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 …