Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bunny Bonding Update

When two bunnies meet, it's not always love at first sight. They can be very territorial and aggressive. When Hef and Holly met each other, there was some sniffing and a little bit of biting... and then they literally bonded overnight. They fell completely in love with each other. We were lucky.

Bonding with a third bunny is a little more complicated. The dynamics are totally different. Hef and Holly's whole life as been turned upside down. And poor Jude just wants to be friends. It's taken more time with this bonding experience, but I know it will be worth it.

During the evening, Huz and I (or just me if he's at work) will open up the Buns' hutch doors and sit on the kitchen floor. When they're ready, they come out and walk around, come get a treat from us (usually some cilantro, or a grape, or a piece of dried apple or banana) and run around the kitchen. Well, Hef will run around. Queen Holly doesn't even want to leave her bed sometimes. Actually, I give her credit. She's been coming out to play more often. And Jude will explore a little, and then then come sit on my lap. Then, get brave again, go out and explore a little bit more, and then come back and lie next to me. It's adorable.

So, through these carefully monitored playtimes, we've made some progress. Hef (the most dominant bunny) no longer snaps at or chases Jude. He will sniff her, lounge next to her, and I even caught him licking her fur once! (but I think it might have been because she dribbled some grape juice on it by accident ::shrugs::) Jude is very careful around him, and will approach him gently, sniff at him, and attempt a little cuddle. But if he moves or she hears him make any noise, she'll run like hell. Sometimes, one of them will accidently make a quick movement, which will startle the second one and make him/her jump back quickly, which makes the first one freak out and run.... and they both end up running in opposite directions at top speed over nothing. I'm glad they're getting to know each other, and neither is outright attacking. I choose to see it as a positive sign.

Now, Jude's attempts to win over Holly have not been as successful. Holly has always been very shy and timid. But, with a new girl hanging around, we've seen that she can get a little aggressive as well. If Jude comes near her, or her house, she'll try to bite her fur. Jude immediately runs away. I've kept a really close eye on those two, and won't leave them alone together. I'm hoping that eventually, Holly will get used to Jude and they will all get along so well that we can keep them in one hutch.

This pic was taken yesterday. They were distracted by some yummy cilantro and forgot to be suspicious of each other for a minute.

Our Crazy Bunny Family...

is now officially one bunny crazier. =)

Huz and I decided that we just fell in love with sweet little Jude a bit too much to place her with someone else. She belongs here with us, and this is her home. We're so happy to have her (and we realize that adding another bunny makes us completely certifiable. We're cool with that.)

In case you forgot, I checked with our vet, and it was going to cost $500 dollars for us to get Jude spayed there. Yeah, you read that right. 500 benjamins, c-notes, bucks, smackeroos, bones, clams, greenbacks, dead presidents...that is a lot of sweet moolah. So, I made some calls and found the Palo Alto Spay and Neuter Clinic. They gave me an estimate of $85. So now we have a Spay Day set up for Jude. I'm really excited about that! (I don't think Jude shares my enthusiasm).

So here begins life as we know it... with three bunnies!

Welcome to the family Jude!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hey Jude

Well, we've had Jude for a little over a week. This bunny has been amazing and full of surprises.

First of all ::drumroll please:: Jude is a girl! We took her to the vet for a check up, nail trim, and to get her sexed and see if by some good fortune she was already fixed. The vet said she is a girl and not fixed. =( So, I'm trying to make calls and get info about low cost spay clinics in my area (it will cost $500 to get her spayed at our regular vet).

It's super important to me that Jude gets spayed both so she doesn't end up contributing to rabbit overpopulation, and so she has a long and happy life with a lower risk for cervical and uterine cancers. Hopefully I can find a lower cost clinic soon!

Other news is that we've introduced Jude to Hef and Holly. Huz and I have been sitting on the floor with Jude and Hef and Holly and monitoring their "playtime". Hef and Holls are still very territorial and while they tolerate Jude, they aren't in love with her. They'll be around her for a while (if we bribe them with food), but Hef will chase her away once in a while or scare her. I feel bad because Jude is so loving and you can tell that she is really curious and wants to go make friends with the other bunnies. Since they're not really playing with her, she's taken to Huz and me. She wants to be right next to us. If we scooch away, even a bit, she'll move even closer. She'll crawl into Huz's lap and take a little nap. She loves when we pet her head or ears, and rewards us by licking us and "grooming" us right back. She's super affectionate and very social, and just the sweetest thing.

I've said it before, and it's so true- spending lots of time with bunnies allows you to experience how different they each are. It's been so fun to have an affectionate lap bunny who loves on us right back. I always thought Hef and Holly loved us, but I've had to come to terms with the fact that my bunnies are total fatties. They are very treat motivated and often when I think they're loving on me or excited to see us... they really just want to know if we have any food for them. That's the extent of their interest in us. It's okay with me because they're a lot of fun, and I love them. I'm just glad I finally realize my place in this relationship. ;)

So, tomorrow we have a date to meet a potential adoptive Mom for Jude. Honestly, part of me really hopes that everything goes smoothly and that tomorrow we find her forever home. Jude deserves a place of her own to run around and do happy bunny dances in. And she is such a happy, loving bunny that I know she'll make any Bunny Mama proud. I know first hand that she is a wonderful, amazing rabbit.

I think that's why the other part of me, the selfish part, wants to keep Jude. I feel like WE could make amazing parents to her too. I know we'd do a great job, and I know she's happy here. I love how she comes to the front of her hutch in the morning, waiting for me to pet her. Even when I offer a bit of carrot, or a grape, or cilantro, she's happy to ignore it if I'll just scratch that spot behind her ears. And she LOVES Huz. Loves his lap, his pets, and loves to lick his hand. He's grown very attached to her too. He looks like a sweet little boy when he picks up that bunny and sings "Hey Jude.... don't be afraid" to her. We are smitten. We're both in love with her, and if tomorrow is the day she gets a new family, it's going to be hard to say good bye.

I guess we'll see what tomorrow brings. Now that I'm all weepy, I need to go and cuddle a sweet little bunny.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm a Foster Mama!

Huz's grandmother's neighbor got this little guy for her daughter around Easter. She named him Justin Beiber. =/
Recently, they got the little girl a $1K "designer" breed puppy, and the little girl lost interest in the bunny. They were going to go and "release" him in a local park (so not the best idea for a tame rabbit. He wouldn't even begin to know how to survive.) Huz and I took him in and are calling him Jude. We're going to try to find a fabulous home for him.

He is really a sweetheart. In just the few hours he's been here, he's starting to relax and become a bit more outgoing and curious. He loves to be pet on the head, tolerates being picked up pretty well, and likes playing with toys. That was fun for me to see, because my buns usually don't give a crap about toys (they have about a million of them, the spoiled brats! lol) He's a burrower, so he has a little t-shirt that he digs and rearanges. It's super cute.

It's so funny to see another example of how different bunnies' personalities can be! If you don't own a rabbit, it can seem like they'd all be the same (kind of what I would think about fish, because I don't have them). But, they really are different and have different interests, preferences, dislikes, favorite snacks and habits.

Hef spends all his time trying to break out of his house. And then, as soon as he's out, he wants to be in. He is super active, curious and mischeivous. He loves to chew on stuff (whether it's his or not) He really keeps us on our toes. And, he'll do anything for a treat. He recognizes the sound of the refrigerator opening, vegetables being cut, and his bag of hay being opened. And he completely expects to have something delicious presented to him immediately after hearing these noises. He is my crazy little Dennis the Menace Bunny and I love him!

My little Holly is a sweet, shy, timid little girl. She prefers to stay close to home, but will go anywhere Hef is. She is absolutely in love with him. When she gets scared or nervous, she covers her face in his fur. She gladly accepts any treat offered, and then runs over to enjoy it in her favorite spot- her bed (a girl after my own heart lol).

So that's what's new in the Crazy Bunny House. We've got a new addition for now, and I hope this is a new beginning for the little guy. My hope for him is that he gets the perfect family who will love and cuddle and play with him. As I'm typing, he's resting in my lap after the eventful day he's had. ::happy sigh:: This is the life. =)