Remembering Bunya

DrMrsBunnyMom and daughter are allergic to cats and dogs. However, daughter dear really wanted a fuzzy, cuddly pet, as opposed to the son’s reptiles. Around the holidays, we had actually talked about it some, considering it.

I don’t recall exactly how I found out. My daughter may have pegged me as the weak link when she brought me down to the basement (where her bedroom was) and showed me this little fluffster she “rescued” from a pet store for $5; he’d been in a tiny cage all by himself, away from the other bunnies.

We knew NOTHING about rabbits.

First two actions:
1. Return to the scene of the crime and find out what supplies he needed.
This was STUPID MISTAKE #1.
Sadly, rabbits are a pet stores way to sell you a bunch of GARBAGE. I do not know the level of knowledge they have about the dogs and cats they sell, but they know squat about rabbits. They sold us a little cage that might have been okay for transport but NOT to live in “for the rest of his life”. The food they sold us was awful and the “treats” they sold us with seeds and yogurt could be DEADLY to a rabbit.
2. Take the bunny for a vet visit. We really lucked out here. We didn’t know that you need a rabbit-savvy exotics vet for a bunny, not just a dog and cat vet. The vet in our neighborhood was exactly what we needed. Bunya was healthy, we were given educational materials about rabbits, and scheduled his snip for when he was old enough.
In his first days, when we knew less than nothing, Bunya would sit perched on daughter’s shoulder like a pirate parrot and watch her on her computer. One time when he had to go potty, she held him over her trash can, and he put out poops like he was a Pez dispenser run amok. But all into the can. She wanted him to keep her company in her bed but Bunya liked to pee there, so that was short-lived.
Six months later, daughter left for college.
Bunya did not.
Since he was now my bunny, I started learning more than our misinformation from the pet store and the literature from the vet. Thank you, internet. I always felt badly about the tiny cage from the pet store and he got increasingly larger quarters as I read more and found them online. We always housed him inside as a house rabbit, so at least we got that right.
Remembering Bunya
Little baby Bunya “helping” me with an annual mailing to my clients.
Eventually, I purchased a chain link fence dog pen that was about 7’x7′ and assembled it inside the house. That’s the one that stuck. Although the gate was mostly open so he could roam around, that was still his safe space and he would hang out in there. His original cage, to which he was still attached, was a litter box for a while, before we put it away for good.

Remembering Bunya
This is a recent iteration of the bunnies’ pen.
Over the years. we bought castles, ramps, towers, tunnels,
a fun house with a digging section, an elevated bed, and much more,
from bunny auctions or the Hop Shop to support rabbit rescues like
The Georgia House Rabbit Society.
From time to time, we would rearrange the furniture
and change out the rugs.

Bunya was a solo bun for about 1-2 years, so he became used to humans. More research led to learning about how social bunnies were and I came across the The Georgia House Rabbit SocietyLearned about bonding bunnies and adoption. Lucy & Ethel were added to the mix.
Our bunnies taught us so much. I love animals and have had several over the years, dogs, cats… but hadn’t really thought about bunnies… such different and distinct personalities. Who knew about binkies and NASbunny/zoomies/Buntona 500!?
Ethel would love on everybunny and was an escape artist, our own Bundini. We were never sure if she was deaf or just had selective hearing. In her later years, she would run circles around my recliner, thumping for treats.
Lucy was a fearless explorer, the  most likely to get into mischief and be found in unexpected places when you walked into the room. She could also read minds if your thought was “I’m going to pick up Lucy”. You didn’t need to look at her or say anything, just think it – and she was gone. One of her favorite hiding places was in the corner of the room under a heavy (immovable) desk, where we could not reach her.

Bunya was the alpha and the brains of the group – so smart! He could even tell time, which always amazed us.

Remembering Bunya

Bunya got poopy butt, which we determined was from vegetables as a regular part of his diet. Bunya became a hay bunny. Well, a hay-and-treats bunny. We had a bout or two of stasis over the years, but Bunya was a champ at taking his medicine.
Love the tongue and cheek action

Bunya became an old man, and lost his sight to cataracts. We got a stuffed bunny to try to have a “third”, something for the last bunny to snuggle up to and recall old companions. Bunya and Ethel didn’t really take to it, but it’s all I have left.
Remembering Bunya
By my recliner.
Ethel would stand there, staring,
thumping, or pooping for treats.
Bunya would pancake there while
I scritched his head, ears, and cheeks.
This is what
it looks like now.

As I said, they never really liked the stuffie and just kept snuggling with each other – all the time (unless there was a treat involved and Ethel would leave Bunya’s butt in the dust).

We thought Bunya would go before Ethel, but he was here first… and he was with us last.

Remembering Bunya
Miss you, Mr. B
A few posts from over the years:

Bunya joined Lucy & Ethel today

Bunya joined Lucy & Ethel today

Resources for pet loss
For Bunnies
Pet Loss Support for Your Rabbit
When A Rabbit Loses A Friend

For their humans
Tragic, Sudden, Unexpected: Grieving for Traumatic Pet Loss
Four Steps to Take After Experiencing Pet Loss
Pet Loss Support and Grief
Facebook group: Broken Hearts Bunny Loss Support 

Rainbow Bridge

If you have the means, we would appreciate if you would donate to GHRS in his memory. Here is the link to Bunya’s Facebook post, with a Donate button.
If that does not work for you, try this link to GHRS.
If you would prefer to donate to your local rabbit rescue, that’s all good, too. It helps bunnies.
#Donate #Adopt #Foster #Volunteer

Mr. B for #BunnyButtFriday

This tunnel has been in the pen for years and years, but I never saw him use it. Now I’ve seen him do this several times, finding it relatively easily, for a blind bunny. 
I wonder if since he’s solo now, and Ethel’s not there to lean against him, the smaller space gives him some comfort.
Mr. B for #BunnyButtFriday

We lost Ethel today

Several “right-hand column” items have moved…

Prior to 01-21-2012, many posts may refer to items or lists in the right hand column“. Several have been moved.

Moved to Bunny Care page:
Rabbit Resources
Definitions

Moved to new About Us page:
Bunny Backstory – check these posts for “In the beginning…”
Bunya, Lucy & Ethel Around the Web
Favorite Posts
Posts if you need to relax
Rabbit Ramblings viewers are global
Funny Bunnies
Bunny emoticons
Other sites you might enjoy

And Pages links have been moved to the top of the right-hand column

We lost Ethel today

Adapting to aging bunnies

Sometimes, Bunya needs a cuddle to get away from Ethel’s treat-aggressive behavior. Which he taught her.

Here Bunya’s munching a small piece of their favorite treat, a Probios. It looks like a “crumby” disaster but part of that was because the camera was so close. Love watching bunnies eat. Their little moufs are just so cute.

You can also clearly see his cataracts.
Bunya has very little vision left; we think he may be able to see a little light. When I call him for a treat, he’ll run into my leg. I’m happy he still shows such enthusiasm for treats, but am sad, too.

We just had their semi-annual wellness vet visit. They are aging gracefully, but both are losing weight as they age. They are the lightest they’ve ever been.

Ethel is a food vacuum; we might change her name to Hoover. Bunya can’t even eat as fast as he used to – of any food given to the two of them, 80% get speedily consumed by Ethel. To give Bunya a chance to have a few pellets in peace, we have modified their morning procedures.

Old way: I used to give them their medicine in the kitchen, with a Probios treat chaser. Ethel runs around like crazy, sliding all over the slick floor, so excited for her morning medicine and treat. Bunya, a lot more low-key, starts to take his medicine. When Ethel sees this, she runs towards Bunya, slides on the kitchen floor and body-slams Bunya out of the way to take her medicine, so she can gobble her treat. If Bunya is interrupted in taking his meds, he does not like to restart.

New way: They stay in a pen overnight (so hopefully, Bunya doesn’t get into trouble or hurt himself). Instead of opening the gate to let them run into the kitchen, I give them their medicine while they are still in the pen (Ethel still body-slams Bunya out of the way, but I can give them the medicine at the same time). Then they get their treat.

I open the gate and have trained Ethel to expect a special treat for her in the kitchen, so she gobbles her Probios and races out of the pen. In the kitchen, half the pellets are waiting for her in an edible treat bowl that she loves. So after she finishes the pellets, she starts eating the bowl, sliding it around the kitchen floor and leaving a Hansel & Gretel kind of hay crumb trail behind her.

The next video is from our new buncam. It does not broadcast but allows me to check on the bunnies from other rooms and the office.

This is what happens when they get morning meds and breakfast. It’s black & white at first, until the lights come on. Ethel gets so excited and speeds around their (nighttime) pen in big circles. Bunya “looks” at her like she’s crazy (he’s right, she is).

Mr. B waits for the two-legged treat dispenser to deliver meds and treat [dispenser is dressed to get on the treadmill, so please excuse]. On one of her laps, she sees he’s waiting and pushes him out of the way. When it finally arrives, they take their medicine and treat. Ethel gobbles hers and races to the edible bowl (with pellets) in the kitchen. Bunya finishes – taking so long to eat, you’ll think the video has stopped – and walks to where he expects his bowl to be, because he can’t see it; he has adapted to the new routine, too.

Here’s Ethel at her edible bowl in the kitchen.

Adapting to aging bunnies

This keeps her busy as long as I leave the bowl on the floor. In the meantime, I give Bunya his own (non-edible) bowl with some willow leaves and pellets. Once he has had a chance to eat the pellets at his leisurely pace, I pick up Ethel’s bowl and she joins him snacking on willow leaves.

Adapting to aging bunnies

They can still share a bowl of water without Ethel reverting to her Roller Derby manners.

Adapting to aging bunnies
This is an extra bowl of water in the kitchen. More bowls mean bunnies drink more.
They have a much bigger version of this flat bottom crock in their pen.

Bunya sneaks a treat away from Ethel

Sometimes, Bunya needs a cuddle to get away from Ethel’s treat-aggressive behavior.
Which he taught her.
Here Bunya’s munching a small piece of their favorite treat, a Probios. It looks like a “crumby” disaster but part of that was because the camera was so close.

Love watching bunnies eat. Their little moufs are just so cute.

(You can also clearly see his cataracts.)

Sunday morning disruption

Sunday morning disruption

If you are a regular Rabbit Ramblings reader (“R4”), you know everything come out of the bunnies’ pen Sunday morning for cleaning. Usually, Bunya runs off into the fresh hay/litter box we put outside the pen, and then into his bun cave (a box that faces the TV).

This morning, he took a stand in his uncarpeted castle tower (the rugs were out to be vacuumed). Deciding it was useless, he went to his bun cave while we continued cleaning.

Because he is losing his sight, with cataracts in both eyes, we don’t move move the boxes, towers, ramps or tunnels around anymore. They go back in the same places; we want him to be on familiar ground. The pen is open all day but closed at night; we don’t want him to get hurt trying to keep up with Ethel in the dark.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day
Hi, there. Bunya here.
Here are some holiday rules and cautions:
Don’t drink and drive.

Don’t text and drive.
Don’t drink and text (you can get in a lot of trouble).
When boating, wear a big orange life vest (you humans look so funny in those).
Play with your bunnies and give them lots of treats!

Have a safe & wonderful holiday weekend!
Memorial Day
And thank the members of the armed forces, past and present,
that we have the freedom to celebrate.

“Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.” [Link: Wikipedia]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bunny care: If fireworks are used to celebrate in your area
Bunnies don’t like fireworks.
It stresses them just like other sudden and/or loud noises.

If your bunny’s neighborhood is firecracker noisy, keep the buns cool and quiet.
Close the windows and doors. Close the blinds to avoid flashing lights.

Play music – peaceful, easy listening (not loud). Think elevator music.
(No hair bands or hare bands. Stay away from 1812 Overture.)
Your TV service might even have a suitable channel in its lineup – you just never tune to those channels.

If you do not already have boxes for them to play on and in, get some plain cardboard boxes (not slick or a lot of ink/color, no staples, labels or tape); cut at least two openings in each box big enough for your bunny to get in and out. They can hide in them, to further mute the noise and feel a little safer.

An air filter in their room may provide a white noise to help muffle the fireworks’ sounds.

Keep them company and reassure them that everything’s okay. Pet them if they are the petting kind of bunnies. Have a couple of healthy treats handy (Bunya told me to say that).

Miss Ethel may be mellowing… just a little

Mr. Bunya was our first bunny (and a surprise from our daughter, who left for college a few months later). As we learned about bunnies and bunny care, we wanted to adopt some companions for this sociable animal.

However, before we learned that, Mr. Bunya was a solo bun and got all of our attention. He became familiar with humans and is not as stand off-ish as the adoptees.

Ethel will not come for head rubs by herself. If you try, she’ll jet away after a second.
However, she has come to realize that if she snuggles up real close to Bunya, she can PRETEND it’s Bunya grooming her.

At first, she would only self-delude for less than a minute, maybe 10-30 seconds. Then she’d look up all surprised-like: “Who is this!? You’re not Bunya!” – and run off. Bunya always stays and melts like a puddle into the floor to suck up the love.

In this video, Bunya settles next to my recliner for some head rubs (but never too close, so I have to extend my arm way over to reach him). Ethel hung around for more than 30 seconds. This is only an excerpt from a longer video, but Ethel actually hung out and accepted some pets!

This is a huge development with her. On the bunny pages, people often ask how long did it take for your bunny to trust you?
So Ethel may be mellowing… just a little – and after only NINE YEARS.

Bunnies require patience.

Bunny Butt Friday at the breakfast hay buffet

Smile because… bunny butt!

And it’s Friday!
Mr. Bunya’s tufted tush for a video #bunnybuttfriday. Are you a bunny butt tuft plucker? Anyway, Mr. B is enjoying his oat hay while Ethel chows down on some first cut Timothy hay (both from Small Pet Select

– their version of a breakfast hay buffet..

Ethel is inside their pen; the gate is open all day but closed at night for their safety. Bunya is in a “senior’s” litter box (lower edges) but he is still fine with the regular litter boxes; this one is for when his arthritis makes the taller ones a bit more difficult.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday bunny butt bonus meme

Several “right-hand column” items have moved…

Prior to 01-21-2012, many posts may refer to items or lists in the right hand column“. Several have been moved.

Moved to Bunny Care page:
Rabbit Resources
Definitions

Moved to new About Us page:
Bunny Backstory – check these posts for “In the beginning…”
Bunya, Lucy & Ethel Around the Web
Favorite Posts
Posts if you need to relax
Rabbit Ramblings viewers are global
Funny Bunnies
Bunny emoticons
Other sites you might enjoy

And Pages links have been moved to the top of the right-hand column

Friday bunny butt bonus meme

Cleaning Day Bunya

Cleaning Day Bunya

Mr. B is in his “it’s cleaning day” hidey box.

He used to jump to the top of a castle tower on top of their fun house but he may be getting a little old for the high jumps now… haven’t seen him do that in a while. This box is much easier to access – it’s on the floor.

If he looks out the front, he can watch TV. Looking to the right, like he’s doing in this picture, lets him watch us cleaning their pen, or, more to the point, so he can see when we are done. Then he can return to their hidey box in the pen, or explore the clean litter boxes and fresh hay.