I Wish I Had A Picture …

Tigger back side

We couldn't get a picture of THAT face, but expect to be seeing this view a LOT

So Friday, Shadow started showing a move from allergies into Snuffles issues.  Tigger is currently symptom free.  However, when Shadow saw the vet yesterday, it was discussed whether Tigger should be treated too.  In the past if one got sick with something like this, even if the other started out symptom free, they would pass it back and forth until both had been put on antibiotics to clear them both up.  So Shadow and Tigger are both being treated from the start this time.

I am guessing that the medication prescribed has a really nasty taste or that the flavoring I smell is not anywhere on their tasty list.  That is because in more than ten years with Tigger, I have never seen quite the face or way she looked at me after we gave it to her.  It was the most disgusted peeved aggrieved look.  She didn’t even get all of it either, she was drooling a bit out as we tried to syringe it in.  When I put her down, she hopped around the room and thumped at least five times.  And we have twice a day, times two bunnies, for two weeks to look forward to.  Sigh …

There will be a pretty Etsy treasury coming later this afternoon.

Head Pet Radar

Awaiting head pets

Waiting ...

Shadow bunny has the finest tuned rabbit radar when it comes to head pets.  It’s a given that if you start to pet Tigger, no matter where he might be in the house, Shadow will show up in less than a minute.

He is so down with the idea of being petted, he is literally down and in position and waiting with that me too look in his eyes.  Who can resist?  Unlike Tigger once Shadow is down for the head petting, he is down and you had better be prepared for a session.
That is okay, petting a rabbit is just so wonderful.  The fur has such a wonderful feel, the tooth purring is such a nice thankful feedback.  It is a good time to just mellow out and enjoy each others company.  We usually lay down on the floor beside him and just chill with the bunny.
Mr. Shadow loves to be stroked up his nose, around his cheeks.  There is a spot in front of his ears that you can tell is an ahhh spot.  If you stray off his head back towards his shoulders, you will get a little head bumping up into your hand as a reminder to focus.  This is a head petting session!
Shadow is up for having his little head petted multiple times a day.  So we can repeat the process whenever we want the stress of the day to flow away.  Who says the head pets benefit only the bunny!

Commence Thumping …

Tigger is a very pawsitive bunny.  She punctuates with her paws.  She arrives in a room, thump.  She arrives on a floor of the house, thump.  She is about to hop underneath the dust ruffle on the guest bed, thump.  She isn’t happy to be picked up. So, when you put her down, thump.  You scared her with that noise / movement / whatever … thump.

The pathway of her life echoes with all the little thumps along the way.  You can tell where Tigger is on and off throughout the day as she announces herself on her journeys around the house with thumps.

Tigger is a very bossy bunny.  I had always read that bunnies use thumps as danger signals to other bunnies.  That has always made me wonder if her little thumps really are a danger signal to the other bunnies in the house, Shadow and for a while Portia.  Is it her way of playing tough bunny and saying, “You better stay out of my way!”  Or is it the way of HRH Princess bunny to announce herself as she enters, “You better pay attention HRH Tigger is in the room!” or “How dare you pick up HRH Tigger.”

There was one really bad thumping occasion.  We have a lot of storms here that cause power surges and everything electrical surges off and then on again.  One of those times, the security system for the house was set off by the surge which then fried the electronics in the on position.  There was an awesome thunderstorm with lightning going on outside, the security alarm was going off inside and Tigger took off under the guest bed and was thumping off the bunny alarm.  For a full half hour the storm raged, the alarm blared and Tigger thumped while I was trying over the phone to hear enough of what the security company was saying to be able to find out how to shut the system down until it could be fixed.

This evening, all is quiet.  The bunnies have been running around all day and are now settled in and bedded down for the night.  So will it be a quiet night?  It depends.  If something in her cage isn’t to her liking, Tigger has another way of thumping at night for emphasis.  She picks up a corner of her litter box with her teeth and drops it, repeatedly.

So at night if she isn’t happy, her thumps become whumps.  You can hear them up a flight of stairs through closed doors.   So just for you Tigger baby, how about a variation of the Hokey-Pokey called the Thumpy-Bunny …

You put your right paw in,  
You put your right paw out;
You put your right paw in,
And you thump it all about.
You do the Thumpy-Bunny,
And you hop yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about!

Continue on for more verses switching out right paw with left paw, right side, left side, backside, and whole self. 

Good night sweet thumpy bunny, a quiet night pretty please …

Follow Friday – Disapproving Rabbits

Click on image to go to blog.

Okay, so if you are familiar with rabbits at all, you know those cute little faces wear a perpetual frown.  The blog, Disapproving Rabbits has capitalized on that characteristic in a really cute and very funny way. 

On the current home page, I particularly like Chubby, Miss Willis, Logan and Tokki.  Going back a page to older posts, Toby, CC  and Diesel have me chuckling, but Buddy and Charlotte really tickled my funny bone.

Now, if I don’t get back to the kitchen and feed my two again, there just may be a couple more disapproving rabbit faces and stories to tell.

Follow Friday – How to Train a Human: A Guide for House Rabbits

Bunny HuggaWell, I expected to be back much sooner today, but nothing has gone as planned.  So I will stick with something amusing to follow.

I could really use an end of day laugh.  How about you?  So BunnyHugga has this great guide – How to Train a Human: A Guide for House Rabbits

Then if you dare you can continue on to see what your rabbits have been up to in the other training areas:

Too funny!

A Quick Note …

Just popping in quickly here to say I am working on further research into bunny poo and what is already out there in the internet marketplace.  A couple of comments yesterday sent me off looking for more things than I had thought of.  Quite amazing really what people have for sale these days.  I will post more later today, perhaps early evening for those on US Eastern standard time.

Follow Friday – Fet the Tun Rimes Loll

Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein

Available on Amazon

I have always had the tendency to say the wrong thing.  As a teenager, I heard a saying that I had to adopt, “I only open my mouth to exchange feet.”  It hasn’t gotten much better doing things through email or online.  Now I still say the wrong stuff, but due to those fat fingered / slippery key typos.  I have all kinds of whoops going on at times.

One of my big speech problems is a tendency to Spoonerisms, dyslexic  transposition of full words or parts of words.  Here’s the Wikipedia definition with some funny examples:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoonerism.  It happens for a lot of people and some people all the time.  The best example I ever saw was a weatherman who meant to talk about cold air masses, but instead reported that there was a possibility of cold mare as_ _ _ ,  you get the drift. 

So a couple of years ago when I saw the children’s book Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein, I had to get it.  Even as an adult, I loved reading about Toe Jurtle, Goctor Doose, Bumping Jean, Rirty Dat, Flutterby, Batty Meaver, and of course the star of the book, Runny Babbit.  It is wonderfully illustrated throughout with cute black and white line drawings.

What started me thinking about my oopsies was a thread on Etsy that was talking about a feature I thankfully hadn’t become aware of with any of my keyboard slips.  It seems there has been a built-in automatic censor to keep offensive language out of titles and chats.  It has however had unintended consequences in some cases when someone did one of those keyboard typos. 

The thread I was reading provided a link back to a truly funny example from a thread in 2009 (now closed and archived, but still readable).  A woman intended to type in her discussion title as “What do you think about men’s shirts?”  Only she accidentally left the “r” out of shirts while typing.  The automatic Etsy censor replaced her unallowed word choice with something it was programmed to believe was more appropriate for a title.  So her discussion thread posted under the title:  “What do you think about men’s poops?”  Needless to say, it had quite a run and drew a lot of people into the thread. 

Others on Etsy reported it had been disconcerting to be discussing watching birds (tits) in the chats and have the automatic censor change what they were writing to boob watching.  As I program some things on the web for others to use, it is a cautionary tale of not making assumptions that everything is either black or white, on or off.  I don’t / won’t / can’t always know better than users.  Which brings me to a second favorite saying I saw years ago, “HUMOR, never leave home without it”. 

So this weekend, grave a heat time!  

Does My Bunny Love Me … How Will I Know?

Tigger Hug

Me & Tigger, in the shot my Mom wanted to take of her. Tigger sweetly held still even for a non digital camera 🙂

So how do you know with rabbits?  Since bunnies are prey animals, they aren’t used to letting anyone who isn’t a bunny in on how they feel about things.  They are hiders.  Over the years, we have learned sometimes it isn’t so much what they do, but what they don’t do anymore.

They will stay out in the open and not hide as much.  When they feel like it, ours will come when we call.  Some might actually hop up to greet you when you come home.  My first bunny Thumper and Portia, the one we lost a few years back, would both come up and pull at pants legs or paw at ankles to get attention. 

You will see a difference in their attitude and behavior if you have been away from them for a while.  I know someone who took a day trip and could tell her bunny missed the family, he was so excited on their return.  Another person I know has moved and isn’t at home with the bunnies as much right now and one is acting out a bit.

Shadow will bounce up, flop down and stick his head under our hand.  In return for head pets, he will lick whatever part of us he can reach, hands, arms, legs, faces.  Shadow also gives invitations to play.  He will zoom up, zoom a little away and look back over his shoulder.  He wants to play chase.

Tigger is a very kitty style bunny, a standoffish Princess.  It has always been harder to read her.  However, she started to show just how much she cared and trusted us at vet visits and when ill.  She hates to be picked up and held, but at vet visits I started to notice when I would try to put her down on the table, she was clinging to my shirt.  One time while there, when the vet let her lose to hop back into her carrier, instead she jumped up into my arms.  I truly believe she is telling me she wants me to protect her and recognizes me as a protector for her.

Recently while very ill, Tigger had Blaine very misty eyed.  We had to pick her up a lot to medicate, feed and clean her up.  After putting her down, each time we expected her to want nothing to do with us.  However, one time she hopped up beside Blaine, flopped down and clearly wanted to be petted and comforted.  They stayed together enjoying each others company for a good while.

One of the most obvious ways that bunnies show loving approval is by tooth purring.  We don’t always hear it, sometimes we feel it as they gently click their jaws and we feel their jaw movement as we pet them. 

One vet said one of the best guides to knowing we had bunny love and approval was that we were being shown their true personalities and that only happens when a rabbit feels completely comfortable in their environment.

A Journaling Treasury

Click on image above to go to Etsy treasury and view items
This was a treasury I created yesterday for a NonTeam treasury challenge.  The challenge was to build a treasury around an item, in this case a fine art photo of crayons.  The crayons made me think of a recent book I read, Journal Bliss by Violette.  The book encourages working in many ways with a variety of media to bring out and unleash inner creativity.  So I gathered up a number of lovely items on Etsy that could be used by anyone wanting to spend some time journaling. 
For the bunny journal today, both rabbits ran through here a little bit ago on their run around the house.  I am happy to report that both Tigger and Shadow seem to be back to normal.  The hard part with senior buns is to see the down days and just how far down they can go so fast, but it is so very sweet to still have the up days when life is on the rebound.

Talking to a Tigger

Tired Out Tigger

I'm still listening

I wrote a couple posts about how very high energy our Shadow is. Although she was quite high energy herself when younger, Tigger has always had a side of her personality that has a still watching quality, call it her inner kitty. She will hen up and seem distant, remote and untouchable. Tigger is also very sensitive, sometimes easily freaked out.  At those times, she doesn’t want anyone to come close or touch her.

This weekend with her illness, it has been very difficult because we have had to handle her way more than she is comfortable with. Fortunately, we discovered something by accident years ago that is also helping make her to feel more comfortable with us again in between needing  to be medicated or cleaned up.  Tigger likes to be stroked with words.

Tigger can have the same purring reaction to words that many animals have while being hand petted. Since she is so sensitive and easily panics, while she was quite young, we started talking to her from a safe distance of at least a few feet so that she knew we could not pick her up. Depending on the circumstances, we would tell her she was all right, things were okay, that she was a beautiful girl, a good bunny, a good Tigger. We started to notice that Tigger would begin to relax and noticeably tooth purr, just the same as if we were physically touching her and stroking her. She loves to be told she is a good bunny.  Soft tones of voice, quiet words and those words “good bunny” help her find a mellow safe and happy place.

We would like nothing more than to pick her up, hug her and stroke her, because that is what helps humans to feel secure and loved.  Tigger wants a lot of sweet talking instead.  Physical touching is prefered by invitation only.  She will hop up to where we are sitting and peek over the edge of the seat and then lay down on the floor.  That is one cue that an invitation to hands on petting is being extended.  Another is if we are on the floor and she hops up next to us and flops down.  The last invitation is when she will look at us from a distance and as we approach, she will put her head flat down on the floor.  She presents herself by assuming the “I am ready for grooming” position.  It is the same position she uses to signal to Shadow that she wants his attention.  We are being accepted as surrogate bunnies.

This weekend, we are helping her feel more comfortable and safe again with us by talking to her a lot and telling her that she is a very good bunny.  She has shown us she really appreciates our understanding of her needs.  Yesterday, she hopped beside Blaine and flopped down asking to be stroked.  Today as I was talking to her, she weakly hopped up to where she could see me clearly and put her head down presenting it to be petted.  We enjoyed some very sweet time together.

Throughout her life, talking to her and letting her issue the invitations for physical petting has rewarded us with lots of opportunities.  We have really gained her trust and even while she is quite ill now, that trust continues and is making it easier for us to care for her and keep her comfortable.

Tending to a Tigger

Tigger is feeling poorly and hidingThis is going to be a short post today.  We are taking care of a sick Tigger.  This past year she has had a number of times she just seems to shut down and stops drinking and eating without warning, often after really active days.  Numerous vet visits haven’t identified a definitive cause.  She has received treatment for a number of possible causes.   We now have a supply of Oxbow Critical Care and pain meds on hand for times when the trip to the vet isn’t possible, like evenings, weekends and holidays.  Since Tigger is 10 years old, this may be part of the aging process for her.

We are providing supportive care, giving syringe feedings and water.  She is eating her favorite parsley and occasionally some hay.  We have her on pain medicine and are keeping her warm, clean, dry and well-loved. 

Taking care of a senior bunny is tricky because so many factors can change as their bodies age, requiring changes in their care and environment.  The House Rabbit Society has an excellent article on many things to be aware of:  Living With An Elder Bun.

B.A.D.D. and Bunny Relocations

Shadow stretching to trouble

Here Shadow is on top of a carpet covered pet carrier and stretching up even further to pull down some other bunnies to chew on

We came up with the acronym B.A.D.D. (aka BADD) for Bunny Attention Deficit Disorder. Shadow can be a very destructive bunny when he gets his little rabbit mind focused on chewing something up. He also has the attention span of a gnat if something else catches his eye.  We kept saying he had ADD, then bunny ADD and eventually realized BADD really covered it quite nicely. 

The ADD nature of some rabbits can be used to your advantage in bunnyproofing by realizing that relocation of a BADD rabbit can short-circuit and reroute destructive activities to acceptable ones. I quite regularly pick Shadow up and relocate him to an entirely different part of the house and give him something acceptable to chew up or play with.

That does put more effort on me on some days when he seems to be extremely focused on a destructive activity and keeps stubbornly coming back to it. I may have to go pick him up and relocate him several times. Shadow is a bright boy though and doesn’t want to keep being picked up. He will get the idea after a couple times and then when he sees me coming to check on him, he will relocate himself.

They key to making this work is having acceptable things to chew available in different locations around your home.  That way you can relocate a rabbit from one area to another and quickly interest them in something else they are supposed to chew or play with.  Shadow loves cardboard.  So we have stashes of cardboard tubes from paper towels and cardboard tunnels or boxes in different locations as well as grass mats and willow chews in various locations. 

Think of your house in terms of different zones, perhaps by room or floor.  Place good bunny things to chew or play with in each zone so that you can try relocation and refocusing as a tactic for a misbehaving rabbit.