Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pondering: "Hop"

I am joining Brenda at BYG Adventures  for her weekly "Pondering". This week she has us pondering the word "hop". Come join us!

The first things that come to my mind are bunnies and frogs. I always thought it was interesting that we refer to their movement as "hopping". When we are children, we are taught to "jump" with two feet, and "hop" on one foot. I cannot imagine a rabbit or a frog "hopping" on one foot! Well, can you? 

As a kid growing up in South Texas, I used to go out to the ditches and bayous when it rained. I would collect buckets of tadpoles. I would then lug these buckets home and scoop the tiny tadpoles into fish bowls. It was so amazing to watch them grow into frogs. When they completed their transformation, I would take the frogs back to where I found them as tadpoles and release them. I was very careful to make sure everyone made it back alive and uninjured.

It was also this same time period that I had pet rabbits. I had four bunnies: three males (Razzle Dazzle, Buck and Rusty) and a female (Cotton). Razzle Dazzle and Cotton were white rabbits. I must admit that they were kind of an “item”. There were baby bunnies (also called kittens, kits, or kindle) born more than once. Buck was a silvery-grey colour. Rusty was a natural (wild) brown.

I am glad that I was an older kid then (ages 10-13), because bunnies are a lot of work! I had four hutches in a row. I had to clean the hutches in the morning and evening. Cleaning involved the inside of each hutch, and then underneath the row of hutches. Rabbits eat a lot, thus creating a lot of rabbit waste and odor. After cleaning in and around the hutches, I would give the bunnies fresh water and food.  

Rabbits also need to chew, so must be offered something to chew on. Their incisors grow throughout their lives. Chewing can become a problem, especially if they are bored. There are things that can be offered to help keep their teeth trimmed while curbing destructive behavior. When I was a kid, I often had to be creative. I gave them things like paper towel rolls and chunks of wood or small branches.

Razz was a huge male (a buck). He was very dominant with the other rabbits, but gentle with people and other animals. Buck and Rusty hated being held, and would claw and bite anyone but me. Cotton (a doe) was always afraid. Her heart would race every time she was handled, which broke my heart. All four rabbits were grown when I adopted them. They were “rescues”. I still love rabbits, and have done quite a bit of newborn bunny rescue. I bottle feed orphans and later release them back into the wild. (That is Solo, an orphaned newborn Eastern Cottontail rescue, in my Blog Header.)

With Easter here I would like you to consider these things before adopting a bunny. They are a lot of work. They can be very messy, and they do have a strong odor (especially males). Their need for chewing is constant and can be very destructive. They can be difficult to get along with, for each other as well as for you to handle. Housing them can be challenging. Rabbits need a lot of room to get proper exercise. They can make excellent pets, but rabbits are living animals and require proper care. 

One final note: Please keep in mind that wild rabbits are active now that Spring is here. Rabbits will often create a nest in weeds or grassy areas. Check your yards and lawns, especially before you let pets outside or mow the grass. If you find them, consult with a wildlife rescue professional for assistance. Everyone will be better for it. 


Hoppy Easter!
Solo's release

19 comments:

  1. good advice from a rabbit keeper and rescuer. :)

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  2. Rabbits really seem to be a lot of work.
    They look cute, but they shouldn't be regarded as soft toys.

    Happy Easter!

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    1. Thank you, Romi. You are so right. They are cute and soft, but they are a lot of work. And they are not toys.

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  3. awww.... Solo is so cute!
    I remember neighbours who left the house with the bunny uncrated and came home to their stereo wires all chewed. not good for the stereo...or the poor bunny.
    Ha - I never thought about "hop" being done on one foot. Can you imagine seeing a rabbit hop on one foot around the garden? LOL Wonder if Bugs Bunny ever did that? :)

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    1. Exactly. Bunnies chew. But, it isn't to be naughty; they need to. If you don't give them something, they will find something.
      Ha! Bugs Bunny. Yes, he would be the one to hop on one foot!

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  4. Happy Easter! Yes, rabbits are work, and worth it. No one should take an animal home without knowing just what they are getting into.

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    1. Mimi, you summed it up. I love rabbits, so I want what is best for them. Thanks!

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  5. I like rabbits too, I can usually see them hoping around my houses back and front yards, throughout the year, great story!

    I also used to collect tadpoles and small frogs and put them into jars with holes in the lids, with my brother and sisters! I don't remember what we did with them though, I think we just grabbed them and then released them.
    : )

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  6. My son sees a lot of wild bunnies at his house. The dog tends to chase them. Have a happy, hoppy Easter.

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  7. Awww so happy for the tadpoles and wild baby bunny rabbits that you help along! And thank you too for sharing your memories of your fabulous bunnies and for the very important reminder of the work involved when looking after pet rabbits! Wishing you all a happy happy Easter! Take care
    x

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    1. Thank you! I always appreciate your visits.

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  8. Not only are bunnies a lot of work , they multiply rapidly which can soon get out of hand.

    JB

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    1. You are so right about that. Veterinary intervention can take care of some problems, but people need to consider everything. It can be very costly!

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  9. Good information and so true about the adoptions!
    Actually I love your tadpole story - that sounds like something I would have loved to do as well.!
    Thanks for pondering with me

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  10. I had rabbits as a child also, but being the spoiled little princess I was never got involved with any of the sundry chores. They were never something I could hold or pet and therefore my interest in them quickly waned. I much prefer cats and dogs, and cats mostly with the RV lifestyle as it's easier.

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  11. I raised a wild bunny, Jelly Bean, after its mommy was hit by a car and killed. I carried her around inside my shirt to keep her warm. We had her until she was old enough to take care of herself. We lived in a wooded area and released Jelly Bean there. We watched her eat her way through the foliage until we couldn't see her anymore. It was sad to "lose" her, but I knew she was a wild bunny and belonged outside. Thanks for telling us about your experience. Hugs, Janet

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