Last year, Wally the English Angora rabbit hopped his way onto the Instagram scene, melting hundreds of thousands of hearts all across the globe with his stylish grooming, adorable hopping, and diligent greenery-munching.
For quite some time, Wally and his mom, Molly Prottas, were a dynamic duo.
However, Prottas always knew that rabbits faired better with other rabbit companions in their lives.
So, this thoughtful mom began venturing off here and there, in search of another rabbit to add to her brood.
This week, she finally found their perfect new addition.
Prottas brought home little Suki, an adorable, female English Angora.
Prottas and Suki first met at Animal Care Centers of NYC, where Suki had been living after suffering her previous owner’s neglect.
Of Suki’s rescue, Prottas told the Dodo: “Her matting was terrible, it was one of the worst cases of matting they had seen.
“Her muscle tone was very weak. It was assumed she had probably been left in her cage for most of her life.”
Despite this rough start to life, Prottas said, “She was adorable.”
Comparing her to Wally: “Wally is very sort of — I see him as this very athletic bunny… She was like a newborn baby lamb. She was skipping and her legs were splaying out to the side… She was so sweet.”
So, Prottas chose little Suki as the perfect new member of her and Wally’s growing family.
Soon, she brought her new rescue home, eager to begin the arduous bonding process.
Rabbits typically take time to find common ground with other rabbits, navigating power dynamics and so on.
Upon first meeting, Wally and Suki immediately fell into this exact dance.
“There were a couple times when they really started fighting,” Prottas told the Dodo, “and it was difficult to break them up — like fur went flying.”
However, little Suki continued inching her way into her older brother’s heart.
“In the beginning,” Prottas told LittleThings, “I loved watching Suki tip-toe over to Wally. She looked so nervous and shy, yet so eager to be friends with him. She’d startle herself and dart away if she got too close. She’d work so hard building the courage to make it over to him, and then it’s as if she’d realize, ‘Oh my! What have I gotten myself into!’ and run away and hide.
“I also loved the moments when Wally would subtly show affection to her. He was absolutely trying to play it cool at first — as if he didn’t want to be seen as anything other than an independent bunny prince who didn’t need HER to be happy.
“But then, I’d see him sneak his head under her chin, or inch his way closer to her. It sometimes literally looked like he was disguising it with a stretch — like those cliché scenes in movies where the boy yawns and stretches and then puts his arm around the girl.”
Slowly, these two began finding common ground.
While Wally still remains quite territorial over his mom’s bed, which he obviously feels is his and only his domain, he’s certainly softened to Suki in other ways.
Prottas told LittleThings: “It would also be adorable when either one of them would start binkying (bunny jumping) in front of the other one. Like they couldn’t contain their excitement that they were getting to know one another and would put on shows for each other.”
With big steps forward like these, these two will surely be the absolute best of friends in no time.
Of the rabbit bonding process, Prottas told LittleThings: “Bonding truly takes a significant amount of time and patience. Because I knew Wally so well prior to getting Suki, I really relied on my relationship with him to help guide the bonding process.
“I spent the vast majority of my time before and after work engaged in the bonding process. So,” she advised other potential rabbit parents, “whatever specific strategies you use, there are many emotions involved, and it requires significant dedication, patience, and time.”
“Rabbits are not always easy pets,” Prottas explained. “Behaviorally, emotionally, health-wise, they can be complicated and challenging.
“I STRONGLY encourage people to read all about rabbit care on rabbit.org and to then ask themselves if they’re up for the commitment.
“Vet bills, fresh greens, unlimited hay is expensive. Rabbits are not happy being kept for long periods of time in cages. They can also be destructive — like little baby goats who like to nibble on everything. Litter box abilities can vary. So, just be sure that you’re fully aware of the potential challenges before making a decision.”
Since adding Suki to their family, Prottas has realized, “Honestly, as adorable and wonderful as Suki is, it made me realize even more than before how special Wally is to me.
“I absolutely love Suki, but having her has reminded me how different rabbits can be and how lucky I am to have met Wally.”
And what’s Prottas’s favorite part of being these adorable rabbits’ mom?
She told LittleThings: “I LOVE laying down next to them when they’re resting near each other and burrowing my face between both of their faces. There’s nothing like being in a bunny-face sandwich. To be snuggled between TWO fluffy bunnies is really quite magical.”
These rabbits are baby-stepping their ways toward becoming the internet’s cutest best friends.
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