Dud, Dudlez, Duddy, Dudley.
Getting a rabbit was the best way to teach Mila how to care and be kind to animals. I didn’t realise how much a little Rabbit could change our Lives. It seems silly really, it gave us a reason to be at home, he made us laugh, he made us happy.
We were just running a few errands one day when we took Mila to the pet shop, we saw three little bunny and for some reason I just couldn’t get enough. I was thinking about them all weekend, and on Sunday I went back to pick one up. I was told it was a silly idea and that there is no way I was allowed to get one. This was the first time I realise, that I don’t have to be told what to do anymore, I could do what I liked. So somehow Dudley managed to become my mark of independence.
We named him Dudley because he had a Dud ear, one was pointing up and the other down. Turns out the harper he became the more often his ears both pointed up. But the name was still pretty cute anyway! He was a funny little Bunny who actually caused a lot of havoc, but Mila loved him and Dudley loved Mila so it didn’t matter. Within a couple of days he had managed to poop on our couch, chew through the cords for the stereo, and wee on Henrys computer (which he didn’t know about until last week, because I didn’t want him to make us get rid of Dud). From that week forward I decided having a free range rabbit wasn’t so great, so we allowed him to be free range outside where he still caused havoc but it didn’t effect our electrical appliances or new couch! He had some gusto that boy, no dog or cat was going to scare him. Instead he chased them around the garden until they left him to it. He would even sit underneath Mila in the swing getting his head rubbed my Milas feet sweeping past. Some times we would loose him for the day, and then he would reappear at night and we would wonder where he got off too. Then one day when I was sorting out the garden equipment behind the shed when I realsised he made made some sort of nest in the back swampy corner behind the shed. There was a small patch of mushrooms growing there that he seemed to be munching on. We would always laugh when he would reappear from his nest sprinting around the garden crashing into the swing set and dazing around the yard, we started to wonder if something was going on with those mushrooms or something.
When we moved back into Mums place the havoc continued, he chewed through any and every gate and all of the mesh we had put up to stop him from escaping, so the free range rabbit was no longer allegeable. Don’t worry we upgraded his hutch to big two story one which we called the Playboy mansion. Mila thought this was highly unfair and almost every day she let him out of his hutch. I think she did this because what would happen next, was the highlight of all of her days. He would eventually escape the yard, to run around the street like a madman. Eventually someone would knock on the for and inform us that he was chasing their cat or sunbathing on their kerb. So all of us in force would have to round up Duddy on the street (usually 5-6 of us including the neighbours). This was like a clown act, a bunch of adults running around in circles attempting to guide him into the gate. We started to see this as a bonding experience with our neighbours, one by one we met them all and everyone enjoyed doing it because you look and feel ridiculous running around like a loon stumbling over and trying to hatch a plan to capture the damn thing.Everyone loved it, but Mila certainly loved it the most running around screaming “DUUUUUD”, laughing and giggling. And the thing was, in the end Mila was the only one Dudley would listen to anyway!
This all escalated one day we heard a massive knock at the door, this wasn’t a normal knock, it was one of those knocks when you just know something is wrong a really scary loud knock from the movies. I opened the door to find a police man at the door (that explained the knock), then over his shoulder I could see a car blocking off the street and a whole family running around the corner. I really thought there was a hold up in the street and we were being told to lock all the doors and stay away from the windows. But no, he began to ask about our rabbit and then said that everyone on the street was trying to catch it. So out we all went again, Mila included chasing and laughing, policeman and all. We had the street blocked off by cars, neighbours at every corner, some girl had massive cage and some net and the policeman and myself and Mila rounding up Dudley. A laugh and a half later we had him! Turns out it wasn’t as dramatic as we initially thought and the police hadn’t been called for the round up, he actually lived down the road and his daughter (with the net) instead on helping.
Aside from all his mischief, he was good little boy. He played with Mila for hours, always at her side and never failed to join in. It kept Mila busy and taught her a lot. We grew carrots and Cauliflower for him (and Dudley helped us plant the seeds), he ran through the sprinkler with her (okay maybe he was just running away), he sat beside the paddling pool and had the occasional drink, the hopped around the playlet waiting for Mila to reappear, he sat with us on picnics munching away at our leftover apple and he hopped along after her walking through the garden.
He was truly part of the family, but unfortunately last week we lost little Dudley, he had escaped the yard and died of shock. I never really thought it would be as heart breaking as it is, but we grew so close to him and we all seriously miss the little guy. He was the rabbit equivalent of Marley and Me to us. Naughty, funny, our best pal and we loved him to bits, all of us.