I’ve observed volunteers of all ages and walks of life care for rabbits that we’ve saved from brutal neglect situations with inspiring love, yet neglect their own selves—“burning out” from taking on too much or simply not feeding and caring for themselves the way they do our foster and sanctuary rabbits. These women and men would never let a rabbit go hungry or feed a rabbit a less than balanced, nutritious diet, but they don’t take the time to nurture themselves. They make sure every foster and sanctuary rabbit gets daily exercise time to run, hop and play—but they don’t seem to prioritize themselves. As dedicated volunteers, we recognize how much these gentle creatures need us. If only we remembered that we are gentle creatures too. Sometimes we need a little treat or a softer rug to rest our paws too. For my fellow volunteers, I wish you would “cover a shift” in caring for yourself. I am so blessed to work with each of you. Please take care of you, too.
That said, I’ve learned so much in these four years of giving to the abandoned and neglected rabbits of Long Island. From these fragile creatures, I’ve learned that I need space, too. Sometimes there’s nothing more blissful than tossing the task at hand to this side (for me, returning some emails, for the bunnies, a woven grass toy or cardboard tube) and flopping out for a nap.
Read more of Denise Bee's blogs at Believe in Bunnies