As I sit here typing this post I’m looking around my pretty blogger office that has now been taken over by an x-pen, bunny hutch, hay and an absurd amount of rabbit pellets. Let’s not forget 2 small dogs and their toys and endless dog beds. I can’t help but wonder how the heck did this happen?!
I guess I should blame myself for this. After all, I was the one who had her baby nursery decorated with bunnies, my baby shower theme was bunnies and Erik and I both passed our animal obsession onto Summer from day 1.
It’s nothing new around here that we LOVE animals. I mean I created an entire Instagram saga about a groundhog that lives under our shed. I had a proper funeral for our pet fish and let Summer make a headstone out of a seashell. Before Summer was born I bought a special dog bed to match her bedroom and hung plaques on the wall that said “Benny and Emma” so the dogs would feel included (because you know they can read and all).
So naturally Summer grew into a child who loved animals as much as us and over the last year has been begging us for a bunny. I am not gonna lie. While Erik and I came close to adding a bunny awhile back I really didn’t want to do it. It would be another animal to take care of. I knew nothing about them and I really just didn’t want to be bothered.
Last week Summer came running into the laundry room and out of nowhere she was crying. I’m not talking crying. She was pain crying. Like broken heart crying. She was saying “Mommy, I just want a bunny so bad. I have wanted a bunny since I started my life.” That right there. Word for word true lines!
Now most people would say that getting her a bunny because she was crying for one is bad parenting and only reinforcing that she gets what she wants. But that is so not the case. I saw the pain of her wanting her own pet. The dogs were mine before she was born. They really could care less for her. Let’s face it — if Summer and I were hanging off a cliff and only one could be saved you can bet my dogs are gonna save me. They are good with her but they don’t love her like they love me. But for the first time I looked at Summer’s cry and felt her pain. Pain for wanting to love something of her own. A plea to have something to nurture that belonged to her. The yearn (and promise) to be responsible for something.
As a parent, you just know when the timing is right. Erik is on board with any animal we want to add to our home. You think I’m a big animal lover? You should see him. Total mush. So the only one to convince was me. I laid in bed that night and really thought about it. I want Summer to look back on her childhood the way I look back on mine. I had dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, hermit crabs, fish and I remember loving on every single one. I want her to have that same love of animals.
I truly believe animals are one of the biggest joys on this earth. Our daughter’s heart is so big, her touch so gentle and I just knew it was time for her to share that love with a pet of her own.
We surprised Summer last Sunday. I found a breeder and on the way to his house we told her she was getting a bunny that day. And she cried again. But it was no longer that painful cry. It was a cry of pure happiness and I will never forget that moment. Sure we all cry happy tears at weddings, graduations and so on but this was the first time I ever saw Summer cry happy tears of her own.
And so we welcome Snowball Winter bunny into our home. His arrival into our family reminds me of the joys of parenthood. Being able to fulfill your children’s dreams, seeing that pure gratefulness on their faces and knowing that you did something for them they will never forget. I’ll never forget the day we brought Snowball into our home and I 100% know Summer will never forget either. It’ll be one of her favorite childhood memories.
Snowball Winter is a lionhead lop. Part lionhead as a tribute to our House of Leo and the lop gives him the floppy ears. I now spend my days blogging in my office with 2 dogs and a bunny but every time I look at him I am reminded of how truly happy we made Summer and that’s what it’s all about. House of Leo might be a bit of a zoo with 2 dogs, 9 fish and now a bunny but I wouldn’t want it any other way. Summer’s love for animals will continue to grow and deepen and she will learn what a gift animals are to share our lives with. My life would never be complete without the love of an animal and now she will fully understand how much joy our furry friends can bring into our lives.