Thursday, 2 December 2010

Shake, Rattle and Chomp

This evening I decided to spend some quality time with Elvis and Jemima.  In giving them space to make sure their relationship with each other is working OK I have been neglecting their relationship with me, so I thought it was about time I put that right.

I sat on the floor with my legs straight out in front of me. This is a completely passive position from which you can't easily lunge at or chase them, so they feel safe coming in closer to you. If I was trying to build a new relationship with two bunnies I might just ignore them at this point and let them come over and investigate me in their own time, but Jemima is well trained and Elvis trusts her now so I knew I could fast-track the proceedings. I rattled the snack jar and immediately Jemima trotted over and took a pellet from me. Elvis watched her with interest, then having established the protocol did the same. Wary at first, a few repetitions later and he started to relax.

Now to take them to the next step. I slowly leaned back against the wall and held out another pellet further away from them. Jemima leaned in and put her front paws on my leg and took it. Elvis circled round the back of her, put his front paws on my other leg and took another too. So far so good.

What happened next I did not expect. Jemima was watching Elvis chomping away at his share of the snacks when it seemed a thought occurred to her. Without warning she suddenly bolted. Believing that she had spotted some danger, Elvis panicked and in a split second he was off too, racing back into the safety of their bedroom. The MOMENT he was out of sight, Jemima turned round, trotted confidently back up to me and took the next snack as if nothing had happened.

I have no doubt that they have as strong a relationship as two bunnies can have and will always look out for each other. But it seems that for Jemima, looking out for ways to have more treats will always come first!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Saucerer

Saucerer, one of the rescue’s long term residents, was helped to rainbow bridge on Friday 26 November.

Saucerer was one of the most placid, gentle bunnies that we have ever known. He never showed any sort of aggression and was happy to accept whatever came his way. On the day Caroline went to collect him, she found that the child at the house had just poured orange juice all over him, his teeth and claws were overgrown and he was stuck in a tiny hutch. With all of his problems, the vets didn’t hold out much hope for him but, when we first met him, he had already been with Caroline for several years.

In June 2009 we offered to help the rescue by letting a special needs pair live in our spare bedroom and so Saucerer and India became our first foster bunnies. By this time, Saucerer had virtually no teeth left and a hole in his jaw. His veg had to be grated, his pellets soaked in water and he had to have an antibiotic injection daily. In addition we periodically had to use tweezers to remove food and bits of bone from the hole in his jaw. During his time with us he had to undergo several anaesthetics to have his mouth cleaned out properly and each time the vet told us his jaw bone and teeth were rotting away. Yet he remained the same gentle, accepting bun as always, never complaining or causing trouble. As time went on, we had to start boiling his veg and making it into a mush so he could eat it and, as the hole in his jaw got larger, food would come out of the hole and his face and neck would end up very messy. Yet still he continued to be a happy, gentle bun who would sit very patiently whilst we gave him a wash and blow dry. Eventually an abscess formed on his cheek and another in the hole in the jaw and we knew it was time to say goodbye.

Saucerer was a real example of why the rescue exists and how it can change a bunny’s life for the better. Our favourite memories of him will be him binkying down the garden path every time he was let outside and the way he would stand up on his hind legs to reach for the plate as you went to put the food down in front of him. We are very grateful that he had a peaceful end without suffering and we feel very privileged to have known him. Our house will not be the same without him.


Thursday, 25 November 2010

A Paw-ful for Truffles

Time for another dip into our "post bag"! Here's a lovely story from a friend of the Rescue who recently took one of our single bunnies into her family.

When I first met Caroline I had a house rabbit, Honey. I thought that Honey was a happy rabbit - she would spend hours sitting in between my feet as I tapped away on the computer and would happily sit on my lap for a couple of hours each night as I stroked her. Caroline said that Honey should have another rabbit for company and suggested one at the sanctuary who had been a house rabbit. When Honey met Trevor (who I renamed Truffles) their friendship needed to be encouraged by putting pineapple juice on their foreheads, they licked each other heads and so started a friendship that lasted a couple of years.

Honey and Truffles were inseparable and always sat together.

Sometimes Honey’s over enthusiastic affection could leave Truffles
a little squashed but he didn’t seem to mind!
Sadly, Honey was not a well rabbit and Truffles was clearly very lonely when Honey died.

When I contacted Caroline to let her know that I was looking for a new mate for Truffles she suggested several rabbits. One of them was Ephra. When I first looked into Ephra's hutch I thought that it was empty - then I saw her huge black eyes peering out at me from the back corner. Ephra was a very nervous jumpy rabbit who was happy to hide from the world. And no wonder, before she came to the rescue she had been living in a shed with several other rabbits, the result of a pet shop selling a rabbit to an elderly lady and getting its sex wrong so the rabbits bred. The owner was soon over run with rabbits and on becoming ill her sister contacted Caroline for help. By then the problem was sizeable and Caroline bravely took on about 50 rabbits.

Unknown to Caroline Ephra was pregnant when she arrived at the rescue, her young age and the stress of being moved were probably what contributed to Ephra destroying her babies as they were born. She had had a tough start and no wonder she was nervous. Her huge black sorrowful eyes just made me want to give her a chance. She probably wasn’t the best match for Truffles but Caroline was happy to bond them. Ephra was intrigued by Truffles who rather rudely sat with his back to her. Eventually they started to get on. When Caroline brought the pair of them back to my home, Ephra hid in the corner of the kitchen under a chair. Truffles was pleased to be back home, had a quick sniff around and wanted his usual stroke and tickles from me. He then remembered Ephra and though he never usually sat under the chair before went and joined Ephra to keep her company and reassure her that all was well.

That was two months ago now and during that time Truffles has really helped Ephra (now called Moet) to gain her confidence. She is first to dash across the kitchen floor in the morning to greet me and stand by the fridge where she knows that her greens are kept. She knows the sound of the dried food tin lid being lifted and even dashes into the utility room to help herself to extra hay.

Moet and Truffles are great chums and much to Truffles relief he does not have to spend his time sitting under the chair in the corner to be with her. Truffles likes to do a bit of DIY and Moet is keen to help, they spend many a happy hour reshaping a cardboard box to get it just how they like it.

They have a big outdoor run where they enjoy eating grass and leaves from a cherry tree, and like an old married couple are back inside to sit side by side and join me watching Coronation Street! Although Truffles tends to fall asleep.

Without Caroline neither of these rabbits would have had the opportunity of a better life than they had had prior to coming into the rescue. Like so many other bunnies they have a great deal to thank Caroline for.

All pictures provided by Sue

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Merchant of Bunnehs

What a crazy summer and autumn we have had here at the Rescue. Two of the emergency cases we dealt with have between them added over 40 rabbits to our intake, on top of the steady influx from our ever expanding waiting list.

It is only due to the dedication and quick action of our volunteer team (along their willingness to become foster parents at short notice!) that we have managed to deal with the chaos and high numbers. But even with so many bunnies living off-site, the costs of dealing with all the health problems they came in with, as well as all their standard vaccines, still lie with the Rescue. The result is that the Rescue now finds itself over six thousand pounds in debt, mostly from veterinary bills. Ouch.

Fortunately for the Rescue, which is run entirely on donations from the public, we have an enthusiastic team of fund-raisers on the case. This year they have pooled their creative talents to come up with some fun merchandise to help raise extra donations. Here are some of the things currently on offer:

If you are interested in one of these items, please contact us either through the usual channels or to by emailing our fund-raising team directly at

They look pretty great to me, but then I can't help feeling I've seen some of those amazing photo's somewhere before...

Special thanks to Nicola for doing almost all of the hard work on this!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Survey

If Mohito can find 5 minutes out of a busy day of chomping, binkies and naps to fill out a short survey, so can you! Head over to the RSPCA site to take part in their bunny survey for your chance to win lots of goodies for your little ones.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Bambam


"...hoooonnnnnnk...shooooooooooooo....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Mini-Floof Face-Off

"You got something to say, mister?"

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Nestlé



Nestlé was always the quiet one of the group. While Hoppy would, well, Hop around frantically and Perdy would demand food in a (sort of) bossy way, Nestlé was somehow much more serene. He’d look at you expectantly, with his big brown eyes, whether it was for a carrot or some kale, or for a tickle of his ears. Oh how he loved his ears to be tickled. If ever a rabbit went into a trance when he was stroked it was my little Nestlé and I adored him for it.

Sadly, after a difficult start to his life when he was mistreated and abandoned, along with Perdy, Hoppy and Spirit, he never found a new home, despite thoroughly deserving one. But he (and they) never held their treatment against people - it never ceases to amaze me how wonderful bunnies can be with people when all they’ve known from us previously is torment and neglect.

Nestlé, like Perdy and Hoppy, also had his moment of fame on (almost) prime time TV. OK it was only the Peter Andre show, but Nestlé was the star. Calmly surveying his surroundings, he outshone all his human hosts. What a performer!

This isn’t just about Nestlé though. It’s about him, Perdy and Hoppy as a family and how wonderful they were. I know I wasn’t the only one who regularly found ‘excuses’ to go and sit with them, play with them and have my lunch with them; even the more hardened bunny minders found excuses to do so. Caroline herself said she would have found it very hard to let them go, they were such a wonderful group.

I was lucky enough to see Nestlé one last time on the Sunday before he died. It was all too brief and we still didn't know how ill he was, but he still adopted his happy little ‘stroke me’ pose at the back of the bunch. And stroked he was.

He died on 3 September of a suspected brain tumour, but we will never really know why. I’ll miss him loads and miss the three of them being together. I hope he soft chewed his way into whatever counts as bunny heaven as that’s where he deserves to be.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Mindy's Babies

Mindy's little babies are getting ready to face the world. Not brave enough to venture out of their shed to have their photo's taken, but it won't be long...

"Hey guys, check this out!"

"Hmmm...doesn't look like something we can eat..."

"Feel free to come back when you have some tasty snacks for us!"

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Upside Down

Caroline sent me this fantastic picture of the new babies feeding from mummy Mindy last night.

Check out those teeny tiny tummies! And the feets! :-)

My Kind of Office

In need of a little light relief recently, I went looking for one of my favourite bunny-filled web videos only to discover that the company that commissioned it have taken it down. Fortunately it appears the director of this glorious piece has reposted it to YouTube so to anyone else out there that needs cheering up I urge you to revisit this little gem:

Puts a massive smile on my face every time.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Santa

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will probably already know who Santa Bunny is. A sweet, loveable bunny like no other, my own little baby and companion. He came with Jemima to live with me in May 2008 and quickly became the very best thing in my life.

Always a very sensitive thing, Santa suffered a number of gastro-intestinal problems over the last two years. When he became ill again last Sunday it looked like he was in for another few days at the vets being nursed back to health, but this time was just one too many for his little system. Santa died around 11am on Tuesday 10th August 2010, just three and a half years old. My heart is still breaking.

Part of me didn't want to write this entry. It is very painful to remind myself that I have lost him. But as he was the original inspiration for starting this blog, it felt right to honour his life here somehow, so I have posted here two of my favourite pictures of him. They were both taken the same day in February and show two of Santa's best sides - the sweet, innocent, loveable boy who would sit patiently for you to take his picture and the crazy little monkey that you would find doing things you wouldn't expect. I hope this gives you a feeling of the dear little soul that I love and miss with all my heart.

Mixin it up on DJ Hero, Feb 2010

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Fluffy Four's Big Day

"Erm...Doggy wants to know if snacks
are served on this trip?" asks Orlando

Well, the day had finally come. After 14 weeks of living in my house it was time for the once tiny litter of cuddle bundles to return to the Rescue to be rehomed. They packed up all their things into the pet carriers, waved goodbye to Jemima with their little paws and off we set.

When we arrived at the rescue there was a dizzying array of new smells to experience and many new friends for them to meet. They were very excited and couldn't wait to get out to explore, but first things first - Marigold had a special cuddle for Caroline! ("Wow, haven't you gotten BIG?")

First into their new homes were Pingu and Orlando. A little uncertain of the strange terrain and not too sure about the enormous neighbours peering through the fence, but once they were sure they were safely contained they were off, racing up and down the grass and in and out of of the fun obstacles.

Pingu plays hide-and-seek

Next up Cherish and Marigold. After a couple of laps of their warren to discover the lay of the land it was time to meet their neighbours. Within minutes Cherish was seen winding Megan up into a jealous frenzy by flirting with Whisky through the fence, while Marigold was enjoying all the tasty new grass.

"Well hey there handsome fellow - fancy sharing a
plate of grated carrot later?"

So a big day for them, a big day for me, saying goodbye to my miniature house guests. And a very exciting one - some of today's visitors have already expressed interest in each of the girls and with the boys gorgeous blue eyes I have no doubt all four will each quickly find loving new homes.

"Chomp chomp munch chomp"

Saturday, 3 July 2010

In The Bag

One of the things that makes bunnies such good house pets is that they are very easy to litter train. Once they have settled in to a new home, they will generally settle on a particular corner and into that corner you put the litter tray and the job is done. They are clean and tidy creatures, so once the toilet area is established they will stick to it and your nice carpets (and sofa) will be safe.

Having established this, you can also move the litter tray. This is especially useful if the corner they picked wasn't the one that you wanted them to use (why do they always pick the one by the door?). If you do this gradually, the bunnies will return to the same spot each time, see (well, probably smell) the tray and use it. Any, er, misunderstandings can be moved into the tray and they will soon get the idea.

Moving the tray quickly to another corner is asking for trouble. The bunnies will return to the original corner, finding no tray will just assume you have cleaned up for them and start again (just like if you'd put a clean tray back). Not only that, but when they find the tray elsewhere they'll take that as you green-lighting an additional toilet area and now you have two. This very thing has happened to me when I have placed a soiled tray down somewhere while I replace it and turned my back for a moment only to find a bunny using it. Then the next day, guess what? New pile of poo in that spot. Be warned. Anyway..

There is something I would like to touch on here, another word of warning really. The religious using of the litter tray without accident can be quickly disrupted if you do anything to disturb their routine or incur their wrath. If, for example, you were to bring home some temporary foster bunnies and let them play in your (their) garden you will quickly discover that your bunnies will make you pay for this crime by giving to you the gift of an afternoon of picking their poo out of the grass. From across the whole lawn. The books will tell you this is a territorial thing as they try to claim back their space from the interlopers, but I tell you now, I've seen revenge in their eyes as they glare back at me... Moving on.

Now, the reason I mention all this today is that Santa and Jemima have recently altered their own morning routine. Rather than hopping back into their fresh litter trays for their big post-breakfast clearout, they've found a new spot.

"Hang on, I'll be done in just a minute."

Now if I can only train all the bunnies at the Rescue to do this (and not just at breakfast) the cleaning out will suddenly get a whole lot easier...

Friday, 25 June 2010

Megan Update

I had the phone call I was dreading today. The vet found something on Megan's leg x-ray that they are not happy about. They can't tell for sure at this point what it is - they say it could be a fracture or something tumorous. I do feel slightly relieved that we are making some progress in finding out what is causing her pain, but the thought of what either of these diagnoses could mean for our little angel fills me with worry.

She is scheduled in for another x-ray next Friday so we should know more then. In the mean time I think she is about to be on the receiving end of many (very careful) cuddles.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

There Are Good Days, And Then...

June 2010 is turning out to be one tough month. I am struggling to remember one that has left me so constantly tired and emotionally drained.

Firstly, Megan has been dropping weight for weeks. She has been in for 3 dentals already this year where she is not eating properly and her constantly-growing bunny teeth are not being ground down evenly. It is frankly heartbreaking to see such a beautiful little soul who survived such a difficult start in life just waste away with no clear indication as to what is causing it.

A Bengal cat belonging to one of the neighbours seems to have taken a renewed interest in the Rescue and has been found prowling around looking for trouble on more than one occasion this month. It has now taken to attacking Jessica the Rescue cat, which is a worrying turn of events. We are already keeping the bunnies inside when there are not enough volunteers to keep watch over them, but we can't put poor Jessica in a shed and run. (Well, not if we want to keep our arms scratch-free anyway!)

So when Arnie decided to dig a secret little tunnel out into the neighbouring field and disappear for two days we were understandably concerned for his safety. He did return, but only after Caroline had cleared bushes and dug the hole bigger so he could easily find his way back to his home and his wife Satin. While we were wracked with worry, Arnie (judging by his eagerness to get straight back out there again) was having a buntastic time racing around in the open air. So the first thing we had to do on his return was move him into the Impenetrable Fortress known as "Bunny Bungalow 3". He is not amused.

Arnie, right, daydreams of open fields.

Just as we were starting to feel relieved about Arnie, I opened up one morning to discover Megan limping. She hopped from the front of her warren to the back without putting her back left foot down once. There was no obvious ailment, so two trips to the vet and an x-ray later, she was diagnosed as having a swollen knee (do bunnies have knees?). No idea how it happened of course. After two weeks of medicines she is still distressed and not using the leg. We have confined them to a comfortable smaller space, but now Whisky is getting unbearably grumpy. To top it off his eye has flared up again (probably all the stress) which will probably be another trip back to the vet's to have his tear-ducts flushed.

Megan with her poorly leg.

Hansel and Tiara were both recently diagnosed with ear abscesses and last week had surgery to have them removed. No sooner were they back at the rescue when a health check of Tibby and Jingles, ready to go to their new home, turned up a jawbone abscess in Jingles. So tomorrow, probably accompanied by Megan and Whisky, we are packing him off to the vets too for an operation to have it removed.

We have known it was coming for some time, but it hasn't softened the impact. For years, the owner of the neighbouring piece of land has allowed Caroline and her family to use it to access the Rescue from their house on the other side. A farmer rents the main part to grow crops, but the access route runs down the side. Sadly, the owner of the land died earlier this year and her family have decreed that no-one, including Caroline, is allowed to walk across it. This is despite the fact that the main access to their field is effectively through the Rescue the other side. It seems like a little thing (it's only an extra 5 minute walk through the village) but when Caroline is back and forth sometimes 20 times a day, that is a lot of lost time.

So then we come to Sunday of this week and the most depressing part of the month so far. Vicki, one of our newest volunteers opened the Rescue and found dutch/wild cross bunny Zeta had been badly attacked. Her skin was quite literally ripped to shreds. It is quite frightening to think that her brothers Tansley and Thistle could be responsible, but at least as likely is that she had picked a fight with a wild rat. Caroline rushed Zeta to the vets who did their best to save her, but despite coming around from anaesthetic and being stitched up, she died. We suspect the shock, pain and trauma was just too much for her. It was very sad and has deeply affected all of us.

I'll spare you the details of how I came to see the insides of a live rabbits leg this week, but that is basically June 2010 (so far) at the Rescue. Hopefully I will have some more positive stories for you in July. Thank you for listening.

USA GI

Bunny-Manga "Apocalypse Meow" is getting a computer-generated make-over this summer. Episodes will be released through YouTube from 17th July, which gives you just enough time to brush up on your Japanese! Usagi desu!

[UPDATE: Not sure what's happening here since my Japanese skills are minimal, but the trailer has now been removed. :-(]

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Floppy Hoppy Naptime Bunny

"Zzzzzzzzzzzz"

Looks like Hoppy has had quite enough fame for one month. Time for him to disappear back into his shed for the rest of the day for a well deserved nap.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Cambridge Rose

Friend of the Rescue and regular contributor to the RWAF's Rabbiting On magazine, Twigs Way is holding her annual Bunny Noses and Blooming Roses weekend in Cambridge UK later this month. Entrance to the event is free, but visitors are welcome to make a voluntary donation which will go to support rabbit charities and rescues in the UK.

For more information please see the poster above (click for larger view).

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Fame at Last

On Tuesday the Rescue was featured on the Channel 4 television programme The 5 O'Clock Show. Caroline and Annabel took Nestle, Perdy and Hoppy down to the studio, they all got to meet Peter Andre and the bunnies were cuddled on TV by Peter and his celebrity guests. It was only a brief piece, but it was good publicity for the Rescue and has led to an increase in queries and appointments. Our hope of course is that this will translate into more bunnies rehomed and maybe even some more donations.

Not surprisingly, all of today's visitors were keen to meet the famous bunnies and so Nestle, Perdy and Hoppy had even more attention than usual. But did their brush with celebrity and increased popularity go to their heads? Of course not - they are the same down-to-earth bunnies they always have been...


"Be a darling - put some carrots on ice and bring
me an Evian would you?"

"Yes of course you can stroke me. I'm sure
my agent can slot you into the calendar.
How does August work for you?"

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Plus One

We have just received this lovely email, from a couple that recently added a new member to their family who DOESN'T have a fluffy tail...

"When my husband and I found out that I was pregnant with our first child in August last year, we agreed on one thing straight away: our two house rabbits Schnitzel and Chewie would stay with us, no matter what. The two buns have been with us for almost two years now and they are certainly part of the family. I knew then, that it wouldn't always be easy and a few things had to be carefully considered, but I couldn't stand the thought of giving up part of my little family.

My husband is luckily very supportive of my bunny mania and loves the two buns as much as I do. We had discussed that he would support me with the cleaning of the indoor rabbit hutch (which is usually my job) once I got towards the end of the pregnancy and would be too big to be on all fours to clean them out. Luckily, it never actually got to that point, as my bump wasn't that massive and I could easily do all of the cleaning chores, till the day I went into hospital to give birth. Cleanliness is probably a big concern some people will have with a new born around the house. But both the rabbits are fully litter trained and I clean them on a daily basis anyway. I probably hoover a little bit more often now, to ensure I do not have too much fluff and dust bunnies flying around. And yes, I usually have to wait for my husband to hold/look after our four week old daughter, before I can clean out the hutch. But apart from that not much has changed in our daily cleaning routine.

Rabbits are certainly not cheap pets to keep and I usually spend 50 GBP per month to feed and bed (different hays, rabbit nuggets, treats, fresh veg and fruit, sawdust etc.) the two of them. This does not include the Vet costs or any holiday boarding that may be needed throughout the year. I certainly did not want to compromise on either their food or on their MYXO and VHD booster injections or any other treatment needed throughout the year. But on the other hand I knew that our household income would drop while I was on maternity leave. So while I was pregnant, I started to put a little bit of money aside each month, in order to save up enough to ensure that I would be able to keep the buns in the same way that I had been beforehand.

As mentioned earlier, our two buns live in the house and are both fully house trained and very clean. For us it was never a question of moving them out of their living conditions and into the garden. Firstly because I know that we have foxes in the area, which manage to get into our garden. And secondly we feel that we get so much more out of our buns, as they live indoors with us. It gives us a chance of observing them a lot more and we get to know their individual characters a lot better. However, throughout autumn we had some work done on our house. We extended into the loft, in order to make space for the little bun in my oven. Until then the bunnies hutch had stood in one corner of our living room and they always had the free run of the house. Unfortunately making the alterations to the house meant that we had to also build a wall through our living room, in order to ensure we complied with fire and building regulations. So by building a wall we in effect created a hallway and that meant that the hutch is now in the part that is the hall way. It was quiet confusing for the buns to start with, as they had been used to lying in or in front of their hutch in the evenings watching us sitting on the sofa. Now the wall is between us. But as the door is always open, the buns can still choose when to come into the living room to join us and when they want to have their peace and quiet they can go back to their hutch...so all in all the alterations have worked out quiet well actually.

At the start of the pregnancy it was really strange. It was almost as if Schnitzel our female bun could sense that something had changed with me. For a good 2-3 weeks she would hardly let me touch and stroke her. Schnitzel is the tamer of the two and especially very attached to my husband. We used to call her: "Daddies little girl". That really made me wonder, how she would take to the new family addition we where expecting. I feared that especially Schnitzel would be a bit jealous, but all in all the bunnies have taken the new addition to the family pretty well. Chewie doesn't seem too bothered by the baby and just gets on with his daily life. Schnitzel on the other hand seems sometimes a bit depressed, as she doesn't get as much cuddles and strokes as she did before hand. She certainly played up a bit in the days just before and after the Birth. We had one or two litter tray lapses, as she was trying to get more attention from us. It almost seems funny, as "playing up" is something you would expect an older human sibling to do, when a new baby brother or sister is brought home.

When we brought our baby daughter home from hospital the two rabbits came to investigate what we had brought with us. They came over and sniffed the car seat and it's contents. My husband also held our daughter and went down to the rabbits level, so they could take a look at her. But the baby's flailing arms where a bit too much for them and they decided to keep their distance. From time to time Schnitzel does jump up on the sofa in the evening, to come and check us all out as we lie there together, but she always keeps a respectful distance from our daughter.

So all in all living with rabbits and a baby isn't that tricky. We had to plan a little bit ahead and the bunnies had to fit around the babies routine i.e. waiting for their breakfast or dinner till the baby has been fed. But apart from that not much has changed for us. I do sometimes feel a little bit sad if I think I don't quiet have as much time to cuddle them like I used too. But I am sure once our daughter is a little bit bigger, I will find more time for them again. In the meantime, they just get most of their strokes and cuddles from my husband. We are looking forward to many more years with our rabbit's. And I am pleased that my daughter will have a chance to grow up with animals and I hope she will share our love for those amazing long eared fluff balls. I am sure there will be other hurdles in future, which will need to be overcome. For example we will need to teach our daughter to respect the rabbits' space, not to chase or grab them etc. But with a lot of patience and supervision, I am sure we can also over come that."

Photo's and words by Sandra and Justin.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Over-Worked, Under-Played

With around a hundred bunnies in need of homes living at the Rescue, it is always a very busy place. There seems more to do here than the number of hours in the day permit. Not surprising then that Caroline has recently had to resort to asking people to take work home with them just to keep on top of everything. At various times over the last few weeks I've seen armfuls of paperwork being loaded into the other volunteers cars - Colin, Mandy, Sue, Debbie and others, all pitching in to clear a backlog of forms, mail-outs, planning submissions, work on the various websites and projects that we are involved with.

So it was only a matter of time before I was handed something to take away and sort out. Knowing it was bound to be some tough and probably tedious project that no-one else wanted, I diligently returned home, cleared the dining room table and emptied the contents of the box onto it ready to make a start. I stared at it wondering where to begin. The project stared back at me.


"Don't bother looking for the instructions -
we got a little hungry in the car"

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Scarf Weather

After many days of warm sunshine, the temperature has suddenly dropped in the UK - in some parts of the country to below zero. Time to check the outdoor bunnies have enough bedding to keep them snuggly I feel.

Jemima always seems particularly susceptible to changes in temperature. She's OK though. She's helped herself to the bandages in the Emergencies box and made herself a scarf...

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Quest

A short time ago, in a land not far from this place, a tale was told of a group of magical beings who possessed powers almost beyond human comprehension. These creatures, though said it was that they were diminutive in stature, could command great forces within man so as to render him weak and completely under their spell. Such were their powers that all manner of persons sought to trap them and make of them their own so they could harness this power, little knowing that for all that might try, the only fate that could lie ahead was slavery to the beasts.

And so our Tiny Tale begins, as our intrepid adventurer, the BHV, on hearing that these mighty magi had set up residence in a cave in a neighbouring land, decided to track them down and, quite frankly, see what all the fuss was about.

So the BHV packed up some provisions into a duffel bag, pulled on his best walking boots, grabbed his magic picture box and set off on his trek. After a time he came to the border. At the border was a gate through which the BHV knew he must pass. But he also knew that somewhere nearby lurked the guardian of this exit, a beast as black as night and as vicious as a snake with an elephant on its tail. The BHV stepped up to the gate and reached out a hand, but at that moment a huge dark shape slipped from the shadows causing him to recoil.


"Who approaches my gate?" the creature demanded.

"'Tis I, the BHV" the BHV replied.

"And why do you dare to approach my gate?" the creature asked.

"I seek the little ones whose powers, it is told, know no bounds. I have heard they have been spotted in the land on the other side."

"Ha! A fool's errand you follow! But no matter. If passage through my gate you seek, a challenge you must complete. If you succeed in this challenge, you may pass through. But be warned - if you fail, I shall eat you for my dinner!"

The BHV shuddered. He did not want to be eaten for anyone's dinner, let alone this nasty creature. But still, he couldn't quit now.

"What is your challenge, oh mighty and majestic being?" he asked, for flattery can often get you through the trickiest situation.

"If you wish to pass, you must take your right hand and with it stroke my head three times. If you can do so without showing a moments fear, I shall allow you to continue on your way unharmed. However, for every moment of fear I see in your eyes I shall strike you with my 'mighty and majestic' paw, and if my 'mighty and majestic' claws draw blood, you have lost my challenge and I shall eat you."

Yikes, thought the BHV. But he put on a brave face and exclaimed "I accept!"

At once the creature lowered its head. "Proceed" it said.

So the BHV put forth his hand and began to stroke the creature.

After the first stroke, the creature became completely still. After the second, to the surprise of the BHV, the creature began to purr. But as he stroked for the third time, the creature shot out a paw with a mighty swipe!

And you may, dear reader, have expected our tale to end there, but thankfully it was the turn of the creature to be surprised. For the BHV was expecting the devious attack and dodged it with some ease.

"You have impressed me with your speed and courage" said the beast. "This time, I will let you pass. However, if I should see you here abouts again, bring snacks. Or expect to be one."

The BHV passed through the gate, left the beast behind and made his way down the road that led to the land of Office. This road was to some a dangerous place, but in the land of Rescue the BHV had gained the rank of "Chief Volunteer" and as such earned the right to walk the path unchallenged.

When he arrived at the land of Office, the BHV found another gate. He passed through this gate without incident, but as he closed it behind him and turned to face the way ahead, he found it was blocked. For standing before the BHV was a huge orange giant, with huge orange ears and the most disapproving look he had ever seen.


"Who are you that dares to pass through my gate?" the giant roared.

"I am the BHV" replied the BHV and, pre-empting the inevitable follow up question, added "I have come seeking the Little Ones, those said to have great power over man".

"Fool!" cried the giant.

"But a fool up to a challenge!" replied the BHV quickly, for he could see where this was going.

"Challenge, eh?" retorted the giant. "Well a challenge I have for you. First, you must take your right hand and with it stroke my head three times."

"I see," replied the BHV confidently, "And if I show fear you will swipe me and eat me for your dinner?"

"No, silly human! THEN you shall stroke me three more times, maybe a few times behind the ears and THEN I shall nap and you can do what you jolly well please!"

The BHV was taken aback by this, but happily obliged and as the giant began to snore went on his way.

Almost immediately, the BHV came across a small cage. Knowing for sure he had found what he had set out to find, the BHV opened the door and peered inside.

And do you know, dear readers, what he saw in that cage? What manner of creature it was that could bend a persons will to do its bidding with just a look?

Tiny. Babeh. Bunnehs.

Let us just say that, having set eyes on those tiny little faces, it was a long time before the BHV was seen outside of the land of Office ...

Monday, 26 April 2010

Argh! Monster!


I found this strange creature at the Rescue on Saturday. There's a sign on the hutch. It reads "Smurf - needs grooming".

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Derby

Photo's of Derby by Carly and Art

I have just heard that one of my favourite webstar bunnies, Derby, passed away last week. Derby was a handsome (and often disapproving) mini-rex who featured on CuteOverload a number of times and whose Flickr photostream brought me many moments of happiness.

My thoughts go out to Carly and Art during this sad time along with my heartfelt thanks for sharing his life with us.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Rocket Bun

I couldn't leave you with just a picture of my hand for today's blog - you probably only came here cos there weren't enough cuddleh bunneh pics for you on CuteOverload today, right? So here's a quick picture story of what happened AFTER my encounter with Pat and Bob, but be warned - contact with Rocket Bunny should only be attempted by experienced rescue managers who have spent 14 years developing mad bunny skills.

"Stupid human! How dare you gaze upon me?
I am Rocket Bunny the most fearsome, untouchable
beast ever known to...wait, what's going on??!!"

"Hey! Put me down! I'm the most feared
bunny here, you know! I could chomp
your arms clean off, I could!"

"Well...OK...ONE cuddle. But you better
not tell anyone - I have a reputation to keep
you see. And if this turns up on your stupid
blog you'll be finding the remains of that
camera in my litter tray..."

Once Bitten, Twice Chomped

This is my hand - can you guess what today's blog post is about?

I received 2 messages about the tasks for today from Caroline. The first was a list of bunnies she wanted me to move around before opening up. The second one was sent to all todays volunteers and was predominantly a list of where all the rabbits are located, included with it the warning:

"Please note we have a rabbit who is suffering from nervous aggression and is prone to biting. His name is Rocket and he presently lives in emergency hutch 11"

Oh dear! The first time I met Rocket properly was a few weeks back when I was trying to put him to bed with his dinner and he proved to be quite a character. Where all the other bunnies either jumped straight into their homes at the sound of me rattling the bucket of pellets or waited cautiously at a distance just until I was out of the way before retiring, this little terror came straight at me and raced round my feet like a little puppy. He growled at me to keep away from his house and REFUSED to go inside. When all the usual tricks failed, I eventually resorted to picking him up and putting him in, but even that wasn't the end of it - he latched onto my sleeve with his teeth like a little terrier and wouldn't let go! So that was my first proper Rocket experience and it seemed that since then he had similarly attacked four other volunteers and been moved to one of the emergency hutches until a suitable girlfriend can be found to help calm him down! Oh well, at least today I would be prepared for him...

So onto the first task of the day, I set about moving bunnies. Those awaiting partners moved into the bonding sheds, naughty bunnies moved to warrens where they would be easier to round up, healthy pairs who have been at the rescue a while moved to be more visible to todays visitors. No bunny is especially keen on change, but most here are used to life with the friendly people at the Rescue and willing to just go along with it. You have to be a bit careful with the new arrivals of course, but bunnies like Bob and Pat who have been at the rescue for some time know that being lifted out of a hutch usually means at worst a bit of a brush and a cuddle so they are perfectly fine. I said hello to them, stroked Pat's head, explained to her that she was going back out into a nice big warren and reached round to lift her out and into a carrier. In an instant she went from sweetness-and-light to a total grump-a-sauraus and buried her teeth in my hand! All that thinking about how I had to be wary of Rocket Bunny and I'd been totally caught off guard by one of the friendly ones!

So todays important lesson (re)learned - rabbits are territorial prey animals. If hands reach into their home to grab them, there is a good chance they will feel threatened and either panic with fear or fight back. The result is much ouchness.

Once the flow of blood had subsided and Bob and Pat had been moved to their more spacious warren, it was breakfast time for bunnies which gave me the perfect opportunity to restore the balance of power. So when I reached their warren, I sat myself down on the grass, looked them straight in the eyes and asked them, "Do naughty chompy bunnies get tasty broccoli snacks for breakfast?" Apparently they do - they gently planted their front paws on my legs, adopted their sweetest bunny faces and proceeded to eat their breakfast out of my hands. Awww...what was I mad at them for again?

Friday, 26 March 2010

Another Lesson Learned

Having spent the week at the rescue learning new skills, I returned home to have my own bunnies teach me something too. Never EVER hold an open container of treats within striking distance of tiny paws.

I also learned that bunnies can clear up spilt snacks much faster than I can.

"Well, I've cleared up that mess for you - do you have
another you'd like me to eat...er...I mean clean??!!"