Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Bonding Chronicles 3: Bond Harder

(Dramatic music. VO: famous trailer guy Don Lafontaine)
In a world where two rabbits need to learn how to coexist peacefully . . . you have: Bond Harder! (cue: large background explosion with two bunnies hopping away from it in the foreground. You just know these bunnies are about to start some shit.)

Yes, the bonding continues.

I have finally gotten them to the point where there is no fighting or ripping out of fur; Viola is now willing to sit within two feet of Sebastian, as long as I am petting both with my protective gloves on. Sebastian is actually more alert in her presence now than the reverse; he is waiting for her to charge at him, and is a little afraid of her right now. I'm hoping that a few more days like this will begin to relax him around her.

She also seems willing to sniff him and be sniffed by him through the bars of his cage, though she still grunts at him from time to time when he lingers a little too long. I also saw her nosing the stuffed surrogate the other day, and sniffing it repeatedly without showing any nervousness or aggression.

Yes, these are admittedly very small steps, but I am willing to go as slowly as I need to in order to get them together. Rabbits are very smart and have very long memories; all it takes is one bad experience to sour them against something or someone for a very long time. I intend to continue to go gradually and keep the experience as positive as possible, and hopefully in a few weeks they will be to the point where I can let him free in the apartment without worrying that they will fight.

Next up: forced intimacy. While they are both together and fairly relaxed, I will put Sebastian down right next to Viola, and see if they will stay this way without getting freaked or growling and snapping.

Stay tuned!

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