Tue 14 Jun 2011
‘Scooby, Dooby, Do….. If I Can Make It There, I’ll Make It Anywhere…..’Â Oh, excuse me, I get carried away sometimes and just start singing…..
Helloooooooo Ladies!Â Frankie is here to love and entertain you!Â Have you ever seen a more handsome rabbit???Â I am all dressed up in my formal wear with no place to go!Â Just look at my shiny black fur, and spotless white nose, chest and toes….almost like wearing a tuxedo with spats.Â But my eyes……look deep into my eyes…….I have been told that they are my BEST feature.Â My right eye is a gorgeous shade of sky blue, and my left eye is a combination of earth and sky, or brown and blue.Â Really quite striking, aren’t they?Â I cut a rather dashing profile, wouldn’t you say?
I am a young, neutered male, Dutch.Â I came to HRN from another shelter.Â They sent me to HRN because they had the (totally wrong) opinion that I was ‘slightly cage aggressive’…..what that really means is that I didn’t like being kept in a tiny cage with no room to roam….but, no one even considered my opinion…..’Give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above……DON’T fence me in!’Â (Oops, there I go singing again!)Â Because of this, I would do best living as a free range rabbit, or in a very large ex-pen. Once I am out of my cage, I am really a very laid back sort of guy…..I enjoy classical music, sunshine on my shoulder, Romaine lettuce, dandelion greens and long hops on the beach….(well, maybe not the ‘beach’ thing, but isn’t it common to put something like that in an on-line description of yourself?)
Well, now that the subject of a ‘cage aggressive’ rabbit has been brought up, I think that this is a great opportunity for me to talk with you about that issue……many rabbits have met an untimely end in other shelters because of those two words.Â First, it would be great if you could look at things from the rabbit’s point of view…..consider yourself small, very small….and pretty much defenseless….your eyes are on the sides of your head so you can’t see things directly in front of you, and if you are like most rabbits, you never use your voice.Â Yes, I know some rabbits are downright, ‘talkative’ with grunts, growls, purring and snorts, but for the most part, we rabbits go through life silent.Â The two things you have for defense are your teeth and your powerful hind legs.Â Now, for a variety of reasons, you have ended up in a small cage, so small that you can’t even stand on your hind legs and turn around.Â There is nothing to do.Â You aren’t getting any exercise.Â Your food may or may not be what you would prefer to eat if you had a choice. There is nothing on which to chew. You spend some time rearranging your litter pan, your food dish, your hay and towels, you shred the newspaper lining your cage.Â You are bored. You lie down in your newly decorated tiny studio apartment and try to take a nap.Â But there are other rabbits in the cages RIGHT NEXT DOOR!Â and they are really not the type of folk you want as neighbors. They are really annoying!Â There is a constant commotion around you, but you are able to find some solace by turning your back to the world and just chillin’.
AND THEN………some strange Human hand comes in and starts touching you and messing with your stuff!!!Â HEY!!!! you want to yell, STOP THAT!!Â The human didn’t even speak first to let you know they were there (which would have been the polite thing to do)….you didn’t see them coming, they just appeared because they approached you from the top of your head.Â They frightened you.Â They are undoing the decorating that it took you all afternoon to arrange.Â This is your space, your little corner of the world, and they have invaded it.Â Well, you can’t ask them to cease and desist, so you thump, but they ignore you, what else is there to do?Â You use your teeth!Â And it works!Â The Human hand leaves!Â You can go back to putting everything in your home back where it belongs….until the next time your space is invaded by an unwelcome intruder.Â But, you have learned that using your teeth makes the Humans go away. This was not a good lesson to learn, but you find that it is effective.
So, you may ask, how to cope with this affliction known as ‘cage aggression’?Â Well, the first thing is to spay or neuter your rabbit.Â You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that hormones make all animals (even humans) crazy!Â Rabbits are happier and healthier after they are spayed or neutered….so just do it, OK?Â Then you need to give your rabbit exercise….and intellectual stimulation….boxes and tubes and tunnels to run and hide through, twigs and grapevines, and toys to toss and chew….and room…..lots and LOTS of room!Â Get rid of the cage.Â Just think how you would feel locked in your bedroom forever!Â But the best way to combat ‘cage aggression’ is to interact with your rabbit.Â A rabbit is a companion animal….they are social creatures.Â Try clicker training your rabbit…play hide and seek….reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior.Â You will be surprised by how quickly you can capture a rabbit’s heart.Â TIme, patience, understanding of rabbit behavior, and some well placed treats work wonders!
‘These little town blues….Luck be a lady tonight…..So, set ’em up Joe….’Â Looks like I need to sign off and get back to my singing….but, if you are in the market for the most handsomest rabbit out there, I would love to join your ‘Rat Pack’!Â See ya Kid!
Frankie Blue Eyes