Vizsladogs, Ltd.

Hector and the Rabbit
by Jane Toadvin

Poor Hector was raised in a very strange household. Not only was it a mult-V family but there was also always a menagerie of assorted critters around. The Family varied from time to time but included such things as a baby 'possum, assorted cats, horses, chickens, and a pig named "PORKCHOPS" (yes, that's another Hector story). But on this particular thread, there was HARVEY. Harvey was a large domestic, litter trained, black rabbit rescued from the dinner menu of a co-worker by my mother. Following proper introductions, Harvey and the Vs became friends and would nap on the sofa together. Harvey, however, was an instigator, and would wait until the V's were asleep, get a good run around the room to build up speed, then pounce on the sleeping dogs and "thump" them with his back feet. The V’s would then wake up and the chase would be on, round and round at full tilt all over the house. Needless to say, this was not a popular activity with Mom. Dad also had a small problem with Harvey as the rabbit would pull the same stunt on him every time he got stretched out on the couch to sleep thru, I mean watch, a football game. Dad would awake with a roar and threaten to "roast that rabbit" but soon you'd catch him snuggling the bunny and watching TV.

One day in early spring Hector apparently decided that Harvey needed company because he came in from the woods, carefully carrying a baby cottontail, and dropped it frightened but unharmed in front of Harvey’s nose. Harvey, thinking he was a dog, I guess, had no clue as to what was expected of him and got away from the squeaking little thing as quickly as possible. Us foolish humans however, were not so smart. We made the fatal error of PRAISING the dog for the nice soft-mouthed retrieve. BIG MISTAKE. Hector, happy to have done such a GOOD thing, immediately ran out into the woods and returned shortly with another little bunny. Then another. And another. And another--until soon we had a dozen of the little guys, all too young to be away from mommy bunny, collected in a box in the family room. A search of the woods did not reveal the nesting place so there we were, apparently stuck bottle feeding the batch. Our female V, Cindy, took a much more canine view of the matter and as soon as no one was looking, neatly unzipped their little bellies, munched out the good parts, and left us with a pathetic little pile of bunny husks. As children we were horrified, but looking back, it was nature’s way. Harvey, now having had a whiff of wild rabbit, started acting strange. Where before he had only wanted to be a house bunny, he now started escaping to run the woods. First for an hour, then many hours, then days, until eventually he returned no more. At first we thought a wild animal had got him but then we started to see big black cottontails (odd that the Cottontail would be a dominant gene) in the area so we knew that Harvey had only eloped and was living happily nearby raising his family. Hector continued to fetch home unharmed bunnies every spring and Cindy waited, licking her chops for him to do so.

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