Having raised hundreds of Rabbits as the Chief Executive Officer of Elite Rabbits PH, Grace Domingo definitely knows a thing or two about finding perfection in a breed. And because of their tiny size and velvety soft coat, the Mini Rex Rabbit is often described as just that — perfection.
The Mini Rex who seems to have stolen Grace’s heart, however, is an eight- month-old named Osman who didn’t have perfect beginnings.
OSMAN: A SURVIVOR, A STAR
Bred from parents imported from the USA, Osman was just two months old when he almost died due to diarrhea. The little fighter that he was, Osman survived.
“From that moment on, I made sure I put extra of everything for him,” says Grace. Osman has since become her companion on trips to convenience stores and uncrowded coffee shops, loving their travels and tugging at her clothes if he’s ever in want of anything. She says, “He’s a sweetheart!”
Grace explains that she named this special Mini Rex after a supporting actor in a Turkish series of which she’s a fan. Like the actor, Osman is handsome but shy. Once a movie producer discovered the actor, “[H]e became really famous and overcame his insecurities,” says Grace.
In this case, Osman is the actor, and Grace is the producer who’s helped him break out of his shell.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
It isn’t uncommon for Grace to put so much thought into the naming of her Rabbits.
One of her Himalayan Rabbits, Raziel, is named after one of
her favorite gaming characters. Grace named her Dutch Rabbit Brianna because it means “resolute” and “strong,” she says, “[j]ust like her color and the way she pose[s].”
Her Lionhead, Winter, is white like snow, and her English Spot, Zhean, was named after the lead actor in the same Turkish series as Osman.
LOOKING AFTER THE GANG
Caring for different breeds can sometimes mean being prepared to handle different personalities, but much of what Osman does, the other Rabbits do as well.
In terms of mental stimulation, Grace plays with her Rabbits, allowing them to develop their social skills without the threat of toys they might swallow or destroy. According to a 2022 article by Nicole Cosgrove for PetKeen, a pet information website, Dutch Rabbits like Brianna are very active and require sufficient time outside their cages. Though Grace gives them at least
an hour of outside playtime, she often sees them tired after around 20 minutes “of hopping and sniffing around.”
A 2021 article written by Lou Carter for Rabbit Care Tips describes Lionhead Rabbits like Winter as being particularly sensitive to other breeds or animals considering their small size (Carter). Grace says, “Actually, no matter how big the rabbit is, it is very common for them to be threatened easily whenever they sense a predator around.”
When Grace isn’t present, her Rabbits aren’t allowed to play together considering their territorial nature. To prevent fights from breaking out among her Rabbits, she supervises playtime and doesn’t let them play with her Dogs and Cats. Because Rabbits are prey animals, Grace says, “They could die because of shock and heart attack.”
Sometimes, Grace says, “[F]eeding time can also be our play time.” This could mean sitting on the floor and petting them or letting them give her “smooches” in exchange for food and treats.
Outside of this feeding playtime, the Rabbits always have access to food and drink in the form of hay, some pellets, and fresh water.
Despite the similarities in how her Rabbits have been raised, Grace admits she always falls in love with Mini Rex Rabbits because of their fur.
[Rabbits] could die because of shock and heart attack” if they are to be attacked by Dogs or Cats, even if they don’t sustain physical injury.
THE MINI REX
To the untrained eye, Osman might seem like any spotted Rabbit, but a Mini Rex Rabbit’s fur is incredibly thick and dense. Grace also considers Osman’s fur one of the best among the Rabbits she has. “His color pattern is also exceptional — it is called Broken Tort and the way his pattern [is] spread throughout his body is remarkable,” Grace says.
What makes her smile whenever she sees them is the Mini Rex Rabbit’s shorter, rounder toes, too. Because rabbits groom themselves, Grace spends more time looking at their toes as she trims their claws. She also checks their ears for cleaning.
The Mini Rex requires a different environment as well. Osman and the other Mini Rexes under Grace’s care thrive in an outdoor farm setup filled with trees, fresh air, and silence. She describes Mini Rexes as naturally sweet and calm, but Osman is one of the calmest Rabbits she knows.
While the Mini Rex’s relaxed demeanor may be the best part about being their human companion, their sensitive digestive system might be the most challenging, according to Grace.
Lafeber Company, a food brand, states that Mini Rex Rabbits are known to develop the same diseases and disorders that face all Rabbits, including digestive problems.
Osman was no exception as a kitten, but he’s grown to be a great companion for Grace.