Nick and I had been debating about getting Louis fixed for a while. We read that it drastically decreases a bunny’s chance of getting reproductive cancer, but also that it could alter the personality of the bun.
But the day we went to Pet Supplies Plus to pick up some hay and food for Louis, our decision was made for us, in the form of a tiny black and white bunny.
She* was cowering in the corner with another tiny brown bunny. Both were being squished and dominated by a large, orange, mature bunny.
Nick and I looked at each other and knew we wanted to take the little bun home. We asked to hold her, and as she clung to each of us for dear life, we knew we needed her as much as she needed us.
They packaged her up in a little cardboard build-a-bear-esque box and sold her to us for $25. They told us we would have to sign a waiver, but they never followed through with that. It scares me to think they’re willing to sell a bun to anyone with 25 bucks.
We took her home to Nick’s room, and Louis immediately fell in love. He started “honking” – a light grunt that signifies hormones – and “circling” – a way for bunnies to express their dominance. He was hot and bothered, and she was scared to pieces. We decided to make a vet appointment the next morning to get Louis fixed, then moved him to my house until the surgery was done and his hormones were settled.
His procedure went very smoothly, and I picked him up from the vet and tucked him in my coat on the drive home. He was groggy and kept falling asleep for the next 24 hours.
The vet told us to wait a month for all of his hormones to exit his body, so when that month was over, we were eager to introduce the buns again.
We put a window screen between them and allowed them to sniff each other through the barrier for a while. When we thought things were going well, we put them in the pen together. They sniffed each other again, but then Louis mounted Lex and we cut the playdate short.
We did a lot of research on bunny bonding and read that one bunny will naturally express dominance over the other. Louis is bigger and older, so it was no surprise that he was the one to claim the throne.
The next bunny playdate was more fruitful. We used the screen again, and then let them interact in the same space. This time, we made sure to pet each of their heads while they sniffed each other, which is supposed to simulate grooming and bring on a feeling of calm. It definitely worked.
After about 10 minutes, Louis started doing his dominance dance again, and we separated them. But their bonding is progressing. They are already getting more and more used to each other. Once Lex is not such a novelty anymore, Louis will surely calm down and learn to be a pal to her rather than a lover.
*We still don’t know if Lex is a boy or a girl. I’m trying not to jump to conclusions so a Lulu situation doesn’t happen again..but she seems very feminine…