"I love that on the weekend they come with me to my local coffee shop and happily sit in the hood of a sweatshirt while I have a coffee with a friend,” says Louise - new mum to deaf and blind rabbits, Pinball and Wizard.
Louise moved from New Zealand to Australia a few years ago and it wasn’t long before she decided she needed some furry love in her life.
I've had a really hard year - sadly I lost my twin sister. Life has been so sad and things had been feeling kind of hopeless since. I had zero motivation to get out, meet people and socialise - all I wanted was simplicity and quiet, and to avoid the difficulty of interacting with people when I just didn't have the energy. Before Jasmine and Charlie (now called Pinball and Wizard) I had a place in my heart that was missing that feeling only animals can provide.
Louise knew it was time to adopt, but what kind of pet should she look for?
Originally, I was looking for a dog. But I was torn. I really wanted one, but felt that my nine-to-five working hours weren’t the kindest thing for a dog. Then, when I found the PetRescue website, it got me curious. I wondered what animals were available for rescue other than dogs and cats, so I started browsing.
It dawned on me that perhaps a rabbit might be a good option for me. This is how PetRescue led me to Renae and Chris at Little PAWS Rescue Perth.
Renae and Chris were AMAZING. They asked me questions to try to understand what I was looking for in a pet. When I told them I wanted to be able to cuddle them, they knew exactly who to suggest - a cuddly pair of blind and deaf bunnies named Jasmine and Charlie.
Was it love at first sight for Louise, Jasmine and Charlie?
Jasmine and Charlie were just so adorable! Small, cute, vulnerable and in need of love. The way they snuggled into me as I held them made my heart feel like it might burst! It was definitely love.
It wasn’t all cuddles and bunny binkies though. At first, I felt like I had taken on a big responsibility, not because they were blind and deaf, but because they were now in my care, and that is a big deal. Having a pet is a big deal!
Renae and Chris were wonderful and gave me so much support. They also gave me all the gear needed to look after them, and assured me that I could take the time I needed to decide if they were right for me. This alleviated the fear that I might get them home and think, "What have I done!?" It was good to know they would take them back if need be.
There have been many wonderful moments in the ‘getting-to-know-each-other’ process.
One of the best moments was coming home one day and seeing Wizard (Charlie) lift his head as he smelled me when I came in the door. He hopped to the end of the pen and waited for me.
Another wonderful moment was the first time Wizard did a little bunny flop and looked so happy lying in his pen. The first time Pinball started "purring" all snuggled with me in a warm blanket on the sofa was also a very special moment.
Their personalities are really starting to show now, too.
Wizard is just so laid back; so much so that he has a pet name of Lionel because he is like a super laid back old man who just loves the simplest things in life.
Pinball's (Jasmine's) middle name is Braveheart because she has no fear! Not being able to see and hear doesn't stop her for a moment. Seeing her jumping about in the backyard in the sun and bravely bounding around with absolutely no hesitation while searching for the dandelions is the best sight!
And life has definitely changed for the better.
They are a reason to get out of bed every day - they need to be fed and their pens cleaned. And at the end of the day, I feel excited to go home to them.
I love that on the weekend they come with me to my local coffee shop and happily sit in the hood of a sweatshirt while I have a coffee with a friend. They're like little ambassadors for rescue rabbits as pets.
Pinball and Wizard have even inspired a colleague at work to contact Little PAWS about adopting a bunny for her granddaughter too!
What is Louise’s advice for someone considering adopting a special needs pet?
Ask yourself if you really can provide the care they need. Don’t adopt just because you think it might be a nice thing to do - keep the creature’s best interests in mind.
If you do choose to adopt a special needs pet, you’ll receive so much joy and love in return for your time and care. I believe every creature understands the language of love and if given openly, you will get it back tenfold.
Everyone tells me how kind it is to have rescued these two rabbits. I don't see it that way though, I feel Pinball and Wizard have rescued me.
To adopt your very own snuggle bunny, search the list of ‘other pets’ on PetRescue.