The Bunny Burrow
Home Up Rachel's Page Szeged History The Bunny Burrow



Home Up Buttercup's Page Koosie & Tapsi's Page

Buttercup joined our family this last Easter - and we've learned so much about rabbits since then.  Here's our bunny page, with updates coming soon, as we have two new baby bunnies - Koosie and Tapsi Hapsi.  Below you will find a few of our favorite pictures of our darlings, and then a story of how we discovered bunnies, and all we've learned about them since then.  You can see more pictures by going to our bunnies' own pages, follow the links above or at the bottom of the page.  More coming, including links to some bunny sites - there is much more to bunnies than most people realize, and we're totally hooked.

Our darling new baby girls, Koosie and Tapsi, when they had only been with us a few days, back in October.  They've gotten a little bit bigger, but are just as sweet.  Koosie is the calm, dignified Lady rabbit now, never any trouble - but also rather skittish.  Tapsi is the dare-devil and always curious one, also much more social than her sister - she's also been one little gray bundle of trouble!  If she wasn't so cute, and so very friendly, Norbi often jokes she'd be 'Nyul paprikas' (rabbit stew) by now.  We keep finding Tapsi in places we didn't know bunnies could get to - like our kitchen window, where she had a midnight feast of my many plants!

A more recent picture of all three, taken in December - we really need a bigger 'bunny rug', they really don't all fit on it together anymore!  And even though both the above shots only show Tapsi with one ear - she does have both!

Dirty nosed Buttercup, after having too much fun in the backyard, he often comes inside with a dirty nose - and filthy feet!  Being so white only makes the dirtiness more obvious.  But we still love him.

It's hard to believe this is the small bunny we started with, Buttercup as a baby, eating one of his favorite treats, dandelions.  Man, has this bunny gotten big!


Easter of 2002 found us adding to our family, an addition that was much more than we expected.  Due to Norbi's (and probably Anna's) allergies, we won't ever be able to be one of those families with dogs and cats.  Rachel grew up with pets, and actually, Norbi did too.  His family has a small dog that lived in the kitchen.  And Rachel had several dogs growing up, and tons of cats - always cats.  She also had hamsters, and a zebra finch.  Not to mention her sister's gold fish.  We love animals, and have always wanted our kids to be able to grow up with animals of some sort around.  We didn't feel it would be fair to a dog to be kept in the kitchen or the backyard, always away from our living areas.  So, we began to consider smaller creatures, like mice or hamsters - though we wished for a pet the kids experience more outside of a cage.  We were still thinking along the hamster line when we took that fateful walk through the open market on the Saturday before Easter.  Now, the market here, or 'piac' in Hungarian, has a row where live animals are sold - mostly chickens, ducks and such for, well, for eating; and the occasional box of puppies or kitten for pets.  We don't usually go down that aisle, so I hadn't known until that day that rabbits are also sold there, to, gulp, eat.  But at Easter, the number quadruples, and tends to overflow the one row of stalls.

Buttercup was one of many siblings all snuggled down together in the two big boxes, one box of all white bunnies, the other with bunnies of various colors.  The man selling them didn't fit in the aisle, and so, his boxes were right on the edge of the corner, right where children would see them as they passed with their parents.  It was actually a better location than in the row proper.  And, as planned, those two boxes caught our kids' attention.  They stopped, and petted, and ohhed and ahhed.  Buttercup wasn't actually the first choice.  Joshi had singled out one little bunny from the first moment, and was petting that one the whole time.  And it was Joshi, our middle child, the one who very rarely has strong interests of his very own - it was Joshi who oh, so wanted that bunny.  And it was Joshi who got the tearful eyes and was pleading his little heart out.  Now, Norbi was thinking much faster that the rest of us - and he was purposefully letting the kids stay and pet, prolonging our stop at those boxes - waiting to see if he would have any allergic reaction.  With Norbi, his reaction to cats is immediate almost - and so, he began to pet those bunnies, and waited.

How much different would a rabbit in a cage be from a hamster in a cage?  How much different indeed - but we didn't know that then.  And so, Daddy gave the okay, and then Joshi got really serious in his choice of a bunny.  The little white one he had been petting up to then, was, well, sort of dirty.  She had some messy spots on one side.  So, Buttercup was actually chosen because he was all nice a spotless white.  Which is so funny as we consider our fully 'male' bunny now, who's ears and nose are more often dirty than clean.  We also thought Buttercup was a female bunny then.  So the rather female name Buttercup didn't bother anyone.  The boys picked the name, it comes from a child's book we have, and as they both agreed we thought it was perfect! 

Buttercup came home with us in a shoe box, and for her first couple days with us lived in a cardboard box.  As it was Easter Weekend, the stores were all closed - but first thing Monday Norbi was off to the hardware store to buy wood and chicken wire to make Buttercup the nicest bunny-condo in Szeged.  We also got online to learn more about rabbits - as this was all new to us.  The first internet search led us to a site we've been back to quite often, and where we learned so much.  The House Rabbit Society is a wonderful organization, and it's to them that we owe so much of what we've learned - well, them, and Buttercup.  You can go to their website by clicking on the link below.  After spending just one evening browsing that website - we decided that Buttercup was going to be a 'house rabbit'.  His big condo wasn't built for being outside, but to fit in our living room.

And so Buttercup became a major part of our family, spending his time right in our home, and quickly hopping into our hearts.  Rabbits, with just some patience and proper encouragement, can be trained to use a litter box - just like cats.  They are also very tidy creatures, also just like cats.  BUT, bunnies do tend toward the really dumb side, not like cats!  Buttercup can sit and just have the most brainless look on his face, staring into space.  And no matter how often he sees us put his food in his dish, he'll still beg and follow us, not check his food dish until we actually bring him to it.  And yes, bunnies beg - horribly!  Only, nice and quietly.  That's one of Norbi's favorite aspects of rabbits - how quiet they are.  No barking, no meowing.  But, lest it sound too perfect, bunnies do make plenty of noise.

By just a few months old, Buttercup got moved out of our living room/master bedroom - as he was too noisy at night!  Rabbits sleep and eat both during the day and during the night.  So, every night around 2 or 3 am, Buttercup was up, and wanting to come out and play - and he knew the way out was through the door to his cage.  Buttercup would rattle and shake, bite and dig at his cage door - all very noisy and annoying.  This lead to Buttercup's freedom, as we moved him from his cage into the kitchen at night - where the cage wouldn't have fit.  He had the whole room, and quickly took it over.  He already had one litter box in there, and was soon using only that box.  And was spending less and less time in his bunny condo.  So we took it out to the shed, and the kitchen has been Buttercup's room ever since.

As we read more and more online, and got to know our new bunny friend  better, we found that Buttercup would really benefit from a friend.  Since he spent as much time up at night as during the day Buttercup was having lonely nights, and a lonely or bored bunny will end up a naughty bunny, getting into things he wouldn't if he wasn't so bored.  So as summer progressed we began to talk seriously about getting another bunny, a friend for Buttercup.  This led to another trip to the piac, and this time we brought home a very tiny baby Netherland Dwarf rabbit, simply adorable with brown body and black ears, nose and feet.  We named our new bunny Dinky - which was quite fitting on it's own, plus it was short of Prince Humperdink (think of the movie classic, Princess Bride - we already had a Princess Buttercup).

We purposely picked out a boy bunny, as Buttercup was a girl - or so we thought.  It was when we introduced Buttercup and Dinky that Buttercup's just budding hormones kicked in, and he got, um, very excited to have another bunny, to um, well - poor Dinky's welcome was an attempted relation that would never work - but not from Buttercup's lack of trying.  At first, we saw the mounting as Buttercup telling Dinky he was boss, which is how all bunnies communicate that.  But then we picked up Buttercup to separate them until the next supervised visit, and wow - we definitely had a MALE bunny.  We never would have bought another boy bunny if we had known that, as boy-boy pairings very rarely work out, even with both bunnies being fixed.

Buttercup and Dinky's relationship never got very loving, but it did progress to a sort of truce - well, only after Buttercup got fixed and no longer had a constant urge to hump poor little Prince Humperdink - now very well named after all!  We brought Buttercup's cage back in, and it became Dinky's home - a mansion for so tiny a bunny!  But we never wanted to have that cage in our home constantly, so we also began to give Dinky more and more freedom.  Only Dinky wasn't as easy to litter box train as Buttercup, and Dinky was terrified of, well, everything.  He also had a deep love for all the wood in our home, any and all wood - including all the door frames, our chairs, any kids' toys left out.  And Dinky was so darn tiny, we'd lose him, or have the hardest time getting him out of hiding places to put to bed at night.  Basically, Dinky was quickly out-staying his welcome.  The kids never really enjoyed him, as he'd run from any and all contact.  We saw quickly that he hadn't been treated well as a baby, and so was terrified of people.  Something our noisy children didn't help to change.  Rabbits in general are peace loving creatures, and are not perfect pets for homes with small children.  They are also very fragile, and can be hurt very easily by small hands.   Buttercup was a much larger bunny, as well as being wonderfully social and loving.  The differences between the two bunnies was amazing.

Josiah ended up solving our 'Dinky problem' - as we talked of getting another bunny, one to be a real friend for Buttercup, to lick his face, clean his eyes - and one to be more of a family member, to interact with us.  But we also agreed that we would need to find a good home for Dinky first - maybe one where he could spend most of his time safely in a cage, calmly away from all the things that terrified him.  Josiah so wanted a new bunny, he began asking his friends at school if they wanted a bunny!  And so ended our time with Dinky - he's now making his home elsewhere in Szeged, happily living in his cage, eating apples and chewing on wood all he likes.

We waited until our busy summer was over before looking into a friend for Buttercup again.  This October found us finally bringing home two little sister bunnies, Koosie and Tapsi.  We allowed Buttercup to 'discover' these baby bunnies, so he thinks he found them and introduced them to us! For Buttercup and Koosie it was peaceful friendship from the very beginning, with Tapsi being more independent and not too sure she believed Buttercup was the 'top bunny'.  Rabbits live in heirarchy, with one rabbit being at the top, and the others in subsequent order beneath him.

In our home, Norbi is the 'Top Bunny'.  When Buttercup was being so hormonal, he got very territorial, especially about the area near his food dishes.  Besides his treatment to Dinky, he began to really scare the rest of us - except Norbi.  Buttercup would nip or bite at any of us who got too close to his food dishes - as they are right next to where we keep our shoes, we had no choice but to get near there at times.  We were all very relieved when being fixed calmed Buttercup down so immensely.  But he never once bit Norbi, and only Norbi (for that time) could feed him without Buttercup trying to nip us!  Being fixed changed all that, and Buttercup is now the calmest, most easy going bunny - unless you get between him and some sort of treat - like bananas!

We're so happy we've discovered the world of rabbits, we so enjoy the evenings, when all three bunnies seem to 'invade' our living room - after the kids are all in bed, all three come in, hop all over before all stretching out on the carpet in the middle of the room.  Norbi and I usually spend some time each evening down on the floor with our bunnies, often being groomed by little bunny tongues - Norbi is such a dirty Top Bunny, he needs lots of cleaning each night!  And having three bunnies now has shown us clearly how each bunny has different personalities, each of our bunnies are so different.  Buttercup will always be our 'first bunny love', but Koosie and Tapsi have quickly hopped their way into our hearts too.

The link to the House Rabbit Society, below, will take you out of our website, and to theirs.

House Rabbit Society

Home Up Buttercup's Page Koosie & Tapsi's Page