Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bloks & Bunnies

To answer a couple of questions:

Shot Bloks are carbohydrate/electrolyte fuel for runs. Sort of like concentrated solid gatorade. I used to run with gatorade and would take a couple of gels, but for about a year have been using mainly the Bloks with plain water for runs.

Mario is happy to be a little ambassador for rabbits. I never once thought about it, but if someone out there is inspired to give a bunny a home partly because of their contact with Mario & other rabbits through blogs, I think that's pretty darn awesome!

I've gotten a few questions lately about bunnies as pets. I definitely encourage anyone interested in getting a rabbit to check out the House Rabbit Society. They have a lot of very good information about rabbits. While you're there I'd also encourage you to check out the "Adoption" link on the right-hand side of the page. Mario is a rescued rabbit. I got him from a city shelter in Connecticut. I did some volunteer work with the NYC chapter of the House Rabbit Society for a couple of years. I really believe in rescuing your pets versus buying them from a pet store or breeder. There are so many wonderful bunnies out there waiting for a home. Many of them were bought when they were irresistible baby rabbits and after the charm wore off they get dumped at local shelters. Besides city shelters there are tons of independent rescue groups which often take in rabbits slated to be euthanized and give them good foster homes until they can find a forever home.

There are a lot of great perks of adopting a rescued rabbit. Besides the obvious one of giving a rabbit a second chance, many are often already spayed or neutered. Trust me when I say this can be a very costly venture if you end up paying a veterinarian yourself. More importantly a foster parent can usually tell you a lot about a rabbit's personality. Are they mellow or hyper? Friendly or loners? What type of foods do they like? What type of toys? Are they good with other animals and kids? In a way you take a big gamble just picking out a cute fluffball at a pet store.

To answer the specific question posed: Chances are when you get a new rabbit it will at some point pee on your carpet. Rabbits are very easily litter box trained. But that said, they will go through some growing pains (even if they're already adults) as they learn. I can vouch that Mario will pee in his litter box 100% of the time. Rabbits use their poops to mark territory so it is normal for not all of that to end up in the litter box. Luckily, rabbit poop is hard and dry so it's easily swept up. Mario will poop outside of the litter box mainly on the first and second floors of his cage. He rarely poops outside of his cage (in "my" space). I'm sure all rabbits are different. I've heard that there are rabbits out there that always poop in the box. I'm sure there are bunnies out there that love to poop all over any area they are allowed to roam.

I think rabbits are awesome pets. They are clean like cats. They don't bark like dogs. They have individual personalities and make you laugh. The vast majority I've met are affectionate and enjoy human contact.

There are a lot of fellow bunny owners who read this blog. Please feel free to leave any comments of advice you think may help someone who is interested in getting a rabbit. And definitely if you're interested in getting a bunny please feel free to ask questions or email me!


Rabbits' Guy said...

Good job of explaining.

We find that taking time to hold a bunny .. even if they don't like it .. even just a little bit at a time ... eventually they will be happy to sit on your lap.

Many bunnies do not like to be picked up, even when they do like to sit on your lap! You just have to corner them and grab 'em!

Very few bunnies we ever knew will actually come running over to you. Get over it!

RoadBunner said...

rabbits' guy -- Thanks for pointing out the fact that many buns don't want to be picked up (or held in my experience). Mario LOVES him some head rubs but only tolerates being held with great disapproval.

Thanks for sharing the "little bit at a time" tip. I may just try that.

Mario may be strange but he will come running over to me when I call his name. I strongly suspect this is because he thinks I have some sort of treat, though! My childhood rabbit, Thumper, never once in her life came running to me (but didn't mind at all being picked up or held).

I forgot to add that rabbits can be trained. Mario knows "Go Home!" to get him back in his cage at night. I also used to do clicker training with him to get him to follow a little stick around which was going well, but got interrupted (and never resumed) with our cross-country move.

Marci said...

Our rabbit, Jasper passed away 5 years ago. I still miss her, rabbits are really great pets.

furrybutts said...

Buttons knows her name.. she comes when she's called although sometimes she's just too lazy, but at least she turns to look at me when I call her name. I get no response when I call for Hans or Yohji LOL!

I've been very lucky with all my 3 bunnies' in terms of litter habits. They learned within 2 weeks, even though they were just babies then.

I'm a member of the Rabbits Online Forum (http://www.rabbitsonline.net/). It's a great forum with tons of very experienced, friendly rabbit-people. I've learned a LOT about rabbits from RO, particularly about how rabbits' illnesses are to be treated. This is of major concern to me, since the vets here are not extremely rabbit-savvy yet. If anyone else reading this is an RO member, my nick is 'somebunny'! :D

Julianne said...

I had a rabbit growing up... It was a great pet! :-) Very informational post today!

FrecklesandDeb said...

Freckles comes when she feels like it. We can call her, but if she isn't in the mood, she just stays where she is. However, her ears will follow us to find out if a treat is involved :-)

Also, there is the all important rabbit proofing of the house. Power cords are enticing and tasty!

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Rabbits can also, like cats and dogs, be clicker trained. I started this with T and S but S was scared of the clicker, so that didn't really work out. I think you've made all the salient points here, well done !!!!

Erin said...

Good post! Rabbits are great pets. Both of mine hate to be help but are ok with pets. I am a big advocate for having two rabbits now. I think they are so much happier with a partner, but that's just my opinion!

RoadBunner said...

Thanks, everyone for all the additional comments. I should have added that Mario has selective hearing. Sometimes he comes running and other times he just cocks his ear and sits.

Deb makes a great point that rabbit proofing is essential even if bunny is kept in a cage the majority of the time.

I am also a fan of having bunnies in pairs if possible. Mario used to have a bunny wife but he was sometimes a little aggressive with her :( She passed away from cancer almost two years ago and I decided not to subject another poor bunny to that. Who's to say, maybe he'd be a perfect gentleman with another rabbit but I'm not willing to take the chance.