Treat time temptations

 Who placed their bets on Lana as first to venture out of the pen? (I did)

Backstory: Fed them their greens dinner and left the gate open. Sat on the floor nearby, which still freaks them. After dinner, sat in my usual place but left the gate open.
Before bed, I got the box of treats, which I have broken into smaller pieces. They get half a cookie a day, but now it’s broken into 3 or 4 bites.
I got on the floor far from the open gate. I had their curiosity.
Then I rattled the treat container. Now I had their attention. (Django reference)
Basically, I shot marbles with the pieces, but far from the gate. Lana was the first to come out enough to get treats and then explored a little, even looking in on her fenced mates from a new angle. She explored enough to chin the entrance to the fun house and peek inside.
Treat time temptations

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.)

Treat time temptations

Then Lois chased him down to try to take it away from him.

Lois ventured out onto the mat, but never as far as Lana. She’s in constant motion so I will have to try harder to take non-blurry pictures of her.
Treat time temptations
Bunnies…

The Fosters Three

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.

Tried to expand their horizons last night by offering them a treat – outside their pen. They all positioned themselves like this picture of Lana – low to the ground and stretched out, like they were trying to keep one foot on first base while planning to steal second.

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! 

The Fosters Three
Lana scoring her treat.

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.)

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