Bobby's New Apartment!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Last weekend we set about transforming Bobby's living arrangements.  She'd been living in an indoor cage in the room with the other cages but despite it's large size, it just wasn't big enough for a rabbit to be living in.  (Remember - a hutch is not enough.)

We got a puppy pen and created a long area for which Bobby could live in instead of the cage.  I lined the pen with cardboard and covered it with fleece blankets.  The wooden bedroom went into it, along with the bowls, some toys and a pigloo for piggy Huey to escape to.

Lucy, our other rabbit who spends her time with the cage opened to the floor, seemed pleased to have another bunny close by.  In the past Bobby and Lucy didn't get on well and Lucy would pounce on Bobby when given the chance but she seems to have mellowed.  

When we first set the pen up we had a mishap, something that luckily didn't go wrong like it could have!  Lucy had found a way into the pen and one morning we went into the room to find Lucy laying down inside the pen next to the bedroom.  I couldn't get her out quick enough!  But I was surprised by the lack of kerfuffle.  Bobby seemed okay and was definitely unharmed.  It looked as if Lucy just wanted to be near Bobby.

I didn't want Bobby to feel afraid of having her territory violated so we increased the security of the pen by affixing a smaller pen I already had to the top of the pen frame, which stopped Lucy thinking she could get a grip on the pen.  It's working because she no longer attempts to jump in.  What we have noticed though is that they're appreciating each other's company by sitting on corresponding sides so they can sniff and be near each other.

I'm still cautious of having them together without the pen because I don't fully trust their temperaments, especially since, being girls, they aren't spayed.  (Well, when we took in Lucy we were told she had been, but to be honest I don't know how to tell.)

Over this weekend we took the steps of separating Huey from Bobby.  We've known for a long time that rabbits and guinea pigs shouldn't be together but since they've lived in each other's company for over a year, and Bobby has never known company other than a guinea pig, it was a really tough decision to part them.  So, Huey is now in his own cage and getting used to the fact that he no longer has Bobby there.  I feel awful about it, Bobby looks lost and it's a cruel thing to have to do to her for both of their sakes.  Bobby must be dieted properly and can not do it properly having another lot of food in the vicinity.  Huey has been struggling weight wise himself but with him it's weight loss.  We're hoping to build him up again, but there are already concerns with him which has been overseen by our vet. 

We're pleased now that Bobby is at least able to move about more freely when she's not downstairs with us.  She has more space and the company of her own species in the best way for the both of them. It's nice to see both Bobby and Lucy being attentive.

I weighed Bobby yesterday, her weight now stands at 2kg exactly, or 4.2lb which is a step in the right direction.  Hopefully by the time she is weighed properly again by the PDSA team, she'll have lost some more.

Becky x

Bobby's Toys

For those of you who have been following Bobby's placement on the PDSA pet fit club through my Diary of a Cavy Girl blog, you'll know that exercise and free time is generally the real struggle with Bobby.  The vast majority of the time she spends in her cage which, although is a huge size for a commercial cage, is not sufficient enough to allow Bobby to run.  When we'd bring her out of her cage and downstairs she'll generally opt to laze around rather than run laps round the living room.  Since Bobby joined the fit club however we've been bringing her out more often and for longer periods and she's gradually started to engage more with the room space.

Towards the end of last week Bobby received a parcel from the PDSA, it was a present consisting of a rabbit harness and lead, a play dumbell and a chew and roll toy.

Bobby's toy delivery

A year or two ago we bought Bobby a lead ourselves which she wasn't too amused with.  Neither was I, as I struggled to fit the harness properly, and thankfully while we had her in the house, she slipped out of the harness and away!  I was always too apprehensive to try it again, but I'll see what she thinks to this one.

The dumbell is a funny toy that looks like a true exercise tool!  It's deceivingly quite heavy and a robust little thing, but Bobby wasn't interested in playing with it at all.  It didn't even warrant a chin rub she was that blase about it.

Bobby did find the chew and roll toy was an exciting plaything.  Once the sections were fitted together it was a good sized toy.  Bobby was intrigued by it, repeatedly chinned and sniffed it and watched curiously as I'd roll it around.

The chewed Chew and Roll

I wanted to shake up the living arrangement of Bobby's house so ordered a puppy play pen online.  We used to own one which ended up being permanently borrowed and I got sick of waiting for it to return so when I saw they were selling relatively cheap on eBay I thought I'd best buy a new one.

The play pen arrived today and I was keen to get it open and erected in the piggy room (well, piggy and bunny room!)  We spent two hours figuring out which format was best only to give it up for another day in the end.  The problems were getting it to fit with the cage allowing Bobby the choice to come and go from her cage, but it wasn't working out.  Bobby was reluctant to leave the cage despite her toys being out and grumped when she knew Lucy (enemy rabbit) was in close vicinity.  That was the other problem, Lucy just wouldn't stay away from the pen and was determined to find a way in.

We put Bobby back in her cage and closed the door so there was no access into the pen.  Just as well, as not much later on we heard Lucy had found her way into the pen and was mooching around it where Bobby would have been.  I'm over protective of Bobby like this and paranoid that Lucy will get to her and attack her.  It's happened in the past and it frightens Bobby, I just don't want it happening again.

We need to decide what to do with the pen and getting Bobby into it, safely and ideally permanently.

In the meantime, it's Bobby versus the living room as usual.  I caught her eyeing up my exercise bike, threatening to bite the bullet and use it, I'll never know!

Becky x

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