Yesterday I had a ton of fun at BunnyFest 2010! I missed the first few hours but got there in time for all the speakers I was interested in hearing and the second raffle of the day.
There were a ton of great raffle prizes and I easily parted with $20 to secure some tickets to try to win Mario some goodies. I threw in tickets for a big cardboard tunnel (Boyfriend, who ended up attending, was secretly hoping I would NOT win this because then we would have it in the living room for years), book store gift certificate, a HUGE basket of willow balls (this would have been awesome to win, but at only $1 a chance there were TONS of tickets in for that one), a cardboard playhouse, and a little wooden crate thing.
Some of the raffle prizes. I spy The Spots!!
I really, really wanted to win that little wooden crate thing! Mario used to have a multi-level condo. Back in those days he was upwardly thinking. When I moved, I put him in an exercise-pen set-up. I'll never forget when I first put him in the pen, he seemed a little confused. He jumped on top of his willow tent. He tried to jump on top of his new covered litter box (he nowadays NEVER tries to jump up on these things). He didn't seem to understand what had happened to all of his fun levels.
I've noticed that when he was in the condo he was much more into exploring vertically. I feel like he sort of lost this and really wanted to offer him something he could jump up onto. I figured I'd take his willow tent out of the pen and set up the crate thing in the corner to give him the option of exploring upward again.
The crate thing had a $5 minimum ticket deposit to enter. I threw in five $1 tickets and noticed there were only five other tickets in the basket. Some guy named "Joe" and I were in a 50/50 heat for this crate. I went and purchased more tickets and threw another $5 worth into the basket. Mario now had a 67% shot of winning! Boyfriend made a comment about how I could probably just outright buy the crate for $10 worth of tickets but I poo-pooed him saying it was for bunny charity.
Dr. Harvey talks about bunny abscesses.
There were tons of people at the event (the above photo represents about 1/3 of the people who were there). And a shocking number of people had brought their bunnies along. I am really sorry I didn't get any photos of the buns people brought. I kept meant to ask permission to take photos of people's rabbits but never got around to it. They were all SO cute. I was really amazed at how docile the rabbits were, too! A lot of people were carrying their bunnies around and the rabbits didn't seem to mind one bit. Mario is definitely NOT a lap rabbit. It has been so long since I've had a lap rabbit (my childhood rabbit was quite into being carried around) that I've forgotten rabbits like that exist. I kept enviously eyeing one rabbit during a seminar who sprawled so contentedly in his owner's arms soaking up pets.
After the veterinarian's talk we gathered around for the raffle drawings. Luck was not on my side for most of the drawings, but I DID win the crate thing! Woo-hoo (sorry, "Joe.")!! I was so happy!!!
We missed the talk about bunny condos but I snapped a photo of what I assume was the sample bun.
The last speakers of the day were two women who talked about clicker training rabbits. I actually bought a book on this a few years back and have done some elementary things with Mario sporadically over the last few years. I can't say they said anything I hadn't read before, but their whole speech motivated me to get going with Mario again. I picked up some new toys to use in training with Mario.
A shot I took during the agility clicker training demonstration. The rabbit was decidedly not into performing for everyone so the video I took is not so interesting.
They also showed videos of bunnies they had worked with which was very interesting. They had taught one rabbit to pick up balls and deposit them into a little basketball hoop! Very impressive.
I picked up some treats for Mario and a bag of pellets (slightly cheaper at the host pet store than my usual source and I figured I'd support them for hosting the event).
We did some clicker training last night and I got Mario to go through the hoop a few times. We'll keep working on it and if he ever gets reliable I'll post a video.
Oh, and I did get a good deal! If I had bought the crate online it would have cost about $26 shipped and I would have had to put it together a little. So I saved $6 and got to help out The Rabbit Haven. I am really excited for Mario to have a little perch again. Hopefully he thinks to check out the top of it soon.