Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How To Keep A Cottage Bunny & {Sir Oliver Twisty Topsy's Tale}

Upon learning that I have a cottage bunny, I've had several folks ask about how to care for one, as well as, Oliver's story. I'll attempt to tell my story of Oliver as well as give some great information on how to have a bunny as a house pet.

Since my early twenties, I have always desired to have a house bunny. It all began when I had my children, and I would endlessly read them stories of Beatrix Potter and watch all the videos of the tales of Peter Rabbit.

I've had a deep fascination with Beatrix Potter since my youth and had always desired to have a bunny in the house such as her.

Needless to say, without going into the beastly details of why I never got my dream of having a house bunny, I had it written upon the pages of my little Beatrix Potter journal from 1993 and that when I acquired my rabbit, I would give him the name of Oliver. I had wanted to name one of my sons Oliver, but that notion was vetoed with each birth. So I just said to myself, I'll call my pet rabbit Oliver when I acquire him one day.
Bath time...
When I met my dearest Beloved Gardener, and we began talking, we shared our likes and dislikes of life and of all the particulars we've dreamt of. I was madly in love with Jeffrey from the first moment I began communicating with him, and it has yet to wane.

When we started dating, my birthday was fast approaching, and he asked me what I'd like for my birthday. I told him as I've been on a transformational journey {tale} for the last few years, I was eager to make as many of my dreams come true. Now that I was in control of my life, I wanted to embrace all I'd ever wanted without being bridled. I requested to have a house bunny, yes a rabbit living in the cottage with the gardener and I hop-hopping about.
He said, okay... If you seek the bunny out and find the one you want I'll acquire it for you. Now, I would be remiss if I didn't explain to you what that did for my soul.

You see, I have continuously over the years been told as if I were a child what is and is not permitted for me to do. Whether it was my parents, religious figures, ex-husband, extended family, etcetera. You name it... people have always desired to tell me what I should and should not do according to their desires.

I was now with a person that was respectful of me, wanting to give me my greatest desires in life even if it seems minuscule to buy me a pet rabbit.

I sat and cried for quite some time that I was, at last, going to have a rabbit all my own.

I do now understand looking back just a little over two years that we actually train people how to treat us. We are the ones that allow and accept the way people decide to respect or disrespect us. It's our work to be the influential creators that we are intuitive. To create our lives the way we so desire. And as an artist, I can say paint the life you want with each brushstroke representing a choice and decision in your life that you made all on your own. What you will soon realize is the beautiful masterpiece that you've created is the most beautiful piece of art, and it's all your own work,  your own masterpiece with all the colours you decided to use, the canvas you chose, the medium you chose. You are the one in control of your life and no one else. You have to be the one to paint the life you want.

Having a rabbit has been one of the greatest joys my heart has ever known. Rabbits do have sweet personalities, and I manifested the perfect bunny for my soul, and that was Oliver.

I live the Law of Attraction, and I believe profoundly in getting into alignment before ever getting any kind of pet. I was sure to write my intentions about the type of personality my bunny would have, and I really needed a calm bunny. I had initially wanted a Lionhead but ultimately chose a Jersey Wholly instead as I think their demeanours are a smidge more peaceful. Oliver is a Jersey Woolly Blue Tort, and he is a full-grown weight of 3 pounds.

Upon bringing Sir Oliver Twisty Topsy home, beforehand I had my father create a bunny hutch out of an old pie safe that I had for decades which sat at my parent's house being cared for.

I had done an abundance of research about how to care for a bunny, so I felt rest assured that I would be a great bunny owner. There are lots of Bunny videos on Youtube, such as how to bathe, clip nails, keep their bedding, and how to feed them.

I like to feed Oliver a healthy organic diet, and I'll tell you why. Not only because it keeps him in outstanding health, but because I'm not one to take my pets to the vet unless I'm in dire straights and can't do something on my own.

I was the same way with my dogs, and one out of the two is still living 14 years later and has never gone to the vet except for being neutered.

I wanted to create another way that you could house your bunny if you have a tribal style. The dog crate was given to me from the neighbours when they were moving, and I thought i could put it to good use. I found the keyboard stand in the storage room, and just sprayed all of it a gold spray paint. The rug is from five below.
 I will give another piece of advice that I have learned from having a rabbit. If you get their bunny cage off of the floor, it makes cleanup so much better. If not, you will have to spend so much time cleaning. The rabbits are messy little beasts, and the height solution will save you enormous headaches, trust me on this.
At night I throw a blanket over the cage. As you know, rabbits typically live in burrowed out tree trunks and holes, so they love darkly closed~in spaces.

I found a basket at the thrift store and then bought a plastic Tupperware pan (casserole size) then lined it with two grocery bags. Then lay several paper towels inside and then layer hay on top. Just for blog post purposes, I put the litter in, but I rarely use kitty litter. Also, line paper towels around and below the plastic pan, just so there are no accidents. 
If pee happens to get on the basket, take it outside, and spray it down with the hose. I spray Oliver's with bleach and lavender fabuloso that i mixed up in a spray bottle. Let it dry out in the sun. Over time the basket will begin to fall apart, but like I said earlier, I just go and buy another one for about two bucks at the Goodwill. They also love the wicker and will mostly chew it to file down their teeth. So that's two birds with one stone, in my book. {Wink, Wink}
I dry rose petals from my garden, but sometimes I'll give him fresh. He likes new, much better and especially loves the stems. Trust your animal to know what to eat, they are super smart.
My philosophy is that if I take good care of my pet, trust mother earth to provide for our animals, that bunnies are sort of like that even though we have somewhat domesticated them. They are still animals and are absolutely instinctive. A rabbit knows how to do bunny stuff, they don't need to be taught. I take Oliver outside daily to play in the garden, and he knows what weeds, flower stems or branches to chew on. He just knows. Below is a list of things of particulars that I keep on hand for Oliver.

~Timothy Hay {You can get large bags at Walmart for $6.97}
~Purified Water {You don't need all of those fancy drinking drip bottles, just a little ceramic bowl will do correctly. Again, my philosophy is that rabbits don't have decorative containers in the wild, they drink from the brooks}. I do suggest purified water though because goodness knows what can cause harm over a while if we give them water that's not filtered.

I always say, "prevention is best!"
Olivers purified water bottle. I keep it ready to go in the fridge, just in case someone needs to water and feed him, they know his special bottle.

~Some pieces of wood, cardboard boxes, driftwood, old branches, etc. {I watched Oliver's patterns to see what he liked to chew on and then found that he loves his soft wooded box with his hay in it. So I let him eat that to bits. That way, I don't have to have his teeth filed.

~Rabbits are like many animals; they pee and poop in the same spots from where they have left their scent. Another beautiful thing about a rabbit is that they are super clean. They can be box trained like a kitty cat.

~Oliver and most rabbits poop where they eat their hay. So I change Oliver's bed almost every day, sometimes every other day. Many of the sites recommend getting paper cat litter for the rabbits, but I found a few paper towels inside a plastic pan with some hay on top of the paper towels is much easier clean up for Oliver and for me. I attempted the cat litter one time, and it was a total disaster. He kicked it everywhere!
This is Oliver's bunny hutch. He can be comfortable in it as he is only 2 pounds full grown. If he were a more giant 
breed, this surely would not work.

~We grow a garden of herbs and vegetables, so I keep Oliver's diet fresh from the garden. He has his favourites, and you'll have to just give your rabbit samples of things and see what they like and dislike. Oliver's diet is mostly Organic Italian parsley, carrots, dried mangos, cilantro, romaine lettuce, black oil sunflower seeds and some dried food that i homemade from an assortment of nuts, oats and seeds.

~I keep on hand essential oils {doterra brand} Melaleuca, Frankincense, Lavender and a few others. I make my own blends, and if I need to make something special for an ailment, I just whip it up. Fingers crossed, I haven't had to do that yet, and Oliver is 3.
~If Oliver ends up making a number 2 other than his bed box, I will promptly pick up the poop and take it to his bed box. I also recommend getting some Capture and using that to remove any scents, so that he won't keep returning to go to the bathroom in that same spot.
I keep Oliver in his bunny hutch nightly. In the morning after I awake and meditate, I barricade the kitchen and parlour and take Oliver out to roam around. Most rabbits sleep during the day, so they are pretty calm and lethargic during the day. I do take him out in the mornings after the dew has dried and let him bounce around and play. He's used to the air conditioner so he can get boiling really quickly. I then bring him back inside to spend more time with me.

He mostly sleeps beneath my feet in his basket under the dining table or my art desk. I treat him as a child, so if I'm busily painting, I bring him in next to me. He's quite comfortable and will sprawl out and sleep.

Oliver has brought a great sense of joy to my life, and I feel as though a home isn't a home without a bunny rabbit.

Most Affably Yours Til My Next Swim, Raquelxxx

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