January 15, 2018

Bringing Home Bunny #2

If you're looking for our Challenge #10, click HERE or scroll down one post.

Hello Fellow Critter Crazies,

This month I want to tell you about some of my misadventures in introducing my pet rabbits to each other.

My very first pet rabbit was an English Angora that I named Neelix, after a bunny-looking space alien on Star Trek Voyager.

A few months after I got Neelix, I decided to add a 2nd English Angora to our family. I had had Neelix neutered, so I had no qualms about bringing home a female, which I promptly named Kess. (If you are a Trekkie, you know that my Neelix certainly needed a Kess.) I introduced them in my living room and they almost immediately fell in love.
Sadly, Neelix did not live long. A few weeks later, while still grieving the loss of my darling bundle of fluff, I impulsively brought home a baby girl bunny - a Fuzzy Lop. The two girls never got along very well, so I could not let them out of their cages at the same time.
After Kess passed away, I didn't bother getting Nahla a companion, since she was grumpy and territorial for most of her life. Besides, she struggled with health issues, so I didn't want to chance infecting another rabbit. 

About a year ago, I adopted Ricky - a lionhead/mini-rex bunny.
Ricky was darling and so very sweet. He had the run of my 8'x10' aviary, tons of toys and as much attention as I could afford to give him. His neighbours were my two female guinea pigs and, of course, my birds. But he still seemed lonely, as evidenced by his frequently jumping great heights to get into the guinea pig cage. Someone was re-homing a 4-year-old, neutered male Dutch rabbit, so I decided to get him as a companion for Ricky.

Jelly Bean was a sweet bunny and by now I knew not to put the rabbits together straight away. I set up a pen within the aviary so they could get used to each other that way. But every time they got next to each other they fought, even though they were both neutered. Even the two-foot tall pen did not keep them apart, as Ricky learned how to scale it. Each time the rabbits got together, the fighting was worse, leaving both of them scarred. After 3 months of trying, I finally decided to return Jelly Bean to his original owners, who had realized they missed him too much anyway.

 Finding out that a male-female match is best, I went to my local shelter and adopted a spayed female New Zealand rabbit. She was only 4 months old, so I figured she would be quite docile. I could not have been more wrong. The moment she saw Ricky, she started ripping fur out of him through the bars of her pen. When we tried to put them together, they jumped straight at each other in full-on attack mode.

The Humane Society had supplied us with some very good literature on introducing new rabbits to each other. That information also let us know the signs of a mis-match, so we took the rabbit back to the shelter the very next day.

That same day, we found out that a neighbour had a female Flemish Giant needing to be re-homed because of allergies in a child. We put our new-found knowledge to work, introducing Ricky and Petunia in an upstairs hallway, with close supervision.

They ignored each other at first (good sign). Then they showed slight curiosity (another good sign). Next Petunia showed a little more curiosity and Ricky ran away, terrified. (still not a bad sign) His reaction reminded me of Donkey's reaction to Dragon in Shrek. After all, she was three times Ricky's size and he'd already had some bad experiences with other rabbits.
We did nearly a week of supervised dates, increasing the time bit by bit. By the end of the week, they were nuzzling each other and fully in love.

 Both rabbits still love human attention, but they are content to have each other for constant companionship. They eat together, sleep together and groom each other. It is the kind of marriage we all dream of... except for the licking each other's fur...

I would love to hear your stories of introducing new pets to each other. In the meantime, here are some bunny digis for you. (left-click to enlarge; right-click to "save as" to your files) When posting, you can acknowledge the artist as "Tickell Expressions" or simply "Teresa from 2CCC".












7 comments:

  1. Great bunny 'tails'. I love bunnies but I know they can have difficulties sometimes as you describe. So glad yours are now happy bunnies xx

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    1. Thanks Ike. It is certainly nice to have harmonious bunnies.

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  2. Oh, I do enjoy your stories, Teresa! Lovely bunny digis. Thanks. :-D

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    1. Thanks NC. I am glad you enjoyed the saga and the digis.

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  3. I love bunnies and so miss having them. I enjoyed reading about your bunny adventures and love the photos. :)
    Hugs, Sherry x
    Loose Stitches and Unraveled Threads

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    1. Thanks Sherry. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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  4. Love this post and love bunnies..... when I was a child I had a bunny too :)
    bye Ine

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