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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > My bonding quest with Maryann
Last Post by Beth K at 1/13/2011 9:28 PM (144 Replies)
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User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2825 posts Send Private Message
11/19/2007 2:04 PM

Since I have been posting in various places about my first bonding experience, I figured I"d start a thread that will have it all in a nice concise place.

First off, let's meet the lovely lady looking for her soulbun - Maryann

Ain't she a beauty?  She was rescued off of Alameda Beach near the old naval base (hence the name - on a deserted island.  Guess it could have been worse, she could have been named Mrs. Howell).  She is currently somewhere between 5 and 6 years old, 5 pounds (although she'll tell you 3 and a half) and has lived with just me.  I don't have very many visitors but when I do, she comes to greet them, whether she is in her cage or out of it.  She spends a good portion of her time in her cage as I have alot of craft projects about and she could easily hurt herself.  I should also note that she is ultra clean, never having left a bb outside of her litterbox and she even puts her own toys away (pushes them all into a corner when she's done).  He loves to investigate everywhere and does quick laps and binkies all the time.

Luckily, I live less than 10 minutes from the HRS in Richmond, so there's the place to be.  I took her in her carrying case and drove over there on 11/11/07 to being her first round of dating.  Shall we see the bachelors?

First was Jeremy:

I'm not a fan of the pink eyes but he was so sweet and they mentioned they had a hard time placing such rabbits so I thought I'd give it a try.  They were very complacent in the x-pen, Maryann basically stayed in the hay box, Jeremy hopped around a bit, they nosed everyso often without ears back.  All and all, unremarkable - which is a good thing.

Next was Conner:

Conner was a bit more of the romatic, hopping into the box with Maryann (much to her surprise).  There was only the slightly hint of aggression from her (momentary ears back) but she left the box.  Later on, they were next to each other and it looked like they were about to snuggle but then they thought better of it.  Again, no major confrontations which was good.  It was about this time that I realized that my Maryann was being quite the Man's lady if you will (debutante' I called her).

Now came Buddy (no pic available)

Buddy is an all black mix bunny with a slight scar under his left eye that 'weeps' from time to time (his tear ducts aren't able to handle all of his tears).  When he was put down next to Maryann, she turned towards him, groomed his eye and then chinned him!  "This is what Love at First Sight is," I thought to myself.  But apparently Buddy wasn't on the same wavelength.  He kept his distance and thumped from time to time - I guess he didn't like her.  Too bad.

Next we tried a couple of girl rabbits, just on the off chance she was partial to the female sex.  No such luck.  Within seconds, she had charged each one in turn, nipping the second one on the flank (no blood though).  We were going to try another male but she was all worked up so it was time to go home.

So far things were looking good.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2825 posts Send Private Message
11/19/2007 2:04 PM

11/18/07 update

Maryann was in full shedding mode as I brushed off three baby bunnies worth of fur from her and then took her to the HRS, Richmond.  We began the usual setup with having her get comfortable and then we introduced her again to the three boys above.  I don't know what happened over the week, but she would 'attack' them (charge and/or box) if they moved quickly or tried to sniff her rear.  We gave her some more time to try and settle down and tried a new bunny, in case she had had second thoughts about those before her.

Enter Buster

Buster was perhaps the most laid back bunny I had ever met.  And yet, Maryann didn't want anything to do with him.  I felt bad for him because after her first charge, he just sat up against the cage wall and 'hunkered down' for the rest of the time there. 

I couldn't understand what was up.  Maybe it was the person doing the bonding process as those there weren't quite sure about a few things.  Or maybe Maryann just liked being a bully.  We then tried something different and introduced her to Max, who was a large (10+ pounds), albino rabbit.  The guy looked like (and acted like) a dog (no pic available).

Well, sure enough, as soon as Max hopped quicker than a crawl, Maryann lunged.  I was getting frustrated at my nervous little girl but didn't let it get the better of me.  So we tried something different.  Leaving Maryann inside the X-pen, we let Max hop around the outside.  They came nose to nose more than half a dozen times and Maryann didn't so much as pull an ear back.  In fact, they seemed to do binkies to each other (Max first, with Maryann following him) and someone thought they heard Max honk.  So next we opened up the X-pen and my darling explorer hopped out to check out the room.  Her and Max's paths crossed quite a few times but no aggression was seen.

During this time, one of the volunteers came in with this little guy, Newt:

Newt is EXTREMELY tiny and isn't going to be getting any bigger (his ears show how small he's gonna be).  He can easily fit in one of my hands or cupped in two of anyone elses (I have big hands).  The only reason he hasn't been swept up yet is that he has a very bad malinclusion(?) and his teeth need trimming every 3 weeks or an operation to remove them that will cost up to $800.  To me, money isn't the issue, Maryann's happiness is so if he'd work...

Well since Maryann was already on the outside, we took Max away and put Newt into the cage.  Wherever Maryann hopped, Newt followed from within the cage.  Because Maryann enjoys roaming more than other buns, we swapped them out, putting Newt on the outside, Maryann on the inside.  Well it turns out Newt enjoys exploring as much as Maryann but he did stop by the cage a few times to exchange sniffs with her.  So, we let Maryann out of the x-pen after she got used to seeing Newt about.  When their paths first crossed, Newt was moving at about half a run speed, which was too quick for Maryann, so she lunged at him.  Instead of turning away like the others did though, Newt stood his ground, reared up, batted her head with his tiny front paws and Maryann took off like a shot.  The next time they crossed, Newt (already neutered) tried to mount her.  She again took off and after that, they peacefully hopped around, crossing paths but without any incident.

That was enough for that day.  Now that I think we found a better way of introducing the buns (through the bars), we might have a better experience next time.  I am going to once again run Maryann through all the boys thus far (especially Newt - anyone who can put Maryann in her place gets an extra vote from me since I'm so bunny-whipped) and see what happens.  This will be happening both Saturday and Sunday (11/24 & 11/25/07).

P.S. - just a funny note about this day.  Maryann was wandering away from one of the boys (I don't remember if it was Max or Newt) and someone who was sweeping up Max's poops nearby put the broom in front of her to try and herd her back to the other bunny.  Maryann just stopped, looked at her for a second and then THUMPED! - and by her command, the broom was moved and she continued on.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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11/19/2007 2:11 PM

cool!  thanks for the write-up.  i'm looking forward to hearing how the process goes for you guys...

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
3872 posts Send Private Message
11/19/2007 3:01 PM

nice read... thanks!  maryanne means business when she thumps huh?

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
4371 posts Send Private Message
11/19/2007 4:29 PM

Newt sounds just like what MaryAnn needs. A spunky fella!  Thank you for taking the time writing up the report, it's great to hear how things are going! Although I wouldn't rule Max out either.


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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15719 posts Send Private Message
11/19/2007 4:45 PM

i hadn't read the second part... i LOVE that Maryann thumped at the sweeping person!  that's too FUNNY!  HOW DARE YOU!!!  lol...

so Maryann has been by herself for 5 or 6 years you said... is it possible that she doesn't necessarily want another bun?

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Lagomorpheus
Washington, DC
442 posts Send Private Message
11/20/2007 5:15 AM
Wow great post. Maryann reminds me a lot of my Vicky, especially before she was spayed. I, too, found that familiarizing them through the bars, with one out and one in, taking turns, is an effective way to begin the bonding process. Good luck!!

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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11/20/2007 5:21 AM
Ohhh my goodness those are all beautiful bunny choices! I loooove newt, what a cutie!!
That is seriously so 'diva' of Maryann-thumping at the broom-hilarious!
Keep us posted! I like reading this...
The Bachelorette: Maryanne
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
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11/20/2007 5:28 AM
Thanks for posting this - really interesting and it's nice that you get to put her with so many different rabbits to see how it goes.

Keep us updated - enjoyed reading this!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2825 posts Send Private Message
11/20/2007 7:29 AM
Just to answer a couple of questions.

Yes, Maryann means business when she thumps. The only time she thumps is when she gets out of her cage and hides behind the sewing table I have leaning against the wall (this is her main warren). She thumps once before going in, saying "It's about time I was let out and don't you DARE come over here." Other than furious thumpings when she got under my bed (I assume to taunt me) she only thumps when she's VERY serious - such as when an earthquake is coming (yes, she's predicted 5 of the 7 tremors above a 3.0 that have hit the house since I've had her).

As for Max, as it turns out he was just being 'kenneled' there while his owners were out of town. However, he's a big, loving brute and they wanted to see if size would sedate her. Needless to say, it didn't.

I am going to run the gambit of all of the males currently at the HRS but it is quite possible that Maryann just doesn't want another bunny in her life. When she was 'rescued' she actually hopped up to a park ranger and sat there until he picked her up and took her to the shelter. It is quite possible that she wanted to get away from bunnies. So far though, her actions haven't been overly hostile so I am going to continue but I am also all right with her being my only bunny.

As for Newt, well let's just say that I really bonded with him while he was snuggling down with me and Maryann was with Max. It is possible that if he still doesn't have a home by 2008 and Maryann hasn't found a boyfriend, I'll adopt him anyway. I figure a guy like that could use some TLC and a home - even if I do have to keep them seperated.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Floppy
Bay Area, CA
498 posts Send Private Message
11/20/2007 8:30 AM
Yeah newt does seem very cute! aww only if we could save them all!
let us know how it all goes! This is way more interesting than this years
BACHOLOR! (sorry I am still bitter about that ending.)
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xoxo
Floppy & Toki

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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11/20/2007 12:21 PM
Posted By Floppy on 11/20/2007 11:30 AM
Yeah newt does seem very cute! aww only if we could save them all!
let us know how it all goes! This is way more interesting than this years
BACHOLOR! (sorry I am still bitter about that ending.)



What ending? Please do share!! I didn't watch this year!

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline Floppy
Bay Area, CA
498 posts Send Private Message
11/20/2007 9:19 PM
Posted By Kokaneeandkahlua on 11/20/2007 3:21 PM
Posted By Floppy on 11/20/2007 11:30 AM
Yeah newt does seem very cute! aww only if we could save them all!
let us know how it all goes! This is way more interesting than this years
BACHOLOR! (sorry I am still bitter about that ending.)



What ending? Please do share!! I didn't watch this year!


Totally off topic haha but yeah the bacholor didnt pick any of the two girls

that were left! it was very upsetting!

Photobucket
xoxo
Floppy & Toki

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2825 posts Send Private Message
11/26/2007 7:39 AM

I was a little worried about the third set of dates - especially when Maryann hid in her house, ignoring all of my tricks with treats to get her out.  She knew where she was going and she wasn't happy.  But being a good parent, I did what I thought was best for her and after wrangling her into her carrier, we went to the HRS in Richmond.

When we got there, I met someone I hadn't seen before named Celine.  She told me she was an expert bunny-bonder and she was indeed.  I believe my last visit's woes came from a group of individuals who really didn't know much about bonding and the rabbits could sense their apprehension.

So, she went back and selected a new bunny for Maryann, Alex.

 

She set both Maryann and Alex into the hay box and began petting them fast and somewhat roughly.  Not overly so but enough that they kept their heads down.  They then began to slowly turn their heads towards one another and when she did stop petting, they just laid there next to each other.  Eventually, Maryann sat up and began to nibble on some hay while Alex just kept leaning into her, cuddling.  Each would present their heads to the other at times but no grooming went on.  But even when they were hopping around, Maryann didn't do her usual lunges.  Good news!

So, I had her bring Conner out again.  She repeated the process and this was even better than the first one.  Again, they seemed to snuggle in and at times, Maryann would put her head under Conner's.  Conner did nip her rump but it only resulted in her hopping forward a bit.  Camile said that it is possible that as a male, Conner is trying to mount her but if it happens, it will probably only happen once since Maryann is definitely the dominate one.

We also tried Buddy again and, although once more there wasn't any hostility, Maryann acted as if he wasn't even in the box - including walking over him.  He, on the other hand, just remained hunkered down - which we took to mean he was still scared of her.

So, the end result is that I believe we will be taking Conner home with us soon.  I have another date set up for next weekend and Camile is willing to take time out of her own schedule to come in and help with the bonding.  So, things are looking good.

Oh, and on a side note, Newt was adopted!  I was very happy to hear about this and wish that lil' ball o' fluff the best.

Funny part of the day:  I also looked in on another bonding going on with someone's male, neutered rabbit to the females of the shelter.  He was on top of her, holding onto her fur with his teeth and, well, doin what male bunnies do.  All I could think to myself was "If Conner tries that with Maryann, he'll be missing more than what was lost during his neutering."

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
3872 posts Send Private Message
11/26/2007 7:47 AM

yay for Newt!  and exciting for Maryann to be having Conner for a bun-mate soon!  isn't it interesting how much of a difference it makes when there's a confident / experienced person involved?  animals are so intiutive.  funny that Maryann walked right over that one bun... had to laugh when i read that.  rabbitude!

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2093 posts Send Private Message
11/26/2007 8:32 AM

Yay for Connor and Maryann!  he looks alot like Luchi, my foster who just got adopted this weekend.  I love those buns with the black and white coloring.  Good luck with them!

 


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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15719 posts Send Private Message
11/26/2007 8:37 AM
how exciting!
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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11489 posts Send Private Message
11/26/2007 10:58 AM
Yeah! That's great news!
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline Lagomorpheus
Washington, DC
442 posts Send Private Message
11/27/2007 5:02 AM
grats! Can't wait to see pics of them together.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2825 posts Send Private Message
12/05/2007 7:37 AM

So last weekend was a two day dating session for Maryann.  She really didn't want to go the second day but ol' dad had something else to say about it. 

Saturday was more of the same.  We saw Buster, Alex and Conner again and while it started off quiet enough, it turned into a nipping/spinning war with each one.  Once again, I was a little let down.  I decided to try another tactic and suggested we get a bonded pair in there with Maryann.  Maybe if it was two against one, she'd be more receptive.

So in came Flopsy and Mopsy

First off, if anyone is in the market for two adorable brothers, get these guys.  Not only are they lovable, but they have been at the shelter for so long that they qualify for some sort of 'grandfather' clause that results in discounts for supplies as well as vet visits to Dr. Harvey.

So, the boys meet Maryann and almost immediately, Maryann mounts Flopsy!  Well that was different.  Nothing else was very different although she seemed to prefer to be with the boys than with the bonder that day.  At least the change in action renewed my faith in finding her a friend.

Sunday I returned and my favorite bonder was there (I believe her name is camile but I kept on getting it wrong).  She was confused as to what we did Saturday having thought Conner would be a good match for my bun.  We put them back in and eventhough they did do the nipping thing, she told me that that is only natural and that they will need to settle the dominance thing sometime.  I was worried that the lack of any grooming might be an issue.  So she decided to smear maryann's head with some banana babyfood - which Conner took to immediately.  It was weird watching Maryann flinch everytime he touched her - as if she didn't know the meaning of grooming like I had starved her of attention.  I had her put in with the two boys again and once more she quickly mounted Flopsy then hopped off.  However, Camile said that if I wasn't looking for a three bunny home, I should really consider Conner.

What it boiled down to is that Maryann seems basically accepting of all the male bunnies she's seen.  It is just that it will take some work bonding them at home - which is to be expected with any bonding.  Camile felt (and quite correctly) that I was expecting to find 'love at first sight' and that in all the years she's been doing bonding, she has only seen it happen once.  So my expectations were a little high.  She told me that any male we've seen would work and that it was now up to me to choose.

Now here comes the hard part of things.  Although I do love what HRS has done for me and I think Conner is a real cutie, a stray thought came to mind.  If any bunny will do, I wondered if I should look at another shelter - one where buns aren't really taken well care of, and see about rescuing from there.  Maryann was such a rescue and whereas I know that Conner will be well taken care of until he finds a home, another bunny may not be so lucky.

I am giving Maryann a couple of weeks off since she was rather stressed this weekend so I'm not going to make my decision soon but was wondering what y'all might think.

 

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!
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