28. September 2010 08:03
Before I had a Rabbit as a pet... I often thought that a caged pet would be boring and do nothing but poop and eat and stay inside a cage most of the time. Well, I'm sure if you left a rabbit in it's cage all the time, this could be the absolute truth. In our family's case though, having Ruttiger come out and hang out with the rest of the gang has been a staggering success.
Before we got him (he was 4 months old on Sept 10, in case you were following) I read a whole lot of forums and articles about "house rabbits" to try and get a feel for what I should do with the little guy when he arrived home. I remember one article that suggested just getting down to the rabbits' level and just do what you normally do, and their curiosity will win out and the rabbit will come and see what you're up to. The article suggested that if you normally come home and open the mail... just do exactly that. Come home, open the cage, sit on the floor and open the mail - chances are the Bun Bun will come and see what you are doing.
I've tried to incorporate this philosophy into my Rabbit Care regime. As a bonding activity, I make sure to take 15 minutes around feeding time morning and evening to sit right on the floor with Ruttiger, and feed him the first handful of his pellets while sitting on my knee and nibbling the kibbles out of the palm of my hand. In the beginning I would have to coax him over... Now, he's on top of me before I have both buttcheeks firmly planted on the floor. He curls right up and relaxes with me for the first handful or so, and then eats the rest happily from his bowl inside his cage. For me, this activity has been a very rewarding and connecting one - My one-on-one time with my Furry little Bun-Child.
The bonding process seems to be going well... now the little guy follows me wherever I go. If I'm gathering laundry in the bedroom, he's right there sniffing around and running under the bed. If I'm cooking supper, he is flopped at my feet vegging out. If I sit down, he comes over and walks all over me and checks me out thoroughly. he will gladly hop into my lap, and doesn't run away when I try and pick him up as often. I think he believes me now that I'm not going to Eat him! though I might hug him and tease him a bunch!
Here he is following Momma into his favorite room... if he is out playing and suddenly disappears you can bed he's flopped on the cool tile floor. We had a friend visit the other day.... who asked if he could use our other bathroom... since this one was "occupied" already lol ;)