Saturday 31 October 2015

Halloween 2015

What do we fear the most?

A terror that confronts us head on, one that we can see and maybe even rationalise?

Or is it the unknown creature, with terrifying teeth, that lurks in the darkness?

My heart skips a beat as I pass the shadows, imagination battling feverishly against any sense of reason. My pace quickens. Did I just see something move? A shape? A...thing? Now my pulse pounds in my temple, my heartbeat thunders in my chest. there even anything there?

No longer can I take the sense of not knowing. I stop. I reach out a trembling hand, slowly towards the blackness...

Stay safe, people.

Friday 30 October 2015

Too Fat To Clap

DISCLAIMER: Caught in the middle of cleaning herself, hunched up in a ball with paws and other bits in motion, B. looks way chunkier here than even she actually is. I can assure you though that she looked her normal self in the photos either side of this one. I wouldn't want you to think we tolerate total chubsters at the RRR, fat is really not a healthy state in bunnies. But, frankly, I found it too hilarious not to post this unflattering photo anyway! Sorry Boadicea! Er...I'm ready for my chomping now...

Thursday 29 October 2015

The Distraction Desnacktion

"If you humans think you're so much cleverer than us bunnies, then answer me this: If a train leaves New York heading West, travelling at 100mph, and another leaves Santa Monica at the same time heading East, travelling at 120mph, and the distance from coast to coast is approximately 2800 got that? OK, OK then, here's the what point will the dumb human notice that Jubilee sneaked up behind them and ate all the snacks out of their bucket? See? Bunnies: much cleverer."

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Big Things in Small Packages

One rabbit who was a big hit with me as soon as I saw her was little Skyla, a six year old doe who came in recently. My first introduction was finding her in the reception barn and shoving my arm in with her to give her a fuss, which she enjoyed, and then being treated to a somewhat shocked double-take from Caroline when she walked past.

The reason for this was eventually relayed to me- poor little Skyla had been living in a tiny hutch all her life and on the rare occasions she had been allowed to free range the garden, the owner's method of getting her back in was to set the family dog on her. It is somewhat understandable then that upon being given up, Skyla's response to her rescuer's loving embrace was to give a battle cry and decide that one sleeve would benefit from added ventilation. The words “fear aggressive” on her new-arrivals sign should have been a give-away but for my distraction at the sight of her, as I am a major sucker for Netherland Dwarfs.

We seem to have an understanding though, she and I... I often give her headrubs with immunity and can pick her up with no issues. She's certainly a little lady who knows her own mind though!

Every time you go past you call me “Skyla-Pants” … Really, do I look like I'm wearing clothes to you?!”

Sorry Skyla... I'll try to stop the silly names... but I'm afraid the squeeing is going nowhere.

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Edmund Snackgrabber

"Yeah, I'll take your treats, but why on earth would I want to show you my tail??!!"

Well you see Edmund, it's Tuesday and we have this regular feature... Never mind, I can't resist that face! Have all the treats anyway!

Monday 26 October 2015


"Wow, there are a lot of rabbits round here. I think it's about time we staged a piggy-mouf-Monday take-over!"

"Piggy-mouf takeover!! Woo-hoo!"

"Er, I think you'll find there's a slight problem with that - THIS IS A RABBIT BLOG YOU SILLY PIGGIES!!"

"Plus, I think you'll find we already got da cute moufs covered..."

Sunday 25 October 2015

Breakfast Then Steam Room

"Oh great, I don't even get time to clean up between carrots and nebulising? What kind of lame, disorganised spa joint are you running here?!"

Saturday 24 October 2015

The Mysterious Disappearance

"What carrot? I don't see no carrot."

Thursday 22 October 2015

That Orangey Taste

"Yeah, it looks sore, but I think your bigger problem is that Samosa has been going around telling all the other bunnies your fingers taste of carrots."

Wednesday 21 October 2015

The Watcher

Working with rabbits produces a number of surprises, from intakes that are “definitely a girl”, to suddenly falling in or out of love for no apparent reason, to that moment when you turn around and the rabbit watching you from the next aviary is not the round black one you were expecting.

It's not often I see one of the rescue's real wildies. While the hand-reared trio are often out and about, the girls who are bonded to domestic rabbits have a tendency to disappear at the drop of a hat and hide all day. To turn around and have Odyssey not only in the open but actually allowing me to take photos of her (albeit at a distance) was a pleasing moment and I hope it wasn't a one off!

I don't know why you are acting like that, I do live here too you know.”

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Tuesday Tail #56

Somehow, floofy-faced Ava seems not to have made it onto this blog, despite being with us for quite some time. So I thought I'd give her a day in the spotlight today. Of course, it's Tuesday, so...

Can you see her cute little wispy, floofy tail? Actually, now I look at that picture, I'm not sure which...hang on, let me try this end...

Nope, that end appears to be grumpy at me, one more try...

Much better! Happy Tuesday everyone and everybun!

Sunday 18 October 2015

Finger of Photo

I don't know how well this shows up, but here is what my finger looks like today after Samosa tried to bite it off at the Rescue yesterday:

Her teeth went deep into the flesh either side and she yanked at it with some force. At first I thought, what with bunnies having that blind spot immediately in front of their noses, she had meant to snatch the carrot I was holding and make off with it at speed. But then later when I realised she had targeted the very finger I needed to operate my camera, I started to wonder if maybe I'd been targeted under some sort of contract, a 'hit' if you will. All I can say is, I didn't get many photos this week AND....ouch.

Actually, I very nearly didn't make it to the Rescue this week. My dear little sofa-wettener Whisky has not been having a good time of it. At some point last weekend he stopped eating hay, by Monday morning he had stopped eating anything. He was trying, just not succeeding. You could leave him in front of a plate of food, come back 20 minutes later you would find the food still there but spread all over the floor with him desperately trying to pick it up and keep it in his mouth long enough to chew it.

Whisky's vet thinks Whisky is struggling to breath through his nose, which makes it especially difficult while he's eating, his recurring infection seems to have quietly spread to his other side as well as worsening. To try and combat this he is back on antibiotics, back on twice a day nebulising with Ventolin and F10, he also had a few days of syringe feeding. Thankfully he has not gotten any worse in the last week, but not exactly improved much either. At best we are back to how we were last weekend, he can just about eat regularly grated carrot again (for most of the week I had to finely grate it almost into a mush) and regular pellets if I help them into his mouth, but it varies unpredictably, sometimes he can't. He got a bit depressed with the change in routine, especially being back to having syringes stuffed in his mouth, but he has accepted that again so hopefully he will start fighting back at the germs better now that he has cheered up again. Back to the vets for a check-up and more decisions tomorrow. In the meantime I shall accept my place as stuffer-of-snacks...

"Speaking of which...get with the stuffing already!"

Saturday 17 October 2015


"Wow, I could get really fit running up and down this path!"

"Yeah I know, I struggled to keep a straight face saying that! Wake me when the snack barrow swings round again, would you?"

Thursday 15 October 2015

The Black Widow

One thing at the Rescue that we are in a constant attempt to do is pair up our long term singles, something that can be very easy or can be an outright disaster- after all, many of these long term singles are singles for a reason, for example their lack of social skills, previous trauma or from thinking they are the Bunny God's gift to rabbit-kind and their prospective suitor not sharing their opinion.

Alternatively, some of the singles have lost their partners and require a new friend. One such bunny is Mars, who alas has already outlived three partners during her time here- Dexter, Kirk and poor disabled Houdini, who was a favourite at the rescue.

Although I must have known her from years as a volunteer, I only really started to notice Mars when I got employed and had to do the breakfast rounds on weekdays, but usually all I saw was a black nose poking out of the bedroom waiting patiently for me to leave.

It is therefore with some delight that Mars consented to a match with Megacolon Syndrome rabbit Bailey B and her behaviour has changed dramatically. She is now seen outside of her house and eats breakfast in full view, which I hope will be a state of affairs that will continue as she gains confidence.

Watching all the snuggling is good for the soul too...

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Making History

Since the Rescue created the position of Animal Care Assistant a couple of years ago, there have been two of us who have held it. A few months have gone by since I became the one in the job longest and yesterday, the 13th October, was my first anniversary (and goodness hasn't that gone fast!)

Throughout the last twelve months I've seen faces come, faces go, miracles happen and a lot of great British weather, from ice covered gloves to standing under the hose pipe wrapped in wet towels. It's been quite a year.

The Rescue itself has changed dramatically from when I first started volunteering here in 2010- for one thing it has been completely remodelled and not a great deal of the original accommodation remains as it was. We now have bigger and better housing with two large barns and are looking to the future with Caroline's new Furniture for Rabbits initiative and plans to convert a barn into a new hospital space. I have no doubt that this time next year things will be very different again!

"I did get you a gift... but now I can't see where I've put it..."

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Tuesday Tail #55

Lindor, after a long time being single, has recently been bonded with Solstice. I tried to take a photo of the happy couple but Lindor is more interested in digging under the shed than posing. Fortunately it's Tuesday...

Sunday 11 October 2015

The Smell of Saturday

Yesterday was the first Saturday in a very long time I didn't need to throw myself out of bed early in the morning to go feed and water 200+ eagerly awaiting bunnies. I only needed to feed three. But instead of being met with the usual happy furry faces when I finally rolled out of bed, instead of Whisky following me downstairs to direct my chopping and grating from the kitchen doorway, they all scarpered. Whisky hid in his kennel, Anouska and Bobbit in their bolt box. It was a very disconcerting way to start my day at home.

The lagomorphic distrust, which continued throughout yesterday, was no mystery. It was sustained in part by the change in routine - they are not used to me getting up so late, or to me being at home all day filling the house with the sort of bleachy smells you might associate with a clean bathroom. Bunnies have a natural, quite sensible fear of the unknown and the unfamiliar. My bathroom is rarely so clean. But that wasn't what started it.

This morning as I went to greet them and collect the bowls they all came running like nothing had happened. Why? Because this morning, having had several days of not needing to leave the house, I had showered. For an animal whose idea of a wash is to lick their self all over with the same tongue they used to lick their bottom just minutes earlier, they expect a surprisingly high level of cleanliness in others.

"Hey, we generally remember humans by their smell, don't blame us for not recognising you! Plus, you're looking a bit fatter than I remember my human being...perhaps it's time to hit the weights again?"

Does everyone else get this kind of stick from their bunnies or did I just strike 'lucky' in Whisky?

Saturday 10 October 2015

Big Sleep, Little Amy

Now that I'm volunteering at the Rescue less, I will inevitably be posting some photos long after they were taken. I can't see too many issues with that, it's not like I am going to forget the little conversations and incidents that accompanied them!

Take today's photo of our roaming gardeners for example. What this photograph CLEARLY demonstrates is that Archimedes is SO BIG that Amy's miniature clone can stand on him without even waking him up, though that does cause Boadicea to cover her ears just in case he does yelp.

Yup, nailed it. Memory:- sharp as a tack. Now, can anyone remember where I put my shoes...

Thursday 8 October 2015

Halloumi Loves...Amell?

Halloumi is a beautiful, friendly but hard-to-please Rex who has been at the Rescue and on her own for far too long. Of course, lots of families have wanted to take her home, but in all cases she rejected their bucks (or they rejected her). She even rejected dear Wizz eventually, despite some initial positive signs. The good news is that (assuming I haven't cursed it with this post) she finally seems to be getting on with her new friend Amell. They are an odd-looking couple, he looks a little small to be her husbun, but sometimes it's the odd couples that work the best.

"Look, she's twice my size, she needs twice the snacks. And I need twice that to keep up with her. So give, 7 portions of snacks!"

Wednesday 7 October 2015

The Poo Fairy

Hello Everyone!

Obviously you know the big news that BHV, who has been a major part of the Rescue's team, has decided to reduce his role. Naturally his help will be very much missed, with the double blow that his wonderful blog will not be as filled with his own masterpieces because of it. Unfortunately for you guys, that means you get me popping up now and then and I cannot promise either his fancy photography or his humorous wit!

I should start by introducing myself. I am the current Animal Care Assistant at the Rescue, so apart from the founder and manager Caroline, I’m on site the second longest time of anyone. So, what is it I do? Aside from helping Caroline in various tasks like ferrying bunnies about or occasional food and water, my biggest and greatest task is being the Poo Fairy, where I wave my magic wand (aka dustpan and brush…) and wage war on the neverending forces of our constant nemesis, the Active Rabbit Digestive System*.

Of course, not everyone is happy about that…

Gnnnnghh! I just got my house just the way I wanted it!!”

(* Naturally I'm joking... a non-active digestive system is far more worrying a thing, although if you could teach them how to flush afterwards I'd be a) very happy and b) probably unemployed...)

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Tuesday Tail #54

It's that time of year again when I find myself spending many hours trawling my photo library from the past 12 months looking for shots I think might print well enough to appear in the calendar. Lots of stress and pressure to pick out photos that people might like, photos that are in focus, photos with a good balance of colour and, by some miracle (because it's bunnies), a complete absence of poo.

When I started looking I discovered once again that I have taken lots of photos I like that are the wrong shape for the calendar (portrait rather than landscape). This, like previous years, sent me into a panic and triggered two extra Sundays at the Rescue taking hundreds more (mostly very poor) photos. This also involved lots of standing in binky areas waving my fists at the sky cursing the Sun God for ruining all my shots with unsightly shadows. But no fear, I did get a few extra photos to present to Amy ready for her to choose her twelve. Once more I can relax. At least until she next emails me with feedback...

One pair of residents we really wanted to include were Archimedes and Boadicea. They are such a feature of the Rescue, it wouldn't seem right to have a calendar without at least one of them this time round, but again, no suitably oriented photos. So I took a few and I thought this one came out the best:

But then I figured maybe turning over to a new month to be faced with a carrot-fattened butt might not be what people buy the calendar for. Oh well, there's always the 2017 calendar Archimedes - you might have learned to pose the other way round by then!

Monday 5 October 2015

All Fronts

"Rustling the kale bag gets you the Ear of Attention - you wanna shake out the carrots for a pair?"

Sunday 4 October 2015

Big Changes?

I can't decide what to write here today. It's late and I'm exhausted, so maybe simple is best.

Last weekend I had my last official day as a weekly volunteer at the Rescue. I have been volunteering every Saturday, plus the occasional Sunday and weekday, for seven and a half years. At some point that became a problem without me realising. Maybe I should have checked my bank balance and looked around at my life more often. I guess you live and learn.

Well anyway, although I'm not sure how I will cope with not seeing all my little fluffy friends every week, as of this week I have been officially demoted from weekly to occasional volunteer. We'll see how that works out.

As I won't be at the Rescue every weekend I will no doubt be missing all the cute and crazy little things our furry friends do and say. I guess that means I will be posting on this blog less in future, but perhaps my fellow volunteers will be there to bear witness and report instead - I mean, someone still needs to stuff snacks and treats in those little moufs after all!

Big changes. Oh well, at least I will get more time to spend with this little guy...

"You did WHAT??!! What makes you think I want you messing up my Saturday plans?"

It's nice to be appreciated by your family. I imagine.

Saturday 3 October 2015

Chin Head

"Rosetta, just because I can't chin the top of my own head doesn't mean you can claim it - it's MY head!"

Thursday 1 October 2015

Rosé and Chablis Home Again

Rosé and Chablis went to their new home this week. You may recognise them not only from this blog but because our photos of them have been used (with permission) a number of times by Best4Bunny in their rabbit welfare and education materials.

These two fun, excitable bunnies had been re-homed previously and sadly had to be returned to us, but they are such a wonderful pair they generated quite a bit of interest and now have another new home.

We will surely miss them, but we are so pleased they now have a family of their own again!

I didn't realise they were going this week until after it happened, but as luck would have it I happened to snap some pics of them on Sunday when I was at the Rescue.

Good luck in your new home girls!