We have a "house" rabbit who's name is Steve. He doesn't just run loose, he does have a pen, but he does enjoy a good romp though the house now and then. I know what you might be thinking, "why do you have a rabbit in your house?" Yes, most farm type critters do tend to live in a pen outside, but you see, Steve is special.
Our oldest son has ADHD (we later found out he has Aspergers too). He bounces off walls and goes a million miles a minute. He loves animals but sadly his behavior doesn't always endear him to the critters around here. What chicken wants to be chased down and hugged. What cat wants to be held tightly while watching cartoons. Well none of ours do anymore! So along came Steve.
Steve sits. He wiggles his nose and he sits. It is great because when our oldest want someone of the animal kingdom to love on, Steve sits. Beside teaching our son responsibility (as all our animals do through their daily care) Steve teaches our son to sit, to be calm. When they sit together on the couch to watch cartoons Steve adds a calming effect to the room.
Now don't get me wrong, when Steve hits the floor he runs his little tail off! There is nothing cuter then a bunny running full tilt, jumping into the air, and kicking his heals. This behavior however is not what our son wants. He wants Steve to sit. Gee, we want our son to sit! I have had to explain to him that chasing Steve will not get him to calm down but the opposite, will freak the poor bunny out! I have had to teach our son that if he sits still on the floor Steve will come back to him. It is great practice for my son in sitting still, which is a VERY hard thing for him to do.
It amazes me how some animals just "know." It is as if Steve knows that our son just needs someone to "hang out" with, to love on, and most of all to call his very own.