Rabbittude Updates: The Long Story and What Is Coming …

Rabbittude updates: photo showing separate spaces for Leo and OliviaMy last post introduced Olivia … Cue the crickets … Why weren’t there any new Rabbittude updates after that?

Our one experience bonding rabbits was Tigger and Shadow. Time passed. I forgot the challenge in maintaining separate yet equal spaces for unbonded bunnies. Olivia also has litter box habits that are an added issue. But I digress. Olivia’s pee party ways will be another post.

Olivia was still recovering from her spay when we adopted her. We knew it would take some time for her hormones to clear. Leo and Olivia had some first dates late in January 2015. We realized we had misjudged Miss Olivia a bit. She had seemed an easy-going rabbit when we first met her. After settling in, she showed us she had a sassy side too. Leo started out shy and skittish. He lost some skittishness but remains shyer than previous rabbits.

Rabbittude updates: Picture of Leo, his blankie and a girl bunny's towelDates were so so. Olivia would try to chase Leo who would run away. There wasn’t aggression or fighting. Leo was more open to Olivia than to another rabbit we had him meet before Olivia. A friend had a rabbit she thought might be a match for Leo. When they met, he didn’t want to share the same space. He tried to climb over me to get away. Then he refused to let me put him down again. The friend left a towel with the bunny’s scent. We put the towel near Leo at another time. He dragged his blankie between himself and the towel. With Olivia, Leo was willing to share the same space, but was nervous when Olivia moved around. We decided to take it slow to allow Leo lots of adjustment time.

Then Leo experienced problems on and off for several months. His appetite would decrease and then his poops would too, not a good thing in a rabbit. But why was his appetite off? We monitored him closely and took him in for a number of vet visits. No clear cause was found. We stopped dates in case stress played a part. Then he bounced back again. We allowed time to go by to be sure he had recovered. During the summer of 2015, we began some dates again.

October rolled around. I had found my groove again between work and rabbit needs. I planned catching up with Rabbittude updates during the end of 2015 with new plans for 2016. Things went awry with a series of unfortunate events and accidents that took months of recovery time as well as lots of money. I didn’t blog because I didn’t want to bore with details, especially when it was harder to find the funny side of anything. Thankfully, both rabbits were healthy and happy to provide distraction. Fur therapy rocks!

Spring 2016 arrived bringing lovely weather. I hoped crazy times were over. Then we woke up to a flood. Overnight thousands of gallons of water flowed out of our main water line. From what the plumber saw, it seemed likely a local mowing service had hit an above ground pipe causing a break below ground which leaked unseen for a bit and then blew out the main line. Repairs and a water bill for enough water for an Olympic size pool were tough pills, but at least the flood flowed in a way that didn’t cause damage to anything else. It just would have been nicer if we had paid for water for a pool to enjoy. Ah well.

So both humans have worked and worked through spring and summer trying to get ahead of the bills again. I planned a Rabbittude update for August and announced it on the new Rabbittude Instagram account. We had some good dates between Leo and Olivia. Things were looking up. I thought I could meet my schedule for the Rabbittude updates.

Then the flying squirrels arrived. I kid you not. This is the year for crazy.  Thankfully, my sense of humor began to come back. Having a flood followed by flying squirrels just became too ridiculously nuts to not start seeing some of the humor even though the tickets for the amusement have been high-priced.

Rabbittude Updates: Georgia pines against a bright blue sky are hiding a secretBeautiful pines like these grow in abundance in Georgia. Those trees reaching towards the bright blue sky have been hiding an invasion force, flying squirrels that can launch themselves from tall trees and fly about 150 feet. They chose our roof as their landing pad. Being nocturnal, they did their home invasion under cloak of darkness. They created an entry tunnel in to our attic. So how could we not know they were up there? They were sneaky and chose the part of the roof above the room where Leo and Olivia spend the night. We thought scratching and chewing we heard was the rabbits being noisier than usual. Then we heard something running around inside the walls and knew it was not the rabbits.

We found a critter company to evict the squirrels and fix the damage. The company arrived early to seal things up while the squirrels were most likely out for the day. Live traps in the attic have been empty (the company relocates any animals caught). So it seems no squirrel has been left behind. Newly installed metal protection is in place in vulnerable roof areas. The company also sealed and protected areas for our crawl space to prevent any other uninvited critters who might try that route.

When we first moved here, we had a couple of mice sneak in to the house from the garage. We jokingly told Tigger and Shadow they were not allowed to have pets. It did not occur to us to tell Leo and Olivia they could not invite flying squirrels in for all night parties.

Upcoming Rabbittude Updates: A lot of work for the website is still coming! Check out regular posts on our new Rabbittude Instagram account. I will be back here with another blog post next week …


Introducing Oliver … No Make That Olivia

Introducing Olivia, Miss Jersey Wooly

Introducing Olivia

We haven’t been quite sure about getting a companion for Leo. He has pretty much been a shy loner bunny and spent the only date we were able to arrange for him trying to escape the room. So my feelings were quite mixed when a Facebook contact of Blaine’s told him about more rabbits being at the shelter where we had adopted Leo.

Then Blaine was sent pictures of a black rabbit that was really hard to see much of in the images because the rabbit was small enough that we could see the holder’s hands, a lot of black fur and big scared rabbit eyes. The eyes really reminded me of both Leo’s bug eyes and Shadow due to the rabbit’s coloring.  I called the shelter to find out more about the bunny and that is when total confusion began. I was told the bunny was an unfixed male Lionhead rabbit, uh well Blaine’s contact had said it was a spayed female Jersey Wooly. The shelter worker put me on hold to take the rabbit to be checked and then the call got disconnected. So I called back, got a different person who said the rabbit was still back in the clinic being looked at. When she checked on the progress, she said yes it was confirmed that the bunny was a spayed female. She said Oliver was about to become Olivia. Unfortunately, I got disconnected again and when I called back a third time to see about arranging a visit, Olivia was back to being Oliver again and round and round we went.

LOL it was really feeling like shades of Shadow all over again. When we had first taken him to the vet as a two month old for his first check, two vets consulted and insisted he was a girl even though Blaine and I strongly felt male because the little squirt was quite obviously squirting. A few months down the line at his *spay* appointment, the vet realized that was not going to be possible and Shadow needed to be neutered instead. In defense of the shelter, the confusion began when Olivia was brought in with a good number of other rabbits. It seems someone was trying to be their own rabbit rescue but without proper funding or set up and had to turn all the rabbits in when they started reproducing with each other. Olivia came in being identified by the person surrendering the rabbits as male. When the clinic did their check, they realized she was female and did the spay. Somehow though in the confusion of caring for all the new incoming rabbits, the computer didn’t get updated to properly reflect the correction of the sexing. Given the time frame of how many rabbits came in, the shelter did a great job of finding new homes for the bulk of the rabbits within just a few weeks.

My calls got the remaining confusion and records sorted out and when we visited the next day, Oliver was now officially Olivia in fact and in the computer. I picked Olivia up to take her to a private room so we could spend some time with her. Right away petting her we realized she had a situation going on with badly matted fur in many places. We asked for a comb and got to work. In just a few minutes, we were well on our way to creating an awesome dust bunny with quite the pile of excess rabbit fur. Olivia was a sweetheart and very patient allowing us to groom her with very little fussing and no attempts to scratch or bite. She seemed so happy to be petted as we groomed her.

We brought her home and for now have her in a separate pen in the same room as Leo’s cage. We are keeping them to separate spaces and runs until sometime after we get her in for a well check vet visit. The spay is still healing and she would still have hormones for a bit yet. So we are just going to let Leo and Olivia get used to the sound and smell of each other with viewing through safe gates for now. Leo is actually interested and curious about her while she for the most part does not seem upset by his presence. There was one brief incident before we got better fencing in place where Leo was close beside her pen the first night and she couldn’t really see him but tried to lash out at the paws she could see. I will hope that was first night tiredness and fear at not fully being able to see who / what was so close to her new pen.

I guess there is just something for us with black rabbits keeping secrets and being mysterious little beings that has loads of appeal for us …

Bun Appetit to All!

Bun Appetit Pet BowlToday is a day set aside in the US for giving thanks. Many have the day or a long weekend off to be able to spend with friends and family. I am so thankful to be celebrating 24 wonderful years of marriage this week and to have a happy healthy bunny rabbit friend in Leo for this past two years. I’ve been quiet here on Rabbittude because we have been working through some business challenges and juggling some illness and injuries. When things get a bit too much, I get quiet and just try to work through everything to the best of my ability.

I hope for those who are traveling this weekend that you will have a safe journey and be able to spend some wonderful quality time with loved ones. Food is very much on the minds of many and in the works, so Bun Appetit to all from Rabbittude. Leo received some goodies from a friend and is enjoying his first taste of cranberries. I have no picture to share of that because Leo will sometimes approach new things with secrecy. He is eating the cranberry treats when we aren’t watching him. They say a watched pot doesn’t boil, well a watched Leo doesn’t like to show that he might be liking new things, fussy bunny.

If you are shopping this weekend and want to check out some things with a bunny twist, we have some coupon discounts in our Buntique shop through December 2nd:

THANKSUS – Free Shipping to US addresses – minimum order $25
THANKS25 – $2.50 off – minimum order $25
THANKS50 – 25% off – minimum order $50

Wherever you are this weekend and whatever your plans, I wish you safe travels and lovely times! If bunnies are there too, give them some head pets from us!


Oops … Wish I Could Blame the Bunny

Tweets went nuts this summerWell this is one I wish I could say Leo hopped up on the keyboard and did some magic with his bunny paws and caused all the havoc. However, this one is all on me and not being attentive enough over the summer and missing what Pinterest and Twitter were getting up to together.

So many apps come our way each day, supposedly to make our lives easier, more streamlined. So do you know what your apps are doing while you aren’t watching?

When a connection is established between Pinterest and Twitter, it is supposed to provide a check box and then send a pin to Twitter if I check the box. I rarely used that, because I don’t want to spam with lots of things they can easily be seen by visiting our Pinterest account. Somewhere early in the summer, the hook up between our Rabbittude Pinterest account and Twitter decided to have a tweet fest without me.

Blaine was dealing with injuring his knee a couple of times in a short period. In between doctors visits and rearranging our tasks and schedules, I had no idea what was going on between Pinterest and Twitter. I got on Pinterest a few times to pin lovely things and cute bunnies as a stress reliever and had no idea how many of those pins Pinterest was shooting straight to Twitter. Thankfully not every pin was sent, but I have no idea how Pinterest and Twitter were deciding which ones should go without my permission really, since I had not been checking the check box at all.

So I have caught back up with Twitter over this past week and oh what a mess I found there. This is really going to teach me that I need to look at what the previous person has said on those pins and be sure to change many of them. Lets just say, a lot of those tweets made me feel like an idiot. Some weren’t even in English. I spent several hours this weekend cleaning up the worst of the mess.

I humbly apologize to Twitter followers for the crazy tweets over the past couple months. So now the Pinterest and Twitter accounts are no longer allowed to hook up together. I’m not at all sure I can trust them. Especially since Pinterest support indicated the connection is not created or supported by them. They said they cannot offer any help when something goes wrong. For anyone else using the Pinterest to Twitter connection, I suggest following behind on a really regular time-table to be certain something has not gone awry. Lots of lessons learned here.

Tomorrow, back to bunny stuff …

International Rabbit Day 2014 Is Coming!

International Rabbit Day 2014

I first learned about International Rabbit Day a few years ago.  Someone sent me a link to the website Holiday Insights with information about how the day started and the intent to promote the well-being of rabbits.  It is usually set for the Fourth Saturday or Sunday in September. Holiday Insights has the date listed for Saturday this year which would be the 27th.

I see that House Rabbit Society is planning on Sunday the 28th for observing International Rabbit Day. I say why not make it an International Rabbit Weekend and focus some attention on our big eared friends for both days.

Here is one suggestion for observing the day/s:  “Celebrate this special day with your pet rabbit. Learn a little more about him and how to properly care for his needs. If you don’t have a pet, maybe today is the day to get a pet rabbit! ”  Visit the Holiday Insights page for more information on the meaning and origin of International Rabbit Day.


Curveball Thursday: Booda ???

Booda Dome ???So my plan for today had been to write a throwback story about our previous bunnies that had not yet been told. Yesterday I had written about how Leo had finally accepted his Booda Dome after initially not wanting to even be in the same room with it. You can read the Booda Don’t and Booda Do posts for the rest of the story and pictures.

Then today Leo throws me a curveball when I walk in to the room and see him flopped at the doorway of his Booda Dome. So what is the message behind that? Is he back to not going in? Is he laying stronger claim to it by blocking the entrance? Ah Leo, what does this mean?

I have a feeling that there might be more to the story to be told over time …

Turning a Booda Don’t In to a Booda Do

Booda Dome Clean Step Litter box
Leo avoiding Booda Dome
Baiting the Booda Dome TopAnd Leo takes the bait ...Success with the Booda dome
 I wrote in Booda Don’t about how the minute the new Booda Dome  Clean Step Litter Box went in to the room, Leo exited and hesitated to even come back in with that thing there. It is a bit mind-boggling to us since Tigger and Shadow were so intensely curious about everything. We had rabbit supervisors for every new thing and they would break new things in so fast there was never any issue of it keeping any new look or smell for long. So we started out with Leo hovering across the room from it. We began by separating the top and the bottom of the Booda Dome and putting them on opposite sides of the room. The bottom we with litter and a hay pile in one corner to encourage Leo to make use of the facilities and remove that new litter box smell and replace it with his own scent. That was a fairly easily accomplished mission.

On the other side of the room sat the Booda Dome top and that was studiously avoided by Leo. A suggestion was made to put some treats inside to see if Leo could be enticed in. So I laid down a papaya trail leading in and he hopped in to consume one of his favorite treats. I did this several times over a period of several weeks allowing Leo to get used to the idea and feel of hanging out under the dome even if his inhabiting the space was as brief as the length of time to wolf down the papaya bits.

So we left the two parts separate for a month letting Leo adjust. Then one day I joined the top and bottom together again and wasn’t sure of successful use of the dome at all. Recently I heard a strange noise I didn’t recognize. When I went to check, Leo was in the Booda Dome. When the halves were separate, he must have just been hopping over the side of the litter box bottom. Once the Booda Dome was assembled with the top on, his first use of the entry ramp was quite noisy. You can barely see him inside now, just the white of his back with his brown spots.

Ah sweet success, at last … the Booda Dome is now a do.

Video Share: Bunny Holding His Food To Eat

A change of plan today, swapping around content between today and tomorrow since Leo was less than cooperative about having his picture taken today. So tune in tomorrow for the follow-up to Booda Don’t.

This is an adorable bunny in this video. I have never seen a bunny hold food this way or eat while on its back. This is just such a cutie.

A direct link to the video: Baby Rabbit Holds His Own Food

Rabbit … Rabbit … Rabbit

rabbit rabbit rabbitWe needed to take a bit of a break here over the summer. Coming back in to blogging for love of rabbits seems a good way to spend some of the free Labor Day time today.

I learn new things all the time about rabbits and rabbit lore. Today in an online forum, I had someone in another country ask why English speakers suggest saying rabbit … rabbit … rabbit at the start of the day, the first day of each month. Now that is one I had not heard before.

Google research came to the rescue with an article on Wikipedia with a lot of information on origins, history and variants, but this is the basics on it:

“Rabbit rabbit rabbit” is one variant of a common British superstition which states that a person should say or repeat the word “rabbit” or “rabbits”, or “white rabbits”, or some combination of these elements, out loud upon waking (or first moment) on the first day of the month, because doing so will ensure good luck for the duration of that month.

Hearing about this proves again there is always something new to learn about rabbits. I did think it was funny though when I was telling Blaine about it that he had the same thought I did. Usually if we are saying rabbit … rabbit … rabbit, it is because a bunny has done something very bad and we are muttering “rabbit” repeatedly instead of swearing at them.

Tomorrow and update on the Booda dome …

Video Share: My Best Friend Is Food

The title on this video caught my eye today. We are really struggling to get Leo to try new things in food. So seeing a video about a bunny titled My Best Friend Is Food, I had to take a look. Once I started to watch, I just couldn’t resist the cute face and cheeks of this bunny.

A direct link to the video: My Best Friend Is Food

Throwback Thursday: Thumper My First Bunny Experience

Thumper bunny rabbitI met my first house rabbit back in 1980. A coworker of my father had two pet bunnies who had one litter of four bunnies and a month later another litter of eight. The woman brought the first litter in to where my father worked when the bunnies were six weeks old and offered them to anyone who would give them a good home. My father picked out the spunkiest one in the bunch and brought him home. We were very unoriginal and called him Thumper. That was the only bunny rabbit name we knew of besides Bugs Bunny and he didn’t look like a Bugs Bunny, so Thumper it was.

My family was clueless about taking care of a bunny rabbit, but we had some experience with hamsters and guinea pigs and started out at that point. Mom got Thumper a cage, water bottle, food crock and some small animal pellets. We had him in the kitchen which was the most interior room of the house, but even so, he caught cold during the first two weeks in the bitter northern Ohio weather (post on keeping rabbits warm). That is when we got lucky and found a small animal practice in our area who treated cats, dogs, guinea pigs, birds, and rabbits. They helped us to learn about feeding, clipping nails, rabbit health, and so much more over the ten years of Thumper’s life.

I was still living at home but had just started my first full-time job. It was a night job and I would stay up on my nights off. My first night off after Thumper caught cold, I listened to him sneezing like crazy. I got him out of his cage, wrapped him in a towel and sat down in a huge upholstered rocker we had. He snuggled his head under my chin, stopped sneezing and went to sleep. That began his reign as a snuggle bunny. Thumper liked being picked up and held and would paw at my ankles or moms when he wanted some cuddling. He would always squirm up until he had his head tucked in to my neck right under my chin. Then he would zone out while I petted him.

At the time Thumper arrived in our lives, there was no House Rabbit Society or internet to turn to for advice on rabbit care. Anything written was by breeders and geared towards raising rabbits as farm or show rabbits. Besides our vet, Thumper himself proved himself a good teacher on rabbit care and behavior. He picked out one place in the kitchen as a bathroom and mom wondered if we could put a litter box there and train him. As soon as she put the litter box in place, Thumper was trained. We checked out things geared for cats and bought a kitty harness and leash. As soon as Thumper realized the connection between being put in his harness and going outside, he would hold perfectly still so that we could get the harness just right. We would take him on short walks in the front and back yard and it was always funny to watch people do a double take when they realized we were walking a rabbit.

Thumper had some life long tummy issues. We realize with the information out now, they were probably due to his leaving his mother a few weeks too early. He was our first experience with a poopy bunny butt. With the vet’s assistance we learned about what to do with diet and medication when that would happen. We learned to mummy wrap him and syringe medicate him. We figured out a means on our own of giving him just a partial bath (more on poopy bunny butt baths) to get him cleaned up again. We had to medicate him many times over the years for his tummy problems and he learned a few tricks too. We would use a syringe for the medicine, but he learned how to not swallow and let it just drool back out of his mouth. When we would mummy him in a towel, he learned how to play turtle and get his face below the lip of the towel no matter how close we tried to get it under his head. The term rabbittude didn’t come to mind until later after other bunnies came in to my life, but Thumper was showing his rabbittude even though I didn’t recognize it as such at the time.

Thumper was my first learning experience of how personable, playful and intelligent a rabbit can be. Mom had a coconut sitting on a newspaper on the kitchen floor waiting to break it open. When Thumper saw it, he pounced on it, batted it into submission with his front paws, and then claimed it as his by chinning it to death. After that we tried more toys for him to play with. Our other pet at the time was a large retriever mix dog that we were careful to let out in the yard when Thumper was running free in the house. Someone let the dog in by accident during Thumper’s run time and the retriever started to chase him. We were terrified and so scared for Thumper, because both he and the dog were moving too fast for us to get to them quickly enough. Thumper was running at top speed when suddenly he doubled back straight through the dog’s legs. The dog was immediately thrown off-balance and while the dog was trying not to fall, Thumper hopped back in his cage and we closed the door protecting him again. We made certain they were never accidentally loose together again after that.

Thumper had his own personal rock star rabbit routine that he developed when he didn’t feel pampered enough that is a whole story all on its own. More about that next Thursday …

Hanging With My Bangin Bunny

Leo the Bangin BunnyThe one thing I can say about Leo that is different from Tigger and Shadow is that he is a very relaxing rabbit to have around. Leo is cute and quirky rather than being wired for constant action and activity. Tigger and Shadow were massive amounts of fun, but could really wear us out at times trying to keep up and ahead of them with bunny proofing so that they didn’t get hurt with some of the crazy things they would try.

So I am just hanging out here in the office with Leo today, enjoying a midweek day off that I am gifting myself. I’ve been snapping a few pics of him as he relaxes too. Once again I am so attracted to what first caught my attention in his Petfinder.com ad, those awesome bangs. Leo loves having his head petted and those bangs are like a head petting magnet. If you have ever had a troll doll, Leo’s bangs have the same fascination. You just cannot resist playing around with his bangs this way and that and in the process he gets lots of the head pets that he loves too.

Everyone who meets him just loves that little mop top. Leo’s fur is just so very soft and silky to the touch, it is hard to describe just how very wonderful it feels to run your hand over him or run your fingers through that mane of his. It is yummy relaxing fur therapy.

Off to enjoy petting a little bunny rabbit head some more … oh and I was so busy looking at Leo’s cute bangs, I fogot to mention the adorable little milk mustache look he has going too. His coloring and fur pattern is just so different from any other rabbit I’ve seen.