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Diary - A blog as written by Rodney



Thursday 18th November 2004

Oh how ashamed am I for not updating the diary for nearly a month. My apologies!

Magic and Rodney are loves young dream still. They regularly flop alongside one-another and its lovely to watch them play.

I'm weening Magic off the Burgess Junior now by mixing only a small handful in with Excel Lite. They have one bowl between them in the morning, hay throughout the day and greens in the evening. Seems to keep them going! However, Magic does enjoy a bit of speaker cable every now and then! Oops! Also the telephone was "Magic'd" straight through the power cable. She's OK - but we've replaced the phone! She is a proper houdini - able to defy any bunny proofing we use! Love her to bits though!

Rodney seems to keep out of trouble - but I'm sure he's the brains behind it all.

Still hoping to move before Christmas. Looking forward to it!. Buns haven't a clue and seem to be enjoying the skirting more than ever. I'll be correcting it before our Buyer moves in!

Sunday October 24th 2004

The buns are amazing. We'd moved the cage into the living room against the wall opposite the sofa when they had been staying over nextdoor whilst the house survey was going on.. I don't pay much attention to what's on the telly now because the buns are much more interesting to watch!

For all the moving about they've had to do because of us mean two foots moving house, they've taken it in their stride. No loss of litter training at all.

Miraculously the survey came back with no comments! I thought the bunny crafted sculpted wood work would have made an appearance but no!

For Rodney's birthday this month he received a big bag of treats. Vine Balls, willow rings and straw plaits (from Bunnymail!). All of which look in a terrible demolished state now!

We also received his nail clippers! We're attempting this today! I'll tell all next week!


Friday 15th October 2004

Well the buns have had a mad couple of weeks. Firstly we moved the buns back into the kitchen so that we could sand down and repaint the skirting board. Magic did really appreciate the lack of space and was grumpy until the following morning.

Then at the end of the week our survey on the house was due so the neighbours kindly offered to take in the buns. So we put them in the Ferplast cage and carried them nextdoor. To all accounts they were perfect house guests for one night and were fully laid out when I turned up to bring them home.

Now they are downstairs, returned to the living room and they are like kids in a candy shop!

Both buns are fine - eating and drinking and binkying all over the place! Can't wait for the new house and sorting out their bunny garden!

Still totally amazed at Rodney's bouncebackability to live with Magic! Housebuns are just brilliant companions! Yes, Rodney is a SoccerAM fan. He lies out on the rug infront of the telly watching Tim and Helen! I think he has a thing for the Soccerettes!

Hope everyone is OK! Don't forget to email me and let me know how you are getting on!

Friday 8th October 2004

At the rate Magic is chomping my skirting board there'll be no house to buy! I have curtailled her nibblings temporarily but she's a cheeky monkey! Her and Rodney are just fine and dandy together - nothing significant to report other than they are just a great couple!

I'm now investigating some more barrier methods of skirting board protection for the new house. Its another little project for the website. When I think I've cracked it I'll post some pictures.

At present I leave 2 food bowls out with a mix of Excel Junior and Excel Lite. I cannot restrict one bunny from one set of food - its impossible. So far there have been no side effects. After another month I think we can wean them off the Junior but keep out plenty of the Lite. The Lite contains minerals and nutrients and really all their grazing should come from Hay and Greens so the pellets are just a treat. Because females are more prone to obesity and Rodders is only small they shouldn't need a huge amount of pellets - but we'll keep them on some pellets, for Breakfast, just to ensure a good balanced diet. Hay disappears like nobodies business and greens last even shorter.

Accepted offer on the house so hopefully all should go smoothly - hopefully (fingers crossed, touch wood, etc etc). Now planning for the new house. Keep telling the buns about plans for "their" garden!!

Friday 25th September 2004

What have I let myself in for? Well. Rodney and Magic are just dandy. Rodney is smitten, not only is he following her around but he fully flops on his side next to her. I still think she's too young to appreciate the relationship and is just merry in her own land of discovering new things - but its very sweet to watch.

I've definitely been taking Rodney's good behaviour for granted! We have a fish tank. Bunny access to the rear has previously been prevented by the grid panels that I often use to segregate areas off from Bunnies. However, Rodney has never been a big jumper so I've never concerned myself with the height of the grids. Anyway I came home one night this week to hear a rustling from behind the fish tank. I quickly discovered that Magic was fine but quite happily sat amongst pipe work and fish food. I reinforced the grids and within 5 mins she'd jumped over these. The back of the fish tank is now padded from all angles with towels, grids and cushions and is rock solid. Although I wanted to rename Magic Houdini I half expected to come home tonight and find Magic paddling merrily in the fish tank. Thankfully she wasn't and it doesn't look like she's tried anymore break-ins!

She's wonderful and we all love her so much.

She's still gizzling Excel Junior, Greens and Hay down like there's no tomorrow. Rodney has found a taste for the Junior. I've been told it can't harm him. I think Magic only has another month or so on the Junior, I'd much rather guarentee that Magic was eating her Junior than try and restrict her because of Rodney. There's no evidence of upset tums from either bun apart from the one instance of one poo with clear gel around it. I checked with the newsgroups and was told this happens once in a blue moon and is OK. If it was more frequent I should go straight to the vet.

So at the moment both buns are in the living/dining room.

This week I had to pop them in the big Ferplast cage in the garage for 1 hour whilst viewers came round. Broke my heart to think of them outside - how soppy am i? Anyway the experience helped the bonding process like taking them for a ride in the car - they were unseperable after the trip to the garage. Hopefully this place will be sold before Winter (for the sake of the buns and my sanity it better had be!) as I wouldn't like them to go in garage for even 1 hour if the temperature difference was going to be extreme. I think if needs must I'll pop them into boarding if we still have to accommodate viewers to the property later on in October.

Spread the word, bunny friendly house on the market in Sale, Manchester. Must go to a loving owner...!

Monday 20th September 2004

I apologise for the infrequency of keeping this diary up to date. We're trying to sell our house at the moment, which is interesting when you're trying to bond bunnies but it does actually work quite well!

I started off with Magic in a Bunny cage in the dining room where Rodney could sniff her and they could get used to one another.

I then, when time permitted, put them in the run together. The first introduction was interesting as Rodney (as usual) would persist on trying to mount her. But there was no nipping and lots of binkying from Magic.Following this session Magic was returned to her cage which also had a small fence around to protect her from nips.

Inbetween introductions I would alternate Rodney and Magic having access to the living room.

The Second introduction in the run went really well. Lots of eating together and binkying.

Third introduction - Magic groomed Rodney constantly and there was lots of eating and binkying and ever since Friday 17th September 2004 Magic and Rodney have been living together in the Dining Room! How's that for a short bonding!

Yesterday Rodney was teaching Magic how to go up and down the stairs. I was poorly in bed but apparently it was really cute to watch.

This is just fantastic news and is one less thing to worry about.

Trying to keep a house tidy for viewers when you have house buns is a little traumatic but at least its only downstairs. I've been lucky with the weather when viewers have been around, I've popped them in the run outside. We weren't too keen on first time viewers seeing the bunny cage in the living room. Its difficult to explain the concept and you can rely on a bunny just to drop a marble when you say how proud you are of their house training!

Anyway - thats my news and I promise I'll try to keep the diary updated. Once the viewings are over I'll sort the webcam out . For now, I've updated the gallery with more Magic and Rodney piccies.

P.S. If you know of anyone who wants to buy a 3 bed semi in Sale, Manchester let me know! ;-)


Sunday 5th September 2004

I would like to introduce you to "Magic" Rodney's new missus!

Anita from Peggy Henderson's arrived this afternoon for a home visit and for the first home bonding date. We set up the run outside and popped Magic in. I went into the house and brought Rodney out!

Anita checked out Magic's new cage and had a look at where her cage would be.

We went through Magic's paperwork and then they had their first meeting.

It was a fab meeting - you can see in the gallery the pictures!

Magic is so sweet - although one of her ears is lopped she can actually point them both up, and she had them both down at one point! She's got fab ears!

She's still a baby 4 months old - she eats Excel Junior, as much as she can eat for another couple of months!

At the moment the house is still in turmoil as we are getting the house ready to sell so we may do the bonding outside as much as possible. We've no room to fit two cages whilst we're trying to do the "House Doctor" thing! When people are round to view I think we'll pop them in the run!

Wednesday 1st September 2004

Spoke to Anita at Peggy Henderson's yesterday. 2:15pm on Sunday the new bunny will be coming for her first date with Rodney. If all goes well, she will be staying!

Still don't know her name yet!

Come and visit the site Sunday night and I'll have posted pictures of their first date. Hopefully it will be all good news!

Thursday 26th August 2004

Spoke to Gail on reception at Peggy Henderson's today. Baby bun has been in for her spay. The intention is to have the first bonding session here at home and if all goes well take it from there! I'm too busy at work to be able to have the bonding date during the week so hopefully Sunday 5th September 2004 Baby Bun could be coming to stay! I'll have to work hard at sorting out the cages and Rodney will have to sacrifice the freedom of the kitchen. I need the kitchen to be neutral as quickly as possible.

Can't wait! So excited. I wish I could say Rodney is to but as always when I talk to him he's more interested in flopping over and dozing!

Thursday 19th August 2004

Just thought I'd bring you all back up to date.

Rodney is fine and hunky dorey. He's now back in the kitchen based in his dog cage. I didn't like leaving him in the cage during the day on his own, so he has Radio One to keep him company - he's a hip dude! He may even be a BUSTED fan!

Have been along to the Peggy Henderson sanctuary and I have a reserve on a white new born baby bunny who will be coming up to 5 months old and hopefully is a girl! Its difficult to tell at this age. Once the Sanctuary are able to spay her we can start bonding dates. Out of two litters of pure white upearred kits she stood out because one of her ears is lopped! Helicopter ears I think they're called! She just had to be the one. Anyway as I said before she may still be a he so we just need to keep our fingers crossed! Her and Rodney are a match in heaven I just know it!

I've been keenly watching Rodney's water bottle, bum and food intake. He's as ravenous as ever! So all's well there. I've not got around to moving the webcam into the kitchen but I promise I will soon! I need to find a better home for it so that you can see Rodney better.

Thank you all so much for your kind words of support they are all appreciated and its reassuring to know that other two foots understand what we've been going through recently.

I hope to develop the site more once I've more spare time. So please keep coming back! I love to hear from you all!

Oh, just as an aside - I should tell you about my experience with PetPlan following Charlie passing away. It was handled very sensitively. I had to complete the details for Charlie on the PetPlan claim form (you are posted one with your insurance certificate when you take the policy out), then send it to the vet who cared for her ,PetMedics. They then completed the finiancial information and forwarded the completed form to PetPlan. Within 2 weeks I received a cheque for my claim and a very sweet letter. I was very impressed with PetPlan and PetMedics who made what could have been a very stressful time a lot easier to cope with. If I had to say one thing that I would have improved it would have been that they listed Charlies cremation on the bill and stated I couldn't claim for it. I never asked to claim for it and seeing it on a bill was a little sad for me.

Friday 30th July 2004

Grab a brew because this is a long entry!

Well, at the start of the week I was hoping to be able to put in the diary that we'd started some bonding in the rabbit run outside and things were progressing nicely, but if you've seen the home page you'll know things took a drastic turn for the worse.

Looking back I feel I should have acted sooner and questioned the Sanctuary about her skinny condition and small appetite, but they weren't to know and I could keep saying "What if?" but it won't bring her back. You have to get on with it and learn from these things. The danger is not to be too much of a hyperchondriac but it is down to you knowing your rabbit and knowing what is strange behaviour. I didn't have that luxury with Charlie as I didn't have her long enough. I could only act on the Wednesday afternoon when she actually started showing signs of illness.

On the tuesday evening I got home from work and Charlie was hopping around in her cage. There was a stale smell coming from her rear. I picked her up and popped her on her back. Her tail was damp with urine. I washed her bum and paws and dried her off and off she went to munch her greens. I noticed the water bottle hadn't gone down significantly but in the time I had her she never drank a great deal and because she hadn't been on greens before I had introduced them day by day into her diet. This would have been extra water intake she wouldn't have been taking when just on hay and pellets. I promised that if she was in the same condition the following evening I'd take her to the vets. So at this point other than the damp bum she wasn't showing any other signs of illness. I looked in her cage and there was no urine on the bottom of the cage so I thought she MAY have been sleeping in her litter tray again and just been a little unfortunate to lie on particularly damp patch. I changed the bedding, swept her cage out and changed her litter tray.

When I got home from work she had a damp bum and was extremely weak. I knew something was wrong when it was so easy to get her on her back. With a poorly Charlie in one arm and the phone in the other I rang Vetcare and got an appointment 20 minutes later.

The vet at Vetcare was not the usual guy I saw and he drew his breath in and went this doesn't look good as soon as he saw her. At first I thought I heard him wrong but no, I was right the first time. He felt her tummy, listened to her heart, took her temperature and said it was a possible urinary tract infection. He said it was likely her gut had stopped processing too. He gave her an antibiotic injection and a saline injection, gave me a pouch of Supreme Science Recovery and said try to feed her the Supreme Science Recovery and keep water available. When I paid for the bill I was given the Recovery and told it was self explanatory to make up. Vetcare don't take in animals overnight so they gave me the phone number for Pet Medics in Walkden who are a 24 hour surgery.

I got home and put Charlie in her cage with the Vetbed I had put her on. She was so weak she couldn't keep her head up.

I rang Karen. She asked what the Vet had said, and she asked if Charlie had been given any gut motility treatment, I said no, had she been given any pain relief, I said no, have you got syringes to feed Charlie the Recovery and Water, I said NO. By this point I was getting the picture and Karen reaffirmed it by saying I should get over to Pet Medics for a second opinion.

I rang Pet Medics, they gave me directions on how to get there and pointed out that at this time the fee's would be at "Emergency Rates" - this was £47 for a consultation. By this point you really are past caring and I was also thankful that I'd got Charlie insured as soon as I got her.

Charlie was carefull placed into the pet carrier and we off up the M60 for 20 mins. Arrived at Pet Medics and were seen about 15 mins later. Everyone was so kind and the surgery was spotless, I'd built up a picture of what a Casualty Waiting Room's like in the middle of the night and wasn't expecting anything like Pet Medics!

The vet felt Charlie's tum and listened to her heart. I told her everything that had been said earlier and the treatment she'd been given. I was told that she really was very poorly. If I wanted to take some syringes I could do but I would have to be constantly up all night feeding her water; letting it pass through and then feeding her again. She said the surgery could take her in and put her on a drip to try and get her fluid intake up. The Vet went to get the admission forms whilst I had a little sob I told Charlie how much we loved her and wanted her to pull through. They took Charlie through into the surgery and I left a contact number. She said I could ring anytime for an update but if anything changed she would ring me. I went to sleep with the phone by my pillow. They needed a deposit against the final bill. I said I was insured so they recommended I just paid my excess. The estimated bill they gave me was £214.

At 03:46 that morning they rang to say she'd died. They said I didn't have to make a decision about anything at that point and that I could ring later in the morning. I rang back later and asked about cremation. I could have her cremated and choose whether I wanted her ashes back. I asked if I could have a certificate rather than her ashes, as per Lou Lou. They said yes. I asked about bill payment and they said we could pay over the phone. I asked about the insurance. I just had to fill in Charlies details on the Pet Plan Claim form and post the form to Pet Medics. They would complete the cost details and forward it to Pet Plan. The final bill was £122.

I hope you don't mind me putting all the details including costs down. I just hope it helps other owners by sharing experiences like this. I am glad for the things Charlie has now taught me but wish I still had Charlie around.

Not forgetting about the other important Bun in my life, Rodney. He is fine. I've disinfected Charlie's cage and disposed of the absorbant toys from her cage and washed everything else. I just didn't want to take any risks with Rodney. He's eating fine and I'm constantly watching his water bottle levels.

After reassuring myself that in the case of both Lou Lou and Charlie it wasn't something that I was doing wrong with their care routine that had brought on their illnesses. Rodney is a testament to this.

I've decided to jump back on the bonding horse again and this afternoon (Friday) I contacted the Peggy Henderson Sanctuary as I knew that a few months ago they had had two mummy buns give birth to a large number of kits. This is an ideal opportunity for me to have a bun that the sanctuary have a totally full history for and some idea of the buns temperament. Although they are awaiting neutering there are a selection of girls to choose from. They are all white and absolutely gorgeous!! How on earth do you choose and for that matter we were trying to work out how we would distinguish the one we would select whilst Rodney and the chosen bun were having "bonding dates".

At the moment I'm waiting to hear whether the sanctuary will allow introductions to start even though the girls are not yet neutered. They know Rodney is neutered and fully vaccinated - its just sometimes its best to start with a clean slate. Because they are so young it would be unlikely that their hormones would be fully kickingin, as females are notoriously territorial.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for all your kind words of support over the past couple of months. It does help. If there has to be a moral at the end of every story I would pass this on:

(1) Get to know your bun well, physically and behaviourly;

(2) Keep an eye on the water intake (difficult I guess with a bowl but stick with it);

(3) Keep a stack of plastic medicinal syringes (not ones with needles!) for emergencies;

(4) Always feel confident to ask questions of your vet. If you aren't satisfied with the answer or have any doubts about anything, advice on giving medicine to your animal is always necessary, seek a second opinion!


Saturday 24th July 2004

Sunday we tried our first introduction. We put Rodney and Charlie in the kitchen with me supervising. Even after 2 weeks and a good scrub of the kitchen I couldn't believe that Rodney went straight to where their dog cage used to be and pooped a boundary round the exact spot the cage was. Charlie just stayed by the back door and Rodney did come over to investigate and there was much nose sniffing and sniffing of rear ends! I don't think Charlie knew what was going on. Rodney did go in for one nip but I just gently pushed Charlie backward. I will leave the kitchen introductions alone for a while and if the weather is good this weekend I may put the rabbit run up on the patio and try a session outside.

Thursday I swapped their cages over. Charlie seems to like her cosy pad and Rodney doesn't know what to do with all his room. Decided that Charlie is a very laid back bunny. She'll just lie and chill out. Even when I do entice her out of her cage she just hunts for somewhere else to lie down. She's not had a mad run about but I think she's still finding her feet on the floor and getting used to things. In some ways she's timid and in others she's very confident.

Friday night I erected the Bunny Run on the patio and tried a second date. No bun could call this their patch! It was always Rodney making the moves, taking every opportunity to shove his head beneath her chin. She did leave her head next to his, and they did go nose to nose. I do panic a little when Rodney stays too still because I know he's going in for a nip (he did this with Lou Lou and she ended up with a war wound on her nose). I think this time the tables are reversed to my previous bonding. This time I don't think the female knows what she's supposed to do. The positives are that they haven't tried to rip each other to shreds and they have groomed themselves in the presence of the other (even though they haven't groomed one another - but it is only a second date, perhaps Charlie isn't that easy!). The patio definitely is the easiest place to try and bond them, whilst the weather is good. Hopefully it will remain good for a week and give the kitchen time to become neutral again before the usual wet summer arrives.

Saturday afternoon we put them both in the run. They were outside for ages and I am happy to say there was one instance of Charlie grooming Rodney. Didn't last long and after that I think they got tired of each others company (I think anyone would be grumpy if they were outside when it should be their nap time!). But its a step in the right direction. I cleaned their cages too and swapped some hay around so they have each others smell in the other bun's cage. Plus the cages are sited right next to each other.

I am quietly optimistic. They do look cute togther. All the tones of brown you can imagine in just two Bun's!

Friday 16th July 2004

Today Charlie went for her final injection so there's nothing stopping us bonding her with Rodney now. The first week has been amazing.

We used a large "Nibble Sticks" bridge to ease her hopping in and out of the cage. Although she used this at the start of the week to hop in and out of the cage I noticed that she stopped showing interest in the outside of her cage. Her home was obviously too comfy. So Thursday night I decided to pick her up and pop her in the living room to help her understand there's life outside the cage. But surprise of all surprises she just stayed in my arms. No struggle, even some waffly chops (teeth grinding - which to bunnies in the correct context is a purr not a growl). So we sat together snuggling for a little while and I set her down on the living room rug. Off she popped exploring, even hopped into the twin baskets for a doze and stayed there until it was time for the two-foots bedtime. I had to pick her up and pop her back in the cage.

This afternoon I let her out, and again a little interest in coming out but not a great deal of effort so I picked her up again and she hopped around Rodney's cage for a bit then ended up snoozing on the living room rug!

This weekend we'll move the cages together so they can get a good whiff and used to each others company. I'm just stunned at what a laid back bun she is.

The vet was happy with her, even though I said she was on the skinny side. She eats loads of hay and is enjoying her greens - she just doesn't guzzle them down straight away - she tends to graze at night because her food dish is always empty in the mornings.

Rodney is enduring a huge moult. His cute face looks really strange at the moment because from his forehead to 1cm above his nose is a huge patch of uneven fur - he looks very strange. But I'm still paying him lots of attention, strokes and brushing so no fear he's still adored as much as Charlie.

I'm also going to find something other than the Nibble Sticks to use as a bridge in and out of Charlie's cage. The side of the cage is rather high and her belly fur is still very short after her spaying.

So, the bonding now starts. Fingers crossed everyone! Also, checkout the Gallery for more fab pics of Charlie.

Sunday 11th July 2004

Rodney was the first out this morning. He's found an ideal position in the bottom of a bookcase next to Charlies cage to sit and watch her. They've been nose to nose sniffing but no nipping.

When Rodney went back in his cage we let Charlie out. We didn't bother fencing off the living room. She hopped around and settled down fully laid out next to Rodney's cage. She even made it up to the bookcase where Rodney had been watching her. She's not made it into the living room but its only a matter of time. When Charlie went back in her cage, we let Rodney out and put the fence back around her cage but left the short side near the book case free. This is the end that Charlie sits in her Litter Tray. To be honest it just gives Rodney a chance to sniff and Charlie room to watch from her Tray.

My strategy for bonding them is this, and after 4 weeks you can tell me how wrong I was!! (joke).

Week One: Let them out seperately but let them sniff through the bars under supervision.

Week Two: Move the cages next to each other and swap hay (Charlie will have had her VHD jab by this point) or even swap cages over. I'm wary of over handling her because of her Spaying stiches.

Week Three: Start bonding dates in the kitchen a little at a time. 5-10 mins progressing to longer over the course of however long it takes.

And after week three just take it as it comes. The aim being getting them solely bonded in the kitchen to the point that they can live together in the kitchen in the old dog cage for 2 weeks to allow the living room and dining room to become neutral again. This is how Lou and Rodney ultimately bonded. Last time I rushed it by introducing them into the kiving room together way to early and some scraps developed.

This is theory mixed with experience from my last effort with Lou and Rodney - it took five months but they did bond. Each rabbit is different so it could take longer or shorter than last time!


Saturday 10th July 2004

I wasn't too well today. Rodney was let out and Charlie stayed in her cage. She seems to be a big hay eater too. Although she's been fed on Excel before she doesn't seem overly keen, perhaps she's just not a big eater. Wolfed down her greens though!

Later on in the evening we put Rodney back in his home and moved the fence to around his cage. We opened Charlie's cage and left the side of the cage open with a wooden log bridge to help her jump out. She didn't immediately jump out but after some sniffing she came out and took her first tentative steps on the laminate flooring. We fenced off the dining room from the living room just so we could keep her safe in a smaller area. She sniffed and hopped around and occasionly popped back in her cage for security. After 2 hours when she had jumped back in her cage we shut the cage for the night.

Friday 9th July 2004

Left work and headed for Bleakholt with the Pet carrier all set up with some snuggly vet bed and some hay for snacks.

Arrived at Bleakholt and went round to the Rabbit Warren where Peter sorted out all the paper work. Finally I could take Charlie home. Charlie hadn't been vaccinated so I made an appointment for when I got back over to Sale with my Vet. Vetcare gave her a quick once over and her Myxi jab and we made an appointment for next saturday for her VHD. She has very evenly worn teeth apparantly!

Got her home and into her new cage. She is a really chilled bunny - no signs of thumping and no second eyelid showing at all throughout the whole afternoon. She is very skinny though. You can feel all her joints. I refuse to feed her up on sugary treats so its just going to have to be a gradual process of feeding her up. Any sudden shocks in her diet could make her ill.

Anyway she has everything she needs for now so we'll leave her in peace. Rodney can smell her! He's OK though we let him out later on in the evening and he had a good sniff around. Neither bunny was phased.

Thursday 8th July 2004

Tonight we made sure everything was ready for the new arrival and that Rodney was happy in his new temporary home.

The large Ferplast cage is set up across the other side of the dining room from Rodney's. We've set up grid panels attached together to make a mobile fence that can go around either cage whilst one bunny is out and about. It won't prevent them having a sniff of each other but it will prevent them trying to nip.

Sunday 4th July 2004

Although it was hectic at Bleakholt because of the Open Day - Charlie was snuggled in her hutch recovering from her op. Apparently she was still tender so we didn't pester her. Stroked her head and said she'd be home soon. She didn't even flinch! We took some hay home so that Rodney could get used to the smell.

Rodney is set for his first night back in a cage with the smells of his new love for company!

Saturday 3rd July 2004

It must have been fate that I hadn't sold my huge Ferplast 140 cage. Here are the plans for Operation Rodney and Charlie.

As of today Rodney's home is now his original Ferplast 100 cage in the dining room. (Note the change of picture on the Webcam). The kitchen is now out of bounds to become neutral again for bonding purposes. I've done this today so that I have a week's start on things as Charlie will be joining us next weekend.

As Charlie is a little bigger than Rodney I have allocated her the Ferplast 140. So the dining room table is now flatpacked in the garage!

I won't be introducing Rodney and Charlie together until 2 weeks after she comes into the house. I am conscious that as she would have only been spayed 2 weeks ago, hormones will still be in her system and I would prefer to be as calm as possible for the bonding.

Unlike some of my bungled attempts at introductions between Rodney and Lou, Rodney and Charlie are not going to have any free run together in the living room until I can see that they are loves young dream in the kitchen. I feel I added 1-2 months onto my previous bonding time by trying to rush it. Once they are fine in the kitchen they will live together in the dog cage for 2-3 weeks in the kitchen until the rest of the house becomes neutral again.

Thursday 1st July 2004
  Rang the sanctuary in the afternoon. Charlie was back at the sanctuary. All was well. They would prefer to keep hold of her until Monday. Confirmed that it would be OK to visit her on Sunday. Can't wait! I'll be "borrowing" some of Charlie's hay to give to Rodney. Just so he can start to get used to her smells!

Wednesday 30th June 2004
  Today Charlie went in for her spaying. Fingers and toes were crossed.

Monday 28th June 2004
  The sanctuary rang me at work to say I was fine to adopt Charlie. I queried the spaying. They would book her in with the vets (for Wednesday) and it would cost me £40 for the operation. That was fine with me.

Sunday 27th June 2004

Today Murial came round from the Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary for my home visit. I set up a cage in the dining room with toys and bedding. Rodney decided to snooze during the visit. Murial wasn't really at the house long. As I already had a house rabbit and had explained my tactics for bonding she said that she was happy that I knew what I was doing.

I ask Murial if she could ask the Sanctuary about spaying. I felt it would be easier for me, and easier for Charlie to settle at home, if she came to me already neutered. I would pay all costs. She said she would put it to the committee.

Friday 25th June 2004

Today we visited Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary at Edenfield near Bury. They had a number of females available for adoption, none of them neutered though.

First I spotted Mitsy. She had previously been paired with another female Snowball. Both were so cute and gorgeous to handle but they did have a history of aggression. As I was handling Mitsy the Handler only by coincidence went out to bring a bunny out of isolation and into the main unit. As the bunny was called Charlie we didn't pay much attention as we assumed it was male rabbit. As we were stood talking a little about Charlie being a lovely rabbit she noticed that on the info card it said Charlie was female. My ears pricked up! We got her into a run and I picked her up for a cuddle - no struggle at all! Charlie had come to the sanctuary because her owner had emigrated to Australia. The owners brother had brought her to the sanctuary. My details were taken and I would have to have a home visit. Following the home visit, if the decision was positive then Charlie would undergoe a vet check before being signed over to me. I would pay a minimum £10 donation to the sanctuary. I sneaked a quick piccy of her!

On my way home I bought some toys and a new water bottle for Charlies cage! Optimistic or what! I did keep getting flash backs to the time we first saw Lou. I am expecting a lot of flash backs over the next few months!

Thursday 24th June 2004

Visited the Peggy Henderson Sanctuary where Lou had originally come from. I wanted to find Rodney a friend who we could have some confidence in their age. Lou had been estimated at 1yr when we got her but she had a lot of character for abun of that age and the vet who treated her when she was so sick said he thought she was older.

The Sanctuary didn't have any females available for adoption. I started to widen my search.

Wednesday 23rd June 2004

We returned home on the Tuesday evening. Gradually the crying had stopped on holiday and I was just looking forward to getting home.

I was feeling so bad that Lou didn't see me whilst she was going through this. I wanted her to know how much I loved her and would miss her if she went. I wanted to thank her for everything she had taught us and Rodney. I wanted to be there for Rodney. I have to be honest, if I was there I would have been a blubbering mess. I had to take comfort that the people who were there did everything in their power to help both bunnies and that those people cared. I've not got memories of a poorly Lou, only the fabulous memories of a very cheeky loving bunny

When Rodney return home we thought he looked lonely. It was very strange seeing him on his own. Within 30 mins he was flopped out relaxing in front of the telly. We knew we'd have to find another house chum for him..

Saturday 19th June 2004

I received a text early Saturday morning. It said to ring Karen. My heart did sink at this point. It was then that she told me that Lou had passed on that morning before the vet could operate. We were both in tears on the phone. It must be the worst nightmare for any boarder that this happens and commonly the owner is never going to be close by in these situations. My heart went out to Karen. Later that day we had to discuss what my wishes were. Did I want a post mortem and what did I want to happen to Lou? I didn't want a post mortem. I wanted to think of her in the same condition as I left her the previous week, not on an operating table. As I wasn't going to be home for another 5 days I didn't want Lou stored in the vet's fridge until my return for a burial. I decided on Cremation.

Since Friday I had been grieving. I don't think its a hopeful sign if a condition like this has gone past 24 hours without significant improvement. Richard was wonderful. I cried for a long time but didn't want to spoil anyone's holiday.

Friday 18th June 2004

Lou's condition improved only slightly during the day after trying new medication and the vet took Lou home with him to keep an eye on her as she was so weak. Only if he felt it would improve her situation would he operate.

Guiltly I had to ask how much the operation would cost, £100 - £300. I never sorted out Lou's insurance and I hated myself for having to think about cost. I would have paid no matter what but in hindsight I would have preferred not to have to think about vet's fees at all. Lesson learnt. Rodney is covered by Pet Plan.

Thursday 17th June 2004
  We were resting on the camp site when I received a text from Karen saying not to worry but she had taken Lou to the vet because she hadn't eaten and her stomach was swollen. I rang her and she said that Lou was on medication and not to worry, Rodney was with Lou keeping her company. I took the vet's phone number and rang him direct. Lou was suffering from Gut Stasis and they were trying to treat the condition medically to find out whether there was a physical blockage.

Sunday 13th June 2004

As we were heading off on holiday to Euro 2004 we dropped Lou Lou and Rodney off at Karen's. This time we took their dog cage home so that they had familiar territory and hopefully ease the transition when we come back home. (Remember all the humping between Rodney and Lou when they came back from boarding last time!). As usual they were more concerned with new toys and bountiful piles of hay to be concerned that we were leaving them for a week.

Sunday 30th May 2004

Oh what can I say about my two little bunny love birds? Things are back to normal. Grooming each other and chilling out together. Lou Lou's even advanced to rolling over on her side which is something I'd only ever seen Rodney do before! So yes, nature has taken its course and things are back to normal.

During the week I have weaned them onto Burgess Lite with no repercussions in the litter tray. I've had to hide the food bag now as both Lou and Rodney are getting too used to the dashing into the cupboard and grabbing a mouthful of pellets! I noticed a smudged "special poo" on the floor (which is the first in a very long time) and decided that these sneaky dashes into the food cupboard for a crafty mouthful of pellets could be too much nutrition for them so - they are back on normal rations - one layer of Lite pellets in their food bowl between them.

I did of course gradually introduce the Lite (never just change your bunnie's food - it upsets their digestive system).

So all is well in Rodney and Lou Lou world. I'm just captivated watching them!

Friday 21st May 2004

The week started badly when I was convinced I was in for a rocky road between Rodney and Lou Lou. He was being so persistant and she was becoming very fed up with it. The thought of going through the bond again filled me with dread. The constant nagging thought about bonding was driving me nuts. Anyway over the past couple of days things have really died down now and they seem more gooey over each other than normal. When things were at a peak of annoyance Lou Lou obviously retaliated with a nip to Rodney's ear. This resulted in a scab. I have tried treating it with Sudocrem just to help things along but it turns out Lou Lou knows best. She's licked Rodney's ear until the scab fell off and keeps licking the Sudocrem off. The ear looks fine and Rodney just thinks he's getting lots of attention off Lou Lou - I'll keep an eye on it but I still think its a great indication of the bond between them!

This weekend I start the Excel Lite. Lou Lou's habit of sneaking in the food cupboard in endearing, and she doesn't take a lot of pellets but it must mount up calorie wise and she's no Kate Moss! So from this weekend I'm mixing small amounts of the lite in with the normal until they are totally converted to the lite.

The wicker rings I bought at the BunnyMail stall are mere twigs now so I need to order more. At least I know how they are occupying themselves during the day. The rings are a big success!

Sunday 16th May 2004

We went away on a short break this week to Oasis Centerparcs Winfrell. It was great. The Bunnies went into Board with Karen. Oasis was fab as they have loads of wild bunnies roaming about and will come up within 2 metres of you, even the baby ones. I think it made us miss Rodney and Lou Lou even more.

The layout at Karens was absolutely fab and as I would have guessed, there was great reluctance from the Bunnies to come home. They had loads of tubes and cubes to play with.

The only incident was when a new bunny resident was introduced into the pen next to Rodney and Lou Lou. Rodney didn't take to kindly I don't think and started mounting Lou Lou. This subsided, but started again when they came home. Its gradually wearing off now but I'm also giving him lots more things to preoccupy him and give Lou Lou a break! They are eating together and sleeping together fine and there have been no scraps at home so its not a big bonding issue (fingers crossed!). It was a bit worrying at the start but everyone around me has been reassuring me that they'll be fine!

I was helping at the Rabbit Care Day at the Peggy Henderson Sanctuary. I was in heaven. Everyone was so friendly and loved their bunnies - and you could talk about loads of common issues. It was truely a fab day. The Health Checks were busy - it seemed from what Susie said that uncut nails and un-neutered buns were the big issues! The two memories I'll take from the day will be one guy driving in with one of his bunnies on his shoulder (yes-whilst he drove!) and the fab sight of a bunny on a lead. Try as I might I can't get my two to accept a lead and I bet every bunny owner in the country has an old bunny lead drooped at the back of the cupboard that won't see daylight again! But this bunny and its owner were great to watch - the bunny was so enthusiastic and hopping everywhere - excellent! So today I bought from the BunnyMail stall a Bumper Big tube (to remind my two buns of Karen's abode!), two willow rings and two wicker balls (one of which is nearly threadbare already!

Oh - I also learnt a new treatment today. I have Sudocrem for the bun's skin if its bitten (old story in the diary). I also use Vaseline on Lou's little bald patches on her hocks to keep the skin supple.......... Did you know Preparation H is good for sore hocks? Neither did I? Now you need to decide whats the more embarressing to say - that you need a tube or that its for your rabbit!!


Sunday 9th May 2004

Lou's feet are now fine but she still has little bald patches. These are always treated with vaseline.

Both buns are chilled out as usual. They are visiting their Aunty Karen for 4 days so I've packed their little weekend bags! I will miss them so so much!

Its coming up to Flystrike time so I'm off to the vet's soon for some RearGuard. Because I only pick the bunnies up when I have to (eg. treat them/brush them) I make the most of it because they look so cute. I don't like distressing them by picking them up unnecessarily so I enjoy every second of treating feet and bums etc!

I'm still feeding them some Excel in the mornings but its so little they'll be completely off it soon. The fact that Lou still climbs mountains in the larder to get to the Excel makes me think that they are getting a little addicted to it!

We're in the process of buying a new house so little things pop into my mind about the buns. I'll be creating an article for the site on things to bear in mind when moving house for your bunnies. Watch this space!

Sorry its such a small diary entry - will post more soon.

Saturday 24th April 2004

Both buns are fine. I had a little panic mid week. When I got home Lou's feet were filthy. When she's binkying she likes to take off from her cage - she lauches herself into the air. This action kicks back the vetbed exposing the floor of the cage. She must have binkied early in the day, unfortunately wee'd on the floor of the cage and for some reason sat in it (Rodney was dry as a bone). She already had tiny bald patches at the top of her feet and I was scared that she would have caught an infection. She was still binkying around when I got home so she wasn't in bad spirits. When Richard came home he held Lou whilst I bathed her feet. Dried them off (totally) then applied Sudocrem to the bald patches. She now has white fluffy feet and the bald patches look healthy.

I'm still watching how much food I give them. I am still tempted to give up the Excel but I am unsure whether that will mean them loosing out on nutrients. However, rabbits are just designed to eat grass so anything else they are given is a bonus. Perhaps I will gradually reduce the pellets... I'll keep you posted!

Following the playstation cable incident - the telephone base unit power cable underwent a touch of the Rodney teeth! I was waiting on an important phone call and noticed the power light had gone. Looked at Rodney and there he was with the cable in his mouth. How he wasn't shocked I have no idea! Both Bun and phone are fine!

I ran the craft stall at the Peggy Henderson Sanctuary last weekend - our stall made £60 so thanks to everyone that came along. I will also be at the Rabbit Care Day on May 16th but I won't be running a stall - just helpijng out!

I took my first order on JustBunnies.Com this weekend! Very chuffed!

It is great to watch the reaction of people when they visit and see two bunnies hopping around. The gas engineer was here yesterday and I don't think he knew quite what to say. Lou Lou saw the box of tools and headed straight for it!

Rodney has developed a taste for rubber. First it was the door wedge, now the wheels to my craft cart are no longer circular!

They are getting on so well. We sat and watched them argue over the same piece of leaf for about 5 mins.They kept snatching it from each other's mouth for ages. Rodney eventually won - but I bet it was just because Lou Lou was bored with the game!

Sunday 4th April 2004

The bunnies are both doing well. I've been watching them during their mid afternoon snoozes. Both seem to snuggle their feet under their chests. Lou Lou tends to hang her chin on anything close by when she's sleeping. Rodney tries to sleep with his head up. What is so great to watch is his head bobbing up and down as he nods off. You can also see his mouth moving. I've been wondering what Bunnies must dream about. Both also tend to lie fully stretched like dogs with their heads on their paws. Rodney will roll practically all the way over then lie outstretched. Lou Lou is more concentrated when she lies down and has a good sniff before choosing her resting patch.

Rodney has started following me about. He follows me upstairs and especially into the kitchen. Lou Lou tends to follow afterwards once she's finished whatever it was she was doing.

They seem constantly hungrey and I refuse to over feed them so they will just have to put up with Hay until its tea time. Both of them sit bolt upright with their paws in the food dish expectantly waiting for their dinner, whenever I venture into the kitchen! Its so cute - but you mustn't fall for it! I'm not having tubby bunnies!

On the BunberryFriends newsgroup Rodney won the SleepyBunny photo competition this week! I think he feels he's the Brad Pitt of the bunny world... I won't let it go to his head ....ahem!!

Sunday 28th March 2004

Another wonderful week in the bunny household. Both buns the best of pals. The only victim this week was a Playstation Controller cable. Try as we might to put it out of reach whilst playing the PS2 the cable was LouLou's target! She didn't come to harm and it took less than a second and it had happened... One PS2 controller bites the dust!

Although they have plentiful supplies of hay they always seem to want food. Whenever I go in the kitchen Rodney runs in and expectantly waits by his food bowl! Sweet to watch but no matter how cute he looks he's not getting extra food! Ooo I'm a harsh Bun Mum!

I've noticed at eating time that Lou Lou is now prefering to first see what Rodney's eating before checking the food bowl. If Rodney has any Greens left hanging from his mouth Lou Lou makes a try for them before picking up a leaf of her own from the food bowl! None of this behaviour is getting in the way of the bond - they are still loved up and snuggle up so close next to each other!

Sunday 21st March 2004

Spring is certainly in the air. Rodney won't stop chewing everything in sight and Lou Lou has taken to barging past anyone in the downstairs cupboard to get to her beloved Excel. Whenever anyone goes in that cupboard you feel a quick brush of something as it flies past your leg and the next thing you know "GRUNT" as Lou Lou slams her head down into the bag of Excel, grabs a quick mouthful and runs off. Rodney sits politely at the door entrance watching what's going on. To date he's never attempted a robbery! I enjoy the game, it shows personality - she gets less pellets in her food bowl now!

For the past couple of days the bunnies have been restricted to downstairs whilst we re-decorate a bedroom and the bathroom. Although I've never tried it I can imagine Rabbits and paint don't mix! I like my bunnies the colours they are!

The latest victim of Rodney's spring fever are my boots. They now have a cresent shape missing from the top!

Lou Lou's foster Mum Gilly is coming to visit next weekend. Gilly is from the Peggy Henderson Animal Sanctuary in Stretford. She nursed Lou Lou through her abcess. The last time Gilly came round the Buns were still in seperate cages. I can't wait for her to see the two of them snuggled and chumy!

I take every opportunity to be at Bunny level and at night in front of the telly sometimes I'll just lie down with the Bunnies. Last night was the first time I got groomed, and by Lou Lou. My hair and forehead got groomed last night. Feel very honoured!

Happy Mothers day to all you Bun Mums!

Sunday 14th March 2004

No vet visits this week! My new fleece/vet bed type bedding arrived for the terrible twosome. One sheet of Pro-Fleece made 6 mats for the small dog cage. This means i now have 8 alternating mats for the dog cage and it means I don't have to keep washing all the time. The only problem now is where to store 7 clean mats or 2+ dirty mats! The website where Ibought the fleece from was recommended to me by Karen Scott. The delivery was really quick and I have no complaints on the product. The Bun's seem happy to snuggle on it!

Lou's bald patch seems to have sorted itself out with minimal interference from me. After a couple of days applications of the Sudocrem the soreness had gone. The fur hasn't grown back yet but its perfectly healthy pink cute skin underneath! Her hocks haven't got any worse either - I think I may have been over reacting a little. I did remove one of the rugs from the house so she's spending more time on the wooden floor.

The diet seems to be working well - minimal Supa-Excel in the morning, piles of hay all day, and greens for dinner. I split the dinner portion of greens so that I have something to bribe them both back into the kitchen at night when we want to go to bed.

Lou Lou and Rodney's game at the moment is to wait by the kitchen door in the morning for me to come in and serve brekky. I open the door in the dark and I catch a glint in Lou's eyes! Sneaky Bunnies.

I won the Fur and Feather caption competition this week. The bunnies received a box of Beaphar treats and grooming products. The treats were all natural (with no additives or sugar/starch etc) like carrot flakes and apple pieces. Without thinking I popped some carrot bits in my hand and both buns chomped quite contentedly. It wasn't until afterwards I realised that that was the first time both bunnies had just eaten out of my hands like that. I was surprised at Lou because she's the more nervous of the two when it comes to humans. Another fab bunny moment was when Rich and I were both sat on the floor watching a movie when both buns hopped over and started grooming both pairs of jeans! We were so chuffed! Both of us must now be honorary bunnies!

Monday 1st March 2004

The two terrors have been back to the Vet's today. Rodney for his Myxi and Lou Lou because a bald patch has appeared on the back of her neck. Had a look just before going to the vet's and there was a red puncture mark. The vet confirmed that Rodney's obviously been having an amorous nibble. I have to apply Sudocrem to the wound whilst it is healing! Vaseline and Sudocrem, Lou has a growing beauty routine!

Rodney's jab went fine. He is now a fully vaccinated super Bunny. Lou's are due in September.

No other major news to report. The whole dog cage and leaving them in the kitchen during the day seems to be working fine. Whenever I log on to watch them they are snoozing. Everyone else seems to see them being active!

Rodney is still having the occasional mount but Lou just runs off. I am still giving them reduced rations of Bunny Excel for breakfast. Once I'm nearing the end of this last bag of Excel I will gradually introduce Excel Lite. They do really like the Excel but as they have bonded they do tend to be more quiet and restful and not as active. They have small bursts of activity but I still think that their calorie intake is not being burnt off (A bit like me!).

Friday 20th February 2004

I removed one of the rugs from the living room to reduce Lou Lou's time on carpet. It has sort of worked though they are both now lounging on the rug in front of us, but Lou Lou tends to occupy the spongy cat bed. It has been nice to watch how much time the two of them spend together snuggled up. At one point Rodney was snoozing next to a coffee table leg. Lou Lou wanted to be between him and the table leg and squeezed herself inbetween! After watching Lou Lou nick a piece of Green from Rodney's mouth last week I saw the consequences this week. He's obviously been psyching himself up because when she did it again, he nicked it back! If only I had the camera at the time!

The buns have returned to liking the taste of coffee table legs. The split toilet roll tubes around the table legs are back in force again.

I ordered 2 new books this week. They are great. I've added their reviews to the Buy Stuff book page. One is a great read (Stories Rabbits Tell) and the other is really for reference (Rabbit Medicine and Surgery) but it is packed full of info.

Returned Lou Lou's cage to Karen. It was like closing the book on the whole bonding chapter. I felt quite proud of my bunny couple. Without the help of Karen and the cage I don't think I'd have gone through with finding a chum for Rodney. To see him now though with Lou Lou I believe anything is possible!

Next week is Rodders Myxi jab.

Saturday 14th February 2004

I'm not popular with the Bunny love-birds at the moment. I took them to the vet's yesterday so I'm in their bad books. It was the first time though I had to transport them together and it was a great success. They snuggled up next to each other in the pet carrier and I think they were a great comfort to one another. I took them to the vets for two reasons. Rodders needed the first of his annual jabs (VHD, Myxi in 2 weeks) and both of them needed their nails trimming. Rodney was a superstar with Richard Burgess the Vet at Vetcare. He checked his teeth and spotted some ridges. The best way to address this is more long fibre (hay) and less concentrated food (pellets). He also advised that I should get some scales so that I can monitor the Rabbit's weight. This is a good indicator of their health! They popped Rodney in the kitchen scales and he fitted like a glove! So cute! He stayed cradled in the Vet's arms whilst the Assistant trimmed his nails. Then he had his jab. All the time Rodney remained calm and looked curious about his surroundings rather than scared. Next up was Lou Lou for a manicure. I mentioned that I had spotted bald patches forming on the back of her hocks. There were two possible reasons for them appearing and I should try to address both because the skin in this area is so thin and difficult to treat that prevention of the condition getting any worse is the only option. One reason is weight. When a rabbit gets overweight they tend to rest on the backs of their feet more, the second reason is the surface that the rabbit spends most time on e.g. she could be suffering from carpet burns! For both bun's I realise I need to reduce the amount of pellets they get for breakfast and ensure that they have masses of hay available. The vet recommended keeping the skin on Lou's feet supple with Vaseline! So Lou now has a beauty routine! I have to say there isn't a lot I can do about the carpet thing. The only time they get a good running workout is when they are going mental on the upstairs carpet. It is laminate flooring downstairs and they can't grip too well. They do run but they aren't confident about stopping!

So that was the major news for this week. They are still love's young dream and make my heart melt everytime I see them snuggled!

I'm planning on returning the Karen's spare cage that Lou Lou lived in during the bonding this weekend. I feel a great sense of achievement for all concerned being able to return it knowing the bonding was successful!

Friday 6th February 2004

All is rosy in Chez Rodney and Lou Lou. There have been plenty of snuggles and cheekiness. Rodney's amorous nature seems to be subsiding finally. Lou Lou is definitely more relaxed.

The one major increase I've noticed since having two bunnies is the amount of poop. The litter tray definitely needs cleaning more frequently. As the corner Litter Tray has a lower lip it also means that I use less Litter. This is actually a good thing as the bunnies only tend to "point" in one place and the rest of the litter is wasted really!

They eat out of the same bowls - there is one bowl for their breakfast (Supa Excel) and one for their supper (Leafy Greens). Its so funny to watch them eat. Lou Lou is a faster eater than Rodney. He will be happily chomping on a nice big leaf, Lou Lou wolfs hers down and if Rodney hasn't finished his she snatches it out of his mouth! No aggression from either bunny! When I think of all the fights they had over nothing!

They are learning from each other all the time. I was knealt down obstructing one of their running routes. I firstly received a hard nudge from Lou Lou then 10 seconds later There was Rodney ! I thought he was nudging and licking my trousers but oh no he was nibbling them! I now have an attractive hole in my knee! Bunnies eh!

Friday 30th January 2004

Rodney and Lou Lou have been out and about in the house. Rodney is still feeling overly affectionate towards Lou Lou but I thought Lou Lou was going stir crazy being shut in the kitchen with a rampant Rodney!

They are both getting along fine when they are out in the house. They don't snuggle up as closely as they do in the kitchen but I think some of this is down to being over excited and running about as much as possible. Over the course of this weekend they'll have lots of time out in the house so I think they'll adjust to the extra space.

Lou Lou is just a dream boat - she's so much personality. Rodney seems so smitten he just follows her everywhere and tries to copy everything. I'm so impressed how Lou Lou's toilet habits have improved. Admittedly both buns aren't controlling where they leave their poo's as much as I'd like but lino is easy to clean! However when she was in a cage Lou Lou would not use a litter tray. Since living with Rodney she's been using the Litter Tray all the time. The only slip up (not literally) was when she peed in the wicker tray with the bunny toys in but I guessed that wasn't really her fault it could have been thought to be a "second" litter tray quite easily!

Since introducing the dog cage I also bought a corner litter tray, to provide them with a little more room! So far so good. When I introducedthe new cage I transferred the contents of the current litter tray into it so that they associated the smells and the reason for the new addition!

So far so good all round really. The buns seem so happy and its a joy to watch them eat together! We all feel alot more relaxed now because we're not watching for every little sign of torment from Rodney or Lou Lou. Now that they also have the space in the kitchen I'm not under pressure to race home from work to get the maximum bonding time squeezed into a work night!

Although it took longer than expected, its all been worthwhile. I do wonder though if I hadn't the support from the readers of the website and the newsgroups I (or another bunny owner) may have given up on the bond. The only real signs we had that there was something between them was the grooming. On some occasions it looked like if they weren't grooming they were fighting and vice versa!

It will soon be time for Rodney's booster injections. We'll try and get him booked in for next week I think!

Friday 23rd January 2004

OK, so if you've been watching the webcam you'll noticed that I haven't released them both into the house yet. Things are fine, no panic (they are both snuggly buns) but apparently its that time of year when Rodders is getting instinctively amorous and Lou Lou is being pestered as a consequence (and he's not getting the message!). No nipping has happened but given that Rodders is pestering a little I would prefer to give it a couple of more days until I unleash them onto the rest of the house.

We've decided to have a bash at always keeping them in the kitchen free-range rather than keeping them in cages - so Rodney's original cage has been scrubbed out, Karen's spare cage has been cleaned out and put in the garage pending a successful rehabilitation to the rest of the house. I've bought a small folding dog cage and removed the up turned cage roof. It gives us more room in the kitchen, and means that their cage is portable and easily repositioned near the kitchen door when they are out in the house. See the gallery for pics of the new cage.

It's Rodney's anniversary in the house today. So chuffed. Its been such an adventure and I can't believe the friends I've made in the process. I'm glad that I decided to bond Rodney - one year on he's married and they are such a cute couple.

If you are going to introduce a companion for your bunny please consider rehoming a Bunny rather than a trip to the Pet shop. It hurts me to think what Lou Lou has been through and to see her grooming and being groomed by Rodney just melts my heart. She was found under a car on a drive way.

If you want to rehome a bunny have a search on the database online at Rabbit Rehome.


Friday 16th January 2004

There aren't enough words in the English language to describe how happy I am at the moment. OK we aren't all the way there yet, the bun's are living in the kitchen together 24/7 until next Friday (23rd). But since last Sunday day Rodney and Lou Lou have been living together 24/7 and they are enjoying every minute of this Honeymoon period together. No mounting, no nipping, no fighting - just two snuggly bunnies, my heart melts everytime I see them together - they are both so adorable!

We seem to have come such a long way - and yes there are things I'd do differently, and like I have previously said we are not all the way there yet, they haven't gone into the rest of the house yet.

When everything has settled down I will be posting a lessons learnt and some tips. I am definitely no expert on this topic, but hopefully my experiences will encourage others to get a companion for their Bunny and that this has all been worthwhile!

Thanks to everyone for your advice and support, it has been (and always will be) appreciated!

So the current setup is the roof of a bunny cage upturned just so there was something to hang the water bottle from. The floor of this roof is covered with beach towels and both litter trays are on the towels along with the food bowl. Basically they have the run of the kitchen (which isn't huge) but they are safe - no cables etc. Its fun trying to cook as we have to decide where we'll be based when cooking and move the cage roof according! We have a small fence across the living room side of the kitchen door to prevent "Great Escapes" when we are entering the kitchen. They both seem happy and haven't shown a great interest in trying to escape! As you will notice the webcam is now in the kitchen!

Please keep watching, the next two weeks are going to be very exciting - will the living room be neutral? Will the bond be strong enough to last throughout the house? We'll find out from this time next Friday!

Sunday 11th January 2004

For the benefit of those who have been watching the webcam, you will have noticed that Rodney and Lou Lou have relocated.

After spending all of Sunday in the kitchen without a single nip we decided to convert the kitchen into a temporary honeymoon suite. If they are OK on monday morning we will leave them in the kitchen together during the day. Hence why I've got the webcam setup in the kitchen. The plan is that this period of extended time together should help cement the bond they have. We do need to work on a strategy on how we rehabilitate them into the living room and a shared cage but for now I hope we are on the home stretch!

Fingers crossed!

Please ignore any humans you may spot!

Saturday 10th January 2004

I originally was going to post this update in celebratory mood because late last week it appeared Rodney and Lou Lou had bonded. They would sit and snuggle together and even eat together and basically they were just a happy couple. I'll be posting new pictures on the gallery just so you can see how well they were getting on. Because this bonding behaviour didn't happen until later on in the week I didn't see sufficiently bonded behaviour to confidently put them and leave them in the same cage whilst I was at work. I decided to leave this until the following weekend.

On the Monday (5th) was all was fine when I let them out of their cages. But Tuesday night they were constantly fighting.

We are now back to starting them in the kitchen. Their behaviour is strange, there times when they will happily sit next to each other and even eat out of the same bowl together, and then there are other times when they literally fly at one another. Right this minute they are sat next to each other in a basket. But I know what will happen - Rodney will put his head forward and go nose to nose with Lou Lou. She won't do anything, he'll nip her and then a fight starts.

I haven't seen Rodney groom Lou Lou since all this started, however Lou Lou does still groom Rodney. They do groom themselves in each others company and they can lie in the same vicinity as one another. Rodney runs round with his tail up all the time, a sign that there is danger about.

I don't know if something has specifically spooked them but I suspect that the issue is that since I've returned to work their time out of the cage has reduced since the Christmas Holiday. Although their cages are right next to each and they can nearly touch noses, this isn't sufficient to maintain a bond. Consensus on the Newsgroups is that we need to return the buns to neutral territory again.

To say that I'm disappointed is an understatement. I'm very teary, which is nothing I guess compared to what the buns are feeling. Last week I thought we'd cracked it and that by this point we would have both buns sharing a cage happy as larry, and life could move on with a pair of bonded buns. I am also feeling bad that the Buns must be wondering what has happened too.

On the bright side though, this month will be Rodney's first anniversary with us!




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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