Friday, December 31, 2010


Meet Dexter... and his little stuffed bunny friend who has been with him since he was a baby. He is, hopefully, going to be Nilla's husbun once she is better - as she has a URI at t he moment - and he is neutered. He is a 2 year old mini rex whose previous owners were moving to New Zealand and didn't feel taking him was going to work. Even my DH is in love as Dexter is as happy to beg a pat from him as he is from me, whereas Romeo will only ask for ear rubs from me or occasionally La (particularly if there is goodies to be had) and Cinna and Nilla will ask him for pets if momma isn't available.

He's quite taken with hay, just pounced on it and started gobbling like it was going out of style... guess we know a good thing when we see one!

Close up of his curly-whirly whiskers and curly-whirly eyelashes... so cute!

And last but not least - this morning I was woke from a nap with DD to find someone small and fuzzy snuggled next to my cheek. Awwww... so naturally after I got up I snapped some pics of him supervising me folding some laundry on the floor. LOL

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Not Just For Christmas

At Christmas, it's easy to see an explosion of animals bred for the holiday season. These are often victims of impulse purchase, sourced from puppy mills and irresponsible breeders and neglected or dumped in the following year. They contribute to the tens of thousands of animals euthanized each year.

While many are aware of the horrors of puppy mills, bunnies are vulnerable as they are falsely seen as cheap, cuddly, low maintenance 'starter' pet for children. The reality is a bit different:
Bunnies Are Not Cheap
While initial purchase price may seem cheap the associated costs over the rabbits lifetime can be expensive. All rabbits should be desexed by a rabbit specialist, vaccinated and microchipped and these costs factored into the choice to bring a rabbit into your life. Young rabbits mature quickly and you can run into unwanted litters, hormonal and territorial behaviour, alarming rates of uterine cancer and poor litter box habits. Adopting a bunny from a shelter or rescue may mean this is $50-80, whereas private desexing/vax/microchipping may range upwards of $250 for vaccinations, check-up, spay, bloodwork, fluids, monitoring, pre and post op pain management, microchip etc. They will require vaccination annually and may require specialized and potentially expensive treatment for dental issues and GI stasis in their lifetimes.
Bunnies Are Not "Cuddly"
Bunnies are prey animals by nature and physically delicate. The exuberance, desire to pick up, grab, carry around and cuddle with whatever grip their little hands can manage are frightening and dangerous for rabbits. It often results in broken legs or backs or bunnies who learn to bite or kick when picked up after having been accidentally mishandled. Bunnies do enjoy attention and affection but a child's idea of having fun and enjoyment is not generally compatible with how prey animals like rabbits express and understand affection.

Bunnies Are Not "Starter" Pets
The reality is that rabbits are active, highly social animals who require a commitment of 10-12 years. They represent a significant commitment in terms of time, money and owner dedication. Being highly social animals, rabbits ideally should live in pairs as well.

Bunnies Are Not Low Maintenance
Most 'hutches' sold for rabbit housing are woefully inadequate. We would not imagine locking a cat or dog in a cage barely 3 times it's body length and on wire for the duration of it's life but this is what most bunnies are expected to consider home. Wire bottoms can lead to painful pressure sores, broken toes, injured legs/feet etc. The small sizes lead to poor long term health due to lack of muscle tone, loss of bone, obesity, poor cardiovascular health, poor gut health etc as well as the mental cruelty of such confinement and isolation. Outdoor animals are more at risk of disease, mites, fleas, predation, temperature extremes and owners not noticing illness. Bunnies hide illness very well and it is hard to notice subtle changes in an animal who is out of sight most of the day. Any outdoor housing or exercise yards must be completely mosquito proof to prevent exposure to calcivirus and myxo which have fatality rates of 100%. Instead a more ideal home is a bunny condo when it must be penned and access to rabbit proofed rooms in your home so it can be part of the family just as your dog or cat would.

Rabbits also require a fair amount of care - daily fresh food (good quality hay, water, fresh vegetables/herbs and a small amount of high quality pellets), litter changes, mental stimulation and at least 3 hours exercise time in order to maintain health and well being. Short haired breeds should be brushed regularly to prevent the ingestion of excess hair causing blockages or stasis, while long haired bunnies may require daily brushing. All rabbits require nail trimming.

For homes who are definitely keen on rabbits as pets, there are many more rewards but we need more awareness of the reality of owning rabbits responsibly. For those considering rabbits please check out The House Rabbit Society (, Australian Companion Rabbit Society ( for more information, Australian based Boing Online ( For more information on rabbit body language and behaviour The Language of Lagomorphs (, as well as all sorts of information on Rabbit Links ( and if you're in Melbourne the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic ( is one of the best bunny vets around!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

random catch up photos

because I've been such a slacker and haven't really been sure what to write

One of the new roses in the Rainbow Bridge garden

Tim Tam, "Where are you going mum?"

Hopie and Luka at the dam

Lily at Ballarat comp

Luka on his birthday! :)

Lilypillie, my smiley girl

The interesting attempts to draw with small children around! LOL

Hopie with the ribbons our club gave her at the end of the year. She was more impressed with the biscuits but I thought they were nice. LOL

La demonstrating his weird abilities to sleep in the most bizzare places...

Hope at a recent comp

Hope, Sierra, Luka and Rin at the dam

Nilla playing sneaky stealth ninja bunny

and demanding a pat from La

Haha, - such shy timid little wallflowers hey!