The last Sunday in January we put into action our search for a new rabbit. bunny_hugger's father told us there was this large rabbit, listed as a Flemish Giant, at the Huron Valley Humane Society near Ann Arbor. They named her Judy Boggs, he insisted, a baffling name considering. The Judy part is easy enough but surely they named her Judy Hopps, we said? No, he was confident the rabbit was Judy Boggs.
Well, this would let us visit the Rabbit and Small Animal rescue, the small and overworked (and, really, probably winding down) shelter from which bunny_hugger and her starter husband had gotten Stephen a decade before. It's nearby. We were at the door of the Humane Society when the woman running Rabbit and Small Animals asked us to come to her place first, lest we inadvertently bring fleas or ticks or anything from the shelter to her poor bunnies. This seemed excessively fussy to us, but we would comply.
The woman remembered Stephen, of course, because he was just that sort of superstar. And remembered bunny_hugger, partly from the original news and partly because she had gotten back in touch to report Stephen's long healthy life, and the sad end of that life, and to turn over donations from pinball charities in Stephen's name. Also because she had a rabbit with, she suspected, the same affliction that struck down Columbo, and she wanted to see what we thought. Our thought: her sick rabbit moved exactly like Columbo did. We shared what we could tell about our experience caring for Columbo and what we wished we'd known.
And rabbits they had up for adoption. One, Penelope, was taken from her spot in the big exercise playpen --- an area outside their cage that each rabbit takes turns sharing --- and nestled a bit on the couch with bunny_hugger. Then bit her leg. ``You just bit yourself out of a permanent home, Penelope!'' said the rescue woman. Not by that, of course; we know rabbits will bite just to nudge someone out of the way, and it's not their fault humans don't have thick enough fur to take it. Despite Penelope's outgoing nature, and the general niceness of other rabbits, there just wasn't anyone we felt that connection to, and we made our apologies and promised to keep these rabbits in mind.
Back to the Humane Society. We got there with less than a half-hour to closing. And they wanted us to fill out a form, about our home accommodations and what our setup was like and how much we thought a pet would cost and such before they'd even let us see the animals. By the time we were done with that there was fifteen minutes left and they told someone ahead of us that there were no more animal visits on the day. We pleaded our case: we were here from Lansing, an hour away, couldn't we get any time? They allowed us a few minutes with the rabbits.
Judy Hopps was this cute, medium-to-large blue-grey rabbit. Seemed nice, but we barely had time to see her, or this other rabbit also freshly admitted. We were able to talk with a volunteer cleaning the room about them, and what they were like. But we just didn't have the feeling that we knew the rabbits well enough to want to commit to them. We drove home, feeling like it was a long way for not having accomplished anything.
Penelope, you know, we took in a couple weeks ago as foster. This would relieve pressure on the rescue, which has more elderly and sick rabbits than they can care for. And relieve pressure on our own bunny-lack.
This week, we told the Rabbit and Small Animal rescue that we want to adopt her.
It's a bit more complicated than we had planned on, as Penelope and the new adoptee don't get along. But, gosh, we can hardly give her back now.
Trivia: At the naval Battle of Ushant (1778), the British Royal Navy's code-signalling book had no code by which a captain would report a failure to see or understand an instruction, nor any way for an admiral to indicate a change or orders or that a new signal superseded the first.
Source: The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution, Barbara W Tuchman.
Currently Reading: The Nemesis Affair: A Story of the Death of Dinosaurs and the Ways of Science, David M Raup.
PS: How April 2018 Treated My Mathematics Blog, the easiest writing I do every month on the mathematics blog!
PPS: Let's soak in some of that lovely Bowcraft Amusement Park, shall we?
Other figures along the path of the railroad at Bowcraft Amusement Park. I imagine they're vintage figures but couldn't guess when they were from; this is about as close as we could get to them.
The entry sign for the Speedway USA antique-cars ride, in good shape despite the ride not being in service when we visited in June 2017.
The entry queue and a gas pump for the Speedway USA antique-cars ride. The elephant and the cranes from earlier are off in the distance.