Each day this week, they started with a a minimum 30 minute car ride. I was nervous because years ago when they first met, they would tear each other apart IN the car - Now that was hatred! But they find comfort in each other here. Whew!
Bailey, a Holland Lop is actually a "Flop or Not" When stressed, she's "not" a lop anymore, she turns into a "BunnyBird" - her ears pop up and look more like wings.
From the car rides, they would be placed in a neutral territory - our bathroom.
"Thank God we are out of that car! Let's rest!"
Rucy makes just a slight move, and look who wants to "FLY" away. Bailey stresses about Rucy's intentions. "What are you doing back there, don't even think about humping me!"
Bailey can't take the stress anymore of Rucy being behind her...."CHOMP!",
This is why it is important to wear gloves! I was able to protect Rucy from the bite.
But Bailey's actions still scare Rucy off.
Rucy comes closer, and Bailey turns her back to her. A "signal" that means Bailey isn't happy about this action, but the fact that Bailey is turned at an angle means that there is still a chance to get on her good side, "I don't trust you, and I don't think I want you to get closer, but I do want a friend, and since your the only one here, I'll think about it."
Rucy closes in, but carefully - she sniffs around, nibbles on hay. Bailey turns sideways to her and her ears are relaxed. Good sign.
So Rucy jumps in and nibbles on hay. This communicates to Bailey she means no harm. She just wants to have lunch together . Bailey's ears just slightly raise, but she accepts her invite to lunch
Bailey orders greens and munches down.
Uh oh, the BunnyBird is back! Rucy has made the mistake of looking for hay near Bailey's bootie. "Don't even think about gettin' dominant with me!"
FYI: Bunnies, regardless of sex, will show dominance via humping, and many times that will begin with one bunny smelling the other's behind. And even though Rucy is not doing that, it is too close for comfort for Bailey.
Rucy quickly realizes her mistake, "Hey don't panic, I'm just eatin here!"
Bailey wants to make sure that Rucy isn't trying to pull any dominant behaviors so she wants pulls one of her own - the "groom me" stance, where she pushes her head towards Rucy.
Bailey pushes in "GROOM ME!" This is a dominant behavior.
Rucy is not ready to groom "C'mon, we've only had lunch together!"
So Bailey grooms herself.
Bailey finally leaves the litter box and wants to have a serious talk with Rucy. Rucy's got one ear of interest, but she's also cautious of the return of "Bunnybird!"
Bailey expresses dominance, "GROOM ME!"
Bailey continues pushing her request. The thing I have observed about Bailey is she gets sneaky -If she doesn't get groomed, she'll slowly work her way to a nice spot, usually near Rucy's rear and then without warning - no bunnybird ears at all, she'll chomp her on hide. So I begin petting Bailey to try and get her to relax and not get upset if she doesn't get groomed right away.
Rucy turn around and actually puts her head down too, but it is really in a very non-dominant way. Her ears are back, her back is hunched up (hard to see in these pics) But Bailey is not having any of it. Bailey's not getting groomed and that's the only signal she cares about. Her ears go up and a bite is on the agenda.
So, I get my glove ready and try and soothe Bailey. It WORKED!!! Whew! And not only that Bailey give Rucy a "token" groom - a few seconds
"Okay, I groomed you, now MY TURN!" The stand off begins...... Now we're finally getting into the real relationship issues. Will it work out or not?
Continue to Week 2