Bunny Jaws

I apologize for the delay on bunny jaws. We had a major distraction begin last week. I will be posting on that in the future.

Bunny Jaws Cartoon

The  Story of Bunny Jaws

It was one of those warm sunny afternoons in the living room. It was so quiet and peaceful with zenlike tranquility. Our princess bunny rabbit Tigger had her legs tucked underneath in her bunny hen sleeping position. I didn’t see Shadow, but like his name, he very often would hang out blending in with the shadows.

With the sun shining in through the windows, the room had that comfortable warmth and I was getting sleepy. I had been reading a magazine on the sofa and decided to enjoy a brief nap. I didn’t hear or feel anything, but after a bit I sensed something. I opened my eyes and saw the actions in the cartoon unfold before my eyes. It was an incredible scene from Jaws enacted by a furry pretender. The black snout rose up slowly and silently over the edge of the sofa. The jaws opened up showing all those sharp little teeth. Then with breathtaking speed, the jaws snapped closed on the spine of the magazine and dragged it over the edge and down, racing away with the prey.

I never saw Shadow’s eyes or ears, just his mouth. He must have scoped out his raid from a distance, because he knew exactly where the magazine was and grabbed it and took off with it without needing to check its location. I was stunned and not sure at first that I wasn’t dreaming. Seeing him with the magazine, I realized it was real. Right away, I wanted to write the story down and do some thumbnail sketches. Talk about inspiration being right under your nose. As I was writing and sketching on a pad of paper, bunny jaws came back. Shadow hopped up beside me and gnawed on the side of the pad of paper trying to take it away from me the entire time I was working on capturing the moment.

Beware Bunny Jaws! When they are loose, nothing is safe! Nothing is sacred!

Coming Wednesday, Shadow’s many nicknames …

Shadow the Bunny Goat

Shadow perched on high

Shadow loved to head for the heights

Shadow introducing himself to some stuffed rabbits

No matter how high we put things, Shadow would go for them. Here he is actually standing on the top of a covered litter box.

Shadow looking to serve himself something to chew

Shadow looking to serve himself something to chew. Fortunately the white you see at the bottom of the round tunnel is Blaine's foot holding it from rolling away with Shadow

Shadow was like a goat for two reasons.  Like a mountain goat, he liked to bounce around up, down and around everything.  Nothing was much of a barrier to him.  He was incredibly sure-footed and very athletic. He loved the heights.

There were times he would begin the Bunny 500 around the living room without ever touching the floor.  Shadow would hop up on the sofa, run the length and make the leap three feet over to the top of the cages and then run across the loveseat which was beside the cages.  Then he would hit the floor and sometimes fly up and down the stairs and then do the highland trek across the furniture again.

Like a goat, Shadow seemed to feel everything he sunk his teeth into was consumable.  There simply wasn’t anything he didn’t try to chew up and eat. For years to come there will most likely be things we will come across that will have teeth marks and the percentages say that it will be Shadow’s work.

Over the years, I read a lot of articles about whether rabbits should be caged or completely free range.  All I can say is with a rabbit like Shadow, the only way to keep him safe was to have him in a fully enclosed cage when we were not there to supervise him.  Even with us there, over the years, he learned a very sneaky almost silent chewing.  We had to be very alert when Shadow was out to where he was and what he was doing.  We kept scolding him, telling him he was going to really mess up his tummy.  Honestly, with everything he chewed, I don’t know how he managed to stay as healthy as he was.  It truly seemed he must have a stomach like a goats.

We also had to discourage his tendency to want to switch things up from mountain goat.  Sometimes we would find Shadow on the very top of the sofa walking along the back.  Once before we could get to him, he leaped off and spread his legs out just like a flying squirrel.  Not being equipped with the weblike wings like a flying squirrel, he of course dropped like a rock four feet down to the floor.  It knocked the breath out of him, but not the desire to try it again.  We had to be really vigilant to grab him the minute he would make a leap for the sofa back.

Shadow had greater strength and athletic ability compared to Tigger.  He was a bit bigger when full grown which could have made the difference.  Being a different breed could have played a part too.  He also got a big head start.  Tigger had to learn what she could do on her own.  During the first two months we had Shadow, while they had separate run and play times until being fixed, Shadow was able to see everything Tigger had learned to do.  It really jumpstarted him and he was doing the sames things at a much earlier age than Tigger.  It was clear Shadow learned quickly and easily by following her example and then he surpassed her abilities.  The one advantage Tigger had over Shadow was speed.  She was much lighter and faster while running.  When Shadow tried to speed up while running, he wouldn’t take the turns as quickly and smoothly as Tigger and would sometimes clip the walls.

In later years, we had to rearrange furniture to keep Shadow from making the bunny goat leap from the sofa to the cages.  The spirit was still very willing and wanting, but he started to not quite make it well enough for maintaining his safety.

Coming tomorrow, bunny jaws …


Best Toy Choices

Tigger & chewed cardboard

Did I do that?

Yesterday I wrote about our Great Wall of Cardboard which got me thinking a lot about cardboard and just how much the bunnies love cardboard.  Hands down, the things that have kept our bunnies the most occupied over the years were made of cardboard or paper.

If you want to keep a bunny occupied, they are a lot like small children, much more interested in the box than what came in the box.  Remember that before you go investing in expensive bunny toys that you think are cute but the bunnies ignore.  When you use up the paper towels, save the rolls for the rabbits.  When that new phone book comes, give the old one to the rabbits.  If you have an office paper shredder, you might want to take those old newspapers and shred them up.  Then fill a big cardboard box with them to let the bunnies dig it out or tunnel through it. 

If you want to invest in purchased bunny toys, a great place to start is cardboard tunnels.  You can get them online or at pet stores.  Or you can just go to the home improvement store and get the cardboard rounds that are used for pouring and molding concrete.

Online stores that cater to rabbits are carrying boxes, cottages and tunnels made out of cardboard that have been designed with how rabbits play in mind.  Since I know how much our rabbits love cardboard, I would see those as a good investment in something they would spend their time playing with.  One key thing in finding things rabbits like to play with is that it reduces the amount of time they might be playing with (chewing on) things you would like to keep bunny free.

Bunnies Just Want to Have Fun!

Shadow loves slinkies

You should have seen him when he took off running with it!

Had a delay here today while storms rolled through causing the power to flicker.  That is always the signal to power down and take a break.  Sunshine is back and here I am to share some bunny fun!

Previously, I posted about ways to protect your space and your bunny with bunnyproofing. Now its time for fun! A bored bunny is a destructive bunny. Helping a bunny have fun will aid your bunnyproofing. Find things they enjoy doing and they will leave other things alone.

What each bunny likes is different. There are jumpers, chewers, diggers, throwers, and a few do like to play chase. Do some trial and error to find out what your bunny likes best.


You can find toys at pet stores, baby stores, or online sites.  Don’t limit yourself to just rabbit toys.  Look for untreated wood chews or wood toys. There are cardboard chews, cardboard tunnels and rabbit “bungalows or cottages” available.

Hard plastic toys are great:  Here are some ideas and the sections we found them in: keys on a ring (infant/baby), linked chains (bird), balls with bells inside (cat / ferret), bounce back treat dispensers (small animal), rattles (infant/baby), and Slinkies (kid) are all possibilities.

If you have a problem area where your rabbit likes to misbehave, try “mining” the area with belled toys. When you hear the bells, you know it is time to check and see if your bunny has taken advantage of the toys or needs to be escorted out of the forbidden zone.


If you have a safe space for it, you can try a sandbox for a digger bunny.  If not, try filling a box with shredded paper and watch your bunny go burrowing through.

We remembered the fun of childhood sheet forts and created a sheet tunnel. We took two cardboard boxes with cutouts at each end and on one side, placed them five feet apart, and stretched a sheet over. The bunnies love to run through, burrow in and out under the sheet, and sometimes just nap. We play peek-a-bunny by lifting the sheet up and down at the side peering in on them.

Tigger Loves to Throw

Tigger flings this like a shot putter does. She will grab it with her teeth and whirl around to get it airborne and throw it.


Some bunnies like to play chase. Our Shadow will start to run and look back to see if we’re following. He will run back and start again until someone chases him. His happy binkies tell us we have the right idea. Be careful to know your bunny well with this one, since most bunnies fear being chased.

Our rabbits love to hop up with us while we read magazines and try to chew them. We take the pull out ad cards and hold them sticking out a bit at the edge of the magazine. They grab the edge of the card, yank it away from us, and run off with it. Shadow and Tigger like the game so much that if we want to continue reading, we usually have to gather the cards back up and keep letting them “steal” them away.

We take cardboard tubes from paper towels and load them into a small lightweight plastic wastebasket which we set upright in the play area. Tigger and Shadow love to overturn the basket and unload the tubes.  We also put a boatload of cardboard tubes under one bookshelf Tigger liked to commando crawl under.  It would take her awhile to pull enough tubes out to try to get under.  That would give us an opportunity to stop the secret carpet chewing that would occur if we didn’t catch her in time.

The more time you spend with your rabbit learning about their play style, the more you will learn about just how playful and fun a rabbit can be.  Just be careful to stay back a bit until you learn whether your bunny is a thrower like our Tigger. 

Tigger likes to pitch and bat.  She will pitch her weighted bounce back bunny as in the picture, or small wire or plastic belled toys.  She will take cardboard tubes from paper towel rolls and use them like a bat to hit things.  I had one vet visit where I brought one along to keep her distracted while we were waiting, not realizing how she would use it.  She was smacking everything she could with it so loudly that even with a closed-door, the vet techs kept coming in every few minutes to make sure everything was okay.  Silly me thinking I could get her to be playful and forget where she was.

Let the games begin!

Deaf, Dumb and Stupid – Not!

Shadow on dining room chair

Planning my next move ...

Shadow is a particularly stubborn bunny. For months after we first brought him home, we thought he was a bit stupid, because he wasn’t appearing to understand or respond to “No! Bad Bunny!”  We had Tigger for two months prior to bringing Shadow home and Tigger understood and did not like to be called “Bad Bunny or be spoken to sharply. She would stop what she was doing and hop off.  Then later she would try to slink back to the bad behavior once she thought our attention was on something else.

Then I discovered Shadow clearly did understand “Bad Bunny”.  One day after I had chased him away from chewing furniture, we settled down for some head pets which he loves.  I had caught him mishbehaving with his chewing and now I was kind of chewing him out verbally. I was saying things like, “Why do you have to be such a bad bunny. You know how to be a good bunny. You don’t have to be a bad bunny.” Shadow suddenly stood up, turned around and looked at me with his head tipped to the side. It was clear he was questioning me.

That is when I realized he did know the difference between “Bad Bunny” and “Good Bunny”. I had confused him by petting him and calling him a “Bad Bunny”. After that Blaine and I both watched him more closely when he misbehaved.  We realized that when we would start calling him “Bad Bunny”, he was trying to misbehave faster. He knew how much time it would take us to physically get to him and he was speeding up the bad activity trying to get it done before we could stop him. Stubborn bad bunny!

When the rabbits are out of our line of sight and we hear “bad chewing”, we immediately start to loudly say or yell (depends on our distance to them), “No! Bad Bunny”.  That will stop Tigger, but with Shadow, we have to physically get to him.  Usually we distract him with something he can chew.  If it is the second time on the same bad activity, we try to relocate him to another part of the house to get him focused on something else.

We make sure to spend quality time with the rabbits interacting with them.  Bored bunnies easily become bad bunnies.