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Forum BONDING Zou & Henry’s bonding diary & photos

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    • Vienna Blue in France
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      My first ever attempt at bunny bonding – any suggestions after reading this will be happily received

      For those who don’t know my fur family :

      “ZOUZOU” – Female Vienna Blue  – spayed June 2016

      Age 2 yrs 7 months. – adopted at 3 months old direct from a litter (not really a breeder, but someone into Vienna Blues).

      6kg of regal calmness

      “HENRY” – Male French lop – Neuteured October 2016 (6 long weeks ago (they’ve been separated since then))

      Age 1yr 8 months – adopted 6 weeks ago from rabbit breeder wanting to focus on dwarf buns.

      4.5kg – a crazy, hyper, bouncy, eternally hungry, furball who doesn’t sit still for more than 2 minutes. He reminds me of an overly enthusiastic spaniel being trained as a drug sniffer dog with his only goal getting the tennis ball at the end (Henry’s reward would be a pellet!!)

      = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

      I was going to do an all-in-one bonding account – but I’m thinking all sessions will seem the same and I won’t know how to remember them…

      I have a three day weekend now and I hope to do about 4 x 20 mins sessions per day : 20 mins in bath, 2 hrs rest for them (and me on BB reporting back), 20 mins in bath etc..

      DAY 1 – SESSION 1 – 20 mins in BATH

      ===============================

      Equipped with Ski gloves and water spray. (I pressed the video button, but it hasn’t taped !! )

      Put towel in bath, and lots of willow branches. Henry has been a bit bonkers this morning! I have been away for a few days and I think I underestimated the food rations of endives and salad to give him (by my excellent bunnysitter) so he was craaaazy hungry for anything other than hay…

      Both transported up to bathroom in their respective travel carriers – Henry clawing fiendishly at cage to get out and EAT SOMETHING!

      Put Zou in the bath first (via carrier) as she doesn’t like being picked up. Then put Henry in bath and quickly put SKI GLOVES on(BRILLIANT protection!!) and got water spray ready.

      After about 10 secs of ‘where are we?’, they approached each other and went hell for leather! I could sense the energy before they kicked off (and I was on high alert), and the water jet was having NO effect, so I separated both at each end of the bath (both still screaming “LEMME-AT-HIM!!” and fighting the gloves viciously). After a couple of shouts from me and the gloves keeping the buns away from each other they calmed down (so did I – LOL – now I know the gloves protect me very well!).

      Zou head down, calm, not moving, white third eyelid showing. A few grunts came from within and I think I remember a thump!

      Henry shook himself off and started eating the pellets (not interested in the willow!).

      Comforting nose and body strokes from the ski gloves and soothing “there we go”s from me (and me crossing over gloves to get the smells mixed). I removed the gloves from their bodies from time to time (for them to come out of their zoning out and realise they are in the bath with the other bun!)

      I think (though I wanted the video to look back over, grrrr) Zou starts it, but Henry is having none of it and is the more energetic and tenacious fighter.

      Them both being big buns there’s not much room to work out who is doing what.

      I ‘think’ Henry wanted to put his head under Zou’s side-on body, but I was wary and moved him away on this first session.

      I spent the rest of the time with one hand between them. Zou started cleaning herself (me? wet? humph!!) and Henry eating and looking for other pellets….(“where are they, where are they, where ARE they?)

      When I lifted my hand it was like pressing pause on a film, they both stopped chomping or cleaning until I put it back down as a mini barrier.

      I did let them have 2 more attempts at fighting (no real contact made, but the atmosphere was obvious and 10 kg pounding around the bath is quite a sight) and then just stroked and stroked their heads.

      Henry approached Zou’s head (no reaction) looking for any stray pellets but I kept my gloved hand in between them.

      I left it on a good note. Both back into their carriers.

      I have now, for the first time since Henry came home, let him out on the patio to explore outside (pleeeease don’t let him jump over the already-raised-twice barriers) and Zou’s condo (Zou’s absolute 100% territory).

      I’ve kept Zou indoors to explore Henry’s cage.

      They are separated by full length windows and Zou was pacing up and down them Inside obviously miffed that Henry was out there….

      If I have one doubt (amongst many others…) it is I’m not sure when I will be brave enough to lift the hand and let them try to have dominance fights/humping but not a full on fight…

      First photo after first big fight and lots of head stroking.

      Zou thinks it’s safe now to sit up

      They both have a wash after their water spraying !

      Zou feels OK now to have a nibble of the willow (henry hasn’t stopped eating his pellets!) – a simple gloved hand makes them feel OK

      Nibble time, I withdraw glove and Henry gives Zou a bunny butt !!  (Notice my lovingly placed and flattened out towel earlier! :ermm)


    • Q8bunny
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      It’s so easy to forget how big they are in these pictures

      To be honest, ending on a good note is awesome. But man, I’d be stressed… you’re a brave lady with such big thumping feet on both sides of your ski glove You’re right about the letting them tussle… I think I remember LPT mentioning this very thing when she was trying to bond Bindi and Sterling.

      Still… can’t wait to hear how it goes in the next episode


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      They do look small don’t they – it’s not a particularly big bath, (or I didn’t think so). I’ll put a can of coke in there next session!!
      The post took me so long it’s nearly time for sesh 2!! LOL


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Re LPT – yes similar but not quite the same…. it’s very different with size and age.

      Bindi is a small(er) handsome old chap and Sterling a big (equally handsome!) ‘youngster’.
      I completely understand LPT not risking an injury to Bindi (or her hand again!! ) .

      I’m not saying I want mine to be injured (!! “au contraire”) but they are both equal(ish) in size and weight and age and so it’s even-stevens for tussles.

      To be continued….


    • Q8bunny
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      Agree absolutely… your comment simply reminded me of her worry


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Yup and I totally sympathise with her even more now that I am living it… gulp….


    • Q8bunny
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      You can do it, my friend!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Day 1 – SESSION 2 – Henry sums it up in two photos…. 

      45 mins – nothing negative to report – constant stroking of both by me and swapping over of gloves to mix the odours.

      ============================================

      They both ate. Zou was calm. Henry was hungrily frenetic (or frenetically hungry!) !

      At one point Henry approached Zou’s face (I could hear my heart thumping outside of my body), I continued stroking both with soothing words. Henry tried to put his head under, but as there were no scuffles yet, and I’m a big scaredy cat chicken, I moved Henry back before Zou could react.

      Henry couldn’t sit still, Zou was happy having cuddles

      Henry could obviously hear something I couldn’t and THUMPED three times… good gracious me! In the bath! I jumped out of my skin !!

      They were happily ignoring each other… which I know is not really progress on the bonding front.

      So I moved Henry next to Zou, took one of the carriers and reduced the length of the bath to force interaction…

      Henry shoved his head under Zou’s bum. Although she didn’t react, her third eyelid made an appearance showing she’s not all that happy but will endure.

      Henry lifted his head and on attempts at getting out of the bath, was literally stumbling over Zou’s back LOL   Maybe she thought it ws an attempt at mounting… but I was there stroking her head all the time, so maybe she just let it happen.

      I did get the feeling (wrong or otherwise) that she was a spring waiting to explode….

      Henry’s attempts at getting out of bath – and toothpaste for scale (I didn’t have a can of Coke!)

      Of course, Henry wanted to eat it !!

      So, they are getting used to each other’s barrier-less company.

      I get the feeling Henry wants to be top-bun and that Zou will not give it up easily.

      But as soon as Zou came back downstairs she started grooming Ikea-bun, so maybe she does really want a grooming partner….

      Henry? He just carried on eating…. 

      to be continued…


    • Q8bunny
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      It looks like they robbed a greengrocer


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
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      Wow, thank you for documenting this. It’ll be a great help for people who are trying to bond their rabbits.
      Zouzou and Henry seem to be getting along better and better. I hope it’ll go smoothly, fingers crossed!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      SESSION 3 – bathtub – 30 mins – flying fur

      =======================================

      So they were put in the full length bathtub together. Nibble time, Henry hoovered up his grub, Zou sat off afar, nibbling every now and again.

      I reduced the length again and BAM! (no, not our BB member, but flying fur….) I sort of intervened, but they were both set to be top bun, turning around and around in the half length bath, like 2 fighting crocs in a paddling pool. Ski glove in the middle, round and around, tufts flying, ski glove still there. I lifting Henry out of the swirling tufts for 30 secs put him back in… and repeat circling.

      I did this twice and on the third time putting Henry back in the bath they both sort of gave up, panting and laid down. Zou hiding her head under the carrier, Henry hiding his head under Zou’s bum (again!) – even doing it during a DBF !! (? )

      Zou didn’t move again really. Henry did, bopping his head up and down like meercat. As soon as I’d stroke him he flattened out again. He had a few squirts of water to de-excite his energy.

      I insisted on mixing their odours and fur really well…. meet Indians “Nipping Black Bun” and “Running Yellow Hen”

      Zou not budging or moving an inch, I put Henry by her side ‘top to tail’ but he always crept back behind to put his head under her bum, so I turned him around so they were parallel, maxing out the stroking and mixing of odours! He flattened his head again, putting it next to Zou, who remained still. Her eyes were open, so not completely unawares of who was next to her…

      Each time I moved him slightly away (still parallel) his head snuck in like in the photo (spot their hair pièces!)

      So my question is this :

      Henry is driven by food so I would like to bring banana gunk into the equation, but seems it is he who wants to be top bun.

      If I put banana gunk on his head, I’m not sure Zou would lick it.

      And if I put it on her head, would it make her top bun if he licked it and not really sort anything out? 


    • Q8bunny
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      There’s enough fur there for a new presidential toupee


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      It IS the same colour isn’t it…!! Poor Henry !!!


    • Dface
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      I do not envy you Vienna. Bonding is so bloody time consuming and frustrating I cant tell you how many times I have yelled :
      Just love each other already
      …it in no way helps.
      Having said that, when it does work, the adorable moments are so worth it.

      Honestly I’d try it if I were you, might get them interacting positively with one another-Zou gets groomed by Henry, Henry gets food from Zou. Everyone wins a little bit.

      Unless he tries to eat her. Which from your description, he might actually attempt !


    • Dface
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      Also as an aside, fur always looks very dramatic because rabbits stress release it(a defense to help them get out of a predators grasp) so even minor sscuffles can look worse than they are !


    • Bam
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      I’ll read this tomorrow, bedtime for me now. I’ve just looked at the pics, but had to jump in and tell you not to put too much energy into this bonding business, since I’m going to steal Henry any day now :p

      Agree with Dface about the banana. It could get them interacting in a positive way. Henry: Her forehead tastes delicious, she probably has a great personality too. Zou: He’s grooming my forehead, he must really like me *blushes*

      Yohio had the presidential hair-color. So sad he never got to know that


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      SESSION 4 : 20 mins BATH
      =========================
      No photos. Big scuffle to report. Tried a bit of banana. Seemed to work but i only had my leftovers…. a tiny bit, so will try more tomorrow.
      Henry tried a harder push under her head, with a nip i think (!), Zou didn’t think much of that!
      It was a real fistycuffs this time, i had to take Zou out of the bath when I tried to put her back in Henry was played territorial master so had to put Z down outside of bath, take H out of bath, put H down out of reach of Z whilst i got Z and put her back in bath first then I made a very loud Caesar Milan TTSSSSKKKKKKK before I took my hand away, sprayed them both as they were still both ready to pounce…… We had about 5 mins calm stroking side by side before i called it a day (or night!).

      God I’m knackered and it’s only day one!!! LOL


    • Sleepy
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      It might help to cut the sessions down to two a day instead of powering through four at a time? It helps give both humans and the bunnies a rest from the stress. Especially since they are scuffling and you’ll want to give them less opportunity for that and more chances for the sessions/day to end on a good note.

      You can also probably let them interact a bit more, scuffles and actual fighting aside. Since buns are currently trying to figure out how to communicate and they do that through a lot of diff physical interactions (humping or not). A good guideline I followed was #2 here: https://www.thebunnychick.com/2013/11/19/7-ways-hurting-rabbits-chances-bonding/.

      GL though! Big buns=adorable buns.


    • jerseygirl
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      They were happily ignoring each other… which I know is not really progress on the bonding front.

      Actually, I view that as a good thing. The longer they can be in each others presence and not fighting is a progress. Even if they’re not interacting in any other way. Some rabbits may bond too and only ever just sit side by side, not grooming each other etc. Just peacefully co-existing. 

      You might see a  shift quite a few times in who is the dominant bun. Post bonding, it can be more subtle or they be on more even footing.  With my first bonding experience (Jersey and Rumball) she was eventually the first one to groom him. He only ever presented to ask for grooms. Post bond, he was the chief groomer. He’d hop across the room to her and immediately started grooming her, whether she asked or not. Grooming can be a play in dominance a little in bonding, but I don’t believe it’s always about that.  The “groomer” can get as much out of it as the “groomee”. I always remember a vet telling me one time that when they do things like that with their mouth, it releases endorphins. 

      Have you got a rubber mat you can put down in the tub? It could give them a bit of traction.  

      When the type of fights break out that you do need to intervene for, throwing a towel on them can be really helpful. It’s like a Pause button where they’ll freeze for a few seconds. Good way to redirect.

      Bonding can be dead boring. Hours of nothing changing… but really something is and it’s not always obvious. Trust builds and the you see a shift in how they interact. So just plain old putting them together in the same space over and over will help toward building trust between them. 
      This is an old favourite of mine. You may have already come across it in your pre-bonding reading.

      Love Match: Guide to bonding your rabbits.

      Love the photos!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Great links Jersey and Sleepy. Thanks.

      SESSION 5 : 20 mins in bath
      =======================

      After stressful day yesterday I kept it short, sharp and stressless. Both in full length bath. Willow in the middle. Didn’t let them interact. Henry had a little lunge but ‘the glove’ intercepted. He thumped in protest.
      Zou remainded completely still, loaf like, third eyelid showing.
      Henry continued hunting for ways to jump out of bath, or stray pellets to nibble, then delved into the pile of willow.
      Both had strokes and calming noises.

      The only one positive i am getting out of this process is that I can pick up Zou (to put her back in her carrier) and have cuddles in the bathroom. She is completely zoned out and i am taking total advantage…

      I am also looking on the net for a bunny bonder…. I will ‘cheat’ if I have to and will happily pay for the service…


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      SESSION 6 : 20 mins in bath – first introduction of banana mash
      =================================================

      Since last session 6 hours ago, Zou has been in Henry’s cage and Henry outdoors.

      I did slip up (ggggrrrr) and at one point before she was in the cage, Zou zoomed outside when i had the door open and went chasing after Henry in HER territory, got him briefly I think before I lifted him out of harms way.
      My fault!!!!! Rookie error. Stoopid hooman.

      Full length bath (I am now nervous to force interaction… )
      Henry concentrated on eating for 15mins!
      Zou in her corner, flat. Not moving.
      Henry inched his way forward towards Zou looking for stray pellets from last session (pellets worth way more than willow), when no pellets found he concentrated on willow,
      I gave some mash banana to Henry who gobbled it up enthusiastically.
      Zou not interested at all in her zoned out state, jumped a mile when i touched her cheeks with it.
      She felt happy enough to wash herself and then laid down again.

      After 20 mins i put Henry alongside Zou, with glove in between.

      He was flat, for once not eager to annoy Zou who came out of her zoned out state and tried a “Lemme at him” lunge. The glove stopped her, three times in a row, then she sort of gave up, laying in the corner.
      I moved her foward so I could put Henry by her side. He tried head under again, but i put mash on Zou’s ear. Henry tentatively licked, pulled away, licked pulled away and then liiiiiicked.
      I was sooo nervous Zou would snap around and get him, but she didn’t move an inch.

      When all banana gone Henry turned around to stick his head again under her bum, but I took him out, wanting to end on a good note.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      You know when you’re bathing kids, and how you like to give them a mohican with shampoo..?

      Well this is the bunny version (using Zou’s tufts from yesterday’s tussle)… LOL


    • Q8bunny
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    • Vienna Blue in France
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      SESSION 7 : 20 mins bath
      ======================
      Out all day so just wanted a quickie gentle sesh tonight with no scuffles.
      Same same. But Zou ate a pellet or two and licked a few licks of banana and then went into zoned out state.
      Henry forever hopeful foraged for pellets.
      I felt Zou wanting to lunge once or twice but held her back.

      Henry was oblivious to this and when only about 5 inches away from Zous face did a very dramatic DBF, twice in fact!!! LOL.
      White belly showing upwards!!
      I would love to know what he means by doing this, he does it every time….

      Banana mash but not much of it…. Not really well placed on Zous head. I felt she just wasn’t in the mood…. So left it at that.


    • Chelsea
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      It sounds like it is going really well! It’s encouraging to read your story. My two are also on session 7. The last two Silas ate, while Jasper walked around and stared intently at him. But I should add that to my own bonding post.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      I don’t feel it’s going really well just yet. I’ve just toned down the interaction thereby avoiding fights…. But it is early days, i think i realise that now…


    • Chelsea
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      Sorry for the false optimism – I missed the sentence “I felt Zou wanting to lunge once or twice but held her back.” 🙁 It could be worse though – this is only my second attempt at bonding, and my first (completely unprepared and inexperienced one) did not go well at all. The animosity was so strong they would attack anyone who even smelled like the other bunny.

      I wish I had a dictionary of bunny language, but it seems like if they will at least eat in each other’s company, that’s a good sign.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      It would be so much easier if you could sit the bunnies down together and talk it out with them…. Negotiate a bit…. Alas not possible… But as i say early days…..


    • Dface
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      I dont know if it’s true of all buns, but I think I remember reading it somewhere but willow can cause rabbits to be a bit more aggressive than usual.
      I have no idea why, but Yumi gets really narky when she’s allowed willow, dont get me wrong -she loves it. But her general tolerance over the next while really goes downhill-she’ll even ‘box’ my hand if I try to take away whatever possession of mine she’s chewing!(she’ll quickly apologise-“I dont know what came over me hooman”)
      I don’t know if maybe removing it will help you at all?

      I’ve also used bachs remedies with mine:
      http://bananasforbunnies.org/?page_id=255

      I have no idea if it worked or if they just sorted themselves out but hey! they’re bonded(for the most part!)


    • Q8bunny
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      Maybe he thinks he’s a dog and wants to show friendliness with his tum?


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Will definitely put the willow away until further notice then….

      I’ll try anything…..


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      SESSION 8 : 20 mins in bath

      ========================

      I’m guesisng Zou really looks forward to these sessions….   she is first to go in the bath and without Henry even being in there she went into chin flat on bath pose   She zapped out of it when she heard Henry scrapping manically to get out of his carrier !!

      So I’ve gone from 5th gear (the first day’s 4 sessions) to 1st gear (very calm, once daily, no contact 20 mins sessions) !

      This eve I stroked them both. Henry still oblivious to the ticking time bomb (Zou!) a few inches from his nose when he stretches out, unaware that she tenses up. Bless him. He has been calm today, not as bonkers as usual. He’s in complete DBF and legs-out-back mode… even now when i’m typing he is usually bouncing around like Tigger in his cage – up on shelf, back down, up on shelf back down (and repeat!) and there he is just chilling….

      I wonder if the moon has anything to do with it…. the moon is reponsible for most things…

      I didn’t even feel like putting them side by side. So before he got put back in his carrier, Henry helped out with the prepared banana mash…


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Forgot to say, Zou teeth grinds a bit in the bath, (whereas normally hardly ever, unless she’s having a massage… )

      So with Henry’s stomach gurgling like a forest stream and Zou teeth grinding, we’ve got a bunny orchestra in the making….


    • Q8bunny
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      Poor babies… at least they’re super cute while going through this?

      I read somewhere that this bunny bonder swears by putting a towel on the far end of the tub, and then filling the tub with about an inch of warm water on the near/faucet end – until the water barely laps the edge of the towel. It forces the buns to shelter together on the towel and they stress bond quickly. Don’t know if it works – didn’t try it with Chewie and his rejected friends, but it sounded interesting…


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      But Henry is the Bear Grylls of bunnies !!!
      He couldnt care less if there was water in the bath! lol
      He comes running over when the vacuum cleaner is turned on!
      He sits at the window fascinated by fireworks going off.
      He thinks its dinner time when you bash a saucepan trying to scare them…..


    • Gina.Jenny
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      Posted By Q8bunny on 11/14/2016 11:47 PM

      Poor babies… at least they’re super cute while going through this?

      I read somewhere that this bunny bonder swears by putting a towel on the far end of the tub, and then filling the tub with about an inch of warm water on the near/faucet end – until the water barely laps the edge of the towel. It forces the buns to shelter together on the towel and they stress bond quickly. Don’t know if it works – didn’t try it with Chewie and his rejected friends, but it sounded interesting…

      I tried this ages back, to try and get Gina and Jenny together, before giving up and adopting Podge. in their case it just meant a lot of wet fur stuck to the bath

      It doesn’t sound like Zou and Henry are going to be the easiest of bonds, but Podge and Gina had their moments, and there was a point on day three of marathon bonding where I felt like giving up, but then on day four, Gina gave in and groomed Podge, and they have been inseparable since.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Hope !!! That’s what I need. Hope !!


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
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      Posted By Vienna Blue in France on 11/15/2016 1:59 AM

      But Henry is the Bear Grylls of bunnies !!!
      He couldnt care less if there was water in the bath! lol
      He comes running over when the vacuum cleaner is turned on!
      He sits at the window fascinated by fireworks going off.
      He thinks its dinner time when you bash a saucepan trying to scare them…..

      But.. does he drink his own pee?


    • Q8bunny
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      I heart Bear Grylls!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Nooo Q8, noooo. There are better ones out there… (but did you see him kiss Dawn French upside down on Graham Norton a while back….? – her face ! LOL)

      Ellie -possibly – very possibly….


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Here is the youtube link – OMG GN without the beard !!!!! LOL

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_dNLezkBgI


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      SESSION 9 – 15 mins bath tub….
      ==========================

      Henry eating happy to lick banana from spoon, washes himself, as cool as an ice-cream.
      I now know who he reminds me off… whatshisname in Ice Age who’s always looking frantically for his acorn….!!! Sniff sniff left right sniff sniff….

      Zou flat, but when I took my hand off, instead of remaining flat flat flat which she usually does, she sort of gathered herself into a loaf (ready-to-pounce-loaf position…? lol ). She sniffs the banana spoon but doesn’t take any…


    • Gina.Jenny
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      Scrat?


    • Bam
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      OMG, Kirsten Dunst looks like she’s had too much plastic surgery. I really liked her in Melancholia.

      Bear Grylls is my brother’s idol.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Yes Scrat !!!!!! LOL. Never still. Always on a mission….LOL


    • Dface
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      Bear Grylls is the greatest nothing tv to watch. I’ve no idea why I would be air dropped into the middle of the amazon, but my god, am I prepared for that.

      Vienna- you haven’t been at it all that long!, Zou probably needs to come round to the idea of all this, keep in mind Henry is new…in his head this could just be what happens in this bizarre house of food, but to Zou this is very much not what happens(She is a lady don’t you know, and this man-handling is just not appropriate!)

      When I brought Yumi home Sampras was incredibly put out by the whole thing, but eventually came around.
      I did tonnes of research into it at the time but – there was so much conflicting information, but the leading problem was the owner interfering
      With mine I did allow for as much interaction as I could tolerate(mine are small rabbits, so the disputes were more like angry clouds as opposed to titan bunnies like yours) but they do need to sort out who is boss bun.

      Stress bonding is good at getting them over their initial “Stand offishness” it isnt a real bond, but I sometimes used it before the bonding session(walk in the carrier crammed together) then they’d be allowed out in a neutral zone to calm down together and eat.
      I know you say he’s a bit of a danger bun, but surely there is some thing he doesnt like(car, dryer…fire alarm…)

      Are their cages beside each other btw?

      I know I’m nowhere close to an expert-I got lucky with my pair- but hopefully there is something from this that might help!


    • Q8bunny
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      Vienna! LOOOL Love the man… Dawn French cracks me up, though.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Vienna- you haven’t been at it all that long!, Zou probably needs to come round to the idea of all this, keep in mind Henry is new…i

      No I haven’t, and although bodning has started only a week ago, Henry has been in the kitchen for the past 6 weeks… they certainly know each other (and have had a few scuffles thorugh the bars)

      (walk in the carrier crammed together)

      Good god, I wouldn’t put them in a carrier together !! (Well physically I couldn’t…. LOL, but I wouldn’t !!)

      Are their cages beside each other btw?

      Henry is in cage in the kitchen (with double barriers) and Zou is freeroam when I’m home – so they certainly know of each other’s existence and smells…
      Sometimes I swap it around by putting Zou in the cage and Henry can freeroam

      Dawn French cracks me up, though

      Ohhh yes, she is just perfick !! And Dibley !! Soooooooo good !!


    • Q8bunny
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      Yep. Got the whole series, specials and all


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Calming down on the bath sessions until I know if I can find a bunny bonder to do the hard work for me !

      Zou is starting to realise that when she comes in to the kitchen, she gets to go in the carrier and taken upstairs and into the bath (not immediately of course, but she’s not stoopid)…. so I don’t want her to think that will always happen.

      Generally, we take our cars to the garage, the gas man comes to mend anything gas’y, so I’m not ashamed to go looking for pros in what I want – bunny bonding…
      I feel a bit sad that I will have failed without hardly trying, but I don’t want to hurt my buns and I’m not ashamed to get help….


    • Q8bunny
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      Vienna, I think that’s an awesome idea! I would consider anyone who has that option very fortunate. The tiny beast and I had no such choice and I can’t help wondering if he’d have a little friend now had that been the case. I comfort myself by thinking that I hit the jackpot with him and the odds of a second perfect bun in this sandpit are pretty low, so it’s better that no other bun gets to cramp Chewie’s style (aka total freedom roomie status)


    • jerseygirl
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      Zou is starting to realise that when she comes in to the kitchen, she gets to go in the carrier and taken upstairs and into the bath (not immediately of course, but she’s not stoopid)…. so I don’t want her to think that will always happen.  

      Do you have enough pen panels to set up a bonding pen with a bedsheet or something on the floor?

      A suggestion Im just “putting it out there” and some may suggest not to do it as it’s an unconventional approach: Let Zou come into Henry’s area? As in hop from her own and come into the kitchen preferably while he is out of the cage but still in the area. I know you said things went badly when HE went into HER area (How dare he! haha) but it *might* be different the other way around, unless she just views the whole place as hers. 

      Ive taken the lazy option and am cut’n’pasting this from when I put Gooseman with Maple and Potamus. Quoting myself. 

      LPT, I kind of went against the usual process. I mean, I let them meet in neutral space a few times before but didnt really dedicate time to continuing that.

      Last week, I set up Gooseman’s pen in the girls room. I figured it would give him company and they could adjust to him. They were curious and not overly put out.
      Then after a few days I opened his pen. He ran around in their space and they went to investigate his.

      Lots of marking etc etc.
      Because the girls were so preoccupied with his area, they didnt take exception to his being in their territory. (Potamus would usually get a bit precious about their cardboard hide-out).

      I did this a couple more times during the week. One day while I hung out with them, they shared space for about 4+ hours. The next time longer.
      Then overnight.

      The girls still startle easily by him because he’s a little boisterous but they’re acclimatizing. I’ve seen both laying relaxed next to him or grooming him. He’s quasi-groomed them some. Lol.


    • Gina.Jenny
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      When I rebonded Pippi and Jenny, that’s what I did, let her go into his area. I think the outcome would have been less straightforward if he had put so much as a toe in her area.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      unless she just views the whole place as hers

      Yep !

      Certainly the kitchen part. She hasn’t spent time anywhere else in the house (excl bath!)
      Can’t much change the set up (big wall length windows, kitchen cupboards) to trick her thinking into she’s not in ‘her’ kitchen, but I certainly could remove the rug. They both use it in even amounts I reckon.

      Do you have enough pen panels to set up a bonding pen with a bedsheet or something on the floor?

      Not without taking apart the set up I have now to separate them….

      Buuuuut, just gazing out into my postage stamp of a garden I do have a tiny summer house (shed!) where I could put them both it without them getting out of it…. If I took them out for a ride in the car in their individual carriers, then brought them back and plonked them both in it filled it with lots of goodies to chomp… (with me & ski gloves in the middle…), I might see different behaviours.

      Hmmm plans are being schemed…. schemes are being planned…


    • Gina.Jenny
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      Sounds like a cunning plan and well schemed scheme, here’s hoping it works


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      SESSION 10 – car ride followed by 20 mins in the shed !

      ===========================================

      So, cunning plan required to make progress. I took them for a 15 min car ride.

      Pre car ride, I had prepped the “shed” with plastic sheet on ground with lots of yummy yums to nibble and distract.

      Now, I’m usually a chilled & skilled car driver, but with 2 buns in the back requiring stressing I uncharacteristically went around roundabouts on 2 wheels, accelerated like a teen racer and braked liked a heavy footed 90yr old !!    (all safely of course!! )

      Then straight back through the house and into the shed  (on foot    )

      Travels carriers down on ground and doors opened same time….

      Henry shot out to see where he had been taken! Zou came out, made her way around the food and went into the only bolt hole, Henry’s carrier !!

      Zou came out again, so I closed the door… They both sniffed, walked carefully, smelling this new place…. even Henry didn’t stuff his nose into the food (just yet !!). He tried to bound over to Zou on several occasions, I prevented this and popped him back away from her. They continued circling slowly, not focused on each other, but just sniffing out the shed.

      Eventually Zou settled down, not hunched and ready to pounce, but just settled.. you can see her neck/head is up rather than flat on the floor. But her hind legs give her away, not quite settled, ready to get up at a moment’s notice…

      Henry decided it was time to eat…..

      And to explore…

      On several occasions Zou got up, had a wash, wandered around. Good signs.

      Henry tried shoving his head under her belly – as I was stroking her she was in her zoned out state and so didn’t really notice and then I moved Henry away.

      I do not want nasty confrontations on the first bond in the shed.

      So after 20 mins I called it a day. Henry is now outside enjoying the fresh air and peeing in Zou’s condo and Zou is inside peeing in his cage, his litter tray and generally making darn sure he knows she has been there !! 

      On another note – I felt something spikey on Henry’s lower back, at hip level.

      On closer inspection it is a Zou tooth-shaped wound (a half moon shape, about half an inch long).    The spikey bit being blood that has clotted. I hadn’t noticed it before.

      It must have been from last weekend’s bonding session, when they had fisticuffs in the bath. I did pat them down with hands afterwards but didnt feel/see blood

      I will do another session this afternoon with banana to see if he will lick her neck 


    • Q8bunny
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      Wow… way more promising from Zou


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      SESSION 11 – 20 mins in shed with unused banana on stand-by.
      ==================================================

      Well I’m not sure if it’s because it was early evening or they didn’t get in the car together but things were a bit more lively tonight.

      There were no scuffles but there were definite attempts to sniff each other out a lot more.
      The earlier session was mid afternoon, siesta time, and they had been in the car, stressed out, well not that stressed out but anyway….
      So no scuffles things went OK for 15 mins.

      Henry spent the last five minutes thumping his back foot, thump, thump, thump, thump. He must’ve heard something that I couldn’t hear, for I could see no reason why he was thumping but not even a bowl of banana could distract him from thumping : O so I called it a day

      I’m looking to these sessions as helpful towards any future bonding bunny-bonders may do…


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Haven’t done any more sessions… it’s already dark and cold so early, that I just don’t want to take them into the shed and do a session.

      I called a belgian rabbit club today thinking they would be more ‘open’ to have someone bond them for me…. I was mistaken. Stupid me.

      So returning to the UK seems to be the way to go to find someone to do it, but if ONLY people would answer messages/emails or tel calls !!!!
      How do people run a business if they can’t simply do that out of politeness. It makes me bonkers. I don’t care if they say ‘not interested’ but just, please, RELPY !!

      The UK bunny sites (RUF) seem to lean towards preferring marathon bonding sessions and no stressing in cars or spinning washing machines…


    • Q8bunny
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      Oh, the lengths we go through for our bunnies


    • Gina.Jenny
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      Posted By Vienna Blue in France on 11/24/2016 7:01 AM

      The UK bunny sites (RUF) seem to lean towards preferring marathon bonding sessions and no stressing in cars or spinning washing machines…

      I marathon bonded Gina and Podge. it took four days

      Get a warm sleeping bag, and camping potty and next long weekend, the three of you can camp out in the shed and marathon bond


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      I am really not slack when it comes to patience or time, but I really don’t want them to injure themselves. 6 kg and 5 kg going towards each other with paws the size of carrots and claws the size of sharp forks simply frightens me if i were to leave them together to chase and hump.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Another issue (I know, another one…!!) is that Zou’s 3 tiered condo is completely made of various woods… odours will remain even if I have a clean out with vinegar of all surfaces…

      Any ideas to make it a smell free condo for a couple ?

      There’s no change I can make to the setup either (holes cut in each part so she can access all parts), or the location of it (up against the wall which protects from wind and rain).
      Unless…. I take it apart (possible), let them discover the individual parts to it (which will therefore NOT be up against said wall) and once I’m happy Zou is not territorial, put the bits back up to the same set up as now and hope she doesn’t notice….

      What say you my friends ?


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      I marathon bonded Gina and Podge. it took four days

      GJ – Shame (or lucky for you! lol) you live so far oop north, I’d be popping my two in to you for bonding, in return for a regular supply of veggies for your furbabies…..


    • Gina.Jenny
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      Zou might take a crush on Podge and refuse to leave!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Zou might take a crush on Podge and refuse to leave!

      I’ll correct that for you …

      Zou might – – – crush – – Podge and – – leave!


    • Gina.Jenny
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      hmmmmm

      could you try the boat rocking technique?


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Weeeell, I might do if and when I feel it safe to even put them that close together…..

      I’m having a look on a UK site and also on a French bunny site, who recommends against stressing and starting off in enclosure not small or enclosed, so they don’t feel trapped…. well I’m not sure about the not enclosed bit or else they’d be all over the room , but certainly Z&H seemed ‘happier’ in the more spacey shed rather than the bath…. (and that’s not just because of the ‘garden view’…. LOL )

      I’ll see what they get up to in the tarpaulin covered shed tomorrow… (different floor plastic that I might just spray with a bit of water to make it slippy slippy)


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      LOL.
      I’ve just finished a bonding session and throwing the towel in. I can’t do it.
      They wandered around for a few mins, then Henry approached the box i had put in the middle which STUPIDLY Zou had touched last night… and she went for him and he gave double back (ski gloves, i love you). My drink went flying ( they were being completely calm, stupid me let my barriers down and picked up my cup of tea…) and i shoved them to each side.
      I now can’t tell when Henry approaches Zou if she is going to attack or not and i don’t have the balls to let them sort it out.
      Someone else will have to do it instead.
      Crap moment. Feeling a failure.
      Should’ve got another cat to keep Zou company.
      Crap Saturday. Trying to type on this stupid ipad is not helping

      And now I’ve swapped them around. Henry is outside exploring fresh air, and Zou is lavishing me with licks and toothrubs and laying down by me as i am on the floor with her and I feel even worse.

      You are reading a very uncharacteristically sad Vienna….


    • Gina.Jenny
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      hugs xxx give it time!


    • Q8bunny
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      *huuug* for you and *calming cheek rubs* for your ninjas


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Just watching Googlebox to cheer myself up….


    • Bam
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      I’m watching The Hobbit part 2 tonight. I’ve been binge-watching 4th season of Orange Is The New Black. I still love that show. It’s not TWD of course, but then only TWD is TWD =)


    • Chelsea
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       I’m so sorry.

      I’m taking an extended break from bonding sessions with my two. I still have hope, but I’ve decided there is no rush. I’ve moved their food dishes next to each other separated by a gate, and I’m hoping that somehow they will get used to each other and it’ll go better when I try again maybe a month or so from now. I hope you are able to find help or some time brings improvement. In the meantime, googlebox sounds like an excellent idea.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Bam. Please do not mention TWD on this thread! Use the general chat for THAT please

      Chelsea. male Nutty made me LOL earlier. Did you see it when he put his head over the bowl full of Vicks as he had a cold and when he took it away he said “great the nose is clear, but now I’m blind !”
      made me splutter with laughter !!!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      I’m back – I’m not giving in that easily    I am just so aware that I could be responsible for a break in any connection they had in the speed date and make it irreparable   I did something similar with Kyra and regret it so. I don’t want to repeat it.

      Following the advice of the Frenchie bunny site, I cleared out the shed to make the whole of it available, a larger surface area for fighting buns to retreat (rather than feel pressured into only going forward, ie fighting harder).

      They plonked around for 15 mins sniffing as they do, nibbling and with me fielding off one bun as the other crosses over to the other side, so there are no confrontations. There were no confrontations (thanks to me…) and they hopped relatively calmly around. (Almsot getting a bit faster each circuit). Then one (or the other, it happened so fast) decided it would be good to dodge my leg fast and nip around to attack the other bun. I think it was Zou again looking for trouble, who latched onto Henry’s back (teeth, not humping – I’ll have to check him to check no blood) so I picked her off, chucked her lovingly across the shed (low to floor, not high, not hard, no injury!) as far away as Henry as possible because Henry was fighting back tenfold. I picked him up, put him down further away in the opposite direction, he came back at me like a hyped up boxer, chomped my hand (again) in the mêlée and took a few good ‘NO’s and squirts before calming down.

      Zou remained on other side of shed. Like all girls, she’s told off once and gets the message. Henry couldn’t stop himself having another go… and another

      This is what he left me (through my thick padded ski gloves!!) – skin not broken but a nice, black blood blister.

      Having had both bite me now, I can conclude that Henry bites with conviction and doesn’t let go, Zou bites like a big nip, once and lets go… if you get me.  I love my ski gloves 

      So I’m doing everything back to front – started them off in the bath and am growing the space they are in, instead of starting big and reducing…..  pfff.  You just don’t know what’s the best thing to do, there’s so much info out there….

      Anyhoo, what’s done is done and cannot be undone – lets see if I can insist on getting through to so called Bunny Bonders….


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
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      Oof, I can totally understand the plea for help here. This is a tricky situation indeed. I hope that you can find a professional and that the rabbits will calm down around eachother.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      So after “hunting high and loooow ooo..” (sorry got carried away Aha!) I’ve found the RHDV2 vaccine for my two monkeys and have vets appt tomorrow afternoon.

      This vet is 35eur per rabbit (20 consult + 15 jab). The other one I found was 40 consult + 30 jab !!!!!!!

      Proof that it is definitely worth shopping around! !!!

      Would it be a good time to have a little bonding session after returning from vets?? ( car journey, stressful etc).

      I’ll (try to) avoid all conflict…..

      I think I’ve found someone to bond buns (or try her best)…. it will be the week before Christmas and she says if she can’t succeed it in 2 weeks she probably wont be able to…

      She’s sending me prices over and says its crazy how many people want their buns bonded. Its not surprising as there aren’t many who do it.


    • Q8bunny
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      Vaccines affect a bun’s immune system as is, so to be honest I wouldn’t stress them further for fear of stasis…
      It’s great you found the right jabs at last, though… especially after reading how short supplies were.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Well, after looking into bonding with bunny boarders in the UK, I see that noone accepts bunnies who have not been vaccinated!!! Reg bought in 1st Oct 2016…..

      I wont risk it then and never say never, but Henry stop eating ???? Never !!!


    • Bam
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      Congrats on finding the right vaccine! My (new) vet now offers the Filavac for 50 Euro. Since Bam has already had the Cunipravac, he should wait until it’s been 6 months until he’s re-vaccinated.

      It’s wise of boarders not to accept un-vaccinated buns.

      It takes about a week for the body to make the antibodies. Then the production of antibodies keeps going on for a short while and then it stops. The body remembers the infectious agent though, and if exposed to it again, it makes many, many times more antibodies than it did on first exposure, and it does it much, much faster. The antibodies made on second exposure are not just more numerous but also better at binding to the antigens.

      Cool, isn’t it? =) But it means the buns are a little bit vulnerable that first week when their immune-systems are busy making antibodies. Some can get a bit of tummy trouble. Stress should be avoided. 


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      The prices are crazy aren’t they ! I’ll wait until I get the bill before I cheer, but I don’t understand why there are SUCH différences if I pay 15 euros for it !!

      Re the vaccine, to cut a long story short, I called Vet surgery A (no) who gave me Vet B surgery’s tel (far too expensive) who passed me on to Vet C (no) who said I should contact vet B (nope done that) so I tried a Vet D who said nope, but def Vet E who said YES ( YAY!) but it wasn’t she who is based 40 mins away who does bunnies, it was her male colleague who will call me back, which he did, saying he also worked out from a surgery 10 mins away from me, which turns out to be Vet Surgery A !!!!!!!!!!!! Vet E is not happy that his receptionist (A) said they didn’t have the vaccine…. understandably !


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      63 euros for 2 ( but I had to remind him of the special price )

      And in the waiting room a 2yr old Maine Coone needing a new home….. nooooo I didn’t…. (i nearly did though)

      Lots of advice re bonding…. and the attempted persuasion of using a pheromone diffuser to make things easier between buns….. I refused. (she shrugs)

      His favoured bonding is put them together a carrier and let them fight it out. “One hour per day and it should soon be sorted….”…..


    • Q8bunny
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      A pheromone diffuser??!


    • Bam
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      Do they have rabbit pheromone diffusers?

      I only thought they had those for dogs and cats. Which will be great for the Maine Coon when you get him/her

      but I doubt the little lagomorphs would clap their little lagomorph hands in approval.

      63 Euros is a really good price for 2 doses of the Filavac. I’m taking Bam to France next time he’s due (Kidding!)


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Were you told the Filavac only covers 6 months…..?

      The diffuser recommended was “Petscool”….. i havent looked into it further….


    • Bam
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      Yes, the Filavac as well as the Cunipravac should be given every 6 months. When I first got Bam, the myxo-vaccine had to be given every 6 months too. I hope they’ll work on these new vaccines so they can cover a whole year. But it’s really tricky because calici-viruses are prone to mutating. We might get a HRVD3 and 4. Human flu vaccines must be adjusted every year.

      I couldn’t find Petschool when I googled, just adaptil (dog) and feliway (cat). Those are well-renowned products but I can’t see how they’d be good for rabbits. It sounds a bit unlikely that they’d have invented rabbit feromone diffusers.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      It’s PETScool and it says it’s for cats and dogs and rabbits and others….. IF i used it, it would have to be when they came back into the house as a bonded couple, that may be a good plan

      Does white vinegar work on wood to clean and deodorise it ??? (i’m thinking Zou’s condo…. or would i have to throw it out and start from scratch…? )


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Anyone any experience with wood cleaning with white vinegar?!


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
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      Vinegar does de-odorise, but it all depends on whether the pee has soaked through. Untreated or damaged wood soaks up the pee, and I don’t think that a simple vinegar wipe would get rid of the smell.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Im thinking the same thing…. boo hoo…. that means current condo will have to be turned into fire wood….?!!? Sniffffff


    • Chelsea
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      I wonder if an enzymatic cleaner like Bac-Out would be safe to use.
      https://www.amazon.com/Biokleen-Bac…th=1 

      How much of a chewer are your two? I would definitely try it with Silas, who rarely ever chews on anything and never wood, but I would be very hesitant with Jasper, who likes to eat vast quantities of wood every day. Of course, if it was Jasper, he’d take care of the issue of what to do with the condo by just eating it 


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      No Zou doesnt chew and i think Henry would have so many other things to do (and Zou to annoy) that i dont think they would chew…

      I am going to have to replace her second floor hutch with a new one anyway because it won’t be big enough for the two monsters in the curent one…. but I’m not jumping the gun just yet, I’ll wait to hear that they are bondable before doing any ‘home’ improvements !!!!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      I have had first update from bunny bonder, which is where i left Zou & Henry last night.

      I quote :
      “first impressions are that Henry is trying very hard. Zou is not sure at all and is in complete defence mode. However she loves the feral kitten currently being treated here !!!!”

      Well….. it’s the first day….


    • Q8bunny
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      It’s ok. It was the same for Anthony and Cleopatra


    • Vienna Blue in France
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    • Vienna Blue in France
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      So now that I’m back with a PROPER computer  I can post some pics of the journey to Bunny Bonding Boot Camp ! (woo-hoo I hear you sigh.. )

      So in the car, atleast for once they both agreed to give some serious bunny butt

      If anyone’s interested on the interior of the Chunnel tunnel (car) train, here it is… cars already Inside, and car approaching

        

      Once at the stop over 5* hotel, Henry decided it was time to look clever for “Nanna” whilst his every movement was being checked (WIRES!)

      Hmmm, a door…. how does this work…? So if I give one of my MEGA-nudges….

        

      Well, that wasn’t too tricky.. and ‘hop… in we go….EASY !!

      Oh oh, I’m being watched…. and DARN, foiled by another door, and the warden’s got this one SHUT

       


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Henry : Oh well, I’ll just play innocent (ed: hah!) and show my best side !! Back straight, chin up… and….  pout.

      Meanwhile, seasoned traveller Zou takes it all in her stride, feigns a siesta to show off her VERY impressive paws….

      Little did they know that a few hours later they would be put in the BONDING SHED…. and their hooman will leave them in the hands of a “stranger who is supposed to make us like each other”… “blurrgh” spurts out the storm coloured girl as the golden boy says he wants to kiss her on her head… oh puuuur-lease !  Zou gets first innings in the cage, with Henry free and  tomorrow they’ll be swapped around…

      Meanwhile….. back at the ranch…. said Hooman has to be content with the only two animals left in the house..   (by golly the house feels empty….) No dog, no cat, and now no rabbits !!!! 


    • Bam
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      Oh, lovely pics!!! I can imagine how empty it must feel without them.


    • BunnyFriends
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      They’ll be back soon hopefully together. Just keep that in mind and time will fly.


    • Q8bunny
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      Oooh… I was wishing I could be there to help anyways, and now I got my wish (sort of)


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Latest bonding report not positive… more BB vibes please….

      (I suppose it is going to hard or else my own inexperienced bonding skills may have made better progress….) not happy today… wish I hadn’t asked for an update….


    • Bam
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      (((((((Zou and Henry)))))))


    • Gina.Jenny
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      Hugs x


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Thanks xx

      I’ve just ordered a Pet Remedy spray on amazon and will get it sent to her (a few days too late, bu hey, didn’t know we’d need it)
      Anything is worth a try… and if she doesn’t feel happy using it and I bring 2 single buns home I can try using it here….


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
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      Aww, let’s keep the faith and hold our hopes up that it’ll turn out allright! Hugs!


    • Q8bunny
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      Aww…
      ((((((bunny love)))))) and *hugs*


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      The ‘shed’ has been deemed too small for my monsters so they were allowed a binding session in the garden after a planned pre-outing by the resident ferrets.(genius bunny lady, genius !!)…. so Z&H were so occupied with the ferrety smells that it is the first time they havent fought in bunny bootcamp….

      Zou even allowed herself a nose bop with Henry and scuttled off….
      I am suppressing an urge to feel a microgram excited….


    • BunnyFriends
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    • Q8bunny
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    • Bam
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    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Nope, I refuse and am not going to get excited with your smiley little faces*
      My face will remain in a suppressing state of suppression.

      * I might.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      New updates yesterday and day before. Baby steps are being taken in the right direction, ie no fights (or Bunny Bonding Boot Camp Boss alias Emma removes one from the equation before anything negative happens 

      *wave* to Emma

      I have, with Emma’s brief authorisation ( ), copied and pasted her email to me yesterday which i thought was amusing, and sums up Henry… I don’t think he will be forgotten too soon once I bring them home !!

      Enjoy….!

      = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

      Henry was a sneaky little guy yesterday who started off by finding a way to get under the big shed.
      Thing is that he didn’t sneak under there. He sat looking at me until I clocked what he was about to do and then as I walked towards him, off he went. Exploring the shed but checking out the structure underneath.
      THREE HOURS he had me trying to coax him out and I even ended up laying on the floor spaeking to him through a tiny hole in the floor.
      I think my mother thinks I have lost my mind as she bought some stuff up to the caged animals to find me laying on my front speaking into the floor and saying ‘GET OUT!’
      What she didn’t realise was that his nose was poking through the floor laughing at my torture. There is of course no way for me to access under the big shed so it was really just a waiting game.

      (Note to BB members : this is in UK where foxes are very present in urban areas so no option of leaving Henry outside alone to ‘come back in’ when he feels like it !!)

      In the end I sat in the middle of the garden feeding Zouzou dried dandelion and he got jealous and sped out of there as he thought he was missing out.
      To run straight past me and under the small shed structure instead!!! TWO HOURS later he emerged covered in mud and thinking he was oh so clever !
      Of course by that time Zouzou was tired out running about and he was exhausted just exploring, so meet and greets were out of the question because all they wanted was food and sleep. ><

      Today I have blocked the whole garden off and we are going to try again!!!

      = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

        Henry I hope you behave yourself from now on, or you’ll be out on the street looking for wild carrots on your own !!!!!!


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
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      Hahaha, what a little rascal! Best laugh I had in a while ^_^


    • Chelsea
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      Naughty Henry! He is clearly full of personality.

      Yay for no fights!


    • SeaTurtleSwims
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      Thanks for posting this. I just read the whole thing haha I was looking for tips (learned a couple, and apparently I’m pushing things WAY to fast!!) and also appreciated the ups and downs that I’m sure everyone trying to bond bunnies has gone or is going through. Will keep looking for future posts! You can do this, Vienna!!!


    • Q8bunny
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      The whole time I was reading your post, there were cartoons playing in my mind with Henry as the lead.

      I saw an ad in the classifieds yesterday – some hooman put their bun up for adoption. And the bun’s sooo cute


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      And on todays Z&H newschannel….

      Two scuffles were instigated by Henry in which Zou ran off. They furry monsters were then spotted shortly after laying down 2 feet away from each other having a personal grooming session…

      That’s all folks!!.


    • Chelsea
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      Sounds good to me!  


    • Bam
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      Thanks for posting this, Vienna! It made me laugh! I needed that!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      So I’ve seen my babes….. (dropped off about 10kg of endives for buns and resident piggies!) not close to Z&H for long. One stroke of each; not interested in me whatsoever…

      Zou was skulking around trying to avoid Henry (not in a negative way, but you could tell it was a definite skulk, lol) and Henry was looking for anything, anything to eat !!! (That’s my boy!! ) and when he’d had a nibble of something he’d go for a nose bop to Zou… who nose bopped back and then turned and was chased.
      On Emma’s “no” he generally stops, but on one occasion it was round and round and round (and round) fur pulling and mouting attempts. Intervention from human (drill sergeant, not me! ) to stop chasing and they both went to their corners: Zou flopped exhausted (imagine Rebel Wilson after a 400m race!…. ) and Henry continued nose to ground foraging on cement, always hopeful…..

      Forgot to take video…. d’oh !!!!

      So, in short, both making slooooow progress. But PROGRESS nonetheless. Nose bopping amicably, if tentatively (remembering recent fights). Chasing & fur pulling from Henry. Running in opposite direction from Zou. Not yet a bonded couple. Need to be separate at home. No grooming.

      Henry needs to take a chill pill. Emma confirmed if he were a child he would be unarguably diagnosed with ADHD !! (And isnt therefore helping the bonding process)…

      3 days left at bunny boot camp.


    • Bam
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      I’m glad you got to see them Could their stay be prolonged if they need it? It sounds like they are making progress, but slowly.


    • Q8bunny
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      I was thinking that too, Vienna. If progress is slower than usual, could they just stay until friends?


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Hmmmm, weeeeell, instead of Crowdfunding, I could start Bondfunding !!!!!

      Well…. they may be there forever more if i leave them there… i know that Emma just loves spending her time on all fours with her head under the shed (LOL, Henry barged over the barrier, again, yesterday…. )
      It’s a routine that i have to continue when getting home, i must be strict and let them get on with it…. and turn my (neutral) garden into a big bonding area…..

      Andre Rieu is on the tele….. and Buble is on the radio…… it must be Christmas !!!!!!!!!


    • Q8bunny
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      Luuurv the Buble this time of year


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Picking up the fur monsters tomorrow & going home !!!

      Good reports from Camp. No grooming but no fighting.
      My instructions are to carry on what Emma is doing now….. I’m sooooo worried that their dynamics will change when we get back home.

      Im picking up a big garden run tomorrow to put in my living room (neutral) with a cage at each end…. it should be big enough for them to run around and around in it. Im not convinced my xpen grids would stand up to pushing and pulling from the free roam bun during the day when im at work… so this pen has a roof on it and is (“should” be ….. ) too heavy to be picked up by teeth.

      My friend’s words “The buns should live in your space, NOT the other way around !!” are flashing neon at the moment


    • Q8bunny
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      LOL Yeah. Right. Your space.

      Just remember to try to look at what Z & H are doing through a professional bunny bonding sargeant’s eyes, and coupled with the new space you should be ok now that they’ve stopped trying to scuffle


    • Bam
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      I wish you the absolute best of luck!!!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Buns back home.
      Big run erected in small living room with dog cage next to it
      Zou had first session in cage. NOT happy about that.
      Henry chillaxing in run passed by to say hi and got the full anger of an angry doe…
      Needless to say I pulled the cage away a few more inches…
      first home bond tonight

      photo to follow, phone wont upload…


    • Bam
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      Can’t wait to see pics! Please be good now, buns


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      OK, so garden for bonding is out. Too wet, cold, small, dark. 

      Patio is out too…. I just didn’t want to tempt fate on Zou’s patch, yet. I need them 150% bonded before we go there.

      The lounge was reduced (engulfed!!) by the huge run, so I’ve turned the house upside down and moved everything to accomodate big area bonding LOL

      It’s happening in the lounge which now only has big run and cage in. And lots of boxes to hide behind.

      (Settees and tables are in kitchen, which no longer exists… )

      Pet remedy was sprayed to calm the nerves (theirs and mine!!) and the game is on !!

      Both had their doors opened at (roughly) same time and small cage was closed firmly behind to avoid re-entry and cornering.

      Tentative sniffing went on for all of 10 secs and then, BIG fight about 3 secs after the noses met.

      Zou went first (I think), Henry gave chase, Zou wasn’t giving up, big chase/fight/chase/fight. You know the story. Mega furpulls and slippery running on the tiles.

      Zou went into the run (both doors were fixed open) followed closely by Henry and she presumably forgot there were 2 exits so they went round and round, over and tumbled around. I was at side of pen (I’d forgotten to open top up) and so clanked the pen around a bit as Henry was clearly not listening to any ‘no’ commands… and then whilst in a Tarzan/Crocodile mode they both froze, melted together as one physical blob, like a double tub of icecream, Blueberry on one side, Caramel on the other!

      Of course they were in the far end of the run (I was only 5 inches away but the other side of the bars) and I could see very clearly that during the rough and tumble Henry had frozen with one of Zou’s ear in his mouth !!! My immediate thought was Henry’s battle scarred ear : oh no, not another chomped ear… but on closer inspection, no blood or injury – no chomping was going on and he must have been licking her ear !!!  LOL

      Another clank from me later and the slo-mo came back to normal speed and Zou chased off and Henry pretended to chase to get to the other side of the run and flopped.

      Zou flopped on the other side of the room.

      Another couple of chases and fur pulls later and they both flopped momentarily together (with a box in the middle of them) in the run.

      Before there was time to say ‘good bunnies’ Henry was up and sniffing out the pellets that had scattered during the chases.

      I am quite happy the way things have gone. Happy with the space I’ve made for them, which was my first worry (and one I can live in for the immediate future). And happy that after the first big fight tonight, Zou was avoiding Henry’s approaches rather than attacking.

      Henry is as clean as a whistle, all in litter tray.

      And so was Zou…until she was let out into the run… and then she peed everywhere to mark her territory…

      LUCKILY, and with a bit of luck the tarpauling i’ve out under the run is much bigger than the run’s footprint and so covers a few inches all round too. So the pee (for the moment) is contained.

      Zou is in the big run tonight, so maybe tomorrow eve she’ll get narky over that area with Henry… but all he is interested in is the food feast I’d placed in the middle. ?

      Quite excited, though very aware we’re in it for the long haul….

      This is the first fight (not really furpulling) which went on round the room and ended in the ‘Frozen Tarzan/Croc roll’ in the run, in which Henry (I believe) was licking Zou’s ear…. (or it could have just been very hopeful thinking on my behalf! )

      Then the post fight (after 5 mins flop pause) nibbles… check out those ears on Zou….. for-ward !

        

      Then the shared flop-in-the-run flop (with box in middle as ‘protection’ of course)

      A bit too close for Zou, so she went out and tried to hide even more convincingly… (didn’t work… )

      And results of the evening’s session ? Ikea bun saying “Ouch – glad this didn’t come from me Mum” !!

      Shame I had to go out this evening or I would have left them longer together – but for a first night’s work, I am really quite pleased !


    • Q8bunny
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      Wow! I was on the edge of my sofa reading this
      Glad you let them get on with it… I really do think they’re making progress… a grudging respect of sorts at this point?

      Chewie’s under the footstool thumping because mom’s still asleep LOL


    • Bam
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      Bunnies really are dragons disguised in fluff and cutesy ears. I don’t know enough about bonding to say anything, to me it seems hopeful. If Yohio had got Bam’s ear in his mouth at some point in time way back when, Bam would’ve lost that ear, I’m pretty certain of that.

      They are beautiful.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      A three hour free roam session contained lots of action, lots of rest, lots of eating (Henry)….and….. repeat LOL

      The first fight was instigated by zou on immediate sight of free roam Henry and was quite aggressive (Henry has small war wound on ear) but as time went on, when chased she then ran. Yay. And thumped, yay. The only shame in the evening was that when they got nose to nose calmly and I thought ohhhhhhh sweet, it was Henry who gave a little nip and so cat and mouse started again…. d’oh!!

      But some very cute actions from Henry like flopping close to her or laying bottom to bottom, not forcing himself on her, were very sweet.


    • Gina.Jenny
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      sounding promising any pics?


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Yup! When I get home to my comp…


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      I’m pretty much home all w-e (exc going out nye)
      Would something like ” 3hrs on then 3 hrs off ” be acceptable. I’m only thinking of the three hours off so Zou can relax and eat as Henry hogs the eating…. (otherwise i’d go for marathon bonding…. but I’d be worried about Zou not realaxing enough to nibble.) Soon as she goes into her cage and alone she eats again.I


    • Bam
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      I think 3 on 3 off sounds good. I’d not like to risk stressing Zou into stasis. Even if it takes longer time, I’d still choose a method that gives them time to relax. But if their stress levels don’t drop enough in 3 hours after a while (I imagine it’s a bit like working out with a pulse-clock – you find you need longer pauses between intervals as the class wears on, if you’re taking a several-hours class), I’d take longer pauses.

      But that’s just me, I never liked flooding in dog-training, and then dogs aren’t anywhere near as frail as buns. There are 2 responses to flooding, total submission in the form of learned helplessness (“I’m powerless to change my situation”) and madly enhanced aggression from being cornered. If you get submission it will work, if you get the aggression-response you get Yohio and Bam =/ And that wasn’t good. (well, obviously.)


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Back from work and let them out. Henry had been in run and Zou in cage all day – no aggression from either. Zou running immediately from Henry’s gentle advances.
      At one point I nearly splurted my cup of tea.

      I have put rugs (previously “Zou’s” rug from the kitchen… sneaky Mum, yeehaa) in the area so they can grip when chasing (they were performing uncontrolled cornering like cartoon characters) and this is just HEAVEN for Henry aka The Binky King !!
      So he is back to flying high and at one point just after being let out he binkied completely out of control and landed literally nose to nose with Zou !!! Who, much to my surprise and amazement backed off and ran in the other direction
      They are both nibbling on passing by the food plate, at the moment in favour of Henry 80/20 lol – I have put down the gold treats – dried dandelion leaves… brought out for special occasions as they are rationed in the winter !! LOL

      I will watch the “recovery time” and make sure Zou is eating & relaxing happily before letting out again.
      But going on the past 45 mins, it’s all calm in the bonding area. Just Zou up and running whenever Henry approaches.

      If it continues like this today and tomorrow I’ll reduce the area


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Photos of yesterday’s game of : Sit by me (H), get too close and I’ll move (Z), but then sit by me again, but don’t get too close… oh I’m off again… LOL – apologies for the crummy photo quality – it’s with instant camera without flash, indoor lighting and my wibblywobbly hands (apparently!! lol) !!

      Just now Mr H has reminded me why we do NOT put a box next to the run…..

      And since his climbing expedition it has been stalemate and even Henry hasn’t fidgeted for the last 5 mins…


    • Bam
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      That last pic looks very promising!

      (But who wrecked the wooden thingy? Do you let them use carpentry tools? Or do they just borrow them without asking when you’re at work?)


    • Q8bunny
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      Wow! Infinitely better than pre bootcamp, judging by the photos


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Nothing broken bam !!! the small bits are cut offs from my DIY endeavours and the half thing is something (already broken) i picked up off the street knowing it would come in useful for something….
      So a bunny toy it has become !!!!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Q8. “Promising” is the word and also me having the confidence to let them get on with it….
      I could have done it… maybe… but maybe not.

      Knowing what i do now, i could have. But i didn’t, so i probably wouldn’t have…..

      (If you follow )


    • Q8bunny
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      I follow, in a non creepy-stalker way, I always follow


    • sarahthegemini
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      I have to say, I check this thread on a daily basis because I am literally on edge wanting to know the outcome lol. It seems progress is being made so yay for that! Who would have thought bonding could be so complex aye.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Thanks Sarah, is good to know…
      I’m reducing the bonding area by about 15 inches a day…. hoping they don’t notice

      Ooo ooo, I forgot, last night we had GROOMING – I repeat, G.R.O.O.M.I.N.G.
      Well Henry licked Zou’s back for about 15 secs and she didn’t move, so I’ll take whatever positives are thrown at me !!

      I think I’ll get the banana juice out tomorrow


    • sarahthegemini
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      Posted By Vienna Blue in France on 12/31/2016 5:38 AM

      Thanks Sarah, is good to know…
      I’m reducing the bonding area by about 15 inches a day…. hoping they don’t notice

      Ooo ooo, I forgot, last night we had GROOMING – I repeat, G.R.O.O.M.I.N.G.
      Well Henry licked Zou’s back for about 15 secs and she didn’t move, so I’ll take whatever positives are thrown at me !!

      I think I’ll get the banana juice out tomorrow

      Take it,  that’s great!


    • Q8bunny
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      SLUUURP


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      This is what it is all about…. again not a fab piccie…. but it says it all !!!!

      What a Happy New Year it is going to start out as…..  


    • Gina.Jenny
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      It is a fab piccie <3


    • Q8bunny
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      SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Truly a happy new year, my friend

      hug


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      It certainly seems a lifetime away from the first bonding sessions in the bath….. which I would NEVER now advise anyone to do….. hindsight is such a wonderful thing

      PS: Happy New Year 3:36 in froggyland ? ?


    • Azerane
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      Oh goodness! They are so cute together That’s so positive!


    • Bam
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      That IS a fab picture!!! Happy New Year to you and your little (or rather big, actually) fur babies!!!!


    • MeekoAndNibs
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      Vienna, I’m curious, why would you not suggest the bathtub? What were the negative aspects of it?

      In the first stages of bonding my two beasties and it’s very similar to your first stages. Sigh.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Henry is so sweet about it.
      He goes and searches and out Zou, who will be laying down somewhere and Henry will lay down near her then almost ‘romp’ towards her gently until they touch…. lol.
      She is not quite there yet so they are still separated when I’m not in the house or at night but I’m not looking over them constantly.

      I guess I’m waiting for Zou to groom Henry…

      I’ve noticed plenty of “fur craters” on Zou’s back, caused by Henry’s fur pulliing and her fur ‘falling out’ on its own during bonding sessions.
      Some ‘holes’ already have fur growing back in them, some are still bald for the minute.


    • Q8bunny
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      Sweet boy…
      Tickly smooches for both your monsters


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
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      That looks promising! Let’s all keep sending {{bonding vibes}}!


    • sarahthegemini
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      What a great way to start the new year! So pleased to hear things are going well!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      MeekoAndNibs – Hi and welcome

      – the GREAT thing about the internet is that there is so much information available
      – the BAD thing about the internet is that there is so much information available

      I had read heaps before bonding my buns and there is all sorts of information available.
      Having never bonded buns before, one trys to read it all, filter through the bad advice, collect all the good advice and make the most of it..

      The major thing is that all buns are different, all bun slaves (thats us!) are too and even the place where we live changes from bond to bond.

      When something works for one person, sometimes it doesn’t always work for the next person.

      My buns (apparently) were a particularly difficult bond as my female was very stubborn and fought the male hard when she didn’t want to be in a situation and couldn’t get out of it. As my male was just as stubborn, it was temporary (aggressive) checkmate which wasn’t going anywhere.

      My buns are big and so my (big) bathtub didn’t allow them even to turnaround without encountering the other bun (you’ve seen my earlier photos?).
      Let alone get away from each other. Some advice says this is good and will force them to like each other… this didn’t work for mine and several people have advised me this is not a successful way to do it.

      Even with small buns.. (although a bathroom would probably be big enough for small buns to get away from each other)

      I have since joined this list of people….

      Even a vet advised me to put them together in a small area and ‘let them sort it out’ !!
      PLEASE NEVER, EVER DO THIS !!!!

      You risk a very injured bunny or worse…. and you will certaily risk all possibility of a future bond for either bun.

      The turning point in my buns’ bond was when they were allowed into the garden +/-5m x 5m (paving stones) prob a week after starting. The lady’s “bonding shed” was deemed too small for them and just wasn’t giving them enough space.

      As Henry gave chase to Zou she felt she had nowhere to run and so in the famous “fight or flight” situation, she fought (and they fought hard!).
      So they were getting nowhere as Henry was to be top bun.

      In the garden, Zou could run (and yes still be chased) but they could have a ‘good old chase’ and nip and chase then stop (or Henry be diverted off from chasing)…

      It makes so much sense now.

      It is only now that I am reducing their bonding area as I know the little chasing that is going on is not aggressive in any way and their body language is positive.

      A reduced space can be useful to ‘cement’ a bond by then “forcing” them to interact, but NOT if they are to fight aggressively towards each other.

      Do you know many households with cats (or kids!!! LOL) in who don’t really get on but tolerate each other….? (OK – or married couples?! )
      Can you imagine what it would be like of they were forced into a toilet size space to live. They wouldn’t be happy, would be stressed and may have to fight often to claim their territory (but what territory, it’s so small?)… whereas the more space they have, the more they could avoid each other harmoniously.

      Anyhow, I would definitely try the large bonding neutral area first to let them chase and nip (and intervene if it escalates to real aggression) and proceed at the speed you feel is OK for the buns. (ex One of my buns didn’t eat in the presence of the other one to begin with, so I didn’t prolong their sessions in order to allow her to eat and keep her digestion moving)

      I certainly have in flashing neon before me, words from a member here who had a bad experience thinking their buns were bonded, and they weren’t…. something like

      – “the absence of negative body language should NOT be interpreted as the presence of positive body language…

      Which basically means just because your buns don’t fight anymore, it doesn’t mean they are bonded.
      You should see positive active grooming from both buns to seal the deal.

      Hope that helps


    • sarahthegemini
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      Posted By Vienna Blue in France on 1/01/2017 8:57 AM

      MeekoAndNibs – Hi and welcome

      – the GREAT thing about the internet is that there is so much information available
      – the BAD thing about the internet is that there is so much information available

      I had read heaps before bonding my buns and there is all sorts of information available.
      Having never bonded buns before, one trys to read it all, filter through the bad advice, collect all the good advice and make the most of it..

      The major thing is that all buns are different, all bun slaves (thats us!) are too and even the place where we live changes from bond to bond.

      When something works for one person, sometimes it doesn’t always work for the next person.

      My buns (apparently) were a particularly difficult bond as my female was very stubborn and fought the male hard when she didn’t want to be in a situation and couldn’t get out of it. As my male was just as stubborn, it was temporary (aggressive) checkmate which wasn’t going anywhere.

      My buns are big and so my (big) bathtub didn’t allow them even to turnaround without encountering the other bun (you’ve seen my earlier photos?).
      Let alone get away from each other. Some advice says this is good and will force them to like each other… this didn’t work for mine and several people have advised me this is not a successful way to do it.

      Even with small buns.. (although a bathroom would probably be big enough for small buns to get away from each other)

      I have since joined this list of people….

      Even a vet advised me to put them together in a small area and ‘let them sort it out’ !!
      PLEASE NEVER, EVER DO THIS !!!!

      You risk a very injured bunny or worse…. and you will certaily risk all possibility of a future bond for either bun.

      The turning point in my buns’ bond was when they were allowed into the garden +/-5m x 5m (paving stones) prob a week after starting. The lady’s “bonding shed” was deemed too small for them and just wasn’t giving them enough space.

      As Henry gave chase to Zou she felt she had nowhere to run and so in the famous “fight or flight” situation, she fought (and they fought hard!).
      So they were getting nowhere as Henry was to be top bun.

      In the garden, Zou could run (and yes still be chased) but they could have a ‘good old chase’ and nip and chase then stop (or Henry be diverted off from chasing)…

      It makes so much sense now.

      It is only now that I am reducing their bonding area as I know the little chasing that is going on is not aggressive in any way and their body language is positive.

      A reduced space can be useful to ‘cement’ a bond by then “forcing” them to interact, but NOT if they are to fight aggressively towards each other.

      Do you know many households with cats (or kids!!! LOL) in who don’t really get on but tolerate each other….? (OK – or married couples?! )
      Can you imagine what it would be like of they were forced into a toilet size space to live. They wouldn’t be happy, would be stressed and may have to fight often to claim their territory (but what territory, it’s so small?)… whereas the more space they have, the more they could avoid each other harmoniously.

      Anyhow, I would definitely try the large bonding neutral area first to let them chase and nip (and intervene if it escalates to real aggression) and proceed at the speed you feel is OK for the buns. (ex One of my buns didn’t eat in the presence of the other one to begin with, so I didn’t prolong their sessions in order to allow her to eat and keep her digestion moving)

      I certainly have in flashing neon before me, words from a member here who had a bad experience thinking their buns were bonded, and they weren’t…. something like

      – “the absence of negative body language should NOT be interpreted as the presence of positive body language…

      Which basically means just because your buns don’t fight anymore, it doesn’t mean they are bonded.
      You should see positive active grooming from both buns to seal the deal.

      Hope that helps

      That is definitely a vital thing to remember. I believe that was in the cautionary tale thread? I’ll have that in the back of my mind when I bond mine. I will have to fight my temptation to move too quickly and wait for the positive signs. 


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      I believe that was in the cautionary tale thread?

      Ah, yes, you’re right !!! Thank you.

      (PS, highlighting any sentence then clicking on quote in the quick reply, will automatically highlight those words in the reply box


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      So when are they ready to be left together 24/7…??

      Today buns have been together 10hrs. Happy. Eating. (Me too, happy eating… i opened a box of chocs to have one… there are none left….!! ). Only on occasions they play head nudge “groom me, no, groom ME”…
      But Zou is now grooming Henry when he tirelessly puts his head under her…. (she moves, he follows, shoves his head under again, she moves, he shoves his head under… she says… oh okaaaay……)

      Could it be this soon ?


    • Hazel
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      Vienna, this looks amazing! I can’t believe things progressed so quickly after you got them back home. Great job!

      They’re so cute together! I’m no bonding expert but I think they might be close to ready?


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
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      Hoping that this is the big breakthrough! Fingers crossed!


    • Chelsea
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      That is so awesome Vienna! I was so happy to return from travels to read this update. Congrats!!!


    • Q8bunny
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      Crikey, Vee, I feel like the kid dancing around the cookie oven asking mom ‘d’you think they’ll be ready soon?’


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      They’re reaaaaady !!!
      Slept by them until 4am last night and then crawled into own bed as their pattering of paws on the groundsheet the run is on wasn’t helping me sleep !!!
      Plopped a whole load of veggies on ground for two (very, apparently) hungry buns and they let each other serve themselves in a very civilised matter and I had no qualms with leaving together as I’ve pootled off to work. (Ya boo. Hiss.!)

      One very happy relieved bunny mummy.

      Nearing the end of this bonding saga thread…


    • sarahthegemini
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      Yay!! When I started reading this thread, I really wasn’t expecting such a brilliant outcome! But it is proof that even though it may take a while (although saying that, it hasn’t taken that long has it? I’m sure it’s felt like that though!) bunnies can become friends with one another. I think you and the lady at the bonding facility did a fantastic job


    • Gina.Jenny
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      brilliant


    • Q8bunny
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      Felicitations (and carrot tops) all around!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Sarah – I guess it seems a long time as I got Henry on Oct 2nd…. he had to be neutered and then had only limited time outside of his dog crate.

      Having gone backwards for one month in the attempted bonding in the bathtub and consequent fights in my garden shed (not big enough), the bonding really began at Bunny Bonder’s on Dec12th. It wasn’t ‘marathon’ bonding, but i would say intensive.
      OVer 16 days, she spent time with them every single day prob one hour or more, intervening when necessary, before I picked them up (on the right track but not bonded), and one week later they are licking each other silly. The first day back home they had a pretty big fight, the second day a medium sized one and then Zou obviously realised she wasn’t going to win on home turf either.
      Having said that, we haven’t yet ventured into the part of the house where she previsouly lived. i want 200% bond proof before I go there !! LOL

      So, yes, doing the calculations = 3 week’s intensive bonding exactly.


    • Bam
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      This is so great! Pour the carrot juice!


    • Dface
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      ….cannot wait for the cuddle pictures that are surely on their way…


    • Theodorusrex
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      Just getting caught up on this Vienna after Christmas! I have been following this post (creeping and not posting lol) and hoping you would have success. Hooray


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Hiya Creepy Theo!! LOL
      How goes ? Still happy with the puppy pen ?!! LOL – I’m so so tempted but have to work out logistics first or I WILL become the most accessorised bunny slave in the world. I now have 3 dog crates (of different sizes for different reasons of course) and of course 2 carriers and then a humungous outside pen indoors !! LOL not including the xpen grids that I have already…. and I still haven’t worked out the full time set up….


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      All is well with the bonding. They are inseparable! YAY !! And is soooooooooo cute to watch.
      However….
      They are in the outdoor run indoors for now, which is placed on a big tarpaulin sheet in the living room, but litter habits have pretty much gone out the window.
      Corners are the fave. So there are now 3 big litter boxes in 3 corners and another cardboard box which lives in the remaining corner which they haven’t found a reason to pee in this corner yet….

      So how can I make them get litter trained again. I can cope with a few poops, but we are talking dozens and dozens and lots of wee, which is not pleasant, either to come home to, or to smell.

      They don’t mess the lounge area when they are out all evening. I suppose they think the whole run is a big litter tray……?

      If this were a post from someone else I would say “reduce their space…. then that will force them into the litter tray”s, but is there any other way?
      I don’t think I can easily (safely) reduce the outdoor run which is an all-in-one job… and the dog crates are really too small for the 2 monsters to spend time in….


    • Q8bunny
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      It could also be a freshly-bonded territorial behaviour too


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
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      Yay, congrats on the bonding! I agree with Q8: from what I heard here on the forum it may be a territorial thing.


    • Stormybun
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      I think you’ll just need to let them adjust and they should go back to their normal litter box habits


    • Love4Bunny
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      Been away for a bit but I’m happy to read about progress!! Congrats, Vienna. I had to go back 10 pages and when I saw your ruffians squished into the tub, I laughed because they were like sardines in a tin!

      I would assume the current battle is territorial. Reducing space worked for my two, so I dunno… I was (and still am) a bit of a chronic sweeper. Everytime I see a mess or poops, I grab a dustpan or paper towel and my vinegar solution. I try to get trid of the smell. That’s my only suggestion but I’m sure you’re already doing that. If you’re still keen on reducing space, maybe try inserting grids to temporarily limit access to the whole run till they can make nice with the litterboxes they do have.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Mmmm maybe. Ill try over the weekend…


    • Q8bunny
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      It IS the weekend… last of the vaycay… I want a rewiiiiiiind!!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Vaycay sounds like a disease you wouldn’t want to catch !! ….. lol

      rewiiiind to when Mummy arrived ?

      Has Chewie got used to new routine and someone in HIS appartment ?


    • Q8bunny
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      He did. He slept in her lap every day. lol And then she flew home Wednesday night and now he keeps looking for her.

      I’m nursing my african violet through a meh period, and five minutes after relocating it near the window, Chewie came along and somehow stood tall enough to gobble up half a leaf in the blink of an eye. When I ran over to swoop him up, he binkied away, the little stinker.

      Now I have to buy a tall plant pot to put upside down on the footstool the violet is already on so that I can add height to it. :eyeroll:


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Dr Chewie was obviously removing the leaf that was causing the meh period !!!


    • Q8bunny
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      That’s what HE said too


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      I know ! He told me !


    • Q8bunny
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    • Q8bunny
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      Phew… two days of pottering about later, and my flat is OCD-approved again. I even reorganized a bit and gave away some items I was no longer using on a regular basis.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Come visit me !!!!!!!! I neeeed you.
      I am so craaaaaaaap at tidying. Unless I have a housemate. And I haven’t had for a while now…… so it’s a night. mare.
      It doesn’t help that my lounge has turned into an open top rabbit hutch !!


    • Q8bunny
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      Hahah! Don’t tempt me.
      So does this mean toilet-aim dude has moved on?


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Golly yes. He went before Tisha did….. and then Henry arrived……!!!!!!!!


    • Q8bunny
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      Different man, same toilet issues
      Don’t get me wrong, love the dudes, but living with them and some of their house-breaking failures… let’s just say there were moments when I really wished I had been batting for the other team.


    • Bam
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      =D


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Lol. Do you know i think it is Zou who is weeing out of box (no proof….)and even last night when their pen was reduced to half its size and 2 big litter trays took half of the remaining space…..STILL managed to pee on the tarpaulin…….


    • Q8bunny
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      No one ever said bunnies lack talent


    • Love4Bunny
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      I sense a disturbance in the force.

      Zou is probably in protest. I’m guessing she doesn’t like sleeping with the enemy.

      For grins and giggles… maybe you could COVER the entire floor with litter boxes. That’ll show her. Unless she pee’s between the gaps. Then I got nothin’ for ya. Nothin!

      C’mon Zou, stop being a bunny butt!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Rofl !!!!


    • Q8bunny
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      Teeheehee… you said ‘bunny butt’


    • Love4Bunny
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    • Love4Bunny
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      I figured that was the worst scolding I could give a rabbit.


    • Q8bunny
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      I blow raspberries into Chewie’s tummy fur when he’s naughty. He squirms away and flicks his feet at me LOL


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      This is a photo of the reduced size pen where somebun (to yet be identifed) was managing to pee on the cardboard between the blue water bowl and the dig-box I put in there…. gggrrrr – and although you can’t see it on the photo, the nice, new, heavy duty, waterproof blue tarpaulin is no longer new, heavy duty, or waterproof, thanks to the numerous holes made by digging, chewing, pulling and clawing by the inhabitants    (I know, I know, they are RABBITS!)

      (Note Henry’s ear IN (or rather floating on) water bowl… I swear he doesn’t know it’s there… I thought their ears were sensitive.

      So today, they’ve gone outside into Zou’s BIGTIME own territory so that

      1) I can see her reaction to Henry being there (it’s been absolutely fine, she had third eyelid showing to show her disgruntlement as I’d moved (turned upside down, turned around, basically smashed it all up!) most of the ‘furniture’ around to make it not 100% hers and

      2) I can maybe work to getting them out there permanently instead of my house (open plan tiny house) being a luxury rabbit hutch in which somebun doesn’t know how to pee   

      This is once they’d examined, sniffed, marked, chinrubbed and tried to avoid the (shock horror) wet or dirty patches with their pristine paws !!

      Fiiiiiinisssssshed Mum !!!  When can we come in ?  Really? It’s all ours? ALL day? Coooooool !! 

      And then just to show off that he has been watching David Attenborough’s Meercat documentary….


    • Gina.Jenny
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      Ours are outside today too, yay for milder weather and happy buns Snickers must have watched the same documentary Henry did, as she has been doing lots of Meer cat impressions too!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      And THIS is the reason why they won’t be sleeping out there tonight !!!  LOL

      With 2 of them, it’s a tad (just a tad  &nbsp too small !!!

      For those new to the site who don’t know our set up, this is just a sheltered, sleeping hutch, which has a hole in it so they can come and go as they wish (they are NOT shut in it – it is FAR TOO SMALL for a closed in home, even for a dwarf rabbit!)

      It was a perfect size for Zou on her own but I am on the hunt for a BIG hutch where they both can banana together comfortably.

      They are both sitting in it now cleaning their DIRTY paws !!  OMG, not white any more Henry !??!!  LOL

      Don’t they look pathetic !!

      (Last night they were banana’d together on plush wool rug watching “Sunshine on Leith” on the tele and tapping their front paws to the music !!! )


    • Q8bunny
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      Duh! Your house IS a luxury rabbit hutch, you thilly hooman.

      The pictures are adorable and the buns’ outdoors space is truly enviable Lucky, gorgeous, numb-eared buns

      Strangely, Chewbacca has been meercatting a lot this winter… is the takeover nigh?
      Until the buns make their move, I’m turning mine into a Trekkie – the TNG marathon continues as we watch… errr…. doze our way through season 5


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      The international bunnies communciate through a silent Norse code – yes not Morse code with lights or tap tap taps, but twitches of the Nose, hence NOrse code, get it?!! Ha ha.
      And yes, the takeover is nigh !! Be ware. Be care ful. Be pre pared. Dyb dyb dyb dob dob dob dob …. (sorry word association mind got carried away… )


    • Bam
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      I love the pics! They are such a beautiful couple!


    • Love4Bunny
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      I agree with Bam. They make such a handsome pair.


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
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      It’s so great to see this, congratulations on a successful bonding! They look lovely together


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      OK.  I get it furry guys – I get it !!

      Now everything, EVERTYTHING is too small…. I have to change EVERYTHING…. i’ll go and get a bigger litterbox tonight and look out for bathroom area (kitchen cabinet, and condo (old wooden buffet) and sleeping hutch (tv cabinet?) ASAP and enlarge the hay rack

      You can tell 2 buns are truly bonded when they are share a litter tray and hay rack together…. (and that Henry jumps up, ON and over Zou to get in it !!!  )  (Photo taken through dirty window! )

       


    • Gina.Jenny
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      lol, now you see why I use underbed storage boxes!


    • Q8bunny
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      Heheh… Chewie used to have that box (in red) all to his pint-sized self, and sometimes his behind would still hang over the edge like that.


    • Love4Bunny
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      The best sign! Congrats, Vienna!


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      I’ve decided against (for now) one big box, like an underbed storage thingy, because we travel regularly, I can’t see getting a big box like that in the car with all the cages and everything else – it’s got to be flexible and stackable and packable in a car, so I’m going to keep 2 cat litter trays for them and they can decide whether to sit side by side or in the same one and they won’t be all confused when we travel !

      Anyway that’s the plan today – it’ll probably change again tomorrow.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Very excited – going to pick up a BIG hutch on Sunday – its taken a while to get transport as it doesn’t fit in a car… but yay – the lady is keeping it for me and I’m going to the coast to pick it up, so I may just have to stop and have an ice cream.. no a hot chocolate… no a waffle !!  Oh OK ALL THREE !!!

      That means that in the day the monsters can go outside for a stretch and they will have an outside shelter big enough for both of them without looking like the pathetic pair they did in the photo on a previous post !!! LOL

      Today I put them outside and they groomed and groomed and mutually “bunny-69-groomed” each other until their tongues must have been exhausted!! It was so sweet to watch..

      But is it not a bit OCD after a while ? Because they really weren’t moving around the body as if it was serving some (cleaning?) purpose…..

      Anyhoo….  Dr Henry was most concerned by a noise earlier so was listening to Zou’s tum to see if it came from her.
      He of course got a whole load a licking in return !!!!

      And bless him – he seems to be going through a face moult !!! 


    • Q8bunny
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      Sweetness Can’t wait to see them settled in their new digs


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      All sing together now…. ‘Do you hear what I hear ….?” Says Henry LOL

      Maybe he heard some rumbling… or maybe he was trying to hear the sea inside her tum….. LOL

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Forum BONDING Zou & Henry’s bonding diary & photos