This Brave Dog Saved His Rabbit Friend from a Dog Attack
The story of a hare-raising rescue.
Editor’s Note: America’s Best Pet Pals is a nationwide search for the animal friendships that make you laugh, cry, and purr. Reader’s Digest will be honoring the best in pet friendship in print, online, and on social media. This is a finalist in our “Animals to Animals” category. Scroll to the bottom to cast your vote for Jeannie and Chad. To see our full list of finalists, go to rd.com/petpals and vote in each category.
Chad is an English Lop bunny who believes he is a dog. He eats from dog bowls, sleeps in the dog’s bed, and follows us around the backyard like a dog. Naturally, his best friend is our dog, Jeannie.
We actually have four rabbits. Funnily enough, Jeannie loves to chase after wild rabbits and will pull until the leash is taut if she sees one on a walk. But she never chases ours, and Chad has always been her favorite. When we let them out in the yard together, they each do their own thing at first: Jeannie wanders and sniffs around while Chad munches on grass. But eventually, Jeannie will come back to find a spot in the shade, and Chad will come lie next to her and be greeted with a sloppy kiss.
All four of our bunnies participate in a Read to Rabbits program at a nearby education center for migrant children. Kids who usually don’t want to read can’t wait to sit down with the bunnies to read them a story. One boy with special needs who rarely speaks said his first full sentence to one of our bunnies. At the end of every school year, Jeannie joins her bunnies at Read to Rabbits sporting her own pair of bunny ears.
On one occasion, Chad and Jeannie’s friendship had lifesaving consequences. Chad was hopping around the grass in the backyard one afternoon when my parents visited with their dog, Bradley. Since Chad’s best friend is a dog, he had no fear of hopping over to 68-pound Bradley to say hello. But Bradley responded by grabbing the ten-pound bunny by the face and shaking him. Jeannie bolted across the yard and chased Bradley away, but by the time we got to Chad, he was lying on the grass with blood gushing from his mouth. We rushed our beloved bunny to the vet. Chad had a broken jaw and a low chance of survival. We administered antibiotics and fed him through a syringe for weeks, hoping he would recuperate.
Jeannie was his vigilant companion the entire time. She’d stand next to us and wag her tail while we sat down with Chad to feed him. It took weeks for him to eat solid food. He did eventually recover fully, with Jeannie by his side. She was always protective and so gentle.