Bunny Bonding Bananza!- Mouse's Journey to Force Two Rabbits to Fall in Love

Thread Description
Last update 11/5/19: Power UP and Bond Those Buns!

MouseWithADinosaurTail

Luck will travel, but that's why I've got feet
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
710
Location
Post Town
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
Though she often appears sweet and polite, the smell of wrong opinions may cause this pokemon to latch bite.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #21
Who's embarrassed that the time I decided to take a two month hiatus from this blog is the exact time a bunch of people started commenting on it? Not me! Not me, no sirree. >////>

Anyways, let's do some replies!

MATCHA
Her ear is so cuuuute and at the same time... Oh Matcha you tiny adorable thing it looks so silly, like getting a hat on only one side of her head. Best of luck at school and I hope the rabbits can acclimate well to their new surroundings ><
Yeah she does look silly, doesn't she!!! Thank goodness that ear is less of a problem now. ^^

It so cute how one year flops and the other doesnt XD I will also miss her straight up ears, but here's to hoping theres nothing wrong with it!

I had no idea eating together was such a social activity for rabbits, its hilarious that Matcha pretended to eat, wanting to socialize but not wanting to at the same time, thats definitely a mood right there. XD Matchas just a big tsundere!
Matcha, pretending to eat with Clover: "I-it's not like I like you or anything! D<"

For real though, it's so hilarious to me that a bunny would do that. XD I didn't think they were smart enough to know how to pretend-socialize!

Gosh, this is like a fluffy gauntlet run. Kudos to you and your patience. Matcha and Clover are so cute! ❤


Lops do have a little bit of ear control! My Holland lop will "push" her ears forward when she's interested in something. They kind of face forwards and out a bit.

This right here is one of the cutest things about rabbits. I once had a bunny who would push my arms around with her nose until they were in just the right spot. :P
Bunnies really do love to push things! They really don't grasp the concept of "going around something." Either the thing in their way must move, or it is an impassible hurdle that can never be surmounted.

Lopsided bun. XD I'm hoping that her ear is OK. I'm also hoping that the move will help the bonding process. It'll be one less thing to worry about for you, at least.
The good news is her ear is fine! It's just lop genes.

Be! Nice! To! Matcha!!! She's adorable with one ear down and one ear up you shush!!!

Also glad to see some progress is being made with the buns as well as you and Matcha too! I'm sure her trusting you will help as you try to bond these two stubborn babies. I never knew eating was so social between bunnies! It's great to see Matcha wants to join for real! These babs can fall in love yet!!!
... Did Matcha pay you to make that bold post.. :squints:

So firstly I haven't read everything yet but!!

I am totally gonna use this for my Buneary thank you so much
Ooh, I hope my blog can be at least a little helpful to your writing! If you ever needa know anything else about bunny body language/behavior, hit me up!



Entry 7: Power UP and Bond Those Buns!
Okay! So! It's been a while! O////O Sorry about that, y'all! I've been meaning to update way earlier, but my mental/physical health fucking EXPLODED in September/early October, to the point that I had to come home from school early. :'D BUT that's handled and in the past! I'm feeling much better now, resting up good, and I am ready to update you on some GOOD! BUNNY! DRAMA!!! It's been, damn, a whole two months (over two months, actually) since we last spoke. There is a looooooooooooooooooot to update y'all on. I don't wanna completely drown y'all with words, so here's what we're gonna do. This update will detail everything that happened once we got to school (late August) until about mid-October. And then I'll make another entry in a day or two about the BIG STUFF that's happened from the time I started planning to come home (mid-October) until now. Sound good? Sounds good! Let's begin!

So, last we spoke, I was getting ready to move with the buns upstate to school! And we did that! The initial move up to school went really well! It's a six hour car ride, and I always stop every two hours to feed the buns and make sure they're doing okay and their guts are still moving. Clover is such a damn veteran at this point he had zero issues with the trip. I think in my freshman year, he must've driven back and forth between school and home with me upwards of ten times? So he was chill! Matcha was less chill, but the nice thing was that during stops, the sound of Clover munching on his hay and veggies would encourage her to eat, too! I'm convinced that she wouldn't have touched a single bite of food if he hadn't been there. Even without them being bonded, it's really awesome to have two bunnies; they can cue each other in to when things are safe and help each other to relax!

When we got to the place, I set them up the same way I had them set up at home! Two pens side by side, with a line of soup mugs in between them so they can't push their pens together and fight through the bars. They both weren't super happy with the place at first, so I went to Target and spent like four hundred flipping dollars on CARPETS!!! The buns were pretty unhappy cause the living room had hardwood floors, and rabbits HATE hardwood floors because they believe it's the floor's fault for being slippery and not their own fault for not evolving with fucking paw pads. Seriously what the hell kind of animal doesn't evolve with toe beans IT'S SO OBVIOUS?! NATURE, COME ON??? But once we got the carpets down and they could walk without slip-sliding, they both got SUPER HAPPY! Clover couldn't stop binkying every night, and even Matcha was the happiest I've ever seen her! She was so glad to finally have some room to actually run around, since at home all her space was taken up by these two giant, clunky pens. Everyone seemed really relaxed, and I was glad they were happy with all the running room!

Here was their setup at school! Those carpets cost so much fucking money, man... I'M A GOOD BUNNY MAMA *sobs*


Here's a lil video of Clover binkying around the apartment on one of our early nights at school. Watch all the way through, he REALLY gets goin'!


Anyway, the buns were happy, and it was time to start bonding again!

The first trouble we ran into was figuring out where to do bonding sessions in the apartment. All of the enclosed spaces were a lot too small, and other than that it was kinda just the living room and the bedroom, both of which were bad picks for various reasons (not neutral territory vs no way to stop them from getting under the bed and fighting out of my reach). I first attempted a bonding session in the kitchen, which was a BAD IDEA! The space was so tiny and the floor was so slippery that everyone was very unhappy, and they got into a fight pretty quickly. But afterwards, I figured out the best potential spot! Between the living room and the bedroom is this tiny lil hallway that leads into a storage area (the room where I drew like ten billion comic pages my freshman year), and I realized if I block the way into the living room and close the bedroom and bathroom doors, it's a perfectly sized spot! The one problem was slippery hardwood floors, the carpets didn't reach in there, but I managed fine by putting a blanket down and putting down some cups to hold it in place! After that, I stuck a box of hay in the middle, and we were ready to bond!

Bonding time! This is the bonding area we used! Blanket on the floor for traction.


Now, the frustrating thing was, I was expecting the move to jumpstart these guys' bond but, it didn't... Like, at all. We got to school, started bonding sessions again, and their relationship remained the same. They were willing to eat together and be somewhat close to each other, but things were still tense, and they'd still start fighting if they got too close together or one of them looked at the other funny. I couldn't even let one of them be out of the pen while the other was in the pen, cause they'd start fighting through the bars. You can see in that video of Clover that I have some boxes and stuff stacked to stop him from running over to Matcha's pen and harassing her. Clover ended up having a tiny health scare (don't worry, nothing actually came of it and he's totally fine!) and we paused bonding for a bit to sort that out, and once we were in the clear, I ended up procrastinating on getting back to bonding cause I was starting to feel really discouraged again. Bunny bonding is so haaaaaaaard. ;;>n< I was really starting to feel again like we just weren't making any progress and we'd never get any further than we were at the time.

But then one day, I was texting with a really nice lady from the rabbit rescue (the group I got Matcha from) who always hits me up to see how my buns are doing and how bonding was coming along. I was venting to her for a while about my frustrations and doubts and stuff, but then she said something that honestly kinda blew my mind. I kept ranting about how I didn't think Clover and Matcha would ever bond, and she just said, "The thing is though, if they weren't ever going to bond, you would know by now." At first, I just went ?????????????. But then I realized-- Wait a minute.. SHE'S RIGHT! Cause when we started out, these two hated each other so much they tried to kill each other on the spot! It was nonstop fighting for a good while after that, but things have been changing! They've started eating together! And it's a lot easier to break up fights now than it used to be! If they weren't ever gonna bond, they would have just gotten more frustrated over time from being forced to be close to one another, and their behavior would probably get worse. But they weren't getting worse, they were improving. Slowly but steadily!

After that, I felt POWERED UP and ready to dive back into bonding HARD! I started doing bonding sessions twice daily after that, only ever taking breaks when my health was just so crummy I knew I wouldn't have the energy to pick bunnies up or break up a fight if I needed to. And they were improving in bonding sessions, a tiny bit at a time, but the real progress these two were making wasn't even when I was hovering over them during a date. You know how I said earlier that I couldn't let them go up to each other's pens cause they'd start fighting? And I had to stack boxes and stuff to stop them from going up to each other's pens? Well, I gave up on that like two weeks in. If there's one thing I've learned about bunnies, it's that they're addicted to tight, narrow, enclosed spaces. So that sliver of space between the backs of their pens and the wall? Both of them got fucking ADDICTED to going back there! Especially Clover, jesus christ the guy would FIGHT ME to get back there. Now at first, Clover would go over to Matcha's pen and she'd react accordingly: get angry, start grunting, try to claw him through the bars. And at first, he'd reciprocate about the same. But then, before I even knew it, that started to change. Clover would go up to Matcha's pen, she'd claw at him, and he'd just... blink at her, shrug it off, and flop down against her pen. And she did not appreciate this! She wanted to be taken seriously, goddammit, and she'd start biting his butt to get him to go away and stop trespassing! But as time kept going on, whenever Matcha would aggress on him, Clover just gave less and less of a damn! Even in bonding sessions, she'd smack him in the face and he'd just shrug it off and lie down next to her or start grooming! It was like he knew for a fact that she wouldn't actually hurt him! And as time kept going, she eventually just started to give up? He'd lie down next to her pen, she'd go over and grunt at him, he wouldn't move, and then she'd just.. kinda sigh and lie down with him. When Clover or Matcha would be out of the pen, I started to find them lying down and relaxing side by side on opposite sides of the bars. No aggression, just chilling!

Mirroring is one of the funniest parts of bunny bonding. It's when the two buns will copy each other and do the same thing. So now we have what I like to call a Flop Train!


I do wanna note that a key part of this improvement was pen switching! Every evening, I'd switch Clover into Matcha's pen and Matcha into Clover's pen, and have them stay there for 24 hours and then switch again. Bunny bonders debate whether switching whole pens or just switching the buns' litter boxes is better, but from my experience, I'd absolutely argue that switching whole pens is better. When you have two buns in two pens side by side, those pens become THEIR territory. Matcha's pen is HER territory and her territory ONLY, and Clover's pen is HIS territory, and the border between them is strict and must not be crossed! But when you keep switching thier pens, they aren't even in one pen long enough to properly claim it and get territorial over it. As soon as they start, I'm shoving them right back into the other pen that smells like the other bunny, and eventually, both pens just smell like both of them at once. It turns the pens from two separate territories into a single space that they're both sharing. They can't get territorial when they know it's the other bun's space as well! Considering how much the buns' territoriality dropped when I started doing this, I think I can say it's a pretty solid method!

And bonding sessions started to look better, too! Things felt less tense, Matcha would get less upset if Clover hopped by her too fast. It was only really Matcha at this point who was still aggressive. Clover just could not be bothered to fight her anymore. She could literally smack him in the face and he'd just lie down next to her and start grooming!

Together breakfast! Or uh, together lunch? I forget what time of day I took this photo.

This photo has no relevance to what we're currently talking about, but just... LOOK AT HIM! LOOK AT CLOVER! HE'S SO CUTE!!!!


Things continued this way until about the beginning of October, when something magical happened. We were in the bonding area one morning. Matcha was on one side of the room, and Clover was with me on the other side. Clover had a bunch of loose, dead fur in his coat cause it was shedding season (shedding season is the FUCKING WORST), so I decided to do him a favor and pluck it out. He got all upset and accused me of "hurting him" and ran away from me... straight into Matcha's face. Matcha of course flipped out cause she thought she was being attacked, and I thought Clover would run away or hit her back. But he just, kinda laid down right up next to her, with his head under her chin, and started purring. Matcha just sort of froze.. I could tell she was wildly confused and had absolutely no idea what to do about this. But Clover wasn't attacking her so, she just sort of lied down herself and got comfortable. And the two of them snuggled for the first time ever. :'3

This was a BREAKTHROUGH! I was so shocked and happy I legit started crying on the spot jkdfhgjkdg. After this date, the two of them continued to snuggle together during bonding sessions. :'3 Now, it wasn't perfect snuggling. I had to keep a hand on Clover cause he kept trying to nip Matcha for no reason, and I had to make sure Clover didn't run at Matcha too fast and upset her. But it was progress, absolute progress. They went from begrudgingly socializing together to actually wanting to be close to each other, and it was just, so absolutely awesome. Now I'll admit at this point, I got kind of pushy about wanting them to snuggle? XD There were a few dates where I'd just take Clover and shove him right up against Matcha to make them snuggle. XD But they never really responded well to this and would start arguing or hop away from each other, so I figured pretty quick that I wouldn't get anything out of pushing them and should just let them take things at their own pace. They stopped straight up snuggling for a while but would lie down together with their faces right up against each other. It was just the best, cutest thing.

Look at them! THEY SHNUGGLE! Almost!
It's actually a huge deal for unbonded bunnies to be this close. It's a sign of trust, that they're not of one warren but trust each other not to attack. This is huge!!!


So at this point, things were going INCREDIBLY well! The buns were trusting each other, enjoying being close to one another, spending time together voluntarily. Even outside of bonding sessions, they'd love to lie together side by side on opposite sides of their pen bars. We were in mid-October now, and things were really looking up! That is, until I left them at school under the care of a pet sitter for fall break... That's when things started to go downhill. What happened to Clover and Matcha during fall break? Was their slowly forming bond already destined to be ruined? Why is Mouse being so dramatic?? Find out in the NEXT UPDATE coming within a couple of days! Cause legit there's so much more to cover and this update will be way too massive if I go over EVERYTHING in just one post. Tune in next time for more DRAMA! MORE BLOODSHED! MORE ROMANCE! And most importantly, MORE BUNNIES!!!!

And lastly for this update, I just wanna plug the donation link for the Long Island Rabbit Rescue! This group is legitimately super amazing. Plenty of animal shelters will take rabbits, but a lot of animal shelters treat rabbits pretty terribly: locking them in tiny cages and never letting them out to stretch their legs, feeding them bad diets like too much pellets or not enough veggies, or even worse, not free-feeding them and putting their rabbits at risk of GI stasis. Lots of animal rescue groups just don't know how to treat rabbits, but this group never skimps on rabbit care. They treat all their rabbits with so much overflowing love and care, they only take their bunnies to see the absolute best rabbit veterinarians on the island, and the outreach education they provide for rabbit caretakers and potential adopters saves so many bunnies from going to bad homes and guarantees their rabbits all go to loving, educated owners who will treat them properly their entire lives! And of course, this is the group who gave me Matcha and has been coaching me through bonding for five flipping months now. You'd think they'd get sick of dealing with me, but NOPE! It was one of their volunteers who gave me that "If they weren't gonna bond, you'd know by now" brain ascension moment, and that bit of advice is probs the main reason we've come as far as we have. So if you have any money to spare, consider giving a little to help out a great group and their foster bunnies! DONATION LINK HERE!

See y'all in a couple days!
 

SimplyUnknown

Well-known member
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
242
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
140
Location
Invisibly Watching
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
A silent watcher who speaks only when something needs to be said. Offers free hugs to those who need them.
I think Clover watched an anime or read a book on how to deal with tsunderes because that reminds me of so many different manga/animes that I literally can't stop laughing. Also since Clover stuck his head under Matcha, does this mean he's top bun or does it not count because you didn't mention Matcha grooming him? Either way, I'm glad things appear to be improving both with your buns and your health. Looking forward to the next update!
 

Tailsimp

Well-known member
🎇Contributor
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
50
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
207
Location
A Literal Desert
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
UPDATE TIIIIIIIME!

I can't blame you for crying at their big breakthrough. You've been working so hard on this, and it's amazing to see them take such huge, solid step to getting along! Now if only nature would take similarly large steps towards making bunnies MAKE SENSE (WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO TOE BEANS???) we could really get somewhere with understanding how they made it this far.

Lastly:
... Did Matcha pay you to make that bold post.. :squints:
Wh
Where would Matcha get money to pay me from Mouse?
 

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