Alyssa's Bunny Blog!

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  1. May 17, 2019 #21

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Today is the big day!

    Last night, I adjusted the cages so the top level is sturdier. I also cleaned up and got the main carrier and the backup carrier ready. Bugs got half of his daily pellet ratio earlier and will get the rest in the car. He also gets his dinner (veggies) around the time we are leaving so he will have those in the car also. He also allowed me to sleep a bit last night. When my alarm went off earlier, he jumped into my bed and gave me kisses and we snuggled for a while.

    I've been talking to Bugs and explaining what's going to happen tonight and then for the rest of his life. I read that it apparently helps him to understand, prepare, and adjust to the changes. Is this true? Can bunnies actually hear and know/understand what we're saying?

    I also taught Bugs the words pellets, vegetables, fresh hay, breakfast, dinner, treat, up, down, and we are working on spin. I accidentally taught him some of those, just by saying pellets during pellet time, vegetables during vegetable time, etc. I believe it has something to do with how when I talk to him, I use a different voice than when I'm talking to someone. When my sister and I are talking in my bedroom I will be talking in my normal voice and then switch to my bunny voice and he knows I'm talking to him directly and will stand and look at me. It's really amazing how smart and observant our bunnies are. They deserve much more credit then what some people give them.
     
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  2. May 18, 2019 #22

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    We're in the car. There's still 25 minutes until we're there, but Bugs doesn't seem too stressed. He's been munching away on hay the whole time. He's relaxing and staring at me now. I'm so excited! Expect a post with all the pictures I get later, along with an update on our bun choice! 20190517_183621.jpeg
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
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  3. May 18, 2019 #23

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I'm happy to inform you all that I now have 2 rabbits.

    Her name is Lola (because it goes with Bugs). It was originally Willow. We actually weren't planning on meeting her, but they decided they would have her there just as a backup plan. Bugs met all 3 girls we were planning on meeting, and he didn't like any of them. He got into a bunny tornado (not sure if that's the right term) with one, humped one, and just didn't seem to like the other. Bugs walked right up to our girl and kissed her ear. I tried force snuggling the two and we knew they were meant to be.

    She's a one year old Mini Lop and is an ex breeder bunny.

    They are actually snuggling in the car and no signs of aggression at all. She's scared and he is laying next to her and throwing hay on her. Bugs is moving around the carrier and she's staying in the corner but Bugs keeps sitting next to her when he's done eating his piece of hay. I'll attach a ton of pictures, some are blurry because I'm in the car. I believe this bond will take a couple weeks at the most.

    She's not used to pellets and I'm not sure about veggies so I will begin gradually introducing those. Should I introduce pellets or veggies first? I feel like veggies will be beneficial during the bonding process so I would like to introduce them first but I need confirmation on that.
     
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  4. May 18, 2019 #24

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Here's the pictures of the two: 20190517_201425.jpeg 20190517_200719.jpeg 20190517_200708.jpeg 20190517_200458.jpeg 20190517_200401.jpeg 20190517_195816.jpeg 20190517_195744.jpeg
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
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  5. May 18, 2019 #25

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I know I've been adding a lot of stuff to my blog, so I apologize for that.

    We've had the first couple bonding sessions. We had one earlier at 8 and another at 11. There have been no fights and there has actually been grooming. In the first session, I used a large laundry basket. They seemed very nervous and there was a bit of humping from Bugs. Lola doesn't seem to mind him humping her as she sits there and takes it. Bugs has been sitting on her and putting his paws on her and I'm not sure if it's a dominance thing or just a bunny thing. Either way, she doesn't mind it.

    The second session went well also. They were definitely calmer during this one and munched on the veggies I provided. Bugs went all for the veggies but Lola was a bit more hesitant. She eventually took a bite, which is a good sign. I was going to slide the storage tote they were in over a bit but they freaked out. Lola was in Bug's way so he nipped her side. It wasn't aggressive, it was more like him saying excuse me. I forced snuggled the two just in case they were upset about that situation. Right before I was going to put them in their carriers to go back to my room, Bugs groomed Lola's head! I had wiped some banana on both of them. He did it for probably 20-30 seconds.

    They are already making this an easy process. I actually think it may be love at first sight but I don't want to rush into it. When the sessions are done, they both seem to look for each other. They run around looking.

    I'll attach some pictures I got during both sessions. You can see that Lola stays in the same spot while Bugs is the one that moves around. For the most part, they just sit and kind of snuggle. 20190518_093830.jpeg 20190518_093626.jpeg 20190518_093522.jpeg 20190518_073852.jpeg 20190518_073458.jpeg 20190518_073001.jpeg
     
  6. May 18, 2019 #26

    My Bunny Drake

    My Bunny Drake

    My Bunny Drake

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    Awwww... I love Mini Lops :)
     
  7. May 18, 2019 #27

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

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    Yay!!! I'm so happy he found a friend he likes. She's such a cutie! I'm so happy for you and Bugs. She looks young. Did they say how old she was?

    Sometimes it's better to not go too fast, but there are instances when it's love at first sight and you can't go fast enough for the bunnies, as they just want to be together and stay together. If she seems to be calm and comfortable with him around, she wants to snuggle into him a lot, and if she is looking for him and seems like she wants him back when you separate, then I would be inclined to fast forward the process. I would put them together one day for several hours, closely monitoring their behavior. And if they both seemed content and happy to be together, I would probably just switch to the fast track method of bonding where you keep them together until bonded, closely supervised for the first 24-48 hours, until you are sure they are settled and fine together. Especially since she's in a new place and uncertain, if being near him brings her comfort and helps her feel safe, then it will actually help them bond faster and more easily. I had a love at first sight bond like that, where I pretty much put them together and could see they were perfectly happy with each other, so I just kept them together. Easiest bond I ever did.

    Though if she seems at all uncertain about him, bothered by the humping or him being dominant, or nervous at all around him, then I would take it slow.
     
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  8. May 18, 2019 #28

    Sissy

    Sissy

    Sissy

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    You sound like you're just wonderful with your rabbits, Alyssa. Hope all continues to go well.
     
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  9. May 19, 2019 #29

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    She's around 2-3. I've heard from the owner of the rescue that she's 3, and the volunteer holding the dates said she's 2. I'm going with 3 because that's also what was on her profile.

    I'm not sure it's love at first sight anymore. She seems a bit nervous around him so I will just take it slow. I don't want to mess up their chances of bonding. She's been here for almost 24 hours and she isn't as shy and scared as she was during the dates this morning. She's not leaning to him for comfort. After reading your message, I felt confident they would be okay in a larger space. I put them in the hallway and set them both on opposite sides. They both walked up to each other then, (I'm not sure who) one nipped the other. The one who got nipped tried to nip back but I stuck my hand in the middle. Should I have let them nip at each other? I felt it was going to escalate into a fight as they both seemed angry so I then put them in the laundry basket. I put banana on their heads and Bugs licked hers off. They seemed ready for a slightly larger space as they were both just sitting next to each other so I put them into the bathtub. They both were sitting on opposite ends of the tub just staring at each other. I slid them closer for force snuggling. Lola put her head down and asked to be groomed. When Bugs didn't groom her, she got annoyed and nipped at his butt. He tried to hump her face (obviously, I pushed him off). I forced snuggled the two and decided that it was a good time to stop.

    Bugs has also been using Lola as a step stool to look over the sides of the laundry basket. He puts his paws on her and she doesn't seem to mind. Bugs also will shove his face under Lola's stomach when she lays down. Any idea what this means?

    Lola is also out for playtime so I switched their cages. I kept them with their own litterboxes as Lola doesn't seem to eat hay. Her poop also comes out looking dry. I'm currently giving her the same amount of pellets and veggies as I do Bugs despite her being bigger s0 she is forced to eat some hay. She drinks a ton of water. So far today, I have refilled her water bowl 3 times today. She also appears to be overweight. I can't weigh her now because she doesn't like when I reach my hands into her cage to pick her up. She just boxed (?) at my hand when I tried. Her poop is also slightly smaller than Bugs's. @JBun you know everything. Any advice on bonding and her poop/not eating hay/possibly overweight situations?

    I've already noticed a change in Bugs's personality. He seems happier and is flopping a lot more.
     
  10. May 19, 2019 #30

    zupper

    zupper

    zupper

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    Love your pictures please keep them coming! Your Lola is a beautiful girl!

    Hope this bonding will go well for them just more time needed to get used to each other, and you.

    When I adopted Bernie she was also overweight very pretty and very fat girl, she was left alone in her hutch for most days as kids lost interest in her and both parents were working so she was getting a very little attention and people were trying to compensate attention with treats so she's got a lot of fruit, I've seen photo of her with full apple or a large carrot or orange, she loves food and it is very satisfying to watch her eating she's looking so happy! They gave me her bowl and a bag of her pellets too and her bowl was rather large I gave her twice smaller so she got less pellets and I cut her on vegs / fruit too, piece of carrot only once a week, I gave her celery stick per day or kale or dark leaves, but not unlimited. So she was mostly on hay, she loves hay, I let her out when I was home I put fireguard panels all around my normal living space so I was in the large playpen with her too and she became more active little by little, I gave her a hiding box she couldn't even jump on it at the beginning, but now she has no problem jumping I just gave her a bit of motivation to exercise like putting vegs on the roof of her house then changing her house to a bigger one, step by step.

    She also drunk a plenty of water, about 300 ml daily from her large bottle, she still drinks a lot, more than my other lop girl, but her poop is great as she eats lots of hay.

    She didn't like me to place hand into her cage firstly too, she lunged at me! I took her on my lap and brushed her coat every night she was a bit nervous at the beginning but after 15-20 minutes was more relaxed and in a couple days she started licking my hands and neck when I took her, she loves being brushed maybe your Lola didn't have much interaction and physical contact with a human as she was a breeding doe maybe staying in her cage alone lots of time, maybe she'll like it and will trust you more, it worked with all my rabbits, even Fred was so like frozen first week he was left on street in cardboard box and people found him and kept in a shed for a week as they have dogs so when I've got him he was so uptied brushing him really helped he's so happy now.

    I don't have much experience bonding rabbits but am quite good at gaining their trust and I think your Lola has not only Bugs but you are a new person for her too. Maybe I am wrong speaking only from my own experience maybe if you take her regularly and groom her she'll feel more comfortable and relaxed.

     
  11. May 19, 2019 #31

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    We had another bonding session today. This one went decent as they seem to be establishing their relationship more. It seems that Lola is trying to tell Bugs that I'm a threat as they were just sitting there so I was going to give them a treat. I said Bug's name and he started walking towards me and she nipped his side. He went right back to sitting with her. There was an incident where Bugs went to lick leftover banana off her head and she nipped his cheek. He then nipped her side and they just sat down next to each other. I'm glad they didn't fight. I know you're supposed to let them fight as long as there isn't blood or it doesn't escalate but it makes me nervous which makes them nervous. I bought a spray bottle today and whenever one nips the other, they will get sprayed. I wasn't going to use a spray bottle but I think it may work with their nipping.
     
  12. May 19, 2019 #32

    JBun

    JBun

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    A little nip here and there is normal, but you don't want it to continue or escalate, so yes you do want to discourage or stop it by distracting them. So you did the right thing.

    Maybe by shoving his head under her he is hoping he will be groomed by her. My rabbits will shove their head next to another rabbit that is busy grooming themselves, in hopes that the rabbit will then start grooming them. So maybe it's similar to that.

    Don't worry about the overweight thing for now. You just need to give her some time to get settled in.

    She's not telling Bugs you're a threat. She was telling him not to leave. They are working out who is going to be the boss, so there is going to be some minor nipping as they work things out. But you also need to establish yourself as the top bun so she isn't thinking she can boss you around.

    You aren't supposed to let them fight, ever. Fighting is circling, tails raised, biting, latching on with teeth, sometimes ears back, and you never want a fight to break out as bonding becomes less likely after that's happened. Nipping is not fighting. It's how a dominant rabbit communicates with subordinate rabbits, like don't do that, move out of my way, etc. Some nipping is going to have to happen as they need to work out their relationship and their pecking order. A spray bottle should only be used if it seems like the best tool to stop a fight from breaking out, not just when minor nipping is going on. And even then I would only use the spray bottle if using a broom or my protected hand didn't work as well in breaking things up.
    https://www.cottontails-rescue.org.uk/information/aggressive-rabbits/
    http://wabbitwiki.com/wiki/Bonding_rabbits_together
    https://www.cottontails-rescue.org.uk/information/bonding-bunnies/
     
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  13. May 20, 2019 #33

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    She seems to be very nervous around him. He will move slightly and she will get scared. After he moves she will walk up to him and he will try and sniff her then Lola will nip his face out of nowhere! They got into a little scuffle and she pulled some of his face furs out. They both grunted a few times also. They actually resolved the issue themselves and I didn't have to put my hand in the way. They seem to be taking turns with being comfortable during the session. Bugs will seem comfortable and munch on some veggies, then a few seconds later Lola will lay down and relax while Bugs breathes heavy. They both groomed themselves during the session I had a little bit ago. Lola groomed herself first while Bugs sat in the corner. I put banana on his paw and he licked that off then he stared fully grooming himself! Towards the end of the session, I put them next to each other and I pet them both. My sister put her hand in the middle and slowly slid her hand away as I felt they may nip each other's faces. I decided that was a good stopping point. That session seemed to be the most successful as they really seemed to be working out their issues and establishing the roles in the relationship. I had to clean the cages and so I put them in separate carriers facing each other after the session. They both fell asleep facing each other. They couldn't reach each other, especially because they were on my bed (which is 100% Bugs's territory as she hasn't been up there yet).

    They both didn't sit still the whole time this session. It seems that getting them both to be comfortable and getting them to consistently groom each other without using banana will be the biggest problems, but every session they get more comfortable. At first, they would both shake very hard. Now, they only shake after one gets nipped.

    How do I establish myself as the top bun?

    They aren't fighting then. It's more like a nip or two that will have some following around each other. It's pretty hard to describe. They both are nipping each other, but Bugs is the only one that has humped. That was during the very first session and hasn't happened since.

    In this video, her bunnies get into a couple of scuffs (Timestamp 1:44 and about 2:40). This is very similar to what my two are doing while grunting. (Her bunnies are also named Bugs and Lola :) )
     
  14. May 20, 2019 #34

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Here's some pictures I got of my latest session. Looking at the pictures, I realize I shouldn't have put the wet veggies in the middle of them. I unfortunately didn't get pictures of Lola grooming herself. 20190519_162627.jpeg 20190519_162634.jpeg 20190519_162642.jpeg 20190519_162653.jpeg 20190519_162822.jpeg 20190519_162933.jpeg 20190519_163013.jpeg
     
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  15. May 20, 2019 #35

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I thought I'd add something here that isn't bonding related. Lola is doing incredibly well with bonding to me. She still doesn't like my hands in the cage so I don't reach in there while she's in there, but she will take a treat from my hand as long as the cage is between her and my hand, and even took one while she was having playtime in my room! I have realized some interesting things about her personality that are very different from Bugs. She will sleep wherever in her cage but hasn't slept outside of it yet. Bugs is a big fan of the air vent and she gets terrified of it! She also likes to chew on wooden toys while Bugs usually likes the ones he can throw. Lola doesn't like banana! I've never heard of a rabbit not liking it! She also figured out how to jump on my bed and now she won't stay off! I'm worried Bugs will pee on the bed to mark it as his because her scent is on it. She hates herbs but loves hay cubes. I haven't seen her binky, but she flops all over her cage. She had a couple of hours of playtime yesterday because she seemed to want out of the cage for something other than bonding. She likes to crawl into every spot she can get to! She licked my hand while I was refilling her water and it shocked me!

    Now onto some bonding things. Bugs seems really into her! She just thinks he's annoying. Going off dog (or rabbit) years, she's 21 while he's 7. I can't stand being around 7-year-olds so I can see where she's coming from. I think I may try videotaping a session for you guys to see as it would be easier for you to see their behavior and how I react to everything, but only if that's something you're interested in seeing.
     
  16. May 20, 2019 #36

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

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    Some more than others, but definitely yes in my experience. Obviously, they don't know every word, but between picking up a few words, body language and tone of voice, I feel like they get the basic gist of most stuff being said directly to them. I can't even begin to count the times Nala has given incredibly appropriate direct reactions to things Jay and/or I have just said to her, lol.

    Isn't that exactly what blogs are for? :p

    First off, she is stupid cute. Like, punch-yourself-in-the-face adorable. Secondly, does she attack your hand when you put it in the cage (lunge/box, etc.)? You mentioned she's probably around 3 and a former breeding doe, which means she would've gone unspayed long enough for some of those hormonal behaviors to become learned and therefore persist longer than the usual 4-6 weeks post spay.

    Don't take the attacks personally... and there's a good chance they'll fade as you gain her trust and she adjusts to her new environment. It took Alice a little while after her later-in-life spay (at around 4 years old) to stop trying to attack my hand when it entered her cage. Sometimes I would even see her start to lunge out of habit and stop herself.
     
  17. May 21, 2019 #37

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I guess, but for people who don't check every day, it could be a lot to read and catch up on :)

    She is so cute, especially when she flops! She's a big girl! She has only boxed at my hand once, but always runs into her box when I have to stick my hand in there for any reason. I know with time, her behavior may go away. She's getting more and more comfortable with me every day.

    I had two bonding sessions since the last session I updated you about. The first one is the one I had last night and the second is earlier this morning.

    Last night, the session left me with mixed feelings about bonding and I was very upset after. The session started well, with snuggling and a kiss or two from Bugs. In a matter of seconds, one nipped the other and the nippee was running from the nipper. I'm not sure who started it, but it freaked me out because they were in a small laundry basket. I think it may have been Lola because Bugs didn't groom her when she asked. I also struggled to get my hand in between them, which resulted in me lifting Bugs up and out of the basket because I thought it was an actual fight and didn't want it to escalate. Now looking back on the footage I managed to get of the "fight", I believe it was just a scuff. I also got scared so that may have made the situation worse. I didn't handle it how I would have liked to, but I believed it was a fight and treated it as such. I'm glad it wasn't the other way around, with it being a fight and I treated it like a scuff. I wanted to end the session, but I make it a point to end the session on a good note. I put them in a different laundry basket and had my sister put her protected hand in between their faces. I slid Lola over towards Bugs and made them snuggle. My sister slowly removed her hand and I just pet them both. Bugs actually pushed his head against her dewlap/neck and relaxed and I believe this helped make this session earlier today very successful. This seemed like a good stopping point, especially because I was not enjoying it. This session lasted 5-6 minutes. I have a couple of pictures of the snuggling after the scuff.

    This session was the best one we've had so far. I feel like I say that most of the time but this was the longest session and the cherry on top was that there was no nipping at all. I was way more relaxed during this one. I used the same laundry basket I used last night during the scuff, and to say the least, I wasn't hopeful that it was going to go well. There were some issues I realized during this session, but those will be easy to solve. I will explain those later. I put Lola in first because she's harder to pick up and set in the basket. I don't want Bugs to claim it as his territory while I try to get her in so this works for us. I had some cilantro and romaine, along with a banana. I started by rubbing a bit of banana on both of their heads. They didn't move a lot at first but then Bugs licked the banana off Lola's head. I expected him to eat it and be done, but even after he ate the banana he started grooming her head. He then licked her ears and even her back! This went on for probably 5 minutes and he was really into it. I was tearing up at this point because last night, I was thinking about how I may have to exchange her. Lola was so relaxed and was enjoying it. Usually, she is wide-eyed and breathing hard but this time, she was laying down with her eyes half closed and her breathing was very slow. I got a ton of pictures and I felt confident enough that they weren't going to fight that I took the oven mitt off my hand. Lola doesn't groom Bugs and I can tell that annoys him. When he would get frustrated, I would pet his head and he would go back to grooming her. Lola also hates banana and I have no idea what I could rub on his head that she would want to lick off. The bunnies were put back into their carriers and because I had to clean the cages and I don't want to scare Lola, I put them in their carriers and faced them towards each other with about 6 inches between them. They were both trying to get out and it appeared they wanted to see each other. For Lola, this is definitely a change in her behavior as she always seems wary around him and most certainly doesn't want to see him when she has the choice :p

    I've read that with bunny bonding, there are usually a few steps followed by a couple backward, and these last few sessions are a prime example of this. There was first grooming themselves in each other's presence, then there was the scuff last night, then there was full on grooming from Bugs! I will use the laundry basket for the next few sessions and then move on to a larger area when they seem ready unless you guys recommend we move to a larger area for the next session.

    There will be pictures in the next post. The first couple are from the session last night after the scuff. You can see a huge change in their body language from past pictures and the ones from earlier.
     
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  18. May 21, 2019 #38

    April LD

    April LD

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    I had a love at first sight bond as well. We took it slow, my male, Binks, was all into grooming her and she, not so much. The rescue told me that this could be an issue, and that at some point he will want to be groomed too, and to watch for nipping and humping. He did nip, mostly humped. It took 7 days to completely bond them/have their first overnight in the same cage. Give her time, don't worry about putting something on bugs to get her to groom...she will eventually groom him. And it may be like my buns, Binks grooms more often than Mrs. Bon-Bons does. But Binks was a grooming type already...so it worked fine. I think you are doing well, try not to get too anxious, they feel it and it can cause issue where there are none. I wouldn't probably give them too much room - a whole hallway may be too big. Maybe if your bathroom is small you can go in there for a bit first, see how it goes, then after a time or two in there, try the hall again. But keep doing what you are doing - sounds like they will get there. Be patient, be calm, and it will be ok.
     
  19. May 21, 2019 #39

    mizunodaddy

    mizunodaddy

    mizunodaddy

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    I care about your blog!
     
  20. May 21, 2019 #40

    mizunodaddy

    mizunodaddy

    mizunodaddy

    Member

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    I so envy you being able to stay on the same terrain... i have problems with sleep due to heart condition, so i have to create special conditions to make sure no one will interfere, and thus we inhabit different rooms with my bun... nevertheless he likes to browse about my sleeping den when i forget to close the door and sometimes devices go wireless, unexpectedly... during the day, however, we share a common room where i have my workstation where sometimes devices go wireless, too... some computer mice and a keyboard died this way...
     

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