This chat was conducted by Herman's mom, @KimberleyKoz, who got to be friends with Brian Bunny's mom, Karen, shortly before he went Over The Rainbow Bridge.
Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed, Karen. We had talked about Brian being interviewed by Herman shortly before he passed. Again my sincerest condolences. I know the pain of missing him is something that will linger for a long time. This interview is to give all of Brian’s friends an extra special look into his life. And also for us to get to know you and also Tazo, who tweets as @fathertazo.
How old was Brian when you adopted him? Was he a rescue?
We got Brian from a pet shop when he was six weeks old. I really didn't have any intention of buying a bunny rabbit but I fell in love with this tiny bundle of fluff as soon as I saw him and I also knew that his name would be Brian. That day changed my life and led to ten wonderful, happy and joyful years. NB Buying from a pet shop is not something that I would recommend now, I would always advise getting a pet from a shelter or sanctuary wherever possible.
What breed of rabbit was Brian?
Brian was a lionhead bunny.
What inspired you to name him Brian?
Brian was my dad's name, although I thought he did look like a Brian. Brian was just fluff with eyes and my dad didn't actually have any hair!
Did he enjoy being handled?
Yes, he very much loved attention and cuddles.
Brian was the only bunny. We did try to bond him on a few occasions when he was a young bunny but he simply wasn't interested. He did not like other bunnies. In later years he shared his life with cats and tortoises which he tolerated. He knew they were not other bunnies so he pretty much didn't worry about them!
How would you have described his personality?
Brian was an extremely affectionate and attention-seeking bunny. He loved to be the centre of the household, which he was. He was very much the boss, and the core of the family and he of course knew that! He was a strong character too though, he had many health issues when he was young, he was very much a lionhead with a lionheart. As he got older he did get a bit grumpy and really territorial but that just added to his charm.
Is there a mischief incident your family remembers fondly?
Brian very much loved to steal things, especially food. One Sunday afternoon I found an apple on the carpet with little teeth-marks in it. Brian was sitting not far away, looking extremely pleased with himself, with a sticker attached to his nose saying "French Golden Delicious." He was also known to dive into bowls of tomato soup, leading to much disruption and a bath in the sink, which he didn't enjoy one little bit!!
Tell us about an Awww moment.
His whole life was an Awwww moment. He made me smile every day :)
I’m unfamiliar with rabbit care. What went into caring for him on a day to day basis? Grooming, feeding, maintenance. And how did he react to grooming? What were Brian’s favorite foods and toys? Um…what’s narnar?
Brian was a free-range house rabbit, so there were no hutches to clean, but he used to drag a lot of hay around the house so I had to hoover constantly. I was always tidying up after him. He was a proper scruffy little bunny! Brian did not enjoy grooming at all, but unfortunately being so long-haired and fluffy it needed to be done frequently. Usually when looking handsome after a brush he used to kick his heels, shake himself all over and mess himself up again as if on purpose. HeeHee!
Brian had unlimited hay throughout the day, vegetables in the afternoon and Super Excel pellets at bed time. Treatwise he loved narner (banana), fenugreek crunchies, Bombay Mix and his pellets, but his favourite upon favourite treat of all was ginger biscuits. He used to go crazy. His eyes used to shine with delight and anticipation. It used to make me laugh so much and I used to love watching him crunch down on them!
His favourite toys were a little yellow cat ball and a plastic cup. He used to love picking up the ball in his mouth and dropping it into the cup, and throwing both cup and ball over his shoulder. He really used to love racing around the house at top speed and jumping and twisting in the air happily. This is called a bunny binky, and Brian sure used to love doing binkies.
Was he allowed to run around free, or did he have a pen? And also…rabbit poop! Did he use a litter box? (Rabbit clueless here!)
We trained Brian to use a litter tray from a baby and he was very good at doing so. I think Brian used to like sitting in his litter tray, chewing hay, having a poo and watching the world go by. It never ceased to amaze me just how much poo Brian could produce for such a tiny bunny.
Did Brian prefer someone in particular and how did he show his favor?
Brian Bunny Rabbit loved his mummy!!! He loved his daddy too but I was the one who spent the most time with him. Brian used to love to follow me around the house and run around my feet honking gently, especially when I brushed my hair in the mirror in the mornings. He used to lie on my feet in the evenings or nudge my hand for a stroke. And if you weren't stroking him in the right place he used to nudge you again till you did it right!
Now that Brian has passed, will you continue to tweet for him?
Sadly after much soul searching and consideration last week I decided it was time to deactivate Brian's account. It broke my heart to do so but unfortunately I was finding it too upsetting in the end and I just felt I couldn't do it any more.
The outpouring of love for Brian and what you were going through at the time was considerable from his followers. Do you want to talk about it?
Brian Bunny had only had his account for six months when he went OTRB but many people knew of him, from my account @mezzymeddles. Many of his friends had asked me to open an account for him and when I did I was really taken aback at the amount of followers he gained, and continued to gain. I was, and still am, completely overwhelmed by the love, kindness and support that was shown to me, to us both, after my Brian went OTRB, I will never ever forget it and it helped me so much. I cried and cried and cried at all the messages, I have kept every single one and know many of them off by heart. I was simply stunned by such genuine emotion, I still can't believe it to be honest. Brian was obviously so very special to me, I loved him with everything I had and still miss him so very much, every single day, and always will. He was everything to me, we had such a deep, beautiful and unique bond. But to know that many of his friends loved him too, did go some way to helping me come to terms with losing him. He had so many wonderful friends and I feel they are my friends too. I was just so sorry that I had to close his account but I just wanted him to be remembered the way he was when he was alive, as a happy, joyful, friendly rabbit who loved every one of his friends and loved making people smile.
Tell me about yourself, outside of your passion for animals, such as your family, hobbies and interests.
I live in a little valley in Lancashire, England which is very pretty but very wet! It literally never stops raining! In my spare time I like to bake and I like to cook, and will watch any cookery programme on the TV. I often take cookbooks to read in bed, but I do enjoy reading other books too! I also love shoes, have lots and lots of pairs, many I have never worn and probably never will! But there is really nothing I love more than animals and wildlife.
What type of work do you do? Or did in the past?
I worked in mental health for many years before deciding to work with animals instead.
Tell me about your town and what makes it special to you.
I wasn't actually born in Lancashire although my mum was. I was actually born in Birmingham, in the West Midlands, but I have lived in a few places in England since finishing university.
Are you an outdoor person, or an indoor person, and why?
I do very much enjoy being at home, relaxing, cooking, looking after the family. But I do enjoy being outside too, walking and being at one with the wildlife. Unfortunately I can't do this as often as I'd like to due to the rain!
Do you blog or Facebook? What are your other Twitter accounts? (addresses)
I am not on Facebook and I don't have a blog, although I have considered writing one. My first twitter account was @mezzymeddles, which I opened for myself last Spring but that was taken over by Mezzy my cat shortly afterwards, so now we share it! And my new rescue cat Tazo also has an account of his own now too, he didn't want to be left out! He can be found at @fathertazo.
What is your favorite book, favorite author?
I have two favourite books, Watership Down by Richard Adams and Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck, although I have read many, many books that have left a lasting impression. I don't really have a favourite author as such, although I appreciate the Steinbeck style of writing and JD Salinger too.
What TV shows do you enjoy?
Any cooking show. I enjoy watching individual sports as opposed to team sports. And I am ashamed to say that I am very fond of certain reality TV shows. And I am partial to a horror movie or two.
What type of music do you enjoy? What is your favorite song?
I suppose I am a bit of a rocker at heart. I enjoy music with a bit of emotion behind it. I like so many songs, however, that I just couldn't possibly pick a favourite!
Do you travel? What is the most memorable vacation you’ve ever taken?
I am far from a seasoned traveller but I think my favourite place I have ever been to is Iceland, because it is just so beautiful, it takes your breath away.
Tell me about your first pet, and how many have you had in your lifetime?
I grew up with cats and have always had cats in my life and, along with bunnies, I always will. My first childhood pet was a guinea pig called Sandy, who I had for many years, along with his girlfriend Snowdrop. One day I would like to have a little farmhouse where I can keep chickens and goats too. I still dream of winning the lottery (who doesn't) so I can open a huge rabbit and hedgehog sanctuary, but in the meantime I will foster bunnies and I also take in injured and poorly hedgehogs and other wildlife to rehabilitate when needed.
Now we meet TAZO @fathertazo. Please tell us all about him and what makes him so daft! And tell us about Mezzy too.
I actually saw a photograph of Tazo on twitter, on a blog post by the RSPCA. He was rescued by firemen from atop a 60ft tree and taken to the shelter and that is all that was known of him. I fell in love with him! I rang them the next day, made an appointment to view him, and he came to live with us shortly afterwards, after a home check. I just knew from the photo of him that he wanted to live with us! Tazo's personality has really developed since coming to live with us in October last year. In some ways, although it sounds silly, he very much does remind me of Brian Bunny in the sense that he is just so affectionate and friendly and follows me everywhere. He is a proper lap cat, as is Mezzy, but he will happily sit next to you if Mezzy is already there, unlike Mezzy who tries to kick him off!
His favourite thing to do is to sit on the arm of the chair while you are trying to type on the iPad, staring at you with his tongue poking out! With that and his crossed eye he does look extremely daft but he is so delightful. You just want to cuddle him all the time! Tazo doesn't miaow very much at all, he leaves that to Mezzy, but he chirrups loudly ALL the time! I have never known a cat to chirrup so much. He also has a habit of 'sighing' loudly!!! That is exactly what it sounds like, it is so funny! I had never heard a cat sigh before!!
Tazo is such a clumsy boy though. He loves to jump on bookcases, tables, windowsills, the kitchen surfaces whilst you are trying to cook, and consequently knocks things over all the time. But that is his personality! He has learnt from Mezzy though I think, has learnt how to be more cat like and how to hunt as Mezzy is an expert hunter! They are a good partnership really, Mezzy in many ways acts as his 'guide cat' as he is so partially sighted. Even though they are not best friends, and probably never will be, they understand each other and I like to think that Mezzy would protect him too!
Tazo is a very laid back cat, Mezzy a bit of a diva, very princess like and can be highly strung and a bit aloof at times. She does not like other cats but Tazo loves them! Tazo loves everyone and everything! He just loves to be the centre of attention really, does not like being on his own at all whereas Mezzy is more solitary and independent and likes quiet time. Tazo doesn't know what quiet or relaxing means! He never sits down! Despite being brain damaged and not very bright, often displaying outrageous daftness and getting himself into some rather odd situations (he got stuck, half way in, half way out of the bedroom window once and it took us half an hour to get him free) he is just absolutely enchanting and such a happy little guy! I can't believe that he was overlooked at the sanctuary for so long really, but maybe he was just waiting for me :) Mezzy and Tazo are both beautiful cats, so very different in both looks and character but both so loving and so funny too, they both make me laugh everyday with their antics and little ways :)
What is a typical day for you, starting when your pets want breakfast?
If Mezzy had her way, she would have me get up at 4am for breakfast, or as soon as the sun comes up anyway!! She miaows at the top of her voice or purrs loudly in your ear and then runs downstairs. If you don't follow, she will just repeat the whole sequence again until you eventually get up and feed her! Tazo does not beg for food at all, he is happy to wait for me. There is nothing Mezzy likes more than food though! After breakfast they both go out, weather dependant. Mezzy is a proper sun worshipper but Tazo is not keen on the sun, being black I think he gets too hot, but he does enjoy sun puddles on the windowsill. Tazo does prefer to be indoors though, he rarely stays outside for long, I think he only really does go out of doors to follow Mezzy! When they both want to come back in, they jump up at the lounge window. They both spend their days between breakfast lunch and dinner snoozing, playing, making me laugh and generally wrapping me around their little paws!! As did Brian Bunny! Everything I do I do for the pets, but I wouldn't have it any other way. A true, genuine friendship is the one you share with an animal I think, and the love shared between a pet and their owner is like no other love on earth.
Is there anything you’d like to tell us about you that I didn’t know to ask?
I have very much enjoyed doing this interview for you, and I appreciate you asking me so much! I hope that I have done the questions justice with my answers though! :) Your blog is fantastic!
My sincerest appreciation, Karen, for you doing this. I know it was hard for you to talk about Brian. We all feel very blessed to have known him, even as short a time as it was. Much love to you, Tazo, Mezzy and your family.