a little bit of good luck were, without a doubt, your three greatest attributes. You became my best little bud in those 5 years, too. You taught me to persevere when life got hard. You showed me how much love a bunny can get and how much love a bunny deserves to get back in return (lots and lots and lots). But most of all, you made me realize that I was the lucky one. Those are 5 years that changed my life forever -- I'll always remember you as my very first pet -- You didn't belong to my family or a girlfriend or anyone else; you were my bunny and I couldn't have had a better experience. I'm so lucky to have had you and I can promise you that I will never, ever forget you. Thanks so much for all the fun times we shared and the love that will never leave my heart. Goodbye little booger.
You can follow Sean on Twitter (Mufasa's Dad - @mufasabun )