July 2006


The House Rabbit Network is an organization formed with two primary purposes:
To rescue homeless rabbits and find them good indoor homes and also to educate the public about rabbits and their care. These activities may include:

* providing foster care for discarded domestic rabbits and
arranging for adoption to permanent indoor homes;
* assisting humane societies and shelters with rabbits;
* providing spay/neuter surgery and veterinary care through
arrangements with area practitioners;
* rehabilitating and socializing mistreated or neglected animals;
* permanently caring for animals who cannot be placed in
adoptive homes due to serious health or behavioral problems; and
* educating the public on responsible pet ownership and humane
practices.

Shannon – HRN Member/Volunteer

Well, we’ve always let our bunnies freely roam the bathroom, since they mostly just lie around.  Last night though, Cassi decided to see what was going on ontop of the toilet…  Problem was…   the toilet seat was up, I(Allan) having just finished with it…   Poor Cassi landed in the water, sat in shocked silence for about half a second, and then burst out of the bowl.  Needless to say, I don’t think she’s going to make it back into there anytime soon. :)

Here’s Cassi looking very dignified after her impromptu bath in the sink before bedtime!

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Well, a lady I know at work bred her 2 bunnies. Reasons aside, she asked us to adopt one of the babies. Thus, I’d like to introduce Lovebug. Some of you may remember this bunny as the one that Cassi attacked previously. She’s fine now, and very, very, fun. However, this may be a tough bonding, if we bond at all. Just last night, Cassi growled at LoveBug…. so we’re not sure if we will try and introduce her into the bonded pair we already have. (Ben is pretty much indifferent, it seems. He doesn’t care, long as he gets petted. :) ) We’re doing the cage switch thing now, and we’ll probably wait a bit till she gets spayed before we try anything though.
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Yes, you may now kneel. Her royal highness will see you…

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Shhh… Don’t disturb him. He’s playing computer games!

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My, they grow them big in this parts!

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Okay, I’m tired from the marathon I just ran in this hallway.

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We received an HRN volunteer e-mail alert from Suzanne at headquarters about a domestic bunny “on the loose” in North Andover. Since that’s not too far from where we live, we called Suzanne, who informed us that the bunny was actually in Boxford, even closer to us! Suzanne had gone by that evening to try rescue the bunny, but he had fled into the woods. We called Nancy, the woman who contacted HRN, the next day to let her know that we would come by that afternoon to try our luck in catching the “wayward wabbit.”

We pulled up at Nancy’s home around 4:00 P.M., where she greeted us along with her two young daughters. Nancy told us that someone had dumped off two bunnies at the entrance to a state forest area that abuts her property. At first, she had seen both rabbits but lately only one was still around the area. It is a tragedy that people release domesticated rabbits into a dangerous and deadly environment! She had called the local Animal Control Office, who instructed her to catch the rabbit herself and bring it to the MSPCA. Nancy had no idea how to capture a rabbit, so she called the MSPCA for help. They told her that they had no space for a rabbit, so they gave her the HRN’s phone number and that was how she got in touch with Suzanne.

She told us that “Buddy,” the name that her daughters had given the rabbit, was hanging out in her back yard area at that very moment! We all went out back and there he was, right at the edge of the tree line. Clearly, he was a domesticated bunny and didn’t fear people’s presence; however, he would only come close enough to take some food. Nancy took some raisins we had brought with us and was able to coax him onto the back edge of the lawn. He loved the raisins but retreated to the woods when we tried to approach. This wasn’t going to be as easy as we first thought!

Next, Tommy tried to play “Bunny Whisperer” and gingerly moved into the woods behind Buddy. He would get as close as three or four feet, but Buddy would hop away if he got any closer. Back and forth through the edge of the woods they went, for a half hour, at least!

At this point, Buddy was out near the edge of the lawn again, and Tricia decided to try to use the ultimate bunny capture weapon: a banana! Tricia worked her way towards Buddy by crawling on her belly, commando style, with a half-peeled banana thrust in front of her. Using her best “bunny voice,” she soothingly spoke to Buddy as she inched her way towards him. He seemed indifferent at first, but as she got within arm’s length, Buddy caught a whiff of the banana; for what seemed like an eternity, he hovered right near her.

Then, she made her move! She lunged from her prone position and was able to get a grip on Buddy just behind his shoulders, but Buddy was just too quick! He wiggled loose and scampered away as Tricia lay empty handed on the grass, our hopes seemingly dashed. Curses, we were foiled again!

Scarcely wasting a moment, Tommy rushed to ensure that Buddy didn’t escape into the deep woods. Curiously, Buddy almost seemed to be enjoying this game of cat and mouse. After about another fifteen minutes of Buddy going from one side of Nancy’s property to the other, he finally seemed to be getting a little weary. He would lay down at the lawn’s edge when given an opportunity. We knew that if we could maneuver Buddy into the right spot, we might get another chance to corral him.

Just a few minutes later, Buddy decided to head up onto a small wooded knoll. With the help of Nancy’s daughters, who helped block escape routes, we were able to distract him as Tricia, on her belly once again, closed in from behind. She made another dive, and this time Buddy was not getting away. She enveloped him with her body and arms, kissing him on his head and ears, telling him that he was safe and that we were going to help find him a “forever loving home”!

We slipped Buddy into our bunny carrier, equipped with a blanket and treats to comfort him. He settled down quickly and seemed at ease. We thanked Nancy for being a Good Samaritan, and told her how much we appreciated her diligence in attempting to ensure Buddy’s safety. It took just a little more than one hour, but our first bunny rescue was a success!!!

Buddy (or Budd-ette, we’re not sure) appears to be an English Spot rabbit. He has gorgeous, silky white fur and magnificent chocolate and black markings. From the stains on the bottom of his feet, our guess is that he/she was a hutch bunny that someone turned loose. He/she is adjusting well to domestic life in our family room; his comfort level with us has increased dramatically. He will allow us to pet him, hand feed him treats, and as a “thank you” he will do heads bobs, bunny toe dances and, best of all, he will dart into the carrier, dig around a little, and then do a gigantic flop! He is a BEAUTIFUL bunny that will fill your heart with love! Soon he will be headed to an HRN foster home to be readied for adoption.

-Tricia & Tom:HRN Volunteers and Bunny Wranglers-

Okay, so we have this 46″ great dane gate in the hallway. We usually leave it unlatched since it stays mostly closed. The other day, Ben got out in the front room. We couldn’t figure out how he’d done it, and assumed we must have just left the gate too far open. Well, I was sitting on the computer, and all of a sudden, I saw Ben walk up, and pull the gate open with his teeth. Somehow, he’d figured out how. Now, he tries it constantly, just to see if its really locked or not so he can get out in the front room. Don’t ever say bunnies aren’t smart.

Cassi on the other hand… We raised the barrier in the kitchen to make it too high for her to jump over. Its now about 44″ high. Every night for the past week, about 4 am, we hear scrabble, scrabble, scrabble…. Nothing going on except Cassi trying to jump over the new too high for her to jump barrier. So don’t ever say bunnies aren’t persistent. :)

In random other news, Ben is finally adjusting to the linoleum, and not flicking it off every time he runs across it. :) Took him about 2 weeks before he stopped thumping at it!

Matt and I participated in a Secret Santa gift exchange through an online bunny-owners forum. The point was for each bunny owner to send a gift of foods and fun toys to their assigned recipient’s rabbits. We were delighted with the fun box of toys sent to us by our Secret Santa. There were jingly balls, apple sticks, some silly paper hats, a couple of woven reed matts, a big woven willow ball, and a rope and wood block toss toy.

The day we received our box, the terrible trio (Beanbag, Lookout, and Echo) didn’t seem interested in coming out of their cage to play, so Holly got to come out and investigate the new toys first. She’s been becoming increasingly more social and has started learning how to play with toys in the past month. While she has a couple toys in her cage, she doesn’t do more than idly move them out of her way most of the time. For some reason though, she was in a very playful mood this weekend and was became very interested and excited about the toys I’d put out for her inspection. It was marvelous to watch her nose at them curiously, pick them up, carry them a few feet, and toss them around. She got to stay out playing and enjoying her freedom for a couple hours while I watched and took pictures.

In the end, there was one toy that she seemed to enjoy so much that I decided it belonged to her and put it back in her cage so she can play with it any time she wants. Each time I walk past the cage, I find the rope and block toy in a new spot. I rarely catch her in the act of moving it around, but I know she’s playing with it and having fun. It’s very satisfying to see her finally spark an interest in something so whimsical and un-necessary as toys.

You have no idea how many pictures I had to take before I got this one good photo of her dancing and kicking her heels up! She was having such a grand time and didn’t seem to mind me taking pictures, but boy is a moving bunny a difficult subject to photograph!

Last night, we hosted 3 little baby bunnies that our friend’s bunny had. One of them will soon be coming to us as a permanent home. (Her boa also had 8 eggs, so it must be the water. Yeah, that’s it.) These are a mix of Dwarf Hotot and Holland Lop, so they’re not going to be very big. They were the cutest little things, running around and around. They’re like little powder puffs, flying up and down the hallway. We built a hay tower, and they seemed to enjoy just climbing in it.

2 little bunniesBaby Bunnyin the tower!Let me out of here!3 little fluffballs

The night was going wonderfully until one of them looked at Cassi the wrong way, and all of a sudden, one of the bunnies found a chunk out of her side. :( A trip to the vet this morning showed all was well but said bunny is now on antibiotics for a bit. We also found a huge chunk of Ben’s fur, like Cassi had chewed on him as well, but there doesn’t seem to be any animosity between the two (nor can we find evidence of chew, so it may just be the last of his shed).

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Ben was just fine with the bunny babies, in fact, he even chinned a couple of them. The only time there was a problem was when one of the little ones stepped on “his” bath mat, and he wasn’t sure he was going to stand for that. A bit of intervention and everything was fine though. When I brought the babies back home to Mama, there was a very aggressive and thorough chinning of the bunnies. I thought Mama was going to attack them, she was so aggressively claiming them….

And by babies, I mean 6 week old bunnies. Adorable. Just adorable.

That’s right! He’s now figured out how to get in and out of the cage where the water is w\o freaking himself out and scaring himself half to death! I’ve been placing him in the cage every morning and evening for a bit so that he can get the water he needs, but we’ve been uncertain that he’s gone in otherwise. The cage entrance is cardboard wrapped in tape (over a slatted door), so he hates it more than the linoleum floor!! But now, he’s all cool! And looking like he owns the place, his favorite place to lay down is in front of the gate to get in the hallway, which means… he gets to look at us indignantly every time we want to use the bathroom.
Never say bunnies don’t own the place. ;-P

Look up! We have a new heading banner featuring one of our own foster-buns! (The original heading banner was made using stock photos.) Now that I have time, I’m going to be occasionally tinkering with the format of the blog to make it more readable and more user-friendly. I will also be personalizing it a bit more by adding in details that come directly from HRN, such as our own bunnies featured in the banner.

Fostering a bunny? Want him or her to be in the banner? All you have to do is arrange for a little photo shoot with yours truly and your bunny could be a banner bunny too!

We have linoleum floors in the kitchen. And he hates them. He does the hokey pokey before finally running out on them and flipping us all off. I put him in the cage the other day, with the door open, and when we got back from work, he was still sitting there. That’s cause the ramp is slippery! (Its cardboard wrapped with tape.)
Our other bunny, Cassi, has absolutely no problems with anything. :) In fact, the other night, she hopped over our barrier, which means we’ll finally have to break down and get another gate for the kitchen. (We hadn’t previously, cause it was too slippery for her to get that high in the air.)
However, I opened the fridge today, and Ben ran out on the linoleum without pausing, so maybe there’s hope for treat bribery!

http://flickr.com/photos/stalag131 For photos!
-=Allan =-

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