Volunteers’ Bunnies


I knew I didn’t want a cat; I’m just not a cat person. A dog was out of the question due to apartment living. So, the moment I saw Timothy Bunny, I knew he was the friend for me. Timmy is a small 3lb rex who was sitting in a little cage at the pet store. At that time I didn’t know that adopting a bunny was an option, and anyway I felt bad for him. So, home we went. I thought I was doing him a favor, and taking one more animal out of the sad world of the pet shop. From years of being an animal rights activist, I knew not to buy a pet from the pet store, but I just couldn’t leave him there: and, I thought “hey, one less bunny stuck in the pet shop!” But, to my dismay, a few weeks later, there were four rabbits in his place! So, here you are reading my story, and you are in the perfect place to find a rabbit that really needs a home. Adopting a rabbit will give that rabbit a home, you and your family will have a great companion, and you will help stop the pet stores from cycling the rabbits in and out. Timothy has been my best friend for over a year now, and I thank the House Rabbit Network for their knowledge and companionship. Everything you need to know about rabbits can be found here, or they will help you find your way to an answer. So, give a rabbit a home. Think adoption first. Timmy Bunny thanks you!

Tammy Raabe Rao, of Rubicat Design & Photography took more pictures of our bunnies! You might remember seeing some of the pictures she took last April. She requested to see Eve and Dorian again because she likes to have images for her portfolio. You will notice all the pictures are on white or black backgrounds so Tammy can possibly use the photos for companies that need images (say, a pet food company). We didn’t mind, but we think Eve looks better on white and Dorian looks better on black. An interesting dilemna.

Tammy’s photography services (www.rubicat.com) are being donated for our Flatbread Fundraiser that will take place on November 28 (see the link on the main page of the HRN website if you want to know more about this fundraiser). So, you might just win a photoshoot with your bunny (or another pet)! She does a great job, I hope you enjoy!

Here they are!

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“Hi, I am Dorian and I am a FLAT bunny!”

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Eve, about to stand up!

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“But, I DON’T like you” (said by both bunnies)

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“Nevermind, I do like you. We are CUTE!”

-Rachel: HRN Member/Volunteer

Well, we finally got a gate for the back room. The bunnies know they’re not allowed to go in the back room, or at least that they’ll be shooed out pretty quickly. They looked mighty confused when we didn’t immediately shoo them back out the open door to the back room! Then Ben discovered that there was a gate keeping him out of the space behind the tv… and he thumped!

He’s quite the talker. :) And unfortunately, the shedder. We have “replaced” the carpet in our hallway with microplush blankets (which I highly recommend for people use anyway) from walmart. At $20 a blanket for a queen, they’re cheaper than area rugs and Oh so soft. So now our little bunnies sore hocks are going away. And amazingly, it feels better to walk on for humans! Go figure! Cassi has returned to binky city and even Ben has tried some.

Lovebug continues to grow, and soon she’ll be fixed and we’ll begin the integration. I’m looking forward to that, and I think Cassi is too, so that Cassi can have the shelf of the cage back! :)

Check here for some new pics of Ben all flopped over!
And of course, every time I check back with HRN, I fall in love with more bunnies. Ore & Velveteen look so adorable.. I’ve always wanted some mini-rexs!

-HRN Wannabe: Allan-

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I just had to post this amazing set of endoscopic photos which were taken during Beanbag’s recent dental trimming on August 29th, 2006.

The top pair of photos are the before photos of his left and right molars. As you can see, there are some sharp points starting to develop which would make chewing very uncomfortable for his cheeks and tongue.

The bottom set of photos shows the after with the dental filing tools still in his mouth. As you can see, the points on his molars have been removed and the teeth now have a comfortable flat surface for chewing.

This procedure was performed by Dr Dyer of Phoenix Veterinary Clininc in Wayland, MA. Beanbag has been much happier since his teeth were trimmed and is enjoying his fresh veggies with renewed interest.
-HRN Member: Liz-

Just a quick post because this really made my day and I thought I would share. We let Holly out last night for a while. (The terrible trio, while offered romp time, decided that they didn’t want to come out of their cage.) As is usually the pattern for us, Holly started her romp time with some social time with her humans. We plopped her down on the couch with us and let her snuffle around a bit. She really likes the squishy feather pillows we have for the back of our couch. After investigating the couch for a minute, she settled right into the squishy pillow beside me and put her head down to be scritched. I obliged and she scooted over so she was tucked up against my shoulder. When I stopped scritching, she would sit there very still and patient waiting for me to start again. She spent a good 20 minutes or so snuggled up against me getting nuzzled affectionately and petted before she finally decided it was time to explore the world. When she got active and started digging, we put her down on the floor. She immediately hopped back up on the couch. She really didn’t like the wood floor under her feet! I firmly put her back down on the floor, this time far enough away that she would have to at least take a couple steps to get to either the couch or the rug. She chose to make a scrambling dash for the rug then decided to tuck her feet under her and just hang out for an hour, watching TV. Hey, if that’s what she wanted to do with her romp time, its her perogative.

Well, it has been awhile since I posted, so I thought I would. Peter and I have been traveling and working out of the Boston area. Luckily, Eve and Dorian were cared by a very capable cat-lover who came every day, let them out and then felt guilty when she had to leave them! She went above and beyond the call of duty. She even picked up our CSA veggies for us and shared them with the bunnies. So, kudos to Erin, perhaps a future rabbit lover…

When we first got back from about three weeks away, Dorian seemed to not be very happy with us. If you remember, his strange personality and issues range from moody to aggressive to shy, but he can also be very loving. Erin had been working with him, the best she could, while we were gone. She wrote me an e-mail when I was away and said, “well, Dorian will approach me…and I can touch him on the nose a bit, but no real petting yet.” That is as far as she got! He is somewhat weary of strangers (except Liz O., for some reason he really likes her).

However, we soon left again, this time only for a weekend. We left the bunnies with an incapable house guest who had little familiarity with any animals. I don’t recommend this, but he was staying at our home anyway, so we figured he could handle a tad bit of bunny-sitting in exchange for a place to stay. He simply fed them, made sure they had water, etc. He did not let them out and he forgot to give them greens (yes, I feel bad). When we returned late Sunday night, Dorian miraculously turned into “sweet and cuddly bunny” (well, for him) and has been that way ever since. See, Erin was spoiling him too much!

No, seriously, they are both fine and doing well. We learned some things recently, though, so I will list them here for your personal enjoyment.

1) Eve trims her own nails. She is 5 years old now and that is how long it took me to catch her actually biting them. I always wondered why she never needed nail trims. Now, if I could just convince her to trim Dorian’s!

2) Dorian no longer needs a second litterbox when out of the cage. Yeah! We have made so much progress on this front. Dorian has not had a pee accident since mid-June. He is such a smart boy, we knew he could do it (Suzanne, aren’t you proud?)

3) Dorian is a lot smarter than we had thought. We give the bunnies problem-solving projects. We wrap up a treat in newspaper and see who gets it open first. Eve gets so impatient that she eventually gives up and runs around looking elsewhere or trying to get us to give her another treat. Dorian, on the other hand, figures out how to open the paper and get the treats out. He then starts eating the treats…Eve rushes over and tries to get the goods. Maybe Eve is actually the smart one, but Dorian has much better problem-solving abilities!

Well, that is all the bunny news from our household! What about yours?

-Rachel: HRN Member/Volunteer

From what I’ve been told (after it was too late) everyone who fosters eventually fails at least once. How do you fail at fostering? Not in the way you are probably thinking! You fail at fostering when the sneaky little bunny you’ve been fostering worms his or her way into your heart and you find that you can’t let them go! The results are a forgone conclusion. The bunny in question finally gets the happy ending that we always hope for with every foster-rabbit. You adopt your foster-bunny.

This, like so many other foster-rabbits’ stories, has become the ending for Holly’s story. We don’t know when it happened but somewhere along the line Matt and I both fell in love with her. She learned to trust us, which was a big step for a rabbit whom we suspect was abused and has lived in quite a few homes. With attention and affection, she just blossomed. Now she’s feisty, curious, affectionate, imperious, silly, active, and most of all happy. Granted, Holly still tends to scrunch up in a corner when someone comes over to clean her cage or give her food. She can still be skittish at times and twitchy about being touched in certain places. She in fact bit me not once but 3 times the other day because she didn’t like the way my bathrobe smelled! (How’s that for progress? Quite a change from a skittish bunny to one who bites you because you smell weird.) Overall she has made remarkable progress and will likely continue to do so as she finally realizes that this home is hers forever.

Will we regret our failure? Never!
Holly is worth every bit of effort we’ve given her. We probably won’t try to bond her with our other 3 rabbits for a little while yet. She needs time to continue getting comfortable in her own skin and we’ve already done the bonding routine twice this year and aren’t ready to do it again just yet.

So there’s really only one last question to ask of ourselves; does she keep the name Holly, or does she get re-named in honor of her fresh start as a bunny-with-a-home?
In our household, rabbits have “rabbit names” rather than people names. What qualifies as a rabbit name? For us, rabbit names are names given based on each rabbits’ particular personality quirks or physical features. Its a little like the rabbit names in Watership Down, only with our own personal touch. (In our case, the current rabbit names in our warren are Beanbag, Lookout, and Echo.) Only one of our rabbits has ever been re-named (at age 4) when we adopted him. The other 2 rabbits were adopted nameless and given true names when they “told” us what they were supposed to be called.

I suppose we might end up re-naming Holly. Because she is the first rabbit I’ve ever met that actually reminds me of her close genetic kinship to horses, I have taken to calling her things such as Holly-Hobby-Horse, Holly-Pony, or just Pony. So perhaps some variant of these nicknames will slowly become her true name. (With our bunny Fuzzface, we didn’t realize that she had re-named herself until we took her to the vet one day and they asked us what name we wanted to have put on her records.) For the moment, even though Holly is a human name, we will stick with it. The name does seem to suit her well and she recognizes it as her own name when it is called.

So yes, like so many other volunteers, we have failed at fostering in the best possible way. Our aim as HRN members is to break the cycle of breeders and pet stores selling rabbits, people buying them then abandoning them when they realize that a rabbit is a lot more work than the glorified goldfish they thought it would be, shelters overflowing with abandoned animals which they have to euthanize. One bunny adopted, by us or by a new-to-bunnies adopter, might not seem like much. But in the larger picture, I like to believe that there is a difference made somewhere in the world. Holly has a home. We have a wonderful companion. HRN gets another rabbit adopted. And somewhere in the world, there is room at a shelter for one more abandoned bunny to be taken in.

-Liz: HRN 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.

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!

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