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- A blog as written by Rodney


February 2003

May 2003

August 2003

September 2003



Tuesday 30th December 2003

Apologies for the late update to the diary but the Sales beckoned!

The past week has been brilliant. Rodney and Lou Lou snuggled up together!

Monday 22nd was the first time both buns were laid together with their feet out at the back. A very good sign that they were settled with each other. Later in the week I came down ill (again!) and couldn't let them out for as long as I have been. When I came to let them out again they were cautious around each other but by the end of the afternoon they were snuggled up together again. I just need a whole day to get them together for good. They have shown they can eat in the same cage now and have rested in the same cage but not snuggled. Sometimes after time together in the same cage they have become a little irritated and little scraps have happened. This is why I'm not rushing them into a single cage together.

I think the swapping of cages between Rodney and Lou Lou (some of you will have noticed this on the webcam!) has been helping.

There are no barriers up around the house now, both buns are let out at the same time together (they are only allowed out together now I haven't let them out individually for ages now) and have free run of all upstairs and downstairs. Temperaments are definitely calmer if they have full run of the house because if one becomes angry the other can escape to a totally different floor. I prefer to think of it as: Their cages are right next to each other and I think Lou Lou is a little noisy for Rodney, I think he likes a little escape to somewhere quiet before meeting up with his lady friend again!

They are so sweet together. It is wonderful to watch Rodney copying Lou Lou. He follows her around. Sniffing anything she sniffs. She has a habit of pawing at your feet or playing with the bottoms of your trousers. Rodney has started doing it too! I wish she would pick up Rodney's good habits like using the Litter Tray for weeing! She defies all Bunny logic from what I can tell. She goes in any corner where the litter tray isn't (i.e. I have previously moved the tray to where she had been going thinking this was her preferential position!), I have previously placed her food bowls in the empty corners thinking "If her food is there she won't wee on it!". Wrong! She weed in the food bowls. I've put the wet straw in the litter tray to try and get her to associate the smell and the tray but to no avail. I clean the litter trays every other day (every other two days depending on condition) so its not that the scent is being lost. She does not wee around the house though, which is a good thing but when she starts sharing with Rodney I think the situation will have to be sorted. Perhaps it will resolve itself naturally when they are sharing! Rodney has been quite a tidy bachelor in the past!

Anyway, I'm now looking forward to spending as much of my holiday with the two buns out and bonding. I feel we're nearly there, they are grooming each other, they are playing, they are eating together, and lying next to each other every so often. What we're looking for next is some consistency in behaviour.

Hope you all had a fab Christmas. Have a wonderful New Year! Don't forget New Years Eve is very much like bonfire night now so take the same precautions on Wednesday night as you would on November 5th! Bunny Hugs!

Saturday 20th December 2003

So far so good, although they aren't snuggling up and acting like love's young dream I would have to say that Rodney has been grooming Lou Lou quite a bit more this week. I have been letting them out when I get home from work and letting them run around for about 4 hours. There's still some nipping but it doesn't end up in a scrap - one of them just hops off somewhere to cool down. At one point they were eating different ends of the same straw plait! It was a "Where's the camera?" moment, but unfortunately I missed out completely.

Having finished work for two weeks there is so much bonding time available I can't wait! I appreciate that this has been dragging on a lot longer than I expected but its making me even more determined now!

Lou Lou has found a new toy this week. The cord from the hood on my cardigan. Great fun she had head butting it and chewing it! I shall be investigating those cat toys you can get on string I think she'll love it! (No small parts though..!).

Merry Christmas to you all, whether you are furry or not! Big bunny whiffles from Rodney and Lou Lou too!

Sunday 14th December 2003

This week I have been only letting them out in the house together. The only place I have tried to keep them away from together is the cage area.

I am happy to report no fur has flied this week. Rodney is still nipping her nose for a groom but I've noticed that this does not result in a scuffle, more likely Lou Lou just clatters her feet and makes a run for it - the noise freaks Rodney out and he runs off. Within 1 minute Lou Lou will be grooming him!

I've chilled out about the whole thing - thank goodness. Watching Rodney on Friday night after they went back in their cages I noticed that he always stood next to whereever Lou Lou was in her cage, and only ducked down to sleep once she did! Was this him casting a protective eye over his missus?

Although they are not lying together and chilling out I'm noticing that they are getting closer when they do lie down. They were about 1ft apart on Friday and I was getting way too excited for such a minor thing!

Anyway, the plan now is to just keep them out and about and to be honest I'm getting more relaxed about leaving them to it. I'm not getting complacent and I do stil supervise but not to the extremes of when I first started introducing them (i.e following them around the room.). Whatever they need to sort out hierarchy wise, they can only do it between them and when they are together, therefore the more they are together the faster they'll work things out!

This week I also noticed Rodney grooming Lou Lou a lot more and for longer... he's so cute when he does it too! My heart just melts!

To anyone who reads this - Merry Christmas and Bunnytastic New Year!

My New Years Resolution is to have a Bunny Couple living in the same House!

Sunday 7th December 2003

Not a great week for me personally as work was a nightmare, Rich was poorly and I was expecting my monthly migraine. This all culminated in minimal bonding activity with the Bunnies. They were out and about seperately it was just there wasn't anytime to supervise them together 100%.

Sunday was the only opportunity I had to spend with them together and it was like the rest of the planet outside of the house didn't exist. Playing with the two buns together was the best de-stress ever. Lying on the floor whilst they jumped all over me! Snigger!

They've been out together for 3 hours, fingers crossed no fighting but they've been playing follow my leader upstairs and downstairs. Lou Lou does do a full laid out flop, but Rodney still chills out in full sight of Lou Lou but not next to her.

Lou Lou is still grooming Rodney but Rodney seems to be very stingy with his grooming!

Next week promises to be a mare at work too, late hours etc, so I'm again not expecting a lot of bonding progress - but there are still things that can be done to ease the process, such as swapping them around in the cages etc. So I'm not feeling as guilty. I'm hoping the Christmas break should lend plenty of bonding opportunities. I had hoped that I could get the 140cm cage and have them both in there for Christmas but I think that was bring very optimistic! Perhaps after New Year!

Friday 28th November 2003

There have still been fights this week, but I'm more convinced that the two of them are going to make it as a couple.

There is so much mutual grooming that there must be a bond developing.

My routine has been to start them in the Kitchen for 1hr. This will involve lots of grooming, huddling and playing follow my leader. Then I let them out into the living room/upstairs but not near the cages. The usual bonding time is 4 hours on week nights, and over the course of all day Sat/Sun during the weekends.

The Bach Remedy (Beech and Walnut) did have a slight effect. I put it in their water for a week and the nipping certainly decreased. After a week I stopped putting it in their water and the nipping started again. I have since been told that as soon as you start to see improvement you take them
off it immediately so I put it back in their water and as soon as the nipping reduced I took them off it and to be honest I think it has helped a little but after 2 hours together they do start fighting. Tuesday night was another fur frenzy but straight afterwards they are calm as anything. Before
the 2 hour point they groom each other senseless and play follow my leader - I think Rodney follows Lou around like a gooey eyed boyfriend, but that changes once the fur starts flying. There is no winner either, I mean we seperate them as soon as it starts but the fur belongs to both bunnies its
not just one playing submissive. The scraps have occured all over the house even the neutral areas so its not just one area that say Rodney is protecting.

What usually happens is Rodney and Lou will go nose to nose, if its early on in the session one of them will start grooming the other without "prompting", or Rodney may pull away and just sit their next to Lou. After an hour or more, if they go nose to nose again this is where the risk increases that Rodney nips Lou's nose. She then either grooms him (!) or turns to his rear and starts nipping his bum. It's at this point when they are in Yin Yang (nose to bum) arrangement that a fight can ensue because they are both chasing each other round.

Lets see what next week brings!

Friday 21st November 2003

Although its felt like we're starting from scratch again, I think the relationship between the two bunnies is progressing. I'm continuing with 1hr sessions in the Kitchen and have started to slowly expand the area using the sides of the Rabbit Run in the living room. This also means I can join the rest of the household during the bonding.

The two of them follow each other around, no one dominates the order as yet, and they mimick whatever the other does. It looks quite sweet! There are still nips from both Bunnies and I daren't leave them alone yet.

Hopefully this time next week the bonding area will be wider. Rodney is not showing much grooming towards Lou Lou, he expects her to groom him, but he grooms himself infront of her and hops around with her so I think they are just settling down.

Friday 14th November 2003

It's not been a bad week really for bonding. Off to a slow start again because I wasn't too again but we are making distinct progress. I've been starting them both together in the Kitchen where they groom and roam about following each other around. I then run out and put one side of the Rabbit Run up to prevent them accessing the area where their cages are. I run back into the Kitchen and let them both out into the living room. There have been no signs of fights breaking out at all or any mounting. The only behaviour I have reservations about is when Rodney nips Lou Lou's nose when he wants her to groom him. Sometimes there can be dots of blood on her nose. Part of me thinks that Lou Lou should be getting some kind of message by now which is why every so often I do let it happen because if I intend for them to share a cage I cannot always be there to referee.

So at the moment I'm just letting them off round the living room and even the upstairs just for them both to get used to each other in the bigger world. From here we can make big steps towards cage sharing!

The comic moment was when Rodney put his head down to be groomed. Lou Lou just picked her back leg up and put her foot on his head so that she could clean her foot! Oh I wish I had had the camera with me! He just stayed there! Lovesick fool!

Friday 7th November 2003

A slow week in the world of bonding, namely because of me having sinus problems and not up to sitting on the kitchen floor all night. We adopted a new strategy, thanks to Gilly from the Pet Sanctuary, of swapping them in their cages so that they did get used to other bunny smells in their territory. I think that this is working well because the small bonding sessions we have held later on this week have shown no signs of aggression. Quite the opposite really. There hasn't been a lot of grooming at all between them but there has been general what I would call companionship and following one another around, grooming themselves and exploring. So I would say they are definitely getting used to one another now. This weekend I have some time to put them together for a long time and see what happens.

Sunday 2nd November 2003

A real week of ups and downs bonding wise. As you can see from the pictures in the Gallery there have been some really sweet moments between the two of them. On the other hand Rodney now has his ear pierced care of Lou Lou.

The week continued with bonding sessions primarily starting in the Kitchen and sometimes finishing with the two scamps running round the living room. Tuesday night started the same as any other (in the kitchen) and after an hour we let them out into the living room. I popped upstairs and came down to the most severe bunny scrap I'd ever seen between the two of them. Rodney was on his back and there was fur flying all over the place. The two were seperated immediately and put into their homes.

The next night, after seeking advice from the Newsgroups, I started them off in the kitchen again, and they were nice as pie to one another.

Since the scrap the bonding sessions have changed. Rodney doesn't try and mount Lou Lou anymore, but when they greet each other nose to nose Rodney will try to nip Lou Lou's nose. This can happen whenever they meet directly over a 30 min period and then they just go onto groom one another.

During the week I bought two Bach Flower Remedies to try in their water bottles. Walnut and Beech. These are both to calm them down. I don't think its kicked in though yet!

Today I set aside all day for bonding. I spent all day in the kitchen with the two of them. (I now have very clean appliances and doors!) As usual it started off a bit nippy and scrappy but by the afternoon they were really grooming each other intensely.

Having spent all day together we thought it would be OK to try them out in the living room. It was fine because Rodney spent a quiet moment lounging under the coffee table whilst Lou Lou relaxed in Rodney's cage. The evening came to an abrupt end with Rodney hopping into his cage - (by this point we were heading over to the cage to intervene but it all happened too fast) - Rodney and Lou Lou greeted each other nose to nose but something must have set them both off as a huge scrap started up again culminating in Rodney's pierced ear.

I obviously should keep them away from each others cages. It's too big a step. My new strategy is that we start bonding in the kitchen, then let them out into the living room but keep the cages out of bounds. Then gradually widen the area they can roam the more they get used to each other.

I feel irresponsible for this happening but when you are bonding rabbits I can understand that you have to let them work these things out. Its all a case of being fast enough to get in there and intervene and taking it slowly. I have obviously been seeing the positive signs and jumping them forward too quickly. They really do like each other, you can tell that from the pictures. I just want them to be safe and happy together. We are still at the stage where we have to watch them togther all the time, and you find yourself questioning whether you could ever trust them alone together in the same cage. To reach this goal is going to take an awful lot of time now and patience.

Friday 24th October 2003
  The bonding has been going well. I've been putting both bunnies in the kitchen. I started off staying in the kitchen with them, but Rich convinced me to to leave them to it. The average session would last about 1 hour. There would be lots of grooming but the problem I had was that Rodney would still mount Lou Lou to the point where she was getting a little nippy. I realised that I was seperating them too early and should let them sort the hierarchy out. Once I started leaving them to their own battles I realised that at worst it was a little nip of the fur but nothing dramatic.

To bring everyone up to date, last night we had 3 1/2 hour session where I left them to it and just popped in every now and again. Rodney was still mounting Lou Lou and he was getting a little nip from her but they soon ended up grooming pals again! After 3 1/2 hours we just opened the kitchen door to see what would happen if they were both in each others territory. Not much really, Rodney soon popped back to his cage after a little run around with Lou Lou. It had been a long night for them both so I decided to bed them both down and call it a night.

Saturday, we started them off in the kitchen for approx 1 hour and then opened the kitchen door again. There was some chasing but at the moment Lou Lou is snoozing in front of Rodney's cage, and Rodney is upstairs. Lou Lou has been in Rodney's cage eating his breakfast and moving the furniture around. Rodney eventually came back downstairs. There was some chasing, not a lot of grooming but both bunnies are now laid out, Rodney in his cage and Lou Lou on the floor outside his cage. I would like to add that after Lou Lou gate crashed Rodney's cage, Rodney sneaked into Lou Lou's when she wasn't looking. He had a poo, ate some of her breakfast and hopped out again! Fairs fair in love I guess! I will continue with the 30 mins of bonding in the kitchen followed by letting them out into the house for all of next week. I hope that by this time next week I will be reporting that the two of them are now sharing space happily! Keep your fingers crossed for us all, I'm a nervous wreck!

Just a note to say, although Lou Lou is relatively new to the house, she has now really increased in confidence. Not only can she be found sat on the dining room table, she can now be found on the sofa, on TOP of her cage, on arm chairs, and binkying around the upstairs, honestly she is quite the explorer.. we love her to bits!

Saturday 18th October 2003
  Left the house at 7am Saturday morning to get down to the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester for the APBC Rabbits! Seminars. Pauline Appleby had invited me along.

Anne McBride presented the origins of the Rabbit and its behavioural instincts. Emma Magnus presented the results of studies concerning the advantage of early experiences in a Rabbit, e.g Early handling etc. Anne Meredith presented a fantastic seminar on Rabbit Health including Diet and Teeth. Anne McBride then presented on behalf of Linda Dykes a session on House Rabbits. I was unable to stay to see some behavioural Case Studies, to be presented by Emma Magnus.

The day was fantastic. It was a great opportunity to talk with published experts, Rabbit Owners and Vets. I would take any opportunity available to attend sessions like these. It was a unique experience to be back watching presentations you really have an interest in!

A big "Well Done" to the APBC for a great day!

Friday 17th October 2003
  Well it's been a week of bonding, spending my nights in the kitchen with a couple of amorous bunnies! Who could ask for more!

Monday night was TV night, Rodney appeared on BBC 1 North West. He came across quite the superstar! Monday night's bonding was a 30 minute session. Again, no fighting, a little chasing but the grooming was all one sided with Lou making all the effort.

Tuesday night, I removed the run from around Lou's cage and placed both cages next to one another. It's so much easier to move around the house now! Tuesday night was a 25 minute session where I had some food on a plate. They didn't eat at the same time but were happy to eat infront of one another.

Wednesday was the ultimate. 1 hr session and Rodney groomed Lou. I have to admit that the grooming was always followed by a frantic mount but Lou remained submissive. It was only after say 45 mins into the bonding session that she started to get a little fed up with his advances. I would say we were definitely making progress. There is still nipping but nothing that results in one rabbit running off. Its quite sweet to watch the two of them follow each other around the kitchen exploring! Quite the happy couple really! A bit daft but after the session we just opened the kitchen door to see what each bunny would do. There was no fighting but I think it spooked both Bun's. It was purely our fault, but without trying to push the boundary a little you never know whether they could actually be OK.

I would say there is a distinct difference in attitude between the two of them together on neutral territory and them together on Rodney's turf. Its not technically Rodney's turf anymore as Lou has the run of the place when Rodney is in his cage!

Thursday's session lasted 45 mins, it took Rodney a while to groom Lou and I was worried he had forgotton his responsibilities as a potential Hubby! He eventually groomed Lou's ears but not before Lou gave his forehead a good groom! Again, it was followed by some frisky going's on by Rodney! Both bun's will now groom themselves in front of each other which I've heard is a good sign of acceptance!

Both Buns are being really cheeky now and trying to get in the Kitchen when they are on their sole run round the house. Its strictly out of bounds unless the two are together!

We'll see what Friday brings! Hope this all helps you as a reader. If there's anything you wnat me to add let me know! Do you like the camera angle? Have a look in the Gallery for the latest pics of the bonding!

Friday 10th October 2003
  Last night we had the first bonding session in the house between Lou Lou and Rodney. I usually let Lou Lou out of her cage first when i get home and let her have a run round. Day by day her confidence is increasing and she's climbing all over the place. We popped Lou Lou back in her cage after 1 1/2 hours and let Rodney out. Once he'd had a run around we popped Rodney in the kitchen and got Lou Lou and popped her on the floor in the kitchen too. I was at ground level to fend off any fighting and Rich was moral support. Both bunnies hopped towards each other and were very still. A lot of head resting upon one another. Then came the rodeo act on Rodney's part. All I'll say is Rodney is now a man! After he'd calmed down I was impressed that Lou Lou remained submissive throughout the whole thing. There was a little more head nudging then some sharp movements from Rodney. I wasn't sure whether it was biting or misinterpreted licking so we seperated the two of them for the evening. It had been 5 mins so I was happy that this was sufficient for a first introduction on relatively home turf. Neither Bunny was in a position to claim the kitchen as theirs as they don't go in there so I was happy to class this as the bonding area.

Sunday 5th October 2003
  So, 7 days to get used to the house eh... we'll call it 5 days and lets also say that I'm getting used to having a slightly larger bunny around the house! I let Lou Lou out in the run, I popped upstairs came back down no Lou Lou in the run... PANIC? No panic, there in the pet carrier was a little cheeky Lou Lou face peeking out. How she did it I don't know, but she wasn't injured. So after that took one of the walls off the run and let her hop around. She went up to Rodney's cage for a sniff. There was lots of sniffing and there has been some sudden retreats on both sides but its difficult to tell a nip from a lick as Rodney reacts the same to both at the moment!

Both bunnies when they are out and about are pooing like crazy. We are amazed at the difference in size between a mini lop poo and a dwarf lop poo. A dwarf's are huge in comparison! Anyway, the compost heap will be benefiting from an increased supply !-)

Lou Lou is older than Rodney and is very confident around people. I think she'll teach me a lot, and will hopefully show Rodney how to be a bit more confident!

Friday 3rd October 2003
  Set the outside Rabbit run, as built by my Dad, around Lou Lou's cage. This serves 2 purposes. It means I can put an additional see-through barrier between Rodney and Lou Lou's cage so that they can sniff each other to their hearts content but they can't come in contact with each other. This means that Rodney can have lots of outside cage time. The second purpose is that it gives Lou Lou some space of her own for a while to get used to wooden floors and hop around. Lou Lou and Rodney are never out of their cages at the same time. This will only happen during bonding sessions!

Wednesday 1st October 2003
  Took the Pet Carrier to work in case I was able to leave in time to get to the Sanctuary before it closed! Of course I would!
Rang ahead first, then drove off to pick up our Lou Lou! Completed all the paperwork, picked Lou Lou up from her hutch and away we went.

Tucked Lou Lou up in her new cage, which is situated opposite Rodney’s, there’s no other place for it. I think Rodney was in a huff as I didn’t immediately let him out of his cage when I got home. I had no plans of letting her out of the cage on her first night.

When both bunnies were settled in their cages I dished up the veggies. Both wolfed down their broccoli… a shared love of broccoli eh? Later on I let Rodney out. There was a lot of sniffing around the Lou Lou’s cage, I let this happen for a little while as he was bound to be curious but after 5 mins I started to distract him and eventually he hopped upstairs for a snoop and a run around. Lou Lou would go up to Rodney for a sniff too. Still not sure whether she was trying to lick or nip. There were no bites though.

Lou Lou enjoyed exerting her dominance in the cage by throwing her toy boxes around and at one point the litter tray was nearly toppled.

After a good play upstairs and lots of cuddles from me I put Rodney to bed for an early night to let both buns settle in their own company. Its important for Lou Lou to get used to the sounds and smells of her new environment, and its important for Rodney to get used to Lou Lou being around. Both buns were eating and both buns were laying chilled in their cages, feet out! A good sign I feel!

I’m going to treat Lou Lou’s introduction to the house in two phases. The first phase is getting her used to the house and her environment like we did when Rodney first joined us. Things like litter training and helping her to get used to wooden floors, lots of getting down to floor level and playing with her. The second phase is the bonding with Rodney. The first phase should take about 7 days and then we can start some bonding sessions. I think it will be impossible to plan this kind of thing and some of it is going to happen on gut instinct. Its important that this isn’t rushed, and the Lou Lou is happy in her environment before both Buns are brought together.

I hope I can balance my affection and attention sufficiently between the two buns. Things like putting Rodney to bed early broke my heart to look at that chubby little face looking up at me. But I’m sure it won’t be the last time and all this should be worth it once I’ve got two in-love bunnies chilling out at home!

Tuesday 30th September 2003
  Gilly came round for the home visit and brought the temporary cage from Karen's.

I was ill with a migraine and probably didn't seem as enthusiastic as I would have liked. Gilly was happy with Rodney's environment so I said I'd set the cage up and pick Lou Lou up the following day (if my Migraine had gone!).

Monday 29th September 2003
  Finished work at lunchtime, went home, got changed, Rodney hopped into the pet carrier and we were off to Denton to finish the filming for "Inside Out" at the MyPetStop in Denton.

The story was I would be taken around the facilities for "Rabbits" and "House Rabbits" and I would give a conclusion. There was another pet owner with me, Bill and his Border Collie ,Tess, who had never been in Kennels before.

Gemma showed me the indoor hutches which would house any small animal. They would be considered big enough but I wouldn't be happy thinking Rodney was in there for a fortnight! They took us outside to the Cat Apartments which were heated. These were UPVC conservatory like individual pens. You opened the pen door and it would open into an open area. This led through to another door and an enclosed area with heating. Air conditioning was provided in the internal areas. They had set this out with straw and litter trays! This was much better.

In conclusion I said the hutches were not what I would consider putting Rodney in, the Cat Apartments were much better but Rodney would always stay with Karen, the Bunny Boarder and that MyPetStop could be an option to anyone else!

Sunday 28th September 2003
  Same regime as last time and again I was in the pen with them both whilst Gilly watched on. We both couldn't believe the change in Rodney. Mr Confident or what! He was even eating the Greens in the run. Lots of hopping and sniffing. He was even going up and sniffing Lou Lou. Still no grooming but we had to take to heart that there had never been any fighting, or major nipping so Gilly and I agreed that Lou Lou, pending a home visit, would be coming to live with Rodney!

Friday 26th September 2003
  Being a TV star didn't seem to affect Rodney on his 3rd date. Gilly was busy handling 20 new bunnies to the sanctuary so Anita supervised this session. This time I would be in the pen with both bunnies.

Again Lou Lou would go up to Rodney for a good sniff and there was some grooming on her part but Rodney still ran off!

I wasn't losing faith but for some reason I had expected that it would be the female that wouldn't be too keen on making friends, not Rodney. But again its way too early to tell.

We arranged a 4th and final session with Gilly. Rodney was fine when we got him home!

Thursday 25th September 2003
  Today was a first in the household. The BBC Manchester "Inside Out" team were round to film Rodney and I. The team were Laurence Inwwod (Producer), Andy Cooke (Camera/Sound/Lighting), Sally Scorer (Researcher) and Jez Edwards (Presenter). You can see a picture in the Gallery of the team filming.

They were very sympathetic to my desire to keep Rodney stress free and I hope the care and attention paid off as there were some brilliant shots of me and Rodney, and Rodney running up and down the stairs.

The "Inside Out" team were filming for a piece on Pets and focussing on the new MyPetStop pet resort thats just opened in Denton, Nr Manchester.

I would later take Rodney to MyPetStop and be filmed being shown round the small animal facilities.

Anyway, the show goes out on BBC Manchester, BBC 1 Monday 13th October 7:30pm. If you aren't in the region get someone you know in the North West to tape it!

Monday 22nd September 2003
  We arrived at the Sanctuary and it was the same regime as last time. Rodney went in one pen and Lou Lou in the other.

Rodney was still nervous with his surroundings and tended to just sit there whilst Lou Lou showed most of the interest.

This time Lou Lou started to groom Rodney. Rodney however didn't really understand what was happening so he made a bolt for it. Lou Lou obviously shocked by the sudden movement would go to nip him. Typical miscommunication! I likened it to a school disco!

Anyway, at least we were seeing progress so a date was set for the next session. Gilly had recommended 3 or 4 sessions. Dependant on their success Gilly would come round for a Home Visit to check on the facilities etc.

So, we were looking forward to date number 3. Rodney was fine when he got home. Had some time to himself and then was running round like normal!

Sunday 21st September 2003
  Rodney hopped into the pet carrier and we were off to the Sanctuary. We met Gilly at Reception.

First of all we popped Rodney in one pen, to calm down and get used to the sounds and smells. Lou Lou went into the pen next door. The pens were seperated with perspex.

After 15 minutes Gilly put Rodney in the pen with Lou Lou. I was nervous and concerned how Rodney was going to handle it all. He tended to sit nervously in one corner. He occasionally hopped about for a little sniff but nothing major. Lou Lou was the most excited of the pair she was moving around a lot. As they sat at opposite sides of the pen Gilly said to call it a day and it was at that point both bunnies ran towards each other and met nose to nose to say hello. There was no gnashing of teeth or anything but Lou Lou was getting really excited and a bit overbearing for little Rodney. I agreed with Gilly that it would be a good point to end the session.

Gilly said the signs were OK to progress to another session so I set a time for the following day.

Rodney was fine when we got him home. He had about 30 mins quiet time under the arm chair and then was eating and hopping about in no time. So that was also a good sign!

Saturday 20th September 2003
  We rang the sanctuary and arranged a time to go in and see the bunnies. There were three possible bunnies. Lou Lou, a white and black dwarf lop who had previously 2 unsuccessful bonding sessions, Mary who had just given birth so it would be a number of weeks until bonding could start, and Pandora a white Angora.

I've always had a soft spot for Lops so Lou Lou was the chosen bunny to start bonding with. You can see pictures of Lou Lou in the Gallery.

We agreed to take Rodney to the Sanctuary for his first date with Lou Lou the next day, Sunday. The sanctuary offer initial bonding sessions to see if the bunnies do show signs of getting along.

That night I was trying to explain to Rodney that he was going to meet a potential girlfriend! Give him some verbal encouragement!

He's never really been in close proximity with another bunny before. He had been in a pen next to two twin bunnies at Karen's when we were on holiday and apparently he was quite relaxed! We'll see!

  We had discussed getting Rodney a companion. After taking advice from Karen and the offer of a temporary cage during the bonding process, we decided to go for it! Rodney was going to get a girlfriend!

We had to consider Rodney, available space and the time it would take to bond the bunnies. Were we prepared? Bonding can take a while and there can be some heartache, so we were sure that if we prepared ourselves for the worst, then anything better would be a bonus.

Once the bunnies were bonded we would buy the 140cm cage from Bunny Bazaar as this would be big enough for two bunnies to snuggle in during the day.

So we knew what we were looking for.. a good natured neutered female bunny from the North West Rabbit Welfare Project.

W/e 12th September 2003
  Spotted in the supermarket small carrots complete with tops (the green bits!). Gave Rodney a whole one and David Blaine couldn't have made it disappear faster! I take off one green stem and held it out, he continuously chomped it from one end until he'd finished! Its fantastic!

I've been poorly this week with a cold going round work, so have been at home for a couple of days. Words couldn't describe my chuffedness when Rodney jumped on the duvet packed sofa. He got such a cuddle for being so sweet.

Still have no idea what to do for his birthday!

W/e 5th September 2003
  The little guy is fine. He's now got a taste for men's trainers. I have been using them to protect the carpet infront of the doors upstairs and inevitably he's now got a taste for them instead of the carpet. Needless to say its not gone down well in the house! I'm now on the hunt for the carpet remnants to use as mats infront of doorways! New bunny owners take note! You can't have a house bunny without making some adjustments!

Rodders is now on a small scoop of pellets for breakfast, veg for dinner and as much hay as I can fit in the cage!

Its wonderful to see how much he has grown in confidence and I think this is why we are increasing the level of Bunny-Proofing. I think he's testing our hard work! Cheeky chappy!

W/e 29th August 2003
  A great Bank Holiday weekend. Lots of time spent with Rodney. On monday gave him a little check up ( combined with big cuddles) and found a group of orange/brown flecks in his left ear.

I emailled the newsgroups and they confirmed my first thought which was ear mites! Booked into the Vets for the next day. Took him over to the Vets, and it turns out he has extremely clean ears! The vet wiped out the flecks of skin! How sheepish did I feel? Anyway whilst he was there he got a manicure and a pedicure and although I felt a little daft at least I know he's fine and in tip top shape for his fans! The vet said I'd know when he has ear mites because inside the ears you can see a brown mucus/wax and he would be scratching his ears all the time. Its all a learning exercise!

Last night he decided that he wanted to sleep in his litter tray (!). As its starting to get a little colder I'm thinking that the floor of the cage could be a little too cold to rest on. The plastic cage is on laminate flooring. From now on I'll be putting an extra layer of hay on the floor of the cage. If he doesn't want to sleep on it he'll eat it so everyone's a winner really! The other alternative is to put a layer of carpet underneath the cage, between the floor and the cage to insulate the heat that way! I'll keep you posted!

W/e 22nd August 2003
  I don't know if Rodney is aware of all the fuss that's going on at the moment! I have shown him a picture of himself in the newspapers! He just tried to chew it!

Rodney is enjoying the break in the hot weather to get some serious running and jumping in on the landing! Its great watching him fly up the stairs!

Realised its his birthday in October so I need to start thinking of what treat to get him. I was wondering what benefit a Cat Scratching post would be. He could claw and nibble at it (you know the kind of thing - they have sisal rope wrapped around a column!). Its a thought.

You can now get Rodney's picture on a Coaster from the Rabbit Welfare Association shop! How cool is that!

W/e 8th August 2003
  It's been a while since I updated the diary. Rodney is fine and still going through his first major moult. Everytime I go near him I get a haze of bunny fluff all over me.

Its been difficult to keep him cool in the house. All doors have been left open whilst he's been at home alone, just to keep the air circulating. As you'll have seen he's now on Webcam so I can watch him whilst at work!

It's difficult to keep him downstairs - he makes a beeline for the living room door everytime someone steps near it. Upstairs is fully carpeted, as opposed to the downstairs which is skiddy wood floor. Upstairs he practices his acrobatics..... and his carpet nibbling - which is why he's not allowed up there too often or unsupervised!!

W/e 18th July 2003
  We have been on holiday for two weeks.Rodney has been staying at a local Bunny Boarder specialising in House Rabbits. This is the Website: http://mysite.freeserve.com/bunny_boarding/ .

We missed Rodney like crazy, it was weird dropping him off but he was totally unphased. He was really friendly to the Boarder and very confident.. I was a proud Bunny mum.

Rodney is now back at home. His toilet training habits seem to be all OK he's a very happy and confident bunny - I think its done him the world of good. He was chatting up two neighbouring female Lionhead twins.....! What a charmer!

He's moulting like crazy - his coat doesn't look as cuddly but he's still the same adorable bunny!

Its like he's never been away. So for anyone nervous about leaving their bunny don't be!

W/e 20th June 2003
  Rodney seems to have calmed down now. Even getting him back downstairs after a little adventure upstairs only requires one shout of "Out" and he's off down the stairs! Most impressed. Spotted this week a dark patch on his back... Upon first appearances it looked like he'd pulled out a big chuck of fur... This wasn't the case, on closer inspection there was some very short dark ginger/brown fur growing. Rodney is starting his moult! Awwww - feel like we should be celebrating a coming of age or something!

Anyway - he's been a real sweety. I have been worried about him in the house in the heat but he seems fine. Still not drinking huge amounts but I have noticed that a little of the water from the bottle is being drunk. His aim missed in dramatic style in the litter tray so the bottom of the cage can testify that he's getting plenty of liquids!

W/e 6th June 2003
  Noticed this week that the house is taking a real battering from Rodney's nashers. He's even being really naughty . He's now 7 months old and having recently been snipped my friend has advised that its just his adolescent phase kicking in. Which will be made worse because his hormones will be adjusting to not having any balls anymore!

So - Rodders is going through the "terrible two's". He's chewed through cables, got behind the fish tank and chewed through a lighting cable. All our Bunny Proofing is just being shoved/nudged out of the way!

It would cost £130 to install a pet proof alarm sensor, and considering his recent behaviour he's going to have to reside in his cage whilst we're out. I am revisiting the webcam idea!

I can understand why some parents with kids send their bunnies to the rescue after a couple of months. Not that I would, I'm just saying that to the less educated, in bunny ways, some might think this behaviour is all that bunnies are like. But they're not - its a phase and I look forward to his lordship growing out of his Kevin the Teenager mood!

Don't forget to have a look at the shopping page. I'm having great fun surfing the web for Rabbit themed goodies!

W/e 30th May 2003
  After a nice long bank holiday weekend Rodney had to return to his cage whilst we went to work. The look on his face was too much and I am now awaiting a quote on a Pet Friendly House Alarm Sensor for the living room. Honestly its not the cost of vets bills you know, its everything else that the Bun needs! It will be worth it to have a happy safe bun roaming the Dining and Living Room!

Started to grow a tray of Grass that Rodders can nibble at his leisure. Recently we put the weed and feed on the lawn and I don't want to risk Rodders on it even if the allocated time has past. So I went to B&Q bought a propogator tray, popped a seed tray in it; some seed compost and laid my tiny turf. I mixed some herb seeds in with the grass seed so it will be fun to see what grows!

There's a picture of the tray in the gallery!

You will have also noticed that this weekend we uploaded the new site! Comments welcome!

W/e 23rd May 2003
  Rodney's domination of upstairs continued this week. The main victim being the carpet. He doesn't appear to be digesting any of it - he just enjoys pulling it.

Its good to see him all chilled out relaxing on the landing staring down the stairs!

We have experimented this week leaving him out overnight. Not a single problem. The first night I left a light on for him, but its not needed. What I'm dreading is when I DO have to try and get him back in his cage! That will be a fight and a half!

We're going on holiday soon. Asked on the UK Houserabbit newsgroup if anyone could recommend a Bunny Boarder. Have found the perfect place for Rodney. Its fantastic. Will link to the site when a link is available!

Just a note to those who would be interested in my Webcam annoucement on the homepage. I don't think I'll be going ahead with it. My aim is for Rodney to have full run of the living room. This would be difficult, and not very interesting to try and capture on a webcam. Apologies. I know I was looking forward to it too but its fairer on Rodney to allow him as much freedom as possible. Will think about a similar project for the future.

Have been planning a revamp of this website too so please keep coming back! Otherwise Rodney will miss you!

W/e 16th May 2003
  What a week! Tuesday was when I took Rodney to the Vets for his overnight stay before his castration. Wednesday was the operation. He came home late Wednesday afternoon. Thought his eyes were very red. Still red on Thursday morning. Rang the vet - Rodney had a mild case of Conjunctivitis - no drugs prescribed just recommended to bathe the eyes in cold tea if it got any worse. Friday saw Rodney take his first steps on the stairs and then proceed to conquer upstairs! Check out the video section for footage!

W/e 9th May 2003
  First days in the Hutch - see Gallery for video and pictures.

W/e 2nd May 2003
  The bunny run has now been built by "Dad Enterprises". Its a great design. It consists of panels which are fixed together using hooks and eyelets. That way each panel can be stored seperately and stashed in the garage! Needless to day its rained since we got the run so Rodney hasn't been out in it yet - I will update the gallery with pics when he's been in!

Not much on the firsts front, more of a "second". Our neices came round for a second visit to see Rodney. First time round Rodney was a little apprehensive of the 6 year old and the 18 month toddler. Anyway at the second visit it was a different story. The Six year old was able to feed Rodney some Broccoli, Rodney sat down next to her and let her stroke him, and the Toddler quietly stroked him no problem. Even when they were shouting (as kids do) he was fine.

I think ever since I let him out in the garden he's found increased confidence in his surroundings. I give him that many cuddles that he must know that no harm could come to him.


His new game, which you can see in the gallery, is playing with the patio window curtains. He loves running in and out of the creases! Its very funny to watch. Especially when he gets frustrated and can't find his way out!

W/e 25th April 2003
  Well, a week packed full of firsts. As promised Rodney has now been in the back garden. Loved it. Raced round, hid, dug, jumped, chilled out... the works. My Dad is now planning to build an enclosure for him as I am paranoid about flystrike etc... our flower beds are riddled with bugs!

I said full of firsts, the other 2 are: Jumping on the sofa! and going into the hallway and jumping onto the flower pots!

The jumping on the sofa gave me the shock of my life! I was nodding off on the sofa when there was this clatter of feet and a thud next to me! And there was Rodney!

In the same night, I was on the sofa and I heard Rodders going into the hallway - I was very chuffed at this, but at one point I thought it was too quiet. Poked my head round and there's Rodney sat in the flower pot! (I have two plants in the hallway, a Yucca and a Dracena. I have stripped the leaves from the lower part of the plant to prevent any nibbling!).

Rodders has also devised a speed circuit which includes all ground floor rooms now, dining room, living room, kitchen and hallway.

So now that Rodney has conquered the whole of the ground floor of the house, what is next? The stairs?

W/e 17th April 2003
  Rodney has now been in the kitchen, sorry I had to pick him up and put him on the far side of the kitchen. At least he's been in and sniffed around. Made his own way back out of the kitchen too. Showed no eagerness since to go back there!

He's also had a debut on the sofa this week. Now that is somewhere he's trying to get back to! Unfortunately he's too short to get on the sofa himself. He keeps standing up and pawing at the cushion seat of the sofa. So we may be in for a regular cuddle on the sofa! I'm looking forward to it becoming a habit!

This Easter weekend I am determined to get Rodney outside, whether its on a lead or just carry him out there I'm not sure - but as God is my witness Rodney will have been on the lawn by Bank Holiday Monday! If he likes it I'll start planning a run/enclosure.

W/e 11th April 2003
  Local pet shop had a sale on cushioned pet beds, so Rodney now has a cushioned bed to relax on when he's doing his rounds of the house. Still no nearer to the kitchen though....Pictures of Rodders and aforementioned bed are now in the gallery.

Rodders still loves his veg, no side effects seen from the other end so they must all be agreeing with him!

W/e 28th March 2003
  An update on progress then... Rodney is now on vegetables. He has two food bowls now, one with pellets and one with veg, he also has a huge mound of hay which is regularly replaced. The veg I have tried him on so far are: Broccoli, Sprouts, Carrot, Celery, Raddishes. I tried some tomato but he wasn't keen.

He now accepts being stroked - he sits for ages whilst I stroke him. He will also sit still for a brushing session... the progress is fantastic.. love him to bits!

He still won't go anywhere near the kitchen or even approach the door - the same applies to the hallway.

W/e 7th March 2003
  No problems picking him up - still not sure he's enjoying it!

Rodders still seems to have a blind spot for the kitchen, no recognition at all that its there.

We're having great fun playing with him and watching him run round the rooms.

This will be the last diary entry for now, until another milestone event happens anyway. Please keep coming back though!

W/e 28th February 2003
  Rodney is still enjoying lounging around with the humans in the living room and dining room. Still not ventured into the kitchen yet.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to entice Rodney back to his cage in the evening. I'm sure he's plotting a breakout one night this week!

Been able to brush him more this week, however I'm still struggling to pick him up.

The main victims this week have been the coffee table legs and the living room rug. The coffee tables legs are now protected by yogurt pots and the rug is covered in last week's Sunday Times and associated supplements! At least the little guy is making it back to his cage when he needs to "go"!

W/e 21st February 2003

Rodney has now become accustomed to the living room too. Cables are not in trunking yet but access to the areas with cables has been blocked off with shelving.

Its wonderful to watch him running between the rooms.

We let him find his own route between the rooms. Didn’t think that picking him up and putting him in the living room was a good idea – I wanted him to find his own way so that he knew how to get back to his cage. It has worked because he returns to his cage for water and to his litter tray.. success ! He's now even more grumpy when I shut his cage at night, he likes the taste of freedom!

What are the other milestones then? Well, he needs to get to know other people; there’s the kitchen that he can gain access to; see what fun he can have with stairs; and once the weather picks up we can introduce him to the Garden..

W/e 14th February 2003

Another trip to the Vets for the final Myxo injection. Some more tips from the Vet on handling. I’m still very nervous picking Rodney up. If he doesn’t like it and I don’t have to pick him up, then I don’t see any point in upsetting him. Rodney now goes back in his cage when I clear up the Bunny Area anyway.

Picked up Rodney a couple of times. I’m confident that if I did need to pick him up, then I can do it but there’s no need to pick him up unnecessarily.

Happy that things are going well. Time to think about introducing him to the rest of the house

W/e 7th February 2003
  After some encouragement I picked Rodney up, introduced him to his "Bunny" area!

Bunny Area: His cage is located in the dining room which is open plan to the living room. With a little help from some old shelving we had made a collapsable gate which prevented Rodders from initially getting into the living room (full of chewable cables!). The gate also folded away meaning that the room still retained its aesthetics!

I've been spending a lot of time lying on the floor and talking to Rodney face to face. I read about Rabbits displaying affection via nose to nose contact rather than a human putting their hands out etc.. The House Rabbit Handbook has been a god-send. Very useful.

Rodney has been showing signs of settling in – falling asleep on the towel I put down for him (the wooden floor can get a little cold), running and jumping like a nutter. Wonderful to watch...

He comes over to me when I join him in the Bunny area, and grooms next to me – so I feel happy that he recognises me and feels safe with me. A useful trick has been to sit in his area with his towel on my lap. He likes to jump on and off, like a game.

Litter training has been surprisingly easy, Rodney has always used a litter tray. As for nibbling, he loves skirting board. I do two things, say "No" loudly and that sometimes deters him. If he’s determined then I usually block the item with a box or egg carton

W/e 31st January 2003

This week Rodney had a trip to the vet for a health check and his first injection (VHD). Vet was really helpful with tips on handling. He was very positive about the whole House Rabbit topic. Up till now Rodney had not been outside of his cage. Left the doors open with a ramp, but understandably he had no concept of an outside world.

That was all due to change….

W/e 24th January 2003
  This week Rodney joined the household from Dogano in Cheadle Heath. I had originally gone into Dogano to check out the cages – but they had the cage and the most cute rabbit in the universe (to me anyway!). So it was a sale….

He was brought home in a Pet Carrier, it took Rodney 3 hours to approach the front of Pet Carrier and go into his new home. We didn’t want to frighten Rodney too early by picking him up – we would rather he went in of his own accord. Which he did… after a while! His Pet Carrier did have Straw and food in there so I think he was too comfy!


Just to bring you up to date, Helen (a collegue from work) was talking about her House Rabbit, Robbie , and her sister who had 3 House Rabbits. I hadn't heard about keeping Rabbits indoors before.

We had liked the idea of a cat or a dog but the house alarm would need changing etc (there were a number of reasons)… after talking to Helen a House Rabbit sounded like a great idea. Thus starting a fortnight of trips around local petshops, reading websites, checking prices at Vets and ordering books. There’s nothing like researching your topic.




Quick Tips


Wicker balls and rings make great toys for rabbits and keep their teeth in good shape.

Make sure you provide plenty of fibre in your bunny's diet. Always have hay available and keep pellets or mix to a minimum. Rabbits love fresh greens too!



Does your cage have a front door like this. Do not let your bunny use this front "door". Many a bunny has seriously injured its leg in the bars.

If you have to use this door, cover the bars with wood or Instead buy a side opening cage and make a ramp if necessary.

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