Monday, August 18, 2008

How to bliss-out a bunny

I had planned a photo session this afternoon with Freckles the bunny so I could do a post about her turning 7 years old this month, but in the midst of trimming her nails and brushing her coat out, this happened and these photos are way cuter than any I took in the back yard.

Freckles has always been a very laid-back bunny and at 7 she is even more so. Nothing bothers her, nothing freaks her out and that probably explains why she's always been so healthy. (Knock wood!) Bunnies are prone to stress, of course, and that stress leads to all sorts of health problems.

Anyway... trimming her nails is easy; I just roll her into an almost ball on my lap, facing away from me, and trim away.

After the nail trimming was done, I turned her around in my lap to face me and worked the magic of the bunny whisperer. This mostly consists of rubbing the fur on her belly.

As she relaxes, I gently run my hand over her face and draw her ears behind her. This really, really relaxes her and I don't have to hold her at all.

Her front paws go up in the air with her back legs in a perfect imitation of a dead bunny. She'll stay like this forever too, so long as I stroke her face every now and again.

Freckles also likes to sleep this way sometimes, causing untold numbers of near heart-attacks in those not familiar with the *dead-lop-flop*.

Rabbit experts will tell you that there is no magic in this gentling of a bunny. We call it *trancing* and it's probably based on an instinctual response to being grabbed by a predator. Some people use this trick to trim nails or give meds, but I don't trust it enough because the bunny can wake up in a flash and twist off your lap and hurt itself. Freckles is the only bunny here I'm able to trance, even though I never need to.

What about your buns? Can you hypnotize them - do you need to?


bunnygirl said...

I was never able to do that with Tid, but I might give it a try with Cadbury after I've had him longer. He loves to sit in my lap. It would just be a matter of flipping him over...

John said...

Very cute!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Never have. Some of the guys will go on their back and lay still, but some just twist and jerk and it seems a bit dangerous!

NAil clipping is a "One hold" "One clip" operation! Great you can do it alone! Freckles looks like a good 'un! Happy Birthday F.

Sekhar said...


Forest Green said...

Burdock Bunny doesn't like to be held very much at all but Thistle the Rabbit will pretty much let me do anything, although he is not too keen on having a bath. He has white feet though and needs them washed from time to time.

Jayne said...

My buns get hypnotized every time I walk into a Panera Bread... Oh! You mean a different kind of buns! ;c)

KGMom said...

I'm with Jayne. I was sitting here thinking about my buns (on my buns) and wondered if I should be so irreverent. Thanks to Jayne, I can be irreverent all I want.
Anyway, cute bun pics. Love that totally relaxed Freckles.

Susan Gets Native said...

I can't hypnotize my own buns, but they will go all slack if someone else stares at them.

Oh. Were you talking about BUNny rabbits?

I want to meet your rabbits someday. What sweeties.
(Wouldn't that have been funny if I said that I wanted to meet your BUNS?)

dguzman said...

Niblet doesn't like to be held AT ALL. He gives me attitude for several days after I pick him up for nail trimming etc. I have to put him in a towel or blanket (aka BunnyBurrito) and just pull his little paws out one by one for trimming. He's ornery, you know.

RuthieJ said...

Those pictures are so cute. What a great bunny!

LauraHinNJ said...

Bunnygirl: Yeah... some buns just won't relax off the floor.

John: Yeah... she is.

Rabbit's Guy: For years, I rounded them all up and went to the vet or a groomer for nail trims cause I was too scared to do it on my own. Not anymore, tho I do appreciate a second set of hands with the Flemmies.

Sekhar: :-)

Forest Green: Wash a bunny's feet? How sweet....

Jayne: lol!

KGMom: I like it when you act out a little!

Susan: Is that a good thing that they go all slack when someone stares?

Delia: I have an ornery one here, too (Peeper) but she will submit eventually. Pisses her off to have to, tho.

Ruthie: Thanks... Freckles is the original silly rabbit.

Rose said...

Very cute pictures...the kids had a couple of bunnies when they were young. We would have Baily out in the yard and if something scared her, she made a bee-line for my daughter, jumped in her lap and hid her eyes in the crook of my daughter's arm.

LauraHinNJ said...

Rose: Awww... yeah. Bunnies.