I’ve always loved this photo of my first Flemish Giant, Mr. Bean, and my dog Buddy. I think it’s so cute the way they are peering over the gate at one another. Mr. Bean had been out on the sunporch playing with the other bunnies when Buddy came along to see what all the ruckus was about.
Mr. Bean lived in our bathroom and had free-run of the house. For the most part he hung out in the bathroom and the hallway outside our bedroom, but would ocassionally venture into the kitchen when I was fixing salads or out to the sunporch to visit his girlfriends. I used the baby gate to keep the girl bunnies from having access to the rest of the house where they would get themselves into trouble. Buddy and Mr. Bean mostly ignored each other because Mr. Bean wasn’t afraid of him and Buddy was trained to always be *gentle* around the bunnies.
Mr. Bean came to me from a show breeder who was going to sell him to a slaughterhouse because he wasn’t show quality – his color wasn’t *good* – Boomer and Cricket were bred by the same person and sent to slaughter because they have crooked tails (another disqualifier for show). We brought him home the day before Easter, hence his name, Jelly Bean, a.k.a. Mr. Bean. I remember being so intimidated by his size and a bit scared of him!
He was a wonderful, gentle rabbit; typical of his breed. He loved to eat, and to be petted, and to nap. He loved to sleep on the tiny wicker end table in my office – even though his feet hung off the end of the shelf! He had the softest, creamiest fur on his belly and waggled his ears and danced for me when I called him “Jelly-Belly-Bean” in my silliest voice. He was perfect with his litterbox and was not a chewer (except for my PDA cord and a straw gardening hat I had left lying around where he could decorate it for me).
He loved spending nice days on the patio where he could lounge in the sunshine and flop in the sandbox on his back for a nap. He would lay beside me at night when I sat down to read. He loved orchard grass and a shot of Snapple What-A-Melon in his drinking water.
It’s two years this month since he passed away and still I miss him and think of him. I wish we could have found a way to make him healthy. I wish he wouldn’t have had to die alone at a vet hospital that didn’t know how to help him. I wish he were still here with me.