Archive | July, 2016

Dallas Developments: Day 69

20 Jul

It’s a typical day here at the Anderson Used Book Emporium and Rabbit Salon (as it’s known on FB, much to the confusion of my neighbors). Alice & Hatter are quietly plotting their escape from the kitchen while Dallas is peacefully knocking books off the lowest shelves in the library. No one has declared war on each other yet today, and the chew toy supplies are holding out.

As it’s a typical day for me, I thought I’d write about Dallas’s typical day. He’s become a creature of habit, and there’s very little that will make him deviate from his schedule. He’s so exact, I’m 83% convinced that he’s hiding a pocketwatch somewhere in that furry white coat.

8:45 am: 1st breakfast request. Like an alarm clock, he’ll get louder if you ignore him. After 9 am, you’re in big trouble.

9:45 am: Playtime. It takes Dallas about an hour to wake up, eat, and get restless. He pulls on his pen to let you know it’s time to unclip it and let him out. He’ll spend next 2 hours still inside his pen, but the doors had better be open.

12 pm: playtime in earnest. Dallas has now finished his breakfast (he’s a grazer now, instead of an oh-my-gosh-you-finally-fed-me gobbler) and his mid-morning naps, and is ready to play. This mostly involves bouncing on the couches and seeing if he can still crawl underneath various pieces of furniture (spoiler alert- he can.)

2 pm: dead bunny flop time. Down to the minute, Dallas will be in position and ready to flop. A bath often precedes this event, but I’ve seen him stop in the middle of a foot and flop. There’s video proof.

2:01- 7 pm: naptime. Nothing disturbs Dallas’s slumber during this time. Not noisy humans, not vacuums, not thunderstorms- nothing. He’ll open one ruby eye, glare at the offender, and go right back to sleep. He also twitches in his sleep. There’s video proof of that too.

7:01 pm: 1st greens request. He’ll ask, but if you feed him now, he won’t touch them. Then he won’t eat them later, because they’ve been sitting out for 3 hours. Instead, he gets a papaya treat, which is probably what he’s really after anyway.

7:02- 10 pm: careful observations. Dallas is awake, and watching every move. He follows feet and sits at gates, just staring. I don’t know what he uses that intelligence for, but it’s probably nothing good. If there’s no interesting activity, he heads into the library to critique (& sometimes devour) a book or two.

10 pm: Dallas loses his mind. The clock strikes 10 and Dallas shifts into Ultra Mode. There are laps around the library, laps around the living room, demands for treats and greens (he gets his greens at 10, and promptly devours them), and generally bunny chaos. He’s shedding now, so he leaves a trail of white fur in his wake. 

11-11:45 pm: bedtime. This is the only unpredictable part of Dallas’s day. At some point after 11, he’ll have had enough. His mischief will escalate and will land him back in his pen. He’s still learning the command “pen,” but the sound of the papaya bag opening is enough to draw him in no matter where he is hiding. Once he’s in his pen and the lights are off, he’s content until the next morning.

For the curious, Alice & Hatter follow the same schedule in their kitchen-based kingdom, but without the mid-afternoon nap. There’s two of them after all. They tag-team on the mischief.

And that’s a typical day at the Anderson Used Book Emporium and Rabbit Salon. I can no longer see any of the rabbits as I type this, but I can hear three faces shoved into three food bowls. Clearly, all stomachs are on schedule. 🙂

Dallas Development: Day 56

7 Jul

It’s been a while since I updated, but it’s mostly good news. Dallas has continued to blossom into a much happier bunny, although his turf war with Hatter continues. He successfully attended BunnyFest a couple of weeks ago, and even survived a nail trim. 

For a better look at where he is now, I thought I’d use his To-Learn list from my first post 8 weeks ago. Here’s what I said then:

Dallas needs to learn:

  • To not spook at unseen things. It makes his behavior unpredictable, and his tendency to bolt in any direction could be dangerous for him in an unsecured environment.
  • To share his space, to an extent. All bunnies need a safe space, where no humans or other animals are allowed. However, a bunny shouldn’t grunt or charge during feeding time. Dallas will have to learn to tolerate hands in his pen at least twice a day.
  • Where his safe space is. It’s perfectly reasonable for a bunny to spook at loud noises or sudden movements- after all, they’re a prey species. It’s what they do. However, Dallas will need to learn where he should run when he gets scared, so that he doesn’t hurt himself.
  • How to let his silly self shine. He looks like he may be a New Zealand White rabbit, which is a breed known for being silly and sociable. If he can learn that it’s OK to play around the humans, he’ll have no trouble finding a forever home.”

Here’s where Dallas is now:

  • Spooking at unseen things: there hasn’t been a Dallas Dash in 7 weeks. If he spooks now, it’s because something real scared him- too many hands, a loud noise, Hatter’s appearance on the horizon, etc. Less things scare him now, as well. He’s a pro at thunderstorms, didn’t bat an ear at my neighbor’s firework display, and loves to listen to a guitar, even when it’s being played badly. He gets along with kids and women, even brand-new faces, but is a bit wary of men. He responds well to papaya-based bribery, though.
  • Food aggression: I spent a lot of time trying to train him out of this one, but the answer ended up bwing pretty simple. Dallas is ALWAYS STARVING in the morning, no matter how much hay he has available. He no longer grunts or charges a human entering his pen out of fear, but he will race you to his bowl. To beat this, I simply give him his 1/2 probios or other treat immediately, and then use hs distraction to fill his bowl unimpeded. It works like a charm, and everyone ends up fed and intact.
  • Where his safe space is: Dallas knows where his box is. He doesn’t know the command to return to his pen (or more likely, he chooses not to know), but he definitely knows how to get there. He doesn’t frantically run for safety anymore, but he’ll make it clear where he’s headed.
  • How to let his personality shine: oh boy, has Dallas learned this. He’s got to be the laziest bunny I’ve ever met. He’s yet to find a spot he won’t nap in. I’ve seen him asleep under the couch, behind the couch, on top of the couch, under the end table, on an armchair, on his box, in his box, on a pile of blankets in a corner, and perhaps most memorably: stretched out with his furry body spanning underneath a bookcase and a writing desk at the same time. Each nap is preceded by a forceful dead bunny flop. If you haven’t seen these, check out the #DallasDevelopments hashtag on instagram. You can hear his flops across the room. When he’s awake, he’s full of adventure and binkies.

I’m not going to lie- I wanted so badly to keep him. He would have been renamed March (to fit with the theme), and he’d live happily ever after in the living room. Unfortunately, it’s not meant to be. He and Hatter just cannot stand the sight of each other, and both boys have lost more than a bit of fluff at the teeth of the other.

So, now’s your chance. This sweet goofy boy can be yours upon approval from the Georgia House Rabbit Society. They get to make the call on his forever home, but here’s what I recommend as a good fit for him:

  • A calm house. Dallas likes kids, but he doesn’t like chaos. He’ll approach new people, but only if they’re on his level and speaking quietly to him.
  • Carpet. Dallas loves soft things to snooze on. He will sometimes put his head on the tile by the fireplace, but he spend 99% of his days on the carpet or on his blankets. He’s very well litter-trained. He’s never had a pee accident here, and he doesn’t chew up carpets.
  • Room to romp. Dallas isn’t a tiny bunny. He’s long and he likes to stretch out. He also likes to run laps when he’s feeling particularly good. He’s probably around 7 lbs in weight.
  • A house that doesn’t need a snuggle bunny. He’ll sometimes sit on the couch with me, especially if he thinks I have food to share, but he’s not a snuggler. He’ll allow petting on his head and ears, and sometimes on his whole body, but he’s the one to ask for it. Otherwise, you’ll get the bunny butt of shame. He likes to be near people and to watch them, but he’s not big on touching.
  • A place in the action. Dallas gets bored, and when Dallas gets bored, he gets crafty. He knows how to break out of his pen when he wants to go exploring. Plenty of playtime and interaction will keep him content when he does have to be contained.
  • Things to chew. Dallas loves to chew. Willow branches are his favorite, but he’ll also tear apart woven hay toys.
  • Papaya. This is a must. Dallas must have his papaya. It’ll be your best friend too- it’s great for bribery and reassuring purposes. Whenever he is objecting to bedtime, I stand in his pen and shake the bag. He’ll appear in the pen within 5 seconds, guaranteed. He also likes barley and apple treats, but doesn’t care for banana.
  • Patience and love. He’s not perfect, and he takes time to warm up. But he’s worth the time you’ll put in with him. Trust me. He and Hatter turned my house into a war zone divided by a narrow hallway, and I still want to keep him.

So that’s the update. Dallas is doing great, and he’s ready to start finding his forever home. Until then, I post pictures and videos on my Instagram: @zombiesandbunnies, and use the hashtag #dallasdevelopments. Sometimes my bunny sitters use the hashtag too, so it’s a good way to see new photos even when I’m out of town. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: