Yesterday began just as any other day usually does. I got up, checked my email, my guest blog on Kristi Gustafson’s Times Union ‘On The Edge‘ Blog and then went out to check the garden and turn on the pool pump. It was already getting hot, so I decided to mow the lawn. I knew that we had plans later that night, so I wouldn’t be able to do it after it cooled down. Today wasn’t looking more promising either.
So, I hop on the mower and cut the grass. We have an acre, so it takes about an hour to cut it. After I was done with the riding mower, I grabbed the push mower and did the areas I couldn’t get to with the rider. When I was done with that, I was pretty hot and was sweating like crazy. I came in the house and changed into my bathing suit, then headed out to the pool.
I dove off the diving board, and instantly felt much cooler. As I swam to the shallow end of the pool, something caught my eye. I looked again and saw a small animal in the skimmer. At first I thought it was a chipmunk. I got out of the pool and ripped the cover off the skimmer. Then, I realized what it was. It was a little baby bunny. He was fighting for all he had against the suction of the skimmer.
I ran over to the pump and switched off the power so the suction would stop. I didn’t know what he would do, so I didn’t just reach in and grab him. I grabbed the wide mouth net and when he tried to hop up, I grabbed him in the net. What happened next surprised me quite a bit.
I set the net down on the concrete in the shade, laid out so he could just hop out and be on his way. He was obviously a little traumatized and out of it, so he stayed put. I let him sit there for a few minutes while I ran inside and got Rose and some paper towels. I picked him up and wrapped him in some paper towels. He didn’t seem phased at all. He just laid there. Every now and then, I would check his sides to see if they were moving and he was still breathing.
As we sat there with him for an hour or two, he dried out and was still very mellow. Rose would hold him in the paper towel, and if she moved it, he would re-position himself, so we knew he was getting a little better. We kept him on the paper towel because he has some seriously sharp nails. He started climbing up my chest at one point and it was a little painful.
After a few calls from friends in the veterinarian field and tons of people on Twitter giving us feedback, we put the bunny on the ground to see if he would hop away. Eventually he did, but he started going towards the road. I had to chase him down and catch him, which wasn’t an easy task, but refreshing, as he was moving quickly.
When I grabbed him, he made this crazy squealing noise that we hadn’t heard before. I guess he was feeling better and that is a noise they make when they are scared. I picked him up and took him to the other side of the yard where I released him into an overgrown area where we see lots of bunnies. I hope he has a great life and stays away from the pool.