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WEEK 3 - Rucy & Bailey Bonding Journal

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 3 - Car and Bathtub
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So this week my goal is to help Bailey be less defensive and learn that Rucy means her no harm. So after the car ride, their final destination is the bathtub.  This space is small enough that she will HAVE to be close to Rucy and learn to trust her and viceversa.(Hopefully) Bailey comes out but quickly retreats back to the carrier. I don't think it's a good idea to keep the carrier in the tub as Bailey may claim it and become aggressive. I want her to find comfort in Rucy, not in a separate "safe" place away from her. 
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So the carrier is gone, Rucy is quick to avoid Bailey, "Get me OUT of here!" Bailey comes near, Rucy's ears up mean she's not feeling threatened yet, but she's watching Bailey carefully. Bailey is not being aggressive here and even allows Rucy to sniff her.
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Eating together is a good sign Rucy grooms herself - a show of non-aggression Bailey begins grooming herself.  Rucy then feels safe approaching her.
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Rucy carefully nuzzles Bailey. Bailey's ear rises but she stays calm. It's help reinforce calm peace with some gentle petting. Bailey pushes in under Rucy - A dominant move.  Rucy rises up....uh..oh.. I bite my nails.
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Rucy grooms while relaxing next to her - whew! Rucy continues to groom  - Good! Rucy then relaxes next to her nose to nose.  Bailey's ear slightly rises, but still she doesn't nip.  
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Bailey gets up but then pushes back down. head to head, Bailey's ears are up, but again no aggression results. Good.  I'd rather her learn to ignore unwanted advances rather than fight.
w3sRucy.gif I decide to move their sessions to a bigger space. w3uaRucy.gif
They end up doing okay around each other in the bathtub.   We do this for a few days.   We move to the floor in the bathroom.  (I still do a car or put them in the bathtub first)
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They still go head to head, but zero nips.  They have at least learned how to deal with the head to head meets without aggression. .   WOW, Bailey is grooming Rucy. So far all is going well
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Okay, now you're going to think I'm crazy, and actually after 3 weeks of this, I think I am too.  I recorded my voice saying "It's okay, be nice, relax, etc) Because they were doing well enough, but I was afraid of leaving them alone when the phone rang or if I wanted to pop something in the microwave.  So I put one of my shirts and the recorder nearby. I tested it out by stepping around the corner and slowly peering around with the camera.(Okay, so I really have lost my mind)    Rucy knows something's up. Ah BUSTED!!
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I just hope it continues, and these two really can be unpredictable.  To be continued...

UPDATE: 9/1/07  Bailey continued to be very bossy, and Rucy didn't seem happy with her new mean queen.  My very independent happy Rucy showed signs of being depressed and  Bailey started showing symptoms of e.cuniculi.   Weakness in her hind legs etc.  She is on treatment, but to reduce stress and keep everyone happy and healthy, I have decided to stop bonding.

But actually they are calm and begin eating. Whether it's the recording or not, doesn't matter, I'm happy they seem to be making progress outside of the tub.  

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