My House Rabbit

My House Rabbit's Bunny Blog

Archive for the ‘Rabbit Stories’ Category

Rabbit Stories: Growly Rowley

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
Rowley the rabbit

Rowley the rabbit. Photo: Eloise Jonas.

Here’s an excerpt of a sweet story in the SF Gate about a temperamental, yet artsy house rabbit named Rowley:

Ten years ago, when Eloise Jonas and Frank White saw the handsome rabbit named Einstein at San Francisco Animal Care & Control, they also caught the warning on his cage: “For experienced rabbit handlers only.”

Seemed the sweet-faced bunny had bitten everyone at the shelter, except, that is, for the supervisor – proof of the intelligence promised by his name. Partly out of concern that the naughty 1-year-old wouldn’t find a home and mostly because he was quite the looker, the smitten San Francisco couple adopted the bunny and renamed him Rowley.

Read full story at the SF Gate »

Adoption Story: Bunnicula

Monday, March 21st, 2011
Bunnicula - large New Zealand rabbit

Bunnicula, a large New Zealand rabbit, was the subject of the Rabbit Advocate's winning adoption story.

To celebrate Petfinder’s Adopt the Internet Day, the Rabbit Advocate (a blog run by an HRS educator) hosted a contest for the best rabbit adoption story.

The winning story came from Kelly S. in Boston, who volunteered at a local shelter and watched as a large white bunny waited and waited for her turn to be adopted.

“Everything changed when Bunnicula, a large New Zealand rabbit, was brought to the shelter. The sign on the window of her cage stated that her previous owners no longer had time to care for her. I opened the door to her cage that first day and Bunnicula hopped right over to me, giving my hand a little nudge to let me know she wanted attention.”

Read the full story at the Rabbit Advocate »

Take Part in Petfinder’s Adopt the Internet Day on March 15

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Petfinder Adopt-the-Internet DayTo celebrate its 15th birthday, Petfinder is launching a campaign to spread the word about animal adoption on March 15, 2011. There are many ways to get the message out including:

  • Writing about pet adoption on your blog, website, Facebook page, or Twitter account
  • Adding a badge (like the one shown on the right) to your website or blog
  • Captioning a Petfinder adoptable photo on I Can Has Cheezburger

You can focus more on spreading the word about rabbit adoption in the following ways:

Rabbits Rescued from Curbside Garbage Bins

Sunday, November 28th, 2010
Paul Spereall with rabbit

Paul Spereall with rabbit he discovered in trash bin. Photo by Jason Roberts.

In the past week, there have been multiple incidents of pet rabbits being discovered out with the curbside trash.

In Birkenhead, England (across the river from Liverpool), window workers Paul Spereall and  Paul Harvey went to toss a piece of garbage into one of the bins on the side of the road.  When they opened the lid, a cream-colored lop-eared rabbit jumped out at them.  The two men brought the rabbit back to their office and cared for it while they contacted the RSPCA.  The rabbit was dehydrated, but otherwise is good condition.

In Regina, Saskatchewan, the Hamel family discovered a pet bunny in a recycle bin out on the street with some hay and pellets.  With temperatures dipping to -16°F (-29°C) that night, the Hamels saved the bunny from a frigid demise.  After caring for the abandoned rabbit for the night, the Hamels contacted the Regina Humane Society.

Rabbit discovered in recycle bin by Hamel family

This rabbit was discovered in recycle bin by Hamel family. Photo by Hamel family.

It is incredibly sad that stories of rabbits being abandoned out with the trash (or just set loose outside) keep popping up.  These two rabbits were lucky that a few good Samaritans discovered them, cared for them, and brought them to local shelters so they’d have a chance at a good life.

For more info, see:

Liverpool Echo
Leader-Post

Benny’s Fantastic Adventure

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Benny's Fantastic AdventureLast summer, we posted about Benny, a Flemish Giant house rabbit, vying for the record of World’s Longest Rabbit.  Unfortunately, Benny recently succumbed to illness.

But while Benny lived, he touched the hearts of many people: the Heather family, who took him in from a sanctuary in 2008, as well as an incredible number of Facebook friends.

With encouragement from Benny’s fans around the world, Sharon Heather has shared Benny’s story in the book, Benny’s Fantastic Adventure.

You can buy Benny’s Fantastic Adventure from Lulu.com.

Being Top Bunny

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

I get a lot of emails describing the same scenario:  Bunnikins has taken to hopping on the sofa and peeing on it. It’s a frustrating situation and one that has happened in our household as well. I remember after the third time it happened with Cosette a few years back, I had picked her up and put her in her cage.  (She still had a cage back then although it was always open.)  I closed the cage door and closed the kitchen door where the cage was located.  But even in the other room I could hear her thrashing around in the cage trying to break free.  For a rabbit who detests being picked up and despises even more being cooped up in a cage, this was the greatest insult.  I felt bad locking her in – and I did let her out  again after an hour -  but after that time, she never peed on the sofa again.

I later came across an incredibly useful article on the House Rabbit Society website which helps shed light on this behavior and suggests ways to train your rabbit.  The article is called “FAQ: Training,” and under the heading “Behavior motivated by social structure,” it delves specifically into the peeing on the couch problem.

Anyone who is experiencing this issue should read the article.  The entire article is actually very enlightening as well- covering various issues that most bunny owners will come across at some point.

Cos and P.A. Smith
Cosette with co-editor P.A. Smith  in 2006.

Have an Amazing Rabbit Rescue Story?

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

The Great Animal Rescue ChaseCalling all bunny rescuers: If you have an amazing bunny rescue story to tell, there’s a new website that wants to showcase it.  The site, the Great Animal Rescue Chase, is focused on bringing together a worldwide community of animal rescuers, sharing rescue stories, and inspiring more people to get involved in animal welfare.

The aim of the site is to highlight stories of rescues taking place all around the world of a wide variety of animals.  Currently, they’re a little short on bunny stories.  So if you have one, please share!  If you register on the site, you can upload your photos and type in your story directly.

The site also sponsors a monthly giveaway, where winners can direct a gift to their favorite animal charity.

You can also donate to the site’s charity partner, the Harmony Fund, which sponsors a number of noble charities across the globe.

For more info, see: www.animalrescuechase.com.

Hummingbird in hand

Side note: I helped design this website and worked closely with the organization’s founder, Laura Simpson.   She is a very inspiring animal advocate, and I think her passion shines through on the site.  She also owns a very cute bunny named Norman, who is featured on the site’s sidebar!

My Buddy Buka

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

by P.A. Smith, Co-Editor

Buka the rabbit

Buka joined our family way back in 1996. We didn’t know much about his origins or how old he was when he came home with us. All we knew was that he was purchased as an Easter gift at either a fair or a flea market – some venue like that. As a gift he was not wanted – no one was willing to take home and care for a rabbit. With a little begging and big hearts, we convinced our parents to take him home.

We drove home with Buka in the wooden crate he was purchased in. We had no idea how to feed and care for a bunny, but we knew he was going to be a part of our family. At home we gave him a bit of lettuce and left him the crate, which was closed with a piece of wire. The next time we checked on him he was sitting on top of the crate, ears up, surveying the living room.

We called him ‘Bunny’ and ‘Bunny Boy’ (even though we had no idea what his gender was) and ‘Buka.’ There was no official naming session. We still call him variations of all three names. I’ve taken to just calling him Bu. He responds to any of several names. Like everyone else in my family he is burdened with many nicknames.

We learned, mostly through trial and error, how to raise a house rabbit. We learned that iceberg lettuce is not good for rabbits. We learned that rabbits love to chew, especially lamp cords. We got him a cage and, at first, kept him in there at night. He hated being cooped up. He would rattle the door until someone opened it. We soon learned that Buka would be fine on his own hopping around while we slept.

We also learned that Buka had a playful personality that has come to define his role in the family. He loved to rocket down the hall into an open bedroom and looping around under the bed and zooming back out. He loved to do figure eights around my legs while I stood in the dining room.  We made up games together like ‘Chase.’ Buka would start on one end of the living room while I stood in the middle. He would then run full speed while I feigned trying to catch him. He’d get to the other side and plot out his return. Buka had boundless energy.

Buka has been a constant in our lives. He was there when I graduated from high school, when I graduated from college, moved out, finished graduate school. He has been a happy presence and a part of the family. Always there for when I visit home. Always happy for a cheek rub.

Old friends ask how he is when we talk. Visitors to my parents’ house seek him out to say hello. He’s a celebrity – a novelty in a world of cats and dogs.

These days Bu is showing his age. Fourteen is very, very old for a rabbit. Old age has set upon him with heartbreaking swiftness. He doesn’t run anymore. He can no longer hop onto my parents’ bed to tell my mother it’s time to greet the morning.

Today I was on my way to work when I got a call from my mom. My parents are away and had received a call from my sister. Buka couldn’t move one of his paws. I stopped by the house to check on him. He looked uncomfortable and stiff, but was alert. He turned when I called him and leaned into a cheek rub. I had Abi come down to check on him because I had to head to work and could only stay a minute.

He was up and hopping with all four paws when she got there. He was eating normally, picking out the tastiest pellets.

I suspect he’s developed arthritis. It’s heartbreaking to see him in any pain.

I advised my sister, as I would any rabbit owner, to take him to the vet. At best, they can give him medication to reduce inflammation and pain. At worst, well, I’d rather not think about that yet.

Edit 08/02/10: Buka was put to sleep today. We’ll miss him.

Bunny in Need of Help

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

The House Rabbit Society of Missouri has recently taken into their care a rabbit named Easter. He was found by a man in his backyard and was seriously injured. Unfortunately Easter has needed major surgery, including the amputation of a back leg. According to the HRS of Missouri, Easter has a strong will to survive and sweet personality.

The surgery is quite expensive and the HRS of Missouri is seeking donations to help defray the cost.

You can read the whole story and donate at their website: www.hrsmostl.org.

Health Scare: GI Stasis

Monday, March 29th, 2010

CosetteWe’ve had a very scary last few days here. Cosette had to go to the emergency vet over the weekend because she had stopped eating and pooping and looked quite hunched. After an x-ray, the vet found that her stomach was extremely distended and she had two large gas bubbles. The diagnosis was GI stasis, and her prognosis was guarded.

A dental exam showed that her molars were unevenly worn, which most likely led to her digestive issues. They filed her teeth that night, and during her stay at the vet’s, she received motility medication, pain medication, IV fluids, and force feeding of Critical Care.

Sunday morning, her condition had worsened, and the vet was not optimistic about her chances of survival. With dull, droopy eyes, a hunched, tense posture, and a visibly bloated stomach, Cosette looked like she was experiencing a lot of pain.

Sunday evening, she started perking up a little, and she managed to eat a little on her own and finally excreted some soft stool. We brought in more greens and she ate some cilantro with encouragement by us. This morning, she excreted formed stools and had more of an appetite, so she was allowed to come home this evening. Coco was very excited his friend was finally back.

We will continue her motility medication for the next few days, and if necessary, we may need to continue syringe feeding Critical Care to supplement her diet as well. She is not quite back to her old self at this point. She doesn’t have quite the appetite, and her stools are quite small. But I was pleasantly surprised that her litterbox habits appeared to remain in tact, despite having quite a stressful weekend. (And of course, that she was actually going to the bathroom again, and her digestive system was active again.)

I wanted to share this story so that other people could learn from our scary experience. For example, it’s so important for your bunny to get regular checkups, including a dental examination. Even rabbits with a hay-based diet, who show no signs of pain, can have molar spurs. And this condition can lead to potentially deadly conditions like GI stasis. For more information about GI stasis, see Dana Krempel’s article, GI Stasis: The Silent Killer.