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 …
The 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.
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.
Ring around the pet bed
Just nosing around the pet bed
Using blankie appeal
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.
More interested with blankie
Checking out what is under blankie
And this is as far as we go
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.
So 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.
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.
Okay, 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.
Although 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.
When 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.
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 in the in the doorway of his tunnel
Leo back in the corner shadows plotting and planning …
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.
First close up picture attempt with Leo
Second close up picture attempt with Leo
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.
So no way would this cute little bunny be plotting and planning something of evil destruction, right? Well we are finding that little Mr. Leo has another shade of Shadow (our previous devious destructo bunny) going on in spite of his cute innocent little bunny looks.
When we took him in to the vet at the end of October, everything was normal except she felt Leo’s stomach might be just a bit larger than it possibly should be. It was her first meeting with him though and nothing in any other way seemed wrong or out of the ordinary. So the vet told us to make sure he was eating a good diet to promote good motility of his digestive system and keep up with the weekly grooming of him to keep his excess fur ingestion down.
So on Monday Leo gives me a clue that there could be other sneaky little bunny activities that could have gone on that I will have to be more diligent to prevent. We had big problems with Shadow trying to consume anything he could sink his little teeth into. So Shadow had run time when someone was around to be supervising him so that he didn’t completely shut down his digestive system consuming all the household furnishings, carpets, upholstery, pillows, books, papers, sheets, blankets, wood furniture and baseboards. It got so we could tell what Shadow was chewing on by the sound of it. I didn’t think Leo was a carpet chewer like Shadow had been. There weren’t any bare spots or tell-tale little pieces of rug to be seen in his run area. Then on Monday I heard a funny chewing sound from him that I didn’t recognize.
When I checked out the sound, Leo had found a way to quietly munch on the rug. This area rug unlike others was not showing bare spots or he was being very careful to not graze too much in one area. It was clear he had eaten some rug as he had a few strands pulled loose and swallowed one before I could get it away from him. So Leo is going to lose some of his free roaming privileges like Shadow did, for the good of his digestive system. Leo didn’t like it when I put him in his pen when I needed to be away from him for a bit on Monday. He has a good-sized pen at 4 x 6 feet which normally doesn’t have the door closed, but he will have to get used to that more often if he is going to try to chew carpet.
I will have to check into replacing the area rugs with different ones that are jute or seagrass. We had some larger ones in jute and seagrass with Tigger and Shadow and wanted similar ones with Leo, but were having some difficulty finding them now without a latex backing. We couldn’t keep the ones we had previously as the vet wanted everything that could not sterilized thrown away since Tigger and Shadow had various infections going on at the end of their lives. So it is back to shopping around again for me to see if something is available that would be safer and allow Leo safer free roaming.
We’ll be making sure he gets lots of hay and monitoring his overall food intake and bunny poop output to make sure that what has gone in is coming back out. It just really puzzles me like it did with Shadow what the huge carpet attraction is all about. It can’t taste good and Leo has multiple choices in hay available in lots of places around his roaming space. I’ve also put down small straw mats in different areas. He has lots of wood and jute chew toys and some cardboard ones too. So what is the carpet fixation all about?
So little Leo has proved to be a bunny who likes to have secretive little lairs. He is a small bunny. Like Tigger, he has the ability to seemingly disappear completely from sight. Little bunnies get into small spaces without disturbing things to give a clue where they might have gone.
Leo is there in the first picture, but the only way you might see him is to look for the darkness of his head casting a shadow where he decided to wiggle in to hide out. The first time he headed into this little hidden lair of his, I could hear him in the room, but could not find him. It was only when I saw something move that I realized where he had gone. Shadow would hide in plain sight by using his dark coloring to just park himself in front of or on something with a deep color. The other rabbits all chose to find hiding areas that they could get in to. Tigger and Leo being the smallest of our rabbits have both been able to get in to some areas without it being at all obvious they had gotten behind or under something. Little bunnies are sneaky bunnies for getting in to places and can create some challenges when bunny proofing to keep them safe. In this case Leo has found a safe space. So he has a new little area to call all his very own Lionhead lair.
This second picture shows where he is hiding. Leo likes to sneak into the space behind the door. As the first picture shows he can do it in just inches of space that don’t disturb the door at all to give a clue he is back there. In the second picture, he has pushed at the door opening up which is why he is more visible.
This is something that reminds me of Portia. Tigger and Shadows’ main living area was our living room and the only door there was to the outside with no screen door. So the door was never open when they were out. Portia’s area was on our kitchen / dining room floor and there was a half bath there that when the door was open formed a little alcove behind the door. Portia liked to sneak into that area and would come running out of it when we would walk back into her area. It was clearly her secret space that she didn’t want to share with us. Now Leo has made a discovery of a similar secret space in his area in our office.
Tomorrow some news of what is coming up this month and next.
Today has been a day of following Leo around on the sly spying on him. I am trying to figure out when and how he likes to eat his hay so that I can better plan how to increase his hay consumption. I knew he was a private eater, but I have discovered another way that he is very different from the other rabbits. He likes to eat his hay while laying down in a resting position while Tigger and Shadow ate standing up and would hop into a hay bin to eat. So I’ve tried putting little handfuls down beside Leo when he is flopped and he is nibbling on them as he rests. The floor is going to get quite messy here with Leo. I will have to work on a good cleaning plan for this!
For November, I will continue to plan to post each weekday. So there will be many more bunny stories to come this next month as well as news of what is going on with Rabbittude. Since this is a big shopping season, we will be working more on our Pinterest account. Keep an eye on that if you are looking for gifts. You might find some ideas checking out our boards. We have lots of pins there of items available from shops on Etsy and Zibbet.
Monday we will have a special announcement about a contest for November. So stop by to check that out and find out how you can enter to win something from Rabbittude!
So first thing this morning we were off with Leo to the vet for a yearly well visit exam. His first two visits a year ago were a check up for his health right after we adopted him and then to have his neuter surgery. Thankfully Leo has been a very healthy bunny since then and did not need to see the vet this past year for anything.
The vet we had taken him too initially had moved away from our area, so we needed to set Leo up with a new vet. We figured the new vet and staff would love him as they are quite fond of rabbits. The vet is new to Leo, but someone we had seen with Tigger, Shadow and Portia for many visits during their lives. As expected, the troll doll mop of Leo’s was a huge hit and could not be resisted by vet and staff. So Leo got lots of head pets which hopefully made the poking and prodding just a wee bit more acceptable.
Leo weighs in with an adult weight of 4.2 pounds and is in good health. The biggest challenge the vet sees is making sure he eats enough hay for roughage and has good grooming to help prevent any hairballs forming in his tummy. We figured this would be the case and had questions about what would be the best diet for him and amounts of things based on his ideal size. The vet feels Leo is at the right weight. Since he isn’t a super active little bunny, we need to keep an eye on fattening foods and treats he likes being minimal amounts so that he doesn’t gain too much weight.
Each rabbit brings their own challenges to their humans based on the rabbit’s individual personal likes and dislikes. Grooming is high on Leo’s list of activities to be avoided and he makes sure I know how much he hates it by either whimpering or chattering his teeth no matter how gentle I am. So will have to practice tough love about that and hope at some point Leo will reach a bit more acceptance of it. It is also going to be a bit tricky trying to evaluate if he is eating enough hay, since he likes to eat his hay in private when no one is watching him. The vet had suggested a measurement system. Leo does seem to like to eat hay when he is lying around, so I am thinking I will be following him around putting handfuls of hay wherever he flops to have it handy as a snack and then have a log of how many handfuls he eats per day. It was easier with Tigger and Shadow as we could have a hay bin and they hopped in and ate away not caring if we watched and we could tell how much they were eating pretty easily. Leo is more secretive.
I thought I would take this opportunity to share some good articles from the House Rabbit Society about vet visits and help with paying vet bills:
Tomorrow the plan for November …