The Bunny Rabbits Get a New Start
On Saturday, in addition to picking up the hardware for our new security door… we also picked up a roll of new carpet. Because Phineas has been in his area for so long now, we decided it would be best to relocate both bunnies to a completely new space – totally neutral and new to both.
The carpet area at Home Depot is pretty interesting – watching these huge rolls on a vertical conveyer belt… and another equally wide device used for cutting lengths off.
While Liz was prepping the new area, I ended up tucking the rabbits into a carrier and taking them for a car ride. After about 25 minutes, we came back and let them out in the bathroom (another neutral area).
Phineas was pretty tuckered out by the experience, and was quick to kick his feet out.
Here is the eternal power struggle between, in all its close-up glory. Phineas is trying to tuck his head underneath Daisy’s head, in the hopes of getting groomed. She is kind of doing the same.
In terms of dominance, the one getting groomed is considered to be in a higher position of power.
A rare moment, captured by Liz – here, Daisy was actually cleaning Phineas. Just a little.
Earlier in the session, Daisy tried to mount Phineas – but didn’t quite get there. It seems that she may really be the alpha here, as she’s not really grooming Phineas as much as he is her. But the fact that she groomed him at all was a huge win today.
The bonding session today was overwhelmingly positive. Daisy was still a bit skittish, but was visibly cowering a lot less than before. On arriving in the bathroom, the two rabbits went about exploring and mostly ignoring one another – a good sign that they seemed to be getting along better.
A really encouraging session.
Downstairs, Liz had re-arranged our temporary kitchen area in the dining room. She set up the new carpet in the area where we had previously had our pantry items and kitchen table.
Luckily, our pantry is on wheels!
Phineas and Daisy are now side by side, with no sign of the previous aggressive/territorial behavior that Phineas first showed when she first arrived. The new location and new carpet really helped.
The goal for the next week is to alternate them between one another’s areas. And… to eventually get to where they’re both in the same pen.
The first few encounters had us a little worried, but today’s session was a really positive step forward. Here’s hoping to the two rabbits living in the same space very soon.