The heartbreak of dealing with arthritis

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My poor boy. My poor heart.

If you’ve been following my blog at all you know that my Jinx has got major arthritis. It’s deteriorating, it’s painful and it’s awful to watch.

We’ve been on an up and down roller coaster for over a year now with Jinx’s back end. He goes from perfectly normal to falling over, not able to use his back end, in a day. He’s now peeing quite a bit all over his double thick soft coushy blankie – or on his mom when I pick him up. And then (sideways) hops over to you to beg for food if it’s time for a snack.

Now nicknamed Wobbles, he’s on 0.32 cc’s of Metacam twice daily  (which is a lot for a 3 lb bunny) and a special Joint joint-support_2Support cookie from Oxbow that the vet suggested. It seems to be helping but his bad days are ultimately getting worse.

I know at some point I just need to make the dreaded call to the vet. My heart says he’ll let you know somehow when he’s ready – his eyes won’t be as bright, he’ll lose his spunky attitude and will stop whining (yep) when I give him medicine, he’ll stop digging and throwing his blankies or kissing his stuffies, he won’t lean in with all his strength for face massages… I saw his vet at Bunfest a few weeks ago and she told me there is never a great time with degenerative disease. Sigh. Doesn’t make me feel any better.

What we’re doing is our best to keep him comfortable. He gets lots of Martins ‘cookies’, extra attention, a super soft plushy blankie (folded in two) to lie on, extra padding over his pee pan so it doesn’t hurt to get in, and lots of stuffed animals to cuddle with.

When we notice he’s struggling too much it’ll be time to go to the vet one last time. I don’t think that he or I am ready for it yet so we’re just biding as much time as we can have together for now.

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Rabbit Rescue 2015 Calendars Available!

 

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This is truly a labour of love for me. The RR Calendar always takes a LOT of co-ordination, many volunteers and many hours of back end work (editing/setup/management/etc) to complete. But the 2015 Calendar is very special.

I donate all of my time, photography and design talent to the Rescue for everything from the website management, almost all of the promotional material and Bunfest to, yes, even the calendar.

Haviva, the Director of Rabbit Rescue, started panicing (as she does, but she panics about everything – we love her for it) because we were running out of time to get things pulled together. She had a great idea to co-ordinate the calendar shoot from a mid-sized rescue from the SPCA in Montreal. Between Rosalind and Super Volunteer Sherri, the bunnies were co-ordinated to come to Toronto, have their photograph taken and then picked up to go home with their new foster or forever parents! It was a whirlwind of a day but it was SO worth it!

4 days later my husband was in a terrible accident and sent to hospital hours away from our home. We spent the next few months in and out of hospitals with surgeries to his face and spine to literally put him back together. During his second facial reconstructive surgery, as he was recovering, I popped open the laptop and hammered out the layout and design of the calendar.

Once we got home and had secure internet access I sent to Haviva for proofing. With small edits it was off to the printer with literally minutes to spare to be completed in time for Bunfest. It’s beautiful! I’m SO proud!

If you’d like your own bunny calendar you can purchase yours here for only $20 from the Rabbit Rescue Store. All of the money raised (minus minimal printing cost) goes directly to a great place and will make the both of us happy for the entire year!

P.S. My husband is recovering well and walking, talking, eating, sucking up our bunnies and driving me crazy just like normal already. 😉

RR_2015Calendar_BlogFeatureThe little bunny in my arms (and at the top) is Mr March!

 

2104 Bunfest Photobooth a success!

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Hey there! Long time no post, I know! It’s been a super crazy summer for the Crazy Rabbit Lady and family but we’re going into the fall with much more positive excitement!

I have been photographing the Rabbit Rescue Inc Bunfest in Toronto, Ontario for the last 4 years now. In that time I get to see many-a-bunny, lots of new fuzzy faces and many returns each year. The one bunny I didn’t get to see this year was Lonny. He’s a little Martin Mini Lop who quite often makes the front cover of the Rabbit Rescue site on our thank you posts. His parents did stop by to say hello and let me know he’s doing well – which did make it a bit better. 😉

Bunfest was on September 21 this year. Which also happened to be my 1st year wedding anniversary. My husband planned on coming with me until his motorcycle accident. He’s now doing well but we spent most of the summer in hospitals, at Dr’s appointments and in surgery to put him back together. He is now recovering well and plans to come with me next year when he is much more mobile and strong.

I come up with a new theme each year so that the booth is never boring. This year I went with more of a contemporary, clean theme with minimal props. I’ll gladly start taking suggestions for next year, please leave comments below!

100% of the funds raised at my booth goes directly to Rabbit Rescue to aid the MANY abandoned bunnies. This year we raised over $430 (and counting!)!! I’m just working on getting the extra order sheets out to the MANY that requested to see more. I’ve got my work cut out for me!

I’d say it was a great success! Looking forward to next year already. Here are a few out takes from our fun and furry day!

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2015 Rabbit Rescue Photo Shoot

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On July 15th the 2015 Rabbit Rescue Inc Calendar was photographed in Mississagua, Ontario. As every year goes, the room was filled with adorable faces, excited fosters and TONS OF FUR! However this year our subjects were ‘from out of town.’

The calendar seemed difficult to organize due to volunteer/fosters/photographers schedules and finding a space large enough to gather everyone that wouldn’t cost us anything (hey, it’s a charitable organization, we need to be frugal where we can). We actually weren’t at all sure if the calendar was even going to come to be this year. Rabbit Rescue fosters are from all over Southern Ontario and just getting a minimum of 15 together to fill a calendar shoot in one day is a job in itself.

And then a small miracle happened. Well, 11 of them. Montreal SPCA needed help with the over flow of rabbits coming into the shelter. RR volunteers worked tirelessly to find foster homes and bring as many rabbits (and one hamster and 2 gerbils) to Ontario as possible. Working with their transfer date Sheri* (an amazing volunteer), Haviva (the director of Rabbit Rescue) and myself juggled schedules to shoot the calendar the day the bunnies were released to their fosters. Franca, the small white lop pictured below, was even adopted and taken to her new forever home right after the shoot!

I still have a few more rabbits to photograph to fill a few empty pages (I may already know someone with a house full of rabbits… hmmmm.) but the calendar will be ready to print in August and available for purchase at Bunfest in September!

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*Just a special note about Sheri. She helped with transportation, housed almost ALL of the fosters for a few days, matched/contacted/organized fosters… and the adoption… and donations… and helped with the shoot. She is truly a rabbit angel. I photographed her bunnies and they will also be featured in the 2015 Calendar.

My morning chuckle

I apologize for being quiet these days, we’ve been in the process of moving. And now that we’re moved in, demolition starts. SO I’ve packed up 2 of the three stinkers and hit the road. Can you tell how much they love their carrier?!?! NOT AT ALL! Hehehehehe

These two convicts are now exiled to my bunny proofed office where they will stay until their room is put back together.

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How do deal with the unbondable

So you’ve got yourself your first rabbit. It doesn’t take you long to discover that they are incredibly intelligent and social creatures. SO… you get another rabbit in hopes for your first rabbit has a buddy (and because they’re so awesome it’s addicting). If you didn’t get your first rabbit from a shelter I forgive you, Lilo was also from a pet store. However, if by your second bunny you haven’t done your research and realized that SO many bunnies are abandoned and in shelters waiting for a second chance – shame on you.

Once you decide to adopt your second rabbit into your household you have to be committed to the time it takes to bond them. Rabbits are like people, they don’t always get on ok and sometimes it takes some time to warm up to each other. Sometimes, it just doesn’t happen. Like Lilo and Jinx.

I adopted Jinx from a humane society over 8 years ago in hopes that he’d make Lilo a good buddy. I did all of the steps required, they were both neutered before being introduced, I tried small dates but within minutes would be a hair-flying-tazmanian-devil-brawl-match and someone would end up bleeding. It just wasn’t working out. I was devastated but took solace in the fact that I had reached out and saved a bunny in need of a second chance. Even if he was grumpy for the first 3 years.

What’s my point? If it’s not working out, don’t give up on them. Jinky and Lilo will never be bonded. They live with wire gates in between them  (each with plenty of free range space) where they visit from time to time and have obvious ‘who’s getting more of mommy’s attention’ competitions. Yes, they actually go out of their way to make the other one jealous. It’s quite comical but it’s who they are. My husband and I have to hurdle gates to get from one section to the other many, many times a day but honestly it’s not so bad. And it may even be the only exercise I get in a day sometimes :S.

Jinky, although wobbly from arthritis, is now a very happy bunny. We’ve decided not to bond him at all knowing his spunky personality may not be good for any bun and he doesn’t seem to mind. Plus we have no more room in case we find another unbondable match. I would have regretted one million times taking Jinx back to the shelter for the original bonding attempts not working out. He is a very great companion, office bunny, socialite, spoiled suck that LOVES attention and treats from all humans! We gave a deserving bunny the happiest and longest stretch in his life. SO worth it.  Hurdling gates? Not a big deal.

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For more information on bonding rabbits please click here.

Visitors come baring treats!

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It’s not often we get little visitors here in our apartment but they’re usually as interested in watching the fuzzy critters as the fuzzy critters are watching them! The bunnies stayed under the safety of a big chair for a while but within eyesight so they could check this small, squawking, giggling person out. Toddlers now have these lovely bite sized puff snacks that smell OH SO DELICIOUS to rabbits as we found Lilo and Cleo lost all their inhibitions when it was snack time. They were even lucky enough to snag a few puff treats before returning under the chair to finish their finds. My niece also thought it was great and giggled with great joy when the rabbits came right up to her. She was good at trying to touch them although the flailing arms freaked the fuzzy duo out a bit so they kept a little distance. All and all a great visit.

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Our Ewok got a hair cut

Cleo’s hair grows like our garden… FAST! It grows to a lengthy 4 inches all around her droopy ears and behind her noggin. Seeing as she’s not a fan of being touched (she is SLOWLY starting to come around) the hubby and I did a 5 minute spa on her the other day. Brushed, nails clipped and a hair cut. We semi ambushed her, put her on top of cozy towels in the laundry room (where she never goes) and went to town. 5 minutes later, she was a new Clue! Our Ewok was now a Princess… of what, we’re not sure yet.

One thing we didn’t know taking on a Lion Lop we’d have to take on hair cuts to an unrully bunny!  At least now she doesn’t have to ‘rabbit scan’ the room before making her next move, she can see everything!

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And the garden grows

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From sprouts to baby lettuce our garden is really fledging. And the rabbits are loving it!

Every time they hear the screen door open or close the floppy ears pop up and they come running. Our potted garden is now growing 3 types of lettuce, mint, oregano, basil, parsley and love. And it’s going over smashingly!

We go through many organic mixed green bins a week. I thought this year that instead of growing flower-y plants and a few ‘treats’, I’d plan an entirely edible garden. With the rainier than usual spring we’ve had the garden is growing well and is lower maintenance than anticipated! Not only to they love it, it makes me feel good that I’m growing organic, healthy food for them and saving money by doing it!

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