As many of you know, we lost Quincy to (basically) old age last November. He was such a sweet tempered, easy going bunny – his loss left a hole in our hearts.
What got me through was giving Phineas all sorts of extra attention these past few months. I luuuv my little Finn.
He’s the perfect combination of sassy, fun, affectionate and it only helps that he’s adorably-Disney-cute. Since Quincy passed, Phineas just hasn’t been himself. He perked up again after a month or so, but there were still spots in the house he would no longer venture alone. He needed his old pal, Quincy, to give him the courage to hop into the dark corners to explore – he needed that companionship.
Felix and I started to talk about adopting right around Christmas & New Year’s. I was getting the itch to get a pal for Phineas and I admit – I love having two bunnies in the house. Of course if it were up to me, I’d be living in a house with micro pigs, dogs, birds, lambs, alpacas and more. But we finally agreed that we could handle a second bunny, once again.
We spent a long Saturday visiting 2+ shelters and met all manner of bunnies. At the end of the day, I formed a top-5 list and at the top of the list was Janis Hoplin (aka Daisy).
Daisy, a former classroom bunny, was listed at the shelter as being cage-aggressive. After (no doubt) getting poked for a year in a classroom, she was a bit skittish and protective of her space. I really can’t blame her.
When I first met her, I stuck my hand in her cage to pet her in and boy did she she react! She lunged at my hand to scare me off, like she was going to bite me (but didn’t). Of course I pulled my hand out asap as I didn’t want to get bit. But then I tried again.
I moved slow and she reacted in the same manner, but this time I didn’t flinch. She puffed up her body and reluctantly let me pet her. She slowly relaxed and seemed to like what I was doing. I pulled my hand away to see what she would do and she followed it – begging for more. She got to the point where her body was almost falling out of the second-story cage opening as she was leaning into my torso enjoying all the attention I was giving her. I was smitten!
We waited until the following weekend to bring Phineas in to meet her and a couple of the other bunnies – but mainly her. If Phineas didn’t like her – all bets were off. Luckily Phineas seemed to be okay in her presence and it was a quick and easy decision to bring her home with us that very day.
I’ve purposefully waited to share our new addition since 1.) We didn’t decide on her name and 2.) We were waiting until her and Phineas were bonded together.
Since bringing Daisy home – I’ve been working with her a great deal on her manners.
It was pretty clear that she hasn’t lived in a home setting before. She also wasn’t used to having a pen space, but was always living in a cage. But most of all, I’ve been working with her on her cage-aggression. After having 3 bunnies before Daisy, I knew that we could help her. While I adopted her because I felt a connection with her, I also had a hunch that no other family was going to give her the best chance like we would/could. She just needed some extra attention & patience and I knew she’d come around.
The first week she was home with us, I didn’t do any bonding sessions with her and Phineas, but was just trying to get her settled and calm. I frequently sat in with her, invading her space. Of course she didn’t like it, but she was also terribly desperate for attention and pets. She wanted me to pet her for over 30 mins straight and would grunt and stomp at me whenever I stopped or if I moved something in her pen, even an inch. Not very lady-like manners if I say so myself.
The more I sit down with her and re-teach her the proper manners (ie grunts & lunging will get you no where) the better behaved she’s becoming. She gets plenty of attention from me, but knows that if I stop, it’s okay; that more attention will come later.
She’s come such a long way in the last 3 weeks, but we still have a little ways to go. She no longer stomps at me (much) and hasn’t lunged at my hands for a week now. And after 5 bonding sessions with Phineas they’re now paired in the same space together – which is huge!
I can’t say they’re fully bonded, but they are co-living together which really is amazing! She still acts a bit skittish – but still… she’s only been with us for 3 weeks and I know she’ll calm down with some more time. She’s quickly turning into Phineas’ partner in crime.
She’s officially Phineas’ partner in crime! Since last Friday, they’ve been housed together and they’ve become such great pals. Phineas already has the confidence to hop into previously uncharted territory & Daisy is far less skittish than she previously was. Her manners are improving exponentially, she’s such a dear. It’s the most wonderful thing seeing these two buns binky around each other and chase each other for fun.
I met with some other very wonderful bunnies who could have also worked well for Phineas (thinking of you Charmin and Chase) – I wish I could adopt them all and give them all happy homes. If Felix didn’t keep me rational, I would be be that crazy bunny lady with a house full of them. For some inexplicable reason, I just felt that connection with Daisy and knew she needed to come home with us. I hope she feels the same way. :D
Welcome home, Daisy!