Tuesday 31 May 2016


When Caroline was with the Rescue, one had to be aware that what the rabbit was called and how the rabbit's name was spelled could be two very different things. It is thanks to her that we have a rabbit called Wondar (Wanda) and a lot of Houdini's paperwork announces the existence of "Houdeani". It wasn't until I was the witness of a sudden lamentation about why nobody could pronounce the name properly that I discovered the truth behind the name Tigris- Yes, she's a female tiger.

"That's right! Don't mess with me, I'm a huntress! Watch me show this willow ball who is the boss around here!"

Monday 30 May 2016

The House Elf

Elf could be renamed Mr Lucky after the last couple of weeks. He is one of our special needs rabbits with chronic digestive issues that result in him inexplicably going into bouts of stasis for a day. Usually the result of this is that we arrive in the morning to find a big mess and Elf looking rather pleased with himself.

A couple of weeks ago, however, Elf did not recover from his stasis and was horrendously unwell day after day, so much so that euthanasia was being discussed as a serious option. The curious thing was that he could swing between energetic and happy to wretched and in discomfort in the same day, with no apparent trigger.

I did at one point consider taking him home with me to monitor him over the weekend. Thankfully, having been taken off two of his meds and confined to his Special Needs Unit so he can't come out into his grass area, Elf has continued to eat and appears happier. He has lost a lot of weight and muscle condition, which we will try to get him to put back on, but for the time being he appears to have evaded the Grim Squeaker by a matter of days.

"What do you MEAN I'm not allowed out any more?? But who will eat all this lovely grass??"

Somehow dear boy, I think we'll find a few people willing...

Sunday 29 May 2016

No Dummy

I am fortunate enough not to have had to do medicines recently without one of the more experienced medicators somewhere on site for advice and to help with the odd tricky one. For me, 'tricky' includes figuring out which sister is which in the popstar trio. Now clearly, the one that runs away when they see you approaching holding a syringe is a good bet, but maybe she's finally realised the folly of this strategy because...

"Ha ha, how you gonna tell now?! See, my ability to fool you is almost as great as my...ventriloquism. Er...she said that."

Saturday 28 May 2016

Irresistibly Sprat

After several years of having his wonky incisors burred every 4-8 weeks, Sprat had them removed earlier this year, but since then he has been a bit funny about breakfast. For a while he even developed somewhat of a pellet mush addiction - you could try offering him other foods, theoretically he should have had no trouble eating them, but he'd turn his nose up. Mushy pellet goodness was all he wanted.

It's not like there hasn't been any improvement but Sprat has still not been entirely his old happy self so I have been spending more time with him recently to cheer him up. Mostly with his favourite snacks. It definitely worked, but I've had so much fun hanging out with him again that now I just want to take him home. And thanks to all the extra treats, Sprat seems to have decided that might not be a bad thing...

"Forget the adoption forms - I'll just climb right into your camera bag and we can leave now, Amy will never know!"

Hmmm...I think she might notice. Plus, I'm not so sure Mrs Sprat will be happy about that either...

"Well that depends if you have another bag for me and a third one with MY favourite treats too?"

They're not exactly making it easy for me to resist here. [sigh]

Friday 27 May 2016

Bailey B's Big Day Out

Bailey B and Mars' aviary is one of our smallest, so it is perhaps no surprise that when I went to clean them out this week he made a bolt for the door and the big wide world.

As you can see, he didn't get very far.


Thursday 26 May 2016

Roscoe's Progress

Roscoe is one of our luckiest bunnies. On the day of the Rescue's Christmas get-together last year, he suddenly became severely ill and wasn't expected to live. After being rushed to the vets as an emergency he was diagnosed with liver failure and amazingly pulled through. He's been on a cocktail of drugs ever since and given a restricted low-iron diet.

"My husbun says he doesn't want his medicines any more, so kindly cease and desist."

That's ok, Roscoe, we don't want you to have your medicines any more either. Happily, if you could count, you'd know you've been doing very well and we've only got a couple more to wean you off of! Good boy.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Shaving Accident

So, what did we learn today? If I'm standing there throwing woodshavings into your newly cleaned hutch, what do you not go and do?

Tuesday 24 May 2016


"We're going to a new home soon? Well what are you waiting for? Get a stylist! My wife wants her hair done and you can give me a pedicure."

Monday 23 May 2016

The Fascinator

I'm sorry, Maximus, but I don't think your new fashion statement is going to catch on...

Sunday 22 May 2016

A Bit of Moll And Flanders

I don't know about you, but to me this looks like it could be the opening shot from the titles of a new comedy sketch show...

(Go on, tell me you wouldn't watch it...!)

Saturday 21 May 2016

Harper's Choice

"One tunnel leads to nirvana, the other to damnation. Choose wisely and know that, either way, material possessions will no longer be of use to you. You should leave ALL those treats with me and THEN stick your head in a tube is probably the take-away point here."

Friday 20 May 2016


One morning I came to do breakfast and, in one of our special needs units, a sombre scene developed. Sprat, one of our toothless rabbits from dental issues, was served up offerings of grated carrot and shredded kale and examined both with little enthusiasm. After a while of wondering if he was feeling ok, I hit upon the reason for it.

His Lordship ordered broccoli, thank you so much.

"Honestly now, you've moved me into this lovely mansion, we have lush grass to roam on, why would I be anything less than completely discerning on what I get served when I partake of my morning feast?"

Thursday 19 May 2016

Camera Shame

"Ooh, she's here for our photo shoot and I didn't get a chance to groom yet! The shame, where can I put my face?"
"You can put it lots of places, my earhole doesn't need to be one of them."

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Sharing Is Caring

So, P-Buns, are you going to share any of that with Mattie?


Tuesday 17 May 2016

Bon Free

Bonita, the fear-aggressive former Spanish meat rabbit, finally managed to move house into one of our "Rabbitopias" in recent weeks, which is a sort of large aviary with platforms, ramps, hiding places and tunnels. Remembering her escapades during her first night when she escaped from her overnight cage and scaled up our shelving units in the Reception Barn, I thought it would be perfect for her. While she still hates being touched, she is enjoying begging angelically for food through the mesh and has learned to chase volunteers around the perimeter of the Rabbitopia simply so she can make that face at people.

Unfortunately this has made her rather difficult to photograph as she enjoys her new area.


No, Bon-Bons, please sit still and look photographic for me, just once?


That's a lovely ear you have Bons, but really doesn't help my efforts for blog photos! Can you stay put at a distance, pleeeease?

Ah well, if that's the best I'm going to get!


Monday 16 May 2016

Conflict Of Interest

"Cabbage? Is that really all you've got?"
"Mmph what's nom wrong with mmph cabbage?"

Sunday 15 May 2016

The Snack Inspectors

"HALT! Official Snack Inspectors! Put down that bucket and wait outside while we verify the quality of your goodies..."

Friday 13 May 2016


My set-up at home is not the best, especially as it requires (thanks to some poor planning on my part) that anyone wishing to enter the shed must climb into the run and shimmy through like a member of the SAS, the aviary attachment is shorter than I am and the additional puppy-panel enclosure that they can be allowed out into with supervision is so tall my mother can hardly get her legs over it.

That aside, I seem to have a new challenge. Next to my shed I have an old hutch I use for storage and, seeing an opportunity to fundraise in the upcoming sunnier and warmer weather, I planned to retrieve some old plant pots and grow flowers and herbs. My plan was thwarted in moments when I found that Mr and Mrs Bob had other ideas.

Yes, I now have (I believe) four Boblings right next to my door latch on the shed. After carefully sneaking around them and periodically scaring Mrs Bob out of the nest as she was incubating, I now have to suffer from barrages of melodic aggression like machine gun fire every time I even think of going near my own rabbits.

Thanks guys, what a great place to raise a family! Only another week or so to go... right?

Thursday 12 May 2016


For a long time we knew we were fated to lose little Cuba, an outgoing and adventurous little rabbit with terminal cancer. She never let it get her down, always rushing around, escaping out of her door in the mornings and enjoying her grass area like there was nothing wrong. Her appetite remained right to the end, but she had lost an extraordinary amount of weight and in the last couple of weeks her decline was rapid and obvious. Yesterday we decided with deep regret that it was in her best interests to be helped on her way before she crossed the line into complete unhappiness.

One thing that makes me very emotional is that her husbun Mallow- a rabbit not known for suffering humans gladly- had become very protective of her, often putting himself between Cuba and the approaching meds volunteer with great vigilance (and, on one occasion, with teeth). Yesterday, however, he sat in the doorway to the bedroom where she was settled and just let me fuss him before allowing me to take her away, like he knew it was time.

Kisses in the sun.

Goodbye little Cuba. I hope wherever you are now, you have a huge grass area that will forever be your own.

Wednesday 11 May 2016


Occasionally when walking around the rescue you disturb the rabbits doing whatever it is bunnies do when left to their own devices. Sometimes you catch a glimpse of a rabbit looking like it has been caught red handed doing something it wasn't supposed to do...

I'll find out, Bounty... I'll find out.

Tuesday 10 May 2016

Earl Meets His Countess?

"So you are telling me that I have to travel a hundred miles away in order to meet some blind woman who keeps beating up men? Oh, they asked for me specifically? Well sure, I'm absolutely gorgeous, it'll be love at first sight. Wait..."

Monday 9 May 2016

Hair Today... Gone Tomorrow

With the unexpected hot weather this past week, spare a thought for my dear little Mattie with his big ginger afro...


With a maximum floof length of about six inches, most of it thick wool, I felt that the time was ripe to bring out the final weapon in a long-haired bunny owner's toolbox, a pair of fur scissors...

"Next time I spot you sneaking up on me in warm weather, you won't see me for dust."

Sunday 8 May 2016

Doses Are Read

In the weeks since Caroline left we have been running a properly organised rota to make sure all the daily tasks are covered. There are slots each day for breakfast, morning meds, water, afternoon meds, dinner and cleaning, plus the vet run several days each week. This ensures nothing ever gets missed and we always know in advance which days we might need to rustle up extra help. All the volunteers have been absolutely amazing, rallying round to make sure everything gets done.

Depending on the different skills in each days team, covering everything can sometimes require us to switch around, so for example now instead of my usual opening of the Rescue and breakfast tasks I might be moved to one of the meds slots. On days that there are no injections to give I'm fine with this (I don't mind needles, I've had training and experience with giving injections, but if I've not done it for a while I get paranoid I'll incorrectly stab bunnies or my fingers) but there are so many bunnies to medicate and different things you need to know it can be quite complicated. Sometimes you might even need to work out how much of a medicine to give based on weight, concentration and dose prescribed by the vet.

If you need help with the maths, you can of course ask the bunnies to work it out for you. I gave Twizzel all the relevant numbers for his meds a few minutes ago, he's just crunching them in his head for me right now, he's going to give us the answer...

..any second now...

...maybe I'll just go get the calculator.

Saturday 7 May 2016

Hard Graft

Some weeks back we found Archimedes had split his foot open. It was quite a serious injury requiring him to have surgery to try to close the hole and treatment to avoid infection. The surgery was difficult due to the wound, we knew then it might not be enough and he might need a graft and that is in fact exactly where we were this week.

So on Wednesday he went in for a second surgery. If that doesn't take either then the last resort will be amputation, but it seemed to go well so we are hopeful. He is now in recovery and though he seems to be doing OK he is very grumpy about his enforced confinement while the healing happens. I mean, like, SUPER grumpy. This is Archimedes we are taking about.

Well anyway, rather than grumped out cage-rest pics, today we have a couple of pre-surgery photos from last week of the freedom (to trip volunteers!) he usually enjoys and will soon hopefully have back. Get better soon Archimedes!

Friday 6 May 2016


"No, I'm not going to come out and happily eat in front of you. No, I'm not going to rush up and be cute for people who want to stare at me, and no, I'm not going to stop being white and glowy when you try to take photos of me. Be glad I sat still this long!"

Thursday 5 May 2016


"I don't know what this 'Reserved' thing is, but a few other pairs have it now and it sounds like something we want! Any time now would be fantastic."

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Second Chances

Do you believe in second chances?

Earlier this year we attempted to bond one-eared Neon with our oldest resident, ten year old Tibby. It all seemed to be going like a fairy-tale, with much snogging and hanging out together in the sun, until we realised to our horror that at some tiny moment in time, he had injured her. Nobody saw it and certainly they must have made it up again afterwards, and we can only theorise that perhaps his previous bad bonding history (in which he was injured by two females in a row) made him jumpy and Tibby's over-affectionate advances on him might have been mistaken in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately the subsequent separation while Tibby underwent veterinary treatment and observation broke the bond completely and she refused to take him back.

Since the initial signs had been so promising, we decided to wait until they might just have forgotten about the whole affair and then give it another go, but more slowly and carefully.

So far it seems that while Neon is completely accepting of the idea of Tibby as his wife, she appears to have quite the elephantine memory! Here's hoping we can convince her to forgive him!

"Funny... I'm the one you were worried about but now SHE'S being mean!"

Tuesday 3 May 2016


It is with a heavy heart that I report that our dear little Jester passed away over the weekend.

Seeing him every morning at the Rescue has been such a highlight of the breakfast routine for so long it is hard to remember a time when Jester wasn't here. The earliest photo I can find of him was this one from May 2009:

This was most likely shortly after he arrived. He always had quite a sweet personality and of course always looked handsome and adorable!

Most noticeably, he was fairly bold and very friendly. Not a cautious one, if you were in his enclosure then he was probably on top of you looking for treats!

Though if you didn't have any on you, he was quite happy entertaining himself watching the world go by...

But mostly he was in your face looking for food or entertainment.

Jester was one of the easiest bunnies to photograph and his adorable looks always made for a great picture. Not surprisingly, with so many great photographs of him he regularly appeared here on the blog. His distinctive, happy, (front-) toothless face made him a frequent star of our Monday Mouf feature!

Having no front teeth, his breakfast was always grated. Like most bunnies he LOVED grated carrot, so much so it was best to grate it away from him or you would be repeatedly clonking him on the head with the carrot as he excitedly tried to eat it straight off the grater.

Apart from a recent course of treatment for mites, he had always been a healthy boy with no real medical issues. The first sign that anything might be up was Friday evening when he seemed off his food. The Friday team left a note for us to check on him first thing on arrival Saturday in case he had gotten worse and needed to go to the vets, but sadly he had passed away in the night. He was 8 years old.

A dear sweet fluffy friend who we all loved and will miss terribly. Binky free, Jester.

Monday 2 May 2016

The Exodus

April at the Rescue has been one of great changes and sudden departures.

Most notable and unexpected was the stepping down of Caroline Collings, the manager and founder of Rabbit Residence, as she moved on to pastures new after two decades. This has preceded a wave of change at the Rescue as Caroline's role passes on to others and future plans are made. One long-standing desire has been to reduce our numbers in the best ways possible so that we can be more efficient and attentive to those we care for.

With a large number of rabbits at the Rescue, many with great health problems or advanced in years, it has become somewhat of a sad consequence that we have our losses. Since Caroline left, we have said goodbye to four rabbits, including chronic abscess rabbit Snugs after his condition grew very severe; newly bonded Crystal after a short and terminal illness and elderly Maylin, whose passing aged nine and a half surprised us all greatly. She had been very happy and healthy until the end.

But those leaving us have not all been so unfortunate!

As well as the new homes of Stilton and Meadow and of rex boy Slipper, the Committee have relocated some of our healthy singles, of which we had many, to other Rescues to increase their chances of a new home elsewhere.

To the Warren Bunny Boarding in Sussex, my dearest Skyla, Socks the rex boy, McLaren and his toothless brother Tipex, new widow Arrietty (who was quickly bonded to a rabbit not entirely unlike Snugs and has a new home already!), Topaz the widow of Jake, and little Olive, who captured the hearts of the staff at the Warren and also is having the time of her life bossing around her two new husbuns as the head of an all fluffy trio.

To Wood Green the Animals Charity in Heydon, Magda, Ellen, big girl Raina, Toyah and Maureen. They also were happy to take the Rescue's guinea-pigs, four of whom were elderly holiday boarders who never left again after their owner was unable to take them back.

While it was sad to see them all go, one must remember that saying goodbye is very much a part of being a Rescue centre and that particularly in the case of the Warren we have remained updated on their progress. The majority of those rabbits are already much in demand if their affections can be won! With their moving on, we have managed to clear out one of our large barns on site, known as the "singles barn" because of its smaller indoor accommodation, and plans are already afoot to turn it into a properly thought out hospital area. We can't wait!

Sunday 1 May 2016

The Style Counsel

"I've combed it over, I've combed it behind my ears, nothing works, I don't know what else to do. Humans have rubbish fur, you must all have to deal with this problem every day, what do you do?"

BHV: We just live with it. [sigh]