April 2006

Yesterday was the yard sale in Brighton, MA. Petco agreed to let us use their parking lot. What a great location. We were busy from before 9am until 4pm. We raised a good amount of money for the buns!
Maysoon, Sarah, Suzanne

Some people didn’t even buy anything and gave us money for our cause. Joanne and her husband adopted Bubbles last year from Cheryl. They saw our ad in their community newspaper and had to come and support us. They said that they are abosultely adoring Bubbles.

Special thanks to Jessica, Suzanne, Maysoon, Robin, Andy, Sarah, and Chris (Jessica’s friend with the truck – couldn’t have done it without him).
Erica and Jessica

Also, Liz and Matt did a wonderful job at the ed day. What a beautiful table they set up. Zeus, Spot, and Tumble stayed the whole time and were so great. The three were so social and only went in their litter box. I was such a proud foster mom :-)
Liz and Matt ed day

The yard sale and ed day was an absolute success. We couldn’t have done it without all the donations and hard work from the volunteers. Thank you!

~Erica HRN Volunteer

Ever thought of insurance for your bunny? In today’s day and age, the cost of veterinary care can be overwhelming, so VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance) has found a way to help us, help our beloved buns receive the care they deserve and need.

I first got VPI about 4 years ago for my buns after a very expensive 3 day emergency stay at Angell in Boston. My vet suggested VPI and I’m glad he did. I have probably submitted about 30 claims in the past 4 years (not the norm for most people with buns, so don’t let that scare you). Most of the claims have been with Bailey and Lucky. Another thing to note is that it depends on where you live with what they will cover. For example, for some reason, VPI won’t cover molar spurs for CA people, but they’ve always covered Lucky’s spurs, here in MA.

The main thing you have to do is bring the Benefit Schedule with you when you go to the vet. That way your vet can pick the exact medical term of what your bun has, etc. and write that on the claim. For example, instead of writing Stasis, you need to write Ileus (which is new as of 2 years ago – that was never on the schedule). Then a percentage will be covered.

As far as what they cover…well there are 4+ pages in tiny type, so I couldn’t even begin to get into that. They WON’T cover parasites however. Bailey had mites once and that was not covered. E.Cuniculi is also NOT covered. However, Lucky’s seizures are covered, (which are a direct result of the E.Cuniculi…weird). They don’t cover meds either. They will cover blood work, rads, and a multitude of tests, but again, only a percentage or what they allow.

You also have to pay up front, then VPI reimburses you. There is a $50 deductible for each related illness. You are also only allowed so much per illness per year. For example: Lucky had 5 spurs in one year. There was one $50 deductible for the first spur. His last check was for $4.00. YEAH!!! It wasn’t even worth sending it to me. So the more you submit of one specific illness/medical condition in a policy year, the less you receive in reimbursement. Normal reimbursement time is 2 months after you submit the claim. And you can now fax the claim, which is so much easier.

They have also covered a good percentage of Bailey’s physical theraphy and acupuncture and those are NOT on the benefit schedule. What the vets write is “Mobility and pain control due to kidney disease and spinal arthritis”. So if it’s not on there, call and ask. If they don’t cover something, call and ask why. They’ve always been very nice and informative on the phone. I think I’ve called maybe 6 times in the past 4 years to go over stuff. The last was to continue coverage on 3 of my buns.

The other thing with coverage depends on how much the vet charges. For example: Bailey was diagnosed with urethra stones and spinal arthritis 5 days after the insurance went into effect 4 years ago. He needed an ultrasound before surgery. Because the cost of the ultrasound was the same as what VPI allowed, the entire thing was covered ($160.00). That entire episode (surgery, blood work, rads, ultrasound, etc.) cost me $2000. VPI covered approx. $1000 of it. Of course that was after I submitted the last 2 years of his medical history proving that I didn’t know he had the stones, etc. But still, I had only paid $10.00 into the policy and it had already paid for itself more than I could have imagined…Well worth it!

I’ve had a few claims submitted with Cinnamon. Some for stasis, one for his heart condition (echocardiogram, etc.). Lily has had no claims since I insured her over 2 years ago.

If you’re interested in the insurance, go to www.petinsurance.com and you can get a quote and start the process right online. If you have multiple pets, you get a discount. I now pay $10.55/bun/month. That’s with my multiple pet and PSI member discount. If you’ve ever considered insurance, I’d highly recommend it to all!
-Shannon: HRN Member/Volunteer

Last night we thought we’d bring the 6 foster rabbits (Nushi, Spot, Zeus, Tumble, Minnie, and Rose) into the living room for a little play time. Boy were they excited. Tumble and Zeus were the binky masters of the evening. Even occasionally slamming into each other in mid air. After a little while we thought we’d give them some newspaper to play with. Zeus was in absolute heaven.

Zeus and Spot together as always

All the buns got into the act, throwing shreds of newspaper into the air.

All the buns attacking the newspaper

When all newspaper was obliterated, Spot threw himself onto his back against the entertainment center (I wish I had a picture of that!). But then he settled into a nice happy feet position.

Tired Spot

These guys are so much fun, it’s hard to put into words, but I hope you got a glimspe of my wonderful fostering life.
~Erica – HRN Member

Echo, our 5 month old mixed breed bun, has yet to develop a serious seasonal shed pattern. She has a mixed texture coat made up of thick, glossy guard hairs and two finer, shorter coats. Her coat is different than any other bunny we’ve had and I am curiously waiting to see what her shedding habits will be like as she grows into adolescence and adulthood. When we adopeted our 2 year old Hotot, Lookout, we went through a similar waiting period as well. We adopted her just after Thanksgiving in 2004 at 8 months old. Either she had already established her winter coat when she was adopted, or she was still growing her guard hair coat, because that winter, she never shed. When spring came in 2005, she still had something of a fine, baby coat beneath the glossy guard hairs. She didn’t seem to shed much, and you would figure it’d be noticeable with a white rabbit. This year, when fall came, she shed a little, but nowhere near the handfuls of volume produced by some of our other buns. Now that its spring again, Lookout hasn’t shed much at all. Her coat is now made up entirely of thick glossy fur similar in texture to that of a smooth-haired guinea pig or labrador dog.
I expect that we will see the same experience with Echo as she grows throughout this, her first year, and becomes an adolescent bun. For now, her interesting coat of fine light brown baby fur mixed with glossy charcoal guard hairs is an intriguing texture and color. I expect that the coloring will remain, no matter what happens once she begins to shed.

Well, the last time we sat down to write about Nigel, he had been our foster bunny for about a week. We were determined that we would find him a loving forever home in short order. We posted our thoughts about Nigel here on the HRN Blog. We took a bunch of very cute pictures of Nigel and had them posted on HRN’s website. Guess what? It worked! Before the week was out, HRN had received a call from a family that wanted to adopt Nigel without even meeting him! They had seen his pictures and read the blog and that was it, Nigel was their guy. We set up the appointment with his new family for him to be picked up, and on schedule he was picked up and on his way to his new forever loving home (not without a few tears from his foster parents though!)

For the next few days, we tried to get over our feelings of loss by trying to decide which bunny we should foster next. We were on the verge of making that decision when we received a call from Nigel’s adoptive family. They were calling to tell us that they were going to have to return Nigel because their daughter had been found to be allergic to him! That night Nigel came back to our house and seemed a bit confused and shellshocked by all the changes in his life over the course of the past few days. We quickly reassured him that he was back in a friendly place where he could relax and be his playful self again. In a day or so, he was back to being the same Nigel we had grown fond of so quickly.
About a week and half later, there was another person who called HRN about Nigel and wanted to set up an appointment to meet him. We tentatively set up the appointment for the next weekend, six days away. During the week we finally discussed what we had both been thinking, should we adopt Nigel ourselves? We knew he was comfortable with us and we were in love with him! How can you let out of your care a bunny who washes your nose with bunny kisses every morning when you come downstairs?

Unfortunately, we had failed in our first experience as bunny foster parents. We apologized to the prospective adoptive family and spoke with them about other bunnies that were in HRN’s care that might be a good fit for them as well. As it turned out, this family welcomed Jellybean (appropriate. seeing that this is Easter Weekend!), another HRN foster bunny, into their forever loving home yesterday. Everyone goes home happy!
We look forward to years of enjoyment together with Nigel and with his successful bonding with our previous HRN adoptions, our Lionshead rabbits couple, Hannah and Griffin. To be continued….

Tricia & Tom, HRN Members

Mae is a brown and black Harlequin. She’s skittish when you first meet her, but warms up to you quickly.
Mae, like most bunnies, is sensitive to how you pick her up. If you’re sure to give her feet and rear some support, she’s easy to pick up.

Mae suffers from a skittishness that our own bunny BeanBag suffered from when we first adopted him.

Like BeanBag, Mae is very nervous about being touched, particularly around the nose, whiskers and the back of the neck. All of these are areas used in dominance battles between bunnies. Unlike BeanBag, if you hold her for a few minutes, providing some support and affection, she warms up and relaxes.
A relaxed Mae let me stroke all the areas she’d been nervous about when I first picked her up. She even let me handle her feet, examining her claws and the bottoms of her feet, something bunnies rarely let people do.

I ended up holding Mae for several minutes, and while I scritched her, she cuddled closer and closer to me, eventually tucking her nose under my chin.

When she was out romping, she was curious and energetic, engaged in the process of exploring her surroundings. She also expressed a great deal of curiosity about the other bunnies in the foster home, clearly fascinated with the other rabbits.
BeanBag was living with my wife and I for a few months and being handled daily before he got anywhere near the point Mae is at now. Today, BeanBag is an affectionate bunny who loves to be held and petted. My wife and I believe that Mae simply needs some TLC and the opportunity to get comfortable with a new family in a quiet home. A little patience and some daily handling should allow this bunny to go from being nervous and skittish around new people, to being a warm and affectionate bunny, at least around those she knows she can trust.
-Matt:HRN Member-

Ky & Shookie are a bonded pair who have survived some rather interesting experiences. Ky was found by a park ranger in a Connecticut state park known to be infested with coyotes. The ranger along with the the local animal rescue officials were completely at a loss to explain how this friendly bun had survived for at least a few weeks in such conditions. Once he’d been brought to a shelter, he became well liked for his easy going disposition and curious nature.
Shookie was another bunny already in the custody of the Connecticut animal shelter where Ky was placed by the park rangers. Shy and retiring by nature, the shelter’s staff asked our HRN staff to consider taking Shookie out of the shelter at the same time as Ky. The shelter’s staff felt that Shookie would be happier in a foster home. Little did they know that these 2 buns were meant to meet. The two have become inseparable since their arrival at the HRN.
Shookie tends to be the quieter of the pair. Ky, outgoing and active, tends to take the lead. Both love occasional attention from their humans. When given the chance for some out time, Ky will typically explore and investigate while Shookie is contented to find a toy or two to play with interupted by occasional bouts of grooming.

Alto and Maya are a somewhat troubled pair of bonded bunnies. Miserable without him, Maya continues to cling to her time with Alto, even though he is a bit of a bully at times. At various times, his foster-mom has tried to separate them. In the end, they are better together than they are apart. Alto’s bullying but protective behavior makes Maya happier than she would be without him.
Alto isn’t a big fan of being caught or caged. He’d rather be allowed to explore and left to his own devices. He does enjoy a full body petting session, provided its on the floor where he can choose to come and go as he pleases. He is a bit food possessive, insisting that he gets to eat his fill of everything before Maya. Luckily, he doesn’t seem to have a tendency to over-eat and so he has maintained an athletic build consistent for a bunny of his size. Once Alto has eaten he will let Maya take as much as she wants. As long as there is enough food for both of them, things are just fine. Aside from being food posessive, Alto acts as Maya’s protector, assuring himself and her that any humans who approach are going to treat her gently.
Maya is a sweet, but tentative brown and white lop. She’s truly devoted to Alto in the way that only a bonded bun can be. While willing to be picked up and moved to a different location for romp time, she would prefer not to be held for long periods of time. Once she has gotten used to your presence, she will tentatively come see you when she wants attention. She rather enjoys a good scritch between the ears and one of her favorite activities to share with Alto is a nice long synchronized grooming session.

These two buns may not have the perfect marriage, but then again, who ever does? In the end, the important part of their story is their devotion to each other.

Our home is now giving new meaning to the word “dust bunny.”

It is strange, Eve just doesn’t shed too much, EXCEPT for this time of year. Her fur is very sleek and sheds a very little bit. We haven’t had huge problems with shedding, although, the people where I work probably think I am a weirdo because I often come in with rabbit hair all over my black pants! Of course, many of those people have cats and dogs, so I guess we can all laugh at each other.

Anyway, Eve IS shedding now, much more than usual, but I still think it is less than some other bunny owners will describe. However, our new bunny Dorian sheds more than Eve. He is much smaller, a dwarf, but his hair is fluffy, not sleek. So, now, most of the hair everywhere is white…and I know it is his! I think he sheds twice as much as Eve.

They don’t seem to be particularly bothered by shedding, although I try to keep Dorian’s hair under control as he is the one that sometimes has hair in his poop. Dorian doesn’t like to be groomed by me at all. He thinks the hair brush is some sort of threat. Eve, who needs less grooming, thinks the hair bush is friendly. She is an attention hog anyway, so she thinks I am petting her–with the hair brush!

I think we are pretty lucky with the shedding amounts here. My Mom visited last weekend and said their dog, Lena, a Siberian husky, is going through her spring shedding. Husky’s have two layers of hair. The undercoat is fluffy and soft, the overcoat is course. When Lena sheds, they often realize that she has SO MUCH more hair than they ever thought. The house consists of one big Lena dust bunny and they start talking about trying to make sweaters out of her hair.

I don’t know if you rabbit folks have huskys (and watch out of you do, huskys think bunnies are food) but be glad if you don’t have one and count your blessings. Rabbits are smaller than huskys!

I said the previous post was the last post on bonding, but I lied. Actually, I promised you all some photos. Here they are.

This is Eve (top level) and Dorian (middle level) in the three-level bunny abode condo. They absolutely love it. Dorian REALLY likes it because he told me he really thought the temporary cage was some sort of ‘rabbit abuse’…thankfully, we will be taking it back to Suzanne’s today.

Eve and Dorian

This picture is of them cuddling during their afternoon nap. The bunny condo is near our front livingroom window, so they soak up the rays of the sun all day. They generally have the option of running around their huge x-pen (which takes up half our living room), but they would rather sleep, generally on the second level of the condo. The pedestrians taking their daily walks with their kids or dogs often stop to say, “oh, look! There are bunnies in there!”

Aren’t they cute?! Two bunnies is much better than one! I highly recommend a bonded pair for everyone!

Dorian and Eve, resting

I am warning all of you, this is not the last post either. It might be the last post in the “bonding” catagory, but I intend to post multiple pictures of my adorable bunnies in the future…

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