Our friends have been coming back to us at Helicopter Ears. Their forever mums have been taken so ill, these gorgeous little things are now up for adoption. I had a sneak around the house on a covert mission to see if I could get a room to myself. Would you believe it I’m in the bathroom and not because I’m is dirty. Barry, that skinny dog has the most space and he gets to go out in the fields. It has been raining so much. Wet fur and me don’t get on, so I am not jealous of him.
If any of you bunny lovers would like to adopt a furry friend. Then please get in touch.
Hi to you all! You won’t believe what has happened, that horrible painful thing on my foot has gone. I had a minor operation to remove the muck and dead tissue, but a huge lump was still left. I had it cleaned, treated and bandaged every day for what seemed weeks. That thing just would not go. Then Mike got some iodine, it came all the way from Ukraine. He gently put that on the lump using a cotton bud. Then one day I looked down and my ‘Bumble Foot’ had gone. It is so nice to be able to waddle like my sisters again. Thank you for supporting me. Kiki 💖
Last week, we brought a magpie home. It wasn’t there as we went to our local shop, which is just across the road, but on our way back, it was sitting on the grass verge, by a busy road, concussed, bleeding, and helpless. Michael said, ‘That bird is not right.’ And yes, he wasn’t. He needed help.
I asked Mike to step back, then snuck up and pounced on the bird. And sometimes there is a need for speed, but that bird wasn’t going anywhere. It didn’t even flinch. As I carried it, I thought it had died. His left eye was closed, and I couldn’t see what was happening to the right one. It wasn’t struggling or even reacting to surroundings. And it was bleeding out of his head. I had no clue about birds and even less about corvids. I have no idea whether it’s a he or a she. Apparently, it can be very hard to tell. But he looked like a Brian, so for now, our Brian is a he.
As a child, I had several pet hamsters and a pet rat. My father is fond of cats, and we always had a cat. But never a dog. As soon as Michael and I got married, we started talking about getting a one. I fancied a German Shepherd. Michael said they had bad press, and he wanted something smaller.
As soon as the couple and their dog left, I asked Mike, ‘What kind of dog is that?’ ‘A German Shepherd,’ he said. Really? I wanted one so badly I didn’t know what it looked like.
One day, as we walked by the St Albans Cathedral, we met our perfect dog. I fussed him, and he licked my face. Now I wanted a dog just like him: large, black, and long-haired.
Michael liked that dog. He said if we were to get a German Shepherd, it would have to be a long-haired black one. Of course we were getting one! How silly we must look walking around by ourselves—like a pair of loiters. If we walked with a dog, however, we would be walking a dog. And what a dog it would be! Everyone would see us, and say, ‘Wow! What a dog!’ And he would be our dog.
Immediately on return, I began searching. I should have been researching, but I had no time for that: we were already on our way to see puppies I found advertised in a local paper.
‘Remember, we are only going to look,’ Michael said, and I ‘completely agreed’.
The perfect dog
The breeder didn’t do it for living: she just wanted to let her bitch have a litter before spaying her (a common misconception). She explained the bitch was tall for the breed, as was the stud, and so the puppies would likely grow large. We liked the bitch. She was cautious but friendly and without apparent temperament flaws. Both parents had been screened for inherited diseases, and the puppies KC-registered.
The litter played and tumbled. They were fuzzy and fat and black, and they had chunky paws. One came to Michael, lay on his feet, and fell asleep on his shoes. Eventually, Michael needed to move his feet; so, he picked up the puppy and put him with the rest of the litter. The puppy promptly returned, lay across Michael’s feet again, and resumed the sleeping.
That’s how we picked our dog, or rather, our dog picked us. We put down the deposit, and I’ve never been more clueless or excited in my life.
An imperfect owner
I had no idea what to do with a dog or how to train one. Instead of reading up, however, I went to a pet store and bought a fabulous food dish, a tonne of toys, and the loveliest lead, then phoned work to book two weeks off so I would be at home when the puppy arrives and help him settle in. I was now ready for my dog. (That two-week holiday gave Tango nothing but separation anxiety, which he never got over.)
At first, it was easy, because Tango mostly slept. On my slippers. Soon, he grew into an impressive, even scary-looking hound, but he harmed no-one. Michael’s little nephew once slapped Tango on the face, and hard, but Tango just squealed and walked away.
Hi, I’m Waffle, I had a very embarrassing problem… My bottom was dirty, that’s right a dirty bottom. It happens every time I moult. The hay and dirt gets caught up in the loose fur and before long, a messy bottom. This is not something a beautiful bunny should have to own up to. Help was on hand, Anastasia and Mike offered to discreetly clean me up in our new sink. It was so big and spacious, it even had a special place for me to rest my upper body so only my hind legs and bottom got wet. Anastasia did a wonderful job looking after me, she kept me calm and dried me so well. Before I knew it I was back outside showing off my new look to Marmalade. 🥰❤
Hi from Mike, everybunny. By popular demand, here is my rabbit-proofing feature. I hope you enjoy it, and I look forward to hearing from you with your tips and photos.
Rabbit-proofing … This task is almost impossible, but I urge you to give it a go—don’t give up at the first bitten cable, because the joys of having a house rabbit outweigh the troubles. You get to see their little quirks and the way they wait for you to notice them, the way they run around your feet and get excited at the sound of opening the fridge door. Illness can also be spotted earlier as can be overgrown claws and teeth. You and your bunnies will be better off for it.
Now for the job at hand.
A suitably sized litter tray must be placed in the area the bunny needs to go—it is not your choice, unfortunately. Alternatively, you can stretch a large sheet of tarpaulin over the whole floor. For the litter trays, we use garden potting trays, as they have a high back and a low front to allow the less agile bunny to get in, and even somebun as big as Paddington cannot pee over the tall edge. It’s also important to use the litter they like: if they don’t like it, they won’t use it, remember.
If you’re looking for a detailed one, I’ll describe an experience I once had with an Amazon delivery driver.
After I signed for the delivery, the man asked if I happened to keep rabbits: he saw a rabbit run out in the front (well, it was a chicken coop really, with a run attached). We use the front run to let them have a play somewhere new during the day sometimes. The run was empty on the day. But the answer was Yes—just a few! I don’t usually invite strangers into the house, but on this occasion, I did, keen to put him off.
“Wow! You keep them indoors?” he asked.
“Yep, and outdoors, too,” I said, and proceeded to ask a few questions.
Hi, I’m Victor and I used to live here years ago. I’m back as I’m not well, the usual things that creep up on you in your old age. It is so nice to be inside, I can hear how windy it is and even heard that one of the ducks had the misfortune of being picked up by the wind and bashed into the window. Both are OK! I’ve been getting my medication, which is helping and we received a big box of wonderful treats from an adoring fan of Roys. He is so kind and loving. He is letting Mike share them out between all of us rabbits. Victor 💖
Yes, my name is Annabelle, I may look like the bunderful Snoopy who lived here a while ago. That is where the similarities end. Mike still expects to be bitten when feeding me, but I’m the gentle loving kind and will lick his hand instead. My thing is hay, oh boy do I love it. I gather it up and make buntastic nests out of it. Some of it may get eaten on the way. Must go just had a hay delivery. Annabelle 😘
Hello, friends! Dukcs here. This week has been so windy we stayed in our run and couldn’t tease Barry—our favourite thing to do. We don’t like the wind. Thankfully, our run is very weatherproof, and Mike has brought us a pan to use as a mini-pond, and dukc food, too. Still, we can’t wait for the wind to stop so we can use our ducketful pond again, especially as the filter has just got upgraded, and the water is so clear we can see right to the bottom and fish out all the food we dropped in there. Who knows, there may even be some frogs waiting!