To paraphrase Elmer Fudd, it’s “wabbit” season at Good Samaritan Society – Fort Collins Village. But the only hunt involved is the hunt for a good birthday gift. Buddy, the community’s “therapy” rabbit, recently turned 1 year old and celebrated his special day with his best friends: the residents and staff.
The village used to have a rabbit named Thumper but when he passed away, they found themselves in the market for another one. When they found out the local 4-H club was selling rabbits, they jumped at the opportunity. However, once the club realized the rabbit was for Good Samaritan Society, they donated Buddy with no charge.
Since he became a “resident” in February 2022, Buddy has become a lovable fixture in the facility. While he spends most of his time in his enclosure, he has ample time to run around in his playpen and cuddle with residents. Because many residents had rabbits in their youth, Buddy provides a sense of comfort that can be very calming.
“For the residents, it’s incredible just seeing them come into the Hobby room to feed him, even if there’s no activity scheduled,” said activities director Riley Scott. “[Buddy is] very curious, very speedy and he lets you hold him. He loves to have his forehead and ears pet and he’s always hungry. So it’s perfect for the residents.”
To celebrate his special day, Buddy donned a special birthday hat and got to run around in his playpen as residents and staff enjoyed rabbit-themed cupcakes and other treats. He may not have the same appreciation for birthday gifts that humans do, but it’s clear his presence at Good Samaritan is a present in itself.
“He’s a great companion, I just love to see the joy that he provides the residents. It really warms my heart,” said Scott. “He’s here for everybody, not just one demographic or just a couple residents. He’s for everybody in the facility, that’s what I love about Buddy.”