Howie the bunny passes away

Freshman Stefanie Stanisic gives Howie a kiss. She was one of the many caretakers for Howie and the other animals.

Olivia White, Staff Writer

Howie, the bunny, loved for years at the middle school passed away March 27. He had lived for seven years and died of old age. “His heart just gave out,” Lisa Horsch, the animal science teacher said. He died while in the arms of Horsch, who was surrounded by concerned students and caretakers. Later that day, Horsch took the beloved bunny home and buried him in her backyard garden.

In order to remember the rabbit that so many loved, a memorial poster will be going up. This poster is made completely by students, where they can put up their pictures with Howie and write a few words. The pictures will be up so people will remember all the good memories with Howie. After seven years, there are many memories to be shared. “His caretakers tried to get him on a leash, and he refused to move,” Horsch said. “And he hated the hardwood floor, so he would tip-toe. Imagine a rabbit tip-toeing, and as soon as he was on the carpet he was happy.”

Students also recall their memories with Howie. “He was my selfie buddy,” freshman Stefanie Stanisic said. “I was always taking pictures with him and I think that he kind of enjoyed it.” Students bonded with Howie even more when they were able to take him home on breaks, which makes his passing away much harder.

Although Howie is an irreplaceable bunny to the Johnston community, Horsch does have plans to get a new bunny. Not only was Howie cute to look at and hold in your arms, but he really helped those who needed it. “He was a good source of therapy for people who were having a bad day,” she said. “So I need to replace that.”

Howie’s breed, Hotot, is known to be affectionate which is needed in a classroom full of kids, so the new bunny will most likely look just like Howie. Horsch is already on the lookout for a new rabbit in the classroom.

“Howie is missed,” freshman Sophie Catus said. “We really need another bunny in the room. It just feels like something is missing without one.”