Nala and Gaz

Discussion in 'Bunny Blogs' started by Imbrium, Oct 22, 2012.

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  1. Feb 17, 2019 #681

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    Jennifer

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    Rant of the day: WHY CAN'T PEOPLE PUT STUFF BACK WHERE THEY GOT IT FROM??

    This rant used to be reserved for tuna fish - nothing like grabbing a can or two from the "packed in water" can stacks, then you open the can and go to drink the delicious tuna juice from it and instead, you get a mouth full of DISGUSTING OIL.

    Now, my rant extends to canned pineapple.

    Both my husband's grandmothers are still alive... Naomi raised him after he got kicked out at 15 and he loves her to pieces, but she's in a home after having a stroke many years ago. She's really sweet and I love her too, but you can't talk to her very long before she gets tired and it can be hard to understand her at times. "Lala" is the grandmother on his father's side. Hubby's dad still lives with her because he's on disability and has a lot of mental health issues (schizophrenia, bi-polar, etc.). I take my husband over there all the time to visit with his dad 'cause they're good buddies. At first, I started going back to Lala's room to watch TV with her so they could have some "guy time" without me but she and I ended up really bonding - we get along great!

    Lala's turning 74 tomorrow (today, technically), which means she's only nine years older than my mom would be and my dad would actually be like 8 months older than her. Dad died when I was 9 and mom died when I was 21, so I never really got to have "adult" relationships with them and I really wish I had. Heck, my dad was my best friend when I was a kid... Lala reminds me a LOT of him... suffice it to say, she's my favorite in-law.

    We have some awesome synergy, too - she *hates* cooking with a passion but enjoys doing the dishes. Dirty dishes are my kryptonite but give me a handful of hungry people and a nearly-barren pantry/fridge (she's lazy about shopping, but I'm not in a position to judge, lol) and I'll whip up a delightful dinner. What can I say, all the grateful "Yum!"s give me a case of the warm fuzzies :p. It started with them offering that we could help ourselves to food if we were hungry, but I got raised to be a polite and grateful guest so any time I made something for Jay and myself, I would make them plates as well. Sammiches at first, but then Lala caught on and started steering me towards real meals - "oh, we have some pork chops that are about to expire if you'd like to cook those" and such, lol. Pretty soon, she had me (willingly) trained to cook a nice meal whenever we come over. She's always so excited to not have to cook and I'm grateful for free food and good company (without even having to do dishes after).

    Anyway, we're broke and I can't really afford to buy her a birthday gift but it's not like she really needs anything anyway (not since I got her Roku and put her on our Hulu account for Christmas so that she could watch Hulu and Netflix in her bedroom since John monopolizes the living room TV, hehe)... so I called and asked what kind of cake she likes because you're never too old for birthday cake and baking is cheap! She said "anything but chocolate" but after tossing some ideas her way, I mentioned that I make a great pineapple upside-down cake and she got excited, so that's what I settled on.

    I bought the stuff to make her cake the other night and I was really careful to double-check and make sure I got the pineapple rings and NOT the stupid chunks. I KNOW I grabbed a can in the middle of numerous stacks of rings... and yet... I open the can to line the cake pan and it's freaking CHUNKS. WTF? The only explanation is that some jerk picked up chunks and then set the can of chunks down amidst the cans of rings and I didn't catch it! That might not have been a big deal, except the cake batter was already mixed, it was 11:48 pm (our Walmarts close at midnight now, the jerks) and I was on my fourth glass of wine, meaning I wasn't about to drive anywhere anyway.

    That meant either making the cake with the stupid chunks or keeping the batter mix in the fridge overnight. Using the chunks seemed like the lesser of two evils, heh. Hopefully the chunks and cherries didn't migrate too much! I poured the batter very carefully and they didn't appear to move much but what happened once it was in the oven is anyone's guess. All I know is that this cake better turn out delicious and appropriately professional-looking tomorrow or a curse upon the jerk who miss-filed the can of pineapple chunks at Walmart >.>
     
  2. Mar 25, 2019 #682

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    Jennifer

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    The story of our new rabbits:

    Dunno if anyone here is familiar with the Houston area, but we basically live in the Woodlands area... Citizens for Animal Protection (where the bunny we wanted was located) is in Katy. Depending on traffic, it's a 2-4 hour round trip. We had to make it three times! The first time, we got stuck in traffic and didn't make it in time before they closed. The second time, the address on my ID didn't match the one on our application because we'd moved less than 2 weeks earlier... so they told me I had to come back with some sort of proof of address.

    We wanted a male rabbit to pair with Nala (since Layne died in January)... we both wanted another big bunny and I've wanted a Californian for a while (the last time I meant to get one, bunny dates didn't back up my choice, lol... and we ended up with Alice, a 4 month old broken black Holland Lop instead). Hubby fell head-over-heels in love with "Barnaby" through the CAP website and begged me for him. They didn't have many males to choose from and there was something about the wild look in Barnaby's eye, lol... it was love at first sight for me as well.

    On our first successful trip down there, we (and Nala) met Barnaby. While I was looking for Barnaby's cage right after we got there, I saw a sweet little Dutch female pressing her nose to the bars like she wanted me to pet her. Foolish me, I indulged. Her face was so narrow, her eyes so blue! When I reached a finger through to stroke the bridge of her nose, I could feel her melting!

    My second mistake was talking to my husband about that sweet little nose on the drive home. He begged, I said no. I said absolutely not. Hell no to four rabbits that I have to take care of. Alice had been dropped off at the same shelter for much overdue spay surgery (she was too little when adopted and then life got away from us and we never got her back in for it).

    I said the only way we were getting the little Dutch girl was if Barnaby wasn't still there when we went back in 2 days or if, god forbid, something happened to Alice (statistically, the odds of her having some sort of reproductive cancer were pretty high at her age and a spay would only cure her if it hadn't spread). As it turns out, there was a third way... if I was so relieved that Alice made it through surgery and recovery with flying colors and I was just so happy that I caved and agreed to the fourth rabbit, lol.

    Anyway, we picked Alice up and she rode in the front seat with me, in her carrier. Husband rode in the back seat with our two new rabbits and Nala (who came along because a 1.5 hour car ride sounded like a great way to jump-start trio bonding).

    On a side note, I really need to get off my butt and find a way to regain access to my old photobucket account so I can quit fussing with TinyPic whenever I want to post photos here!
     
  3. Mar 25, 2019 #683

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    Jennifer

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    PICS!

    Barnaby (the big ol' Californian), Harley Quinn (the Dutch with amazingly blue eyes) and Nala (my prized little Lionhead, who I've had since she was 7 weeks old... she turns 7 years in a couple months):
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    [He looks damp/dirty on his hind end because he startles very easily and, on multiple occasions during a trio bonding session, he exploded and ricocheted across the bathroom area, slamming into the water bowl in the process.]

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  4. Mar 25, 2019 #684

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    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Oh fun! They're so cute! With how relaxed he looks, I somehow get the feeling that he's going to be the big boss bunny.
     
  5. Mar 26, 2019 #685

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    Jennifer

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    He's actually turned out to be extremely high-strung, lol. I call him "Big Baby" most of the time because he's very skittish/easily startled and often looks for a "skirt" to hide behind... but once you get your hands on him, he's such a snuggler! 7-8 lb rabbit trying to hide under/behind a 4 lb rabbit... hilarious! Poor thing displays a lot of PTSD-like symptoms, though. He runs away when you try to get him usually, which isn't abnormal for a rabbit, but sometimes the run is more like a terrified ricochet to the opposite side of the area.

    When he was in the open master bath area, he'd hide on the back rim of the massive tub (like a whirlpool tub without jets) and if you approached him while he was in a corner, he wouldn't try to run... but as you reached over to gently pet him, he would flinch like he expected to be hit! That broke my heart so bad! I tell him regularly in my most reassuring voice that he's in a safe place and no one will ever hit him for the rest of his life.

    I don't know if it was his first owners or the park they dumped him in... who knows how long he was in the park or if he even could've been born there (though clearly he was tame enough to get caught by whoever brought him to the shelter). They guesstimated his age at 6 mos when he got there. When I got the condo built (he and Harley currently have the first floor of a 3 grid x 6 grid NIC condo), he seemed really relieved to be back in a "cage" of sorts where he felt like he had a wall between himself and any external stimuli.

    Harley, on the other hand, was a pampered house rabbit from what I could tell. I expected her to have some issues and be skittish because her paperwork said "No children under 12!" in the adoptive home and "experienced rabbit owners preferred"... but I really think that was just her former owner doing what they could to make sure she'd be happy in her new home. She's 3 1/2 and was surrendered at the start of February by a person or family who was moving to an apartment that doesn't allow pets.

    She's very sweet when she's getting her way (endless nose-rubbing, please)... but when she doesn't like something, she is bossy, demanding and unpredictable. It did say she doesn't like being picked up, as well. In my experience, it's not the picking up so much as how long you plan to hold her and if you want to do something to her like trimming nails or snuggling her that she really minds.

    We originally gave her the name Ellie, which I liked a lot... Jay wanted to nickname Barnaby "B-Rabbit," so for a while, Harley was "E-Rabbit" and together, they were my "B&E rabbits" because they broke into our hearts, lol. When her "Queen B-" attitude started to surface, though, I said something about the name "Harley Quinn" might be more fitting because she's 'hot but psycho' lol... and once he heard it, there was no talking hubby out of the name change :p.

    I bonded Big Baby with Harley within a day somehow - one mega bonding session that never ended, save for a few hours apart while we slept just to be safe... he got humpy with Nala a couple times during the couple of brief trio-bonding sessions but never once tried to hump Harley Quinn, nor she him. Trio stuff is now on hold while I let the new rabbits settle in and Nala get used to the idea that I'm trying to give her new friends. All three got on like long-lost friends in the backseat on the way home from the shelter... but then I think after 4-5 hours driving to the shelter, getting through the lengthy approval process for adoption and then driving home, Nala had had enough and was ready to be done. Barnaby tried to hump her a couple times and she overreacted a little and seemed unhappy with the proceedings, so I called off bonding after maybe 10-15 mins and put her in her cage.

    I tried again a couple days later, but I clearly made a mistake by letting B&E rabbits live in what was originally the neutral bonding area (so that they were constantly in view and in earshot of us humans while I was verifying that they were truly bonded) - when I added Nala back in, Harley got a bit feisty and nipped Nala on the bootie, which naturally didn't go over very well. Hindsight being 20/20, I immediately realized that B&E rabbits had already claimed ownership of the bonding space and immediately pulled Nala out.

    A couple days after that, I moved B&E rabbits to the bottom floor of the new condo. I put Nala in there at the exact same time that I put them in (well, a few seconds sooner), thinking that it was a new neutral territory. Unfortunately, while it was a brand new grid configuration in a new home (we had just moved from an apartment to a trailer) on a brand new sheet of coroplast... I hadn't actually *cleaned* the grids thoroughly during the move and Nala is smarter than the average rabbit. It really seems like she could see/smell whatever fur from her and Layne was still stuck to the grids and immediately saw the new rabbits as "intruders" :(. She kept running around the area and thumping. "I don't like this! *thump*" "Get these other rabbits out of here! *thump*"... etc.

    After each thump, she'd run to another section of the cage to inspect it and express her disapproval... and when she ran, Big Bunny would get excited and give chase, upsetting Nala... ugh. Big Bunny, for some reason, has a tendency to chase when excited - sometimes when I'm giving out veggies or pellets, he gets a bit chase-y with HQ and I have to scold/distract him. A couple minutes of that and I decided the best thing to do was to put bonding sessions on hold, let B&E rabbits get fully settled into their new home, let *everyone* forget all about the part of the master bedroom that was originally sectioned off for bonding and resume bonding sessions in a few weeks.

    I also think that, while I've successfully bonded a third rabbit to an already bonded pair in the past, it doesn't mesh well with Nala's history and personality for her to be the third. She likes to be the boss and that's hard to do when you're taking on two rabbits at once (one of which is freaking huge and the other is cute but bossy). I think in 3-4 more weeks (time for hormones and ownership-memories to dissipate), I'll do one-on-one sessions with Nala plus Alice, Big Bunny and then HQ and make a decision from there on how to proceed.

    I suspect it would be easiest and fastest to bond her with Alice, then bond pair-to-pair... but only if she responds well to Alice. Really crossing my fingers on Alice, as I can tell Nala truly misses having a friend and a quad of rabbits would not only be a significant feat, it may - realistically - not be in the cards here. I would really hate to have to break up B&E rabbits in order to form a duo that Nala can be happy with. I've tentatively exposed her to an unspayed Alice in the past, though, and hormones seemed to be the only thing stopping them from getting along... so fingers crossed. As a bunny slave, I would really take pride in forming a successful quad - it would be, to me, like figuring out a puzzle based around understanding all aspects of my rabbits' personalities - but at the end of the day, I'm willing to settle for maintaining two separate pairs if that's what's best for our bunns.

    As for post-spay Alice... hubby often called her "the hormone" while I, as primary caregiver, dubbed her "the kraken." If you're familiar with krakens from video games and have experience tending to an unspayed female rabbit, I'm sure you know *exactly* what I'm talking about! Cage aggression makes it seem like they may as well have like 8 tentacles coming at you at the same time, lol.

    I knew from knowledge gained in the course of giving advice here on RO that many hormonal behaviors become 'learned' if they're not fixed at an early age, so I was wise enough not to get my hopes up seeing as Alice was about 4 years overdue to get spayed. Alice surprised me, though! By about day 5 post-surgery, I really started to see changes in her behavior. She'd get that wild look in her eyes when I started to reach a hand into her cage like she was about to launch an attack... but then I'd see her check herself! It's been just over 2 weeks since her surgery and I can reach into her cage not just to add hay to the manger or grab her water bowl/put it back, but even just to pet her without her lunging at me. She's not 100% calm and accepting of my presence, but she's trying hard and making a lot of progress... maybe 80% of the way there and still improving.
     
  6. Mar 27, 2019 #686

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    Jennifer

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    Harley Quinn's theme song:



    That little bunny can lead me on all day long with her sweet little nose and beautiful blue eyes!
     
  7. Apr 21, 2019 #687

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    Jennifer

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    Rant of the day: I finally have some time to catch up around here and chat/post... and it's making me insane that the f key on the keyboard doesn't work. I had to take the key off and now I have to manually stick something in there to hit the key. I tried to remove some other keys and clean out the keyboard, but only succeeded in breaking the v key as well. For someone who types 80-100 wpm, having to stop and punch a specific key like that gets SUPER tedious! The v key is a major slap in the face, because it broke my work-around for the f key of using ctrl-v to paste in the f instead of having to stab the key.

    This is the backup keyboard, too, as hubby spilled something on the "good" one and rendered it worthless... and I can't just buy a new one because I'm broke right now after spending like $500 on a new alternator and battery for my evil jerk of a car. Oh, and the scroll wheel on the mouse is broken too.

    It would be really nice to be able to type normally/more fluidly, as I could use some company right now. Hubby is in the mental hospital for the second time in about a month, and even though they've got his meds sorted out now, they're being jerks about letting him out. They want to keep him 7-10 days in addition to the day he spent at the regular hospital's psych ward before being transferred! The hospital they moved him to has a really bad reputation for keeping people longer than need be to milk insurance/the state for the $2000 a day or whatever that they get. I'm going to try to get him out AMA tomorrow... if that fails, some people who left reviews on yelp had success involving the police to get the hospital to release their kid.

    I can see why he needed to stay about a week the first time, as that's when he first got diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder... but his meds stopped working/were making things worse and he changed medication, taking the first dose of the new med less than 24h before ending up back in the hospital. This place is different than the first hospital, which gave visitors a form asking if they thought their loved one was ready to be released. This place doesn't care at all what I think, never mind I've had like 9 years to acquaint myself with the ups and downs of his particular brand of crazy. I want to rant so much more, lol, but this keyboard situation is making me too crazy!
     
  8. Apr 24, 2019 #688

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    Jennifer

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    I haven't been doing bonding lately because with hubby in the hospital it's just too much of a chore for me to haul three or four rabbits back and forth across our trailer to the bonding area. My current health issues simply make it very physically exerting.

    At this point, though, I miss bunny bonding, I'm lonely and I'm just tipsy enough to not care about the pain, so I've decided to give bonding another try and also to try posting about it from the stupid cell phone using it's awesome speech-to-text function.

    Last I left off, Harley Quinn and big bunny were completely bonded and I would say that Nala was maybe 80% bonded to them as a trio.

    I have attempted on multiple occasions to bond Nala and Alice together so that I could then bond one duo to another duo. Unfortunately, Nala and Alice did not get off on the right foot. This may have been because it was only about three weeks after Alice's spay or because Alice, while less hormonal, was still way too excited about seeing another rabbit.

    After Alice and Nala fought, I decided it was best to keep them separated for a while so that they could forget about the fight. That's when I started balding Nala to the other pair with moderate success. They were very close to being done bonding and ready to move in together when my husband got diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and had to be hospitalized.

    Tonight, I've decided to try a different angle - I have Alice, Harley Quinn and big bunny in the bonding area with me. They were skeptical but seemed okay at first, but then big bunny and his tendency to chase pissed Alice off a little bit and now the two of them seem inclined to fight. I am keeping them apart for now, but Harley Quinn is on the opposite half of the bonding area (separated by physical obstacles), so now I am testing Harley and Alice together.

    So far, the girls are quite wary of each other and sometimes someone explodes to a spot a few feet away, but they do not seem interested in fighting and have come together to share a kale leaf more than once.

    I feel like Alice and HQ are making some progress, well Alice and big bunny need time apart. I will give the two girls a little more time around each other and then put Alice up and bring Nala in.
     
  9. Apr 24, 2019 #689

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    Jennifer

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    So, I finished my post and navigated away from the page because I got an alert that I wanted to look into... And while I was responding to another thread Alice and Harley Quinn came nose-to-nose. Alice put her head down like she was asking to be groomed (which, in all honesty, is it hint that HQ never seems to take). I think Harley Quinn actually did groom her a little bit... Then she flopped out right beside Alice! Very hopeful, indeed!

    For now, it looks like Harley Quinn gets along with everybody. Nala gets along with HQ and big bunny. Alice gets along with HQ.

    I was going to say, I think I'll try continued bonding sessions between Nala and the pair and between Alice and HQ while giving Alice and big bunn and Nala and big bunn continued cool down time... But while I was writing this post, Alice and HQ got into a serious fight that even a spray bottle of water could not break up. I had no choice but to put Alice back in her cage, so now Nala is in the bonding area with the duo. What sucks most is that Alice and HQ are both black and white, so the clumps of hair I found don't really tell me who the worst aggressor was.

    I'm starting to get pretty worried that I messed up worse than I realized not getting Alice spayed until she was 4 1/2. While not necessarily aggressive, she is abnormally jumpy in a way that seems to provoke other rabbits. When they react to her, she likes to attack them. Perhaps what she needs is more one-on-one time with her humans as well as more time to adjust to not being full of hormones.

    Because of recent altercations with all three other rabbits, Alice is definitely on her own for at least the next month before we attempt bonding again.

    As for the other three, Nala has thumped repeatedly at big bunny, but no actual fighting and I think they're going to work it out just fine. After a bit, I nudged Nala over to HQ's side of the room, but they still sort of went in opposite directions and haven't really interacted much yet.

    Meanwhile, I'm trying to eat fried chicken for dinner and there are four cats sharking just the other side of the bonding area gate. Seriously, shocking their butts off.

    Another nudge... Harley Quinn seems mildly curious and Nala shows complete disinterest. Now big bunny is starting to venture over to the side the girls are on. Big bunny is interested in Nala. Nala is interested in kale and my glass of wine. Cats continue to shark my chicken.

    After 40 minutes with no altercations, I am going to exit the bonding area and monitor the three rabbits from the bed a few feet away. Hopefully they continue to behave and end things on a positive note before I put them back in their areas before I go to bed.
     
  10. Apr 24, 2019 #690

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    Jennifer

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    Not sure why it says video unavailable when the video is still very much available on youtube. I tried to update the link to one that currently works on YouTube, but in the post's preview, the new link still says unavailable! GRR. Still love the song and it could totally be about a bunny... though these days, it seems more like Alice than Harley Quinn :p.

    I hate when I miss a speech-to-text error (or when it starts to type the right thing and then corrects it to the wrong one)! Clearly, I'm shaving all the rabbits before I put them together, lol.

    How does it understand "sharking" one second and not the next? Our cats are electrocuting themselves/each other? That makes infinite sense.

    ~~~~~

    Anyway, rabbits are still getting along fine. Mostly indifference, but as any seasoned bonder will tell you, that's actually a great sign. I've nudged them to interact with each other a couple times. My concern right now is housing, once they're 100% ready (which I feel is very soon).

    I have a 1 1/2 level condo right now; HQ/BB are on the bottom (full) layer with Nala on the 1/2 upper level (Nala's using a 3*3 grid flooring piece that's reused from the condo she shared with Layne). Next paycheck, I'll buy a sheet of coroplast and another box of grids - when they're ready, I figure I'll rebuild the second story to be 3*6 grids like the first floor. I'll turn the first floor flooring inside-out (so it seems fresh/new) and use it as the second floor flooring, then use the new coroplast for the first floor - that way the entire 3*6*4 condo seems "new" or neutral to all three rabbits. I guess if I ever get Alice added to the mix, I'll buy another new piece of coroplast and repeat the whole process (first floor inside out to be second floor flooring) to make a "neutral" seeming two-story 3x6 condo.

    I can handle neutrality, but diet is another issue entirely. Nala is overweight, unfortunately by quite a bit. She's lost an ounce or two and currently gets no fruit and 2 tbsp of rose petals as her non-leafy veggies, plus about 1/2 tsp of pellets per day (literally, like 6 pellets because she clearly knows that I'm giving pellets to the other three and I don't want her to feel left out). I feel like more exercise time/space (which she'll get once bonded to the pair) will help a good bit.

    Big Bunny is a Californian... meat rabbit prone to obesity... so I have no qualms about putting his butt on the same diet Nala is on to prevent obesity. He destroys leafy greens like there's no tomorrow anyway! Harley Quinn is a different story, though. If anything, she's borderline underweight and is a picky eater. I can pull her aside and try to feed her pellets that the other two aren't getting, but there's no guarantee she'll be in the mood to eat them when I have time to offer them. She does appreciate rose petals and, while she's indifferent about most fruits, she loves red delicious apples (and also small amounts of whole wheat cracker).

    If anyone has any tips for how to manage an overweight/underweight bond situation, I'm open to suggestion!
     
  11. Apr 24, 2019 #691

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