Monday, November 19, 2012

Rabbit Habit - First Interview!

Howdy Doody, Lagomorphophiles!

As promised in an earlier post, I have interviewed Liz. She is a fellow rabbit slave and mom that I met on Etherbun, a Yahoo Groups forum dedicated to the health and wellness of companion rabbits.  So, without further ado, meet

LIZ and Her Bunny Masters Children, Lily the Flemish Giant/Continental Giant Mix, and Cinder the Lionhead!!

  • Q:  I know you from Ether Bun and am impressed by your knowledge and the fact that you try to answer every question that is asked.  Whether you know the answers or not, you always attach links to your posts.  What are the top five links in your information arsenal that you believe EVERY bunny parent should have bookmarked?

Owning a rabbit requires time and devotion, they are not something that you can keep in a cage in the corner of the room. Many people find this out after they've acquired their bunny so a new parent has many questions. I feel that every question and person is just as important as the next, no question should go unanswered and I like to send helpful links that can be printed out or saved or bookmarked for future reference. These are my favorite five links.

The House Rabbit Society - many people call this the "bunny bible". Everything you need to know about bunnies and their care is on this site.

Gastrointestinal Stasis, The Silent Killer - Being prepared for stasis is extremely important for every bunny parent. It's imperative that you have a rabbit vet so you can get your bunny there as soon as possible as they can die from stasis. A rabbit savvy vet should see bunnies daily and should have 100% successful spay/neuter surgeries under their belt. Find your vet today, know their hours and if they refer you to emergency places during nights and weekends. Make sure the emergency places see bunnies!

Feeding The House Rabbit - Everything bunny can eat with photos of the herbs, vegetables, etc. for easy identification.

The Language of Lagomorphs - Bunny language and body language, what is my bunny trying to tell me?

PetFinder - This site lists all kinds of pets that are in need of adoption and their forever homes. You put in your zip code and what kind of pet your looking for along with how far your willing to travel. It's sad when you see how many pets come up in your area, shelters and rescues are packed so we need to support them by adopting or donating cash or goods. Every shelter has a "wish list" for things like towels, blankets and cleaning supplies.

  • Q: You have two rabbits at present. Lily, the Flemish/Continental Giant mix, and Cinder, the little lionhead.  I love that they are polar opposites in every way, yet bonded instantly.  How do their personalities compliment each other and your household residents?
Cinder is a two pound Lion Head who overflows with personality. He comes when he's called and loves to run, chasing the cats is one of his favorite activities. He's full of love, we will hold and pet him for hours and when we put him down he will stomp to show is disapproval. He know this results in getting picked up again for more snuggling.
Cinder was alone for the first year of his life and even though I was home all day with him I thought he needed something more, he needed a bunny friend. We heard that homes were needed for 'left over' 4H bunnies, they were Flemish Giant/Continental Giant mix. Both parents were over 30 pounds so we knew what we were getting into. Seeing a baby bunny that is that large is comical, but she was so precious and sweet with those huge ears, we couldn't resist her.
When we got home we put the carrier down and opened it, Lily with her big feet and ears came bounding out and Cinder hopped right over to her. It didn't take 30 seconds before he was grooming her! She was a baby and he knew it. It was love at first site, they never had a fight the bond was instant. This was luck, bonding bunnies can be very hard and can take a long time.
Cinder is the alpha bunny, he is outgoing and loves to be handled. He comes with us when we do adoption and fund raising events for The House Rabbit Connection in MA., he's a ham and everyone falls in love with him. Lily is a couch potato, she likes to lay around and I've caught her laying down while eating her daily salad. Her favorite thing is to be petted and groomed but she will not tolerate being picked up. She loves her family of Mom, Dad and five cat brothers but is very shy with company and would never be able to go on the road with us like Cinder. Cinder and Lily are polar opposites but it works fantastically for them, we rarely see one without the other and they are always cuddled together.
Bandit kitty with Cinder and Lily - nothing like those bathroom carpets, all fur kids love them

  • Q: What are your top five favorite products that you, the bunnies, or your household CANNOT live without that are rabbit related?

Plenty of bedding. We are currently using the Care Fresh brand and have found it to be nice and absorbent and it makes it easy to dump the litter box.

An X-pen (exercise pen). Perfect for the new bunny. It gives them enough room to roam while you potty train. We use ours to put the bunnies inside at bedtime so they don't roam the house and get into trouble.

Toys, toys, toys! Plenty of chewing toys and toys to keep them entertained like tunnels, boxes, grass mats. I've seen video's of bunnies throwing around tin pie pans and he was having a blast. A bored bunny can be a naughty bunny.

Vinegar. A pet safe way to clean everything. It deodorizes and gets everything squeaky clean.

Hay and manger. I like to keep the hay up off the floor and out of the litter box otherwise you end up wasting much of it. Lily eats so much hay that we now purchase it through the local co-op at $4 for a bale. The bale is 1/2 the size of a standard farm one and it lasts way longer than the pet shop expensive bagged hay.

  • Q: I read a post of yours once (it was about the wax plugs that rabbits get in their whisker openings) that you try to respect what you interpret as their "wishes" and if they do not like you doing something, you will not do it (in this case it was try to pick the plugs out of her whiskers, which she did not like). Do you think your companion animals know you respect them and give their wants and needs equal consideration to a human companion? 

I absolutely believe my bunnies and cats know that they can give me a certain look and I will know what they want, it's happened time after time and I'm always right. "Cinder wants some fresh water in his bowl", sure enough he takes a nice long drink of fresh water when we change it. I can tell when Cinder wants to be picked up, he comes close to my feet and looks up at me. I know when my disabled cat Purple is hungry or thirsty, he's been with me for 16 years and I always know what he's asking for. We lost our Midnight kitty to cancer a few months ago, he was cool. I could call him up onto the couch just by looking into his eyes and saying it in my mind, he'd always come over and jump up net to me, he knew what I wanted. It's all about observation, devotion and love. In my opinion it's a 6th sense that we share.I still try to get those wax plugs off Lily all the time, sometimes she cooperates, most of the time not. Cinder has none or they are too small for me to feel. LOL

  • Q: Have rabbits changed your life or your core ideals/morals  in any way? Have they had any influence over your spirituality and/or religious beliefs?
Yes, they have had great influence in our lives. We both quit smoking cigarettes shortly after the bunnies came, we felt it wasn't fair to smoke around a house pet who couldn't really get away from it. We live peaceful and quiet lives, we don't throw parties or do anything that we think will upset our bunnies, even if it's only for a night. And you can bet that you will hear "Goodnight Cinder, I love you" and "Goodnight Lily, I love you" every single night as we go up the stairs for bedtime.
  • Q: On a scale from 1-10, one being casual interest and 10 being militant fanatic, how would you rate your "Rabbit Habit"? Do you intentionally go looking for rabbit statues, pillows, art, etc
 We're at a 10+. We love to go to tag sales and flea markets searching for bunny objects. I have 'bunny rabbit' saved on my Ebay search so I get notified when a new rabbit item is listed. Our bathroom is decorated in all bunny art, ceramic dishes and even a beautiful hand painted bunny clock. Why? Do you have a bunny object that needs a new home? lol

Thank you so much, Liz, for taking time to visit us and answer our questions. Don't you all love the "Goodnight, I love you"? I know we all agree that love for rabbits makes OUR little world go 'round!


  1. This is fantastic. I apologize for the inane superlative, but people I admire are conversing with intelligence and warmth about the bunnies, the little living beings I credit with teaching me how to love.

  2. My first bunny was an ND/Lionhead cross with a Napolean complex on overload .. poor dear had a heck of a time training her human to understand bunny. Fortunately, for me, she was quite stubborn and refused to give up.

    Sage, my second bunny was less subtle and just picked up things to throw at my head when she wanted something. (Typically, my shoes .. and she had frighteningly good aim!) I think that was her idea of compromising to speaking human.. but then Dutch have never been known for their diplomacy.. ;)

  3. Thumper was like that real stroppy but loved to be cuddled in the end but it took about three years,but Speedy well he's total different so chilled but if you're not cuddling him right he thump his feet and by heck he whacks a punch...hehehe...but he is very loving,Rachel

  4. You can tell by her shape and size that Lily was bred to be a meat rabbit. After reading about her and all your comments, and knowing rabbits the way we do, how in the world can anyone want to raise these wonderful creatures for slaughter?

  5. I don't know, Brandi. I do a lot of thinking about the New Heaven and the New Earth, the Kingdom that is wide and forever peaceful. Thank you for you. You make a difference.

  6. Perhaps a prayer for all who believe savagery is their only choice.