Did I get a new rabbit too soon?

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by ggbunny, Nov 20, 2019.

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  1. Nov 20, 2019 #1

    ggbunny

    ggbunny

    ggbunny

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    Hey, everyone - I'm new to the forum so sorry if this is the wrong place to post. Sorry for the long post but I'm not sure what to do...

    My previous rabbit, Hana, was 6 years old when she passed last month. She was a mini-lop. I've had her for 2 years
    so she was already 4 when I adopted her. I adopted her as an emotional
    support animal during a very hard time in my life. She was everything to me and we were extremely close...the loss was very sudden and traumatizing to me. It took me weeks before I could leave my apartment without crying and even longer to be able to look at photos of her without crying.

    About a month later, I adopted a netherland dwarf that just turned 1 in June. She was a rabbit that was returned to a breeder that no longer wanted her. When I first met her she was very sweet and decided to adopt her. I named her Yuna. The first week went as expected - she was very shy and would only come out occasionally to sniff me then scuttle away. She is currently mostly kept in a large x-pen with a cage and a few boxes with doors and a pop-up crate tent.

    Last weekend I was away from Thursday night to Monday afternoon for a trip - she was being fed by my friends while I was away. I felt extremely guilty leaving her so soon after getting her.

    When I would come home from a trip I use to always bring my previous rabbit, Hana, a little treat like a small slice of banana once I got home. She was always so excited to see me and I always looked forward to seeing her once I got home.

    When I returned last night, I tried to give Yuna a small slice of an apple when I noticed she was eating away at the portable tent. When I tried to stop her she grunted at me and bit my sweater and wouldn't let go. Afterwards she wouldn't let me pet her or even bite some of the apple I got her...I was so
    distraught I ended up sobbing and missing Hana so much I called a pet loss grief hotline that I had called last month.

    I've only had Yuna for 2 weeks or so but I'm starting to feel like I adopted again too soon. The woman on the hotline told me to give it time, which I'm trying, but that if Yuna caused me more pain than joy then it is a valid option to try and find her a new home...I feel guilty even thinking about it but I'm afraid Yuna will never like me. When I adopted Hana she instantly warmed up to me and was very affectionate after just a couple weeks...I know every rabbit is different but I'm feeling extremely discouraged and depressed. I didn't look forward to coming home from work to a rabbit that caused me so much anxiety the night before and probably hated me.

    Today went slightly better. She is still skittish but let me pet her. I did have to put her in "time out" after she kept chewing the tent again but I'm afraid picking her up and putting her in her cage made her hate me even more. She also hasn't been spayed yet and I called the vet to get her spayed in 2 weeks but I don't know if that'll help with her aggression or bonding with me?

    I'm at a loss right now - did I adopt too soon? I thought I was mostly done grieving Hana but it still hurts so much and I miss her every day. I'm starting to feel like I wasn't as ready for a new rabbit as I thought I was.
     
  2. Nov 20, 2019 #2

    Hermelin

    Hermelin

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    Some bunnies take a lot longer time to warm up to their family. Myself have a bunny that took a year to get the cuddles and lovely bunny. But in the beginning for half a year I was daily bitten and attacked by him. He was so scared and insecure. But he’s my couch potato now.

    If you don’t have the patience to train her and build a bond, then it’s better to let her find a family that have the time and patience. And you can find a bunny that already have been taught all this and fit you better.

    Also if she’s not spayed, she might be acting up because of hormones. It might be one of those times. Some doe temperament will change and can act a bit aggressive. But calm down after a month. If she’s young it can also be a teenage period :3

    Best way to bond it’s to have treats on you all the time and give her during the day. The treats can be the daily pellets ratio and veggies ^^
     
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  3. Nov 20, 2019 #3

    zupper

    zupper

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    Hi.

    Firstly, I would agree with that you need more time to bond with your new rabbit, also you were away for almost 5 days that's about half of your time together, maybe she needs more time to accept you, also you don't know what experience she had if she was returned to a breeder her bond with her first owner wasn't successful perhaps and you don't know why. So some patience would be good here.

    Secondly, not every rabbit can be a therapy rabbit, if you feel it just doesn't click then you can just find her more suitable home and adopt another rabbit more placid and cuddly so you can feel safe and accepted. You don't have to feel guilty just find her a good home and next time looking for a rabbit now you know what type of rabbit you are looking for maybe ask before adopting about character and mention that you need emotional support pet. I have one girl she's pretty and I love her but she wouldn't give me any support, and other girl could stay on my lap for ages and that's what you are looking for I believe.

    Your Yuna will maybe change with time and you need to gain her trust you don't know what was her experience with other people maybe she got trauma as well, so you have basically two options here to try harder and invest some more love and patience into her or find her a good new home and get another rabbit just you've learned something and you can apply that when choosing a new rabbit.

    It's your decision and nothing to be ashamed of good luck in any way and please keep us informed
     
  4. Nov 20, 2019 #4

    ggbunny

    ggbunny

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    Thank you all for the support - I think I will give her more time especially after I get her spayed.

    When I adopted her I was told she was very sweet and not skittish at all - when I met her I saw how comfortable she was around strangers and very cuddly. I felt like she was the perfect rabbit to take home after I lost Hana. I know the first two weeks of a new place would mean she would be nervous and skittish but I thought after time she would be sweet like she was when I met her.

    I know she has it in her to be sweet that's why I'm feeling extremely discouraged right now if she'll ever like me and be that sweet again especially when I have to tell her "no" so often when she's being naughty :(
     
  5. Nov 20, 2019 #5

    Hermelin

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    As long as you feed her and become friends. Even when she hear a no, she will still associate you with sometime good and safe. Don’t know how often myself have screamed no and shoved one of my bunnies away. Extremely headstrong but after a stern No and shoving her, she will back away but she will still come running asking for cuddles and jumping up in my arms.

    Bunnies bounce back pretty fast after they are a bit unhappy with you, they might ignore you and be a boss. But they always come back after a little bit of bribing ^^
     
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  6. Nov 20, 2019 #6

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

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    Time and patience are the key elements with any bunny. I also use Cilantro as a "bribe".
     
  7. Nov 20, 2019 #7

    ggbunny

    ggbunny

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    Thanks again, everyone :)

    She unfortunately doesn't seem to be very food motivated, though. It takes a bit for her to even come towards me when I have a small snack or bring her dinner or breakfast. She was also overweight when I got her so I didn't want to spoil her too much :(

    I put her in "time out" last night after I caught her chewing on another hideaway box and I had to pick her up while she resisted before putting her in her cage for a couple of minutes. She started thumping after a bit and even after I let her out she continued thumping. She wouldn't let me pet her this morning even when I had a snack for her. I'm afraid I already ruined gaining her trust :( She does still come up to me when I stay still and sniff or crawl on me - but she always scuttles away immediately after. Am I overthinking this D: I felt like things were fine the first week but now she seems like such a menace and I can't just sit still and let her chew everything up :(
     
  8. Nov 20, 2019 #8

    krbshappy71

    krbshappy71

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    Can you replace the tent with something else? I know we can't remove all the negatives, sometimes they just have to learn, but maybe it would help during the time you are sitting with her and spending time with her. I am still learning about rabbits, so it's only 2 cents. :)
     
  9. Nov 20, 2019 #9

    ggbunny

    ggbunny

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    Yup I'm replacing the tent with a box with some cutout doors soon. I would otherwise have that space empty but it's covering some wires I don't want her to get to hence why it's there.

    Should I get rid of all the little hideaways? I don't want her to feel unsafe and have some place to go when she wants alone time but she always seems to hide when I'm around :(
     
  10. Nov 20, 2019 #10

    Hermelin

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    That’s just normal behavior, remember my own netherland dwarf he always hid away. Not that much food motivated in the beginning, can just say he’s the most food crazy bunny I have at home.

    He steals, he begs and jump up on peoples legs when they eat to catch attention and tell them he want food.

    Skittish bunny just need more time and slowly build up, maybe she loves cuddles more but then you have to build your bond first.

    My aggressive bunny love cuddles more than food but that didn’t work when he was aggressive and I had to just hold the food in front or throw it near me while I just sat calmly looking at him.

    Just spend time and take it slow, your bunny will warm up. You might meet set backs, but she seem to not be an aggressive bunny. Only that she doesn’t know you. It takes around 1 month with spending everyday with your bunny and you will have a better connection and control over the situation.

    At least 1 month have been how long it takes to win my bunnies over that aren’t skittish while the traumatized one took a year, just yesterday I got my first kisses from him :)
     
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  11. Nov 20, 2019 #11

    ggbunny

    ggbunny

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    I try to spend at least an hour or so with her every day but I feel like my interactions with her are mostly negative and I'm afraid she'll start to associate me with those things :( I feel like I spend a lot of time telling her "no" or telling her to stop chewing things - she usually grunts then sometimes nips at me and won't let me pet her. I am getting more rabbit safe chewing things like apple sticks in the mail soon, though, which I hope will help with the need to chew stuff. But right now I'd have to take away all the little toys like plush building blocks that babies use since she's chewing the stuffing out of them...but at the same time I don't want her to be bored D: I'm at a loss on what to do until the apple sticks come in the mail.

    It's been like this for the past couple days - it'll start out okay then either later at night or in the morning she'll be mad at me and won't let me pet her :( Since it's the holidays I'm really busy at work and in general and I'm afraid that spending just an hour or so with her every day isn't enough. I also considered keeping her in her cage while I'm away at work or at night time to lessen the destructive behavior...but she obviously did not enjoy that even when I put her away for timeout as she starting thumping within minutes...

    Edit: I am looking to get her spayed some time in early December - I hope she doesn't resent me for that either :(

    Also I can't thank you all enough for taking the time to reply, btw, it means a lot to me :)
     
  12. Nov 20, 2019 #12

    Hermelin

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    Mysel only spent 10 minutes training with my bunnies everyday at least. 1 hour will be enough.

    The association with something positive will often overcome the negative. So you have nothing to worry about.

    Have small goals and you will easier see improvements :)
     
  13. Nov 20, 2019 #13

    krbshappy71

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    You are doing great! You care, and that is worth everything. I used to own hedgehogs, I had one that was as friendly as a dog, I cannot tell you what a love he was, when he passed I was a mess, I still have his ashes. No other hedgehog has replaced him on that level, but they all rewarded me in other ways with their antics and personalities. You and your new bunny will learn each other, she came into your life for a reason, and I know it is difficult right now but you are doing the right things to get you both on track to a loving friendship for years to come.
     
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  14. Nov 21, 2019 #14

    Flakes

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    Have you tried dried strawberries. My Dortmund would make friends with an eagle if the pay out was in dried strawberry slices.
     
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  15. Nov 22, 2019 #15

    ggbunny

    ggbunny

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    Hi everyone - I think Yuna is doing a little better but I can't really say the same for myself. I think I am still very much grieving over the loss of Hana and I can't look at Yuna without a feeling of overwhelming sadness and loss...I know I should give Yuna more time but I feel like I haven't been able to bond or connect with her, even when she isn't misbehaving. The same overwhelming grief and sadness I thought was gone from when I lost Hana is back and I feel awful. I just don't like spending time with Yuna as it's either too painful or disheartening that I feel like I can't bond with her. I haven't not cried once while around her since this Monday..

    I've thought of what Hermelin said above about not all rabbits are suited to be therapy animals like Hana was. I thought I was ready to love another rabbit and wanted to heal through bonding with another rabbit I feel like I am not fit to care for Yuna and I'm not healing the way I thought I would. I spoke about this with my therapist and she said it was ultimately up to me to decide if Yuna would be better off with another family or if I wanted to give it more time, in spite of how much I'm hurting. But I feel so guilty already. I was looking at other shelters for older rabbits as I was thinking it would probably be a better option for me - some shelters even allow one or two week fosters before committing to adoption. But, I still feel incredibly guilty about it...
     
  16. Nov 22, 2019 #16

    krbshappy71

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    Any chance you can hold off until she is spayed? What if she is obnoxious because of hormones? When I wanted to get rid of my hedgehogs (out of grief as well) I asked myself What would Riley want me to do? I hope this doesn't sound harsh, I just mean that another rabbit will not necessarily fill the void as they may have been passed around as well and 1-2 weeks is sort of a settle-in time period. I know with our rescue dog it was months before she really seemed to have her true colors come out, totally different dog than the one we adopted. (we love her but wow what a personality change from the pup we thought we adopted!) You sound like a very responsible person that isn't taking this lightly and I do feel for you, it is not an easy decision. Maybe instead of adopting another one you take some time to grieve Hana.
     
  17. Nov 22, 2019 #17

    Hermelin

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    Myself dosen’t handle death of animals and people close to me the best way. I don’t really feel anything when they die. So my tips might not be the best in this situation.

    Because my own coping mechanism make me bottle up my feelings. Which over time builds up. Had it since I was a kid.

    But you shouldn’t feel guilty or sad, sometimes you as an owner dosen’t feel its right and the bunny personality aren’t what you are after.

    Bunnies can feel your emotions, if I feel down or just extremely exhausted. My bunny Odin will stay hours in my arms cuddling and give kisses until I feel better. But most of the time he have a really hard time staying still and will often do what ever he wants.

    So maybe Yuna also can feel a bit of your distress and doubts. Which might make her a bit drawn back.

    You should instead find a bunny that’s fit yourself and your needs. And let Yuna find a home that have the time to train and bond with her. Both of you would feel better.

    Myself would never recommend on giving up, but not all have the energy and time the bunny might need.

    I’m sure Yuna would become a great bunny with a bit of work and time. But I can understand that you might not have the energy.

    So try to find a bunny that clicks with you and already have everything you looks for in a bunny. Also make sure the bunny is spay and neutered.

    Myself know only one of my bunnies would work as a therapy pet while the other two fits better as spoiled brats having me as their servant.

    So not all bunnies will fit what you want them to be. It’s just their personalities and integrity. So what Zupper said about not all bunny fits to be a therapy bunny are correct.
     
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  18. Nov 22, 2019 #18

    ggbunny

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    Thanks again, everyone ♥

    I don't know when I'll be getting spayed but probably not for another 2 weeks. I think I will wait until then but I have been feeling pretty miserable around Yuna - even when she is behaving and being friendly. It's not her fault so I feel bad but I don't know if my heart is as ready as I thought it was :(
     

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