Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Bunday

The bonding is progressing, at this point it appears that it is all about Tyler and Amelia figuring things out in their own bun way. This sequence of photos was taken one after another over the space of less than a minute. The array of bun body language is, to me, fascinating.

"Kiss my head, oh unspotted bun of the pink eye."

Tyler approaches, this is his more subtle form of dominant posturing. When he and I were first getting to know each other he would do this, often, but I didn't realize what it was until he developed a more obvious form for the simple human.

"I'm not moving, spotty dude, you must kiss my vast whiteness."

He approaches and they touch, notice Amelia is so chill, so confident that her ears don't change. She is asking for dominant recognition from the most vulnerable of postures; supine.

"What the heck is he up to? am I supposed to be impressed."

Retreating Tyler periscopes, "I am big, check me out." Usually bunnies periscope to see more get a view of their surroundings. Clearly it can carry a message as well depending on the circumstance.

" I am still the ultimate bun-man, I am still the ultimate bun-man, I am still the ultimate bun-man, I still the ultimate bun-man (repeat 100 times."

After holding his periscope for a significant time, Tyler turns and washes his face. This has a taste of the self-comforting behavior, after all he has essentially been rejected as the dom-bun, but he has maintained his bun dignity.

Update: the gate is down now, whenever I am home, not just for feeding. There are some small chasings, but these lack ferocity. Sydney was seen licking Amelia's forehead. Tyler and Amelia are spending time napping and self grooming within 4 feet of each other.....

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tri Bond Dating Update

Belly up to the salad bar, plenty for all and bundry.

Bonding has progressed to the point where I can invite the Spots in for a communal feed. When I first put the salad down they are willing to be very close. As they get satiated emotions arise. Previously, when I would just feed Tyler and Sydney together sometimes Sydney would hop away mid-feed, I would invite her back and she would come or I would give her a separate pile and that would do it too.
So close! Amelia's ears are fairly relaxed, Tyler is looking a teensy bit possessive of his food, Sydney is quite involved with her greens, thank you very much.

With the free form salad bar I can customize for the needs of all buns. The goal is to keep them eating, an eating rabbit is not a fighting rabbit. When most of the salad is consumed Tyler's exploratory streak calls him outside. Amelia observes from under the chair and Sydney retreats to the living room, no doubt thinking of working on her current project of destroying BF's couch.
I'm so happy to get Tyler some outside time, he has been an indoor bun for his whole life. Yes, that is mint growing up between the boards.

Tyler soon returns and he and Amelia touch noses without incident. It is a funny thing with rabbits, the rabbit that is groomed is the dominant rabbit. This requires being lower when presenting to another rabbit. When Tyler and Sydney were bonding they would pressed their heads against each other at the same the level for minutes at a time, you could almost hear them muttering "I'm dominant" "No, I am dominant." "Sorry, but I do believe that I am dominant." etc......
And they touch!

After the nose episode Tyler decided to clean his face while Amelia settled down on "her" side of the fence. Not completely finished with delights of Amelia's room Tyler jumped into her litter box to eat some Alfalfa. "You know she doesn't like that" I warned him, he did jump out but not before she charged him.
Self grooming seems to mean a few different things, depending on the circumstances. At times it appears to be a self comforting activity, at others a demonstration of comfort.

I stopped her, it wasn't a full on charge, and pacified her with pets while Tyler explored the Bunnex, yet again.
The bunneh is pacified when the nose can be beeped, BEEEEPPPP.

Exhausted from it all, both rabbits flopped; Amelia under the chair and Tyler, oddly enough, just outside the gate in the extra large litter box I placed there in an effort to save the floor from extensive marking. He has never flopped there before, not ever.
Synchronized floppage

Here both Tyler and Sydney vie for dominance as Amelia observes.

Lest you think that all is absolutely well I must add that we did this same thing in the evening and although it went well for a while Tyler and Amelia did have a little dust-up or more exactly a fur-up, but only two tufts of fur were lost.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thump Day Bonding

Amelia started out her day eating, running around, and sitting in a pot in the Bunnex. This latter is learned behavior transmitted via the internet from the prodigious gang of Bunns at Houseful of Rabbits.

At around 11 a.m. there are a little fresh lettuce party in Amelia's room, all three rabbits were eating from the same somewhat spread out pile. Amelia felt a little uncomfortable and retreated under and behind a nearby chair. Sydney left when the lettuce ran out and Tyler continued into the room, bent on exploring the Bunnex.

SShhhhh, Sydney is coming back. You can see here how I changed the fence/gate into a V shape so there is less chance of a bunny getting cornered and feeling defensive. Sydney sees the last piece of lettuce.

"Wait, who is that there?"

"Err, hello? "
"Don't I know you from the lettuce party?"

The girls touch noses, I can't believe I took this picture I was ready to stop an attack at any moment, but nothing happened! They just touched and Sydney retreated, not fast, just at a leisurely pace, like she did this everyday, whew!!!!

Having come back from outside Tyler hopped into Amelia's litter box and was partaking of a forbidden pleasure; alfalfa. He hopped out when he saw Amelia approaching, ears to the side and tilled forward, this seems to be her "I might be irritated at your behavior but I must assess the situation first" stance. Just after this photo was taken she chased him a bit, but there was no contact. At this point I stopped the session, although both Spots seemed eager for it to continue, hanging around the gate well past their usual nap time.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Bunday: Tri Bun Bond X 3

A good Bunday to all. There is much to report and I'll be as brief as possible. Firstly, Amelia would like everybun to know that her wish for a an outdoor extension has been filled, when weather and noise level (there is a contractor next door who does a lot of work in his driveway) permits, she may survey the the holdings and sniff the air.

"There gotta be some way out of here."
And she did break out, but not for long.

Secondly, we have had two bonding sessions where Tyler was the ambassador of the Spots. Both these went fairly well and no fur flew. I have abandoned, for the time being, the tuning forks, partially because I'm sitting on the floor and diverting possible aggression, and partially because they were maybe too distracting and technical. Now I sit and divert and hum, mostly a sort of tape loop of a few bars of "On the Street Where You Live", I don't know why it just sort of popped out.
This is the set up, Amelia seems to feel perfectly safe next to her fence.

Thirdly, today we held an all Spots session. Amelia was more interested in her outdoor playpen, so the Spots happily ate her greens. She came in and flopped behind the fence/gate which comes out perpendicularly from the wall when open. More or less all was well, though when Tyler started to eat her pellets, Amelia flew at him, I stuck my hand out and got a bit of bite, but Tyler got away.
The girls have a chat......

Later Sydney and Amelia mixed it and I had to pull them apart. I picked up Sydney, figuring she was harder to catch for the post fight wound examine. Sydney and had a very nice lap sit, I love her back satin ears and she knows it. She had no bites, just a lot of fur in her mouth.....Amelia was fine too and a little while later she and Tyler were eating parsley with the fence between them. Next time I am thinking I need to rearrange the room so there are no places where a bun could feel trapped, I think this is what happened with Sydney and Amelia. I'll put the pellet bowl up, maybe just some hay and a few piles of greens.........

Amelia is not sure about this and glares at the approaching Sydney with a pink eye. This pictures shows Amelia's new ear-do, they are getting silver, at first I thought it was mange or something that required a trip to the vet, but the skin is healthy and the fur is growing thicker. I guess these are her winter ears.....

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Friday morning the smoke from the Lockheed Martin fire was worse than it had ever been, houses across the street were obscured. I felt totally oppressed and fled up the coast. It seems not very smart, in retrospect to drive into the smoke to get away, why not go south? But part of me wanted to see how bad it was and I have the general impression that the beaches are cleaner north of town and windier too. Although I was in the car I did wear a surgical mask, which seems to do a little bit as far as filtering out particulate matter. Just after Anno Nuevo the smoke cleared and I pulled into a beach at Gazo Creek, a turn before Pigeon Point. It was windy and sunny and the air was unfamiliar in it's clarity. The beach was almost deserted as I took off northward, camera in case slung over shoulder, sunglasses in place, and hoody over my baseball cap. The word intrepid comes to mind, no doubt. When I was quite young I thought that I might become a beach comber and was disappointed to find that this was not an actual job, like fireman or nurse or even ballerina. I do still love to just walk along a beach (sparsely populated and clean if you please). So I did just walk and breathe and breathe and breathe.

What is better than watching the tide and listening to the wind?

Rock with a peep hole into the wild blue yonder.

Looking back south from Gazo Creek

In the thick of it.

The evening news had nothing about the increase of smog. This morning's Santa Cruz Sentinel had an article about it. Going to a similar article on Facebook I found a comment that said the increased smoke was from back fires set by the CDF, the writer had run into a fireman at Costco who reveled this tidbit. But not the worry the Monterey Bay Air Quality Board found nothing unhealthy about the pollution levels yesterday, except in Bonny Doon proper.........

Tri Bond update: we have had two sessions where no bun lost any fur. Sydney and Amelia seem to be trying to sort of figure out if maybe they might be friends, Tyler is simply staying in the other room when the fence comes down.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Bunday

When Amelia first came to live with us other people thought that her feet were muddy and messy and that I was remiss in in my care of her. Fact was that her feet were just kind of lightish greyish, very just ish.....As the days have gone by she has been changing. As the rest of her is getting longer her foot colors are becoming more defined and now she looks like she is wearing lovely little grey ballet flats.

Here is a picture from barely a month ago, you can see the coloring is very ish.....

Check out these very defined feets from a photo taken today 8/17/09

Obligatory girly pose; she is sometimes known as "Miss Girl".

Who is lookin' at ma feets?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Trial Integration II

Have not given up on integration, actually I was waiting for a morning when Boyfriend was gone......three rabbits are pushing his limits and rabbits scrabbling for dominance might push him over the edge. Since everything is an experiment here in the Rabboratory I added a few factors since the last effort.
1) I changed the fence configuration so that it could be opened with causing a major disturbance.
2) All rabbits were peacefully eating when I removed the fence.
3) I rang tuning forks during the bunbreakfast and their face to face meeting. If things seemed to be on the way to being too heated I rang louder.

Bunbreakfast; the Greens Course

The tuning forks I used are the ratio of 8 to 13 or phi ratio. This ratio is not found in Western music as it cannot be played on an even tempered instrument. Nor has it been found in Eastern music or any scales on this planet. It does exist in nature as the spiral. The most common example of this is the spiral inside a nautilus shell. The Fibonacci series is another aspect of of this ratio. Some believe it is the ratio of love and others that it activates new aspects of DNA, the spiral within our cells. At any rate the rabbits seemed to think it interesting if played softly and alarming when louder, so that was good enough for me.

Amelia and Tyler have an encounter of the bun kind

On opening the fence Amelia immediately wanted to go out and Tyler wanted to go in. There was a brief nose touch, no biting, but I clanged a bit on the forks. At one point Sydney and Amelia touched noses and Sydney went right back to eating. Things started heating up again and I clapped my hands. This stopped everything. Both Spots left the kitchen. On coming back in Tyler found Amelia coming out of her room and then there was a little fight, scuffle, altercation. I broke it up, picked up Amelia and shut the gate. Hard to tell who got more fur removed since they are both basically white. After being sure that Amelia hadn't been wounded and got a bit of a cuddle, I found Tyler, who must have been upset since he was very snugly and almost clingy. He seemed OK too, though spent some time behind the couch sulking. Amelia finished her breakfast.
Right before the fight

Next time I'll try my other tuning forks which are a perfect fifth or the ratio of 2 to 3. The great Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, thought this interval to be the sound of Universal Harmony between the forces of Yin and Yang. In India it is the sound through which Shiva calls Shakti to the dance of life. It is the sound that Apollo, Greek God of Sun, Music and Healing plucked on his lyre to call the dolphin messengers to Delphi. I will also be feeding the rabbits a bit of Chamomile for calming and putting Five Flower Formula in the water. At the school I used to work at the Kindergarten teachers would put this in the water cooler during the first couple months of school, it seemed to help the little ones acclimate.

And yes, we have wildfires here are are barely contained. Although the Rabbortory is not in any danger from the flames, it is smokey outside and there is plenty of ash.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Night On the Town.

Amelia listens with one ear to the tales of other rabbits

Tuesday night or rather Wednesday morning I didn't get to bed until 2:45 a.m., as a person who attempts to lead a very moderate lifestyle this was completely out of character. It must have been an emergency or something very important, some sort of life or death matter to keep me up so late. In fact such was the case. Tuesday night Rabbit Haven volunteers were out capturing rabbits from the Moreland Park site in San Jose CA, and I was one of 14. Rabbit Haven is not the only organization involved in trying to help these rabbits. Save A Bunny, Rabbit Rescue Alliance and Team Fur have been doing awesome work to save the bunnies. If I forgot anyone please forgive and correct me, it was unintentional. Many rabbit had been rescued but the situation was getting more desperate. We had been hearing reports of teenagers shooting and chasing the rabbits, capturing them and maiming and torturing them. These almost adults must be really unhappy and confused to feel better after hurting a rabbit. There have been adults with dogs setting the dogs loose to chase the rabbits. This was life or death for the rabbits, we had to get as many out as we could.

Tyler and Sydney remember their own early life in the streets

I drove over two other rabbit people from the Santa Cruz area. Everyone was issued an ID card and an orange vest. After an orientation, that included a Lego model of the park and surrounds, we broke up into teams. Since I had the longest thinnest arms present I was part of the nest diggers. Long arms are needed to reach down the holes and check for the nest. I tried to be useful in other ways since we didn't find any nests. At this point the rabbits left are the survivors, they are fast sneaky ones, this is Darwin's dream and our nightmare. There are various structures under which the rabbits hide, sometimes you can stick a pole under and flush the rabbit out the other side into the XPen that has been cleverly placed, then someone has to quickly take a piece of cardboard and close off the exit. This works sometimes, but more often than not the rabbit underneath will evade the pole. Even food as a lure has only a limited appeal to these remaining rabbits. There were quite a few rabbits in the baseball and soccer fields adjacent to the park. In the open the rabbits have to be herded by the two foots into a U shaped XPen that is then snappily closed behind the bun. Add to all this that it is dark and we are working by flashlight and lantern. One of the structures in the park was large storage container under which many rabbits had made their home. Next week the school wants to remove it and fill in all the rabbit holes, regardless of whether there are rabbits present or not. The night we were there the only rabbit was a big white rabbit and a dead rabbit. Many times the teams returned to try to get the white rabbit out, and never was there any luck. I saw it's nose, just once. One team did get the dead rabbit out. We were collecting all rabbits, dead or alive. Live rabbits were placed in carriers and taken for assessment by a team member who had a set-up in the back of a camper. These rabbits received a dose of Revolution for the fleas and ticks that are prevalent. After assessment they were ferried to a foster site. The deceased went a pet crematorium. There were a few tense moments when large groups of teens came walking by, but once they saw us with our orange vests and rabbit nets they figured we were were nuts and dangerous and left. By 1 a.m. we had caught 11 rabbits and found 4 dead ones, it seemed time to pack up. On our way back from the fields someone spotted the big white rabbit who had jumped out of the Xpen and was running around the park; possibly upset at the removal of the dead rabbit who could have been it's mate. Determined as Ahab after his white whale a team pursued this Lagomorphic great white and in the end caught her; 12 rabbits rescued.
May she and all the Moreland rabbits find caring and living homes.

The Spots want to tell the Moreland rabbits that there will be plenty of hay from now on

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Bunday

Rabbits are becoming increasingly popular pets, it would seem. Just the other day when I was at our little computer store, I wordlessly held up my severed AC adapter cord and BOTH the store owner and the other customer said "Rabbit!". I politely endured a bunny proofing lecture from the customer and, luckily, I didn't have to buy the entire adapter cord, just half. Martha Stewart caught the Easter bunny wave see HERE. It is good to get the word out about rabbits being a long term commitment. Having had Bandit for 9 years I think one of the really interesting things about rabbits is that they never stop surprising you, there is always a new trick, a new bun joke or learned skill. For instance, just last night I was laying on the floor doing my head and back stretches and Tyler gets on my stomach, then he does a bunny up (standing on hind legs) while there! We need an agent, we are ready for prime time.

Thanks to Junkstylediva for the Martha Stewart link. JSDiva has a bad sprained foot and I wish her speedy healing.

May everyone enjoy a rabbit centered week.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Visiting Moreland Park; a non-event

Having taken the rabbits three to the vet earlier this week I thought it only fair play to take myself and son to see our optometrist in San Jose. Last year I was told that I had the beginnings of glaucoma, something I didn't want to hear so I came to my appointment with a bagful of trepidation. Dexter went first, leaving me to stew in my own fears and magazines. After the routine check I got dilated and in this condition was forced to choose some new glasses. Our usual Dr. had taken in an associate or so, and so this was who was examining me today.

Can you read this sign without your glasses?

She peered into my giant pupils with her horrid bright light and a magnifying glass. First the left eye. I enjoy hearing the sharp intake of breath, this means I have caught them not really reading my file. "You have a large scar on your retina." She stepped back in astonishment. And then I tell the story of how in 6th grade I got hit in the face with a kick ball and my retina got damaged. The eye Dr. was one of the researchers at Stanford so he used one of the first lasers to seal up the flap in my retina. It was a ruby laser powered by a vacuum cleaner, the usual patients were monkeys....but it seemed to work just fine on 11 year old girls too. Anyway it was decided that in fact I do not show anything that could be thought of as a sign of glaucoma. I am OK :~) !!!!!! no worries there. Can't hardly wait for my new glasses.

Now cover your left eye and tell me if you can read the fourth line down.

So that is all good. As we were in San Jose it seemed like an interesting thing to check out Moreland Park where the rabbit dumping has been taking place. Having heard stories of armed guards Dexter and I were quite excited by the prospect of getting a picture of one these persons. Alas we found the park bereft guards on any sort.

Moreland Park looks peaceful if you don't know about the dark underbelly of bureaucracy that keeps bunnies prisoners.

It was locked up quite tight and signage posted. We saw no rabbits, which is not surprising as it was almost one o'clock which is nap time where ever a rabbit lives. There is a scummy looking pond where, presumably the rabbits are drinking. There are lots of trees and bushes and hiding places. As far as the rescue goes my understanding is that we are waiting for the OK for the school board......

It is nice to come home to this, look at those whiskers!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Thump Day Report

Tyler exited the carrier and scooted under a chair, giving his opinion of the whole affair with a single strong thump. Sydney stopped and accepted the bribe, a few oat groats. Amelia remained unfazed for the most part. They had all been to the vet. Amelia for her introduction to the good Dr. Hawklyn and the Spots were in for just a check. My last rabbit had a lot of tooth issues, so I particularly wanted Dr. H. to peek into mouths as this is something I cannot access until there is problem.

All packed up for a road trip......

Everybun was given a clean bill of health and here are their reported weights: Tyler - 5.69 lb: Sydney - 6.25 lb: Amelia - 6.38 lb. In Dr. Hs opinion, which we trust implicitly, Sydney is not fat, but she shouldn't gain anymore weight, Tyler is was pronounced to be just right which matches his own feelings about himself. Amelia is thought to be at maybe 3/4 of her full growth. When she came here she measured about 18 inches from nose to base of tail when stretched, now she measures 24 inches, 6 inches in about a month. Of all the rabbits Sydney was the most upset and we had a bit of a scrambly moment on the table, she was much more comfortable in a wrap. Tyler showed me he trusted me by shrinking away from the vet tech when she tried to get him out of the carrier and coming towards me when I went to get him, having passed the wrapped Syd off to the tech.

Are we there yet?

Amelia was a piece of cake, that girl is SOOOO CHILL. When the tech was taking their "history" it took some explanation before she realized that these rabbits are not kept in cages or crates or enclosures which cannot be exited at will at any time. At the end of the appointment Dr. H wanted photos for the record and another tech came in with a camera "Will any photo do?" I asked, wondering if it had be a sort of ID/mugshot set up, "Yes, do you have pictures of your rabbits?" "Yes, quite a few......" Quite a few hundred that is. I may have even mentioned that the rabbits had their own blog, but that comment was politely passed over. I brought my portfolio of prints in hopes Dr. Hawklyn would say we love all of these and want to redecorate the office with your work. She choose two rabbit prints that will hang in her examination room; a small inroad to world domination.

Making 10 of these 22 by 22 inch signs, they can be hung or staked.

The Rabboratory has been busy making signs for the Moreland Park rescue operation. This an area in San Jose, CA, where people have been dumping unwanted rabbits and there have been litters upon litters. Rabbits are starving, dogs are being let loose on them, people are shooting them with pellet guns. It is a human made travesty that humans need to correct humanely. I am doing what I can for The Rabbit Haven and their rescue efforts. Soon we will be able to go in and get the rest of the rabbits, bureaucracy is currently the stumbling block.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Monday Bunday:Busy With This and That

Tyler shows the strength and perfect balance of rabbit foot and leg design.

Sydney thinks about culture and tasty album covers.

Amelia listens to her mentor, the cement garden frog.

Got ears?

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Trial Integration

The fence is removed, just before breakfast.

The need to regain and explore hitherto forbidden territory trumps salad, Tyler hops into the inner sanctum where Amelia has been holed up. Amelia high tails it into the kitchen.

Amelia contemplates the bridge to nowhere.

Not wanting Sydney and Amelia to meet in the larger part of the house I herd Amelia back to her room where Tyler has been examining the changes she has made in his castle.

Sydney quickly follows.

There are, as you can surely understand no pictures of what follows. Amelia chases Tyler around and around the castle, the two have a dust up, fur flies, I croak out some sounds that might have been "hey, hey, hey" or even "hay, hay, hay", and spray them with water (OK so the nozzle was on mist and I don't think they even notice). Tyler breaks free and flees. Amelia seems a bit shaken. Unsure whether to assuage the feelings of the Spots of comfort the younger rabbit, I decided to stay with Amelia, she responds well to pets.

I replace the fence and in less than two minutes everybun is having breakfast as if nothing had happened.

Tyler watches while I pet Amelia.

Later Amelia watches while I pet Tyler, she cocks her ear quizzically having previously thought I was all hers.

Tyler pushes his nose in for approval while Sydney requests dominance certification.

The girls chat amiably through the fence.

Next time I will be sure feeding is established before removing the fence, maybe that way they will be in a more accepting mood. Usually while the Spots eat nothing bothers them. Next time I'll be more ready...........