Sunday, October 9, 2011


I knew it was going to be difficult to get the babies into the shelter. There were so many of them, it was going to take forever for enough space to open up for each of them individually. So I decided to ask if we could try something different.
We have this big window room downstairs in the shelter, across from the front desk. Other than that window, all of the animals are upstairs.
Normally, we have a litter of kittens in the window, but even though it's a fantastic little room, no one ever looks in there! I don't know why, but nobody ever stops to look in that window, they just go straight upstairs. Kittens enjoy themselves in there but they take ages to get adopted.
My idea was to put Circe's litter in the window when they were old enough. I would work to make sure they were litter-trained at home, we wouldn't have to worry about space in the Room, and hopefully the oddness of having rabbits in the window would make people stop and look.
 About a week ago, I brought Achilles, Zeus, Hercules and Circe in to give them the run of the window. I opened the carrier and let them take their time coming out. We had some worries they'd be too stressed in the wide open space. Unsurprisingly, Achilles was the first one to venture out.
Hercules soon followed him, and the two little ring-leaders were soon have a lovely time galloping around the room and exploring. Unsurprisingly, their mother and brother were a little less confident:
Those two are such wimps. Eventually Circe was drawn out by the promise of greens, but her littlest son was still too timid. Zeus was especially frightened of the slippery floor, as he couldn't get a good grip with his feet.
He ended up sitting like this for about half an hour, while everyone else explored and had a great time. What a goof. Finally I put a little rug in front of him so he could get traction, and he at last came out to explore with his family.
We tried to give them lots of places to hide, and lots of things to chew so that they didn't chew the caulking on the window. There were boxes, wooden arches, cardboard coffee trays and about a million paper towel rolls. (I love the twins Achilles and Zeus back there in that photo, they really do look alike)
We also left the carrier in order to give them a safe hiding place, although they didn't end up using it at all. They did thoroughly enjoy jumping on top of it for a better view, and even taking naps on top.
Once they'd made their way out of the carrier, the whole family seemed to thoroughly enjoy the window. They didn't hide or show obvious stress behaviour, and they explored every inch, doing binkies and happy dances all over the place. The kids certainly liked it more than their mom, but Circe didn't seem to mind the extra space.
It wasn't a perfect experiment. Their litter-training, which was so wonderfully perfect at home and a point of pride for me, seemed to be rather forgotten in the big room. They weren't terrible but they weren't perfect, and it gave the staff more work to clean up. On the other hand, they've improved with time and it's not really that messy. I don't know if we'll ever do it again, but I'm glad we gave it a try. It also left more room in the Room, which was very necessary.
The best news of all, however, is that two of the family were adopted the other day! I don't know if it's really because they were in the window, as this couple looked around quite thoroughly for a bunny, but it can't have hurt. Anyway, Achilles and his brother Hercules were adopted together! They were adopted to a wonderful, bunny-experienced couple (who, funny enough, were related to the awesome people who adopted Emma a year ago).We needed that adoption so much, and I'm so glad the boys went together. I hope they continue to get along fabulously as they grow up!

Of course, the way the Room is going lately, the ebb is always less than the flow. Three new rabbits have joined our adoption room. Ah well.


Teena in Toronto said...

Too cute :)

Happy Thanksgiving :)

Anonymous said...

Great idea, putting them in the window room! They are cuties.