BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > My bonding quest with Maryann
Last Post by Beth K at 1/13/2011 9:28 PM (144 Replies)
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User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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11/19/2007 2:04 PM

Since I have been posting in various places about my first bonding experience, I figured I"d start a thread that will have it all in a nice concise place.

First off, let's meet the lovely lady looking for her soulbun - Maryann

Ain't she a beauty?  She was rescued off of Alameda Beach near the old naval base (hence the name - on a deserted island.  Guess it could have been worse, she could have been named Mrs. Howell).  She is currently somewhere between 5 and 6 years old, 5 pounds (although she'll tell you 3 and a half) and has lived with just me.  I don't have very many visitors but when I do, she comes to greet them, whether she is in her cage or out of it.  She spends a good portion of her time in her cage as I have alot of craft projects about and she could easily hurt herself.  I should also note that she is ultra clean, never having left a bb outside of her litterbox and she even puts her own toys away (pushes them all into a corner when she's done).  He loves to investigate everywhere and does quick laps and binkies all the time.

Luckily, I live less than 10 minutes from the HRS in Richmond, so there's the place to be.  I took her in her carrying case and drove over there on 11/11/07 to being her first round of dating.  Shall we see the bachelors?

First was Jeremy:

I'm not a fan of the pink eyes but he was so sweet and they mentioned they had a hard time placing such rabbits so I thought I'd give it a try.  They were very complacent in the x-pen, Maryann basically stayed in the hay box, Jeremy hopped around a bit, they nosed everyso often without ears back.  All and all, unremarkable - which is a good thing.

Next was Conner:

Conner was a bit more of the romatic, hopping into the box with Maryann (much to her surprise).  There was only the slightly hint of aggression from her (momentary ears back) but she left the box.  Later on, they were next to each other and it looked like they were about to snuggle but then they thought better of it.  Again, no major confrontations which was good.  It was about this time that I realized that my Maryann was being quite the Man's lady if you will (debutante' I called her).

Now came Buddy (no pic available)

Buddy is an all black mix bunny with a slight scar under his left eye that 'weeps' from time to time (his tear ducts aren't able to handle all of his tears).  When he was put down next to Maryann, she turned towards him, groomed his eye and then chinned him!  "This is what Love at First Sight is," I thought to myself.  But apparently Buddy wasn't on the same wavelength.  He kept his distance and thumped from time to time - I guess he didn't like her.  Too bad.

Next we tried a couple of girl rabbits, just on the off chance she was partial to the female sex.  No such luck.  Within seconds, she had charged each one in turn, nipping the second one on the flank (no blood though).  We were going to try another male but she was all worked up so it was time to go home.

So far things were looking good.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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11/19/2007 2:04 PM

11/18/07 update

Maryann was in full shedding mode as I brushed off three baby bunnies worth of fur from her and then took her to the HRS, Richmond.  We began the usual setup with having her get comfortable and then we introduced her again to the three boys above.  I don't know what happened over the week, but she would 'attack' them (charge and/or box) if they moved quickly or tried to sniff her rear.  We gave her some more time to try and settle down and tried a new bunny, in case she had had second thoughts about those before her.

Enter Buster

Buster was perhaps the most laid back bunny I had ever met.  And yet, Maryann didn't want anything to do with him.  I felt bad for him because after her first charge, he just sat up against the cage wall and 'hunkered down' for the rest of the time there. 

I couldn't understand what was up.  Maybe it was the person doing the bonding process as those there weren't quite sure about a few things.  Or maybe Maryann just liked being a bully.  We then tried something different and introduced her to Max, who was a large (10+ pounds), albino rabbit.  The guy looked like (and acted like) a dog (no pic available).

Well, sure enough, as soon as Max hopped quicker than a crawl, Maryann lunged.  I was getting frustrated at my nervous little girl but didn't let it get the better of me.  So we tried something different.  Leaving Maryann inside the X-pen, we let Max hop around the outside.  They came nose to nose more than half a dozen times and Maryann didn't so much as pull an ear back.  In fact, they seemed to do binkies to each other (Max first, with Maryann following him) and someone thought they heard Max honk.  So next we opened up the X-pen and my darling explorer hopped out to check out the room.  Her and Max's paths crossed quite a few times but no aggression was seen.

During this time, one of the volunteers came in with this little guy, Newt:

Newt is EXTREMELY tiny and isn't going to be getting any bigger (his ears show how small he's gonna be).  He can easily fit in one of my hands or cupped in two of anyone elses (I have big hands).  The only reason he hasn't been swept up yet is that he has a very bad malinclusion(?) and his teeth need trimming every 3 weeks or an operation to remove them that will cost up to $800.  To me, money isn't the issue, Maryann's happiness is so if he'd work...

Well since Maryann was already on the outside, we took Max away and put Newt into the cage.  Wherever Maryann hopped, Newt followed from within the cage.  Because Maryann enjoys roaming more than other buns, we swapped them out, putting Newt on the outside, Maryann on the inside.  Well it turns out Newt enjoys exploring as much as Maryann but he did stop by the cage a few times to exchange sniffs with her.  So, we let Maryann out of the x-pen after she got used to seeing Newt about.  When their paths first crossed, Newt was moving at about half a run speed, which was too quick for Maryann, so she lunged at him.  Instead of turning away like the others did though, Newt stood his ground, reared up, batted her head with his tiny front paws and Maryann took off like a shot.  The next time they crossed, Newt (already neutered) tried to mount her.  She again took off and after that, they peacefully hopped around, crossing paths but without any incident.

That was enough for that day.  Now that I think we found a better way of introducing the buns (through the bars), we might have a better experience next time.  I am going to once again run Maryann through all the boys thus far (especially Newt - anyone who can put Maryann in her place gets an extra vote from me since I'm so bunny-whipped) and see what happens.  This will be happening both Saturday and Sunday (11/24 & 11/25/07).

P.S. - just a funny note about this day.  Maryann was wandering away from one of the boys (I don't remember if it was Max or Newt) and someone who was sweeping up Max's poops nearby put the broom in front of her to try and herd her back to the other bunny.  Maryann just stopped, looked at her for a second and then THUMPED! - and by her command, the broom was moved and she continued on.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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11/19/2007 2:11 PM

cool!  thanks for the write-up.  i'm looking forward to hearing how the process goes for you guys...

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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11/19/2007 3:01 PM

nice read... thanks!  maryanne means business when she thumps huh?

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
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11/19/2007 4:29 PM

Newt sounds just like what MaryAnn needs. A spunky fella!  Thank you for taking the time writing up the report, it's great to hear how things are going! Although I wouldn't rule Max out either.


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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11/19/2007 4:45 PM

i hadn't read the second part... i LOVE that Maryann thumped at the sweeping person!  that's too FUNNY!  HOW DARE YOU!!!  lol...

so Maryann has been by herself for 5 or 6 years you said... is it possible that she doesn't necessarily want another bun?

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Lagomorpheus
Washington, DC
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11/20/2007 5:15 AM
Wow great post. Maryann reminds me a lot of my Vicky, especially before she was spayed. I, too, found that familiarizing them through the bars, with one out and one in, taking turns, is an effective way to begin the bonding process. Good luck!!

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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11/20/2007 5:21 AM
Ohhh my goodness those are all beautiful bunny choices! I loooove newt, what a cutie!!
That is seriously so 'diva' of Maryann-thumping at the broom-hilarious!
Keep us posted! I like reading this...
The Bachelorette: Maryanne
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User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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11/20/2007 5:28 AM
Thanks for posting this - really interesting and it's nice that you get to put her with so many different rabbits to see how it goes.

Keep us updated - enjoyed reading this!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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11/20/2007 7:29 AM
Just to answer a couple of questions.

Yes, Maryann means business when she thumps. The only time she thumps is when she gets out of her cage and hides behind the sewing table I have leaning against the wall (this is her main warren). She thumps once before going in, saying "It's about time I was let out and don't you DARE come over here." Other than furious thumpings when she got under my bed (I assume to taunt me) she only thumps when she's VERY serious - such as when an earthquake is coming (yes, she's predicted 5 of the 7 tremors above a 3.0 that have hit the house since I've had her).

As for Max, as it turns out he was just being 'kenneled' there while his owners were out of town. However, he's a big, loving brute and they wanted to see if size would sedate her. Needless to say, it didn't.

I am going to run the gambit of all of the males currently at the HRS but it is quite possible that Maryann just doesn't want another bunny in her life. When she was 'rescued' she actually hopped up to a park ranger and sat there until he picked her up and took her to the shelter. It is quite possible that she wanted to get away from bunnies. So far though, her actions haven't been overly hostile so I am going to continue but I am also all right with her being my only bunny.

As for Newt, well let's just say that I really bonded with him while he was snuggling down with me and Maryann was with Max. It is possible that if he still doesn't have a home by 2008 and Maryann hasn't found a boyfriend, I'll adopt him anyway. I figure a guy like that could use some TLC and a home - even if I do have to keep them seperated.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Floppy
Bay Area, CA
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11/20/2007 8:30 AM
Yeah newt does seem very cute! aww only if we could save them all!
let us know how it all goes! This is way more interesting than this years
BACHOLOR! (sorry I am still bitter about that ending.)
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xoxo
Floppy & Toki

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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11/20/2007 12:21 PM
Posted By Floppy on 11/20/2007 11:30 AM
Yeah newt does seem very cute! aww only if we could save them all!
let us know how it all goes! This is way more interesting than this years
BACHOLOR! (sorry I am still bitter about that ending.)



What ending? Please do share!! I didn't watch this year!

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User is Offline Floppy
Bay Area, CA
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11/20/2007 9:19 PM
Posted By Kokaneeandkahlua on 11/20/2007 3:21 PM
Posted By Floppy on 11/20/2007 11:30 AM
Yeah newt does seem very cute! aww only if we could save them all!
let us know how it all goes! This is way more interesting than this years
BACHOLOR! (sorry I am still bitter about that ending.)



What ending? Please do share!! I didn't watch this year!


Totally off topic haha but yeah the bacholor didnt pick any of the two girls

that were left! it was very upsetting!

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xoxo
Floppy & Toki

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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11/26/2007 7:39 AM

I was a little worried about the third set of dates - especially when Maryann hid in her house, ignoring all of my tricks with treats to get her out.  She knew where she was going and she wasn't happy.  But being a good parent, I did what I thought was best for her and after wrangling her into her carrier, we went to the HRS in Richmond.

When we got there, I met someone I hadn't seen before named Celine.  She told me she was an expert bunny-bonder and she was indeed.  I believe my last visit's woes came from a group of individuals who really didn't know much about bonding and the rabbits could sense their apprehension.

So, she went back and selected a new bunny for Maryann, Alex.

 

She set both Maryann and Alex into the hay box and began petting them fast and somewhat roughly.  Not overly so but enough that they kept their heads down.  They then began to slowly turn their heads towards one another and when she did stop petting, they just laid there next to each other.  Eventually, Maryann sat up and began to nibble on some hay while Alex just kept leaning into her, cuddling.  Each would present their heads to the other at times but no grooming went on.  But even when they were hopping around, Maryann didn't do her usual lunges.  Good news!

So, I had her bring Conner out again.  She repeated the process and this was even better than the first one.  Again, they seemed to snuggle in and at times, Maryann would put her head under Conner's.  Conner did nip her rump but it only resulted in her hopping forward a bit.  Camile said that it is possible that as a male, Conner is trying to mount her but if it happens, it will probably only happen once since Maryann is definitely the dominate one.

We also tried Buddy again and, although once more there wasn't any hostility, Maryann acted as if he wasn't even in the box - including walking over him.  He, on the other hand, just remained hunkered down - which we took to mean he was still scared of her.

So, the end result is that I believe we will be taking Conner home with us soon.  I have another date set up for next weekend and Camile is willing to take time out of her own schedule to come in and help with the bonding.  So, things are looking good.

Oh, and on a side note, Newt was adopted!  I was very happy to hear about this and wish that lil' ball o' fluff the best.

Funny part of the day:  I also looked in on another bonding going on with someone's male, neutered rabbit to the females of the shelter.  He was on top of her, holding onto her fur with his teeth and, well, doin what male bunnies do.  All I could think to myself was "If Conner tries that with Maryann, he'll be missing more than what was lost during his neutering."

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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11/26/2007 7:47 AM

yay for Newt!  and exciting for Maryann to be having Conner for a bun-mate soon!  isn't it interesting how much of a difference it makes when there's a confident / experienced person involved?  animals are so intiutive.  funny that Maryann walked right over that one bun... had to laugh when i read that.  rabbitude!

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
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11/26/2007 8:32 AM

Yay for Connor and Maryann!  he looks alot like Luchi, my foster who just got adopted this weekend.  I love those buns with the black and white coloring.  Good luck with them!

 


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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11/26/2007 8:37 AM
how exciting!
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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11/26/2007 10:58 AM
Yeah! That's great news!
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User is Offline Lagomorpheus
Washington, DC
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11/27/2007 5:02 AM
grats! Can't wait to see pics of them together.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/05/2007 7:37 AM

So last weekend was a two day dating session for Maryann.  She really didn't want to go the second day but ol' dad had something else to say about it. 

Saturday was more of the same.  We saw Buster, Alex and Conner again and while it started off quiet enough, it turned into a nipping/spinning war with each one.  Once again, I was a little let down.  I decided to try another tactic and suggested we get a bonded pair in there with Maryann.  Maybe if it was two against one, she'd be more receptive.

So in came Flopsy and Mopsy

First off, if anyone is in the market for two adorable brothers, get these guys.  Not only are they lovable, but they have been at the shelter for so long that they qualify for some sort of 'grandfather' clause that results in discounts for supplies as well as vet visits to Dr. Harvey.

So, the boys meet Maryann and almost immediately, Maryann mounts Flopsy!  Well that was different.  Nothing else was very different although she seemed to prefer to be with the boys than with the bonder that day.  At least the change in action renewed my faith in finding her a friend.

Sunday I returned and my favorite bonder was there (I believe her name is camile but I kept on getting it wrong).  She was confused as to what we did Saturday having thought Conner would be a good match for my bun.  We put them back in and eventhough they did do the nipping thing, she told me that that is only natural and that they will need to settle the dominance thing sometime.  I was worried that the lack of any grooming might be an issue.  So she decided to smear maryann's head with some banana babyfood - which Conner took to immediately.  It was weird watching Maryann flinch everytime he touched her - as if she didn't know the meaning of grooming like I had starved her of attention.  I had her put in with the two boys again and once more she quickly mounted Flopsy then hopped off.  However, Camile said that if I wasn't looking for a three bunny home, I should really consider Conner.

What it boiled down to is that Maryann seems basically accepting of all the male bunnies she's seen.  It is just that it will take some work bonding them at home - which is to be expected with any bonding.  Camile felt (and quite correctly) that I was expecting to find 'love at first sight' and that in all the years she's been doing bonding, she has only seen it happen once.  So my expectations were a little high.  She told me that any male we've seen would work and that it was now up to me to choose.

Now here comes the hard part of things.  Although I do love what HRS has done for me and I think Conner is a real cutie, a stray thought came to mind.  If any bunny will do, I wondered if I should look at another shelter - one where buns aren't really taken well care of, and see about rescuing from there.  Maryann was such a rescue and whereas I know that Conner will be well taken care of until he finds a home, another bunny may not be so lucky.

I am giving Maryann a couple of weeks off since she was rather stressed this weekend so I'm not going to make my decision soon but was wondering what y'all might think.

 

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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12/05/2007 7:47 AM

"It was weird watching Maryann flinch everytime he touched her - as if she didn't know the meaning of grooming like I had starved her of attention."

this made me chuckle... sounds like something Mead would do.

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline DustBunneh'sMama
Milltown, Wisconsin
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12/05/2007 7:47 AM
Wow, what a great bunny dad you are! I like your thought about checking out other shelters to see how their bunnies are kept and see if there is a more sad case that really needs a home. Of course, Maryann will have to approve! But, at least that way when you both finally make a decision you will know you did the best you could for everyone involved, especially the new bunny. Good luck with everything, and keep posting! We're all on pins and needles.
Proud mama to my 2 month old, 9 lb. bouncing baby Flemish Giant bunneh, "Ole Sven Joseph Gigantica, Earl of Niblet"

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/11/2007 5:52 AM

I am going to continue on this thread so that people who wonder about the actual bonding process can see the trials that I am going through and realize that such things are part of the bonding process.

As I mentioned elsewhere, I have finally brought home a bachelor.  His name is Donahue, but I am calling him Dono after a favorite character in a book I wrote (but never finished)

He may look like a meanie with those overly developed eye ridges, but he is such a sweetheart.  I took Maryann to the SaveABunny shelter in Santa Cruz and these two hit it off great - no spinning/nipping bouts, Dono did a happy flop and a couple of binkies and Maryann allowed him to groom her without flinching.  I thought it was as close to love at first sight as I was going to get.  And after the car ride home, I caught them snuggling in the carrier.

Well all that changed during the first bonding session.  When I put them both on the ground in the bedroom (where Maryann hasn't been for nearly 4 years), Maryann immediately attacked Dono and latched onto him so tightly that when I pulled her off of him she dragged him with her for few inches.  I tried the bonding box,which is a  cardboard box with hay and litter in it and barely big enough to fit the two of them in it.  However Maryann wouldn't sit still no matter what I did and continued to attack Dono.  The BEST I could do for a good ending (as you always want to leave on a good note) was to pin Maryann and Dono down about four inches from one another so they could just see each other without fighting.

I put them into their seperate cages and as you can see what I first thought was just curiosity on Maryann's part was actually the stink eye:

However, I can tell Dono likes her.  He's always by her cage whenever I come home (of course that is also the area that allows him to see me when I first come in.  She, on the other hand, will sometimes dig at the bars trying to get at him.  Not looking good right?

Wrong.

The second bonding session I decided to take them into my shower.  It is a small stall, maybe 4 foot square.  I put in the bonding box, then put Maryann in there first.(half tempted to turn on the shower to cool her off).  It is important that you do everything with your old bun first.  First to get treats, first to get pets, first to be moved, etc.  It lets them know that they are still the alpha.  Then in went Dono and I immediately began petting the two of them just hard enough to keep their heads down.  Both Maryann and Dono took the pettings without trying to get away or at each other.  When I stopped, Dono began looking around while Maryann just sat there looking at him.  It took her around five seconds before she began nipping him again.  I seperated them, put them both into the bonding box again and began petting them once more (but not before Maryann got a nip in on his cheek).  HOWEVER, she took the pettings instead of continuing to try and attack Dono - which she didn't do last time.  And no fur was lost during these encounters.

So, yes, the small improvement I have made in the bonding is that Maryann will not attack Dono while I am petting the two of them together.

Oh, and if you are wondering about Dono, he is taking all of this very well.  Whenever she attacks and I seperate them, he turns to her and begins to approach carefully and submissively as if to say, "I'm sorry, I don't know what I did wrong."  When they both go back into their cages, he doesn't run away and hide like she does, he remains near her cage (also the only place he can get close to me) and cleans himself from the struggle.  And he still comes hopping up to me whenever he sees me in the room so he doesn't hate me for putting him through this. 

I have also begun taking their nightly handful of leafy greens and sticking them between the cages instead of in their cages.  They both can pull the greens through the bars, seeing each other as they are eating their treat, but not being able to get to one another.  Before I put them in there though, I first hand one piece to Maryann and then one piece to Dono, again reinforcing to her that she is in charge.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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12/11/2007 8:27 AM

great to hear you've made progress!  thanks for posting the experience... its interesting to read.  i'm considering adopting another bun but need to think out the logistics before making a final decision. 

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
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12/12/2007 4:20 PM
Markus this is great info, I am placing this in the FAQ section under Bonding. Thank you so much for taking valuable time to keep us updated, especially in so much detail!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/13/2007 5:42 PM

So another bonding night.  I attempted to use HRS's bonding method of using a bonding box, in the bathroom and use a loud, unknown sound.  I put them in, petted them down and once they began to fight, turned on the rather noisy overhead fan.  They stopped for a second, then I saw Maryann going back towards Dono.  I got down, petted more and yet once I stopped, the bitings happened again.  Both got some fur from the other and I decided to seperate them again.

A link to thevideo is here.  I'm sorry there is no audio - I can't get the dang sound to go through my computer for some reason.  But I thought you'd like to see what I am dealing with...

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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12/13/2007 6:40 PM

yup... she's a feisty gal, that maryann!  i can see how a falconers glove might come in handy.  i didn't realize the bonding box would be that small.  so the idea is to get them in close but neutral quarters is it?  you obviously have researched this a lot... what's your game plan?  keep doing this until it gets better or do you change things up a bit?  like using a louder, more banging type of noise for the unknown sound maybe?

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/13/2007 6:55 PM

Well at the moment, Dono won't let me near him so definitely nothing more tonight. Dono's vet visit is tomorrow (Friday). I am going to try and see if I can get both of them into the same carrying box and keep it moving and noises to keep them from attacking each other. If they do, I have Maryann's old carrying case that I can put her into. Then, let them out at the Doctors. That will be neutral territory and I believe I can handle it there.

Saturday will be a day off for them, just let them see each other through the cages. Then, Sunday, I'll bring them to the HRS for more neutral territory bonding. I just hate it that Maryann's going for the face with her bites.

I am thinking that during next week, I might try to put them both into the bathroom without a box but a couple of heapin' piles of baby greens.  I think that Dono needs to be able to get away from the big meanie.  Sad thing is that her attitude of not takin' any crap is something that endeared her to me. 

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
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12/14/2007 2:01 PM
Hmm, it looks like putting them together straight off gets on MaryAnns nerves. I would provide Dono with an escape, somewhere he can go to get away from her. Bonding can be so complicated sometimes, there is no one sure-fire way and you have to get creative. When I was a bonding sitter, we let them loose in an x-pen (we sat down on the floor with them) and had a tunnel and a stool for them to "hide" in if it got too much for one bunny. If they started to fight, we did what you did, stop them and pet them down. Sometimes just taking one bunny in our lap and petting and just petting away until the other one got curous enough to come over then pet them both and if no nipping set the one down on our lap next to the other. If we stood there, then they were more likely fight for some reason. You might want to keep a squirt bottle handy as sometimes (this wasn't used very often) when the miscreant that was nipping was squirt, the other would come over and groom in sympathy. The kitchen strainer that Binky Bunny mentioned in the other discussion works very well too. I don't know if you checked over there yet.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/14/2007 2:58 PM
Well I took Dono to Dr Harvey today for an exam (he's just fine, BTW) and I, of course, brought Maryann with me. I let her ride on my lap to the vets (about a 45 min drive in traffic) and by the time we got there, she was squished up against the door to the carrier and Dono was squished on the other side. So I put them both into the carrier and brought them into the Vets. There, they were good for about 15 minutes then began to nip at each other just before the Doctor came in. AFterwards, I put them both into the same carrier and drove them home. I caught them snuggling a couple of times and even saw Dono grooming Maryann's face and ears (although when he 'demanded' to be groomed back, she gave him the butt).

So I KNOW they can get along. I just haveta find a new route to it. I think I'll start off with a car ride and forego the box. They seemed rather pleasant to each other when they had the floor of the examination room to hop about.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
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12/14/2007 4:13 PM
That's good I think you've found something that will help with the bonding! I hope it all goes well and it's good they can get along, that helps you too!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/18/2007 5:05 PM

So two more bonding essions so far. First we went over to the House Rabbit Society (HRS) and tried some bonding in an X-pen in neutral territory. Unfortunately, things weren't much different. Maryann nipped, Dono hopped away and he even begain hopping in front of her just so he could thump where she'd see it. I managed to get them quiet enough so that I could end on a good note and get them home. And, on the way home, once again Maryann let Dono groom her.

Tonight however was different. I took them on a car ride and managed to quiet them down in the same carrier. They went nose to nose numerous times without any incident. I brought them back to the created neutral space in my house and turned on the vaccuum. This also seemed to work to some extent. Maryann hopped around, checking things out while Dono remained petrified in the litter box. But, once again, as soon as Dono moved, Maryann nipped. I would seperate them, pet them, calm them down but once I let go, she went for him again. I tried removing her from the space, petting her for a little bit, then putting her back in. She immediately headed to Dono and attacked. I couldn't figure out a good way to end the session so they went back into their cages for greens.

Even the people at the HRS aren't happy with what they are seeing. I decided that if I cannot get Maryann to NOT attack Dono everytime he moves, that by January 2nd, I'm going to call his foster mother and make arrangements for her to come get him. I just don't think this is fair to him and if Maryann is so intent on being a single bunny, then she can be one.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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12/19/2007 3:29 AM

oh how disappointing that they haven't made more progress!  maryann seems so determined to keep him in his place... maybe she's gay?    just kidding... of course... i just have nothing helpful to say.  have you been in touch with dono's foster during the bonding? 

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline Lagomorpheus
Washington, DC
442 posts Send Private Message
12/19/2007 3:55 AM
You look like you're doing an excellent job and watching with a caring eye.

A couple things: Have they been familiarized yet? I was under the impression that two unfamiliar bunnies should live in close proximity (in seperate cages) in plain view for ~two weeks before attempting an introduction. Perhaps some of the aggression is territoriality or just plain unfamiliarity that could be helped by a longer familiarization process?

Also, as someone mentioned above, allowing for an 'escape route' during bonding could be beneficial. I rarely confined my buns during their bonding process, instead allowing them both to run free in the apartment. This at times developed into a bit of a chase, but I was easily able to stop the alpha female and groom her a bit/distract her and allow brambles to recover elsewhere. He was still curious and quite resilient, so they would have several meetings during these sessions, but neither ever felt trapped or pressured into a confrontation.

I'm sure you've considered these things, but that's my two cents anyhow. Good luck and I greatly enjoyed reading your notes on the process!

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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12/19/2007 4:21 AM

i'm really sorry to hear things are not looking up.  Dono sounds like he's such a sweet bun who's just lookin' for love... we should get him a bunny dating reality show... lol.

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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12/19/2007 4:26 AM

i just thought of something... i know bunnies can be possessive of people... do you think the fact that you are doing the bonding primarily, that this is causing a problem with Maryann?  is it possible that a neutral person would have better luck?  a neutral person in non-neutral territory... like someone coming to your house?  would Maryann be distracted about who this strange person is?

the other thing i've been thinking, not necessarily in your case, but in bunny bonding in general... is it easier to bond after a move to a new home... when things are not yet "claimed" by anybun.  they can both start on equal ground... has anyone ever done that?

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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12/19/2007 4:38 AM

thats a good point about trying a neutral person to do bonding.  my bun chins my hands all the time when the dog's around and i take it to mean she's claiming me as 'her own personal slave' over the dog lol.  maybe thats why maryann & dono's first intro went so well... there were other humans there.

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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12/19/2007 4:42 AM

forgot to add... markus... didn't you mention before that maryann took a while to get used to your girlfriend?  maybe i'm confusing you with some one else, but if that's the case i think beka's idea is even more relevant.

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/19/2007 7:10 AM
Well first off, I don't think Maryann is gay. I tried a couple of female buns during the speed dating process but she "Attack" attacked them - not just nips but full on charges, claws and teeth.

I have been in touch with Dono's foster mom and she's been giving me some ideas but a couple of them I'm not comfortable with until I have a second person nearby (such as holding both of them to my chest).

They have been familiarized as they have been living next to each other for two weeks. I am going to be trying the 'free range' style of bonding this weekend but the only issue is that this will all be on Maryann's turf - I don't have any space large enough that is neutral territory.

There will be a couple of people this weekend at HRS that are the 'bonding pros' so I'll let them handle the bonding process there and see if it goes better with a stranger.

I have thought about moving to a new place just for the buns but right now I have a really great deal on this apartment and am hesitant to head out. I've been in this place for 13 years and, well, I hate moving.

I do think that all Maryann wants is her place and me. Nobody else. I am hoping that things will improve over the next two weeks. I would be willing to keep on working on them for the next three months but I just feel so bad for Dono that I don't want to keep putting him through this.

Part of me wants to take Dono and hide him in the bathroom, then let Maryann have full run of the house and see what happens when she realizes he isn't around anymore.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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12/19/2007 11:13 AM

yeah poor dono... i can imagine it's hard to watch him getting snubbed & bitten.  you know maryann better than anyone, so i can see why you'd not want to prolong this too much if you think she's not going to budge.  you certainly have been patient & willing to try anything.  hiding dono for a day would be an interesting experiment... do you think it'd hamper the situation somehow?   i'm wondering how she'd react to being re-introduced after a brief repreive. 

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
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12/19/2007 12:29 PM
I'm a lil far behind on this thread, but I am pretty sure I know Donahue since he's a Rabbit Haven bunny right?
He's a very sweet bunny and I remember his pretty gingery coloring!

Maryann's story reminds me of my Hareiette. She did fine when she's not at home, but it seems impossible at home! We did tons of bonding sessions in the car, at petsmart, a friend's house and even at a shelter that went very well. Get them home, even in a neutral place and it's war. :-( I do really hope things will work out with Dono and her though....
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline BunnyLugs
Buckinghamshire
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12/21/2007 4:10 AM
DustBunneh's Mama!! Sorry to interupt but your little bun looks just like my little Jessica. Is it a chincilla rabbit?

User is Offline MooBunnay
Dallas, Texas (Allen)
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12/21/2007 5:17 AM
Any recent updates Markusdark? I am also in process of bonding two bunnies who do a very smiliar thing of attacking each other when the other hops by, but then are sometimes very sweet to each other. I am planning on taking them on a car ride every day over Christmas vacation (only about a 10 minute one or so). One of the bunnies I am bonding is blind, and the other got really beat up by one of my boy buns (when I wasn't home to break it up ) so they are both a bit traumatized of other bunnies. I'll let you know if I find anything that helps.

As far as your bonding quest - the sign that one is grooming the other is such a fantastic sign that I really think things might still work out (perhaps I am the eternal optimist!) can you somehow trick maryann into grooming him? e.g. with the baby food?

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/21/2007 6:00 AM
There is nothing new. Unfortunately, I have a back injury currently that keeps me mostly bedridden. I am able to get up to feed and care for the lil buns but I haven't been doing any bonding. Maryann is still digging at her bars to get at Dono and he's still being a sweet guy (I don't know if he has any chincilla in him or not but he is a VERY soft bunny). This weekend the bonding experts will be at the HRS so I'll be driving them over there. I also have the rest of the year off so I'll be trying some guerrilla bonding tactics and hope something comes out of it.

And by guerrilla I am thinking I'll put on a gorilla suit and chase them both around the house until they're dead tired and collapse next to each other.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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12/21/2007 6:05 AM

ahhh hahaha!  good one.  sorry to hear about your back markus... i can sympathize.  good luck with the HRS bonding.  hope you're feeling better / have time to post how it goes & hopefully you won't need to be puttin on that gorilla suit.  may aggrevate your back

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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12/21/2007 7:30 AM

i can imagine the doctor...

"markus... how did you re-injure your back...?"

"well, doc, i had to put on a gorilla suit and chase around the house in order to scare my bunnies into loving each other..."

"... i see..."

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/21/2007 9:30 AM
Heh, my chiropractor actually brings in her large retriever to her office so if it is pet related, she'd understand. She also knows the wierd things I like to do for fun (since I usually get injured due to them) so dressing up in a gorilla suit wouldn't be the most shocking thing she's heard me do.

Good news is that I just had a session with the doctor and I think she popped back in what was out (took three visits). I'll need the rest of the day to recover but she says that if it worked, I should feel much better tomorrow morning. If not, she's willing to see me even on Christmas day if necessary to fix me up. Sometimes I make fun of the hippies of Berkeley, but there are some good upsides to it too.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Thumpers_Mom
New York
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12/21/2007 10:28 AM
I'll be trying some guerrilla bonding tactics and hope something comes out of it.

And by guerrilla I am thinking I'll put on a gorilla suit and chase them both around the house until they're dead tired and collapse next to each other.

 

 LOL LOL LOL...that's quite funny to picture. Thanks for the smile. I needed that.


User is Offline Thumpers_Mom
New York
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12/21/2007 10:31 AM
I'm sorry to hear about your back. Hope it worked and you feel better in no time!

Also, about the bonding...I know it is easy to want to give up...My buns have left me in tears at times. Even now,they nip eachother a few times a day (its been a little over a month) but it is slowly getting better. Hopefully things will get better and Maryann will stop being sooo darn bossy. Or realize that Dono doesn't mind the bossiness and just wants to be loved! :o)

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
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12/21/2007 11:21 AM
Markus I am sorry to hear about the little Amazon, MaryAnn. The gorilla suit remark cracked me up! I too am sorry to hear about your back too, but glad to hear your last adjustment with the chiropractor helped!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/23/2007 8:39 PM
After two bonding sessions at HRS, the 'professionals' have come to a determination. Maryann doesn't know how to socialize with bunnies. It seems that her idea of grooming is to nip, not to lick. Whenever she 'bites' Dono, her ears are forward, her demeanor is relaxed and she nips him right where you'd expect to be groomed. So, in other words, Maryann likes Dono! She just doesn't know how to express it. Dono is becoming more cynical towards the nipping deva though. Many times I feel that he'd just thump at her and run whenever she approaches, but everyso often, he stands his ground, lowers his head and gives her another chance - to which she either nips him or ignores him all together.

So the HRS's diagnosis is that it will take some time, but the two of them will be the best of buds.

Even with a bad back, I will be taking her just about every day to the HRS for more neutral bonding and car rides. Only Christmas and New Years they'll be closed.

Oh, and they are boarding alot of buns there - I have fallen in love with two different boarded bunnies - and they all look so happy and content.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
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12/23/2007 9:49 PM
ooo glad your back is on the mend!

did you see that movie Hitch? It stars Will Smith as this matchmaker, who helps guys learn how to interact with and woo woman. I wonder if they have a bunny equivalent that can help teach your MaryAnn how to woo Dono! she's like the third grader who pulls your hair because she has a crush on you!

bravo to you for being so committed to making this work! hang in there and hope you'll keep us updated
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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12/26/2007 4:50 AM

wow markus... what an interesting observation from the HRS people!  i was so happy to read that they are optimistic for maryann & dono.     i  can imagine its a relief to you to hear that your efforts haven't been in vain or to dono's detriment.  i agree that a bunny version of 'hitch' would come in handy for you now... i wonder how maryann will learn to groom by licking vs biting?  very interesting creatures they are!  and you're such a patient bunny dad to keep at it with them!  hope your back feels better soon

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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1/02/2008 1:17 PM

Just an update on the buns...

My back is still in pain so I am kept mostly on my back on the couch - hence bonding sessions haven't been happening.  I have managed to get up and let the little dickens have their time out of their cages though to get their exercise and for Dono to get to know the apartment better.  Maryann is always the first to come on out and I have to chase her out of the bedroom into the living room else she'll simply hop up on the bed and begin her bunny terrorist activities upon Dono through his cage.  The poor guy will still hop up to the cage wall to sniff at her only to have Maryann return a nip for his troubles.  But when she's in the living room, she's all binkies.

Dono's time out is much more sedated.  I think he's still unsure of the area around him.  He also wants to keep on going back into the bedroom to check in on the sexy doe in her cage - and again receives a nip for his troubles.  As he hops around the bedroom, Maryann will follow him inside of her cage with ears up and open towards him.  If he gets tired of all of his adventuring, he'll lie down next to Maryann's cage (it has a tray wall that is about 4" up from the ground so he can do this without getting nipped).  She, on the other hand, will dig at the bars trying to get at him.

I have standing bonding days every saturday and sunday at the house rabbit society where I can drop the two off and just lie on the ground while a volunteer worries about the buns.  I am not going to give up - especially since it hasn't even been a month yet since I've had Dono. 

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Thumpers_Mom
New York
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1/02/2008 2:25 PM
I'm sorry your are still not feeling all better...but I am very happy to hear that you are still working with the buns. I know there were times I thought it wasn't going to happen and now I am elated that Thumper and Peaches have finally bonded. Can't wait to hear the same from you with yours!

Hope you feel better soon!

User is Offline MooBunnay
Dallas, Texas (Allen)
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1/02/2008 2:41 PM
I think my bunny has the same problem as yours! Grace seems to think that giving Raymond a love nip is nice too - and unfortunately Raymond disagrees. Grace is blind so maybe she never saw how to groom a bunny!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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1/02/2008 3:41 PM

glad that you're keeping up some hope with maryann & dono!  i can imagine how the back problems are interfereing... i know how debilitating back troubles are.  hope you're on the road to recovery very soon!

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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1/10/2008 11:37 AM

So something interesting happened at the latest bonding session at the HRS.  Maryann was her usually nippy self and it came down to them exploring the X-pen individually and anytime Maryann approached Dono, he simply hopped away.

As I usually do, I spend about 5 mins in the cage with them and then head out of the cage, leaving them alone because it seems that Maryann is more aggressive when I'm around (protecting her daddy).  A volunteer who was there to see another rabbit walked up to the X-pen to pet my buns.  Both Maryann and Dono immediately hopped over to her, put their heads down to get the pets - and did it nose to nose!  It looked alot like today's picture on dailybunny.com.  No nipping, no jockeying for position, just bumped heads, lowered down and waited for the pets.

I have a VERY strange girl...

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline MooBunnay
Dallas, Texas (Allen)
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1/10/2008 12:03 PM
Ooooo progress! Thats great! And its good that he just hops away rather than turning around to fight. When you take them to the bonding sessions at HRS do you normally take them in the same carrier together? That is probably a good way to kick off the session. It sounds like Maryann is one of those buns who probably grooms Dono when your back is turned, but then as soon as you're looking again she quickly gives him a nip as if to say "ahem, I do not NEED a man." Things are also still not going so well with my bonding, we have discovered that if I feed Grace and Raymond at the same time she will attack him to get him away from the food! So for now they are sharing a cage but she's got floor 3 and he's got 1 and 2.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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1/15/2008 5:48 AM
So I tried a new bonding technique mentioned at the HRS's Bonding 101 class. I put both Maryann and Dono into the carrier (where they rarely fight) and suspended it in my living room by bungee cords. This mean that whenever one of them moved about, it would begin to rock the carrier. I left them in there for half an hour and there was only one toussle the entire time and that lasted only two seconds.

Although they spent the time facing in different directions, I am hoping that the close proximity of each other will begin to rub off on them. I tried feeding them treats through the door, which Dono took immediately but Maryann didn't. Then again, whenever she's "pouting" she never takes a treat - even her favorites.

I have added a string from the cage to my couch so that I can lie down and relax my back while I monitor the two of them. If a scuffle continues for more than a couple of seconds, I pull on the string and get the carrier swinging more than normal (which quiets them right down).

I'm going to keep on trying this bonding technique for this week and then starting next week, it'll be playtime for both with a nice pile of greens for each of them to start off the playtime.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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1/15/2008 6:15 AM

isn't it amazing what we do for our buns?  that's an interesting idea.  i know you'll keep us posted.  good luck!

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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1/15/2008 6:35 AM
Wowza...I'd heard of this technique! I really hope it works!! *fingers crossed*
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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1/15/2008 12:55 PM

that is an interesting method... paints quite an interesting picture in my mind.  lol.  glad that its working  

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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1/17/2008 7:21 AM

Well the suspension idea isn't working anymore. Apparently Maryann has become comfortable enough with it to start fighting again - even when I'm shaking the dang thing.

I decided to let them out of the cage and have free range of the apartment. Maryann spent half of her time chasing Dono and nipping him. But she never had her ears back when she did this. The got into one big ruckus, complete with rearing up, scratching at each other and so on. That's when I seperated them, gave them each a treat to end it on a good note and head on back to their cages. That's something else. When I handed them their treats, they came up next to each other to get it. Seems like I have found another motivator.

Oh, and I should note that when I was coaxing Maryann with a treat, Dono figured he'd get his own and went head first into the container of dried percimmons(sp), leaving them scattered all over the rug. He is a little piggy - eating twice as much as Maryann but being the same size.

I will be video taping tonight's bonding session since Auntie Heather at Rabbit Haven in Santa Cruz wants to see what's happening so she might be able to give some insight that I'm missing. 

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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1/17/2008 7:53 AM

wow there's just no end to maryann's feistiness!  i guess she's all trained for space now huh? 

and i guess that dono is feeling right at home now, what with helping himself to treats & all.

can't wait to see your next bonding session... it really sounds like you're making progress markus.  slow progress, but progress none-the-less!

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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1/18/2008 12:15 PM

( I mentioned this elsewhere but felt I should keep all info in the same place)

Today marks 2 months of having Dono.  Although this may be a long time, I should note that due to my injury, there has been realtively little bonding going on other than on the weekends at HRS.  So, they've not had a chance to try and bond in Maryann's home.

I tried the suspension technique where you hang a carrier by bungee cords and put the buns into it.  The first night, things went swimmingly - only one toussel and I didn't even need to intervene.  The second night though, I think Maryann became used to it and the fights were on.  I opened up the carrier to let them loose for a bit and about 30% of the time it was Maryann chasing Dono around and nipping him when she was close enough.  I stopped that night's bonding when Dono fought back and they were both rearing up and boxing.

The next night, I tried another box bonding with Heather's suggestion to lie Dono across Maryann's back when she nips him.  Here's the URL for the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgBm0wZqWR0

First, you'll see that Dono is scared of her - not wanting to have me bring him near her.  Then, you'll see Maryann biting him and the resulting 'across the back' with Dono.  The first time, Dono quickly took off.  The second time, I think it got to Maryann because she took off from under him.  The third time, Once I put Dono on her back, he began to 'chew' on the back of her neck.  I thought he was initiating a mounting so I left him alone.  But instead, she bucked, he fell off and all hell broke loose.  So, I seperated them again, allowing Maryann free run of the bedroom and Dono of the living room - so they could exercise out the tension.

Tonight I am going to try a car ride followed up with piles of leafy greens near one another and see how they do.  Then, Saturday, it's off to Rabbit Haven to see what they think of the whole mess.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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1/18/2008 6:43 PM

Well just when you think there's no hope, something like this happens:

I took Maryann and Dono on a 10 min car ride and, as per usual, by the end of it Maryann was stretched out in the carrier and I caught Dono grooming her. So up to my place, put them into their bonding area, dropped two piles of greens into it and watched. This video takes place about two minutes into the session (excuse the focus but I somehow turned off the manual and can't find the switch now. )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr25PJcgo0U

You will see Dono give a warning thump when Maryann comes close. That was the only time they got that close during the session but I'm still going to take it as a small victory.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Lisa_43
Perth Western Australia
1518 posts Send Private Message
1/18/2008 9:47 PM

I have been watching this thread for a while and it has been very interesting.

I have not given any input as I didn't feel experienced enough.

This bonding session must give you some hope; maybe it is just going to take a lot of time and patience for you to see the rewards.

Keep up the good work.


User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
3872 posts Send Private Message
1/19/2008 4:58 AM

no kidding huh?  I'm so glad you finally got rewarded with an encouraging date experience at home!  yay!

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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1/19/2008 5:10 AM

umm.... between your bunnies that is

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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1/22/2008 5:41 AM
So, continuing with the difficult bonding of Maryann and Dono:

This weekend consisted of 10 min car rides followed by placing them both into a 8 x 3 foot kitchen area for 30 mins. Maryann would hop over to one corner near the litter/hay box and Dono would hop over to the opposite corner near a willow mat. Dono would remain in that corner while Maryann would, eventually, hop out and about trying to find a way out of the walled off bonding area. Her path would cross Dono's a couple of times to which she'd just lean forward, ears forward, sniffing and then eventually take off like a shot from him back to her corner and remain there for another 10 minutes - either of them barely moving.

In other words, they're both scared of one another.

I also put in two handfuls of fresh baby greens for them. Dono remains in his corner, unmoving while Maryann will eventually find them and begin chewing on them. However, I have found a way to coax Dono out of the corner. Whenever I give my bun's a treat, I whistle so when they hear a whistle, they expect a treat. I would whistle and Dono comes out of his corner like a shot to get a raisin. Maryann also turns towards me for the raisin and they will actually sit next to one another in order to get the treats. As I feed one, the other sniffs the one being treated with ears forward (again, non agressive). However, if there are no treats and Dono's still moving AND has his side or back to Maryann, she'll eventually lean under him and give him a nip. To which, he'll take off like a shot to his corner again.

I find this as a very positive step forward as they are now reacting in Maryann's territory as if they were on neutral territory. I think I am still a good month away from them being close to bonded but at least we have finally broken through the always agressive barrier.

Oh, and on a side note, I have found out that Dono fears me picking him up more than he does Maryann as when I try to take him out of the bonding area, he'll run over to the litter/hay box - which is right next to Maryann. He's not looking for support from her, he just feels that it is safer near her than it is near me.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
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1/22/2008 6:06 AM
LOL
Thanks for the videos...we can kind of get a better feel for how things are going. I don't have advice, not experienced enough but Good luck..

Markus, do your neighbours wonder what's going on with you taking bunnies for frequent short car rides? lol I can only wonder what they think!
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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1/22/2008 10:43 AM

yahoo... great progress (to the inexperienced eye anyways)!  maryann is your bun and dono will end up being her bun

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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1/27/2008 3:17 PM

This weekend I brought Maryann and Dono back down to the Rabbit Haven in Santa Cruz so Auntie Heather could take a look at them. Osprey helped with some bonding time and they both saw first hand Maryann's nips towards Dono. Heather spent some time with just Maryann trying to suss out what her issue was and went off with them in a cart at PetSmart to see them together. She came back with sweaters on both of them. The one for Dono was armor against Maryann's attacks and the other one was on Maryann to give her the sensation that someone was constantly holding her. Unfortunately, it didn't stop Maryann from nipping Dono in the face. Heather's bonding techniques are to take the bun that was nipped and put it over the nipper. And the sad thing was that the moment she did that with Dono, Dono began grooming Maryann as if to say "I don't know what I am doing, but I am sorry!"

However, she confirmed what everyone else has. Maryann's "attacks" do not seem to be hostile as she doesn't chase him or persue the attack other than a nip or two. She seems to be irritated enough at him though that if he gets into her space, she'll nip. Heather thinks it might be because of teeth issues with Maryann that makes her grumpy but the vet confirmed that there aren't any issues as of yet.  We just don't know what Maryann is irritated about to be causing this.

So, the end result is that I am going to keep them until the end of February. If Maryann doesn't warm up to Dono by then, I think I am going to turn Dono back over to them. He REALLY wants to have a girlfriend and here at home all he does is sulk in the corner of his pen that is farthest away from Maryann. He is still eating though so I'm not worried about his physical health - just his emotional. If this happens, I'll probably take Maryann on a couple more dates but unless love at first sight happens, I'm just going to keep her as a single bun. She seems quite happy being by herself.

Heather also said that she'd have no issue boarding the two of them and working on them to bond them. I'm not sure having another person bond them will do much good as I witnessed the same behaviour while both Heather and Osprey worked with them. I am going to be boarding them at the HRS near the end of February as I am heading to a 4 day conference. We'll see if being away from home with strangers helps at all or not.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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2/03/2008 3:37 PM

So now it's now week 7 on the bonding quest.

We went the week doing 15 min car rides and time in the kitchen and the same thing went on each day.  Dono would sit scooshed up in his corner, Maryann in the opposite corner.  She'd venture out, sniff Dono, Dono would thump and, if Maryann was standing on anything other than the tile, nip Dono.

Sunday, we went to the HRS to try it there.  There was some more non-nipping times when they were both close together but I think that was due to Maryann being preoccupied with the new cat roaming around the place.  I tried some face to face bonding with them but it would usually end with Maryann nipping Dono and then increasing from there.

I then brought them home.  I opened Dono's cage (a large dog kennel) and opened up the carrying case.  They BOTH hopped into the large dog kennel and began checking things out.  I had trouble getting Maryann out because she'd hide in his cardboard house.  Eventually, she hopped out of the open cage door and I was able to scoop her up and put her into her cage.

I am still not giving up on them.  They WILL be bonded.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Lisa_43
Perth Western Australia
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2/03/2008 3:52 PM

Excellent job Markusdark, you should get the award for never giving up.


User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
2/03/2008 8:05 PM
Posted By markusdark on 02/03/2008 6:37 PM

I am still not giving up on them.  They WILL be bonded.

 hang in there!!  we have faith in the three of you!!

 

~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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2/06/2008 7:50 PM

Here is a collection of some clips of one of my latest bonding sessions with Dono and Maryann:

www.youtube.com/watch

You'll see how Dono will just go to a corner and stay there as still as possible.  Maryann will sometimes ignore him and sometimes nip him but it never really seems like she's overtly hostile towards him - afterall she always leaves him alone after just one nip.

Oh, and I also left about 30 seconds of Dono grooming himself - because it was cute and he reminded me of the gopher from Caddyshack.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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2/07/2008 2:28 AM

wow markus thats a huge difference from earlier footage of the 2... you're def making progress!  they sure are cute bun buns

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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2/07/2008 7:14 AM

Well that is because she's on linoleum.  If she had sure footing, she'd continue the attack until Dono hopped away.  She's alot less sure of herself when her legs keep sliding out from under her.

It is just strange though that that is the extent of her 'attack'.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Thumpers_Mom
New York
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2/07/2008 8:37 AM

Wow Markus...I've been MIA for a while and just now had the chance to catch up on Maryann and Dono. I am so glad to hear that you are still going full steam ahead...

I just finished watching you last clip and it looks GREAT. The fact that he will groom in front of her is a good sign. You are doing absolutely fantabulous and I agree that they WILL bond!

*jackie


User is Offline MimzMum
Interior Alaska
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2/07/2008 8:40 AM
Yipes! 0.o I just watched the first vid with them both hopping out of the bonding box at opposite times and those nasty nips! (Come on, Maryann, this is your dream bun and you know it!) I feel so sorry for you Markus...you must be so weary of chasing one bun after the other! ^^;
They DO seem to be settling down a bit. The calm moments are so precious!

Will watch the other clips too...I think this will definitely help to show to my daughter also. I am unsure she realizes just what an adventure is coming up for her when we try to bond Mimzy and Pip.

This looks like my attempts to introduce my feral cat to my other two house cats. (If anyone here has read the "Warriors" series by Erin Hunter, you would understand the difference between a clan cat and a kittypet...definitely what I have here!) "Hello Kitty" is my feral cat and she has been a house pet and been abandoned. She was attacked by other cats and her left rear leg is the worse for it. She is very tender back there and so she works hard to protect that flank. My two, of course, feel they have seniority and that she should tow the party line. So we have frequent fighting and it just breaks my heart because I can see what good friends they could be if they would only settle down. I get SO tired though of having to patch up scrapes and scratches (and mostly on me, not the cats!)

I will be keeping you in my prayers, Markus, and Dono and Maryann too. I hope this all works out and SOON. You guys are going to drop from exhaustion!
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User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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2/07/2008 10:00 AM
Well the two buns were always comfortable enough in each other's presence to groom. For Maryann, it is a proximity thing - whether they come close to her or she happens to be close to them.

Heather from Rabbit Haven, where I got Dono, has seen the last video and she is of the mindset that I should probably start looking for another boy. She knew Dono as a friendly and curious bun and to see him scrunched up in the corner in fear and letting another bun bite him - it is breaking her heart. We are discussing bringing Maryann down to meet another dutch dwarf to see if that will work any better.

I'd miss Dono as he has begun to grow on me and he has just started to let more of his peronality show. But if it is in his best interest to find a gal that will just accept him for who he is, I'm all for making him happy.

Again, I am not giving up but deferring to people who have done this alot more than I have. I've given the two buns the last couple of days off from bonding work and will probably try again Friday night before heading down with them on Saturday. Who knows, maybe it will be one of those stories of 'just when I was about to get rid of the other bun...'
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline kralspace
West, Texas
2680 posts Send Private Message
2/07/2008 10:46 AM

wow, sounds like all of you have been working hard! When I was trying to bond Daisy and Lola, after about a month we had gotten so close, but I still couldn't trust them together alone. Just a lot of irritating petty bickering if you know what I mean. Like kids going "MOM! it's LOOKING at me!"

I finally got fed up with it and turned them loose in the living room for the weekend while I rebuilt the condo, and let my dog, Floppie, wander through on the way to the kitchen. She'd never hurt a fly and never even looked their way, but boy, did those 2 bunnies huddle together under the stove. All weekend, if I saw them starting to fuss, I'd call Floppie in and those 2 bunnies were trying to crawl into each other's skin they were snuggling so close. They moved liked they were attached together from shoulder to hip and now in their condo, they're love buns.

I know that sounds mean, but the car rides, the bucket trots, nothing else seemed to faze them much, guess they know I wouldn't hurt them. But one whiff of doggie BO and they became siamese twins.

My Bunny Burrow is full! Pringles & Toby, Daisy & Lola, and my senior citizens Hershey & Simba.
The piggies are back, add Brownie and Sweetpea to the mix.

User is Offline MimzMum
Interior Alaska
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2/07/2008 11:08 AM
Oh dear! (suppresses a giggle) That is a funny story about your dog and bunnies. I would try something like that, however, my dogs are WAY too big and unpredictable to let them supervise our bunnies. Anyway, knowing Mim, he'd warn them once with a foot stomp...then most likely they'd be running yelping with the bun on their heels and his fangs bared! 0.o

He's been all upset while the two dogs have been indoors for the deep cold. Throws his litter box and makes as much noise as possible to let me know just HOW unhappy he is! He doesn't want me taking care of anyone but him. >.<

I am sorry though to hear that the curtain may be going down on the romance between Dono and Maryann. But he IS such a sweet bun, and maybe that is what's sticking in Maryann's craw...she might prefer a more dominant bun than she? Or maybe she's just one of those 'girls who wanna have fun'?
That you are considering Dono's feelings in this situation is sweet and tugs at my heart. You are a great bunny parent!

My guess is, she doesn't want to share Markus. *nods*
 photo 3ca1b95d-0cfb-478a-9ea7-bfc6fff29518_zpsa40198b1.jpg

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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2/08/2008 5:38 AM

Well Auntie Heather has a new boy in mind for Maryann to meet.  Lenny

I'm not sure if he'll be any better though.  For one, he's less than a year old and two - Maryann is a persnickety deva.  I think that Heather is hoping that another Dutch would be able to handle Maryann's temperment better.  But, if they don't hit it off and hit it off well tomorrow, I'm going to stick with Dono for another two weeks.  The holidays are coming up and I'd want to give him a chance with the boarding/bonding session.

Tonight is laundry night so I'll be bringing the two down to the laundrymat and let them ride the dryers.  After which, we'll go home and I'll put them both into Dono's large cage and see if they've 'matured' any.  Here's hoping for a last minute love interest.

EDIT: I'm not heading down on Saturday to meet Lenny.  I refuse to give up on Dono yet.  Going to try some more bonding this weekend at HRS, followed by more car rides next week and dropping them off at Save A Bunny for boarding and bonding during the holidays.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Lion_Lop_Lover
New Brunswick, Canada
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2/08/2008 10:01 AM
Good luck! We'll be anxious to hear...!
Everything happens for a reason.
If it is meant to be, it will be.
~ Words I have to live by.

User is Offline MimzMum
Interior Alaska
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2/08/2008 4:21 PM
Ride the dryers? Oh my I haven't heard anything like that since my babies were born! ^^
I'm wishing you the best of fortunes with Dono, Markus. And if fate has other ideas, well that Lenny is quite the looker! What a great profile photo!

 photo 3ca1b95d-0cfb-478a-9ea7-bfc6fff29518_zpsa40198b1.jpg

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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2/08/2008 7:54 PM
Well the riding the dryers resulted in an all out fight once they got out of the carrier. Dono didn't back down and went at her. So I guess I WILL be bringing them down and see what's up with Lenny and maybe see if there's something I'm missing. I am going to have Dr. Harvey check to make sure that Maryann had a full spaying and it wasn't a botched job as well as check for... cicullocus? Dun remember what it is but they check the poo for it.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline MimzMum
Interior Alaska
7828 posts Send Private Message
2/09/2008 11:10 AM
Oh no! I'm sorry to hear that. Well, I guess it's best then to let the bunnies go their separate ways.
While watching the bad bonding clip a few more times, I noticed that spot in it where Dono went under Maryann's chin and seemed to nibble at it. I think he was going for the grooming command there, which means he was trying to take the spot as top bun. (Someone else may have mentioned this already, if so I am sorry.) But if neither will back down then, well, *sigh* one has to move on I guess.

I will continue to send good wishes and hope for the best. Take care!
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User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2819 posts Send Private Message
2/09/2008 8:59 PM

So, I brought them down to see Auntie Heather. As it always is with them, they didn't fight at all in the carrier and, in fact, Dono gave her a little grooming. Heather decided to put Lenny in with Maryann and boy was she surprised when SHE was the one that got bit first! She also put her in with a couple other male bunnies, including one that tried to mount her and another that chased her out of his pen area. For some reason, when she was put back into the shopping cart with Dono, she seemed to realize what a prize she had. Meanwhile, Dono was upset with her for seeing all the other boys. There was no more fighting between the two of them.  And then something, as far as I'm concerned, was amazing.  Maryann mounted Dono.  Although this was an 'aggressive' showing of dominance, it was much better than biting him.

Heather then tried another technique where she put a rolled up towel between the two of them, dividing the cart in half. Amazingly enough, both of them respected each other's 'side' of the cart and didn't cross it. They sniffed and everything esle but never attacked each other. Then, on the ride home, Maryann made sure to snuggle next to Dono the entire way. Whenever she was shifted due to the bumpy ride, she plopped herself down against him afterwards. It was in the yin/yang position but still was encouraging.

So, yes, I do still have Dono and I've got a new type of bonding (the blanket border) to try with them. They'll also have a few days alone at SaveABunny for bonding work there.

Who knows, might still work out...

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
3872 posts Send Private Message
2/10/2008 4:50 AM

markus you DEF win the prize for 'most patient bunny slave while bonding'!!!  isn't it amazing how back & forth their bonding experiences have been?  whether or not it works out for maryann & dono, one thing is for sure... they have a great home with you

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MimzMum
Interior Alaska
7828 posts Send Private Message
2/11/2008 4:12 PM
OMG! I am on the edge of my seat! 0_o (bites nails waiting for the next installment) This is worse than a soap opera, waiting for these two buns to fall in love! ^^
And well, there's nothing like a bad boy to teach you what a good guy you have right in front of you. You go, Dono! Woohoo! ^^

And Markus, wow...just WOW. You are the best bunny parent I know! Good for you for being so tenacious!
 photo 3ca1b95d-0cfb-478a-9ea7-bfc6fff29518_zpsa40198b1.jpg

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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2/12/2008 10:55 AM

Although I appreciate the praise of bein' a good parent, I am more just too lazy to go through the dating process again.  My buns spend most of their day in their cages next to each other - although I have noticed that Maryann is no longer giving him the butt but rather sits looking at him.  They get about a 45 min bonding session every other night and I let them out for an hour each when able.  Unfortunately, my landlord pushed up the inspection date to this Thursday so everything is on hold now while I paint my bathroom and get the rest of the place up to his standards. 

I feel somewhat ashamed that I'm not a better parent:

  • They don't always get free time out of their cage
  • I don't always have greens on hand for them
  • I even have gone a day without even giving them pets.

My life is a busy one, that's why I wanted to get a playmate.  I have bunnyproofed my bedroom so once they're bonded, they can have free run of it 24/7 and I won't have to worry about Maryann getting into TOO much trouble with Dono at her side.  Or maybe it'll be double - either way, once bonded I hope to earn those praises of being a great bunny parent.

I will probably not get a bonding session in before the weekend due to all of this work.  So I'll be dropping them off at SaveABunny in Mill Valley Friday afternoon.  They'll take care of the buns and also try some bonding with them.

 

 

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
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2/12/2008 9:08 PM

I sure hope SaveABunny will be able to help. They are great over there! Tell Marcy or JoAnne (whomever helps you out) hello for me! What I noticed from that video right off the bat was Dono was way too tense, (understandably if he's fearing Maryann's wrath), and his tenseness also makes MaryAnn even more aggressive. So if the stress methods are not working and/or it actually only makes them worse, then you may need to take things back a notch.

What looks like has happened is they know that when they bond - it's just not going to go well, at least for Dono.  It looks as if MaryAnne asks to be groomed and is very impatient if Dono does not oblige right away.  You have one very bossy diva queen there. If the saveabunny thing doesn't work, and you still want to continue to try, I would give them a break for a week, and then bring the most aggressive or tense one into the bonding area first (you may have to try a new bonding place if they fought many times in the same area) and get that bunny very relaxed.  I normally wouldn't advise having one bunny in alone first as they could establish it as their territory, but right now from the history of things, it sounds less about territory (as they will fight even the suspended carrier) and more about their own relationship issues, so that is why I think you should bring in the most aggressive or tense one in, and get them calm - pet slowly, and calmly and rub their forehead and cheek, then bring the other bunny in and don't let them interact right away - just only seeing each other but pet them both. Only do this for five or so minutes, and then stop the session, until next time. And slowly increase the time. The idea is to help them associate each other with just relaxation and calm. You can even try giving them each a healthy treat the moment that they see each other (again not to interact yet)

NOTE: if you find that if you bring in MaryAnne in first, and she freaks the moment you bring in Dono, then try it the other way around, so that she is coming into a space he is already in.

My guess if Maryanne is dominate, then when Dono is placed over this bossy gal, it could make her even get more mad, so in this case, it may not help to put one bunny over the other. She has to feel confident that Dono will follow her queendom rules and not try to dominate her before she would be able to calm down.

I won't give anymore advice until after SaveAbunny has had a chance with them. I think if anyone could help them out, they could!

Oh, BTW, I hope your back is doing better.  I actually had my back go out while after so many sessions of bonding. It really is terrible for our backs!


User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2819 posts Send Private Message
2/18/2008 6:05 PM

Hello all.

I just got back from my conference and have been in touch a couple times during the weekend with SaveABunny. First off, I want to say that they have perhaps some of the most gorgeous buns I have ever seen there. I immediately wanted to take three of them home and I was watchin' a poor mom taking a break from her kids in there. They took her out of her cage, put her into an X-pen and she almost immediately flopped over for a snooze. If you've never been, their setup is a bit tight but incredible and the one person I met there just gave off the vibe of being an incredible rabbit person (Of course, I am terrible with names so I don't remember hers).

Oh, and I got to meet the presidential canidate, Mr. Pinkerton. I have to say that he seems a bit quiet on the issues but he does love to 'press the flesh' with the voters.

Since there was a nice long car ride over there (once again Dono grooming Maryann on the trip over), they put them both immediately into an X-pen. After talking for a time and watching them (including one of Maryann's slow approach and nips), they decided that it would actually be best if both of them were in the same pen during the time there! Although a bit afraid, they seemed to really know what they were talking about, including a specific setup of the X-pen to discourage continued fights. With a heavy heart, I left by babies there and got ready for my conference - and let me tell you, nothing has tugged at my heart as much as coming home and immediately seeing the two empty cages.

On Sunday Morning I called and Gary answered. He said that he hadn't been 'on the case' all that much but what he had seen was rather mild. They had been in the same cage the entire time and fighting was almost non-existant. I think he said that from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning, only two instances of Maryann's nipping were recorded. He then told me to call them on Monday to talk to Marcy as she was out at a show that day.

On my way home from the conference, I called them and Marcy chatted with me. She said that there hasn't been any fighting and the aggression seems to have gone away. Instead of saying that Maryann was nipping Dono, she said that she would pull his fur. I suppose that this is a more accurate description of what she does and it seemed to mean a big difference to her.

As of Monday morning, they would 'sit together' (which could mean the usual sitting near each other but I was too tired to ask any questions) and Dono does groom Maryann and Maryann has groomed Dono! That was fantastic to hear. Although, apparently, she's a bit of an aggressive groomer. My personal thought is that Dono keeps expecting the bite so he flinches and it looks like she's being rough. But Marcy says that they are over the hump now. She wants to keep them for a couple more days to make sure things settle and solidify and if all goes well, I'll get them back on Wednesday.

I'll be sure to ask for as much details as possible of not only what went on while I was gone but also what I need to do going forward. Although this entire retreat for them is costing me a bit, I would gladly spend more if it means the two of them bond!

I am very happy right now.

As always BB, thanks for your thoughts.  I'll keep all of them in mind when the lil' dikens get home.  Oh, and yes the back is much better. In fact, it only hurts when the physical therapist works on it. I think he's looking for job security.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
3872 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2008 4:10 AM

job security... lol. 

what a fabulous chapter in your bonding saga!  can't wait to hear the details of their retreat and what they recommend you continue with. 

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MimzMum
Interior Alaska
7828 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2008 6:28 PM
Wow, what a sweet episode in the continuing Maryann/Dono saga! *sigh*
I wonder if I can find a retreat like that? Sounds like fun! ^^ Though I'll take a nice poolside lounge chair over an xpen anyday!
Take a rest Markus! You've deserved it! I sure hope all continues to go well for the lovebirds...err...lovebuns...and let us know the latest when you can!
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User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2819 posts Send Private Message
2/20/2008 7:44 AM

I am going to go pick up the two rascals today.  Marcy at SaveABunny tells me that the two of them are currently snuggling and they've been doing that for most of the last 24 hours.  I told her I'll believe it when I see it.   I need to try and find some neutral place to put them but not sure where that could be.  I am going to try the bathroom again and hope that it's not too much of her territory as she rarely, if ever, ventures in there.

 If this works, it'll be worth the $200 I spent on the bonding & boarding.  And once again, I am amazed at how much I spend on my lil girl who cost me only $10 from the animal shelter.

 

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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2/20/2008 9:27 AM
AWESOME NEWS!!! Let us know how it goes when you get back!! I'm sooo excited for you!
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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2/20/2008 8:52 PM

So the buns are back home and they're living in the same X-pen now!  There has been no aggression thus far (although I am keeping them in a recently painted and cleaned bathroom).  And so far, I have seen Maryann groom Dono twice!  I am just flabbergasted!  My little babies are bonding!

Tracy from SaveABunny says that now they need to spend two weeks in the X-pen together - no going out of it, keep them in close proximity to one another.  I'll then needta contact her to see what steps are next.  Short of an out and out fight resulting in a trip to the vets, I am to NOT seperate them.  Any such seperation would be a step back.

I just can't believe how well they are with one another now.  They're not quite lying next to each other, but they do sit near one another and often put their heads together as if to say "You groom me.  No YOU groom me.  Well neither of us are going to get groomed if we keep this up.  Oh well, guess we won't then."

Not a single nip.  Right now, Maryann is trying to escape.  Apparently the amount of blueberries I gave her today hasn't satisfied her quota.  Of course, now I can just close the door and not worry about it.   Tracey is POSITIVE that there will be no further aggression.

 

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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2/21/2008 5:33 AM
Well the first night went off without a hitch (other than Maryann FOUND a way to escape - she is really too smart sometimes). No fighing. I think I'm finally at the end of the journey. I just can't wait to upload the first pic of the two of them lying down next to each other snuggling.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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2/21/2008 6:15 AM

yahooooo!!!  ::dances happy dance::

wow markus thats amazing!  i'm so happy for you & maryann & sweet dono.  i can't wait to see pics of them hangin out together.  how far they've come from that vid of maryann trying to dine on dono's head!  so glad that your persistance & patience & $$ has finally paid off.  fingers crossed it goes smoothly.  maryann... what a gal for houdini-ing out of the xpen... geesh.  lol.

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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2/21/2008 7:28 AM
Woohoo!! Markus you'll have to share the next steps with us, as me and babybunsmum will be attempting bonds soon as well!!

I'm soo happy they are getting along now!! Pictures ??
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
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2/21/2008 8:22 AM

Way to go Markus!  Poor Dono really wanted a girlfriend, your patience paid off!

 


User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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2/21/2008 9:56 AM
Markusdark,
This has been fascinating to read. In the back of my mind I kept thinking that they started out liking each other, but it's been like "The Taming of the Shrew" where the feisty personalities just masked the initial attraction. I went back and found your statement on page 2:

"I took Maryann to the SaveABunny shelter in Santa Cruz and these two hit it off great - no spinning/nipping bouts, Dono did a happy flop and a couple of binkies and Maryann allowed him to groom her without flinching. I thought it was as close to love at first sight as I was going to get. And after the car ride home, I caught them snuggling in the carrier."

It took ages, but they're back where they really started! You have great patience.
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline MimzMum
Interior Alaska
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2/21/2008 12:18 PM
This has got to be quite a lot of stress off of you now. What a beautiful happy ending! ^^
Looking forward to those pictures!
 photo 3ca1b95d-0cfb-478a-9ea7-bfc6fff29518_zpsa40198b1.jpg

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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2/21/2008 7:12 PM
Came home tonight and caught Maryann and Dono sitting up against one another (their current form of snuggling). I hopped into their pen, being somewhat unsure of how they still felt about me. A few nose pets and tooth purrs from the both of them later, and I was a happy daddy.

Oh, and Maryann escaped once more after she wasn't happy with the amount of treats she got. I wish I knew how she was doing it. I hear the 'bing' of the x-pen and she comes hopping out. I have the top covered and pinned down with a sheet so I dunno...

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline MimzMum
Interior Alaska
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2/21/2008 8:10 PM
And Maryann says, "And for my NEXT trick....PRESTO!" *BING!*
lolz....Bundini strikes again! ^^

Awes...and they lived happily ever after! *sigh* This gives me great hope that I may actually be able to bond Pip and Mimzy.
 photo 3ca1b95d-0cfb-478a-9ea7-bfc6fff29518_zpsa40198b1.jpg

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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2/22/2008 3:10 AM

still bonded... yay!  i think you'll have to secretly set up a bun-cam to learn her trick.  she'll never tell you straight out 

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline dramaqueen_msc
Tampa Bay Florida
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2/22/2008 9:18 AM
Yay! Well this certianly gives me hope that if I force myself to really work with my two (which I'm guilty of not doing as much as I should because it was so emotionally draining at first) that I will hopefully have a similar result. I'm so glad things are finally looking up for you.
Photobucket

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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2/22/2008 6:59 PM

Not quite a snuggle, but managed to capture this pic just before my camera died.

 

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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2/23/2008 4:13 AM
Awwww! so sweet.

Maryann: "You can sleep here, but I'm taking all the covers."

Dono: "That's fine. I like cool tiles on my tummy anyway."

Marital bliss.
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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2/23/2008 4:16 AM

awwwww!  look at them!  dono isn't hunched up in the corner anymore and maryann has her footsies all kicked out from under her.  looks like it's working

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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2/25/2008 6:20 AM
So, just a quick update. Things have been going well. No fights, etc. I have had trouble catching them snuggling as the moment I come near the bathroom, they both run over to the fence in order to beg for treats. Sunday night though, I put on my camo and slowly and quietly crawled to the door. It's hard to be quiet enough for a bun not to hear you but apparently they were pre-occupied enough not to notice. I managed to watch as Maryann groomed Dono's face, cheek and ears for over 30 seconds straight. I think she heard me smile though as she then stopped, looked at me and then began to non-chalantly chew on her willow tunnel as if to say, "oh, um, well I was just... trying to get a taste out of my mouth - yeah that's it."
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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2/25/2008 6:56 AM
OH MY GOODNESS!!! LOOK AT HER LITLE WHITE FEETIES!!!

That is seriously soooo cute!!
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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2/25/2008 8:59 PM
YEAH!!!!! I'm so glad that SaveABunny was able to help. What a relief this must be for you.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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2/26/2008 6:24 AM
I am VERY relieved. I did, however, wake up today and found a nice clump of Dono fur on the towel. My best guess is that Maryann gave him a nip for something. They seemed just fine when I was giving them their morning food and treats though so I assume it was just a quick little spat.

One more week before they move into their new home in my bedroom.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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2/29/2008 5:44 PM

They're getting closer...

 

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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3/01/2008 5:44 AM

lol... maryann has a "yeah... so?"  kind of expression on her wee face.  look at how cute they are together!  awwwww

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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3/01/2008 6:09 AM

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i am so happy for you guys!

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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3/06/2008 10:05 AM

Well they've been moved to their new condo.  Three stories but not much else yet.

There appears to have been some 'settling in' issues as both of them were thumping away when I put them in and I think that there had been a few tussels as I've noticed that they are keeping a little space between one another.  But nothing that I have heard loudly or continually.

 I figure I"m going to leave them in there for about 5 days before letting them out to explore the room again.  Here's a pic of the current situation.  Does Maryann know how to give a stink eye or what?

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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3/06/2008 10:42 AM
LOL!!
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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3/06/2008 10:53 AM

uh... yeah... thats a stink eye alright!  lol.  give them each a 'happy housewarming' head pet from pinky & baby.  hope they let go of their initial disapproval of their relocation soon! (after all, it just wouldn't be very bun-like to not disapprove intially) 

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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3/06/2008 6:10 PM

Well guess I didn't have to wait too long, eh?

Of course this was just after a small mounting attempt by Maryann - whom seems to groom Dono more than Dono grooms her.  Guess she IS a lil princess afterall.

 

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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3/06/2008 8:00 PM
I never realized Dono had that bit of color on his side! Both of them are soo gorgeous!
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline dramaqueen_msc
Tampa Bay Florida
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3/08/2008 3:18 AM
Yay congrats!
Photobucket

User is Offline MimzMum
Interior Alaska
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3/08/2008 1:54 PM
Awww, now THAT'S what we like to see! The Contented Bunny "V"! ^^
That's wonderful, Markus! I am so happy for you and the buns! Here's to many years together spent in bliss for all of you! *toasts the happy couple*
 photo 3ca1b95d-0cfb-478a-9ea7-bfc6fff29518_zpsa40198b1.jpg

User is Offline Lisa_43
Perth Western Australia
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3/09/2008 2:14 AM
I am glad everything turned out well for you Markus, now you can enjoy them both.

User is Offline JK
Mill Valley, CA
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3/10/2008 4:16 PM

WOW! I have never read about your lovely bonding quest until now! I started THINKING about possibly getting the little man a woman but after reading about what you went through NO WAY!  I could not possibly have done what you did.  You are truly amazing.  I'm sooo glad the little drama queen is getting along with that darling Dono.  He's such a cutie.  And so is Miss Maryann, of course.  I had these visions of bringing home a little girl and Edson would be happy with her.  Of course now that you are the expert I'll just bring them over to you to bond...


User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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3/11/2008 8:20 AM
Well bring Edson to SaveABunny for some dates. Marcy has great intuition as to what bunnies would fit best with each other. in addition, they will board both your bun and the new bun for the first couple of days and get the bonding out of the way for you. Marcy says that that was the biggest mistake was that I didn't come to her first! She says with her, it takes an average of 2 days to get buns bonded.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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3/19/2008 6:09 AM

i'm curious, how are the 2 love birds...er.. buns doing markusdark?  have maryann & dono taken residence in their permanent condo yet or are they still in a bonding set up?

edit... doh!  i just scrolled up & saw they have moved into their condo.  lol. 

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2819 posts Send Private Message
3/21/2008 6:01 PM

This will be my final entry on this topic.  I think the video below says it all...

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2093 posts Send Private Message
3/21/2008 8:25 PM

I am so happy for them, Markus.  When I worked with them in Santa Cruz I just had a feeling that it would work out.  Maryann just needed to be taught that she isn't always the boss, and doesn't always get Dad to herself.  They will be great together.  Good job!

 


User is Offline Lisa_43
Perth Western Australia
1518 posts Send Private Message
3/21/2008 9:35 PM
Oh my goodness, is that the best thing I have seen in a while, I bet you are so happy Markus, well done.

User is Offline JK
Mill Valley, CA
2241 posts Send Private Message
3/22/2008 3:32 AM
That is just amazing! All that super hard work finally paid off! I'm so happy for you!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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3/22/2008 3:54 AM

awww   such a happy ending!  they're an adoreable couple.

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline kralspace
West, Texas
2680 posts Send Private Message
3/22/2008 8:51 AM
aawwwww, wonderful! congrats
My Bunny Burrow is full! Pringles & Toby, Daisy & Lola, and my senior citizens Hershey & Simba.
The piggies are back, add Brownie and Sweetpea to the mix.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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3/22/2008 11:40 AM

markusdark,

I want to thank you - I've learned so much from this thread. I knew nothing about bonding bunnies, and the temptation of getting two next time instead of just one (I worry about loneliness while I'm at work) is strong. Having read this, I know much more about finding a bonded pair, and what would happen, what to do, if I start with only one and add another later.

Your perserverence has paid off. Congratulations!

(don't you wish you could back in time to yourself and whisper, "psst. Maryann will voluntarily snuggle with Dono by the first day of spring.")

 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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3/22/2008 9:26 PM
YEAH!!!!!!!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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3/22/2008 9:30 PM
I just want to point out that those who see my trials as too much of a burden to try their own bonding should realize that mine took an exceptionally long time - about the time that is expected if you DON'T go on bunny dates but just introduce two new buns together. Dutches tend to be a little more pig headed about sharing and female dutches especially.

So, please, don't be discouraged in trying to bond your bun to another bun. Go to your local shelters or rescues, talk to the staff there and see if there are any buns that would match yours and your bun's needs. Have them help you out with stuff and ask around. If I had simply stopped off at Save A Bunny first, the bonding would have been over and done with in no time.

Mark
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Marcibun
Madison, WI
11 posts Send Private Message
2/26/2009 10:05 AM
Thank you for keeping this thread up! My little Clover is going to start dating in a couple of months and I have to say i never even thought to look up bunny bonding on Youtube to see what might happen. It's one thing to hear about scuffles and another to see it! I'm sure I'll be fighting my nerves when we go but at least now I now what to expect! Congrats on getting your buns together! It was a year ago but I still think you deserve it after all of that drama!
"Suffer the little creatures for they may yet rise up and beat you senseless."

User is Offline TheBunnyGirl
oz
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1/20/2010 8:15 AM
if you looked up trouble in the bunny dictionary and found Buttons and lindt under it i wouldn't be surprised! Buttons is getting better every day. Hop-fully it wont be long and bunnies can bond!
Every body needs somebunny to hug.

User is Offline lashkay
1548 posts Send Private Message
1/22/2010 9:37 PM
I enjoyed your read, although I abhor the violence. lol So sorry to hear about your backpain. Hope that gets better soon. I admire your persistence and think you should submit your all your notes to the HRS in case they want to document them as a case study in bonding attempts. There's a lot that can be learned here, especially in rabbit language. Thank you for sharing.

User is Offline Beth K
25 posts Send Private Message
1/13/2011 9:28 PM
MarkBun,
I sat enthralled reading your bonding story from beginning to end and just have to say thank you for posting your entire experience! I recently adopted a male rabbit that got along well with my already bonded females. The beginning of my bonding with one of my females and the new male looked like when Maryann and Dono had their box sessions in the beginning... I was loosing hope while she was still nipping him (like your videos, again) and found this forum.
It's funny, when I started the bonding process I looked up videos on youtube and found yours and had always wondered what happened to those two buns... Your bonding story has given me much hope... and I truly think I'm getting close - as I was reading your posts, the buns started to snuggle with no nips!
Such an inspiring story and your lovebuns are beautiful

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > My bonding quest with Maryann

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