Monday, April 15, 2013

Odd Couples on Nature

This episode of Nature aired last fall (on my birthday in fact), but I just happened to not watch it until last night... instead of reading for class, but that is besides the point. The episode featured various animal "odd couples" who shared tight bonds despite being different species.

One peculiar friendship was between a dog and a rabbit, although it wasn't one of the featured relationships. Still a good watch nonetheless. Explores the longstanding belief in science that animals don't have emotions or relationships like humans do. True, animal emotions and bonds differ than humans, but it doesn't make them any less real or strong. I thought it was a little silly that scientists are spending all this time researching, trying to prove something that much of society has experienced. I think the closeness we have with our pets is testament enough to animal friendship; I consider Umbra my friend, and I think she feels the same (although there is some debate over who wears the pants so to speak.. obviously rabbits don't actually wear pants) There is a great quote in the episode: "the plural of anecdote is data". How many of us know of amazing animal friendships whether inter-species or not. I once had a cat and a parakeet that were best of friends. When the bird became suddenly ill and died, my cat sat on top of her cage all night and cried. They used to share bird seed (the cat was a pig and would eat anything but that is another story).

I feel that this is really relevant to rabbits as well. A lot of people think that they can just through two rabbits together and everything will be dandy. But like people, not all animals get along with everyone of the same species; they all have distinct personalities and not all of them are compatible. This goes for other pets as well. Since I have had Umbra I and during my time volunteering at Indy Humane, why people only have to have meet-and-greets with their dogs, but not cats and certainly not rabbits. I give IHS the credit for assessing the personality of the animals. For example and cat might be labeled as needing a single cat home or being good with both cats and dogs, but people didn't need to introduce their current cats to a potential adoptee. When I went to Elkhart Humane, they thought I was crazy that I would want to introduce Umbra to her suitors before adopting (which fell through anyway).

If people didn't underestimate animals so much maybe we would care more about how we treat them and our environment. They have a lot to teach us too.


  1. when I had my first bun I had 2 cats and a dog and the got on really well,when I had my second bun when ever my mum use to look after him while we were away a pretty little female torti cat used to come and see him and they would play together all day long

  2. Can't add any more to that!