Saturday, November 23, 2013

Good News/ Bad News

On Thursday I took the next step in the Umbra/Roger saga. I took Roger to the vet and my grandpa tagged along. There, we received some mixed results.

Bad News: Roger is a full pound overweight! Grandma was told to cut out the cheerios and corn and limit pellets and treats.

Good News: Despite being neglected he is in relatively good health: clean ears, no parasites, good teeth. Plus the vet thought he was very easy to handle.

More Bad News: Roger is in fact, not neutered.

Even More Bad New: Roger has been renamed Regina, because he is a she. And my grandpa is reluctant to shell out $200 for to have her spayed. The vet didn't stress having Regina fixed anyhow, noting the health and behavior benefits, but also seeing it as not essential as Regina is of an unknown age.

Also, there was some misunderstanding on my part, of what is known of recently redubbed Regina's past. She actually belonged to my step-uncle (not step great uncle). He was the 3rd or 4th owner of the rabbit. He also didn't have cats which former-Roger was friends with, but other rabbits (who I now feel are also in need of rescuing) who did not get along with him/her which is why he/she was passed off on my grandparents.

Some more good news would be that, although I have decided to forgo bonding, Regina is in a better home now. I even convinced my grandpa to allow her to move from the mudroom between the house and the garage into the spare bedroom.

I have also begun gathering supplies to make Regina a nice multi-level condo so that she can work some of that weight off.

So overall, yes I am disappointed that I will not be bonding Umbra anytime soon, but I am glad that Regina will stay with my grandma, who seems to have grown attached to her (she complained that my grandpa wont let her have a dog or lizards so I think she is happy to have a new animal in the house).

Despite this unexpected turn of events, I'm sure I will continue to update you on Regina.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Finally, an Update on Roger

So here I have been waiting for weeks for my grandpa to call me when he got that rabbit and he never did. I had all but forgotten when I visited my grandparent yesterday, and there was Roger right when we walked in. My grandpa was worried that the Roger and Umbra wouldn't get along so he decided not to tell me, but of course I found out.

They don't know much about him. Supposedly he is neutered, but since my grandparents are his 3rd or 4th owners, no one knows even how old he is or what breed. I thought that he is a Netherland Dwarf mix on account of short ears but medium size.

There is concern about Roger suffering some neglect. When my grandparents got him, his nails were way over grown. Also, he hasn't had the most nutritious diet. My grandparents have been feeding him hay, but also maybe a little too much pellets and treats. My grandma even gives him corn and cheerios! 

So maybe his living conditions are not ideal, but my grandparents are trying their best. I am going to make an appointment for Roger with my vet on Monday and then I will begin planning a bunny play date if Roger gets a clean bill of health.

More to come soon!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Humane Society Volunteering Update

So once upon a time I express interest in volunteering for the Humane Society again. I had for a while when I lived in Indianapolis, but they didn't have bunnies, and my hometown shelter does. I put in an application back in August (maybe?) but I was told the next training session was not until September.

Well September and October came and went and I never got a call. I was beginning to think maybe I should re-apply, but finally I was invited to the volunteer orientation last weekend.

They only had three buns when I was there, and they were still being housed with cats across from the noisy dog kennel. The manager who led our tour did say that plans were in the works for building a new shelter with separate facilities for treating incoming dogs and cats and more rooms for meet-and-greats AND a room just for small critters like bunnies and rodents and such.

I can't wait to get started, but I do dread the extra disapproval Umbra will give me when I come home smelling of different bunnies. It will be worth it though, not only does the shelter get an influx of buns after Easter, but our county is known for it's 4H fair, and their are an even greater number of abandoned rabbits that come in then.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Jeez! I need to update more often!!

Sorry again for the lengthy hiatus =[.

Here are some videos of Umbra being a turd to make up for it!!!

This first one is Umbra making a mess. I finally caught her in the act! I keep finding piles of poops on the bed, and one night she had the audacity to do this in my presence! Does anyone else's bunny do this? She acts like she is going for a cecotrope but instead leaves a mess of half-munched bunny-berries. Sometimes she sits on the pile for a while like she's trying to hatch an egg. Sometimes I just don't understand her...


Okay, the next video is another peculiar habit of Umbra's. I noticed long ago that she has a strange attraction to fresh nail polish. Usually, I paint my nails in the living room, but I thought I could get away with painting them while watching Netflix in bed... I was wrong. I have never seen Umbra get so violent trying to get to my nails, before I started filming she was pulling on my shirt and she bit my finger twice! Again I have no explanation for this behavior, is this something that all bunnies do?

Also, just an update on Umbra's possible bonding to Roger... there is no update, my grandpa never got back to me.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Fosters needed

It seems like Indiana rescues have been flooded with confiscated rabbits the past year. The latest batch of 16 buns were taken from a snake breeder along with various other animals. However, IHRS fosters are still at capacity from the 300+ rabbits rescued from the former VP of the Rex Rabbit Breeders Association.

IHRS is concerned that the 16 buns will soon multiply since they were not caged separately: many of the rabbits are likely pregnant.

If you live in Indiana, or can transport some bunnies to other rescues or your own home, I know IHRS would greatly appreciate it. Unfortunately, my current living situation keeps me from fostering myself, but I will pass the news along.

You can contact IHRS on Facebook or via their website.


Do you remember how Umbra shredded the carpet (which happened to be brand new) in at least 4 places in my old apartment? Well I was worried that when I eventually moved out that the landlords would not be too happy.

I moved out last year, but my old roommate continued to live there another year. However, over the summer they all moved out, one moved in with a friend, and the other two roommates got a new apartment together with a foreign student from France.

Since it has been a couple month and I had heard nothing, I thought I was home free. . . . Until last night when Umbra's mischief and my inexperience in bunny-proofing when one of my old roomies messaged me on Facebook saying that I owed the apartment complex $67 for carpet damage. . .

Too bad Umbra can't get a job, of course I did say I would take full responsibility if it came down to it. Let this be a lesson for all you bunny people/renters= bunny-proof, bunny-proof, bunny-proof!!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blind date

So I know I've been slacking in keeping up on posts here, but I have got some news that I definitely couldn't put off. I just got a call from my grandfather asking if I still wanted a rabbit. He had apparently forgotten that I already have one, but nevertheless asked if I would like another. The bun in question is a neutered male belonging to my great uncle (actually my step-great uncle, my family is complicated) who for some reason or another can no longer take care of him. I vaguely remember hearing about him last time I visited my grandparents; Roger Rabbit (we will have to change that name I think) is a house rabbit and gets along well with cats.

I told my grandpa I would have to make sure Umbra and Roger got along by introducing them first. He thought that was funny. "How do you introduce rabbits?" he asked. "Do you say.. what was your rabbits name?"




"Oh Pandora."

"No, it's Umbra." (needless to say he is hard of hearing and its nearly impossible to have a conversation over the phone).

"Oh well whatever, do you say well I'd like you to meet Roger?" He thought he was pretty funny.

Anyway, he said he would give me a call when the rabbit arrived at their house. Fingers crossed that he is in good health and that Umbra doesn't kill him (and that my mom doesn't kill me.. or her dad).

Friday, August 16, 2013


Umbra has been particularly stubborn when it comes to nail trimming. She won't allow herself to be held but if she is in the expen she will let me hold each paw and cut the nails. The only drawback is getting those pesky "thumb" claws on the inside of the front paws. But sometimes you have to compromise in your relationships lol.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

When there is a will there's a way...

... to destroy things.

So we finally got our new carpet in so I don't have to keep Umbra from trying to eating the exposed plywood, but don't worry she has found some other way to be mischievous. We still haven't reinstalled the baseboards, and I think we all know how much bunnies love to munch on drywall. Luckily, when they baseboards are replaced it should cover up the damage.

What's funny is that I was beginning to think I could trust Umbra to behave (like a human) while unsupervised. I have since been reminded that she is a bunny and will do bunny things like chew the walls and dig up the carpet.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dear Guest,

When I said you could pet Umbra and give her a treat I did not mean you can pick her up.

Dear Umbra,

Sorry please forgive me bunny-overlord.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Nail trimming drama

As a human this is my logic when it comes time to groom bunny: "Hey, while I'm brushing bunny, I might as well cut her nails. No sense in trying to catch her twice. We will get it out of the way now..."

This is bunny's logic:


(note to self: remember to wear pants when cutting bunny talons)

P.S. An update on the Humane Society situation, they are not holding anymore volunteer orientations until August (or maybe it was September). Either way, kinda bummed. I did drop off a bag of hay and some toys that Umbra doesn't play with.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rough night

Umbra was feeling sluggish yesterday evening. I noticed that she had just been laying around, I gave her a frozen bottle thinking maybe she was hot. She acted like she couldn't get comfortable.

Then I realized it was past suppertime and Umbra had neglected to alert me to my negligence. But when I got her food, she continued to lay in the corner instead of her usual happy-food-time dance. She didn't seem to have drank much water either; her dish was still half full as it had been since the morning. Usually I have to fill it at least once a day.

Although I was worried, I managed to go to sleep. Around 4 a.m. I woke to Umbra munching on a shoebox. She still hadn't touched her pellets, but it looked like she may have eaten some hay. I sat up with her for a while and eventually she did have a few pellets, a long drink and some more hay.

When I got up around 9:30 she had finally eaten all of her pellets and was moving around more. She seems to be back to normal but I did call the vet. I am going to be keeping her under close observation for the next week in case of anymore scares, in which case we will have to see the vet. Need to get some Critical Care just to be on the safe side.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Was catching up on my subscription feed where I learned about this eco-friendly furniture that is sleek and modern, and includes a seat for your pets as well. I could see myself owning this! Having pet-safe furniture is even more important when your pets like to munch on it.

pic courtesy of M.pup

pic courtesy of M.pup
Unfortunately, the company is based out of South Korea, so I don't know how accessible they would be here.You can read more about this product at Treehugger and M.pup.

So much going on!

I will do this in chronological order:

1) Tuesday Umbra flopped. Yes flops are cute but its kinda a big deal, because Umbra hasn't flopped when she is petted in over a year. She quit doing it shortly after she was spayed with the exception of the occasional post-dinner/bed-time-flop (contact with human not required).

2) I went to Bloomington to visit my big bro again, leaving Umbra in the care of my mom. Like most holidays, she was simultaneously house/dog sitting for others so Umbra didn't get much attention and she let me know it when I got home.

I, however, did get my bunny fix while on vacation. Tried to convince my brother to adopt a cat as the area human society was having a Free Feline Friday event. He didn't get a cat, but he did decide to volunteer, probably walking dogs since he doesn't have the time or space for a dog of his own right now (side note: quietest dog kennel I have ever been too, those pups got so much attention they were wiped out!). In the meantime I met the resident bunnies, who were all spayed and neutered, although they could use a little more hay. I played with a lovely Silver Fox named Bao, and plucked a patchy Rex named Beatrice. All the buns were friendly and in good shaped, not stressed out and anxious like the ones at Elkhart Humane.

Bao who is incorrectly classified as a Dutch (pics via Petfinder)

Beatrice not looking as shabby as she did in person (pics via Petfinder)
Both of these girls have bond mates and are looking for forever homes, I definitely recommend Bloomington Animal Shelter to anyone in the area looking for a bunny or other animal.

3) Since my return Umbra has been up to mischievous self. This morning she nibbled a cable connected to the T.V. causing the signal to cut out, then I found this just moments ago...

Umbra has never put one of her blankies in the litter box! This one is usually stuffed in her hidey-hole a couple feet away. What's more is she also missed the mark when she peed. I guess this is revenge for leaving.

Just so you know Umbra dear, I do hate leaving you. I miss my bunny terribly and I hate that she gets so upset when I go. If I could I would take her everywhere with me, but I'm sure she wouldn't like that a whole lot either.

Monday, July 1, 2013

For Lorna Appleby of Fuzzy Creatures Blog

For the followers of Fuzzy Creatures, you might be amused by the dream I had a few nights ago. In the dream I woke up to a little black bunny digging under my bed. At first I thought it was Umbra but then I realized she was smaller. Soon more bunnies started popping up! They were all over the bed room and had even chewed through the wall into the living room. Somebunny had eaten all the buttons off the remote, and nibbled at the case of my iPod.

Some of the rabbits I recognized from some of the blogs I follow, as well as some of the IHRS rescues and some of the many rabbits of Instagram. Soon the humans of these bunnies turned up to retrieve their runaways, but it was difficult to find a specific bun amidst the hordes of bunnies that had now taken over the entire house; there were bunnies in places I couldn't imagine how they had gotten there (like on top of the doors).

By time I woke up, I had still not figured out where they had all come from; I suppose my dream self must have left the closest open! (Fuzzy Creatures followers will know what I mean).

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cuteness Overload

Get ready to squee; here is a ton of Umbra pictures. Behold the glorious beauty of the queen.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Path of Destruction

Oh Umbra, you have been up to some mischief!

May I draw your attention to exibit #1.

I suspect the inmate has been devising an escape plan

Well as you can see Umbra has started nibbling away at the fence. The plastic is proving not as durable as I had hoped; some parts are nearly chewed through. I must not devise some way to protect the fence but still allow for airflow (suggestions welcome).

Now let us examine figure #2

Mmmm, paraffin wax my favorite!
As you may remember, we recently experienced some blustery weather that resulted in a prolonged power outage (about 12 hours!). This is one of the LED candles, made of real wax, which apparently is very appetizing to little bunnies. Good thing I got them at an extreme discount.

Of course Umbra was soon forgiven. It's just something you have to get used to doing when you have house rabbits. Bunny is just following her instincts and human should be more careful about where they leave their things.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Weather Worries

Well it's been a stormy past couple of days. We are experiencing one right now in fact. Came home last night to no power, but at least the storm brought in cooler air.

I learned that bunnies do not like candles. I had set some on the sill of the open window and the dancing shadows had Umbra pretty disturbed. I've lit them in the past but I suppose they are not so scary with the lights on. Luckily for Umbra I remembered that I had some LED candles I had gotten at work but had yet to use. They are pretty realistic, but the flickering is a bit more subdued so Umbra settled down and I didn't have to trip over her and anything else.

Another good thing about storms is Umbra suddenly becomes a super cuddle bun. She laid next to me much of the night and even voluntarily sat in my lap!

How do your bunnies react to adverse weather?

Friday, June 14, 2013

More on Umbra's Ears

I attempted to take a video to demonstrate the condition of Umbra's ears, but she has never cared to be on the big screen (or any screen). I will try again later, maybe I just need to be stealthier, because she seems to especially enjoy a nice ear scritch when they get all flaky.

I did dig up a post I saw last year which seems to be the same as what Umbra experiences. It doesn't give much explanation, other than I'm not the only one who has seen this. I think it is safe to say that it will be a regular occurrence during the summer molt. When I had the vet check for fur mites last year (what I thought the symptoms pointed to in my limited experience), he likened it to something called "slipping" in chinchillas, possibly brought on by hormone imbalance from her recent spay. However, more than a year after spay, I think it is safe to say that it is not the cause, but I am none too worried, although last time I thought Umbra's ears would be bald forever, I now know better.

My Heroic Deed of the Day

Spotted a tiny cotton tail while mowing when I came within a foot of it. Good thing I was paying attention, because the little guy didn't budge. Usually I don't interfere with wild bunny kits but I scooped him on and placed him under a bush in my neighbors yard. Checked back later and he was gone.

Now that I am thoroughly obsessed with bunnies, people like to point every wild rabbit out to me, or tell me about how they found a nest, or their cat found a nest. I feel like they are trying to impress me, but while I enjoy watching all wildlife, it kinda gets old to hear about everyone's rabbit rescue attempt. I try to not to shout "Just leave them alone!" but I know they mean well... You should probably put a bell or a bib on your cat though so as to give the birds a fighting chance. (and the reptiles and amphibians too).

Thursday, June 6, 2013

New Bunny Blocker

Picked up a new child bunny fence. I was disappointed that the only fences made out of medal had spaces large enough for Umbra to get through, or potentially get her head stuck. So mine is made of plastic and untreated wood, but hopefully its rigid enough to stand up to her teeth.

Besides the added airflow, there is another perk to having this fence. I decided to leave it up all the time because, even tho I have to step over it whenever I leave or enter the room, it does save my feet from being shredded by the claws of a bossy bunny whenever I try to open the door.

One downside is that when I do want the door closed, Umbra will refuse to move out of the way. Instead of making way for the door she heads toward the hinge and refuses to budge. Of course this is hardly a complaint compared to having to chase an escaped bun around the house when you are already late for work, or say 4 a.m. when you get up to use the bathroom.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Flakey Ears

Umbra has them again. Skin is flaking of her ears along with her hair. I suppose this will turn out to be a normal occurrence during the summer molt.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Prodigal Human Returns!

Yes, I spent the long weekend visiting my brother in Bloomington, but of course my heart pined to be with my little queen. I missed bunny kisses on my nose in the morning (even if it is 5 a.m.) I even missed the grumping, which I was submitted to upon my return.

Lucky for my, the bunny queen is merciful and got over her grumpiness soon. I think it helped that my mom put a little more effort into bunny-sitting; she even let Umbra out for play time!

I did get my bunny fix while I was away and I have a ton of pictures of bunny antiques to share, but that will come another day as I have just endured a 4.5 hour drive.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Alarm Clock

Don't you hate when your alarm doesn't go off? Usually I would agree, but it's a pleasant surprise when the furry, four-legged alarm clock usually set for 5 a.m. lets you off feeding duty.

. . . Either that or I forgot that I had fed Umbra already so she got to breakfasts.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Long over due

I'm not quite done with school for the year so between that, my job and some personal stuff, I have been neglecting the blog. As an apology here is a cute video of Umbra playing with a coat hanger she managed to get out of the closet even tho it was closed.

I think there was a better video, but I accidentally deleted it.

Anyway I hope everyone's summer is off to a good start and your bunnies are keeping cool. Umbra is enjoying our new wood floor its a much cooler resting place. I'm going to be looking for a child gate for my bedroom so that I can keep the door open so cool air gets in (we don't have central a.c.).

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Text books

I guess we will be seeing more of each other because they are in too bad of shape to be returned according to the rental agreement. The bookstore ladies got a kick out of Umbra's little munchy marks though.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I always though Umbra liked keyboards, mostly the click of the keys when she hops on them while I am trying to write an essay. Last night she took it to a new level.

Luckily she only managed to pull off the page up and down keys which I never use. I was able to reattach them too, but they aren't quite the same.... Umbra is lucky she is too cute to punish.

P.S. I saw a squirrel binky today. I tried to get a video but of course it didn't do it again. You should know that I really like squirrels too, but not as much as bunnies.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Odd Couples on Nature

This episode of Nature aired last fall (on my birthday in fact), but I just happened to not watch it until last night... instead of reading for class, but that is besides the point. The episode featured various animal "odd couples" who shared tight bonds despite being different species.

One peculiar friendship was between a dog and a rabbit, although it wasn't one of the featured relationships. Still a good watch nonetheless. Explores the longstanding belief in science that animals don't have emotions or relationships like humans do. True, animal emotions and bonds differ than humans, but it doesn't make them any less real or strong. I thought it was a little silly that scientists are spending all this time researching, trying to prove something that much of society has experienced. I think the closeness we have with our pets is testament enough to animal friendship; I consider Umbra my friend, and I think she feels the same (although there is some debate over who wears the pants so to speak.. obviously rabbits don't actually wear pants) There is a great quote in the episode: "the plural of anecdote is data". How many of us know of amazing animal friendships whether inter-species or not. I once had a cat and a parakeet that were best of friends. When the bird became suddenly ill and died, my cat sat on top of her cage all night and cried. They used to share bird seed (the cat was a pig and would eat anything but that is another story).

I feel that this is really relevant to rabbits as well. A lot of people think that they can just through two rabbits together and everything will be dandy. But like people, not all animals get along with everyone of the same species; they all have distinct personalities and not all of them are compatible. This goes for other pets as well. Since I have had Umbra I and during my time volunteering at Indy Humane, why people only have to have meet-and-greets with their dogs, but not cats and certainly not rabbits. I give IHS the credit for assessing the personality of the animals. For example and cat might be labeled as needing a single cat home or being good with both cats and dogs, but people didn't need to introduce their current cats to a potential adoptee. When I went to Elkhart Humane, they thought I was crazy that I would want to introduce Umbra to her suitors before adopting (which fell through anyway).

If people didn't underestimate animals so much maybe we would care more about how we treat them and our environment. They have a lot to teach us too.

Joy of Rabbit Parenting 6

Rabbit tries to dig through you like you are just a pile of dirt in her way. Thank you bunny, that helps my self-esteem tremendously.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bringing in spring

Nothing says spring like a fresh start. It's been over a year that I've had this blog and I think it is about due for a make over.

I may redo the layout/graphics as well as my domain name (I guess I'm copying you Speedy's mum). If I do I might take the name of Umbra's instagram account: Miss_Umbra.

Any suggestions/advice?

Thank you too all of my readers and friends, I have enjoyed your input and your stories this year (and hopefully I will be posting more regularly again once summer rolls around).

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Construction Update

So Umbra has still been driving me crazy and the living room is no where close to being completed. She got out a few days after the last post late at night and I had to chase her around the the living room in the dark.

Since then I've given up and let her have play time a couple times. The first time she was such a trouble maker: getting into the TV cables, tearing up the edges of the remaining carpet, chewing on the edges of the new bamboo flooring.

Shes being a little better today. She has been hesitant to run her laps like she usually does because of the slick surface, but man is it funny when she does.

Shes laying down right now on the exposed plywood (it doesn't look to comfortable to me), so hopefully that is a sign that she has burned off some of that extra energy and will stop waking me up at 3 a.m.

Thank you Umbra

Usually you wake me up way too early, but thanks for waking me up at 7:02 when my alarm didn't go off.... even though I decided to sleep in another 20 minutes anyway.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Under Construction

My mom is renovating our living room. Mainly we are tearing up the old carpet and replacing some areas with bamboo flooring, the rest will get new carpet. In the mean time the plywood is all exposed and there are edges of the carpet that have been cut away and are perfect for a bunny to shred. So until the new flooring goes down, Umbra will be cooped up in my bed room and its only been a few day but she is already really antsy. She is always boxing the door or trying to dig under it and just the other day she decided that I should now feed her at 4 A.M. instead of 5, as per usual. Even after she is fed she has taken to bothering me anyway just for spite. I don't know who will be crazier when this is over, me or the rabbit.

Anyway, a family friend is supposed to start working on our project today and hopefully it will be quick work. I want my living room back and Umbra desperately needs her play time.

In unrelated news, I may have to drop the Marine Biology class I was planning to take in Florida in May due to schedule conflicts for my senior year. I will be unable to get my minor in environmental science if I want to graduate next spring anyway, plus I will have to take a summer class next year as well so technically I won't be graduating on time anyway. This means I will have to push my wedding back as well. My mom isn't too concerned about that though.

On the bright side, if I miss out on this once in a life time opportunity to go snorkeling everyday for two weeks in the Keys, I won't have to find a sitter for Umbra and therefore not be disapproved of by her royal highness to the utmost degree. My fiance will probably be glad if I stick around as well.

Monday, April 1, 2013


Umbra gave me a bit of a scare the other day. I was away a couple of nights over the weekend, and when I returned yesterday, Umbra was acting a odd. She didn't want to eat and was being aggressive. I let her out to go play and she just sat under a chair. She wouldn't come out for lettuce or treats.

I was starting to worry that maybe she was having some GI problems, maybe caused by her moult, but then I remembered that last time I was away for a weekend she had acted the same way.

I was really relieved when she started to eat again after a little while, but she was still standoffish. At the same time I remembered another worry that I had about my plans to go to Florida for a month. The trip is fast approaching and I still haven't found a suitable sitter. I debating whether or not I should go: there are other classes I could take at home, but they certainly won't be as fun a snorkeling for three weeks in the keys. If I decide to go, I hope that whoever cares for Umbra in my absence will give her lots of attention; I think that is part of the problem. When I have gone away in the past, my mom or my fiance took care of Umbra, and neither did more than give her food and water. Maybe separation wouldn't be so hard on her if someone spent a lot of time with her.

Either way, it is nice to know that she likes me enough to miss me, although I will have to do a lot (more) sucking up to her this week.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Where we are all headed..

.. crazy bunny lady/man. Saw this on Anderson Cooper this morning. Unfortunately, the embedding was not cooperating but you can follow the hyperlink above.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Rescue Bunny

Okay, so Rodger the rescued rabbit may be a small, ceramic figurine but I'm proud just the same. He was waiting for me at the cash/wrap when I came into work the other day with a  severed leg. When I had a moment I broke out the super glue and mended his wound. It took a few tries: the pieces were small and delicate and I glued them to my fingers in the process. And then I glued Rodger to the counter, glued my hand to the counter, glued my hand to Rodger and glued my hands together. Sadly, I already knew from past experience that I should avoid super glue at all costs.

Either way my efforts paid off. I purchased Rodger as-is for half price (employee discount does not apply). It may seem silly that I have such a soft spot for an inanimate rabbit, but I guess this is my way for preparing for future rescues of real rabbits. It will take a lot more patience than it will super glue, but I hope that rabbits are always a part of my life. I will one day make up for buying Umbra by saving those less fortunate lagomorphs.

I think that this event lead to a dream where I had three rabbits, including Umbra, and acquired a forth foster, who I hoped would be Umbra's husbun. The match wasn't to be, but at least I have realistic expectations in my subconscious wanderings.

I also had a pet vulture. Don't ask me why. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Bunnies Blamed for the extinction of Neanderthals

A "New Scientist" article revealed a theory that the disappearance of prehistoric large mammals which were the prey of Neanderthals and the rise of rabbits may have lead to the extinction of our hominid cousins. The article explains that the Neanderthals were unable to strategize and use teamwork to catch rabbits when other food became scarce.

What is more important than this scientific discovery is that we should be looking for the lagomorphs' next target. By now you may be familiar with Denver airport's rabbit problem. Is this indication that rabbits will next wipe out Homo Sapiens? They have already infiltrated many of our homes (don't let them see this! I am typing this while out of the house to avoid Umbra, if she realized I have discovered her plot we will all be doomed!)


In reference to my last post, Speedy's mum of Speedy the Cheeky House Bunny, has pointed out that because Umbra has crazy whiskers, she is a Rex after all. Sorry for the confusion and panic. (Although her fur texture leads me to believe still that she may not be a pure breed, but she is still awesome in my book.)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Surprise

Today I drove down to Indy to photograph some rabbits fostered by a IHRS member. It was great to play with all the bunnies; all six had different personalities. I invited the fiance but he didn't come, but I think he regrets it because many of the rabbits were social ( I hope Umbra finds a cuddly husbun).

Anyway, I'm visiting my old roommates, so I'm going to keep this short, but I made a shocking discovery: I was playing with an adorable little rex girl who was also an amputee, and I told Mary, the foster mom, that Umbra must be a mixed rex because her hair is soft but a little longer and not so plush. I was informed that Umbra was probably a satin... I feel like a bad bun mom! Well I will be making an amendment to the blog description. I apologize for the false information.


Last night I filled up Umbra's hay manger before I went to bed. But as I was preparing to turn it in for the night I noticed my engagement ring was missing. I dug through the top flake of my 50lb box of hay (which I have barely made a dent in) and tore through Umbra's hay manger. No ring. Repeat process.

Well it was late I decided to try again in the morning. Lucky for me it was in the bottom of the manger and not the giant bale.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Vet Visit Pictures

I'm doing a photo essay on having a house rabbit for photo journalism class. Here is some from Umbra's appointment today.

Vet Visit Results

Just got back from Umbra's check up. Overall she is in good health, and I think this is a good vet. She was very knowledgeable with plenty of experience with rabbits.

The vet thinks Umbra could stand to loose about a 1/4lb. I guess I spoil her a little bit.

She also checked out Umbra's wonky toe. She didn't think it was dislocated, but definitely was injured somehow. I was right about the nerve damage tho, the vet said that this had caused muscle atrophy in the toe, but it wasn't a serious issue. I asked about the sore hock too, and she said since the callouses aren't split they should be fine.

Next, she checked Umbra's teeth. There are a few points, but I guess they aren't serious. I should have them filed in a couple years.

Overall it was a good visit. Umbra won't need to go back for a year and is happy and healthy (okay maybe not so happy at the moment but she will get over it). Umbra behaved very well too; she was a little scared but not terribly, and didn't struggle when the vet handled her and didn't growl or bite at all. She got a treat when we got home (but there will have to be less of those.. little chunk).

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vet Check Up

Umbra has an appointment for the vet this Thursday. We haven't seen this vet before so I hope it goes well. Its just a yearly check up so nothing big, but I'm sure Umbra will make a fuss about it.

Monday, February 25, 2013

An Extended Joy of Rabbit Parenting

I noticed that when I stay up late working on homework Umbra has a habit of being brattier. I think she is cranky because she wants to sleep, like a young child that has missed there nap.

Now that I am on spring break I thought I would catch up on my shows. Of course now that it is not imperative that I stay up late working on a project, Umbra decides she will lay quietly in the corner instead of trying to eat my laptop.

Monday, February 18, 2013

You know you are a rabbit nerd when..

You comment on internet news stories saying things like "rabbits aren't rodents, they are lagomorphs.. get it right." And you people call yourselves journalists... I'm doubly ashamed.

Said video which incorrectly categorizes rabbits as rodents. Please feel free to shame the Weather Channel for their indiscretion. Last time I checked they didn't have the authority to discuss biology. Thank you.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Valentines

It's still a few days away, but Umbra made me something a little early.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Rabbits in Children's Literature

While researching for the previous post, I came across a list on Amazon of the top ten rabbits in children's books. Until now I had not realized how many books I had enjoyed when I was little about bunnies.

Of course, "Peter Rabbit" is a classic. However, as a child it bothered me that Peter blatantly disobeyed his mother. Clearly I was the good child in my family.

Another classic, and another book which played with my emotions, but I was so happy for the velveteen rabbit to be reunited in the end. Now I have my own velveteen rabbit of sorts.

Another list of bunny books is supplied by Scholastic.

Not entirely sure, but this one seemed familiar. A few of the "Max and Ruby" series were listed as well.

This one was a particular favorite of mine. I believe it is still on our book shelf and can also be found on Amazon, under Rabbits- Animal books.

This last one didn't make any of the lists (at least not in the first five pages of the last one) but I remember reading it around 2nd grade.

What are a few of you favorite bunny books?

(images courtesy and

Forgot to Mention..

I would be the only one to spot coolple bunny stuff in a horror movie. A couple weeks ago the fiance and I went and saw "Mama". It was decently frightful, didn't care for the ending much, but I did really like a lamp in the shape of a bunny that was in the film.

Can't say for sure which ones of the following were the ones were featured in the film, but here are some that found.

This is closest I think to the movie. Plenty of colors. These are sold in England for 69 lbs (not weight, the currency, but my laptop only has $... do English laptops have the pound sign?)

Awfully cute as well. I believe it is based on the character, Miffy of a popular Children's book.

Also similar to the one from said movie.

Finally, a little more grown up and chic but just as cute.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Changes in the Past Year

I noticed this evening while trimming Umbra's nails that she no longer run and hides behind/under the furniture afterwards (or during if she gets particularly squirmy, and then I have to catch her all over again). She wouldn't even come out for a "please-forgive-me" treat.

Now she expects, even demands, a treat. A first she will run off, kicking at me (so rude), but she quickly comes back grunting and biting. "Give me a treat.. and then I will consider lessening your punishment".

Monday, January 28, 2013

Parkour Bunny

This rabbit has skills. I can't imagine all the trouble Umbra would get into if she learned to do this.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

There is nothing like..

Free lettuce.

My mom scored a bunch of left over lettuce as well as celery and carrot tops from a church event. She can blame Umbra for clogging the vacuum all she wants but deep inside she loves her too.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rabbits and Animal Testing

Its no secret that rabbits have long been a popular test subject. According to the American Anti-Vivisection Society, rabbits used in medical research  more frequently than any other species, currently about 200,000 per year. Many sources cite that the reason for this is that rabbit are easy to breed and easy to handle (I should say non of these "researchers" ever tried to trim a rabbits nails). You may have also noticed that your rabbit hardly ever blinks; this made them convenient for the Draize eye irritant tests. Rabbits have also been the subject of pregnancy testing.

So why am I bringing all of this unpleasantness up? I just saw a PETA campaign against the testing of tobacco products on animals, including rabbits. Among all the arguments I could raise against animal testing, what bothers me most about this is that the dangers of smoking has been known for decades. I can't imagine the usefulness of this research.

I took a class in communications research last semester, and while this differs in many ways from scientific or medical research, one of the first questions you have to ask yourself when starting a project is "is this useful/important?" In this case I say certainly not. I wonder how this was approved/ funded. We already know how bad smoking is; we know that quitting is the only way to avoid the repercussions of smoking.

You can learn more about PETAs campaign against testing of tobacco products here, or contact your government representatives and request legislation against animal testing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Various Rabbit Items

Over the weekend I went to a bridal expo with my friend and future maid of honor. To my surprise I won a door prize: a $50 gift certificate to a little boutique. Of course only I would spot all the bunny merchandise they had to offer.
 For some reason they downloaded sideways and I am unable to right them.

This last one was not at the store, it was made for me by a IHRS member. She has started selling these pom-pom bunnies to raise money for IHRS. This is my little Umbra pom-bunny. It's pretty cute and soft, but of course no comparison to the original.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Wood Pellets as Litter Update

So I am on my second litter box of wood stove pellets as alternative litter. It absorbs so well, I discovered I have to use less. Umbra's litter box was filled with droppings before even half of the pellets had gotten wet.

The only drawbacks are that Umbra kept snacking on them at first, but I haven't seen her do it since. However, whenever I fill up her litter box she comes running because she thinks I'm getting her food. I don't mean to tease her, but they aren't those kind of pellets. I give her a treat anyway, just so she won't go insane (and plot my murder).

The verdict: thumbs up for wood stove pellets. Inexpensive and super absorptive; what more could you ask for?

Hay Update

I picked up my 50 lb box of Oxbow hay yesterday. It looks great: nice and green and fragrant. I was pleasantly surprised to be refunded almost $6 for my purchase, but this has lead to some internal conflict. In my previous post "Small Pet Supplies Rant" I mentioned that Pet Supplies Plus and Small Pet Select sell 50 lb of hay for the same price. Because of this I was going to buy my hay from Small Pet Select in the future. I would like to support a small business dedicated solely to the well being of small animals, especially rabbits, but I also like to save money.

Quite the predicament. Any suggestions?

An added benefit to buying from Small Pet Select is I don't have to get depressed whenever I see bunnies for sale at the pet store (although Pet Supplies Plus seems to be not as irresponsible as Uncle Bill's). I saw these little guys the were on "sale". I really hope they end up in good homes, I wish I could save them all. They seemed so happy, the little flopped one was grooming his/her dutch friend and flopped over making a little bunny ying yang. I couldn't help snapping a pic even if it made me sad. Good luck little guys!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Why is there more cute bunny stuff at my work! ladknduaidfpopaeradn. I was going to post a couple pictures of the few bunny items we have, and on the website there is even more. I'm never going to be able to save money now!!!

Careful, your real bunny might want to eat this one though.
See more at Pier 1.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


In non rabbit news, I added the Followers gadgets I would love it if you joined! Thanks all, hope you had a wonderful weekend!!!

Introducing Snow

I've seen a couple videos of other people's rabbits enjoying the snow. So much fun digging... but as you can see from the video below, she really didn't care about the snow. More than anything she was just mad that I picked her up to put her there.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Umbra's Foot Part 2 (and other news)

See figure one (ipods do not take the highest quality picture, sorry).

Also an apology for Umbra is in order.. I did not mean to shut you in the closet earlier, you just blend in with the shadows (you are named after a kind of shadow after all). Sorry.

Another side note. I joke often about wanting to lint roll Umbra, and then someone told me it actually works quite well, especially with Rex fur which brushes do little to remove. So since all lint rollers have mysteriously gone missing (Lorna this is fodder for you next story). I had to buy another. It is a miracle and just in time for Umbra's big molt. I will make a video later about bunny lint rolling technique.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bunny Foot

A while back I thought one of Umbra's toes on her hind foot looked kinda funky. I didn't think much of it at the time, plus she really dislikes having her feet touched. I managed to get a a better look at it the other day when I noticed it still looked off. The toe in question sticks up a bit at an odd angle, and when I touched it Umbra did not jump away like she usually does. I'm thinking maybe it is dislocated and that she has lost feeling in it. It seemed a lot more pliable than the same toe on the other foot.

Anyway, it is about time for Umbra's annual check up so we will see what the doc thinks (I believe I have located a reputable one in the area, since we have moved). In the meantime, maybe Lorna of Fuzzy Critters may have an explanation for this mysterious injury?

If possible I'll snap a pic and you all can weigh in.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Joy of Rabbit Parenting 5

Rabbit eats my checkbook, both metaphorically and literally.

A "Small Pet" Supplies Rant

I know this seems pretty grumpy way to start out the new year, but consider this a cleansing of my misgiving of the small pet supplies industry. Lately, I have been trying to cut spending wherever possible in order to save money for my wedding. The last place I would want to cut spending in on Umbra. She deserves the best care I can afford, but I'm noticing that a lot of the items marketed for small animal use, are way over priced.

Example 1: bedding/litter

Currently I use Carefresh Natural, which is made from the byproducts of paper mills. Not only is this resourceful (I'm a major green-nerd, I love it when we find uses for everything) but it also compostable. It is super absorptive, and is compressed to a third of it's size, which is convenient for storing. The drawback is the price (similar off brands are not much better). The 60L bag runs about $20, and I estimate that I go through about one of these a month. That's $160 a year. Considering I have just one small breed rabbit, multi-rabbit homes or large bunnies could go through much more (also depending how often you change the litter box, I do mine every other day).

Although I think Carefresh is a great product, I went in search of a less pricy option. I learned that the some of the Indiana House Rabbit Society members use wood-stove pellets for litter. I am assured they are safe for alternative litter. Similar pelleted fibers are marketed for pets, like this pelleted straw from Oxbow, runs about $12 for 8lbs. I got a 40 lbs of wood stove pellets at Lowes for $4, quite a  difference. I have yet to try them out, but I will submit a verdict soon. Wood pellets are available at most hardware/ home improvement stores.

Example 2: hay

We all know how vital hay is in the diet of most small herbivores. Rabbits need 24/7 access to hay, and a healthy rabbit will take good advantage of it. Usually I feed Umbra Oxbow band Western Timothy hay, but buying the bagged hay from the pet store really adds up. Most pet stores will carry bags up to 3 lbs and costing between $10-12. One store in my area carries a larger bag (6lbs I think) for closer to $20. Either of these options will cost you around $3 per pound.

Ideally, you would discover a local farm that sells Timothy, or some other high quality grass hay (i.e. not primarily alfalfa... good luck), in which case a bale will go for somewhere around $5. If you are unfortunate, like myself, local farmers and feed stores only carry alfalfa, or and alfalfa-grass blend (hard knowing if there is an acceptable ratio of the two). I have found some other alternatives. Pets Supplies Plus will order 50lb bales from Oxbow if you inquire. I ordered my first today for $64 (half the price per unit of the bags they keep in stock). Ask at your local pet store to see if they do the same. You can also buy from I took advantage of a sale they had a while back and ordered an 8lb box for close to $20, a small savings from my usual purchase. At this point I will apologize for not making a review post as I had promised. They hay was pretty good quality, I was a little worried that the hay would get contaminated during shipping as it is only in a cardboard box, but the company seems genuinely interested in the well being of small animals and the website is educational. They also sell 50lb bales for $65, free of shipping costs when you sign up for automatic shipment schedule.

Example 3: Other

Today, I saw a play tunnel for cats for $7. It is much bigger than the one I have for Umbra and half the cost. Umbra's tunnel was marketed for small animals, including rabbits, however, she can just barely fit through it and she is not a big bunny.

It's tough finding toys for Umbra that are affordable and she will actually play with. Admittedly she is a really picky rabbit. She does love willow balls though. I haven't gotten her any lately due in part that the stores are always out of stock, and secondly they cost $4. That is kinda a lot for something she is going to demolish in less than a day. It aggravates me that we sell identical balls at my job for $1 for someone to put in a bowl on their coffee table. I desperately want them for Umbra, but I don't know if they are untreated!

Finally I can't tell you how many way over priced and cheaply made brushes, nail clippers and litter box scoops I have seen. If they are for "small pets" they are usually cheesy looking, like a little critter face for the handles and whatnot. Clearly this is a marketing gimmick used to lure in children. This leads me to a deeper qualm I have with the pet industry: small animals are not throw-away starter pets for parents to torture by leaving in the care of their irresponsible child (I note that this is not the child's fault) as a test for getting a "real pet" like a dog or cat. Hamsters, guinea pigs, even mice and of course rabbits are just as deserving of the best care that dogs and cats are. It is sad to see any animal abused as a means of making a profit, whether it is the breeder or the companies that provide the supplies.

It can be tough deciding what is worth buying for your animal friends. While I would like to save money, quality and safety must always come first. Umbra is not just a rabbit, she is a good friend of mine and just as much a part of my family as most people consider their dogs. She has a vibrant personality and specific needs, physical and social. We are nearing the second year of our friendship and I hope that I can provide for her so that she will spend many more with me.