Friday, March 30, 2012

Will the real Alpha Bunny, please ... stand up!?

May I have your attention please?
May I have your attention please?
Will the real Alpha Bunny please stand up?
I repeat, will the real Alpha Bunny please stand up?
We're gonna have a problem here...

Whether you are old enough to remember "To Tell the Truth" or younger and think of Slim Shady, well, Houston, we have a problem.

We are not too sure just who the alpha bunny is, while the boys and girls are being chaperoned in separate rooms.
Could it be the diminutive Ms. Ethel???
Here, Ethel lays back and allows her minion to groom her...
(Bonus: Lucy wiggles her way into a flop at the end)

(Please ignore free-range poops -
we think somebun is trying to claim territory;
it's all part of the dance.)

We give poor Bunya "sample size" servings of crumbles and greens. He finishes them quickly and lurks outside wherever the girls are, staring longingly at the bowlful of crumbles and plate of greens piled high. In this clip, Bunya puts his head through the fence to try to get some licks from Ethel ... nothing doing. So, he just stares ...

Ethel may be plotting a revolution. Actually, it may have already happened.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tax bunnies

The bunnies digesting
our complex income tax rules.
The way it should be done.

It's that time of year again...
Preparing tax returns is a major pain in the ________ [fill in the blank to your liking].

Bunya made an excellent proposal: Every Congressman, every Cabinet member and the President should have to prepare his or her own tax returns.
Then submit it to the IRS for immediate audit.

Betcha' we'd get some real tax simplification then.

Pretty smart, that Bunya.
Lucy & Ethel second and third that motion, respectively.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rubber baby bunny bumpers...

... something like that.

Anyway, we took the bunnies for an extended car ride last weekend, to HRS. We were able to give them some close-proximity-without-fighting time, and we stocked up on supplies. While we shopped and looked at the bunnies up for adoption, the on-site bunny-mom set up a little exercise pen and some H2O for them; this was very nice and gave them a few extra square feet to not (yea!) fight in (but we watched them just in case).

During the ride, the bunnies bounced all around the carrier, shifting positions. Fortunately, no fights. Wish we could say the same for when we are at home...

At various times, Ethel was hidden from view
under somebun.
When she wasn't, her ears were quaking.
Lined up like a cord of wood

Here's where some of the "baby" came in:
Cuteness abounds!
I think they are recent arrivals and the DayGlo orange caution feet are not due to their being too close to Homer's Springfield power plant, but from digging in Georgia red clay. It will wash or wear off.
We hope.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Personality - Lucy

Some time ago, there was a post about Ethel's sweet personality. Lucy's personality .... hmmm ... well. if you are a Regular Rabbit Ramblings Reader, you know she does not like to be picked up. But that can be a trait applicable to most bunnies.

A lot of times, though, it feels like she is looking askance at you, trying to assess whether this human is going to try to pick her up. She'll sneak in low to snag her treat and then run away to eat it, out of your reach. However, I contend that this is in part because Bunya, the fastest eater, will finish his treat and look around for more to snatch from Lucy or Ethel.

Lucy and Ethel also react to loud noises the fastest. Lucy can disappear in the blink of an eye, back to their pen and hidden in a box. Bordering on paranoia...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bunny burrito reject

In a recent post, Bunya's attempts to foil medicine administration were mentioned. Here, we tried to capture a little bit of his efforts on video.

The vet nurse explained the way to start a bunny burrito: You lay out the flat towel and place the bunny patient (as opposed to a patient bunny - he's not that) a couple of inches from the edge, so you can roll it over their front feet before you wrap it around them.

Bunya knows what's coming and boxes the towel under himself to try to avoid the medicine...

Poor little Bunya ... we will be as happy as him when he is all healthy and we don't have to give him any more medicine.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Find the bunny

When you were a little kid, did you ever sit in the doctor's waiting room, searching through the magazine that had a picture with objects hidden throughout?

Well, here's a hidden object picture for you:
Find the bunny!

Here's a hint: It's Lucy.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Poop-o-meter, or caring for a sick bunny

Bunya is so smart (I know, I'm prejudiced). Like when we tried to give him a little treat, and he ran into his pen so there was a barrier between him and the giver, so he couldn't get picked up and given meds.

Well, when he does get picked up and placed on the towel to be wrapped as a bunny burrito, he now starts boxing the edge of the towel so it bunches under himself - this is so we can't roll the edge over his feet.

Oh, yeah, and when I tried to un-bunch and lay out the towel, he bit me. Not hard. It was more like he was showing me he had teeth ... he just closed them around my finger, but did not scratch or puncture the skin. He tussles harder than that with the girls, especially now.

We feel so bad having to give him this stuff, but we think it is helping.

Find the front teeth and slide the tip
into the gap behind them
Bunya: I um fo fick of Bene-Bac

"How can you tell he might be getting better?" you may ask.
The bunny poop-o-meter has helped.

The poop-o-meter
Since the bunnies are separated, we have taken samples from his litter box every day.
First, to see that he is processing (read: pooping).
Second, to assess volume - not up to his prior production levels ... most definitely an underutilized processing plant.
Third, to see if they are getting back to normal size - not yet, but in general, getting bigger and more uniform.

Bunya is tired of being alone and does not understand why ...
Why he can't get to the dish full of crumbles.
Why he can't eat most of the greens.
Why he can't get groomed by the ladies.

Bunya pouting as Lucy & Ethel get dinner

The sisters flop amongst themselves
Lately, even Bunya and Ethel seem to be getting into little tiffs between the fences. They each try to push a head through for licks but Ethel is giving a little box to his head and the fence with her front paws. Then she puts her head back down for licks. Rinse and repeat ... until we finally break it up.

Friday, March 23, 2012

More funny bunny birthday cards

Inside is a crack about a "receding hare line"
(Another funny one from American Greetings,
their Share a Laugh line)
Actually, my son got that one.
But, yeah, it certainly applies to me, too.

My wife found one where it looks like Bunya on the cover:
American Greetings again!
(Fun Pix line)

Bunny cards - and for birthdays, too. Not just crossed out Easter cards.
How about that!?!
> : )

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bunny prisoner visitation

We have a temporary (we hope) pen next to their primary residence. We are swapping the girls out with Bunya about every 24 hours. It's so funny (and sad) to see them all flopped next to each other, but separated by a fence. Bunya or Ethel will try to poke a little head through the wire to get some licks. But if we put them all together, the fur flies...

Ethel is twisting herself into a little pretzel to groom some itch,
while Lucy carries on a 
conversation with Bunya through the prison bars.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Quickie Bunya update

Thank you all for your comments, well-wishes for Bunya and the many great suggestions. Oh, and a much better descriptive name for the critical care --- in the future, it will be referred to as a "hay smoothie".

Had another "rough and tumble journey" * to the vet.

We do not like roller coasters

We are going to wean off the hay smoothie - something I think we will all endorse. Of course, we need to watch Bunya to make sure he eats, drinks and poops. We got some oat hay (another good suggestion) to add more variance to the hay flavors; they all seem to like it. The medicines will continue. Focus is on getting Bunya well and reducing the mass. Hopefully, re-bonding will follow.

P.S. Saw another vanity license plate yesterday (before the vet visit) that reminds me of our life at the moment, except it would need to be Mr. & Ms. Zoo*

And my daughter sent me this one:

* These remind me of Simon & Garfunkel's "At the Zoo"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bunny medicine administration

The bunny burrito as a control mechanism to administer meds has been explored in this blog. With as much as Bunya is taking now, it was not working as well ... it takes two of us to get it done.

Plus, Bunya is now avoiding us. Seriously. When we call him, he hides. We tried to give him a treat, a little piece of papaya. He came when called - and only because we shook the papaya box, so he knew it was for a treat and not meds. He bound up to my wife, but stayed out of range. Then he looked at her and hopped into his pen, turned around and stood on his hind legs, leaning against the fence to wait for his treat -- he wanted a barrier between them so he could not be picked up and given slurry and medicines.
He knew exactly what he was doing.
Bunya burrito
When we tried to give him meds, Bunya would either claw his way out of the top of the towel or "turtle", retracting his little head inside the towel roll. We needed to be schooled in extreme bunny burrito, so I made an appointment with the vet nurse.

Since this was to be a short visit, I gathered up all the bunnies (a feat in itself) and shoved them in the carrier, hoping it might be a step towards re-bonding. Lucy first, then Ethel, then Bunya. First time they'd all been together in almost 2 weeks ... well, together without fur flying.

I was not gentle with it - I wanted them shaken. The car ride was similarly "swerve-y". They did not fight and just huddled up to each other.

Bunnies shaken, not stirred

If you think wrestling is not real, well, you just have to admire how the professionals do it. It was a thing of beauty. She wrapped a tight bunny burrito and then Bunya had a smack-down* ... he was firmly held in position - no jumping away, no turtling - and got his meds and goop.
Bunya gets the WWE Smack-down* treatment,
with the patented burrito/head-lock combination.
*Sigh*  She makes it look so easy.

Bunny tumble ride home. Bunya has been walking around the girl's pen (at least it's theirs for this 24 hour period), sticking his head in through the fence and trying to nuzzle the girls, especially Ethel. He needs to get well so we can re-bond them.

* Just a wrestling thing - no actual violence.

Vanity license plate outside vet's office

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bond, re-bond

Bunya has a lot of not-favorite things right now. Critical care slurry. Medicine-filled syringes. Hay diet. Not being part of a bunny triangle (the bunmuda triangle).

They have separate pens and litter boxes. This allows us to keep Bunya from getting into altercations and to monitor his poop production. The litter boxes are near each other, so they can still be sociable, if not in contact right next to each other.

The bunnies in adjoining stalls.
As usual, there is a line for the ladies' room.

Bunya so wants it to be like it was...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Birthday bunny stuff

That time of year, for me, where the bunny birthday cards begin to appear in my mail...
From Margot Elena Tokyo Milk
I've got way more than a few "gray hares" ... of the ones that are left.

Another bunny card
Received an origami bunny
from my life-long friend...

...seems this style origami bunny
inspired a sculpture

BIG bunny sculpture -
Can you imagine how hard it was
to fold that sheet metal?!?

Bunny being installed roadside
You can read about the sculpture here and here.
Thanks, Hank, for the origami and the related links!

From my wife. Inside caption:
All I want to do
is snuggle up with you!
(Fun Pix from American Greetings)
Now, if we could just get our bunnies snuggling up again...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Birthday with bunnies

Went to the best sushi restaurant in Atlanta (if not a much larger geographical area covering several states) tonight to celebrate my son's birthday today and mine tomorrow. The owner and staff know about the bunnies.

They had a birthday present all wrapped up for me ...

Bunny bookends! (Or matching doorstops - they are heavy pieces.)

Delicious sushi and a bunny birthday present - great celebratory combo!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bunny Battles

Well, we've had some ugly scenes here since Bunya's return. Lucy wants to be top bun and is not willing to concede to Bunya. They were so loving for so long but it only takes a short separation to tear apart that delicate relationship.

This morning's episode happened so quickly that one's brain can't slow down the action to figure out exactly what's happening. It's like from the old cartoon, with the Tasmanian Devil whirling around. Only in this case, it's two bunnies spinning around, falling down and jumping up, all in a blur.

Once the fight's broken up, the only thing that remains are the tufts of hair all over the pen.


In this instance, it appeared that Bunya came out worse. There were more and bigger tufts of his hair littering the pen. as an added bonus, Lucy pooped all over their pen. I don't think that these were necessarily from the fight. It looked more like Lucy was trying to claim the pen as her territory and proclaim herself alpha bun; the poops were almost laid out geometrically, with one poop at the intersection of every square foot in a grid pattern.

Of course, all of this is going on while Bunya is still sick. We are ecstatic when we see him drink water, eat hay, or poop. He is on mostly a hay diet, but to supplement that we have to force-feed him a high-protein, high fiber goo three times a day. Fortunately, my wife has really got this all down pretty well. There are three different size syringes (no needles) so that he can get his medicines and the survival food. Oh yeah, and she likes to fill a syringe with water, too. Bunya prefers to supplement his diet with cardboard ... not really the best time for him to do this, but every bunny needs a hidey box.

So for now, we have set up a temporary pen alongside the regular pen. Every 12 to 24 hours, we rotate which bunnies are in which pen. This is hopefully so that they will all get used to each other's presence again. I know there are lots of bunny people out there who have a bunch of rabbits, which may include some bonded pairs. However, you can't let the whole herd play and live together – I don't know how you do it.

Well. for moment of Zen, here's the entirety of my observance of Bunya eating some hay this morning. Unfortunately, it's not that long a clip...

At the end, you can see Ethel is shaking the pen gate, like: "Why is this closed? Humans are here, we should be running around!"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bunya at home ... sort of

The third round of x-rays showed enough improvement that Bunya's vet was willing to allow him to come home. We have a pharmacy of meds and instructions, stuff that will hopefully keep him gas and mass accumulation-free.

Bunya on the fireplace
Just to add to our concerns and stress, we had to reintroduce the bunnies. We started in neutral territory. The first thing Bunya did when we opened the carrier was hop up the stairs (poetry in motion to us). The girls, actually Ethel, was introduced first. They ignored each other a little. Then Bunya went back into the carrier and settled down.

So he played bashful. We moved him and (in) the carrier closer to home. Then closer, then into the room. He eventually left and ran around the room. It was nice to see him moving. He probably hadn't had that much running space in almost a week.

Giving him his rescue food and medicine is not particularly easy or fun for him or us. (See Bunny Care about the bunny burrito).

There were some very sweet moments between Bunya and Ethel, as she groomed him and he groomed her. A little.

At one point last night, we ran the "treat test". Happily, as I opened the jar in which we keep their Probios (we think their favorite treat), all three zoomed to the jay ... Bunya in first place and ready to leap into the jar. And he ate all of his piece. That made us feel good.

We were concerned that Lucy might have assumed alpha bun role in his absence. Well, something's going on. We have had to break up a couple of tussles. Mostly Lucy's hair flying. It happens and proceeds so fast, it's hard to tell who started it. Sometimes a loud "no" or "stop it" will halt the match. Doesn't really matter what we say, it's the sudden volume.

As much as we wanted to, we could not leave them all together last night. We have two of those little exercise pens and we put them together to make a really large pen set up right outside their permanent pen. Bunya was in it last night and we will reverse their positions today. Bunya has been chasing Lucy some this morning and took some of it out on Ethel, I think. So, we will postpone leaving Ethel with Bunya.

Also noticed that at least one of the girls is seemingly intentionally leaving poops around the permanent pen. Since they are litter-box trained, I take this as a territorial claim. Or maybe Lucy is leaving them during the high speed chases ... the bunny is quicker than the eye (forget the hand).

He is not in the clear yet. It's like he's on a see-saw and we hope he continue to re-balance towards good health. If you are a bunny person, you know it's about eating and pooping. He needs to eat more hay and poop more and bigger (to get back to normal size). Follow-up appointment with the vet scheduled for next week.

Thank you to everyone who has been thinking get well vibes for Bunya and to those who have left comments.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bunnies everywhere - it's that time of year

My wife had to pick up a few items at a store and they were marketing Easter in a big bunny way ... made for a bunny-rich environment ...

Bunny candle stick holders
(don't worry, they had the candles that fit them, too)

Bunny dishes

Bunny egg cups

Bunny glasses
(you drink from, not wear to see)

Bunny, uh,, topiary?
Decoration? Yeah, bunny decoration.

Bunny multiple egg cup holder (empty)

Bunny multiple egg cup holder
(filled with decorative eggs you can buy) 

Bunny lord-knows-what

More bunny mystery items

Basket o' bunnies

Aw, c'mon! Bunny tail cheese balls?
Yeah, you got some cheese balls, all right!

Ah - Chocolate bunnies -

...and more chocolate bunnies
(insert Homer Simpson drooling sounds here)

Fortunately, I was able to dissuade my wife from buying any of these things. The pictures were enough for me.

*Sigh * I'm afraid it may already be too late to stop ourselves from becoming those weird people with all the bunny things in their house.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Animal cruelty in Florida

Natural resources are generally in limited supply.

Except human stupidity - In Florida, it is a renewable resource, as they seek to overturn a ban against dyeing animals. Some dog groomer wants to be able to dye dogs for fun, for pet shows. If you have a bunny, you can see the fallout of this - bunnies dyed "fun" colors for Easter, so that even more rabbits are cute impulse purchases by parents for kids. In addition to whatever damage may be done to the bunny in the dyeing process, they land in homes of uneducated owners; if they survive the often unintentional cruelty (small cages, little exercise, improper diet, neglect...), they will be abandoned to an already overflowing shelter or just released into the wild, for which a domestic rabbit has no coping skills.

HopperHome has links and information on how to voice your opinion about this idiocy.
If you are on Facebook, HRS (National) has a post about this on March 8.

Monday, March 12, 2012

In Memoriam - Alice

Alice is the first bunny with whom Bunya was bonded. She was a character, a very vocal little white bunny with major rabbitude. After an illness, she unbonded from Bunya and they no longer got along. Working with GHRS, we got Lucy & Ethel, and GHRS was able to re-adopt Alice to another home.

We posted some pictures of Alice recently and tried to find out how she was doing. We were saddened to learn that she had passed away just a few weeks ago.

As we suggested with other blog bunnies that have passed this year, please consider making a donation to your local HRS chapter or other rabbit rescue shelter. If you do not have one, here's GHRS.

Read about The Rainbow Bridge.

Bunya - better & worse...

Went to the vet for visitation again this evening. Bunya was x-rayed again to compare to the prior set.
The good news: the mass in his tummy is smaller.
The not-so-good news: eating and poop production have decreased and it appears from his x-rays that gas is accumulating further down the pipeline.

We rubbed him and brushed him. We tried to collect the hair so we could bring it home for Lucy & Ethel to retain his scent. For once in his life, Bunya refused to shed. Any other time we brush him, we could build a separate little bunny from the hair we furminate.

We remain hopeful that Bunya will make a complete (if not speedy) recovery and rejoin us at home ... we really miss him.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bunya status update (Day 3)

Thank you to everyone wishing Bunya well!

Today's visit, Bunya seemed another step more towards his old self. The hay consumption/processing/expelling apparatus (i.e., the bunny) seems to be working again, just not up to 100%.

He didn't want to be cuddled and skritched, so he climbed on my shoulder, like a bunny version of a pirate parrot (everyone say: Arrrrgh!) and then across my shoulders to the exam table (we were using the room to visit).

Bunya as pirate parrot,
on my shoulder

A little later, he condescended to make himself into a flat little puddle and have his ears skritched. My hand tired of this before he did.

Mmmmmm ...
Tomorrow, they take another set of pictures and if it appears that the mass is breaking up, we may be able to bring him home.

Thanks again, everyone!

à la minute... DST

Post title may be really applicable given the subject.
Did you remember to "spring forward", setting your clocks an hour ahead?

Even so, the bunnies are enjoying more of a brunch than a breakfast. The clock may have sprung forward, but humans, even bunny slaves, still need their sleep. Don't let the clock cheat you out of this precious commodity.

Speaking of precious, the bunnies are. As noted previously, time seems to move a little slower with just the girls. They seems less hurried. Maybe less competition for precious resources, like treats.

From casual observation, it appears that Ethel, as always, is grooming Lucy more than vice versa. Looking forward to The Return of the Bunya, he may have some competition for alpha bunny. I hope we don't have an episode of flying fur ... stressful for buns and humans alike.

Hmmm ... maybe reintroduction should be on semi-neutral turf. Then let Bunya come back into their main area first, then after he has a chance to use the rest room and chin some things, let in Ethel and then Lucy.

Well, first step is still to get Bunya healthy.

RR Submission - Bluebell

Look at this adorable little Texas bun! Bluebell is recovering from dental surgery. Teeth are something that your rabbit-savvy vet should regularly check; it can be a reason your bunny is not eating or otherwise behaving in an "off" manner. When Bunya was first feeling pooky, that was a possibility and checking his teeth is on the agenda, even though the tummy issue has been identified.

Back to Bluebell: What's amazing to me is ... can you guess how old Bluebell is?

Bluebell: Is this, what,
some amuse' from the chef?
Because I know this is not the main course
- you can do better.
A LOT better.
10 years old!
I hope I age as well!