Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bad Dream

I had the most horrific dream last night!

I was riding a bike (who knows where) with Umbra inside a basket on the back. I stopped at a gas station (I don't know why, I obviously didn't need gas) and at the gas station there were baby bunnies for sale for Easter. The bunnies kept escaping and I caught them and alerted the store manager and began to lecture them on responsible bun ownership. I was quite proud of myself and even persuaded the bunny seller to be more responsible!

Then I continued on my journey and very soon the weather began to turn for the worse. My bike was blown over and Umbra escaped. I turned and saw a tornado was coming, but Umbra was nowhere to be seen!

After screaming and searching relentlessly for Umbra, crying all the while, I finally had to take shelter at the nearest house.

Soon the storm passed, and everyone was unharmed, but I was still frantic about finding Umbra. Come to find out the woman's, who's house I had taken refuge in, had found Umbra and brought her inside!

We were happily reunited, and but I'm glad it was just a dream.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Wow! I've been way to busy this week, in fact I just got off an 11 hour shift!

Thought I should come up with some sort of update. Last Sunday I finally got around to planting a variety of lettuce in a planter that I've set on a window sill. I definitely didn't inherit my mom's green thumb, but they sprouted a couple days ago! I hope they grow quick, I can cut down on my grocery bill.

More soon (hopefully)!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pet Store Problem

So lately I've buying my rabbit supplies at Uncle Bill's Pet Center, a local chain of pet stores in Indianapolis. It is convenient because it lies in route to my grocery store, but whenever I go there I'm overcome with dread. This store is full of animals! especially bunnies.. half a dozen in each glass cage and there are usually 4 to 8 of these designated to rabbits alone. There are others for guinea pigs and chinchillas as well as wire crates with puppies etc. In fact I feel comfortable estimating that no more than half of the square footage is dedicated to the supplies you need for the pets. On all my visits there has never been more than 2 of the large bags of Oxbow timothy hay (the small ones would hardly last a day).

Another problem I have is the lack of info about the pets available. I've noticed that even the national pet store chains have begun posting basic facts and care information on enclosures.

I would like to add that I don't know much about Uncle Bill's Pet Centers policies and what not, but it has made me concerned on a larger scale. Is there any legislation (passed or in the process) which requires pet stores to educate patrons bringing an animal into their home? If not there should be, because I doubt the majority of people do the research themselves. I'm not saying this would eliminate the problem of abandoned and neglected pets, but it is something to think about (and maybe get the ball rolling), especially with Easter coming up (which all bunny lovers know is just a few months prior to an influx of unwanted rabbits in shelters).

I love..

.. coming home after a long day of work and cuddling under the bed with Umbra. And then getting a bunny facial

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bun Proofing Electrical Cords

Today I mourn the loss of my 3rd pair of headphones that fell victim to the incisors of a certain bunny.

I thought this would be as good a time as any to talk about bunny-proofing your electronics.

There's not much I can do about my headphones, except keeping them out of Umbra's reach (my recent loss was due to my roommate's carelessness), but it's more important to protect your bun from cords that plug into the wall. Don't assume that you can keep any wire out of reach; buns are great at getting into mischief. When it comes to rabbits and electricity, it's better safe than sorry.

The best thing to do is to instal some sort of cover. There are a couple popular options that I've heard of.
Pictured above is probably the most rabbit-proof option. They are made of rigid plastic, so don't expect you're bun to chew through these anytime soon! Drawbacks are they're hard to hide (although they are advertised as being paintable), plus they are the pricier option.
This is option two, which is what I use. This less expensive option is also more flexible, and less permanent. This fits my living situation in an apartment, plus these are easy to stuff behind furniture. I've also found that the bumpy texture discourages chewing (Umbra doesn't even try chewing these), and the wider the diameter of the tubing, the more difficult for your bun to get their mouth around it. One draw back I've heard, is that some brands use thinner plastic which can be chewed, so inspect before you buy (and don't go with the cheapest option).

Which ever you choose, your bun will be safer and you both will be happier.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Now that Umbra has fully recovered from her surgery she has regained living-room playtime privileges. Today is her second day of freedom and she has been thuroughly enjoying herself. Countless binkies and laps around the room faster than the speed of sound.

So far no puddles on the couch, but she did knock a glass of grape juice off the coffee table.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One Pricy Pal

Would I have gotten a rabbit if I had known the price? Yes, I feel like the benefits are worth it but it is definitely something you should consider (seriously) if you are looking for any kind of pet. Especially with "small pets", people think that they will be less expensive than, say, a dog. In my opinion, this is a big reason rabbits do not make good "starter" pets, although I use the term grudgingly: it makes a living thing sound like furniture.

I don't want to completely give rabbits a bad name though. As I said, I have benefited a lot from bringing Umbra into my life. The most obvious are the feeling of fulfillment from caring for another living thing and receiving affection in return. For me personally, Umbra has made me a bit neater: I can't just leaving things laying around and expect that they won't be destroyed by time I return. We also share a lot of fresh veggies. Finally, owning a dog or cat requires a $500 pet deposit at my apartment, and not for buns (because they are "caged pets"... but I think you can keep a secret.. Umbra doesn't live in a cage).

Monday, March 19, 2012

End of the Spay Chapter

Got a call today from Avon Veterinary Clinic. Umbra and I decided to skip on our appointment on account of she had done the doctors job for them removing her stitches. I checked her belly today, and all looked good. Although the shave was shotty,  the doc did a good job stitching my nugget up; I could hardly see the scar!

Umbra has returned to normal personality-wise as well. She's just as she was pre-fully-matured-horny-bunny phase, which means she's independent, adventurous, bossy brat I love so much.

My roommate is less thrilled with the results; she misses the love-sick overly affectionate Umbra. I'm just glad she's happy and healthy and I look forward to another decade with my sugar bun.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bunny Puppets

Saw this at a little game shop in Bloomington. I have to say that this is NOT a very accurate representation of a Holland lop (mostly its ears weren't lopped).

However, inside the tag was some great info. There were other breeds of these rabbit puppets, and a little descriptions of each as well as things anyone who wants to bring a bun into their life ought to know (i.e. how long buns live, proper diet etc). The puppets are made by Folkmanis Puppets. They make various other kinds of puppets too, but as a rabbit lover, I was drawn to bunny puppets of course.

So check it out. Could be fun (and educational) if you have kids, or just a friend for a single bun to cuddle up with.

Quick Update

Hey! I hope you didn't think that I forgot about updating my blog. I was on spring break and my internet excess was sketchy.

Umbra is doing well, and handled traveling much better than usual even after just having had surgery! She even played in her travel cage, which was a first (and even more unusual when you consider that she hardly plays with her toys at home).

So everything went smoothly for once, Umbra got a new basket to nibble on and I got a cold, but I could use a nap so if I can get out of bed I will add more later.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Way to a Bunny's Heart..

.. is through her stomach.. I hope.

After yesterday's set back Umbra has made it known that all is not forgiven (but she will eagerly greet two of my roommates, even one that ignores her for the most part and it breaks my heart). Hoping I could entreat her (pun intended) to love me again, I baked up a fresh batch of homemade bunny treats.

A couple months ago I dug up bunny treat recipes because store bought ones can be quite pricey; I  was buying small animal veggie treats from oxbow about $4-$6 per bag with maybe 30 treats per bag. I found that all the recipes had essentially the same ingredients: pellets, whole grain (usually rolled oats but I did see one that called for whole wheat flour) and pureed fruit and/or veggies. An optional ingredient is a tablespoon or so of honey, but I find this unnecessary, especially if you are using fruit, the treats should be sweet enough without the additional sweetener.

Grind up equal parts oats (or flour) and pellets in a coffee grinder or food processor. For a one bun household, 1/4 cup makes plenty. Add between another 1/2 of fruit or veggie mush (make it yourself or use baby food). At this point I roll up my sleeves and dig in; I prefer to mix by hand. Once the gunk is thoroughly mixed it will form a dense lump of dough. Roll this out between some plastic wrap or wax paper so that it is about 1/8 in and cut into little squares. Bake for 30 min. at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and ta daa! bunny treats!

I like to make my treats when I get down to a bottom of a bag of pellets and hay and all that's left is the little bits and dust that your bun won't eat. It's a great way to get your money's worth. I hope your bun loves them as much as mine does! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Stitches Update

Had one of my roommates help me bandage Umbra up to keep her from messing with her stitches. The HRS article I posted earlier in the week recommended you do this with a small wash cloth and some elastic bandage (like what an athlete would use to wrap an ankle).

I have been trying to avoid handling Umbra (not that she's been letting me), but when I managed to catch her I saw that she had already removed most of the stitches! There was only one intact as far as I could tell. Obviously her organs are still in their rightful place, but after wrapping her (and giggling some because it looks like she's wearing a little bunny corset) I called my vet. Luckily they have someone manning the phones 24/7 in case of emergency.

I was told I'm doing everything I should since the wound seems to be healing well (and rapidly, I can't believe it's closed up in less than a week!) just to keep an eye on her and keep her confined and handled gently.

So I suppose all is well, but I will still have trouble sleeping and I'm sure this event has furthered injured Umbra's trust in me. It won't help that on Friday I will begin spring break and Umbra will be going with my mom and I to visit my brother (an hour drive) and from there back to my hometown for the rest of the week (another 4 hour drive.. did I mention how much rabbits hate to travel?).

On the bright side, it doesn't look like Umbra will need a second trip to the vet when I return to Indy after spring break, because she has taken it upon herself to play doctor.


Off to the dollar store across the way from my appartment to get elastic bandage wrap. Umbra has started picking at her stitches (with her razor sharp teeth) and I'd rather not have her innards fall out.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Live Feeding Petition

Just saw this disturbing post on Facebook by HRS about use of live domestic rabbits as food for large predators kept in captivity. Yes, I realize in the wild animals prey on each other all the time, but there is no need for this in a zoo or sanctuary where the animals have no chance of being returned to the wild.

If you want to protect domestic rabbits from needlessly horrific deaths sign this petition.

Bunny Dress!

Rabbit print dress from H&M
It happens to be a glorious day here, so I thought this would be a good time to try out this dress I got at H&M. Sorry for the bad quality, this was taken with my cheap phone in my roommates mirror (since I broke my full length mirror.. again). Just one of my bunny themed objects I have obtained since Umbra came into my life. I'm told I'm a tad bit obsessed with rabbits, but I see nothing wrong with that.

Monday, March 5, 2012

good read

So since today is more of the same I'd thought I'd link you to an article from HRS about the importance of spaying and neutering, what to ask your vet (if this is the first time taking you're bunny to the doctor), and what to expect after the the procedure.

The last part is why I dug this up. I've been told I act like an overprotective, first-time-mom with Umbra (and it's probably true), and I was worried that I had ruined our bond by getting her spayed (I won't say that I regret it; if you read the article you will learn there are a lot of health and behavioral benefits). I have now been assured that Umbra is a typical case of a grumpy post-spay bun, and I can't really blame her;  invasive surgery has a pretty significant effect on anyone (for a bun I imagine it's the human equivalent of being abducted and probed by aliens).

On a side note- Umbra did greet me this morning by honking (bunny mating call for those who are just learning bunny lingo). She did growl later, but we are making progress, I just hope that honking is all the horny bun behavior she displays. My carpet (newly installed when I moved into my apartment) doesn't have many more corners for Umbra to dig/shred up, and my roommate wasn't too happy about Umbra using her couches as a litter box.

So, with no further adieu, click here to read what HRS has to say about altering.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Post Op day 3

Not much of a difference today so I'll keep this short and sweet. Umbra's appetite has been getting better. She's still avoiding pellets but she had more lettuce and hay and preferred her meds with banana today (classic Umbra, she likes to be difficult).

Other than being more skittish and growly than usual, everything is going well.

My only concern is that she will never forgive me and go back to being affectionate. Sure, she was a little too friendly (if you catch my drift, and you do if you've had an unaltered mature rabbit), but I miss the cuddling and kisses and the flops and binkies and playing tag (even if it was one sided, Umbra likes to be "it"). Anyone else experience post op bunny syndrome?

On the bright side, here's a great video by the Humane Society of America about the most basic bunny needs to consider before bringing a bun into your home.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Post-Op Update

Had a bit of difficulty getting Umbra to take her pain meds this morning. I thought I'd skip the hassle of trying to get her to take it orally in the most direct sense, and made a yummy mash of bananas (her favorite treat) and applesauce. Silly me for assuming. After searching HRS for tips, I discovered that the trick is to insert the syringe behind the incisors.

Still, Umbra was exhibiting a loss of appetite. Luckily, this has begun to pass as well. Last night she only had a bit of lettuce, and now she is eating hay. Oddly enough, she's not interested in pellets.

Other than that, much of the sluggishness has worn off, but not as much of the crankiness. I did get one kiss on the nose though =].

Click here for the House Rabbit Societies tips on administering medication here.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Spay Day!!!

Today was Umbra's spay day!

Being Umbra, she had to make it difficult. So at 4 a.m. Umbra decides it's time for everyone (mainly me) to rise in shine. I refused to give in until 6. In the meantime she escaped with out my knowledge, bolted to the living room where she peed on the couch (hopefully for the last time).

After a moving departure, Umbra was settled in at the vet, the surgery went without a hitch and was back home resting by 6 p.m. She's a bit disoriented, and will most certainly be sore in the morning, but it was worth it (and long over due).

So remember to spay and neuter. Visit your local House Rabbit Society website for listings of trustworthy bunny docs.