Saturday, April 28, 2012

Why I Love Animals

Most people say they love animals because they love unconditionally, but I don't agree with that. Everything has conditions, it just so happens that the conditions of humans are complicated and ever-changing. That's why some people turn to animals for companionship; animals are simple. Feed me, give me a place to live, treat me with kindness and I will love you forever, no questions asked.

New Cage!

I've been envying all the great homemade rabbit condos I've seen online. And just when I was trying to find the best price for the NIC crates (the panels are popular with small pet owners for making custom cages), someone posted on Indiana House Rabbit Society's Facebook that they were selling a couple of old custom cages they no longer needed! Even better yet, they were going to give half of what they made off of the cages to IHRS.

I'm planning on keeping this cage at my mom's for when I'm home on breaks and for the summer. She isn't entirely comfortable with the idea of a free ranging house rabbit, but I don't like the idea of Umbra being shut up in a little cage all day (I do have a cage but it's really only there to put Umbra's litter-box and water bottle in, and she can use it as a hidey-box and something to climb on because I keep a blanket over it). Right now Umbra has free run of my bedroom all day and a couple hours of playtime in the living/dining room, but I want her to have more room to move around and not have my mom nagging me all the time.

To give her even more room, I want to add a second floor (and then my little queen can look out the window and survey her kingdom!).

Daily Bunny

Check out the Daily Bunny blog and see if you recognize anyone.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Umbra Game!

Went for a stroll around the city with Maria today and found this gem in a little hipster shop!.. Now if the bunnies were black it would be a perfect match (but Umbra might think they are her army of mini minions)!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Joys of Rabbit Parenting 2 and 3

2)When, during the spring molt, everything you eat WILL be coated in rabbit hair. It is unavoidable.

3)When you discover your rabbit is a kleptomaniac... but only for pink erasers... and sometimes pens... if they have squishy rubber grips.

Mustard Greens

Umbra seemed to be bored of her usual Boston green lettuce so I've been trying to mix things up a bit. However, Umbra is just about the picky-ist  bun around. She took to kale pretty well (a pictured in a previous post) but last week I bought mustard greens.

She was pretty hesitant about eating them, but would get around to it eventually, until yesterday, when she refused to touch them. So I made a trip to Marsh to pick up some lettuce more to her liking, and gave my roommate the mustard greens... and she found out why Umbra didn't like them... they taste like spicy mustard. I guess that makes sense.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hair Buster Comb Review

Despite a very hectic morning (overslept almost missed a final exam and had to go on a hay run because I ran out) I have managed to find a moment to tell you about my new hair buster.

As mentioned in the last post I purchased a hair buster from and it arrived yesterday (a day early in fact! props to binkybunny). I immediately put it to the test.

Sad to say, the hair buster did not live up to my expectations. But I'm not going to completely throw the hair buster under the bus. In an earlier post on grooming, I featured a fellow bun lover and it is plain to see that the hair buster works great for her rabbits.

I think the reason for my less successful outcome is the fact that Umbra is a mini rex, and rexs have especially short, fine fur. So I give the hair buster comb a thumbs up if you have a rabbit with normal fur, but I recommend a brush with much finer (closer together) teeth for rex rabbits.

When I next have some free time I hope to make a video demonstrating the different brushes I have tested so far.

Hair Buster Comb

Just got my hair buster in the mail today!

Unfortunately I've been so busy with finals I won't be able to say more than that till.. tomorrow.. maybe.. hopefully. We'll just have to see how that goes...

I'll post a review ASAP!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Joys of Rabbit Parenting

.. the moment when you see your bun munching on something and hope that its poop.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bunny World Foundation

If you haven't heard of BWF, they are a great bunny rescue out of California. They've even been featured on NBC Nightly News for there work trying to stop the sale of newborn buns on LA's Santee Alley. Because these poor babys are usually taken away from there mothers too soon and kept in poor conditions they often don't make it.

BWF is overwhelmed with so many rescues right now and they can really use your help. I'm going to add an app to the side bar that will take you to BWF's fundraising website, there you can make a donation via paypal.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I don't know if its the warm weather or what, but Umbra has been especially active. She runs laps around the living room nonstop, upsets objects on the coffee table, noses into people drinks, tips her litter box and now has added theft to her repertoire.

Just this evening she repeatedly snatched an eraser off my roommate's lap as she studied for finals. Tired of her new toy being taken away, Umbra runs off with the eraser and hides under the bed from where she growls a warning when Brittni tries to retrieve the eraser. Although she was startled (my roommate, Umbra was just grumpy) we both laughed and agreed that rabbits have very distinct personalities (to put it nicely).

Nonetheless, I cherish my little queen, and the title is fitting she can be a royal pain. I have to love it, we have a lot in common.

Umbra stuffs her face with kale for lunch

Monday, April 16, 2012

Just a Quick Update

I've been pretty busy here between work and upcoming finals, but I wanted to make a quick update.

First: My lettuce is looking a little more like lettuce and less like bean sprouts, but it will be a while before they are ready for rabbit consumption.

Second: Whatever was wrong with Umbra's ears seems to have cleared up. My vets prediction that her ears would go completely bald has not come to pass. I wonder if it had anything to do with her upcoming molt...

Third: On a similar note, I ordered the hairbuster comb from You may have seen this comb used in a video I linked in my last post.

Anyway more to come if I can ever get a break.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You know it's spring when...

... hair falls off your bunny in handfuls. Yep, its the bi-annual molt.

I wanted to get a video or at least pictures of Umbra molting, but she wasn't in a cooperative mood, even when I tried to bribe her with some carrot greens.

Anyway, it's really important to make time for some extra grooming when you're rabbit starts to molt. Like cats, rabbits a fastidious groomers, but unlike cats they can't regurgitate hair they swallow, and this hair can end up blocking the rabbit's intestines.

Unfortunately for me, Umbra resents being brushed and refuses to hold still. I recently tried placing her on a high surface where she can't get away. I've seen it work for others, but Umbra was still squirmy and attempted to jump off the table a few times. So this technique is not for us. I wouldn't recommend it if your bun has a habit of taking some dangerous leaps of faith; it's not worth the risk of injury (which is a very real possibility; as a child my brother's rabbit, Oreo, leaped out of his arms and broke his neck).

It does help to have treats around as a distraction. My roommate and I also take turns petting Umbra's forehead while the other brushes her body.

Of course a good brush is key too! You're local pet store will offer a variety of brushes. Below is a brush advertised for use on rabbits for sale at PetCo. I have a similar brush (for cats, but essentially the same) and I'm not a big fan. The bristles are two sharp for a rabbit's delicate skin, and I think they remind some rabbits of being attacked by a predator.

  The second brush is more like the one I currently use. It's actually a de-shedding brush for small dogs, but it really does the job. Some similar brushes can be really pricey, $40 and up, but I got mine at Meijer's for around $5.
For more info on grooming visit the HRS website, or check out these videos! The first I choose because it shows you just how much you're bun can shed.
The second is by the same person. The video is very thorough, but she gets distracted at times, so bare with me, it is still a helpful video.
And one final tip: the most fun way to groom your rabbit is petting them! Not as effective as a brush but more more enjoyable for your bun and a good bonding experience.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Carrot Tops

During my weekly grocery shopping trip, I spotted a woman at a self-check out aisle tearing off the tops of a bunch of carrots. Before she could throw them away I explained that I had hungry bunny at home who would enjoy them. So Umbra has a free snack!

It was a happy Easter for my bun.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thoughts on "Pets with Spunk" Article

A few days ago I read an article titled "Want a Pet with Spunk and Character? Bunnies Have it All!". Overall I enjoyed the story and could relate to the fellow bun owners who were quoted, and I'm sure that all you other rabbit lovers out there would like it as well. However I do have some concerns with this article.

First off, the author did a wonderful job highlighting all the great things about owning a rabbit. I too once thought that rabbits were pretty much all the same; quiet, shy and boring. I know differently now that I have a house rabbit. I emphasize house because I previously had rabbits kept outside in a hutch where their distinct personalities could not be appreciated.

So I know you're thinking, "ok, well that's all fine and dandy, what was it that you didn't like?" Well in a way what I liked was also what I didn't. This article hardly touched on all the hard work that goes into caring for a rabbit. Besides mentioning that rabbits need a few hours out of the cage for exercise each day, very little was said about the reasons NOT to get a bunny.

Now before you attack me over that last sentence, I am all for rabbits! I love mine to death, but it takes a very specific person to be "rabbit person" and I wish that the author would have gone more in-depth on the subject.

My second objection to this article is the date it was published (April 2nd), within a week of Easter. I can only hope that readers are not persuaded to buy an "Easter bunny" on account of this article.

On the bright side, another article, to which the first was linked, addresses all the problems that I had with the first. It is titled "10 Things to Consider Before Bringing Home That Easter Bunny". Unfortunately, I don't trust most people to inspect the link in the original article (or the links to HRS), but I guess I'll have to try and have some faith in humanity and continue to educate everyone I can about the 3rd most relinquished pet in the U.S.

One last thing. I know the picture above has caused to controversy in the rabbit community. The feeling is that this gives rabbits a bad rap. I believe the maker of this card meant well because it is very true about many rabbits bought for children, however, we must remember that this is not the rabbit's fault. When taken care of properly by people who are patient and understanding of rabbits' nature, a bun can be a wonderful companion.

Back From the Vet

So it turns out neither of my theories about Umbra's condition were correct. The vet believes that the hair loss is a manifestation of stress, most likely do to hormone changes after her surgery last month. Not gunna lie, I am a bit skeptical and I wish he had at least taken a skin scraping, but doctor knows best...

I find the diagnosis ironic, the trip to the vet certainly didn't help Umbra's stress levels.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ear Trouble

So a couple days ago I noticed that Umbra had some flaking around the edges (and later the back) of her ears, accompanied by hair loss. After some research in HRS's health resources, I'm thinking that Umbra has either fur mites or ringworm. Neither is very serious, but nonetheless we are going to take a trip to the vet tomorrow afternoon... I'm sure Umbra will be thrilled.

More tomorrow when we hear the doc's diagnosis.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt (for big kids)

So I know Easter can be a pretty sad time of year for rabbit lovers, but if you're in the central Indiana area and want to help homeless buns while having fun, check out Indiana House Rabbit Society's 5th Annual adult Easter egg hunt! It's only $5 and proceeds go toward much needed supplies. However it is adults only! You must be 18 or older to participate.

I, unfortunately, will most likely not be going, but I hope to next year. Hope everyone who goes has fun! (click on the link above for more info)

Monday, April 2, 2012

As Promised..

My lettuce sprouts reaching for the springtime sun. Can't wait for them to fully mature! I'll probably have to do some additional bunny-proofing to keep Umbra away.