Tuesday 31 March 2015

The Gift of Easter

And now, unusually for this blog, an advertisement:

Want to get your loved ones something other than chocolate for Easter? How about a gift for our rescue bunnies?

  • £6 buys a bale of hay which provides roughly 5 pairs of bunnies with enough for a week.
  • £10 buys a bale of wood shavings which provides a week’s bedding for about 8 pairs of bunnies.
  • £20 buys one day’s breakfast for all the rabbits in our care.
  • £25 provides a year’s vaccination for a bunny.

To purchase a gift, pay via paypal to rabbit_residence@hotmail.com and include a comment ‘GIFT HAY’, ‘GIFT SHAVINGS’, ‘GIFT BREAKFAST’ or ‘GIFT VACCINATION’. You will be emailed a card that you can print and give to the gift recipient.

Well that's the 'ad' over with!

Of course the more the Rescue can raise for everyday essentials through these gift donations, the more of our regular donations we will have to cover critical vet bills. Our next big one is likely to be for Maximus who is currently waiting for an operation with our expert vet to remove his wonky teeth.

"Hey, what did you just say? Operation? Er...no, it's OK, my teeth are fine, honest!"

Hmmm...OK Maximus, so bunnies teeth are supposed to overlap and point in different directions are they?! Don't worry, it won't mean less treats, if anything you'll probably get more, just ask Whisky!

Monday 30 March 2015

Top Moufs

"Why is this BHV fella so obsessed with our Rexy-moufs? Are they extra cute or summit?"

"Dunno, let's ask him. Hey BHV... Nope, I don't think we're gonna get our answer, he's fallen over giggling."

Sunday 29 March 2015

One Hour Back

"Look - to help you with this hour you lost today, I've made a start on cleaning for you by emptying my litter tray. Now, if THAT'S not worth seconds..."

Saturday 28 March 2015

Not Only Sight and Sound

"Yes, I see you, but you know with these jumbo ears of mine I heard you coming a mile away."

"And just don't ask how far away I could smell you from, though that has little to do with my abilities..."

Thursday 26 March 2015

The Last Days of Jemima

Today it has been two years since I said goodbye to my dear friend.

Jemima's last week was very difficult for both of us. As the tumour in her chest continued to grow at an alarming rate, her front left leg was being pushed outwards making it difficult for her to walk on it. The vet had warned me it would get to a point where there would be nothing left for her but pain and when I thought we'd reached that point we would have to say goodbye. Knowing you will be responsible for deciding when your best friends life will end is a very difficult thing to live with, but I tried to push those thoughts out of my head as I did everything I could think of to make the most of our last days together.

One of my happiest memories of that week was when I introduced her to the hidden treats game. I had bought it as a present for Megan, who used her sharp Dutch intelligence to solve the different levels. Jemima, in typical Jemima fashion, initially threw brute force and determination at the challenge, but that wasn't as successful a strategy as she'd hoped and she soon caught on. In the middle of such a terribly sad week, to see that beautiful black bunny throwing those plastic pegs about to get at the treats was just the most joyful and hilarious thing.

In the end she took responsibility for taking the difficult decision away from me. She started to show signs it was getting worse late in the evening on 25th March 2013, not wanting to use her leg at all and only showing a passing interest in food. The next morning I found her lying with her head buried in a corner not wanting to come out, the pain had come on very quickly and she had had enough. We took our last car journey together and after a few minutes wait that seemed to last for hours we went in to see the vet. I got to see the pain, and then the last of her life, fade peacefully from her eyes right there in front of me. Our time together was done.

Oh Jemima, you were such a wonderful and unique soul, I hope you knew how much you brightened every day you were in my life. Even your insistence on modifying all my clothes with extra chompy holes made me laugh! I love you and miss you every day. Binky free my wonderful friend.

Wednesday 25 March 2015

Hark! A Messenger Approaches!

"I came all the way down here to give you a very important message, surely all that effort deserves a reward? No, I don't remember the message, just give me a flippin' carrot already!"

Tuesday 24 March 2015

After Math

"Mr Tickles? Did you see those silly humans put our messy-floofy-heads on the intehwebs yesterday? And other silly humans made comments?"

"Yes, but why would I mind? I'm getting paid these tasty pellets!!! [...nom.nom.nom...]"

"Well, human, these are, indeed, tasty. But I think you should pay me one for each floofy bit out of place in that photo, so I make that...let's see...add the bit over the ears, carry the three...how many sacks are left in the store?"

Monday 23 March 2015

Monday Morning Mop Mayhem

SCENE: It's early morning at the Rescue. Bunnies have just got out of bed. Some cruel human shows Aoura a mirror...


Fortunately she has her husbun for support...

"What's wrong, honeyfluff? You look perfect!"

Sunday 22 March 2015

Sleep. Eat. Sunday

"What time is it? Dinner time? Or time for you to leave me the heck alone and get a new watch maybe?"

Scheduling Problems

"Wow, you're taking a chance being this behind with breakfast, you know what a temper Scamper has, you'd better hand it over before it's too..."


Friday 20 March 2015

Thursday 19 March 2015

Dappy Does Dinner

"Of course I'm not lying, if I was lying I'd say you're supposed to give me MORE pellets. So come on measure them out....no that's too much. Give me that pile and you jolly well start again and we'll keep doing this until you get the quantity just right."

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Wedged Wood

"Hmmm...yup, I see what you've done. You've got stuck. Does that help?"

Sunday 15 March 2015

The Picky, The Picker and the Pickee

"...and this part of the garden right here is mine..."

"Errr...Anouska? I think there might be somebun who disagrees with you there..."

"What the...??!!!"

"Right, human! Since you let these interlopers into MY garden, your punishment will be to pick up all their poos, not with a dustpan and brush but with this litter picker. One at a time. Until they are ALL gone. And if you do it again, next time there will be no picker to use either."

Saturday 14 March 2015

Left In The Back

"Oh, I don't know, I'll check...Oreo, have a look out the back and see if we've got a left-handed carrot peeler in stock for...hang on..."

"Are you trying to be funny??!!"

Friday 13 March 2015

Thursday 12 March 2015

Meet Old Soldier and Fariyah

We might have a bit of an unintentional theme developing for Thursdays, what with this week and last weeks photo's, but let's not dwell too much on my ineptitude! Moving on...

One of the reasons we went a bit off schedule yesterday was that on Tuesday I was at the Rescue helping to cover the last day of Caroline's well deserved holiday. I cleaned, I medicated, I fed, I went home and collapsed. I was shattered. (If Eleanor's reading this she is probably now chuckling to herself as I only managed half a day while she was there all week, but still, I'm old, I'm unfit, I'm weak and everything hurts now. Anyway...) So I didn't have a post ready for our usual 06:30GMT.

The other extra job I had the two days I was volunteering during Caroline's holiday was being "The Hay Man". Hay would be delivered to the Rescue, I would deliver it to the hospital at Caroline's house for the volunteers there. I'd not been to the hospital for a while, so this gave me a chance to catch up with some of the elderly and sick bunnies I haven't seen for some time. It also gave me a chance to get some quick snaps of bunnies I don't have decent photographs of.

Which actually gives me an idea for a quick and random photo tip:

If you want to take your bunny photography to the next level, you can achieve really great, professional-looking portraits of your fluffy friends with a basic DSLR and a cheap 50mm prime lens.

That look that's in 90 percent of my photo's, where the bunny's face is all sharp but the background is soft/blurred? (See below) That's pretty much how it's done. It's all about the F numbers. A 50mm prime lens, aperture set to around F2.8 and you can get some really gorgeous shots. For a few hundred quid for a basic or second hand camera body plus under a hundred for the lens and you're away. There are a couple of downsides to this setup however:

  • Unlike a compact camera which most bunnies will ignore or possibly just sniff and chin, a chunky DSLR looks quite menacing to a bunny unfamiliar with it, it will be treated with much suspicion. I've seen many a bunny at the Rescue just run the moment a bigger camera is pointed at them.
  • With a 50mm lens you need to stand back a good few feet to get a bunny in the picture. There's no holding parsley out to snap a quick and easy shot with this setup, not unless you have really inhumanly long arms!

DSLRs are not entirely practical in day-to-day non-bunny photography either, since they are a pain to carry around and there are an awful lot of places that ban them to keep professional photographers out (or at least those who haven't paid for the privilege of taking pics they can make money off). But if you want to get more serious about your bunny photography right now, this is a good way to go.

I should probably just throw in a quick aside here, I firmly believe that the high-end compacts are still better bunny cameras, but to get those small F numbers and comparably high picture quality on a compact can end up costing much more. Looking tonight on Amazon, the Sony RX100 III F1.8 compact camera is selling for around 580 quid, whereas you could buy a Canon 700D with a 50mm F1.8 lens for less than that or even a 1200D and the same lens together for less than 360 quid. There are all sorts of reasons why that is not really a fair comparison, and the options are further complicated by some amazing advances in mirrorless cameras lately, like the awesome Sony A6000, but I'm going off topic a bit here and could end up writing pages and pages on this...so let's get back to the bunnies!

So there I am with my DSLR and 50mm lens at the bunny hospital ready to get all portraity. One of the bunnies I don't have any decent pics of is Old Soldier. He's a lovely chap, quite docile and generally friendly to anyone who will stroke his head. Oh, and he is...well...huge. Possibly the largest French Lop I have seen here. He was only at the Rescue main site a few weeks before he moved with his very poorly and regular sized partner Fariyah to Caroline's house (Fariyah had one of her kidneys removed if I remember correctly, she is doing much better now). I guess I should introduce her too, so say hello to Fariyah!


So anyway, like I said, it was also a great chance to get a decent photo of Old Soldier. So I lined up the camera, I moved back a bit, then a bit more, then back until I was pushed up against the side of the pen as far away from him as I could and I took the picture.

"When you have finished over there, are you coming back for more nose rubs?"

He does possess two complete ears, I can assure you. Like I said, he's huge. Next time I'm going to take my smaller camera and just hope he doesn't eat it.

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Maximus Hideybun

"Oh, you finally found me. Well I guess it was inevitable."

"You know what inevitable means right? It's like...you turning up looking like you do your clothes shopping in a dumpster. Inevitable."

Support Fat Fluffs

Our friends over at Fat Fluffs are fighting to save their rabbit rescue from closure today. You can find out more and show your support via the petition below:

Petition - Urge Solihull Council not to close Fat Fluffs Rabbit Rescue

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Definitely Maybe Not

BHV: Oh bunnies, there's no carrot left in the bucket, you don't mind just having spring greens and a tiny bit of broccoli do you, to save me a trip back to the other end of the Rescue for some more?

BHV: Errr...maybe I'd better just go get the carrots. The big carrots. And throw the lot in from a safe distance.

Monday 9 March 2015

Sprat's Big Monday Mouf

"Mondaaaaaayyy!!! How you doin'?!"

Sunday 8 March 2015

Another Pleasant Bunny Sunday

"Whisky Bunny here, just thought I'd fill you all in on what I've been doing today.

Well first of all was breakfast, which being Sunday was several hours late. Although my human wandered out of his room around usual breakfast time, he mumbled something incoherent and had that funny smelling breath he always seems to have after a Saturday night, then went back to bed! The cheek!

Well anyway, breakfast finally did appear and after that I had the usual indignity of being stuffed in that steamy plastic box. I think it's supposed to make me breath better, which is fine, but I don't really like being shut in it when I could be getting on with some bunny stuff. I've tried sticking my face up against the bit where the medicines are pumped in so I can take them in more quickly, but that doesn't seem to get me out of it any sooner, so instead I'm trying putting on my vulnerable cute face when the human opens the box to make him feel guilty. What do you think, does this say 'I'm too cute and fluffy to be stuffed in a box!" to you?"

"After the box thing it was already mid morning, so it was beyond time for a nap. Luckily, there was still plenty of sun by the window to laze in!"

"On Sundays when the human messes up my schedule, I feel obligated to return the favour, so I wait until he finally starts doing something productive in the house and then demand to be taken out into the garden! Had a bit of a race around today, much warmer than it has been for weeks, but mostly I was just larking about to bug the human and stop him getting on with whatever boring human stuff humans do."

"Sunday went a bit downhill after that. As I was demanding my prize for fastest four-legged garden lap for the day, the human spotted some of my loose fur he wanted to brush. Fortunately he's older and slower than me, so I ran under the table and stayed there until he got bored and went to clean something of his. Stupid humans."

"Of course there was dinner and more being stuffed in the box later, the human obviously didn't get the message earlier about the box thing. The human has also decided that since it is warm enough for me to change coats, he would too, so he spent some time faffing around taking the snuggly layer out of his winter coat to turn it into a summer one. I guess that means I won't need my warm scarf anymore this season, the one that Auntie Jane sent, so I'm wearing it one last time today before I put it away until the cold weather comes back. What do you think? Handsome?"

"Well that's about it from me this week. Hope you are all having a good weekend and that your week ahead is full of joyful things! Bye for now!"

Saturday 7 March 2015

The Twilight Movie

"Hey you, human - you wanna take me to the pictures? That Sushi never takes me anywhere. I'd quite like a date. No wait, a cranberry. No, no, bring me a banana..."

Thanks Twilight, but maybe I'll just leave you to have a night in with your husbun and some snacks off the healthy list instead...

Friday 6 March 2015

Thursday 5 March 2015

Meet Super-Ted

"Hey, I've got a photo tip for ya - try 'left a bit'"

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Paws On, Hands Off



"The last one to take their paws off gets to keep the snack bucket, that's how this works, right?"

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Keeping Out The Riff-Raff

"Yup, that should be strong enough to keep those pesky humans out of our....oh. I'm terribly sorry, I couldn't just ask you to pop over to the other side of these bars could I? Thanks awfully!"