I had gotten Betsy about a week before my mom passed-less than two months before my wedding. It felt like my who life was crumbling. The only reason I would get up in the morning was because I knew I couldn’t let this six month old baby bunny starve. Betsy felt my anguish, and would hop up on the couch and lay next to me. She wouldn’t leave my side and it was in her I found the strength to begin to heal.


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In November 2013 Betsy became therapy pet and on March 5, 2016, Walter passed his certification test. We now had two of only four Pet Partners certified therapy rabbits in the state of Wisconsin and two of only about 100 out of over 13,000 Pet Partners therapy teams. Studies show rabbits can actually make better therapy animals than dogs as they are less intimidating.

One of my favourite stories was when we were down on the lake front having a cup of coffee and a woman came up to me and asked if she could take a picture of Walter and Betsy, stating her daughter would be so excited. She told that our rabbit saved her daughter’s life. After seeing Betsy she begged her parents for a rabbit. They went out and adopted one, and the little girl has become more upbeat, she takes care of the bunny and seems to have a more positive outlook on life.

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I had gotten Betsy about a week before my mom passed. She was my best friend, and losing her was one of the hardest things I have had to deal with in life

It felt like my who life was crumbling. The only reason I would get up in the morning was because I knew I couldn’t let this six month old baby bunny starve

Betsy wouldn’t leave my side and it was in her I found the strength to begin to heal

At the time I worked for Aurora Health Care, and knew we had therapy animals, and thought if Betsy could help me, she certainly could help others in need

We went through the whole process of being certified and in November of 2013, Betsybecame a therapy rabbit

We started visiting at the Psychiatric Hospital we worked at, then expanded to other hospitals, nursing homes, universities

And have been doing community events with children with Autism and mentally challenged adults and children

In December of 2013, I had been thinking about getting a buddy for Betsy and on Christmas Eve, Walter showed up on the Wisconsin Humane Society page

When I got to the shelter, he sat in the corner, scared, quivering, and his ear was all blistered. He was six months old and I knew he had to come home with us

As I was looking through the paperwork when I got home, noticed he was born on the exact day my mom died

I thought I had been punched in the stomach as I read it. He was my very special Christmas gift from her

It took us quite awhile to get Walter used to people, but on March 5, 2016, Walter passed his certification test

We now had two of only four Pet Partners certified therapy rabbits in the state of Wisconsin

Studies show rabbits can actually make better therapy animals than dogs as they are less intimidating

Children, especially, tend to see dogs as animals to play with, which is stimulating, and rabbits as animals to sit and pet, which is soothing

Often in doing therapy, you never know if you are making an impact, so a little moment can change lives

Pictures courtesy of Ronald McDonald House, Health Heelers, MilPAWkee photography, and Jenn Eckert.