Saturday, 31 January 2015
Friday, 30 January 2015
Thursday, 29 January 2015
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Monday, 26 January 2015
Sunday, 25 January 2015
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
My human's just so lazy,
It makes me oh so crazy,
I mean really, if he's not going to let me out to play in the garden couldn't he at least get his fat butt off the sofa and give me some tasty food?"
Saturday, 24 January 2015
Fern and her partner Popcorn came into the Rescue unwell and underweight. Like many bunnies before them who came in with problems, they started their stay living at Caroline's house being medicated and receiving extra care.
Once they had been cured of their worms and parasites and their weight had improved they moved to the Rescue site where their wacky characters and friendly nature made them instantly popular. It was clear they were about to become firm favourites on the blog too, always happy to be photographed pulling cute and funny faces.
But sadly for dear Fern, she didn't get to live the long life she deserved and most of us never got the chance to get to know her properly. On the morning of Thursday 22nd January, Eleanor arrived at the Rescue to find Fern had passed away in the night. A complete shock, there was no warning or any sign of what might have caused her sudden death. She was a very sweet bunny who despite her short time here will be dearly missed.
Binky free, Fern.
Friday, 23 January 2015
Thursday, 22 January 2015
Earlier this week, one of our commenters questioned whether I had indeed given snacks to mini-rex Meadow as I had claimed. I hereby present to you, as evidence to back up my claim, the picture of Stilton from the same set. Answer me this Auntie Jane:- is this or is this not the look of a bunny whose partner has just been given a tasty snack...?
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
I mentioned previously that Whisky suddenly put on weight over the Xmas/New Year period (though to be fair, didn't we all?), but I was surprised to discover that he wasn't the only bun. After his stasis episode in early December, which saw him drop weight, Bobbit has also subsequently podged up. Maybe the Panacur course has cleared something in his system that is encouraging him to eat more, maybe it was winter weather reducing the outdoor playtime or maybe knowing he was underweight has led me to over-compensate with treats, but whatever it was, I think it's definitely 'healthier diet' time for all.
I just told him. I don't think this is his happy face.
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Monday, 19 January 2015
Sunday, 18 January 2015
A few years ago I read (or, possibly, dreamt) about a research paper that suggested you shouldn't give kids treats after visits to the hospital, dentist or when bad things happen to them. According to the research (or dream), children who experienced such post-event compensation find it harder to deal with challenges later in life. The theory goes that while they are learning about the world it is better to teach them to accept that it isn't all fun stuff, some parts of life can be painful or annoying, but that's just part of it and it's not really worth making a fuss about. (I still haven't ruled out the dream part - if you are starting to be concerned about the nature and detail of the things I dream about, feel free to imagine that I dreamed the paper being explained to me by an attractive celebrity in her underwear.)
That's humans. I have not seen any studies or advice about equivalent situations with bunnies.
Lacking any scientific evidence either way, I have always felt it reasonable to reward Whisky for being patient about having his face washed, taking medicines and all the other things his various health problems have required me to annoy him with on a daily basis. Part of the problem with this is that he doesn't necessarily associate the snack part with the being good part. At the end of cleaning him up or what have you, I will usually make a little fuss of him to signify it is all done and then give him the treat. But now, he demands a treat after any time I make a fuss of him or stroke his head in any way.
And so to this morning. Because of the damage in his right side nasal passage, any slight bit of dust or anything will set him off sneezing. It also makes him prone to infection in the area, so if it sounds at all like a wet sneeze I will often wipe his nose after by rolling a cotton bud in the end of his nostril to extract any snotty blobby lumps (or at least see if any are present). It only takes two seconds but he hates it, so if he is good and puts up with the wiping he is rewarded with a pellet. Trouble is, now even when it is a slight sneeze, if I am anywhere nearby I get this:
As he has always had trouble keeping weight on I have often just caved to his demands for between-meal treats where with other bunnies I would not, but it seems that something has changed recently and he has started getting wider (sometimes when he sits down, he has an old-bun butt-tyre thing going on). Much to his disappointment, I think we might need to have a treat review - starting with cutting out the sneezy snacks. Sorry Whisky.
Saturday, 17 January 2015
Friday, 16 January 2015
Thursday, 15 January 2015
Photo day at the Rescue. Heston has the poise of a professional model, so I get lots of great shots for his RabbitRehome profile. But even the best models have some limits to their patience...
Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Tuesday, 13 January 2015
I love bunnies. They have the faces of angels.
Right up until the point where they think you owe them something...
Monday, 12 January 2015
Sunday, 11 January 2015
Saturday, 10 January 2015
Friday, 9 January 2015
Thursday, 8 January 2015
There once was a woman who had some rabbits. Then in July of 2007, following a number of altercations with her landlord and the police over the state of her garden and all the animals she kept there, that woman decided she'd had enough of those rabbits. As things were, she'd long given up caring for them, they were probably only still alive because one of the neighbours had taken pity and started putting food and clean water in their tiny hutches. Not wanting them anymore she decided to bundle them all up and take them down to the nearest vet to be put to sleep.
That could have been the end of the story for these poor neglected creatures, but as luck would have it the lady had walked into our vets. So the vet presented her with a better, cheaper option which the owner duly accepted - she promptly signed all the rabbits over to us. And that is the abridged version of how a small group of the most adorable bunnies, a group including my very own Santa Claus and Whisky's partner Megan, came to be at the Rabbit Residence Rescue.
Megan was soon to be the friendliest and happiest bunny you could ever hope to meet, but when she arrived she was in a complete state. Half her ideal body weight, crooked teeth growing right out of her mouth, dirty and generally unwell, she was completely shell-shocked. As a result she spent the first 6 months staying at home with Caroline being carefully nursed back to full health.
Once she was strong enough she was bonded with newly arrived resident Whisky, another dear little soul onto whom life had dumped a whole heap of challenges. When I first saw them together I must admit I thought them an odd mismatch, but it soon became apparent that they were yin and yang, a perfect whole, completing each other. They were always snuggling together, cleaning each other and enjoying scoffing their grated veg side by side (already by this point neither had any front teeth remaining).
Megan not only adored Whisky, she was also super-protective of him. While it is common for a doe to defend her territory and warn off another encroaching doe from her buck, Megan would take to this task way beyond any practical sense. She could regularly be seen head-butting Whisky away from the mesh fence before proceeding to aggressively warn off the neighbours with glares and boxing her paws at them across the mesh - even with our giants over three times her tiny 1.9kg size. And I'll never forget the time another little bunny, just a few months old, scrabbled under the fence into their warren - Megan chased her round and round and round for half the afternoon, the little girl thought it was a great game until eventually two of our volunteers managed to catch the baby and put her back with her siblings.
When I started at the Rescue in 2008, looking for a pair of rabbits and trying out volunteering "for a few weeks to make sure I really wanted rabbits", I had met and fallen in love with Whisky on the first day. Around that time, my then girlfriend Helen would often come along to volunteer as well and she fell instantly in love with Megan. So together they could have been an ideal choice for our first rabbits, but being new to it all we felt we didn't have the experience to take on their special-needs and chose another pair instead. We adored our bunnies at home, they were the best bunnies in the world, but whenever we were at the Rescue we would spend our breaks with Megan and Whisky and were almost as attached to them as well!
From early on in my volunteering I was taking photographs of all the bunnies here, largely to promote the Rescue and use on RabbitRehome, the website, Facebook and this blog. I haven't counted, but I'm pretty sure that in the period she was at the Rescue I have more pictures with Megan in than any other bunny. And that's not as much a result of favouritism as it is that she was so friendly and easy to take perfect shots of. Plus, she'd photobomb at every opportunity! Here is a typical example, where I was trying to get a picture of Sprite:
Sprite wouldn't stay still, but there's Megan, posing in the background!
When the Rescue was short of space in 2009, Caroline asked me to foster Megan and Whisky for the summer so of course I quickly agreed. Despite it being Whisky that made the request impossible to refuse, within a few days of being in the house it was Megan's unbounded sweetness that was putting a big smile on my face every day. Whereas Whisky would head-butt me and scrabble at my legs if he wanted something, Megan would gently place her paws on me and look hopefully into my eyes to tell me she wanted a snack or extra playtime in the garden. It tore me up that I had to take them back to the Rescue at the end of the summer, but at that time I was not in a position to take on a second pair of rabbits long term, especially as Jemima was tiring of the timeshare situation with the lawn and Santa was demanding his access to the lounge back!
Back when I adopted Santa and Jemima I had always intended them to move in and be house rabbits if ever my housemate moved out. Sadly Santa never got to be a house rabbit, passing away just a month before that happened. Jemima's new partner Elvis was definitely happier as a garden rabbit, which left the newly vacated bedroom available for Megan and Whisky. However, as usual Caroline managed to con me into taking some emergency fosters first, so Megan and Whisky had to wait until Xmas eve 2010 before they could move in to their new home!
To say I was pleased to finally have my little angel and her crazy loppy husbun become a proper part of my family is a massive understatement. I was sooooooo exited! I didn't have much of a chance to enjoy their arrival though. I had planned to be at my sisters from Xmas eve to Boxing day and Caroline was going to be staying in my house looking after my bunnies in the mornings and evenings when not at the Rescue. To further complicate matters, Caroline brought two holiday boarders with her, Alfie and former RRR bun Cherish (also a former foster bun of mine, now renamed Lola by her new mum). This meant that rather than Megan and Whisky having the run of their nice big room on arrival, we had to divide it up and both pairs of buns had to be contained in relatively small pens.
I figured the setup wasn't ideal, but they would cope for a couple of days. However, owing to a miscommunication between Caroline and myself, it turned out I had unknowingly agreed to the boarders staying for 2 weeks. I felt guilty about Alfie and Lola remaining in such a small space for that long, but they didn't seem to mind. However, during those weeks Megan and Whisky seemed at times uneasy and at others almost depressed, a stark contrast from how they were at the Rescue. Of course I couldn't tell if it was being in the small space, being in an unknown environment or being in close proximity to strange rabbits, but I suspected it was a combination of all three. Whisky would perk up a little at mealtimes but even then, by the end of the first week Megan would only pick at food. A visit to the vets confirmed she needed a dental to have some spurs filed down, but she had to wait for a few days before they could fit her in. Two days before Megan's appointment the boarders went home, a day later I'd finished cleaning and rearranging everything so Megan and Whisky finally had the whole of their nice big room to themselves.
On the morning of 8th January 2011, I dropped Megan back at that same vets that had saved her life three and a half years earlier. I remember being anxious when I arrived, as I always am when I leave one of my fur-kids at the vets. I remember it being early and being the only person in the waiting room. I remember the nurse had the radio on behind the counter and worrying that Megan wouldn't like the strange noise as I signed her consent form and left her. I remember sitting back in the car for a minute fighting back tears, I was so anxious, and telling myself not to be so stupid.
Back at home after a day volunteering I was standing in the bathroom having just brushed my teeth when my mobile phone rang. It was the head vet. Megan had stopped breathing under the anaesthetic and they couldn't bring her back. She was dead. I sat down on the bathroom floor and just cried.
It's taken me four years to be able to write this post about her. Remembering her today has been equal parts joy and pain, she was such a special soul whose life ended so sadly and pointlessly. She meant so much to me, to Caroline and of course Whisky. I miss her every day.
Goodbye Megan. You will always be my sweet, sweet little angel.
Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Tuesday, 6 January 2015
Monday, 5 January 2015
Sunday, 4 January 2015
Over the Xmas break I decided to give foster buns Anouska and Bobbit a big box to play with. Or rather in - it was quite a big box.
When it comes to enclosed spaces, bunnies always like to have multiple exits. This is to provide lots of escape routes in the event of an incursion by predators or annoying owners with combs and claw clippers. So I cut three holes in the box, one in each end and one in the front. I also put a bendy-stick tunnel in to make it even more warreny. It looks like this:
I left the 'back' intact, i.e. no holes, to make it at least slightly enclosed. At least that was the theory. However, here is a picture of the back as it looks today:
As we all know, bunnies love projects, especially bunstruction (or rather bun-destruction) projects. I shouldn't be surprised.
So that was that. Other than that, today was just another lazy Sunday with the bunnies. Hang on, I'm sure I'm forgetting something...