Thursday, January 21, 2021

Fostering Bonded Bunnies is exactly like...

Do you want to know what it's like to foster bonded bunnies? (I hope so because if the title didn't give it away, that's what this post is about.) It's like the movie "50 First Dates", that's what.

50 First Dates - Are you familiar with this 2004 movie?
Henry hits it off with Lucy. Henry thinks he's found THE girl - and discovers she has short-term memory loss - she forgets him every "next day".

No matter the "progress" with the bunnies from hours spent on the floor in the evenings doling out little pieces of treats, the next morning, it's like they've never seen me or any human, before.

[To be read in the voice of David Attenborough]

And so our dating ritual starts over.
They really need to be brushed, but I hate to chase a bunny to pick it up for grooming, so we are letting it slide for now. Bunny hair wafts through the air.

So this very short video is immediately after I took the picture above as I rose s-l-o-w-l-y from my chair:


*sigh*

Their personalities are showing.
Lana - The boldest. Least likely to bolt from my approach, or maybe most likely to bolt last (if I get too close). This was demonstrated in the video above.
Lois - Curious and most likely to explore.
Clark - Really is the meek, mild-mannered reporter, I mean, bunny. He is most like to bolt first. 

The bunnies are food (treat) aggressive. When one gets a treat that can't be chewed on the spot, each will look for a safe place to snack. If spotted, the others will give chase. I feel like I have to watch out for Clark to make sure he gets some. When the two-legged treat dispenser is on the floor, Clark is the one in the background.

Lois will take treats from my open hand.
Lana will take a treat from the tips of extended fingers.
Clark prefers his treats to be thrown at him (not violently) from some distance.


If my hand is extended with no treats, Lois bites the ends of my fingers! She's never scratched me or drawn blood, but it's harder than when Bunya used to let you know he was pissed about something ("Read my lips - No more brushing!"). 

Happily, they are not food aggressive at meal time. They will all nibble the breakfast pellets, but the bowl is not empty when they have moved on. Similarly, the dinner greens are heartily set upon by the three, but by the time they get to the romaine leaves at the bottom of the bowl, there's some debris on the ground. They finish it up later.

The Georgia House Rabbit Society (GHRS) has set up their foster program with some guidelines that make it easier to take care of the bunnies, like what to feed them, when, and how much. Dinner greens are romaine lettuce, parsley, and cilantro. To reduce the "move this out of my way so I can get to what I like most" scattering of dinner greens, I have learned to put the lettuce on the bottom of the bowl and the parsley and cilantro on top of it, so they can devour what they love most, first.


As a new bunny foster parent, I'm guessing it would be easier to foster a single bun. We had Bunya for a couple of years, as he patiently waited until we learned how to better care for a bunny and found his loves, Lucy & Ethel. Consequently, he was always the most comfortable around humans, even strangers. He'd check out just about anyone to see if they were carrying a treat, while Lucy and Ethel hung back.

This trio of bonded bunnies have short memories, influenced by each other's behavior. Clark bolts first, triggering Lois, who bolts next. Lana will keep a wary eye on you, and as long as you do not get too close or move too fast, she'll stand her ground. Previously, she would zoom away with the others, but she seems to be evolving, getting a little more used to us.

Been about 27 First Dates so far. I hope I can improve on 50.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Treat time temptations

 Who placed their bets on Lana as first to venture out of the pen? (I did)

Backstory: Fed them their greens dinner and left the gate open. Sat on the floor nearby, which still freaks them. After dinner, sat in my usual place but left the gate open.

Before bed, I got the box of treats, which I have broken into smaller pieces. They get half a cookie a day, but now it's broken into 3 or 4 bites.

I got on the floor far from the open gate. I had their curiosity.
Then I rattled the treat container. Now I had their attention. (Django reference)

Basically, I shot marbles with the pieces, but far from the gate. Lana was the first to come out enough to get treats and then explored a little, even looking in on her fenced mates from a new angle. She explored enough to chin the entrance to the fun house and peek inside.


Clark stepped onto their "doormat", then ran back to his comfort zone, putting the fence between us. He begged for his piece though the fence and he looks so cute, I caved. (Translation: I can't resist his soulful puppy eyes.)


Then Lois chased him down to try to take it away from him.
Lois ventured out onto the mat, but never as far as Lana. She's in constant motion so I will have to try harder to take non-blurry pictures of her.

Bunnies...

Monday, January 4, 2021

The Fosters Three

Last weekend, we picked up three shelter bunnies to foster. They are siblings, two girls and a boy, somewhere around 1-1/2 years old.

They don't know their shelter names and I couldn't recall them either - I couldn't associate them with anything. For now, they are Lois, Lana and Clark. That can be revisited if I make it to teaching them their names; currently, it just gives DrMrsBunnyMom and I a reference so we know about whom we are speaking.

They are very skittish. At first, my standing up from my recliner would scatter them into regions unseen. I'm moving slower now. To get used to the smells and sounds, and to give them a feeling for a safe place, they are limited to their pen. I hope they will want to free-range some, soon.

GHRS provides very specific instructions for meals and treats (what, how much, within what time frames - very helpful... I'm sure they weren't serious about so few treats). Here's them tucking into their greens dinner. About 16 seconds in, there's a brief "Lady & the Tramp" moment between Lois & Clark.


Tried to expand their horizons last night by offering them a treat - outside their pen. They all positioned themselves like this picture of Lana - low to the ground and stretched out, like they were trying to keep one foot on first base while planning to steal second.

Each one ventured a little ways out but only Miss Lana dared to go so far as to snatch her Probios - and then dashed back inside the pen. When she reappeared with Lois, they were both munching, so we're pretty sure Lois helped herself when Lana was working on her piece.

Clark stepped on their doormat, but retreated to beg for his piece to be handed to him through the fence. We complied. Couldn't resist the pitiful begging eyes.

Then Lois snatched some of his. Lana and Clark got to eat only a half of their portion because Lois snatched half of each of theirs, making her the only one who got a full portion. Tried to give half of Lois's treat to each of Clark and Lana, but they were played out.

If we measure bravery solely by how far out of the pen they ventured: 1. Lana 2. Lois 3. Clark

Patience... grant me patience - now, dammit! 

Lana scoring her treat.

Funny Bunny Monday Meme*Day

 


Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year!

 

Holly the Bunny

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year!
Hope you did not overindulge. :)
#AdoptDontShop
#HappyNewYear

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year! (+ some bunny care)

 New Year's reminder:

Bunnies do NOT like fireworks.
It stresses them just like other sudden and/or loud noises.

If your bunny's neighborhood is firecracker noisy, keep the buns cool and quiet.
Close the windows and doors. Close the blinds to reduce flashes.

If needed to "cover" firecracker noise, play music - peaceful, easy listening (not loud).
Think elevator music. No hair bands or hare bands. Stay away from 1812 Overture.
Your TV service might even have a suitable channel in its lineup - you just never tune to those channels. We have an air filter that runs all the time and provides a white noise background.

If you do not already have boxes for them to play on and in, get some plain cardboard boxes (not slick or a lot of ink/color; no staples, labels or tape). Cut at least two openings in each box big enough for your bunny to get in and out ... they can hide in them, to further mute the noise and feel a little safer.

Keep them company and reassure them that everything's okay. Pet them if they are the petting kind of bunnies. Have a couple of healthy treats handy.

Found this from Oxbow


Wishing everyone a safe, happy, and healthy New Year!

Also, be kind to each other next year. And beyond.
Be kind to all pets and animals, too. (But especially bunnies.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Wishing you a very bunny Christmas!!!

One of my all-time favorite bunny pictures, my standard Christmas bun - and it's not even our bunny!


 This is Mr Cookie, one of the cutest bunnies ever and my way of wishing everyone a joyous, happy and safe holiday! Hope Santa Paws bring you what you want and, most importantly, what you need.

[Mr Cookie passed over the Rainbow Bridge about the same time we lost our Lucy, August of 2015. The internet and our hearts allow our treasured pets to live on and I hope they're having fun together over the bridge.]

Monday, December 21, 2020

Funny Bunny Monday Meme*day

Spotted Sapphire on another bunny page and when I looked closer at her nose and mouf - I thought she would be perfect as a seasonally-appropriate meme.



Monday, December 7, 2020

Monday, November 30, 2020

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Veterans Day

 To our veterans on Veterans Day:

Thank you for your service.
Wishing you peace and good health.



For another Veterans Day post, see My Army Bunny Family.

Friday, November 6, 2020