Friday, May 25, 2012

Tulip: The Little Runaway

I was at the shelter the night Tulip was brought in. A good Samaritan had taken her in after a person in a grocery store parking lot was handing rabbits out to people who passed by. Apparently, all of the rabbits were pretty beaten up. They were being kept apart, so they were fighting and were not being given very good care. The good Samaritan took Tulip and one other rabbit in, in spite of the fact that she already had a few rabbits of her own, and nursed them back to health. After many expensive vet bills and lots of TLC she was able to find a place for Tulip at Red Door.

When Tulip first came in, she was very shy and skittish around people. When I filmed her for her video a few weeks later, she was a different rabbit. She's smart, funny, and totally insane. She would bink a little and chew some hay and suddenly come running towards me and try to climb over me to get out of the pen. Then she'd calm down and I'd pet her for a little while, and just when I'd think she's not even thinking about getting out of the pen, she'd come running up the front of me. Sneaky, sneaky girl. She has a great little face. Her nose makes me think of Cindy Loohoo.

Meet Tulip:


In bonding news, the buns have been doing better. Much less aggression this week. They cuddle in the car more. When they're together in neutral turf, they shove their faces together and try to get the other to groom. No one has a caved so far, but I have hope. They're going to make me work for it, that much is clear, but they will be friends again one day (hopefully soon).

Also, they celebrated their birthday yesterday.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 4

I didn't have as much time today, so no bonding session photos of the boys. We did go for about a 40 minute drive. They cuddled a lot more today than normal. Pretty darn cute. Then I brought them home for a bonding session on the landing. I gave them each a piece of carrot today. In past days I have been giving them greens, which in the excitement, they have completely ignored. At first they both ignored the carrot, which is shocking, but pretty soon Swatch started munching on his and Rolex followed suit. Pretty soon Swatch dropped his carrot and made a move to grab Rolex's. They used to do this all the time before the fight, but I didn't want to give them any more reasons to duke it out, so I put a stop to it. He's earned his place as the annoying little brother. I kept the session short today, so no aggression. They did nip a little in the carrier before I put them back in the bedroom. Nothing too bad, just a little grunt before I picked it up again. I would say we're making progress, little by little. I imagine the car rides will have to continue for a while longer.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 3

Last night the boys were chasing each other a little. Swatch was running around the pen and Rolex was running inside the pen and they kept poking their noses through the bars. I didn't notice any nipping, but it did seem fairly aggressive.

I had a little more time than normal this morning, so I took the boys for a nice long car ride- about an hour and fifteen minutes this time. They cuddled almost the entire time. Swatch really cuddles up to Rolex's bum when he's scared. Then when we got home I set up the pen on the landing again. They were good together for a solid fifteen minutes. Swatch immediately dominates the litter box. Rolex shared it with him for a bit and then explored the rest of the pen and cuddled up next to me for a bit. They put their heads together ("groom me") behavior a few times without any aggression, but also without anyone caving a grooming the other bun.

I regret to admit that in spite of everything I've read an been told I left them together a little longer than I should have and it eventually got a little aggressive. I know better and should have made sure that we ended on a positive note, but I had extra time and figured I might as well use it. Bad idea. Then, when I put them back in the carrier and cleaned up the pen with them sitting together in the carrier, I noticed a little aggressive nipping in the carrier. I immediately picked them up and it stopped, but I know that was probably due to too much time together to soon.  Swatch was definitely the aggressor today.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day Two

The boys and I took another hour long car ride. They cuddled more today, which might just be due to the fact that I used a smaller carrier, but I'll take it. Then I set them up in the pen just as I did yesterday, this time with treats handy. I tried putting a little dust from the Papaya tablets on their faces (another Tiny Liz suggestion). They both got excited because they could smell it but then almost immediately started cleaning their own faces, not each others. Oh well. They were pretty good together after that. They nosed around the pen a little. Rolex got a little aggressive again, but it fizzled out quickly once I put a stop to it and before too long Rolex laid down next to the litter where Swatch was sitting. From what I've read and been told, that's a good sign. Little by little we seem to be making some progress!

Day 2 Summary
Still a little aggression- started by Rolex again
More cuddling in the car
Relaxed posture while together

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bunny Bonding: The Week of Terror

Current Bunneh Living Quarters

I was out of town part of the week last week, so I don't have a new Red Door bunny video. However, in my own home there has been a lot of bunny action. My bunnies, which I adopted from Red Door, are litter mates that were bonded and just this spring began to fight. It began with a little nipping and more aggressive chasing when they were playing and escalated to the point where I came home from work one day to a bed covered in poop and a floor covered in fur. I immediately separated them and put Swatch in the bathroom. I took Swatch to the emergency vet, because his eye looked irritated. The vet gave him a clean bill of health and I returned him to the bathroom for the evening and the next day, since I had to work and could not keep an eye on them. The next day, I got some advice from Toni at Red Door and put them in their current living situation- one in an exercise pen in the bedroom, one free to roam in the same bedroom. Now our morning routine goes a little something like this:

1. Bunny in pen shakes the pen at first sight of sun (currently right around 5:20am)
2. I wake, let loose bunny into the bathroom and release penned bunny
3. I snooze for a little longer
4. I clean the pen
5. I put bathroom bunny in the pen (sometimes I pick them up, sometimes I use a laundry basket or litterbox for bunneh transport)
6. Everyone gets breakfast

While I have gotten used to- and quite good at- this routine, I miss them being buddies. So I've decided to buckle down and really be consistent in my bunny bonding this week (or longer) and try to force them to remember the good ole days and be friends again. I tend to do better with these things when I keep track of my efforts so I'm really faced with how much or how little work I did each day- so I'm going to keep a bonding journal this week.

Day One:

Prior Bathtub Bonding Session (Swatch is spotted, Rolex is black)   
We took a nice long car ride today. We stopped by my favorite pet store, Parkview Pet Supplies. Then we drove by a vets office that my boss told me about. All in all, about an hour drive of total bunny terror.

When we returned home, I set up an exercise pen on the landing between apartments. I don't have any neutral territory in my apartment anymore because I let them run free when I was home. It was about 11am, so I don't think any of my neighbors were home. I'm hoping I can continue to use this space, because it seemed to work pretty well. I made the pen just big enough for me to sit with them and for there to be a little space in between the litter box and the basket of salad I brought for them (Tiny Liz from RD's suggestion). While I was preparing their salad and setting up the pen I kept them in the carrier together.

Swatch seemed pretty shaken up when he first got out of the carrier into the pen. They put their heads together but no one caved and groomed the other. On the plus side, no one got aggressive either. After about 15 minutes, Rolex got a little aggressive with Swatch, which I stopped immediately, and then they both were pretty calm together. Swatch even groomed himself while Rolex sat nearby.

All in all, it was the most successful bonding session I've had at my apartment since this all began. I made the mistake of leaving their treats in the bedroom, so I wasn't able to reward them until they were back in their respective areas for the day. Tomorrow I will have to remember to bring them along. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Count of Monte Frisko

Last week I noticed one of the bunnies from a foster home was boarding at Red Door. I figured I wouldn't get another chance to film him, so I better take care of it. Frisko is a little older and has some health problems, but give that bun a blanket and he really knows how to let loose!

Meet Frisko:

It should be noted that I got to hang out with another bunny who was boarding at RD, Remington. He has a cameo in the video. He was constantly poking at me through his pen and happy grunting to be pet. He and Frisko seemed like they really wanted to be buddies :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Old School Ronnie

       Ronnie. is. awesome. Such a cool rabbit. He's had a really rough go of it. He was found in a school yard and has had months of recovering from injuries from animal attacks and other awful things that happen to domestic animals that are "released into the wild". Anyone who uses the sort of logic that leads them to believe it's a good idea to just let your domesticated pet go should not be allowed to own pets, or quite frankly, reproduce, for that matter. How well would you fend if dropped into the middle of a forest with no shelter, food or preparation?

        Anyway, I digress. Ronnie is awesome. Really playful, so lovable. Actually likes to be held. He's not big on being picked up, but once he gets there, he actually enjoys being held. He's the best flopper I know, next to my bunny Swatch (who rolls around on his back like a pig before settling down for the two seconds that he decides to rest).

Meet Ronnie:

I suggest you not walk, but run to the shelter to get him. Seriously- he's the coolest.

Thor the Gladiator

      Thor is one of the cutest rabbits at Red Door currently. He's a hotot which means he's all white with black circles around his eyes. They make him look like a super hero. I wanted to use the old batman theme or Zorro theme, but after filming him, I wasn't sure it would work. Normally he's a thumper and pretty playful. He apparently is not a big fan of being put on the spot, so he was not cooperating for the camera. I discussed this with my boyfriend and showed him a picture of Thor. He immediately said, "Oh, that's easy, just get some gladiator music and put some old gladiator movie clips in with it." Apparently, that was obvious. So I figured out how to download videos from Youtube and add them to iMovie.

Meet Thor:

Once again, I don't mean to demonize Sophie. She's such a cool cat. She's just always there.

Astaire the Movie Star

         The obvious recently dawned on me and I decided to try putting a blanket in the pen with the next bunny I was going to record. Rabbits can make due on hard wood or tile floors, but they really show their spunk when you give them traction. I have witnessed many bunny 500 and can attest to how hilarious these little guys really are. My guys will run laps in my bedroom and entertain me for hours- seriously hours- who needs cable?

         I hadn't spent much time with Astaire until I made this video, but let me tell you, he is one funny rabbit. Actually let me show you.

Meet Astaire:

I also think their is something to giving the bunnies a wider pen. Given their field of vision, it makes perfect sense that making the pen wider makes them feel free to show their moves. I will definitely be using this tip for future videos.

Beautiful Beignet

       I had never seen a rex rabbit in person until I started helping at Red Door. Their fur is like the softest velvet you've ever felt. They also have these great angular faces. Beignet is one of my favorite bunnies at the shelter. She's super sweet and loves to be pet. She often reminds me of my departed buddy Kramer. You'll rub her nose and get up to do something else and when you come back she's still holding her head out to be pet, just waiting for you return. 

Meet Beignet: 

I'm not kidding when I call her beautiful. She's a really striking rabbit.

Also, as a side note, Sophie is a really awesome cat. She loves bunnies- or rather bunny stuff. She's become my assistant director for these movies, because she's always up in the bunnies' business.


    The next bunny on the agenda was Marcy. Marcy is a hilarious, feisty, little dwarf rabbit who's been at Red Door for a surprising number of months. Most people come in looking for small rabbits, so dwarfs tend to be a popular breed. Marcy has these awesome anime-like eyes that make her look completely innocent- but she's a real spit-fire. When I found this song, I had to pair her up with it.

Meet Marcy:

    The girls at Red Door think she's looking for a boyfriend. She's always trying to get the boy bunnies' attention and often seems to not appreciate the girl bunnies presence at the shelter. If you want to bond a pair, she would be a great pick.

Lovely Lola

     The first bunny I made a video for was Lola. She is a sweet, shy girl and isn't always outgoing enough to make a strong impression with people who come to Red Door to adopt a rabbit. She's had a hard time finding a home, in spite of her sweet disposition, so I wanted to highlight her best qualities and share her sad story. She's a resilient little lady.

Meet Lola:
    I may end up re-editing her video. I was still learning the program, and it wasn't my best work. If she hasn't been adopted when I finish with the current bunnies at Red Door, I may head back to the drawing board for her.