WARNING: Photographs are not related to the text.
On Saturday the plan was to take all four rabbits to the Rabbit Haven Adoption Show. Tyler and Sydney were to have their nails trimmed and Harriet and Amelia had an appointment in the bonding room. Despite best efforts and treats offered, I was only able to get Sydney into the the carrier, Tyler jumped out the door when I guided Sydney in and would not be recaptured for love or rose petals, which pass for currency around here. Plans and intent change, life is change, what was going to be a pleasant family outing was now GIRL ROAD TRIP! More treats for the girls and singing contests and giggles galore. Sydney belted out a version of "Brass in Pocket" originally performed by The Pretenders. Amelia countered with Chaka Khan's "Tell Me Something Good". Harriet surprised us all with Brian Eno's "I'll Come Running". The fun ended far too soon and before she knew who had won the contest, Sydney was getting her nails trimmed and being told she was still too fat and to, simply had to, cut down on the pellets. When older rabbits, here she really took offense, are too fat, they cannot reach their cecals and that causes all sorts of problems.....
The bonding room became available and chaperoned by myself and one of the Rabbit Professionals, Amelia and Harriet were placed in a pen. What followed was not exactly what I had had in mind, but that is the way of Bun, to teach the human to see beyond their own small plans and dreams. There was no biting or chasing, instead Amelia set about owning the space with extensive exploration and peeing in each small litter box multiple times. Meanwhile Harriet let me know that I was hers by sitting in my lap and licking my arms, not just once but four times. Cindy, the Pro, laughed and said "I guess you won't be giving that one up." A couple times I scooped up Amelia so she could share my lap with Harriet and maybe have a little bond there. After about 20 minutes someone else needed the room so we vacated.
Since I had Sydney without her brother, Tyler, who can be bossy and over bearing, almost but not quite a Napoleon Bunaparte, I thought I'd see if I could establish more of a relationship with her. Sydney doesn't not like to be touched, petted, or held and all I want to do snuggle her and whisper sweet bun things into her black, black ears. You understand the problem. I am perfectly willing to settle for petting once a day and being able to pick her up in an emergency. [Ex: the house is on fire all rabbits must be evacuated immediately for their own safety.] With Harriet and Amelia in their respective carriers I walked around the adoption area with Sydney in my arms, just to gently stress her a bit, then I settled on a chair next to the girls. Pretty soon there we were joined by other bunny people. Nothing like a bunny to attract bunny people.
One Rabbit Haven volunteer took quite a shine to Amelia and wanted to hold her, I gave permission. Another came by with a rabbit that was waiting for adoption and a man with a white Netherland Dwarf ,whose had had its nails done, joined the gathering. Winter was a very small, short eared white rabbit had been adopted a 4 years ago from Rabbit Haven. He had attacked everyone who approached him until he saw his current human. At that historic moment he flew onto the man's shoulder and refused to leave. I imagine for a brief moment everyone who knew the bun thought he was going to rip off the poor unfortunate's head. Although it would seem that the relationship would simply take off from that point, once the man got the bun home it was a full six months before Winter stopped charging and biting. Still, he amazes one and all by sitting like a strange white parrot on his person's shoulder.
I learned some applicable and practical things at the show too. If you are holding a nervous bunny that needs to settle down, gently pat the bun on the shoulder. This seems to distract them and soon their breathing will normalize. When bonding, play gentle music, Heather, the Rabbit Haven Director, suggests meditation music, stay away from drums and percussive soundtracks! With this in mind I'll put together a bonding playlist. I have a Bunny Calm list, but I'm not sure about the Rain Forest segment, I think there may be too many bird noises, Tyler , in particular is not fond of birds since they could be hawks. And frankly, I think they are all freaked out by the whales.....After much encouragement Sydney relaxed and settled in my lap with half closed eyes, hopefully the start of a trend. Amelia was traded for Harriet and the volunteer proffered the opinion that they would both make fine therapy buns. The car ride home was quiet, all the girls exhausted from their outing. At home Tyler came out from behind the couch to be sure his harem was accounted for, then offered himself for petting, as a sign of his undisputed superiority over moi.
Have a great week.