Butterscotch and Goose's Bunny Blog

Discussion in 'Bunny Blogs' started by Butterscotch, Jun 30, 2019.

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  1. Jun 30, 2019 #1

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

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    I really enjoy reading these blogs so I decided to start one too. I grew up writing in journals which were meant to be kept private so this whole public "journaling" thing will be a fun new experiment for me! I'm hoping if my bunnies gain an audience here that people will point out what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong by my bunnies. This is for them, after all.

    A little about me: I am an adult woman who has loved animals my whole entire life. I have shared my life with snakes, hedgehogs, ferrets, newts, fish, mice, hamsters, birds, sugar gliders, horses, cats, dogs, and now rabbits. My journey down the rabbit ownership hole began with a chihuahua on Craigslist and a betta fish. To abbreviate an explanation: I came within minutes of bringing home a chihuahua puppy only to have her owner change her mind and decide to keep her at the last minute. I was sad for myself but very happy that this puppy wasn't losing her family after all. (There is much more to this story but this isn't a puppy blog.) After "losing" my puppy - which I shouldn't have tried to bring home anyway considering my HOA only allows 2 dogs/cats per home and I already have 2 chihuahuas - I felt that I needed to provide a fabulous home to some kind of pet. ANY kind of pet in need. So I brought home a beautiful opal white betta fish. I put him in a big tank all by himself and gave him a 2 story house with a front and back "yard" and plants and bushes and places to hide. He died a week later. I have had betta fish for 30 years, I know how to take care of them. I did everything right. This is the ONLY betta fish that I have ever had that died so quickly. Usually they live for at minimum a year, depending on their age when I bring them home. What happened? This is almost embarrassing to admit but I was completely heartbroken about losing this fish. He was supposed to be happy and spoiled and live the rest of his life in luxury but I failed him somehow. So I started to think about rescuing a guinea pig. I was browsing rescue sites and I kept seeing ads for rabbits that were litter box trained. Yeah right, I thought. Like a ferret? Where they pretend to be litter box trained until you finally find the source of the stink in your house in the back of your couch as piles and piles of dessicated ferret poop behind the cushions? Been there, done that. Ferrets are not for me. And a new couch was expensive. I can handle a guinea pig, I thought. I just have to decide where to put the cage. Now, I own my own home but it is a very small home. I don't want a cage anywhere in my house, I really don't have room for one. Where would I keep a guinea pig cage? I started watching YouTube videos about building animal habitats when I came across the Lennon the Bunny channel and that was when the tickle in my brain started to grow that rabbits do make good house pets and can be litter box trained. I watched every one of Lorelai's videos about her bunny, Lennon. Then I started watching every other pet rabbit video on YouTube. Then I found the House Rabbit Society's web page. Then I bought the House Rabbit Handbook. Then I watched every video from the House Rabbit Society. Then I decided that since I can't get another dog or a cat and I don't want to have to keep an animal in a cage while I'm at work all day, I will honestly evaluate my lifestyle and decide if I am a suitable guardian for a rabbit. Needless to say, I am now the proud mama of two young bunnies, Gray Goose and Butterscotch Schnapps.

    This is life changing for me. You have to know that my pets are my children. I will never be able to have kids of my own. My pets fill a void in my life that most people are fortunate enough to fill with their own, human children. I have maternal instincts as strong as any woman, yet mine can never be satisfied in the traditional way. So I adopt and rescue animals in need and I fill my small house with the most unbelievably spoiled animals that you would ever meet. This blog is about Butterscotch and Goose but should you choose to continue reading, you might also meet my chihuahuas Brandy and Bellini (Bella), and my parrots Captain Morgan and Whiskey. (Did you catch the theme?)

    I hope you stick around to hear our stories and provide advice for keeping my bunnies among the happiest and most spoiled bunnies here at RO! I greatly appreciate any and all feedback, especially if you get the sense that I could be improving how I raise my bunnies.

    Thank you for reading!
     
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  2. Jun 30, 2019 #2

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Welcome to the forum! Just wanted to say the The House Rabbit Handbook was my first intro to rabbits as pets too -- this was before the days that internet was so popular or pet sites existed. It was instrumental to me in seeing rabbits as indoor pets. :) And so began my journey... still have the book.;)
     
  3. Jun 30, 2019 #3

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

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    Thank you! I enjoyed reading that book and comparing it to information I found online. I thought it was a very informative book and the fact that it's somewhat outdated actually made me more curious about house rabbits. People have had house rabbits for a very long time! How could I not have known rabbits make such good house pets? I always pictured rabbits outdoors in hutches and thought of them as fiesty, unfriendly animals. I am so glad to be so wrong about them!
     
  4. Jun 30, 2019 #4

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I can't wait to read! I too was looking into getting a guinea pig before getting a rabbit. I looked into getting guinea pigs, rats, mice, chinchillas, a bird, and even a chameleon, but I kept coming back to the idea of a rabbit. They just seemed to fit my lifestyle better.

    You should share some pictures of your pets ;)
     
  5. Jun 30, 2019 #5

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

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    Alyssa, I've read your entire blog and its kind of what gave me the courage to start my own. On Friday at work, over my lunch break, I was reading about your decision to keep Evie and your thoughts about her potential blindness and I'm really impressed with your perseverance through all of your bonding attempts. I love your blog! And I'm learning SO MUCH reading it. Thank you for sharing your stories! And you're right, I should properly introduce my pets with photos. I just have to sift through the 4,000 pics I have on my phone to find the best ones....:p
     
  6. Jun 30, 2019 #6

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

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    Here is Goose and Brandy having an afternoon snooze together. My biggest fear in getting rabbits was that my dogs would harass the rabbits. I read a lot of stories of success and heartbreaking failure and I was on the fence for a long time about whether or not I should get a rabbit at all. I discussed it with both of the rabbits' breeders and, obviously, decided to move forward with my newly blended family. My dogs have shown nothing more than curiosity toward the rabbits. No chasing, no playing, no stalking. The rabbits were both raised around dogs and from Day 1 they showed no inherent fear of them. You can see Goose enjoying a full flop right next to Brandy. Butterscotch will jump right up on the couch and climb all over and under the dogs with no reaction at all from them other than a sniff. It makes me happy to see that! I will, of course, proceed with immense caution when the time comes to attempt free roaming. Actually, I'm not sure at all about ever having completely free roam rabbits. I'm not sure my anxiety would allow for me to go to work while thinking "Did I unplug the treadmill?? What if the rabbits get through the barricade?!?" My cords are wrapped and blocked off but the only true test of bunny proofing is discovering the weak spots. Butterscotch won't be spayed until October and then she will need healing time, bonding time, and maybe re-potty training time so I have pretty much the rest of the year for testing my free roam strategy and bunny proofing skills. I think it's a big leap though, going from an enclosed and protected bunny to a loose bunny. How do you know when you're ready?? How do you leave them alone for the first time?

    20190531_162116.jpg 20190615_174245.jpg
     
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  7. Jul 1, 2019 #7

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I do struggle with "pet anxiety", despite having Bugs free range of my bedroom until we got him a girlfriend. I began by keeping him out for longer each day and supervising for as long as I could. That way, I knew what stuff he liked to chew (of course it had to be my carpet) and I could find ways to get rid of it or block it off effectively. Having rabbits is like endless problem solving. You have to keep trying everything until you figure out something that works. I would recommend getting a camera so you can always see them. It would probably help with anxiety because you'll be able to check and make sure they're not getting into trouble.
    At this point, all my blog shows is that rabbits aren't easy to bond. If my 100% bonding failure rate isn't enough to deter someone away from bonding, I don't know what will.
     
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  8. Jul 1, 2019 #8

    Anna R.

    Anna R.

    Anna R.

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    Welcome to the forum. I LOVED reading your blog this morning. I can completely relate to the spoiled pet thing, as I too am unable to have human babies. So, my rabbits are my babies and my entire life. I love them more than my husband, just please don't tell him that (although I think he already knows!). My 4 babies are very spoiled and the love of my life. I have been a rabbit owner for over 15 years. My first rabbit book too was "The house rabbit handbook" and do still have it. Among many, many others. I will enjoy reading your blog. I am no good at writing and don't have the time to write all my adventures down, so I will enjoy reading about yours. Rabbits are truly wonderful pets. My husband was so against dogs, so we have rabbits (long story short). So, I would love to hear about all your fur babies. I did pick up on the theme to your names, that might have attracted me too. (my husband is a bartender!).
    So, happy blogging and welcome to the forum and the "bunny life". You will have many laughs being a bunny owner, they are the cutest creatures and do the funniest things sometimes. I will enjoy reading on. :) Thanks for sharing.
     
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  9. Jul 2, 2019 #9

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

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    I think I'm going to start free roaming in my bedroom too. I can remove or elevate all of the electronics in there and I think it would be the safest place for my buns. And my sanity! I'm not so concerned about my furniture getting chewed, it's all hand me downs anyway, but I'm not taking any chances with electrical cords. Do your rabbits go for cords??

    Have you thought about the car ride method for bonding your rabbits? I'm not recommending it, I'm wondering what your thoughts are about it. It seems a little cruel to put bunnies in stressful situations just to force them to need a safe companion. Do you think it would work? I'm worried my bunnies won't bond either. I am very curiously following your progress.
     
  10. Jul 2, 2019 #10

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

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    I will not tell your husband, I promise!!

    I think I know what you mean by the "bunny life"! I sit in their living room on my couch - it will remain my couch, I will not let them have that - and I watch them toss their toys, run laps around their play pens, and binky all over the place. They make me smile, even on the worst of days. I was told that rabbits make terrible pets and they don't cuddle. Well, I get my cuddles from my dogs and lately my laughs from my rabbits. I am totally smitten with these little guys!

    You have 4 rabbits? How have you managed bonding and housing so many rabbits? Do they get along with each other?
     
  11. Jul 2, 2019 #11

    Anna R.

    Anna R.

    Anna R.

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    My rabbits love cords, so I would suggest keeping them out of reach.

    The bonding....I have had some horror stories; but, I have developed a method that I have very good luck with. I don't like putting my rabbits in stressful situations either, and never had to do that. My sure fire method is this: (it takes some patience; but, it has not failed me yet.)
    (they have not met each other yet or done any sort of bonding yet.) I put them in cages or x-pens next to each other. NOT touching or in reach of each other or they will nip at each other. Close enough so they can investigate each other. After about 2 weeks I move the pens closer together provided they have not had any fighting. Then after a month I start 5-10 minute sessions in the bath tub per night for about a week. Then on a Saturday I clear my schedule and move an x-pen in the living room where I supervise all day. I put them in there together right away in the morning, and leave them in there all day. I watch closely and break up any fights if they start immediately. But, I don't take them out if they start fighting, they need to get it out of their systems. I will leave them in there all day and all that night, and sleep in the room with them if they still aren't getting along after the day. I usually have pretty good luck that they are getting along at this point. Then when I am feeling good and trusting they aren't fighting after a day or so. I move them back into the room they were in, in the same x-pen they were in the last day or so. I put it in the center of the two areas they were occupying before I moved them out. This way both their scents are there. Then I hang sheets or old towels around the outside of the pen so they can't see where they are and they only see each other. Then playing it by ear I see how they are doing, if all is going well and they aren't trying to escape I start removing a panel a day of outside cover so they slowly see their surroundings. Usually they see their old habitat and get so excited to go back home with their new friend I don't make it to the end of the covers and I let them into their now shared area.
    No stressing for me or the rabbits and it has worked every time I have tried it. I have used this for my female rabbits that I tried using other methods that did not work. I developed this on my own after lots of reading and trial and lots of error. My 7 year old un-spayed female who I never thought would bond with another after she lost her mate has even bonded with another un-spayed female using this method.

    I'm sure everyone's got their own methods. I've read so many different ways to bond rabbits and tried so many different things. I don't know if this will help or work for you. Maybe I was just really lucky. Just thought I would share. I feel your pain...I have been there. Good luck...:)
     
  12. Jul 2, 2019 #12

    Anna R.

    Anna R.

    Anna R.

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    P.S. My bunnies love to cuddle when they are in the mood. Try rubbing their cheeks, they are suckers for cheek rubs. I hold them and rub their cheeks. My oldest (the 7 year old) will cuddle with me for an hour if she is getting her cheeks rubbed and her back rubbed. It's so cute to feel their little breath on your neck.
     
  13. Jul 2, 2019 #13

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

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    I just tried the cheek rubbing on my 10 week old doe. I had just fed a piece of cheese to my dogs and I think she smelled it. She nipped me! My fault. She's letting me pet her on her back now though, I love this!!
     
  14. Jul 2, 2019 #14

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

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    I've had the best luck with head rubs right on their forehead between their eyes. I've had some rabbits that didn't like me touching their cheeks, and would tense up when I did it.
     
  15. Jul 2, 2019 #15

    Anna R.

    Anna R.

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    The forehead is a great place to start if your bunny is new or not used to being petted. This is the area where they will groom each other the most and the area they will accept pets at first. This is where I started (sorry forgot about those early days, I've had my bunny's awhile), and then it morphed into cheek pets. Now that's all they want. They immediately start clicking their teeth (teeth purring!) together (which means they like something) when I rub their cheeks now. All rabbits are different though. All of mine also like to get their backs rubbed, but all in different areas.
    Butterscotch the best way to earn your rabbits trust is to lay face down on the floor and let you bunnies climb all over and investigate you. Don't do anything just let them explore and come to you. It feels so good to have their little feet on your back! Nipping can also be a sign of affection between rabbits, however, I think she was smelling the cheese on your fingers! ;)
    Enjoy your babies :)
     
  16. Jul 4, 2019 #16

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

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    I am losing my mind!! I am already exasperated at times with these baby bunnies of mine and I can't stop thinking about how I want another baby bunny. The breeder I purchased Goose from has just posted 5 sable point babies for sale and I am in love with the color of these babies! I already made the mistake of purchasing two babies, I would be a complete dunce to add a third. I want a trio. I want three happy rabbits that play with each other and love all over each other and leave my furniture alone. I know, I know, good luck with that. Mostly, I want a trio because I know the heartbreak of losing a mate and I cannot stand the thought of a grieving bunny. Eventually, though hopefully a long lifetime from now, I will lose one of my bunnies. I will have to comfort either Goose or Butterscotch as they grieve and hopefully learn to love again. I hope that I'm more fluent in bunny speak by then so that I can tell my sweet love that this pain will pass, I know, I've been there. Unless I have a trio..... This is an eventual goal of mine but as my situation stands now, my heart is bigger than my house and three bunnies who won't bond is just not an option. Not at all. Is it possible to plop a third bunny into a bonded pair and have a happy threesome? Maybe two will bond and I'll have a third bunny living in my bedroom. You see? There goes my mind again. Thinking up all of the possibilities of how to make this work. Maybe I'll come to my senses after Goose's vet appointment next week. I have a reasonable amount of money set aside for vet bills but I also have 5 other pets. I learned the hard way that one devastating diagnosis can wipe out the savings and max out the credit card very quickly. If I won't listen to common sense, then I must listen to my pennies going down the drain! There are ways to make housing situations work, ways to keep incompatible bunnies from fighting, but money is a hard stop for me. Money is the one thing I don't have any wiggle room with. And my money needs to be available for all of my kids.

    I came across another problem with a blended home of rabbits and dogs. My dogs eat hay and rabbit bedding. Why would dogs eat hay and bedding when they are carnivores? I never thought this would be an issue. Bella, my 3 year old chihuahua, pooped out the brightest white turd made up of rabbit bedding yesterday. I think my eyes bugged out like they do in cartoons when I saw it coming out of her! What the heck!! Bella is a tiny dog with a very sensitive stomach. She has been in the ER several times for allergies to things she has eaten. I still don't know what she eats that makes her so sick so I have to keep my floors clean (any other parrot owners out there chuckling at me right now?) and make sure she eats only her dog food and dog treats. And apparently parrot food is ok too. But I don't know about rabbit food. What happens when my bunnies are finally free roam? Can they ever be free roam if my dogs will eat their food and hay (and poop)? I hadn't considered these things even though they seem so unbelievably obvious now. I'm a little disappointed in Google for knowing everything in the world there is to know but still not being smart enough to suggest articles on dogs eating hay and bedding. I did my research before getting rabbits. I spent entire days reading, watching videos, searching for articles. And I still made stupid mistakes like buying two baby bunnies. And not catching that my dog eats paper bedding and hay. I feel like a bad mom. But the important lesson here has been learned: my dog eats bedding and that could be very dangerous so now I have to figure out a solution. We will adapt. We will make this work! I think eventually I will do away with the paper bedding and just use plain hay in the litter boxes. Or wood pellets. Butterscotch eats the bedding so she doesn't get it in her litter boxes anymore. Goose is a little more of a diva, he really seems to like placing his bum on a nice, soft, plush surface to pee. He never pees or poops in his hay. His litter box is half bedding, half hay. Always soiled bedding and always clean hay. What a good boy! Again, what to do when these guys are bonded and sharing the whole house? Butterscotch cannot have access to paper bedding. We'll figure it out when the time comes. This is one of the easy problems to solve, I hope.

    The bigger problem is when to get a third bunny so I can have a successful trio. Three babies are more likely to bond than adding a third to a bonded pair, right guys? My birthday is next month and my grandpa usually gives me $100. These sable point babies are $100. That can't be a coincidence, right? Help me out here? Happy birthday to me? :p
     
  17. Jul 4, 2019 #17

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

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    20190702_170212.jpg
    I hope you enjoy this photo of Butterscotch lounging in the destruction that was her hay carrot toy. Notice how clean Goose's side of the play pen is and he was given the same toy. He politely chewed at the braided portion of the hay carrot and pulled it around his play pen for a while and then moved on to other toys. Butterscotch went to town on hers! No playing with it, just all out carnage and mayhem. These two have such different personalities! They are so fun to watch!

    Here is Goose brooding in his litter box. He looks like he's plotting something here.
    20190702_175705.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
  18. Jul 4, 2019 #18

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Yes, especially Evie, but then again, she's a big chewer. I put paper towel tubes around my mini-fridge cord and I just keep the rest of the cords up. My flat iron cord, however, is another story. It's chewed so badly that it's probably dangerous.
    I did use the car ride method when we brought both Evie and Lola home and then again when I took Bugs and Lola to Petsmart. It didn't work for either pairs because Bugs and Lola actually got into a scuff in the carrier and Bugs hates staying in the carrier. He prefers to run loose in the car, which is something he's only been allowed to do once. I see stress bonding as a last resort kind of thing. If you've tried absolutely everything and nothing's worked, stress bonding may be your only bet.
    Bugs absolutely loves being pet on his cheeks but Evie doesn't.
    I have that same toy and Bugs only chewed the top also. Now, it's one of those toys that doesn't get played with. I used to put herbs in the carrot (when the top is all chewed, there is a hole in the top) and Bugs really liked to push it around. It made quite the mess.

    What breed are Butterscotch and Goose? They are absolutely beautiful!

    If you want to form a trio, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) all bunnies should meet at the same time. It can be done if two have met though, but it's not as easy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
  19. Jul 4, 2019 #19

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

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    Alyssa, you're brilliant! I can't believe I didn't think to stuff those carrot carcasses with treats! Especially since I stuff Kong toys for my dogs. Omg, epic forehead slap. They are too young for treats but I can stuff it with a pinch of alfalfa, which I'm going to go do in just a minute.

    They are Netherland Dwarf bunnies. I read that Netherland Dwarves are high energy and spunky and I wanted fun pets, so I chose that breed. All of our future happiness hinges on potty training and bonding because my vision of a happy home is two bunnies racing around my house and snuggling together under furniture. I'm not attempting bonding yet, right now I'm just collecting ideas and strategies. I will try when they are both fixed and have had time to heal from surgery. They are in side by side play pens now. I miss watching them chase each other and groom each other but I had to separate them when they got older, of course.

    Right now I have 3 play pens connected like a long chute from Butterscotch's cage and she is zooming back and forth down the length of the pens. When she's done, I'll connect it to Goose's cage so he can do the same. They have so much energy! I'm not sure if it's the breed or that they're babies (or both) but it's hilarious to watch. I hope they can be together someday.
     
  20. Jul 4, 2019 #20

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

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    I hope I have this kind of relationship with my rabbits one day!
     

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