One little bunny has been living with the residents of Monarch Hall in Riverview, N.B., for the past few years, helping to spread joy and to unlock the memories of those who live in the hall.
Honey Bunny is a small honey coloured therapy rabbit that the home’s recreational coordinator, Jannick Theriault, says they decided to adopt from the Moncton SPCA when they needed a companion for the residents.
“It is very amazing. Our residents light up when they see her,” Theriault said.
“She brings a sense of joy and reminiscing. A lot of them will start talking about animals they had in the past.”
Joan Fanjoy, 89, says that when she cuddles with Honey Bunny, it is like she takes a step back in time.
“I remember when I was just a little girl that we had rabbits on the farm,” said Fanjoy as she snuggled Honey Bunny, who was wrapped up in a baby blanket covered in hearts.
No one pulled Honey Bunny out of a hat, but she certainly is spreading magic at the home.
Staff take her out of her cage several times a week to visit with the seniors. Most of their time is spent snuggling the bunny, who is as snug as a bug in a rug wrapped up in her baby blanket.
Francis Hould, 88, said her visits with Honey Bunny are calming.
“She just picks up my spirits every time I get to hold her,” Hould said.
Theriault says the bunny has a unique personality; Honey Bunny is gentle, never squirms or nips like some bunnies tend to do, and she is 100 per cent litter trained.
“She just loves being held and, from the get-go, we knew that she was the perfect pet for us,” Theriault said.
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The feeling seems mutual. After all, Honey Bunny was a rescue animal. But much like the residents at the home, she has found her forever home among a group of loving friends who cherish every moment with her.
Honey Bunny gets plenty of cuddle time at the home — maybe a little too much. Theriault said she recently went to the vet and needs to lose a few pounds.
So now, twice a week, Honey Bunny comes out to play with the residents, and also to run around and get some exercise, which Theriault has called, “Honey’s Bunny Hop.”