December 2006


Does your bunny make noises?

It is a common misconception that bunnies don’t make noises (except for the loud shriek that the only make if they think they are going to die…I have never heard that). But bunnies do make noises…at least, mine do!

I have had Eve for a long time now and she make cute noises sometimes when she is giving me kisses (very quiet) and she also makes purring noises (tooth-purr) when she happy.

However, when we adopted Dorian in March, we found out there was another level to bunny-expression. Dorian is a bit of a feisty little guy and can be a bit difficult. He has the dwarf attitude and also knows he is cute. We think he might have been a victim of bad-handling as a young-bun as he is fearful and moody sometimes. Anyway…on to the noises…

Dorian grunts often and fairly loudly! He does this when he is upset…this can be anything from not wanting to be touched to not getting a treat quickly enough (i.e. I am walking with the treat towards him and this is just not happening fast enough). He also grunts when I feed the hamster…he and Eve LOVE the hamster’s food (yes, it is harmless to rabbits in small amounts) and they both can’t imagine that I would feed the hamster first. Dorian also grunts when Eve tries to steal food from him. The cutest, though, is when I am eating something tasty like an apple and I choose not to give him a piece. He keeps grunting and then will eventually stomp. It is absolutely hilarious.

Dorian’s grunts sound like “mmrmph…”. It is a funny little noise! My husband and I have taken to using Dorian grunts ourselves to express our disatisfaction at everything from traffic problems to being late for rehearsals to being cold. We think it is pretty cool that Dorian has taught us some new vocabulary.

The funniest thing is that Dorian is very tiny…a little over 2.5 lbs! Yet, he has this huge personality and will tell you, very vocally, when he is upset.

I would love to know about other rabbits who make noises. Does your bunny grunt?

~Rachel: HRN Member/Volunteer

So today I spent a good number of hours giving “Bunny Tune-ups” and getting to know some of the foster buns at the various foster homes a bit more. My main reason for going was to groom Noel, a blackish-grey 2 year old angora that just came into HRN last week. She is bonded to her son, Spirit, a one year old, white with tan markings angora. This duo spent their years outside. Apparently Spirit’s fur was so badly matted when he was surrendered to ARL, they had to completely shave him down during his neuter. His former family said they never groomed him in his entire year of life. Poor little man. Now he’s starting a new year, a new life…indoors and matt-free and hopefully he and his mom will find a loving, forever home in the New Year too. They deserve it. Of course, the pair will require weekly grooming and maintenance to make sure they stay matt-free, healthy and happy.

So my day started grooming Noel. I got her brushed out and started trimming her all over to thin her coat, until I got to her backside butt area. Whoaaaa! She had a matt so thick in that area, I couldn’t determine where the fur and skin met. Throughout the day, I worked on that area, taking long breaks in between. But it got to the point where I just couldn’t do anymore with her. When it gets to be that bad, it’s a “hairy” situation and it’s best left to a vet or vet tech. Someone that knows what they’re doing. So tomorrow she’ll go to “the professionals” to be shaved in that area. Then she too will start a new year matt-free.

Spirit and Noel are a timid pair, (probably from spending their years outside with no human interaction), but already Spirit is starting to come out of his shell. Noel is still a bit apprehensive with us humans. With some time, patience and an understanding human, I’m confident they’ll both blossom into wonderful angoras.

Mabel is the outgoing, white lop with ruby eyes. She was in the pen playing when I got there. As soon as I was there, she was standing on her hind legs, front paws up on the sides of the pen, begging for pets. How could I resist? She’s awesome. Loving and outgoing. She’s going to make a great bun for someone or some family.

Okay, so my last post I made a mistake…Bogart is indeed a dark, smokey-grey colored rex. But in a dim light he does appear black. Bogart was the only bun that wanted no part of a nail clipping today. No way, no how. But he did allow me to hold him and give him some lovins’. Thanks Boggie!

Cheyenne of course IS an all black mini rex. Sweet as can be too! She was a little lady, allowing me to clip her dark black nails. When we finished, she snuggled right into me and enjoyed the attention. She’s perfectly fine being held and I think she also was content listening to me to talk to her. What a snuggle-bunny.

Desmond was a feisty boy today. He wasn’t thrilled with the nail cutting or me holding him, but he did tolerate it.

Mr. Snookums is a recently neutered, very outgoing mini-lop. He’s going to make some family very happy. I’m sure he’s full of personality (a lot more than I got to see for the time that I spent with him) and will acquire the nick-name Mr. Personality.

Finnegan is a small, quiet, gentle little man that was very good for his nail trim. He enjoyed the attention and the head rubs. Because he’s kind of on the quiet side, he may get overlooked, but if you’re interested in an all-around good little bun, he’s your man!

I didn’t get to do a trim on Lancelot either. Most of the time he was snoozing in his litter box (it WAS nap time, how dare I intefere with that!). Occasionally he’d poke his head up and I’d pet him, but he’s was just as content to take a good bunny nap.

Payson is the spry little dwarf who’s high energy and outgoing personality is what many potential adopters look for. So why hasn’t he been adopted yet? We’re not sure. But we’re confident that the New Year will bring Payson a new family. Will it be you?

Charleston is a handsome, smaller dutch who is friendly and was at the edge of the cage whenever I passed on by. Of course when it came time for his nail trim, he was at the far side of the cage :) Little devil! But he too was a good little boy for his “tune-up”.

Now Duncan. Duncan was a very shy, large, hermit bun last time I was there. What a surprise to see him begging for pets and lovins’ this time! I was thrilled. He’s definitely blossoming, like I thought he would with time. He’s on the bigger side, but a bigger bun means more bun to love!

Harriet is another white, ruby-eyed lop bun. LOVES to be pet and I can’t stress that enough. This little lady would literally probably sit for hours to be petted. Didn’t mind getting her nails trimmed or being held either.

Harriet’s “downstairs neighbors” are Chloe and Clover. These two are huge hay eaters and were constantly in their litter box eating fresh hay. Because of that, I was only able to clip one of their nails (not sure which one is which). Which ever bun it was, she was perfectly fine. They are both pretty friendly buns.

“The Trio” is just an awesome family! Mom Darcy and her boys Alfalfa and Buckwheat are a bonded trio who are on the very small side. With time, Darcy is another bun who is coming out of her shell. As soon as I opened the cage door, all three came running over. If I didn’t already have my own two buns (THAT is my limit this time around!), these three would have been home with me in a heartbeat. Just an absolutley wonderful trio of bunnies. I can’t say enough about them.

Meadow is another dutch, grey and white. She’s kind of shy and doesn’t really like to be held, which was evident as she hopped out of my hands and was off! Once I caught up with her again, she was perfectly fine sitting for her nail trim. Pansy is Meadow’s daughter and “next door neighbor”, but they are not bonded. Pansy is more timid than her mom, but I think she (and Meadow) just needs that one-on-one time and she’ll be fine. Isn’t that what everybunny wants? Just a loving human to call their very own.

Electra is one of a kind and her picture doesn’t do her justice. She’s kind of a crazy little bun with crazy floppy ears, always at the edge of her cage. She actually started coming out at one point until I caught her. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but she’s not on ground level!

Sally is a larger and long bun with 2 dewlaps! So she’s got a built-in pillow…or two…what’s better than that?! Sally was a doll. Very polite and very good for her “tune-up”. She got the works today too. Nails, brushing, etc. A lady like her needs to look her best!

Tatum is a newer bun who will be available soon, once she’s spayed. She will surely be adopted very quickly, as she’s a cutie-petutie!!! Smaller, dwarf-sized bun with an agouti coloring and white markings. Her eyes draw you in to her cute little demeanor and looks.

Punky…poor Punky. Another bun that we just don’t understand why she hasn’t been adopted. The most beautiful blue eyes and silky white fur. A small little girl with lots of ‘tude, but was very cooperative for her nail trim.

Hailey is another one that could compete in the “cutie-petutie” department. That unique coloring and expressive lop-like ears would draw anyone in. She’s outgoing, constantly wanted to be petted and loved and was great for her “tune-up”.

Katie and Libby are sisters who are oh-so-sweet. They weren’t as cooperative on their nail trims, but we got it done. They’re dainty little girls with nice personalities.

AND…..(drumroll please)…last but not least are Snowy and Jacob. This poor duo has been overlooked for 2 years now. They desperately need a home to call their own. Foster care is good and they are safe and loved, but they REALLY need a permanent home. Snowy is a himalayan bun and Jacob is a mix. Their picture on the “Pairs” page doesn’t do them justice and they need to be met in person to see just how sweet, special and devoted these two really are. They are snuggle bunnies too. When I was holding them, they both snuggled right in and soaked up the attention and love. PLEASE ADOPT SNOWY AND JACOB!

So there is the rundown of some of the adoptables. We’re hoping to make 2007 a bright, new year in a new home for each and every one of them. Will it be yours?

~Shannon: HRN Member/Volunteer

Beanbag’s favorite way to nap is to take a mid-morning and afternoon snooze in the sunshine in his litterbox full of hay. He tucks his paws in and snuggles down into the hay and puffs up his fur to catch the warmth of the sun. Our front room where the bunnies live is very sunny so his fur gets nice and toasty warm. His eyes close most of the way and his nose is still. His ears stay flat down against his head unless a noise catches his attention, then he’ll lift one ear and turn it toward the offending sound to see if he should bother caring enough to get up and investigate.

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At a bit over 7 years of age, it is definately his perrogative to take a nice snooze in the sunshine. We’re moving tomorrow (we just bought our first house!) and the bunnies will have a bedroom all to themselves. We made sure the room we chose for them was the one at the front of the house so they will still get lots of sunshine. I’m looking forward to watching Beanbag migrate across the room, following the warm, sunny spots on the wood floor. (My first rabbit, April, used to do this on lazy Saturday afternoons. You could watch him move from couch to carpet to shading plant as the day went by. It was wonderful.)

We conducted Ed Days for the past two Saturdays here on the North
Shore, the first being at PetSmart in Danvers, the second was at PetCo
in Topsfield. Customer traffic was a little erratic but our table
drew substantial interest, as usual, our black Mini-Lop, Nigel, was
the magnet. At the second Ed Day at PetCo in Topsfield, his bonded
partner, Sugar, made her Ed Day debut, and although she was a bit shy,
her attentive boy, Nigel, got her through it quite well!

We distributed lots of literature, many were eager to learn about what
a great resource that HRN is for rabbit information! Although the
numbers of people contributing financially were not any greater than
usual, those that did contribute seemed to be giving more (`tis the
season, we guess).

The biggest common thread we noticed at these two events, as well as
others we have done in the past, is how ignorant and/or misinformed
most people are about rabbits and their care. The good thing is that
99% of those people who stop to speak with us are VERY appreciative to
get the proper information from HRN, and even if they are not rabbit
owners, they are very willing and enthusiastic to pass the information
on to someone they know who is a rabbit owner!!

As an example, a woman stopped at the table this past Saturday to tell
us that her daughter had been given a rabbit as a gift two years ago,
but was told not to bring the rabbit into the house to live,
because if she did, it would die! You see, she was told it was an
“outside bunny”! She seemed troubled that the bun’s water and lettuce
kept freezing but the person who gave her the bunny was a breeder, so
she thought that he must know what he was talking about! UGH!!! She
was relieved to learn that “Snowball” could be brought into the house
and could be litter boxed trained, as well; she left us that day with
lots of info to improve the well-being of “Snowball”. YEAH!!

It is evident from our own experience that Ed Days can improve the
lives of many domestic rabbits. The more exposure we can get by
having HRN volunteers doing Ed Days, the more rabbits we can help have
a better quality of life. It is up to us to make a difference!

We have our final Ed Day of 2006 scheduled for this Saturday at the
PetCo in Saugus, on Route 1 northbound, from noon to 3 pm. Please
feel free to drop by to say hello if you are in the area!

Tricia & Tom

A few weeks ago I had the chance to spend a lot of time with some of the adoptables. Each day, I’d let 3 or 4 of the buns out so they could romp and play and binky their hearts out. Of course many of the binkies never quite made it off the ground because of the slippery floor. If they did make it off the ground, they’d twist and turn in mid-air, then come slipping and sliding to their landing. Too cute and funny to see!

Mabel, a white lop bun with ruby eyes, was always right there pleading with me with those beautiful eyes, to let her out. She was so friendly and just wanted to be pet 24/7.

Snowy and Jacob were a bit more reserved. They’re a bonded couple who are just looking for a quiet, loving home and human. Of course once they were out, they were binky-ing every where.

Sally is a bigger girl who uses her dewlap as a pillow when she rests. She’s a smoosh-bunny. She’ll hunker right down and soak up the pets, eyes closed, enjoying the attention.

Of course you can’t forget Payson. The spunky little bun who NEVER let me forget he was there! This little guy has lots of energy, bouncing around in his cage, but will win your heart with his cute dwarf face and crazy antics.

Now onto Hurley. He was my little man during the week. He loved any and all attention and did crazy acrobatics when he was out playing. Just an all aroung good natured bun.

Darcy and her two boys, Alfalfa and Buckwheat are little buns with lots of energy. Well Mom is a bit more reserved than her boys. I’m hoping that once she sees that us humans can indeed be kind, she’ll come out of her shell a bit more. The Boys love to explore and if you get right down on the floor with them, they’ll crawl all over you. Once they trust you, they enjoy a good pet. I also had the chance to foster them for about 5 days a few months ago. Just a great tiny trio!

Duncan is a big boy with a shy personality. But with love and devotion, he’s sure to blossom into a big love-bug.

Bogart is an all black rex who was a bit shy, but once out and about, binkied like no tomorrow. He’d smoosh on down for some rubs too! But who couldn’t resist rubbing that beautiful rex fur?

Desmond oh-so patiently waited his turn to come out. He’s a gentle guy who is a bit curious at everything going on. Once the cranberries came out though, he couldn’t wait for his treat.

Meadow and Pansy are mother and daughter. Unfortunately they had a fight and don’t get along any more so they are up for adoption as singles. Both are very warm little girls and they too were a bit shy at first. However, once the cranberries came out…they were all over me. They both enjoy pets.

Harriet is a bit of a piggy with her food. I couldn’t get the pellets in fast enough for her. She would sit for hours just soaking up the lovins’ from any one. She thoroughly enjoys her pets and always wants more, more, more!

Cheyenne, the little black rex, stole my heart. She is partially blind and has to be approached very slowly and on her good side, otherwise she gets a bit anxious and would lunge at my hand. But it’s just because she can’t see what is coming at her. Poor little girl. Another smoosh bunny is what she is though. Once the petting starts, she doesn’t want it to stop. She’ll melt right into the floor and will stay like that for hours, I swear. She just needs that special someone to give her a chance, that’s all.

Punky is an adorable little bun with beautiful blue eyes. Blue eyes?! Yup, that’s right. She’s a bit of a diva and she knows it. She’s got a lot of attitude for a teeny thing. But then again, what diva doesn’t?

Katie and Libby are a smaller pair of adorably, sweet sisters. They were always patient, always kind and love each other. They also loved any and all attention.

Of course after a week with all of these cuties (and a few more that I know I’m forgetting), I wish I had a lot more room to adopt each and every one of them. Somewhere, their “forever homes” are out there, I know they are. The right person or family will come along and each one of them will be adopted, I know they will.

Shannon ~ HRN Member/Volunteer

When my (now) fiance and I started making plans to move into an apartment together, the most exciting part for me was that we’d finally be able to adopt a pet (well, other than dorm mice, of course). I grew up in a bit of a pet-filled zoo, but my fiance hadn’t had pets, so when he expressed interest in adopting a rabbit, I jumped on it. We knew we wanted to adopt from a rescue, and we found the HRN through a Google search.

We looked through the HRN webpage for weeks, squealing about different bunnies, and finally moved to our new apartment, bought a cage and some hay, and went on a visit to Suzanne’s house. We were trying really hard not to pick a favorite bun from the pictures on the webpage, but we definitely went in with some favorites. Who doesn’t, right?

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Well, we met all the beautiful buns one rainy day at Suzanne’s, and we started picking buns to play with in her playpen. We hadn’t really noticed Kiara on the website, but we decided to play with her anyway. She was the second bun we picked, and we connected with her immediately — she kept running up for pets to the nose, and she even did a binky. The binky sealed the deal. We were completely in love with her, and took her home that day.

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We’ve learned a lot about our pretty girl (now called Abby) since June. She loves to do binkies — she’ll do a binky if we feed her an especially good-looking piece of romaine lettuce. She’s also a fan of a good game of chase, and she’ll chase my fiance across the floor, doing binkies the whole way. She tooth-purrs like a fiend if you rub behind her ears or kiss her nose. She likes to lick our faces at 4 AM until somebody gets up to feed her pellets.

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It’s pretty cozy in our studio apartment, but when we get a bigger place at the end of the year, we’re definitely planning to let Abby choose a new friend from the HRN. We’re so glad we picked the right bun.

-HRN Adopter: Mollie-

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Henrietta was rescued in September and a few days later delivered a litter of babies.

Over the next few months the babies’ growth and development will be chronicled.
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For their first 2.5 weeks of life they stayed hidden in their nest. Between 2.5 and 3 weeks old they left their nest for short periods of time to investigate their surroundings.

At 3 weeks of age they started to lap water from a shallow bowl and eat tiny amounts of crumbled food pellets. Tiny sounds of chewing could be heard from their nest as they learned to eat small amounts of alfalfa hay.

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Their foster mom has started to socialize them. At first they were startled by the smell and touch of a human hand. Touching Mama first and babies second helped co-mingle the smells and they soon loved gentle stroking.

Still at only 3 weeks old they spend more and more time out of their nest and have started “jiffy-popping” around their enclosure.
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They continue to nurse from Mom twice a day.

-HRN Fostermom: Cheryl-

Tapsi is a German bunny.

I moved to Boston for a job last year. For the beginning I left my two bunnies Tapsi and Lopsi with my mother in Germany. I just wanted to get settled first. Unfortunately, Lopsi, who was a very cute Holland Lop, started getting heart problems. He just had very bad days and nobody really knew why. Suddenly, in May, after I was at home visiting, and preparing everything for their trip to Boston, he felt asleep and did not wake up any more. I was devastated. My vacation was over and had to leave back to Boston.

I canceled the bunny Ticket with Pet Air, because I did not want Tapsi to fly as cargo all by herself. My mother was worried, because Tapsi did not eat for almost a week, but then she recovered. I knew that I had to wait over the summer until I could plan Tapsi’s flight as carry-on luggage, because it was just to hot outside (on both continents).

My boyfriend volunteered to fly her over in September. So I bought a ticket for him and Tapsi (she counts as excess hand-luggage) with Delta from Frankfurt via New York to Boston for September 20th. Also, he regularly visited Tapsi at my mothers, just to play with her. She was very lonely. That time, in June, I had already seen Oliver’s picture on the House Rabbit Network Homepage. I knew, when nobody adopts him until Tapsi gets here, he will be her mate. First, I wanted to adopt and elderly bunny. Tapsi is eight and a baby would be nothing for her. Secondly, he has the same facial expression as Lopsi had, also being a slightly overweight Holland Lop.

When September 20th was getting closer everybody was getting nervous. How will little Tapsi take the long trip (14 hours from door to door). She is this very tiny chinchilla colored Netherland Dwarf. We were equipped with about five different health certificates, three different containers and all kinds of medicine. Luckily, everything went very well. Delta Airlines was very friendly and nobody had an issue with the bunny. Tapsi mostly slept in her little Cabin Carrier on the seat next to my boyfriend (they had given him a seat with an empty seat next to him). In New York there was a misunderstanding about little Tapsi being a wild baby rabbit. That is just the way she looks. However, when my boyfriend showed him the Health Certificate with her picture, stating that she was an eight year old pet rabbit, she was all set to enter the United States of America.

In New York I met them at the airport to fly on to Boston. Tapsi was very relaxed. In the middle of thousands of people waiting to board she was sitting in her carrier and chewing greens. For the last hour she was placed under the seat in front of us. We covered her with towels, so she did not get a cold. Arrived in Boston she was still chewing greens. In my apartment I introduced her to her new exercise pen. She ate right away. The first week she just had to fight her jet lag. She was hungry and up at very awkward times, but generally she adjusted very quickly. When two weeks were over, and Tapsi was doing great in her new home, I called the House Rabbit Network with the intention to adopt Oliver. I felt she was ready to be bonded again, after the lonely summer.

The following Saturday Tapsi and I went to Suzanne’s home to meet Oliver (and all the other cute bunnies). In the “dating exercise pen” Tapsi and Oliver liked each other right away, just that Oliver liked her too much. He was very frisky and tempestuous. Too much for the little old lady. However, I decided to take him home. The love was basically there, it just needed some work. I had a large cage set up within Tapsi’s Exercise Pen, so they were separate, but could see each other. The second day I let them together. Oliver kept being frisky, but there were no fights. There were already times when he was grooming her. She enjoyed it. Occasionally it looked like she startled when she looked up, realizing that it was not her old friend Lopsi grooming her, but Oliver. Also, Oliver asked her to groom him. Something Lopsi never did. For the next week, I left them together during the day and separated them during nights. They were doing well and Oliver’s frisky behavior was diminishing. Oliver really enjoyed the good food and that he could run around. Tapsi enjoyed the new companion.
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After the work week was over, I decided, that they could finally be together. I allowed them to be together for 24 hours a day, and both of them are very happy. Tapsi decided that she wants to keep this cute little fellow. Hopefully he will stay with her with the rest of her life. I could not stand her being left alone again. I saw him in the Internet and felt in love with him for Tapsi. I was right: He is the type of bunny guy she likes. After a week he has learned to treat her like a lady.But also he encourages her to be more outgoing.
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Oliver enjoys his new live: eating greens with his companion, cuddling with her and exploring the big apartment we all live in.I would encourage everybody, who has an old widowed rabbit, to bond him/her again. Two unhappy bunnies are two happy one’s now.
-HRN Volunteer: Corinna-

A sad post-script from the editor:
Sortly after adopting Oliver into her home, Corinna lost Tapsi to a sudden heart-attack. For the short few months that they were together, Oliver and Tapsi were very happy. Corinna often spoke of how Tapsi was acting like a younger bunny again because of Oliver’s company. Corinna plans to try to adopt a friend for Oliver from HRN after they’ve had some time to get over their loss.

When Dakota’s babies were young they all lived together. However, as they started to mature not only did the males and females needed to be separated to prevent pregnancies, but the males needed to be separated from each other until they were neutered because they were becoming too aggressive.

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Due to a shortage of living space, two of the males needed to live together. Juju and Reeses were the only 2 male bunnies that got along with each other. Since then they have become inseperable. It is quite clear that they were meant for each other. They are always by each others side just hanging out, or jumping around during playtime. Reeses is so curious that when I put the camera in he stuck his face up to sniff it.

-Andrew: HRN Fosterdad-

Rabbits love their carrot top greens. Check out Skittles, Hershey and Tootsie munching away. How cute!

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Skittles, Hershey, Tootsie

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Skittles and Hershey

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Skittles and Hershey

~Erica, HRN fostermom and volunteer