10 reasons the rabbit thinks he is a dog

22 09 2011

The rabbit doesn’t seem to have a good understanding of himself or his relationship with other members of the household. If he were human, we might diagnose him as having dissociative identity disorder……He seems to think he is a dog, and in some ways he is a better dog than the dogs. With apologies to the dogs, but really, they should lift their game.

1. he eats dog food – and he is first at the bowl. The dogs stand back and watch him. Not sure what the vet will think about this diet.

2. he is house trained. It was remarkably easy. The only problem is he does like to scratch and dig in the litter tray.

3. he comes when he is called. He also answers to a variety of nicknames. (dogs are not reliable for this)

4. he attacks the dogs – he is the alpha of the pack. This may be a pre-emptive strike, but he seems to ignore the dogs’ attempts to scare him.

5. he thinks it is OK to hop onto your lap. Even when you are eating at the dinner table. (This is not tolerated in the dogs – or from the rabbit.)

6. He hops on the bed. Again – this is not tolerated, but it doesn’t stop him. It’s a bit of a shock when you are lying down and a rabbit suddenly lands on your stomach.

7. he thinks it is his right to be picked up, held and patted. All the time.

8. he has been microchipped. First time the vet had microchipped a rabbit! He had his nails trimmed at the same time. Just like the dogs.

9. he understands “no”. Again, the dogs are not reliable on this one.

10. he thinks he should have the run of the house. Despite being held captive in the tiled area of the house, every time a door is opened he makes a run at it. He is fast, but not has fast as me. No! rabbit.

If you liked this post, you might like more adventures of the rabbit, Anthropomorphising or New Boss in Town.

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18 09 2011

the rabbit helps himself to dinner

Ran into a friend yesterday and our talk turned to pet rabbits – as it does.

I was saying that our rabbit (about which I have previously written) seems to have attached itself to its owner, recognises his voice and loves being picked up and held. However I was commenting that it is hard to tell if a rabbit actually likes something. It doesn’t seem to have any facial expression. And it doesn’t wag its tail like a dog. We gather it likes being held because it appears to ask to be picked up. And when held, it sits passively and uncomplainingly.

Of course, it might just be resigned to its fate.

However my friend said that their (late) rabbit had a sense of humour. And of course, I enquired as to how she could tell.

There were two stories. The first was its predilection for humping men’s legs – preferably men wearing shorts. While amusing, it occurred to me that this actually reflected my friend’s sense of humour rather than necessarily the rabbit’s.

The second story however was pretty funny.

Their rabbit had free run of the back yard during the daytime. While they were having renovations done, my friend was watching from inside the house. The builder set up a string line to ensure that he was laying bricks in a straight line. As he turned his back to pick up the bricks, the rabbit, which had been hiding in the bushes, ran out and bit the string line, breaking it. Then it ran back into its hiding spot in the bushes. Apparently this happened about four times until the builder worked out what was happening – all the while my friend was laughing uncontrollably inside the house (which is what we did before LOLs).

So maybe the rabbit did have a sense of humour.

If you like this post you might also like Old Dogs, and New boss in town.

Old dogs

5 09 2011


Our Papillon Bella is an old lady.

She came from the pound, and came into the house because the dog we had at the time (most definitely MY dog), a kelpie called Tricka, only liked dogs that were significantly smaller than her. Tricka was completely trustworthy with children and small furry things, but a dog her size or bigger required attacking. Hence, when we decided to get my stepsons a dog, a Papillon fitted the bill.

Bella, being small and frail, found her niche under the bedclothes at the foot of the bed. During my high-risk pregnancy she took up residence on my lap, then as my belly expanded and there was no lap left, pressed up next to me.

Fast forward many years. Tricka died after a series of strokes. She is still the best dog I ever knew.

Now Bella is the grand old dame of the house. The new dog, a shitzu named Aragorn (yes, named after the Lord of the Rings character) came into the house as a puppy and although he is now bigger and stronger, he bows to the grumpy old lady whose territory he has invaded.

We now have another invader – Thumper the rabbit. Thumper is unfortunately not as respectful as Aragorn and has been know to charge Bella. He gets time-out for his indiscretions.

Bella doesn’t have many teeth left. She totters around the house, wanders slowly in the sunshine in the grass outside, and gives the occasional toothless snap at Aragorn if he gets a little frisky.

She probably doesn’t have much time left, and my boys, who have never know a pet die, don’t know what they are in for.

She has been a lovely member of the family. It will be a different house without her.

New boss in town

20 08 2011

the boss helps himself to greens

We have a new boss in our house.

He is quite small, white and deceptively fluffy. He is also very demanding.

We inherited an 8 month old white rabbit from friends whose daughter had tired of it. It has rapidly become a popular addition to the household.

With popularity however has come power, and the rabbit has become an expert in wielding it. While I suspect he was named “Thumper” in honour of the Bambi movie, it is quite appropriate in a thug sort of way.

Thumper lives in a hutch inside the house. When we are home he is allowed to roam the tiled area of the house. (He is house-trained but we aren’t taking any chances.) This has the added advantage of keeping him away from electrical cords, to which he is quite partial.

what is that rabbit doing on the carpet? And what is he eating?

We also have two dogs in the house. Now dogs and rabbits are not natural friends. We were in fact quite nervous about how the rabbit and dogs would get along. We shouldn’t have worried.

The rabbit treats the dogs with utter disdain. He ignores them when they try and get him to move. He eats their dry food – often pushing them out the way to get at the bowl first. The dogs stand back with what looks suspiciously like respect.

But it is not just the dogs that the rabbit bosses around. First person up in the morning is treated to great thumping on the bottom of the hutch as he demands to be let out. On occasion these thumpings have occurred in the middle of the night when he decided he wanted some more green food. Who knew that rabbits were nocturnal eaters?

So the rabbits life seems to be that he does what he wants when he wants. He helps himself to whatever food he thinks he might like. In fact he eats so much, and then he collapses and has to sleep it off. Tough life.

Meanwhile, his human slaves have to clean his hutch very regularly, do regular runs to the green-grocers to dive through their bins and bring home the outer leaves cut from cabbages and cauliflowers.

the dog closely monitors that activities of the rabbit, aka the boss

Our reward however – he is as affectionate as a rabbit can be (unlike dogs, rabbits don’t really wag their tails or look like they are smiling. We assume his passivity indicates that he is happy being held.)

And he certainly is a personality, even if it is just us anthropomorphising!

when the animals rule…

14 07 2011

So a fish has now been photographed using a tool to bash open a shellfish. We humans are in trouble.

Personally, I have been waiting for the day that the animals took over. I swear our dog is so clever and domineering, if he had opposable thumbs he would be ruling the house by now. He can unmake beds and turn them into dog-nests. He can open doors. He is particularly good at hitting unwary visitors in the back of the knees to make them buckle (consider yourself warned).

However the honour of ruling our house currently sits with the rabbit. The rabbit is a new addition to the menagerie. He lives indoors in a hutch and gets given the run of our tiled area twice a day. Yes, he is house trained. More-so than the children are anyway.

Now you would think in a house of two dogs and a rabbit, the pecking order would be pretty well established. In the wild, dogs hunt and eat rabbits. Apparently no-one has let our animals know this. The rabbit chases the dogs away from the dog food, and proceeds to eat it. (I need to talk to the vet about whether rabbits should be carnivores – it certainly wasn’t on the list of instructions we were given.) The rabbit rounds the dogs up. All in all, the rabbit treats the dogs with the disdain that they deserve. Call themselves dogs? Gotta be joking.

To be fair however, the rabbit also has the humans trained. When he wants attention – food, a run, etc, he thumps on his hutch floor. Repeatedly. No matter what time of day or night. It is very hard to sleep through a rabbit thumping every ten seconds after about ten minutes.

However, I digress. If animals are smart enough to open doors and use tools – what next? This was supposed to be one of the major defining characteristics between higher order apes (such as us) and other animals. Who’s to say they can’t communicate.

I don’t want you to be paranoid or anything….but maybe they are plotting a take-over. They couldn’t make any more of a mess than we have.