Sunday, April 3, 2011

Out We Go

Yesterday was a great day, because it was finally warm enough to start taking the bunnies outside! I started taking them out on harnesses last year, with great success. Not every rabbit likes it, but it gives them a break from the shelter at least!
This stunningly gorgeous girl is Jasmine, and she's brand new. She has beautiful fur and big brown eyes, and a great personality. She was a little uncertain about the leash, partially because she had just met me. Normally the bunnies know me so at least they have someone they trust when they go outside for the first time. Despite that, however, she was very good-natured about the whole thing.
Holly kept making silly faces at the camera. I was worried about her stressing out after her sister died, but she is starting to do much better. Not shedding as much and showing off her old personality a bit more. She seemed to enjoy the sunshine!
One of the best benefits of taking the rabbits outside is that they get to let off steam. Many, many rabbits start to get 'bad attitudes' because the Room just doesn't give them enough exercise. Taking them out every few days and letting them run like maniacs wears them out and calms them down. It's like letting kids wear themselves out so they'll calm down!
Bella, the Grumpiest of Them All, is a prime example of that. She is a royal pain in the Room, but I know there's a nice personality in there somewhere - you see glimpses every once in a while. I took her outside and gave her a good run and the change was remarkable! She even let a kid come up and pet her.
Unfortunately when I took her back in, she reverted back to being a grump. Ah well. Baby steps!
I can't resist posting this video. Speeding rabbit alert:
Another volunteer kindly held the leash while I videotaped. It was super windy!
I love watching them run. It's so good for them, too! It's good for their hearts to stay in shape and build up muscle.
The grass looks atrocious right now but it'll grow. Soon the bunnies will be sneaking nibbles on dandelions when they think I'm not looking. It's beginning to look like spring!


Anonymous said...

How do you get an indoor bunny used to going outdoors? I tried to take my approx. 1 year old bunny (adopted from TAS in December) out on a harness and he was very scared. He just wanted to cuddle up to my neck and didn't want me to put him down on the ground. He is not shy indoors and likes exploring.

Laura HP said...

I tend to just put them on the ground and let them go! It's a little different in a shelter environment, where everything is new and scary, so the outside doesn't seem particularly bad. When the bunny is happy at home, they might be extra uncertain about going outside. Try sitting on the ground with him on your lap and luring him off your lap with treats. Give him a little time and he'll probably start to enjoy himself!
Which rabbit did you adopt from TAS?

Christina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Frosty the Jersey Wooley! He shedded his winter coat and was almost bald a month ago... I was so worried that something was wrong (until I read they shed their coats twice a year.) Now he has his full fluffy spring coat! I thought it would keep him warm and it was OK to take him outdoors. I bought him a new harness and extend-a-lead. I was hoping that he would be happy to be outside on a warm spring day! He did not want to sit on the grass. I kneeled down beside him and he jumped on my lap and tried to get up to my neck. He was breathing so hard and did not like being outside. He likes exploring everywhere indoors and is not shy or afraid of my cat or dog - they both give him lots of licks! He is a free range house bunny.
Christina :)

Anonymous said...

I am surprised how well litter trained Frosty is. Just like a cat! I never bothered with a cage. He has his own room which is his territory and the cat and dog visit him. Frosty is free to explore outside of his room too. When he sees everyone (dog, cat and I) gathered together in the next room to watch TV or work on the computer, he hops over to join us.

Anonymous said...

Frosty is the first bunny I have ever owned - thanks to your blog! I was so curious about rabbits and I have owned almost every type of pet. I was surprised how intelligent and enjoyable a rabbit can be. Frosty has the independance and cleanliness of a cat, the curiousity and playfulness of a dog.