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Thumper came from the Australian Animal Protection Society. She was dumped in the overnight pens, where people can anonymously leave their animals. Thumper was dumped with her sister. Thumper was approximately 5 months old, and was the runt of the litter.
Why get another rabbit?
Fuzzy was getting lonely by herself during the day, and it wasn't ideal to for Fuzzy to not have another rabbit to relate to. Rabbits like to snuggle up to each other, and groom each other.
So many unwanted rabbits are dumped at shelters or worse - simply let go to fend for themselves. If possible, avoid buying a rabbit from pet shops, as this encourages rabbit breeders. When the number of dumped rabbits at shelters climbs too high, the rabbits with the lowest adoption chances are selected to be put down. You can see the rabbits up for adoption at the Australian Animal Protection Society.
Selecting a bunny.....
We decided to take Fuzzy to see if she preferred any particular rabbit to be her new buddy. The bunny caretaker selected a few rabbits and put them in a cage with Fuzzy to see what would happen. Bonding rabbits can be quite difficult, and some rabbits can never get along together. Even if Fuzzy had a disagreement (read: fight) with another rabbit, it would help us select a more compatible bunny. Unfortunately Fuzzy was scared and unsettled by the car ride to the shelter, and sat there while the other rabbits sniffed her. We tried a few different groups of rabbits, but didn't get a reaction from Fuzzy, other than "Take me home !!!!" looks. Fuzzy ignored the new bunny when placed in her cage, so we took this bunny (Thumper) home. Thumper was already desexed and vaccinated against Calici virus. Unfortunately in Australia, the vaccine for Myxo is unavailable due to restrictions on live vaccine imports.
Making friends with Fuzzy....or not.....
Thumper and Fuzzy travelled home in the same carrier. During the car ride, both rabbits were just sitting there in the box. When home, Fuzzy ventured out, then Thumper. Fuzzy was not happy. This was Fuzzy's house and there was no room for another rabbit in her house. Fuzzy chased Thumper and tried to attack her. Thumper was rescued. Obviously Fuzzy didn't like Thumper, but hadn't been upset at the shelter, as the shelter was not Fuzzy's territory. Thumper was placed in a separate room, where Fuzzy could see her through the glass door, but not hurt her. Thumper was provided with a litter box, food, water and a box to hide in. Thumper hid in the box most of the evening. Thumper stayed in the separate room for 2 days, so Fuzzy could get used to the idea that there was another rabbit in the house.
Thumper was nowhere to be found. We searched in her room, then frantically searched the rest of the rooms. Fuzzy had been closed into a different room to make sure she didn't torment Thumper. How could we lose a rabbit? After looking behind books on the bookshelves, under the couch, behind desks and bookcases, we still couldn't find her. She had to be in the house, surely. As it was quite late, we got ready for bed. I went around the house and turned off all the lights....It was now dark and quite. I heard a scratching noise....We crept slowly out to the kitchen and waited to hear the noise again.....More scuffling....It was the chest freezer....We pulled the freezer out from the wall, expecting to see a bunny behind it. No bunny.....There was a square hole in the back of the freezer for storing the power cord, about 20x20cm. There she was. Happily hiding inside the freezer, next to the compressor. Fortunately she didn't chew any wires in there.... Thumper was subjected to much hugging and kissing (to her dismay) and was put back in her room, with some additional restrictions....
Will they ever be friends???
Fuzzy constantly chased Thumper and made grunting noises as if swearing at Thumper. Thumper was scared, and not prepared to fight. Thumper would lower her head to the ground, and put her ears back in a submissive stance, but it didn't help her cause. Fuzzy did not want another rabbit in her house..... Thumper discovered a pile of curtains that were en route to the bin. She leapt up on top, and strangely enough, Fuzzy didnt follow. Fuzzy sat at the bottom of the curtain pile as if to say "Yeah.. and you stay there 'til I say you can come down....."
Together at last.....
After months of negotiation, Fuzzy decided that she would accept Thumper. A condo was built for them both. were any treats to be had, Thumper was last in line.....
Since Fuzzy's hip surgery, Fuzzy was aggressive towards Thumper. We can only assume that Fuzzy felt vulnerable after the surgery. After many unsuccessful attempts at rebonding, they were separated permanently. A new friend was adopted for Thumper.
Life after the shelter.....
Thumper will never be a friendly rabbit. It took months to be able to walk up to her and pat her without her running away. It appears that she didn't have contact with people in the time before she was dumped. She isn't curious about people at all, unlike Fuzzy, who will climb all over people to see if they have any snacks. In the beginning, Thumper wouldn't eat food out of hands and wouldn't eat until we left the room. Now we have finally reached the point where Thumper will eat a craisin out of a hand, but she will sniff it and mouth it for about 10 seconds before snatching it away. Its tough that a bunny so cute doesn't like being touched.. Thumper often binkies on the carpet, so we know she is happy....
Why call her Thumper?
Thumper doesn't like people. She likes it even less when picked up. When put her back on the ground, she thumps her hind feet to indicate how much she hated it. This is often accompanied by foot flicks, telling us that she is flicking away any nasty things that she may have been contaminated with.