May 2011

sunday morning with dad

Hello Friends and Fans!!!!

Eskie here again! I wanted to share some photos that show how we start off each and every day. This photo was taken on a Saturday, so our
Foster Dad wasn’t in his ‘go to work’ clothes.

Every morning at 6:00 our Foster Mom comes down stairs and lets out the cat, takes out the dogs, gives Jenna her breakfast, and then and comes
to let us out of our sleeping crate.

Soon we hear our Dad’s footsteps on the stairs. MoMo and I come RUNNING from wherever we are and anxiously await his arrival on the sunporch. He comes
and sits down to chat with us and he feeds us BANANA CHIPS!!!!!! Now we know that there isn’t a bunny out there who can survive on banana chips as a
steady diet….it would be like you humans eating only chocolate…..but they really do make the best occasional treat! Mom says you need to have something
really, really special for training treats. Well, banana chips, dried blueberries (from Trader Joe’s) and raisins are the BEST! MoMo and I would do just about
ANYTHING for these treats!

When we first came to stay at our Foster Home, we were not exactly ‘interactive’ family members. We did our thing, and the rest of the family did their thing. This did not
work for Mom. She has this weird idea that everyone in the household is family, and we all need to be an active part of that family. Over the past month
we have learned that there is nothing to fear in this house. We know that the humans are a source of food and love (but mostly food….Mom calls us her
little furry pigs), that the dogs are friends (well, with the exception of Jenna…..she is probably very nice, but she is just too spastic….she jumps, she barks,
she hops, and she takes our Romaine ribs to eat, which in my opinion is just plain rude. Someone needs to teach her some manners!) And the cat just pretends that we
don’t really exist….he walks by in the morning on his way outside with his little pushed in nose very high up in the air….Last week MoMo wanted some fun, so she lunged
and growled at him as he walked past…..and…..MoMo frightened the big, brave, hunter cat! It was SOOOOO funny. I just know that Mom could hear me and MoMo
laughing….and she laughed too.

So, how did Mom and Dad and the Boy Who Lives At Home get us to be comfortable? Well, they were very, very patient. They talk to us constantly. The very gently introduce
new behaviors. When we do something good we get rewarded with minimal treats. At first when Dad would sit on the step, I would run up, grab the banana chip, and run away
where MoMo would try and steal the treat from my mouth. If Dad tried to touch us, we would run away…..FAST! Now we go up and beg for the treat. We stand up. We allow
ourselves to be patted and skritched. We ask for more. Training bunnies can be done….it just takes a little longer than training a dog. Tolerance, Time and Treats…..that about
sums it up.

Until later,
Yours in fuzziness,

MoMo is asleep, stretched out under the table, but I wasn’t tired, so I thought I would go exploring. It is AMAZING everything you can see when you get up off the floor. It isn’t warm and sunny in the chair today, and Mom has the window closed, so the smells aren’t nearly as interesting as they
have been, but I love looking outside. Mom says that when the rain stops she will use a leash and harness and take me and MoMo outside.

Did you know that you can walk a rabbit? Well, actually, the rabbit walks you. We hop where we like, and the human follows along behind. MoMo and I are pretty amazed at how easy it is to train a human! But, back to the leash… rabbits should never have a collar around our necks, but there are
special harnesses that go around our chests and front legs that are just fine to use. We also need to have an elastic leash. A leash with a collar and regular unforgiving leash would be very easy for us to get injured, break our backs or necks.

There are a couple of other precautions that NEED to be taken before you take your bunny outside… PLEASE don’t think that you will be able to walk your rabbit down the street like you would a dog! Well, that would just be SILLY!! I mean, really, just picture it! If you want a dog to walk, get a dog because we are ‘prey animals’ it is hardwired into our brains to not like wide open spaces. All of that real estate and air makes a rabbit feel very vulnerable. It is up to you, the human, to make sure that the great outdoors is as secure as possible for your rabbit. That means finding a SAFE place, a fenced in back yard would be perfect. But don’t take our leash and harness off. You would be surprised how easy it is for us to hide or to find a hole in a fence! Never, never, ever take us to a park, or near a road, where there are cars, strange dogs, or people who don’t know proper bunny behavior, all of those things can be really, really scary! My Mom takes us out to her fenced in vegetable garden (she says it is funny that she originally put in the fence to keep rabbits OUT of her veggie garden) where she lets us stretch our legs a little and nibble on the lettuce or spinach leaves. She doesn’t even let us walk to the garden, she carries us there. Mom would NEVER run the risk of letting us pull the leash out of her hand.

Once you get the proper harness and leash though, as a human, you could start something called ‘clicker training’, which is just a controlled way to give a rabbit positive reinforcement for doing a wanted behavior. Rabbits don’t like being bored. When we get bored, we tend to be naughty. Clicker training keeps our bunny minds busy. We can learn agility courses like dogs, or do ‘rabbit jumping’ which is sort of like steeple chase events for horses. There is another reason to clicker train your rabbit… it builds the bond between bunnies and their humans and it is FUN!

Well, I am off to explore the family room, and possibly annoy that skinny little dog… more later


Hello! Hello! My name is Eskie.

Eskie, move over, let me introduce myself….my name is MoMo!

MoMo, do you ALWAYS have to take the spotlight? Everyone ALWAYS comments on how beautiful you are. How gorgeous your ears are. What a spectacular color you are…..Do you have any idea how annoying that can be??? Especially if you are the agouti colored (read boring) sister who has one ear up and one ear down!

Fine, Eskie, YOU tell people about us! I am just going to jump up into the chair and look out the window, and enjoy the Spring weather. You are so much better at dealing with the mundane……I will just sit here in a sunbeam and be beautiful….it is, after all, what I do best!

Well, now that we have that figured out, let me introduce us. We are Eskie, and MoMo. Sisters. Born to Tiger Lily (RIP) who came to HRN with last Summer’s Great Angora Rescue from a hording situation in Canada. We are two girls from a litter of six. Our brothers Maple and Klondike have found their forever homes. MoMo and I live in a multispecies foster home, our sisters are in an all rabbit foster home outside of Boston.

Our names are ‘officially’ Eskimo and Molson… know, keeping with that whole Canada ‘thing’…..but our foster mom thought that those names weren’t ‘girly’ enough, so we became Eskie and MoMo.eskiemomo6

We just turned a year old May 1st, so we are still learning how to become interactive members of a family. We are free range bunnies who only spend time in our bed when it is night time, or when Mom leaves the house. We HATE being in our bed! We much prefer to be chillin’ under the table or chair. We have impeccable manners and wouldn’t think of messing outside of our litter box. MoMo and I LOVE our diet! We get unlimited hay, and a whole GARDEN of fruits and vegetables and herbs. We actually don’t get pellets, which is fine with us. Not ALL bunnies do! Our foster mom is something called a ‘gardener’ so she goes outside and brings in herbs and pear branches and grape vines. This morning for breakfast we had a Spring salad mix, baby bell peppers, pineapple, strawberries, and celery. For dinner we are going to have more salad mix, some kolorabi, a few carrots, a few grapes, and some Romaine.

Our foster dad is wonderful. He is pretty new to dealing with bunnies, but he has found the way to our hearts. Every morning, when he comes downstairs to go to work, he sits on the step and gives us each a banana chip…..then he skritches our ears. We LOVE our foster dad!

Because we are Angora rabbits we need daily grooming. All of that nasty fur could cause something called ‘wool block’ if we were allowed to ingest our fur during grooming. Apparently wool block is a bad thing, and can be really bad for bunnies……so our foster mom brushes us every day. We are getting used to the brushing….it really isn’t so bad….and mom tells us how beautiful we are! Then……she uses our fur to make something called yarn…..more on that later… is time for dinner!!!

Love, Eskie (and MoMo)