Welcome back to some old friends, Bob and Bess.
Bess is a sweet natured brown “helicopter” lop (meaning one ear stands up and one ear falls over). She loves treats, and can be quiet a snugglebunny if she decides you’re worth of her time. Bob is her husband, and is a little more aloof than she, but it’s evident from meeting them at the get go that they are truly a bonded pair. They are estimated to be between 7-8 years of age.
Bob and Bess ended up with us at ACR&S due to our return policy. We have a lifetime guarantee that any adopted animal can – and must – come back to us, no matter what, if the adopter cannot keep him. We will always make room for returns. We had adopted Bob out to be Bess’ husband several years ago, but Bess’ mom was moving cross-country and didn’t feel like she could relocate with both bunnies. Because our policy is not to split bonded pairs, Bess came along with Bob back to us.
My previous fosters, Wendy and BB, went to foster with Andrea in Charlotte once it became clear that Bob and Bess had some senior issues which may be difficult for a first time foster parent to deal with.
First and foremost, because both were overweight, jumping onto the second story of the cage proved to be a little much for both buns. After a failed attempt by Bess (which resulted in much thumping and probably cursing under her breath), the several story cage was reconstructed into a 1 story cage with more floorspace. Both rabbits, however, had an enjoyment of jumping onto things, so a series of short stools were added for their pleasure.
In addition, due to their weight and age, they were having severe issues grooming. Because of this, they are going to require frequent shaving around their tails, and until that can be accomplished, frequent bathing. Currently, both buns are having a lot of issue, so there are a minimum of 4 “butt-baths” per week, often more depending on how messy the rabbits have been in the interim. In addition, both of their rear ends look like a dandelion about to explode, and dedicated brushing and plucking of hair has been required so far. Neither of the rabbits particularly likes being bathed or brushed, though they tolerate it with moderately good graces.
The final obstacle in dealing with these mature rabbits is that their former owner allowed them to eat alfalfa-based pellets. Alfalfa is suitable for young rabbits and pregnant or nursing does, but is not desirable for adults, and especially not for seniors. Unfortunately, alfalfa is also a lot more tasty than timothy based alternatives, and they are not very gung-ho on switching out their candy pellets for healthy pellets. Each handful of alfalfa pellets is mixed in with a copious amount of the timothy pellets, but this leads only to the buns picking out each alfalfa pellet individually.
Overall, though, these rabbits are probably suitable for an intermediate owner. Their health needs are basic and easily taken care of at home (and they tolerate them well) and have an excellent chance of improving once they slim down on a more appropriate diet. They are also a well bonded pair who can keep each other entertained and socialized, and are outgoing, curious, litterbox trained, and used to living in a house with cats.