Leo, the king of our castle

Friday, April 15, 2011

Live Easter bunnies - don't do it!

Don't get me wrong, getting a house rabbit was a great decision for my family, but it's big a commitment and not to be taken lightly. With Easter approaching, PLEASE don't bring home a rabbit just because they're a 10 on the cuteness scale. There are numerous reasons why a rabbit may not be the right pet for you. The Bun Life blog has an excellent list of has reasons not to bring home an Easter bunny here.

Need more proof? Watch this entertaining and educational video created by a dedicated San Diego House Rabbit Society volunteer.

After my family decided to get a house rabbit, it took us 6 months before we brought him home. We were waiting for just the right time, and I wanted to make sure my kids were really committed to the decision.

The "Make Mine Chocolate" campaign also has some excellent reasons to make all of your bunnies chocolate or plush this year.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bunny chores - the division of labor between kids and parents

Before Leo came home, we talked to the kids about the related chores and strategized about ways to divide them so they were equitable. Leo is technically my son's bunny but I always expected that I'd supervise and do many of the chores myself. I'm pleased with the way things are working so I thought I'd share our routine.

Daily Morning Chores (before school/work). Approximate time needed: 10 minutes. My 12 year-old son does all of these. He has the most time during the morning rush.
  •  Let Leo out to stretch his legs
  • Feed daily pellet ration
  • Change water in dish
  • Prepare morning veggie plate (about 1 cup of mixed greens)
  • Add more hay to the litter box
Daily Afternoon Chores (when we get home from school). Approximate time needed: 15-20 minutes. I split these with my 9 year-old daughter.
  • Let Leo out of his cage (he stays out until we go to bed or leave the house) - my daughter
  • Add more water to dish - my daughter
  • Clean litter box - me
  • Sweep x-pen with a whisk broom (most days) - my daughter
  • Prepare afternoon veggie plate - me
  • Brush Leo (usually while he's eating veggies) - me
  • Vacuum if hay and fur outside the pen is getting out of hand (about every other day)
Before Bed Chores. Approximate time needed: 5 minutes
  • Find Leo and coax him back to the pen - my son or daughter
  • Check water and hay and top off if necessary - me
Saturday Chores. Approximate time needed: 20-30 minutes.
  • Wash litter box - me
  • Clean the x-pen (take everything out and sweep/vacuum the Cottontail Cottage, the carpet squares, and in the nooks and crannies) - my son
So far the division is working well. I've encountered very little resistance and I've let the kids choose the chores they like. We purposely do the afternoon chores right after we got home from school so they get done before other activities intrude. I certainly expect the kids to help, but not so much that they start to resent the bunny. You might notice that my hubby doesn't have any assigned chores, but that's by design. He put in many years cleaning a cat box, so I gave him a pass when we were discussing getting a rabbit. He does help out when I ask him to.

Monday, April 4, 2011

How can a little bunny have so much hair?!!

...said my daughter today while I was brushing Leo. He's been shedding a fair amount since we got him, but it's increased lately, so I guess he's having his spring molt. Today, I coaxed him into my lap with a pile of greens. While he munched, I brushed out as much loose fur as I could. Thank goodness I know how to clean the filter on the vacuum too.  I'll step up my brushing efforts immediately. Leo is still eating LOTS of hay though so hopefully he won't get stopped up. At least none of us shows any sign of rabbit fur allergies.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My hubby's new supervisor

The last two weeks have been unusually busy for the kids and I. It's been bad for my blogging, but it's certainly deepened the relationship between Leo and my hubby who works out of a home office. Leo's second favorite place in the house (besides his under-couch burrow) is the office. We've bunny-proofed the power cords, but there are still plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. When Leo's not exploring he usually supervises from his lounging spot on the office floor.

He was obviously reminding me to clean the papers of the top of my desk when I turned my back for a few minutes the other day and I found him exploring up there too. "Yes Leo, I know I have a paper problem. That's my project for next week...".