If you think you don’t have time to learn something new, I’ve got news for you: You’re probably already learning something new all the time.

At least, you are if you have beloved pets who you interact with on a daily basis.

My rabbit Nathan, in silhouette

Of course, just like when we were in school, that means we have to pay attention. (No sleeping through life!)

I’ve been a house rabbit parent for a long time. Here are just a few examples of valuable life lessons that my furry companions have taught me.

Lesson One: Life goes better when you have a schedule.

My rabbit Moo was very strict about meal times. If you didn’t know him, you could be forgiven for chalking that up to his simply being hungry.

No doubt that was true, but it wasn’t the only truth. More than once, when I was ill, I’d go out to the kitchen and prepare Moo’s dinner salad.

Now, Moo liked to eat with his humans every day. So if I didn’t also get myself something to eat (I tend to lose my appetite when I’m not feeling well), he would sit next to his full food bowl and stare at me disapprovingly until I ate something. Only then would he start to eat his own dinner.

Even if I hadn’t initially felt like eating, I did always feel a little better with something in my stomach.

Thank you, Mr. Moo. You taught me a lot, and I miss you every day.

Lesson Two: Don’t do anything halfway. Keep yourself focused in all situations.

Nathan is very focused on everything he does. If he’s eating hay, he’s usually also bathing in hay. He is VERY SERIOUS about what he’s doing.

At the same time, when he’s relaxed, he is ALL THE WAY relaxed.

Nathan seriously passed out asleep on his blanket.

If Nate were a human, he wouldn’t worry about emails or to-dos when he wasn’t working. When he’s clocked off, he’s clocked ALL THE WAY OFF.

We should all strive to be like Nate.

Lesson 3: You’re never too old to learn something new. Stay curious.

Sabine is, by bunny standards, a little old lady. She’ll always be our baby, but she’s an old lady baby. (Pet parents, I know you hear me.)

For the majority of the time that she’s lived in our house, she has HATED tile. Most of our floors are carpeted, which works better for her because she likes having traction.

She’s a minirex, and one important thing to know about minirexes is that they don’t have a lot of fur on the undersides of their feet. What fur they do have there is very fine and doesn’t provide a lot of traction or protection for tender bunny feet.

Sabine chilling out in a timothy hay tunnel

After being friends with Nate for around a year and a half, Sabine is much more adventurous. She not only does tile now; she does tile with confidence.

As a bunny parent, her boldness is both exhilarating and terrifying. You’d better believe we pay very close attention to her whenever she decides to do a parade lap into the kitchen.

That’s right: Even in her old age, Sabine is still learning How To Bunny.

We should also be like Sabine.

Every pet has a personality, just like every human. They can all teach us something important if we pay attention.

What valuable lessons have your pets taught you? 

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