February 3, 2010

bunny love

Posted in bunny at 10:12 pm by peachknits

Wow, what a hectic few days it’s been. First of all, we have a new addition to our little rabbity family.

This is Hector.

Hector came to us from the Indiana House Rabbit Society. Dawn, the chapter manager (a woman who, among other things, once trimmed the nails on over 600 rabbit paws in one day) guided us through the process of choosing a bond mate for Phoebe. On Sunday Z and I drove the one and a half hours to Indianapolis to meet six eligible bachelors. After a few promising dates, Hector (then named Dogwood) was brought in. Both rabbits seemed calm around the other, and then, suddenly, Phoebe flopped down. We knew he was the one.

Hector comes from a very sad situation. He was rescued with many, many other New Zealand whites who were crammed into a tiny room after their “owner”, a man who had been breeding the rabbits for meat, abandoned the project. The rabbits were discovered in terrible condition; many of them had ear mites and were living in several inches of their own waste. Hector has a few marks on his ears that we believe are scars from fighting with other rabbits he was forced to live with. It’s really remarkable that he can relate to other rabbits in a positive way at all.

You can read more about the Missouri rabbit rescue here, although I caution that some of the images are disturbing.

Since Sunday we’ve spent our evenings in the bathroom, slowly encouraging them to get along. On day one there was one minor squabble, but mostly they ignored each other (a good sign) and groomed themselves nervously.

Rabbits “present”‘ themselves to be groomed when they want to be dominant, and Phoebe has persisted in shoving her head beneath Hector’s chin, side and even bum, insisting on being groomed. Hector has refused so far.

You're going to groom me whether you like it or not, buster.

That is, until tonight!

After smearing banana mash on the tops of their heads in an attempt to get them to groom one another (they subsequently ignored it) I decided to rinse their heads to get the sticky off. I took a warm, sopping wet paper towel and wiped off Hector’s, and then Phoebe’s head. They both started grooming themselves, and then, suddenly, Hector made the move to groom Phoebe. He kissed her tenderly for about a minute, during which time Phoebe tooth purred and closed her eyes in contentment.

We were shocked that such a simple gesture as cleaning off smeared banana would lead to such a promising sign. We think that with a few more days they’ll be ready to move back out to the living room to romp around together. Another week, and they might be able to move into a condo together!

Here are some pictures of the bonding session, after Hector groomed Phoebe. You can see how content they both are with one another.

Okay, Hector, you can eat now. I'm stuffed.

You're my snugglebunny.

I am teh longest bunneh evah.

We might be spending all our spare time in the bathroom, but it’s actually kind of fun to see them get on together. Here’s to bunny love.

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5 Comments »

  1. Kaitlyn said,

    I’m an aunt of two bunnies now! How exciting! Is it too cliche to say you are breeding like a rabbit Peach? If you keep this up you will have to find more than just Katie and I to be rabbit aunts.

    I think Hector is lovely and yes, Phoebe the Moon Bunny (I still insist on her full name) is going to be the dominant one. Her aunts thought her that. However, she can be a dominant lady, but not face hump…in public. She has too much class for that. There is still hope, we had to break Katie of this too but she seems to be adjusting well.

    “Ebony and Ivory live together in perfect harmony
    Side by side in a bunny condo, with Peach and Z”

    Yeah, I couldn’t resist. Deal with it. To console yourself, I give you permission to correct all my comma errors. πŸ™‚

    • peachknits said,

      Z has made a point to say that I’m cut off at two rabbits. Which wasn’t really a necessary limit, as I’m quite satisfied with two, but I suppose it had to be said anyway. I’m a sucker for the cuddly and furry. I mean, just look at Z (kidding).

      I secretly think the face humping is hilarious, but you’re right, she shouldn’t be doing that in public. Hector didn’t really seem to mind though; he just sat there and took it.

      No comma errors I can see, but I’m sure you meant “Her aunts taught her that” and not “Her aunts thought her that”.

  2. marri said,

    there is just something too sweet about snuggling bunnies! i had a new zealand white once – dem big, big ears! – and she was the sweetest rabbit i’ve ever had the pleasure of caretaking – always asking to be pet. if i stopped after 20 minutes, she’d nudge my hand for more!

    can’t wait to hear more about your twosome!

  3. Rachael said,

    they are falling in love! they really are rather cute together in these pictures. i can’t wait to meet them in person. πŸ™‚

  4. Rebecca said,

    That gives bunny hump a whole new meaning… perhaps I’ll bunny hump J until he grooms me…. kidding! Very cute! I can’t wait to meet them!


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