The Perils of Pretty Portia

Close Up of PortiaPortia was a rescue bunny who first came to our attention early in 2003. I was helping out at a rabbit adoption day at a pet store and met a handsome and friendly Chinchilla rabbit named Bentley. Bentley had been found with two other rabbits shut up in an abandoned car. It was fortunate someone came across them soon to rescue them from certain death due to lack of food and water or exposure to extremes of heat or cold.

The three rabbits had some issues as a group so they were separated for adoption.  They were given the names Bentley, Mercedes and Portia as the three bunnies who were found in a car. In Portia’s case the name sounded like the pronunciation of Porsche even though they gave her the spelling for the human name.

After meeting Bentley and hearing his story, I looked up the other two rabbits online to see what they looked like. Mercedes was a beautiful black female while Portia was a Chinchilla like Bentley, but a smaller female. Over a period of about six months, the look Portia had in her picture kept calling me back to see if she had been adopted. During that time we were having a really unsuccessful time trying to reestablish the bond of Tigger and Shadow that had been broken when Shadow became so ill with his inner ear infection.

Looking back now, I am not sure what I was thinking, but at the time I think I read somewhere that sometimes groups of rabbits bond better than two. Out of feeling desperate to try anything with Tigger and Shadow and wanting to meet Portia, we arranged to visit her foster home. Portia was thought to be a year old and she was super cute. If you have never seen a Chinchilla rabbit in person, the fur is like having a living stuffed rabbit. The fur is incredibly plush and your hand sinks in before you feel the rabbit body. Her face was gorgeous with eyes outlined with a black ring and deep black lashes as if she had put on eyeliner and mascara. Her whole underside was the most beautiful snowy white fur.

We interacted with Portia, petting her and talking with the foster parents about what she was like. They told us a number of people had visited to see her and said she seemed to be responding more to us than others. Then we watched her hopping around the living room. Portia had a very different build than Tigger and Shadow. She had a larger bone structure and felt several pounds heavier. She was solid while they were sleek. Portia had a slower hop around style compared to Tigger and Shadow’s high-speed runs. We thought perhaps watching her that she might be a bit more settled than they were, more mellow. We decided to take her home for a try out to see if she would get along with Tigger and Shadow and perhaps help to mend their broken bond.

Next week … Shadow and then Tigger introduce themselves to Portia … what were we thinking?