who has been Adopted!


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 =-

Hi. Let me introduce myself. I am Jackie, and these are my sisters, Skylar, Autumn, and Sienna.

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We were born in HRN foster care of January 6, 2006. Our mother is Starla. She was taken in to foster care on January 5. 2006. If you do the math, you can see that we were very lucky to have been born here. To hear Mom tell it, she was very nervous coming here and had to start building a nest for us within a couple of hours of her arrival! Fortunately all four of us were born safe and sound at HRN.

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We met several HRN volunteers at a volunteer meeting when we were about 3 weeks old. We were a big hit! Some nice people held us and told us we were very photogenic (whatever that means- I think it means we are CUTE!) especially because we all look exactly alike and also exactly like Mom!

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Those people kept photographing us in the following weeks (did I
mention we are cute?). We were cooperative, but we also had to do a lot of binkies and get into mischief, because we are, of course, babies. Our antics kept everyone entertained- ourselves, most of all!

Anyway, Mom has been adopted and now it’s our turn! Do you have a
wonderful home for us to finish growing up in? We are all spayed and ready to go on our next adventure. You can see us on the “Bachelorettes” page on the HRN website!

Thanks for reading!

-HRN Bunny: Jackie-
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My bunny Eve really likes Bob Dylan. A boyfriend I had when Eve was a young bunny played her Bob Dylan often. I don’t like the guy’s voice (Bob’s), but, to each their own.

Anyway–I really do have a purpose to the title of this post. I wanted to write about how my two rabbits have changed since they are now bonded. If you remember, Eve was a single-bun for a long, long time, until my renting situation changed enough that I could have two rabbits. I really think bonded pairs (or more, if you prefer) are the way to go, though, I admit to being skeptical. For one thing, I was so ‘in love’ with Eve that I didn’t want her to be one of *two* bunnies, I wanted her to be special. But she is anyway–and she is definitely happier with her buddy Dorian.

How has Eve changed? Well, it has all been really positive! For one thing, she still loves my husband and I. She loves grooming us (bunny kisses), following us around and generally worshiping us, that is, assuming we worship her properly. All of the good aspects of her wonderful personality have remained.

What is different? Well, she seems more relaxed now. I see her lounging around the livingroom much more. Dorian loves to stretch out in “long bunny” pose, and she follows suit. In fact, last night I caught her mimicking Dorian’s pose, however, I think she forgot to stick out her other leg. I have never seen her like this and boy is it funny!

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Eve seems to get into less trouble–instead, Dorian and her embark on projects; ripping up a phonebook, chewing up the wicker tent, throwing cardboard around…all very positive bunny activities.

The biggest changes, of course, have been in Dorian. I think he knows now that he finally has a forever home. When we brought him home, he was sulky, moody and often unpleasant. He lunged at us when we tried to pet him…he never bit us and we tried not to be afraid of a 3lb. dwarf…but it was disheartening to hear him grunt. I can’t say this agression has totally gone away; it hasn’t. But he does this rarely now. He absolutely loves Eve, so if she does something, he does it too…this includes chasing games and begging for treats. It also helps that she is so friendly–Dorian sees us positively reinforcing friendliness in Eve and approaches us more and more. He often comes right up to us for pets, then realizes that he is a scared bunny and doesn’t actually want to be pet. But, it is progress.

I had posted before about Dorian’s litterbox training issues. For those of you that want to know…yes, he has improved. In fact, we haven’t had a pee accident in 2 weeks! Since we got another litterbox, there has only been ONE puddle on the floor. Poops continue to show up on the floor and I have realized recently that some are actually Eve’s…she is a bad bun for doing what he has. But the poops are becoming less, I believe. So, again, we have progress.

We are learning that not only can love and good treatment from humans help a shy or aggressive bunny, love from a kind bunny companion makes a huge difference.

Lastly, to add some humor, my husband made paper hats for the bunnies yesterday. He also put one on Eve’s head…she was less than amused. But they did have fun throwing them around…

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-Rachel: HRN Member/Volunteer

One of the most rewarding parts of fostering rabbits is hearing how the homes that have adopted are now full of happiness and love. My inbox has become quite full this past couple of weeks with updates and pictures. Oh, how I adore the pictures. I wanted to share some of the comments I’ve received.

Minnie and Rose (aka Nushi) are now living in New York state with their new parents. Their mom writes: “the girls are doing great and so are we…We just love them and they bring so much life to our home…”

Tumble is living with a cat named Jigsaw in New Hampshire. Her mom writes in the first few days of Tumble’s arrival: “I’ve actually gotten her to snuggle up with me. Though she does it rarely, the snuggling is a start. Hopefully I’ll get one [picture] of her with my cat to show you soon too.”

I also keep in touch with Chevy’s new mom and he’s doing great. Still working on getting along with his two new brothers, a mini rex and an english spotted, but she hopes soon they will all be together.

Even though it’s always sad the day our fosters go to their new home, we know in our hearts it’s the right thing. A bun has so much love to give if you let him/her into your life. You’ll never regret it, these creatures are truly amazing! I love watching people discover this for the first time.

PS: Keep the updates coming! We love to hear how your life is with your new bun(s)

~Erica, HRN volunteer, fosterer

Well, I had two conversations with Dorian about his litterbox habits (D is Dorian, R is myself):

(This one was a week or so ago, before we got him a new litterbox)

R: Dorian, why do you pee on the floor?
D: Well, I am trying really hard, you see. The only litterbox outside of the cage is the blue one, and well, that is Eve’s.
R: Eve actually told you that you weren’t allowed to pee in it?
D: Well…uh…no…but Eve is big and bosses me around. I don’t want her to be mad at me because she is a cool big sister.
R: But Dorian, Eve never actually does anything mean to you.
D: Yes, but I don’t want to mess with the “sacred blue litterbox” that she spends hours chewing on. I will gladly hop in it, but peeing in it is another story.
R: Sigh. I guess we will have to get you another litterbox, perhaps like the one in your bunny condo?
D: YES! I love that kind!

(some days later, a nice, new Feline Pine litterbox arrived, just like the one in the bunny condo)

D: I love this litterbox! (as he hops in it and immediate pees before I have a chance to put litter in it) It is fabulous!
R: Well, you had better use it. Can I take the blue litterbox away?
D: NO!! I told you, that is Eve’s, the new one is mine.
R: Then why is it alright to share a litterbox when you are confined to your bunny condo at night and in the mornings?
D: Uh, well, that is different.
R: How is it different?
D: Come to think of it, I don’t know why it is different, but it is! I don’t remember why we can share one in the condo, but not outside.
R: Okay, since you two now have three litterboxes in the small space of 2/3rds of our livingroom, you had BETTER pee in ONE of those three boxes. I don’t care which one.
D: Alright. But I can’t promise perfection. I have a tiny bladder. And pooping while doing binkies is fun, so I might not poop in the litterboxes. I know Eve understands all these rules you humans have, but I am younger, newer and scared, and I don’t always get it. Your rules confuse me.

And Eve said:

E: Rachel, thanks so much for getting Dorian out of the “sacred blue litterbox.” I mean, he is allowed to play in it, maybe I will even let him try to dig litter out of it and fling it everywhere. If he is really lucky, he can help me chew it apart. But, you expected me to let him pee in it!! No way! Thank God you got that new litterbox…which, incidentally, I can pee, poop or do whatever I please in it in addition to the other two litterboxes because I am top bun…
R: Eve, you forget, I am top bunny…
E: Oh, I am so sorry. You are so right, you are top bun along with your bondmate, Peter. My bad.

Below: The “clowns” as we have nicknamed our silly bunnies. Each bunny in their separate box.
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-Rachel: HRN Member/Volunteer

When we adopted Dorian at the end of March, we knew he wasn’t exactly the ‘ideal’ candidate for adoption. Of course, we think he is actually pretty fabulous, but he has his issues and complexities. One of his problems is with litterbox skills, something that I honestly think is improving, however slowly.

Dorian’s litterbox habits became pretty close to 100% accurate when he started living in the same cage as Eve…but we soon realized this ‘perfection’ only applied to when he was INSIDE the bunny condo. As soon as we let him out, he does tons of binkies (very cute) and the little poops fly everywhere. But this doesn’t actually bother me. He has peeing accidents on the carpet as well and this annoys me. Mind you, his litterbox is close…actually, there is one in his cage and one outside. He wouldn’t have to go far either way. But he seems to miss the box, in fact, he has peed right next to the litterbox while I am watching, as if to tease me!

Originally, we thought this was because Eve had secretly claimed the litterbox OUTSIDE the cage and that Dorian was asked (in their secret bunny language) to only go inside the cage. So, he wouldn’t make it and he would pee on the floor. Good theory, right? Well, I don’t think that is all of it…afterall, why would she lay claims to the outside litterbox but not the one inside the cage?

Our second theory: he likes the box inside the cage better for some reason. It personally think it is nicer, maybe he does too. To try to combat this, we have purchased an identical litterbox for outside of the cage.

Third option: Dorian is just not a good litterboxer! I hope this is not the case…I THINK he is slowly getting better, but then all of a sudden, he has another accident.

Since his second identical litterbox arrived (made by Feline Pine–I highly recommend these boxes for bunnies who are diggers like my Eve) Dorian has NOT peed on the floor. But, then again, he has gone for three days before without a pee accident. Lets keep our fingers crossed…

The other thing we are doing is leaving the other litterbox (which Eve might have claims on) out as well. Now Dorian has a choice of three litterboxes in a fairly small area. He does not have to be nervous about peeing in the box while Eve is there because he can just go into the other box. We figure if this works, we can later remove one of the boxes.

Dorian is definitely a ‘quirky’ complex bunny; his litterbox problems are not his only oddity. However, Eve has her problems too. Between the two of them, we have to limit their space out of the cage, 1) because of Dorian’s sketchy litterbox habits and 2) because Eve is a chewer. Eve is horribly destructive…everything goes in the mouth. We have to keep her away from molding, cloth, plants, furniture and everything. So, she and Dorian have a large x-pen as their front yard to their cage. This way, Dorian has tons of litterboxes in a small area and Eve can’t get to anything to chew on.

Dorian doesn’t chew and destroy things at all and Eve’s litterbox skills are perfect. So, it seems, I can’t get a perfect pair no matter what!

But that isn’t why we have bunnies, is it? We don’t expect them to be perfect! We appreciate them for their individuality. We accept their shortcomings and celebrate their more wonderful points. We just love them for who they are…

-Rachel: HRN Member/Volunteer

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During my junior year of college, I finally started living alone, with no roommates, in a studio apartment. I wanted a pet so I wouldn’t be lonely. I first thought of getting a guinea pig because I missed having them from my childhood. Weekly trips to the town Farmer’s Market changed this. My college town in Central Pennsylvania had a wonderful farmer’s market. There was a woman who brought several rabbits and guinea pigs every week and sold them, for $5, to college students as pets. Each week, she had different rabbits, sometimes babies, sometimes adults. Selling rabbits to college students, VERY bad idea, right? I will get to this later…**

I went back week after week to see the bunnies. Finally, I had made my decision. The Friday I went, there were two guinea pigs and two black and white Dutch mix rabbits. The woman recognized me and said, “Are you going to take one home this week? You come every week.” I said, “yes, I think I will.” She said, “Oh good. You can take one for free…I usually just give the rest to reptile owners anyway.” With that, a promptly chose the Dutch mix with more white, put her in a box that the woman gave me. The woman told me that the rabbit I chose was a dwarf and female. I hate to think of what happened to the other bunny and the guinea pigs.

I already had a cage set up at my apartment in anticipation of bringing my new friend home. But, I really did think she was a dwarf. I wanted a dwarf and the cage was dwarf-sized. I had never seen the Dutch pattern; I didn’t know much about bunnies. One quick search on the internet probably would have solved this little bit of misinformation, but I didn’t do this until months later.

I named my little girl Eve and put her in her tiny cage. I estimate that she was about 10 weeks old at the time.

I learned, after a month or so, Eve was not like Portia, the rabbit I had as a teenager. Eve was energetic, crazy, happy, chewed on everything and loved to make trouble. She often drove me crazy. And she didn’t stop growing, either. I soon found out that she was no dwarf. She was a Dutch; not only that, but a mix who turned out to weigh a tad bit over 6 lbs. at her healthy adult weight! The cage would have to go…

I didn’t know about spaying rabbits, even in 2001. I took Eve to the local vet who said spaying was not safe (I asked because I heard rumors that she could be spayed). So, I returned home with my rabbit who was quickly becoming a defiant, destructive teenager. Around the age of 5 months, Eve started waking me up every morning at 5AM by chewing the bars of the cage, bouncing around, tipping over her food dish, anything she could think of that would make me wake up and give her pets, treats and time out of the cage. She learned to escape from her first cage…she managed to open the door, but it was too small anyway. The second cage was a medium-sized dog crate, still too small, but it worked for awhile.

Eve was not litterbox trained until she was about 7 months. I didn’t know I could train her, but I have to say, even though she was un-spayed, she taught herself to use the box. By 9 or 10 months, Eve had stopped most of her annoying behavior and we became good friends. I learned when she was about 5 months that she needed unlimited hay. I learned this the hard way when she stopped eating her pellets and started eating my carpet. The vet told me she was looking for fiber.

I had a boyfriend at the time who loved Eve more than he loved me. He spent HOURS working with her on behavior, training and just being a good bunny. He taught her how to give kisses/face washes. He treated her like his own. He did not live with me, so I suspect he only came over to see her! Ha!

I eventually did get Eve spayed (that is a story for another day, though) and she has a huge cage now, ample run time and more recently, a bunny buddy named Dorian. Every day, I learn more about Eve and Dorian. Although I think I made tons of mistakes with Eve, I know I did better for her than I did for Portia. Eve will be five years old in June and I certainly hope she enjoys her life.

**The sale of rabbits at the Farmer’s Market in State College, PA was later outlawed by a town ordinance. The excess of rabbits that ended up in shelters caused a rabbit rescue network to form. Many college students would buy rabbits, not knowing anything about them, and then abandoned them. It was very sad, but I hope that at least some of them were rescued. Eve was lucky.

-Rachel: HRN Member/Volunteer

The following conversation occured between one of my viola da gamba teachers, we will refer to her as J, and myself. (This is not my other teacher who I sometimes talk about, who has twelve rabbits) J is a bit uninformed about bunnies, but, like many other people, had a bunch in a hutch in her backyard as a child.

…it is the middle of my lesson which is at my home…J looks over to see that our bunny abode condo now has an extra level so that there is a enough space for Eve AND Dorian, our new bun…

J: Wow, it looks like you have the ‘bunny hotel’ over here!!
R: Well, yes, that is Dorian, he is our new little boy, so they need more space…
J: Oh! How cute!
R: Yes, I think we are finally set now that we have two bunnies, we can’t put anymore in this tiny apartment, after all.
J: Well, you can just let them do the rest…you know…they will make lots more bunnies for you!!
R: No, they can’t. They are both fixed. We don’t want more bunnies, there are plenty that don’t have homes.
J: I guess it is good that they are fixed, I didn’t know you could do that. I guess they won’t be ‘breeding like rabbits.’ Oh well.

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UGH!! This is one of SO MANY conversations I have had like this. People tell me, since I have a male and female rabbit, that they will make lots more rabbits. In fact, when we JUST had Eve, people said that too (as if she could make more rabbits without a male–did these people take Sex Ed.?) People always say we should LET them make baby bunnies because bunnies LOVE MATING!! And bunnies are happiest when they are MATING.

Ok, how many other people have had conversations like the one above? Why are rabbits stereotyped as sex-craving-lunatics that need to mate all the time? Yes, I know bunnies reproduce quickly, but so many people don’t know that things can be done about this, namely, spaying and neutering your rabbit. In the meantime, I will continue to be annoyed at conversations stereotyping my sweet, loving bunnies!

-Rachel: HRN Member/Volunteer

Tammy Rao, of Rubicat Design and Photography, needed pictures of hamsters for a book she is doing. We have a hamster. In return for providing our hamster, Esther, as a model, Tammy also photographed Eve and Dorian.

In their cage…
Dorian and Eve

Loving each other…
Eve and Dorian 2

More adorableness (is that a word?)
Eve and Dorian 3

Our beautiful former HRN boy…
Dorian

And finally, I know it is off-topic, but our hamster, Esther, who I can thank for the photo session. She was a great model.
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So, I apologize to everyone, but I just had to show off the fur-children. I hope others do likewise!!

-Rachel: HRN Member/Volunteer

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.
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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!
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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

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