Saturday, 24 November 2007
It was decided that Thursday was to be the day and after much negotiation it was agreed that we would set up the neutral bonding space in my bedroom.
This turned out not to be the best setup, as it allowed the two of them to set up territories to guard.
Prior to putting them in the run we put them both in the carry cage and took them for a walk around the block to kick start the process. As you can probably tell by the pile of white fluff in the picture, initially there was quite a bit of fighting. Bramble seemed to be the aggressor in most of it, and a lot of time was spent pulling them apart when they started fighting. Fortunately although Bramble kept attacking Flop, it was only to establish dominance, and so although there was a lot of fur being pulled out there weren't any serious bites. There was a lot of boxing as well, and after a while Bramble saw my gloved hand as a threat and started trying to attack that after Flop had been moved to safety! N.B. Rabbits have very powerful jaws and teeth - it was only because I was wearing two thick pairs of gardening gloves that she didn't draw blood, but I still got bruises!
We eventually took everything out of the run apart from the hay, the willow toys and the water bowls so there was nothing for them to seek ownership of. The internet was a constant source of reassurance, possibly one of the most helpful sites explained that unfortunately not all rabbits speak rabbit. Flop has always lived with other rabbits until his brother died in September, and so still remembers how to share things and what rabbit body language means. Bramble has lived alone for most of her life and so being faced with a larger rabbit when she doesn't understand what he's saying to her was very scary. After a few hours though I didn't have to intervene in any fights, and whilst they were still doing a lot of chasing and fur pulling they had stopped boxing.
After six hours or so we put them both in the bath to encourage them to get closer to each other,
Bramble kept shoving her head under Flop requesting him to groom her, but he wasn't having any of it! I ate my tea at the desk next to them that night as I didn't feel that they could be left unsupervised. I didn't get much sleep overnight either. I left the desk lamp on all night so at the first sound of a scuffle I could see if I needed to intervene. By the morning they were calmer, therre was less fur pulling, but lots more chasing, sometimes five or six circuits of the run before Bramble would leave Flop alone. Flop also took to stomping whenever Bramble came near him. They sort of developed a truce where they would relax in opposite corners to recover.
By Friday afternoon they were getting a bit closer to each other, but Bramble would still chase Flop if she felt he was getting too close. We therefore decided to put them both in the carry cage again and take them for a 45 minute drive in the car. This can be quite stressful for rabbits and so they eventually snuggled up to each other for comfort during the journey. On their return home it was tea time, and so we fed them in the carry cage so that there was nowhere to chase the other off to if they didn't want to share the pellets. After this we put them back in the run and they seemed to be a bit more tolerant of each other. To be continued.....
Sunday, 11 November 2007
Most of the time we sat on different knees and just stuck our noses out towards each other, but at the end of the session they sat us next to each other, which I didn't mind at first but then I fancied a stretch and Bramble was in the way so I nudged her in the tummy so she'd move out of the way. The two foots told me off for that and said that we'd been out for long enough so we got put back in our hutches. We've got more dates lined up for this week though - so watch this space!
Friday, 26 October 2007
They let me come home that night, and the two foots put me in a cage indoors over night so I'd be a bit warmer. I wasn't very happy about it all though so I decided not to eat my food. I had a tiny nibble of hay and a drink, but that was it. That turned out to be a mistake though, as the next day I was carted off to the vets again. If you don't eat after an operation it worries the two foots, so the vet gave me another painkiller injection and an injection to keep my guts moving. The vet also told the two foots that they'd have to syringe feed me and gave them a syringe and some stuff to mix with water to go in it.
I did my best to co-operate with the syringe feeding - I didn't wriggle and I didn't turn my head away too often. The stuff was really gloopy though and kept blocking the syringe, then spurting out in a big clump. The two foot had to change her top after feeding me as she was covered in it, and I think some went on the floor as well. They also managed it get it all over my fur - it took me ages to clean it all off and then when I'd finished they did the whole thing again! The two foots said that if I ate all the food in my cage I could go out in the run tomorrow and if I didn't I'd have to go back to the vets. They said that if that happened the vet might keep me there for a couple of days to get me eating. I did try overnight - I ate a little bit of banana and a tiny bit of broccoli.
They took me back to the vets again this morning. The vet was pleased that I'd eaten a little bit and gave me yet another injection to keep my guts moving. Apparently though trying to eat my stitches hadn't been a good idea, so the vet trimmed off the bit of thread I'd helpfully pulled out for her. The vet let me come home though and suggested that the two foots try syringe feeding me with some gluten free vegetarian baby food as it's easier to squirt through the syringe. The banana and apricot gets a 2/10 - I wasn't that keen on it, but the carrot one gets a 6/10 - I quite enjoyed licking my lips after that one. Even though the two foot had wised up and put an apron on this time I still managed to get carrot on her sleeve!
They've put me back outside in my run this afternoon, so I've been checking that everything was as I'd left it. I have eaten another bit of banana and broccoli and a couple of my pellets since I've been outside so hopefully they won't do the syringe thing again. I've got to go back to the vets on Wednesday to have my wound checked, so I'm hoping that I can eat enough so that they won't take me back before then.
Thursday, 18 October 2007
She's a bit shy at the moment, and doesn't eat as much as me (but then I am a bit bigger than her!)
The two foots looked on the internet to find her on a site called Rabbit Rehome which is a site where people who've got bunnies that need new homes can tell people about them. She was called Amelia but my two foots thought that was a bit posh when I'm called Flop. The cheek of it! I can do posh, I can sit on the plinth in my run in a very regal pose I'll have you know! Amelia's two foot was very sad to see her go and the two foots said that she'd done a great job looking after her, but I'm happy as it means I get a new friend to play with as I miss my brother Flip. I can't wait until she moves in with me - at the moment I just keep giving her admiring glances from afar.