I Don’t Bond With No Cats or Dogs

April 12, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
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“Piper”

I brought Cameron and Piper to one of our rescue’s bonding experts for some advice. They made a lot of progress, but recently seem to have stalled. He has gained more confidence and fights back if she lashes out at him, in addition to spraying both she and I with urine.

Unfortunately Piper was so freaked out by the cats and dog in the house that she was unable to calm down from most of the visit. They did snuggle a bit and he groomed her but it wasn’t a typical session for them.

The next day during bonding Piper was more on edge than usual and when it was time to go back in her carrier she freaked out and refused. I let her stay alone in the bonding pen for another half an hour before getting her back upstairs in a different carrier. Then yesterday she flat-out refused to go in her regular carrier to go downstairs for bonding but was okay with using the other carrier again.

Maybe it smells like the other animals? I’ll wash it and in the meantime keep using the other carrier for her. I always knew she was a sensitive girl but this is more fussy than I’m used to for her. Fortunately she’s acting okay during bonding and other times, she just doesn’t want to go in that carrier.

Bonding in the Jungle

March 13, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
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“Rusty”

Bonding has been slow-goings lately, possibly because I’m doing it in the living room with Rusty in the next pen over, and my other two boys in another. Piper just seems very sensitive to noises and being in the back of the room, surrounded by cardboard so they can’t see the other rabbits. She likes to be able to see what’s going on so I think the lack of visibility is bothering her. Rusty says he wants to play with her. He’s about the size of her head, so I don’t that’d go over too well!

Some Snuggles and Progress

March 4, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Posted in rabbit | 1 Comment
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“Cameron & Piper”

Whenever Cameron wants some petting, he comes and sits in front of my feet and I get down on the floor to pet him, and let him lick me. Sometimes he licks me more than I pet him. I guess I taste good! Lately he’s also been snuggling up against my side when I sit on the floor. That’s how bunnies snuggle with each other, and he has been doing some of that with Piper in their bonding sessions.

We’re making progress, but still not there yet. I’m able to be more hands-off but still have to watch out for her going to bite when she detects a “breach of her borders.” She only wants Cameron to approach her head, and is ready to attack if he sticks his head anywhere else. He’s very eager to snuggle with her, more so than she is with him. They are doing more things adjacent to each other in the pen, not trying to snuggle the entire time, so I think they just need to keep getting comfortable.


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When the Bonding Gets Bitey

February 12, 2019 at 11:22 am | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
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“Cameron & Piper”

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“Bunny Bonding Arm-Guard”

After a bad session where Piper and Cam started to fight and I got in between and subsequently bit a bit, I made this arm-guard. I’d been using heavy winter gloves, but I like to be able to use my hands during the session and it’s kind of hard to with those things on. With this guard I can still use my fingers to pet etc. but my arm is protected if I need to stick it between them to separate a tussle. I sewed together two shirt sleeves with some pillow fluff inside. So far it’s been working pretty well, but I haven’t had any test bites yet.

Piper has been grooming him a bit more, but he’s taking his sweet time in the sessions before he’ll groom her. I think he’s still fighting her for dominance. Most of the time they’re either eating hay or hay cubes or snuggling with neither grooming. I’m going to try an even larger space next and maybe some stress bonding in the car to get Piper more comfortable with Cam being near her. She’s still jumpy around him.

Snuggles and Nips

February 7, 2019 at 10:41 am | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
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“Cameron & Piper”

These two look bonded in the photo above, but two months into bonding and we’re still not there yet. Once Cam and Piper come together for snuggle and maybe some grooming, they’re fine, but it can be a struggle getting to that point. Cam is so eager to be with her that he’ll shove his head anywhere under her body, and Piper is not having that. She’ll only tolerate it at her head, otherwise she bites. She also will give him a nip as she passes by him, so I have to always have a hand guarding her mouth when they get close.

She must see him as a threat, that sweet little guy. If she starts a tussle though, he will reciprocate, so it’s important that my eyes are on them the entire half hour session to stop any fights before they start. It might mean that I get nipped at a bit, but I’d rather that than each other. We’re made a lot of progress so far, but we still have a long way to go until they can be left alone together. Bonding isn’t easy, but it’s so nice to see them snuggle.

A Few Licks in the Right Direction

January 19, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
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“Cameron & Piper”

We finally had a breakthrough in bonding between Cameron and Piper yesterday. He groomed both of her eyes and the top of her head. He did this just after she nipped at him for not grooming, so I don’t know if he was responding to that. I also wasn’t expecting him to repeat it quickly, but he did it again today during a session. Just once, 12 minutes in, he licked her eyes and head again. When he was done he hopped away so I ended the session there. If this keeps up, hopefully she’ll groom him back a little. She still gets nervous when he “runs” over to her. He only has one speed because of his wonky legs. Once he gets going, he has to go fast to maintain momentum, and she’s still afraid of that. Maybe with longer sessions she will get more comfortable. He has certainly gotten more comfortable with her and that has made a big difference in the sessions.

Lap Warmer Bun

December 16, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
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“Opal”

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“Cameron”

Opal is the snuggliest of snugglers, which is nice on cold evenings. Nothing warms your lap better than a warm bunny.

Upstairs, Kronenbuns Piper and Cameron have resumed bonding sessions again, but they are not going so great. The first was fine, not much interaction, but yesterday Piper lunged at Cam as soon as she got close enough. Fortunately I can quickly stop her and she is easily distracted. Cam seems afraid though, mostly staying in the same place in the bonding pen until the session is over. I don’t want her aggression to put him off. If this continues, I’ll pause sessions again. They’ve only been living in the smaller pens for 2 weeks and they may need more time like that.

Opal is still looking for foster placement or a forever home by the end of this month. If you are interested in fostering or adopting Opal, please contact theĀ Long Island Rabbit Rescue Group.

Bigger Bunny Exploration

February 5, 2016 at 11:59 am | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
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“Queens Zoo Flemish Giants: Olivia & Blue”

Charlie & Piper”

This week I went to the Queens Zoo and saw the two resident Flemish Giants. Now that I have a big white bunny myself, they don’t seem quite as big. They were a bonded pair and very affectionate. It was a little chilly out, so they were snuggling in a hay pile, but came running over to me when I came by. They must have smelled bunny on me! The blue one even let me pet him a little.

Bonding between Charlie and Piper is up to 2 hours now and they’re pretty much good with each other at this point. Occasionally he tries to mount her (more like “mountain” since she’s so much bigger!) but she just away and then comes back for more kisses.

Now that she has access to the rest of the room, I have to make sure everything is Piper-proof before I let her be in there without supervision. She’s already been up on the bed, chairs and once she made it up onto my keyboard. Girl sure loves to explore!

Checkup Buddies

January 20, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
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“Piper & Butterscotch”

“Piper & Charlie”

Piper had her first vet visit (with us) today. She was a very good girl and in perfect health. Butterscotch was coming along to get his sore hock checked out so she had company in the car. They were both a little nervous. We think Butters got his foot irritated by something and then nervously picks at it. He’s a bit of a nervous guy, so hopefully we can get it healed up and calm him down a little.

We moved bonding upstairs this week. Next step is their actual communal living space. So far so good. They pretty much do their own thing and occasionally come to each another to beg for a snuggle. We’re up to an hour sessions, but it could probably go even longer. My mom thinks they’re already bonded at this point, but I want to keep taking it slow. I’m not ready for my baby to move in with his girlfriend! How do parents do it?

Piper frequently comes over when I’m sitting and lays down behind my legs just like a dog. She’s so very loyal. Fortunately she doesn’t seem to ever want to eat anything that I’ve got, unless it’s fruit. I had some fruity Jelly Baby candy that she smelled and her nose was bookin!

I’ve Got Your Lick to Keep Me Warm

January 11, 2016 at 9:40 pm | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
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“Piper & Charlie”

“Butterscotch & Hershey”

Bonding between my Charlie and Piper has been going well. They’ve snuggled a couple of times. Once Piper flopped into Charlie and used his butt as a pillow. He didn’t seem to mind. He licks her most of the time when she asks now, but she won’t reciprocate, so then he hops away. He tries putting his head under her whenever her head is up when she’s chewing on something, but she just pancakes. We moved bonding to the living room while we have some space since it’s colder in the den. They seem okay with it and now I can make the pen a little bigger for longer bonding sessions.

All of our Christmas decorations are stowed away now and that means the tree is gone too. Butterscotch and Hershey loved sitting in front of it, and I know they’ll miss it. We rearranged the furniture after taking the tree down as well, and now the boys have a new favorite spot to lay. It’s the corner of the room where the two heating convectors meet, so it’s nice and warm on cold winter nights. Smart bunnies!

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