Off-Topic (A home fit for my King)

Bunny Home by "Joao", Photo by Priscillakittycat

Bunny Home by “Joao”, Photo by Priscillakittycat

DSC_0831 bunny home 1 house inside

casinha rasta 2

Rasta Bunny is my Giant Flemish breed rabbit.  He’s a big boy and needs lots of room to roam, hop and rest.  All rabbits need room to stretch and hop or their legs will atrophy and become stiff.  Without exercise they’re also more susceptible to disease and obesity.  This translates to shorter life spans.

My neighbor and his wife found Rasta Bunny hopping around our neighborhood in 2009.  He’s been with me ever since, roams loose (no cage) and is litter box trained.  It’s surprisingly easy to train a rabbit to use a litter box.  Just buy a cat litter box, fill it with litter that’s appropriate for gerbils (no cat litter).  Put some Timothy Hay at the front of the litter box.  Put your bunny inside…and let him eat while he litters.  Kind of like what humans do when they take magazines into the bathroom.  You can also place some of your rabbit’s poop in the litter box so he knows that’s where it belongs.  It took me less than two days to train Rasta Bunny.

Male rabbits should also be neutered because they tend to spray urine to mark their territory.  Before Rasta Bunny was neutered, he’d sometimes hop past me and spray the bottom of my pants.  Was he trying to say I was his territory?  Who knows, but soon after the first spray, I took Rasta Bunny to the vet to get his manhood taken away…and he stopped spraying!

Rabbits are sensitive animals and need lots of care and attention.  If you plan to purchase a rabbit, please think about the work involved as well as the money you’ll need to spend if your rabbit becomes ill.  Most ordinary vets do not see rabbits.  You’ll have to find an Exotics vet…Dr. Barbara Tomaras is the best exotics vet ever.  She loves rabbits.  Avian & Exotics on South Dixie Highway, near Sunset Place is where she works.  She always works out of another animal hospital in Ft. Lauderdale. Just Google her and you’ll find contact information.

Okay, to make a long story short, I wanted to have an outdoor enclosure for Rasta Bunny…but couldn’t find one large enough.  And most of the rabbit home builders I found online are in Europe and don’t export their products to the US.

Joao to the rescue!  Joao is a Brazilian landscaper who also happens to build things to order.  He was referred by a friend.  He met me at our home.  I told him exactly what I wanted for the rabbit enclosure, including two doors with locks, a hiding place for Rasta to be protected from the wind or hot sun, and a place for a litter box.  I went with Joao to Home Depot and purchased the supplies.  He charges for labor, per day.  It took him 3 days to build Rasta Bunny’s home.  After Joao was done with the structure, I painted the home and added the some extras, including vinyl self-adhesive floors, crown molding, and hooks for hanging supplies.

Rasta Bunny loves his enclosure and he’s probably thankful to have some fresh air.  He still spends most of the time indoors…and still sleeps on my bed every night, but now there’s a place for him to enjoy the scenery and watch the neighborhood cats, birds and ducks.  He’s safe because the doors are equipped with locks.  (Racoons can open doors and will eat rabbits.  Opossums also prey on rabbits. Some dogs will attack rabbits or want to play with them…and accidentally harm them)

Please make the world a better place for living beings…take good care of your pets.

And if you need Joao’s contact information, feel free to write to me.