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.

Leo and His Pet Bed

When we first got Tigger, we had a small pet bed for her that she just loved. I wrote about how she would just put herself in to all kinds of bunny model poses on that bed. When Shadow joined our household a few months later and we started the bonding process, we found that the pet bed was something that was going to have to go because Shadow insisted on eating them. If we gave him opportunity, he would attempt to shred the beds and try to eat them. So we ended up with keeping the beds only for lining carriers on vet visits when it was really cold or they were really sick.

Leo isn’t the chewer that Shadow was and he is a bit more like Tigger in some ways. So when we came across a really cute bed with a big mark down at the pet store, we thought it was worth a shot to see if Leo would like it. I just love the bed which looks like a mini sofa with a throw pillow. Leo has absolutely no idea what to do with it. As you can see from the pictures, he will wander all around it, put front paws on it and that is the full extent of his interest in the pet bed.

Leo has never once been on it to sit on it or lie down on it. We tried draping his blankie on it since he just loves his blankie and plays with that lying on it, burrowing under it and dragging it around to play with. The blankie draped on the bed was what finally got Leo to at least set his paws on the bed, but that is as far as he was willing to go. You will notice in the pictures that when he appears to put his paws on the bed, he has actually carefully positioned himself so that he is really standing on his blankie.

Unless we get another rabbit who likes the bed, this is likely to be one of the least used pet beds ever. We have had it more than a year now with him and it still looks brand new.

Ah well, there is at least some hope today that Leo might adjust to his new Booda Dome litter box. He stayed in the room with it today for a bit. At some point he did hop in and check it out since I found he had used the facilities. I’ve still got the top off of it waiting to see if he will venture in to the top just sitting on the floor and then maybe we can see if we put it together whether he will hop in and use it.

Booda Don’t

Booda Dome Clean Step Litter boxSo this is the Booda Dome Clean Step Litter Box. We picked it up for Leo over the weekend. We thought a manly deep brown color was just the thing for our little bunny boy.

We had a Booda Dome without the steps with Tigger and Shadow. They liked it. We thought this one with the step ramp in to the litter box would be more to Leo’s liking since he loves to hide places and he isn’t as adept at hopping into and out of things as Tigger and Shadow. So we thought the step ramp would be something Leo would like better. We forgot though that there is one thing Leo hates more than being out in the open and that is new things.

Leo avoiding Booda Dome So now we have the Booda don’t. As you can see in the picture, Leo isn’t willing to enter the room with this new “thing” in there. You can barely see where it is way across the room behind the cardboard cottage. I even removed the dome top trying to make it a little less scary to him. Leo alternated between hovering at the doorway and running top speed down the hall and back in to the office. He sits at the doorway just staring at it.

I have no idea what Leo thinks it is going to do, but he clearly plans to keep an eye on it and maintain a safe distance. I’ve read that the eyes on a Lionhead are more prominent than other rabbit breeds. What that means to us is that when Leo gets scared about something, he really looks bug-eyed.

Leo avoiding Booda DomeOkay, so this picture is a bit later and looks like progress. Except Leo never likes to be out in the open in this room and is never in this spot. His favorite spot is behind the cardboard cottage. However now, the new litter box is behind the cardboard cottage. So Leo is more willing to expose himself in the open than go back by that new “thing”.

I do hope this isn’t going to be a repeat of the pet bed. I’ll share that story tomorrow.

Follow Friday: Rabbittude on Pinterest

Rabbittude Pinterest Account

There are several dozen boards of all things bunny rabbit on the Rabbittude Pinterest account

I’ve worked a lot on the Rabbittude Pinterest boards. There are now several dozen boards dedicated to bunny rabbits and things that bunny rabbit lovers might enjoy. When you get a chance check it out. I just cannot resist collecting and surrounding myself with bunny rabbits! The Pinterest account provides another way to do that and then to share all the lovely finds with others who love big eared fuzzy tailed friends too.

Throwback Thursday: Stunt Bunny Tigger & Leo’s New Version

What bunny parents have to do to keep a Tigger safe ...So this throwback picture shows what we had to do to keep Tigger safe from her crazy daredevil stunt bunny desire.  She managed to do a bunny bump and get in to a closet. You can read the full story by clicking here to find out just how crazy dangerous to her well-being this bunny stunt was. When it came to getting in to things Tigger was pure stubborn determination.

Leo has his own version of this which is fortunately not as dangerous as Tigger’s stunt. Leo’s just gets him in to a forbidden bedroom. The bedroom doorway latch doesn’t do the job it is supposed to do. If you push on the door it will open. Well little Leo discovered that if he gave the door a bunny side bump, he could get in to that bedroom anytime he wanted to.

So I’m a bit slow sometimes with Leo to catch on to things I should bunnyproof. Leo has been a kinder gentler bunny in regards to being bad. So when he decides to go for it, I’m usually a few steps behind trying to catch up to what needs to be done. Leo managed a good number of bunny bumps to the door and unauthorized romps around the bedroom and hiding sessions under the bed before I realized that I needed to block the door. I would be busy doing something and would hear a funny bump noise and sure enough when I looked, the bedroom door would be open and Leo would be either nowhere in sight or just a fluffy white bunny behind quickly on the way to disappearing inside.

Leo on top of the bedroom doorway barricadeIt took some refining to get the barricade of the doorway it so it worked right. You can see Leo here sitting on top of his first version of the doorway barricade. We placed a cardboard box on the left where the door opens and his carrier blocking the right side of the doorway. Then Leo realized that he could pull the box out of the way, bump the door and he would be in again. After that, we put his carrier on the left side and the box on the right. Leo can’t pull his carrier out of the way to get to the opening side of the door.

Now if Leo wanted to let himself in, he would have to jump on top of his carrier and bump the door at the same time. Fortunately for us, he hasn’t figured that out.

Leo’s “Hillow”

Leo and hillowAlthough we buy things that look like good fun for our rabbits, I also look to repurpose things we already have for rabbit use. And sometimes what I repurpose, the rabbits have repurposed even further. That is the case with Leo and his “hillow”.

When I was having some back problems, I bought a body pillow to see if it was more supportive, but didn’t find it helped me out much. I was thinking about giving it away. Then I decided to put it on the floor in Leo’s hallway run area and wrap it around the corner as kind of a bumper and to keep him from chewing carpet right at the corner. With Tigger & Shadow we had always found corner areas to be the place where they seemed to go after the carpet the most.

It didn’t work out exactly as planned, because being a pillow it is light and easy for Leo to move it. And move it he did. At first he pushed it over a lot and was climbing around on it. Then one day, he just kind of burrowed in between it and the wall creating a little space just wide enough for him to fit between the pillow and the wall. He loved it. After that, he kept burrowing the pillow away from the wall. It became a place for him to hide out, but if he is sitting up, he can still see anyone approaching him from any direction. He loves to run around it and through it and sometimes he still goes over it.

Leo and hillowWhen I realized how much he liked that semi-protected space he had created, I always make sure now to set the pillow down curved around the corner just wide enough for Leo. I realized it looked a bit like an earth mound, especially since the pillow has a green cover. That is when I started calling it Leo’s “hillow”. I put some ceramic floor tiles down over the carpet around the corner so he doesn’t chew the carpet there. Leo hasn’t tried to lift or move those and actually likes to hang out right in the corner of his “hillow” sitting on the tiles.

I would love to hear if others have some things they or their house rabbits have repurposed just for bunny use.

An Afternoon With Leo

With our previous rabbits, they spent a lot more time out in the open. We used to see a lot of the plotting and planning going on and know by how they looked what was about to happen. With Leo, much of what he does is out of our sight. We usually ;don’t know something is in the works until it is executed. So I took a couple of pictures of Leo this afternoon, being his usual quiet bunny self and had no idea that he had plans …

Leo and his tunnel

Leo in the in the doorway of his tunnel

Leo and his tunnel

Leo back in the corner shadows plotting and planning …

Leo and his tunnel

Mission accomplished, tunnel overthrow achieved and Leo is back at rest

Leo is just a bunny full of surprises. I took the first two pictures of him at rest and then went back to work. A little later I heard a whoomp sound. I walked around the desk and found the tunnel completely over turned and Leo back at rest in his favorite little corner as if nothing at all had happened.

Leo is forming a habit of throwing over his tunnel. Since I can’t see what brings it on, I’m not sure if he gets mad at it, does something accidental or does it just because he can.

What Is Up with Rabbittude?

Close up of Leo #1

First close up picture attempt with Leo

Close up of Leo #2

Second close up picture attempt with Leo

Close up of Leo #3

Third close up picture attempt with Leo … success

Sometimes in life, you just have to stop talking about things and just work through them. It has been a bit of a rough patch here since last fall. There were some significant changes in some of the services we use and a really bad fall allergy season was followed by one of the worst winters we’ve had here in a long time. It all became a bit too much juggling. I decided to just keep focused on working through it all and bring the blog back when we were on a more even path again.

Today is a really good day to start talking again. As of today, we have officially had little Leo the Lionhead with us for two years. I will sometimes call him Le Li for short, pronouncing that as “lee lee”. I would have to say that Leo is the shyest bunny rabbit I have ever known. He holds back a lot. It has made getting to know him a real challenge.

I decided this afternoon to try to get a good close up picture of him now. LOL, camera-shy he is not. Every time I put the camera on the floor, he had to make sure the close up was really up close and personal. In trying to get a good shot, he nosed the lens, chewed the small tripod I had the camera on and I think probably got a whole bunch of  bunny fur, dander and just general essence of bunny rabbit all over the camera.

As you can see, first attempts were way too up close and personal. I finally had success with the third shot by literally putting the camera right down and clicking the button as soon as the tripod hit the floor. If there had been a fourth shot, it would have looked like the first two all over again.

So maybe I need to get the camera out more often if I want Leo to come straight to me … Rabbits are all such different personalities. Each new rabbit we come to know is very unique and different from every other rabbit we have known.