Who placed their bets on Lana as first to venture out of the pen? (I did)
Clark stepped onto their “doormat”, then ran back to his comfort zone, putting the fence between us. He begged for his piece though the fence and he looks so cute, I caved. (Translation: I can’t resist his soulful puppy eyes.)
Last weekend, we picked up three shelter bunnies to foster. They are siblings, two girls and a boy, somewhere around 1-1/2 years old.
They don’t know their shelter names and I couldn’t recall them either – I couldn’t associate them with anything. For now, they are Lois, Lana and Clark. That can be revisited if I make it to teaching them their names; currently, it just gives DrMrsBunnyMom and I a reference so we know about whom we are speaking.
They are very skittish. At first, my standing up from my recliner would scatter them into regions unseen. I’m moving slower now. To get used to the smells and sounds, and to give them a feeling for a safe place, they are limited to their pen. I hope they will want to free-range some, soon.
GHRS provides very specific instructions for meals and treats (what, how much, within what time frames – very helpful… I’m sure they weren’t serious about so few treats). Here’s them tucking into their greens dinner. About 16 seconds in, there’s a brief “Lady & the Tramp” moment between Lois & Clark.
Each one ventured a little ways out but only Miss Lana dared to go so far as to snatch her Probios – and then dashed back inside the pen. When she reappeared with Lois, they were both munching, so we’re pretty sure Lois helped herself when Lana was working on her piece.
Clark stepped on their doormat, but retreated to beg for his piece to be handed to him through the fence. We complied. Couldn’t resist the pitiful begging eyes.
Then Lois snatched some of his. Lana and Clark got to eat only a half of their portion because Lois snatched half of each of theirs, making her the only one who got a full portion. Tried to give half of Lois’s treat to each of Clark and Lana, but they were played out.
If we measure bravery solely by how far out of the pen they ventured: 1. Lana 2. Lois 3. Clark
Patience… grant me patience – now, dammit!
New Year’s reminder:
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 reduce flashes.
If needed to “cover” firecracker noise, play music – peaceful, easy listening (not loud).
Your TV service might even have a suitable channel in its lineup – you just never tune to those channels. We have an air filter that runs all the time and provides a white noise background.
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.
A Happy Halloween to all!
Breaking news – there may have been some quid pro quo to get the above picture:
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.
Bunya did not.
|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 the alpha and the brains of the group – so smart! He could even tell time, which always amazed us.
|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.
|Miss you, Mr. B|
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
Last Wednesday, I was going though the bunnies’ morning ritual and noticed Ethel seemed a little off. When I opened the pen gate, she usually bolts for her pellets (sometimes between the wall and a row of boxes, sometimes just a beeline “out in the open”). That morning she hesitated a little and didn’t quite follow a straight line, but she got there and started eating.
A couple of minutes later, before she finished, she stepped away from her bowl and started seizing. You could see the fear in her eyes. I called for DrMrsBunnyMom and tried to settle Ethel, as if I had a clue what I should do.
After several seconds of writhing and flopping around the floor, “running” on her side against the wall trying to twist upright, she managed to right herself, and lay awkwardly splay-legged, breathing very heavily for a few minutes.
|Whenever something happens with the bunnies,
I try to snap pictures to show the vet.
Objective in sight.
Typical Ethel – finished her breakfast and heads directly over to Mr. B to see what she can scarf from his breakfast bowl.
The day before, Ethel was zooming around at top speed, binkying, and cutting tight corners. She seemed to have retained her youthful exuberance and energy, whereas Bunya started slowing down years ago.
WTH, Ethel, why are you scaring the poops out of the humans!?
We booked the next available exam time, on Friday. For the rest of Wednesday, all of Thursday and Friday morning, Ethel was fine and her behavior was pure Ethel – right down to hanging out by my recliner, staring at me for treats all evening. To Ethel, no treat tasted as good as the one she would snatch out of Bunya’s mouth. (He tried to adapt by instantly turning 90 degrees away from Ethel as soon as he sunk his teeth into his treat, but she would run circles around him.)
Friday morning, DrMrsBunnyMom took Ethel and Bunya in their carrier for the appointment (if you have read this blog with any regularity, you know we always take the bunnies together to help maintain their bond). The nurse carried them inside for her appointment. The doctor heard Ethel seizing again in the carrier as they were brought in. As he went to get her, Ethel passed.
Ethel was almost 10-1/2 and still spunky. Bunya is over 12-1/2 and started slowing down years ago. We didn’t particularly talk about it but we both thought he would pass first. You learn in estate planning, people don’t always die in the order you think they will.
Now we wonder how Bunya will get along without her. He can’t see. We don’t think Ethel could hear, but it may have been she didn’t listen. When she would come begging for treats – thumping, racing around my chair or whatever to get my attention – I’d ask her “Where’s your boyfriend?”
I swear, lately, she would go back in their pen where he would be snoozing in their favorite hidey box, rouse him, and lead him out so I would give them both treats. Bunnies are smart. We would tease Ethel sometimes about where did she leave her brain cell, but then she would demonstrate some brilliance, like when she figured out how to get past the bunny barrier. I remember one morning after we had the trio, I came to feed them; Bunya and Lucy were in their pen – Ethel was running around like what’s up! She was tiny enough to fit through the pen fence.
Bunya was our first bunny. He was a bachelor for a couple of years. We learned about bunnies and found GHRS. We added sisters Lucy & Ethel (about 6 months old or so at the time), adopted from the Georgia House Rabbit Society to form our bonded trio. We lost Lucy suddenly almost exactly 5 years ago (read about Lucy here).
And now old man Bunya is alone again. We will continue to give him lots of love, but we are all missing Miss Ethel.
|She had a perfect little white cotton ball tail.|