Author Archives: Regina LaCaruba

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A Place to Grieve the Loss of your Pet Rabbit

Every person handles grief from a pet differently.  After the initial shock of the death of your pet rabbit, you may feel a sense of pain, loss and even guilt. Never let anyone convince you that you are “silly” to be grieving the loss of your pet rabbit. Any other dog, cat, or rabbit owner will understand and be able to empathize with you. I know I do. Losing a pet is many times like losing a family member. Sometimes it even feels worse, as you provided  care, love and affection every day. I know what I miss most of all is the way my bunny made me feel, the joy and laughter they brought me!

Feel free to share your favorite memories- or to express your sadness …. We’re all rabbit lovers here…

 

 

Helping Your Living Rabbit Handle the Death of his Bonded Pair

When my rabbit Meadow lost his best friend Cinnabun, this was a new field for me. I’d had rabbits before but always one at a time. Cinnabun died suddenly, and without cause, so naturally I was very worried about how Meadow would do without him.

I did some immediate reading on how to help Meadow cope with Cinnabun’s death and the first thing I found was from a vet who specialized in rabbits. He suggest I take Cinnabun’s body and show it to Meadow. It was awful and really difficult to do this, but Meadow hopped over, sniffed his dear friend, and said his goodbye (fairly quickly) and hopped away. And that was that. He knew he was dead and this way, would not be “waiting” for him to get back. If it’s not too late for you to do this step, I suggest it.

That first night, I slept in Meadow’s room. Camped out on the floor, left his cage open so he could be with me and have a cuddle buddy if he needed it, or give him the option of just being by himself. I don’t quite remember which he chose, but I think it made me feel a little better and get a bit of sleep, which I know I would have got none of staring at the ceiling in my bedroom.

The next few days I was a mess. We did a nice funeral for Cinnabun. For Meadow, we gave LOTS OF LOVE, HUGS, and of course TREATS. Lots  and lots of treats. And my Meadow loves massages, so lots of those too. I tried to be with him as much as possible. And again, I think it was more for me. I am not sure how animals grieve but I tend to think my animals have personalities and are smart, so I am sure he was sad. When I am sad, I don’t like to be alone, so I gave Meads lots of love and attention. For days, weeks, and months. Me and him. If his best buddy had to leave him, I certainly wasn’t going to. We both were going to be okay.

….And you will. You will all be okay. You, your family, your children, your other bunny. I can still think about my very first bunny Rabby and how I threw myself on the cage after she died, weeping. I can still remember how hard my mother and especially my father took her death. She was a great pet and she gave us all such happy family memories, it is still hard to think about her and not get sad.

As far as moving on and finding him a new buddy, make sure this is something you want to do. Because it may or may NOT work out. Seriously. For me, it didn’t, the first time around. ( I wouldn’t do it any sooner than 6 months, if you are thinking of it  – Please let your family and your rabbit properly grieve. ) Anyway, after about 6 months, we got a lop and turns out big ol’ lops aren’t the most lovey-dovey. Meadow is a European dwarf and ended up going from the dominant in his relationship with Cinnabun to the submissive with our big lop Blackberry. It didn’t work and honestly I was not about to put poor Meadow, who lost his best buddy, through being tortured into a submissive position. So these 2 had to be separated. You can read my other article about how to try and bond pairs and how it may not work – and also my other article on how I got my “engagement bunny” Bobby Carats, and how well he is working out with Meadow. Lucky for me, second time was a charm and lightning struck twice for my Meadow, who is now happy and cuddling with a new buddy. It’s a relief and I feel it was heaven sent for him from Cinnabun.

XO

Rabbit Litter Pan Training Made Easy

STEP 1: Rabbits instinctively use a specific corner of their cage as a toilet. Watch carefully for which corner your pet uses. Attach the litter pan in this corner.

*TIP* Discourage your pet rabbit from using the other corners by placing a bed in one corner, a water bottle in one corner, and a food dish in the remaining corner.

STEP 2: Place litter in the bottom of the little pan. (I like to use the small bits of recycled paper they sell. I have experimented with all different types of litter but my rabbits like this best because sometime they can read (haha I mean chew!) a small bit of paper while they “go”. Lock the littler pan in the predetermined spot.

*TIP* During the litter training process, to insure recognition of the litter pan as the toilet, place a small amount of your rabbits wet bedding and droppings in the litter pan on a daily basis. This will help your recognize this as the spot to use!

STEP 3: Routinely clean the litter pan. I put in just enough to soak up a few days urine, and clean the pan twice-three times a week. This way the room never gets smelly and also my rabbit’s bottoms are always nice and dry. If you have rabbits like mine, sometimes they like to sit in the litter pan for awhile, or even mini-nap!

*TIP* Don’t use strong cleaners on the littler pan. The toilet needs to smell like their toilet. If you empty the litter and change it routinely, you can just do one major actual cleaning of the litter pan a month and that should be fine.

Good Luck!

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How to Bond Pet Rabbits

My bunny Meadow was bonded for years to Cinnabun. They were truly best friends. Then Cinnabun passed away. Later, we fell in love with Blackberry and thought we would try to bond the 2. It was short-lived and Blackberry did not seem like the type of bunny who actually liked other bunnies. Now, months later, with my engagement, a new bunny, Bobby Carats, came to be a member of our family. Knowing what we know about Meadow, how loving he is, and how he has bonded before, we thought we’d give it another try. AND IT WORKED!

Bonding your bunnies is a nice thing to do, if you can. While you are at work, they will have a friend to pass time with, cuddle with, share food with, play with. I mean, imagine living a life alone in a cage with no friends?! Sounds awful to me. Unfortunately, sometimes, like with Blackberry, one bunny does not have a temperament conducive to bonding.

There is no guarantee your bunnies will bond, but it  is worth a try. It has now worked for me twice. So here are some HELPFUL BONDING STEPS  that may help your rabbit bond with another buddy.

1. Make sure both bunnies are fixed. In both my cases, I had one bunny first, fixed, alone for a few months. Then I decided to get a second a few months later. Keeping them separate from the very start, I only introduced them weeks after the second had been fixed and was well recovered from surgery.

2. Introduce the bunnies in small doses of time, in a neutral space. Neutral space can be a room they have both never been in, or even a bathtub.

3. Do this for a few weeks. It will definitely take some patience, but it is important.

4. Keep the bunnies living quarters separate, but move them closer. Since Meadow lives in a hutch I put the hutch separator in and let the other bunny live on the other side. This way they get to know one another, and after a while, they long for the separator to be taken out, so they can finally lay together! If you don’t have a hutch with these capabilities, stick their cages right next to one another.

5. If things are looking good, try them together, supervised of course! Maybe put out a nice treat of parsley for them to sit and share, and see how this first, longer dinner meeting goes!

Trick:  A trick that works is to bond bunnies over a “scary event”. Put them in a carry case together and take them on a bumpy car ride, or run the vaccuum with them out. Sometimes it takes a scary event to bring humans together, so there is no reason this couldn’t work for rabbits.

Helpful Tip: Give bunnies separate poop stations. With both situations I have been in, the bunnies seemed to like to have separate places to do their business! It may keep the peace!

 

 

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A Dove Mothers Orphaned Wild Rabbits

These little bunnies, about 6 days old, were attacked by a dog and orphaned.
Two out of the litter of five did not survive, and these three were not doing very well..

Noah is a non-releasable, one-legged homing pigeon/rock dove that is in the rehab center. Noah kept going over to the bunny cage and looking in — even sleeping in front of the door to the cage.

Then, suddenly, there were only two bunnies in the cage. But when Noah moved a bit from the front of the cage to everyone’s surprise…there was the tiny bunny…under Noah’s wing….sound asleep! That little bunny rabbit had crawled through the cage, preferring a featherbed, no doubt to snuggling up with its littermates!

Now, they are all together and the bunnies are doing GREAT. When the bunnies scoot underneath Noah’s feathers, he carefully extends his wings out to surround them and then they snuggle. When one of them moves and they start sticking out here and there, he gently pushes them back under him with his beak! It is beautiful and amazing to see…

Bob and Georganne Lenham of Wild Rose Rescue Ranch in Texas , home of Noah the Pigeon.  Although the bunnies seem to be his favorite, Noah helps out with many rescue babies here at the Wild Rose Rescue Ranch.
Noah’s first litter of bunnies, are almost raised and ready for release.

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Farewell to Fatty the Bunny

I thought I would share the special story of Fatty the Bunny from the Anderson’s, who are missing their bun very much. I’m sure Fatty is happy as he has joined all the other bunnies in Bunny Heaven who’ve been loved and had to leave us too soon. Rest in peace, Fatty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Maria Anderson;

“We found our rabbit, Fatty, at the Pet Shanty in 2003 when he was about a year old. Chris, the owner of the store sold him as a baby and, because he loves his animals, took him back when the people he sold him to could no longer care for him.  When I first saw him in his cage, he was lying on his belly, feet straight out behind him, looking like a giant bear.  He noticed me looking at him, jumped up, and put his paw on the cage looking at me like he knew me. I asked if I could hold him and he cuddled right into me like we were long lost friends.  I ran and found my husband in the store and asked if we could get him and he couldn’t say no.   Fatty was such a funny, feisty bunny.  He would run circles around my feet when he was happy, sit up and beg for treats,  pull on our pant legs and shoelaces, and run laps around the house until he found just the right spot where he would lay flat on his stomach, legs out behind him, and relax.  If he didn’t feel like playing, he would honk and grunt to let us know he needed his space.  He didn’t like to snuggle but he would put his nose right in your hand to pet him and if you stopped, he would nudge you like he was saying, “don’t stop yet.” He was also so smart–I remember giving him a toy box and he watched me as I picked it up and put it down. Then he came over to me very quietly, picked it up and put it down, and then nudged it toward me, like he was saying, “your turn now.”  Fatty was also a great friend to our dog Guthrie and our other rabbit Beans.  When we brought Fatty home in 2003, he was completely at home with Guthrie — a giant Newfie/Lab mix.  Fatty would nudge Guthrie and run away, and lay near Guthrie when he wasn’t feeling well.  When Guthrie died in 2007, we thought Fatty needed a new friend and we got Beans, a disabled spotted Lop.  It took a while for Fatty to accept another rabbit but once he did, he would leave his cage and go into Beans’ cage just to snuggle. Fatty died on 7/26/11 and we all miss him so much.”

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Rabbits are the “YIN” of “YIN/YANG”

A cool fact that not many people know about rabbits::

The Rabbit is the symbol of the Moon (YIN- Night time), while the Peacock is the symbol of the Sun (YANG- Day time).

This represents the YIN and YANG of life.

In this Year of the Rabbit (2011), on nights of a full moon, go outside and gaze at the Rabbit YIN Moon. Imagine the glow of the moon flowing into your body and filling you with fearlessness, love, courage and wisdom — all the characters that a rabbit possesses!

The first full moon of the month of February is February 18.

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Observing “Lepus”, the Rabbit Constellation

Did you know that there is a constellation in the sky that is in the shape of a rabbit?

Lepus (Latin for Hare) is a constellation located in ancient times by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. It is one of the modern day 88 constellations.

Because the Greek tale is told that Lepus was subject to Orion the Hunter, he is positioned underneath Orion’s feet and next to Orion’s hunting dog, Canis Major. In ancient Egypt, the stars of Orion were worshipped as an all-powerful god. To eat the rabbit would bring the character of timidity to a man, whereas to eat a horse would bring the character of swiftness.

FINDING THE RABBIT CONSTELLATION “LEPUS”.

The constellation Lepus can best be seen on winter evenings, close to the horizon in the Northern Hemisphere.  He can be found under Orion. Throughout the winter nights, Lepus will move slowly from the southeast to the southwest.

Lepus’ brightest star located in the middle of the hare’s body, is called Alpha Leporis, (Arneb, meaning ‘the hare’ in Arabic). It lies in the middle of the animal’s body. The stars Kappa, Iota, Lambda and Nu Leporis form an easily recognizable trapezoid and form the hare’s ears. Look in your binoculars for the brightest star, Arneb, found south-southeast of Rigel. Gamma Leporis is Arneb’s faint yellow companion.

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2011 is the Year of the Rabbit!

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit!

The Chinese New Year is February 3, 2011 through January 22, 2012.  According to Chinese tradition, the Rabbit is a lucky sign.  It brings a year for negotiation, for you to relax and to de-stress and calm your nerves.   To gain the greatest benefits from the Year of the Rabbit,  focus on  family, create a peaceful lifestyle, and be diplomatic with any problem that may arise.

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Traveling with Your Pet Rabbit by Car

Traveling with your rabbit in a car can be easy …or very stressful! Trips to the vet that are just a 10 to 20 minute drive can easily wear on your rabbit.

Not a Head Rest but a Meads Rest! Meadow is not a rabbit who enjoys car travel. He gets very stressed by the ride to the vet and it takes him a good while and lots of rubs to relax again. I can see him panicking in the carrier, so when I am not driving, while good or bad, I let him ride on my lap. In one particular occassion, he decided he would quickly scramble up and smush himself behind my neck and the car seat. Funny enough, that spot seemed to do the trick to calm him down.

If your rabbit does not travel well, do not make him travel unnecessarily. If car travel cannot be avoided, make the drive as comfortable as possible for your bunny.

FEEDING AND GIVING WATER TO YOUR RABBIT WHILE TRAVELING LONG DISTANCE.

Bring your rabbits favorite treats to ease his worries, as long as any of his everyday hay. Pack some water bottles filled with the usual water you give your rabbit so they do not need to adapt. The water bottles may drip while en route, so stop and give your rabbit plenty of opportunities to eat and drink.

KEEP YOUR RABBIT OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT, WITH GOOD VENTILATION.

It is important that while you are driving long-distance, your rabbit will remain out of direct sunlight. It can cause your rabbit to overheat.

Watch the temperature in the car. Make sure the carrier or box the rabbit is in is well-ventilated, but also make sure there are no cold drafts drifting in.

Another important factor may seem silly, but do not blast your music. This can cause stress to your rabbit and make his drive very unpeaceful.

COMPLETING A LONG CAR RIDE WITH YOUR RABBIT.

Upon completion of a long car trip with your bunny, spend lots of time keeping an eye on them, make sure if they seemed stressed at the time that within a half-hour they have begun to relax. Some extra love, maybe a good massage, may just do the trick!