As I hinted at yesterday, the way that the Pattersons treated the first rabbit they owned could stand as testament to how stupid it would be to allow them to have pets in the first place. Let’s start by reminding ourselves of how he entered their lives in the first instance. The year was 1996 and the place was Aberdeen, Manitoba and there was Liz at Exile Farm because Elly got a bug up her arse about Liz’s ‘headache music’, Liz’s ‘attitude’ and, most telling of all, Liz’s being too close to Anthony. As her being isolated from her friends for Elly and John’s own good was about to come to an end, Liz got caught up in an auction and, on an impulse, bought a rabbit. While Bev and John tried warning her that Elly would surely object to having another pet, she was soon able to allow Elly to indulge her martyrdom complex and make Mister B a part of their lives. Well, more like part of April’s life. Y’see, it was too much like work for Liz to take care of him so, well, pet ownership sort of just happened to April.
This isn’t to say that April intended to be the bad pet owner she ended up becoming. It’s just that she had a lot of hindrances in the way of doing a good job. Said hindrances were an older sister who wanted to have things both ways and a mother who regarded the presence of a rabbit in her house as yet another thing to feel awful about, a sort-of-friend who she isn’t and has never been jealous of getting attached to him and being raised to believe that if you ignore helpless creatures, they won't come to serious harm. This meant that Mr B had the same sort of mildly distressing life that the other pets had and 'entertained' us by wondering why helpless creatures and stupid people were forced together. Sadly for us, Lynn decided to make him the poster rabbit for having a pet just dying quietly. This means that like April, we had to go through two traumatic things: watching her get choked up about losing her pet and enduring mush about sad miracles. Sadly, his saga didn’t end with his death owing to Lynn wanting to torment us with a comedic misunderstanding that almost led to him being cooked by Lovey Saltzmann. Well, that and April doing something else vets don't really recommend: getting a new rabbit immediately after the old one died. Pets, you see, aren't commodities to be replaced like light bulbs; a person has to get over their loss before considering getting a new one.
When we try to determine what this teaches us, we learn that Pattersons tend as a general rule to sort of stumble into pet ownership for rather specious reasons, tend to not pay attention to what said pets are doing and get all sorts of weepy after the victim of their chowder-headed neglect dies. We also learn that Elly bawls about martyrdom when having to lament how easily bowled over she is.