Speedy The Gerbil’s Self-Taught Trick
I have a beautiful memory of one of my gerbils. Speedy and her partner Gimpy lived together in a double cage. Their wheel was close to one of the lower shelves. Sometimes, when Speedy was in the right mood, she would sit on the edge of the ledge and spin the wheel with her front paws! She learned that trick all by herself. It amazed us that she did it. She was my first gerbil. I will always remember Speedy and Gimpy. They taught me how to be a proper gerbil owner.
Diane Nott, Ohio
Silver The Caring Bunny
After visiting the Wisconsin House Rabbit Society during a business trip, I learned a few months later that a Flemish Giant male was available; I adopted him from them. The glitch was that he came with a mate, a Standard Chinchilla female. I would not separate a bonded pair, so I sent for both of them. Sadly, the Flemish passed away before making it to me, leaving Silver alone. She had already had her front teeth removed due to a broken face, and now she had lost her mate; it was just too much.
I already had a trio of one male and two female bunnies. When Silver arrived, they decided they would not tolerate adding her to the group. Because she had no front teeth, she was also unable to protect herself, so she became the upstairs bunny.
My father was living with us and took over caring for Silver. He chopped her romaine and grated her carrots so she could eat. I would hear him telling her why she couldn’t just eat cilantro because her mean mommy (me) insisted she have a balanced diet. In those seven years, Silver never once tried to come down the stairs to interact with the other rabbits, even when my father took long vacations or during his hospital stays. She just waited for me to come up and feed her in his absence.
The day my father passed away, I came home from the hospital and looked up to see Silver coming down the stairs. After several weeks, I took her back upstairs. She hopped down the hall to my father’s bedroom, looked into his empty room then turned back down the hall and went back downstairs. Somehow she knew he was not coming back this time and that her job of taking care of him was done. She never went back up again in the last four years of her life. Only then did I realize that he wasn’t taking care of her, Silver was taking care of my dad, making sure he had a purpose and responsibility. Thank you, Silver.
Linda Oleszko, Michigan
For the full article with more memories, pick up the 2011 issue of Critters USA or click here to buy the issue.