Yesterday should have been Speedy’s Movie Day and I debated how I was going to arrange this one.
Whether I should just do the normal type of post or cover an experience that I had this week.So I decided this morning to cover the experience as I believe its quite important.
Out of curiosity I joined a group on Facebook call UK Rabbit Group and I posted the photo above,I knew some would not like it,to see Speedy on a leash and harness because some think it’s dangerous the the rabbit could hang itself.And yes I did get comments to such a degree,others went on to lecture me saying that it’s against the RWAF guidelines of rabbit care.Some could only list the dangers they could see like some risk assessment all written down in a big list some included a sheer cliff the Speedy could fall off,possible predators,attacking Speedy,and dogs!
So lets look at the photo and at what you don’t see….
The Cliff edge is actually further away from Speedy than it looks…about 3 metres this is called an optical illusion,Speedy’s leash was only extended 2 metres,Predators there were none as I am always looking out for such things and Dogs well again there were none here I am always scanning the distance for dogs and as soon as I glimpse one I pick Speedy up.when I took this photo the was just me,Speedy’s dad and Speedy on the path next to the carpark.No one that made comments wanted to listen to these facts.All they did was lecture me on the fact tha rabbits are prey animals and are easily scared and should be put through such stresses therefore I am a bad bunny mum.But let me ask you does Speedy look scared?Does he look stressed?…the answer is No!
So lets go on to video evidence,I did try to show to the group by posting a video and even an explanation to defend myself and Speedy but the admin of the group deleted the post because they do not encourage harnesses on rabbits not that they mentioned that in their code of conduct,what they did mention in their code of conduct that that they did not like aggressive behaviour in the group…funny the admin did nothing about the behaviour of those that gave nasty comments and then proceeded to lecture me with everyone else….so much for their code of conduct!
So the first Video is of one of Speedy’s first proper outings on a harness and leash ,enjoy the video as it’s one of my favourite but then ask yourselves does Speedy struggle and fight with the leash and harness,Does he look scared and unhappy?I don’t think so!
So the last 3 videos were taken yesterday afternoon see any difference in behaviour?The only difference is Speedy has a different harness on and isn’t as chubby as he was back when he first started using a harness.
Now don’t get me wrong I don’t think all bunnies are suited to being an adventure bunny like Speedy as it takes a very Special,relaxed bunny who shows no fear of unusual places or situations to be able to wear a harness and leash.If your rabbit doesn’t like to be picked up or going in the carrier to the vets or spooks at loud noises and sudden movements then he or she will not take to the harness and will fight you like the meanest devil hound to get away from you and the harness so please don’t force them because that would be wrong.Now another thing a lot of groups say is you shouldn’t pick you rabbit up because they are prey animals and they think they are being attacked….ok great so you don’t do that what happens when you have to trim nails or take them to the vet or have to give meds?You have a rabbit that is so scared and stressed out that all this becomes a traumatic experience for them,when all you have to do is learn how to pick them up safely and give them cuddles every day so that they are relaxed with being handle….sounds simple to me and sensible too.So with all the bunnies I have had I have handled them from a baby to make these situations less traumatic for them.But my first bun Caramel still hated going to the vets and all treament had to be done with me holding him,but when it came to me giving meds to him at home he was easy and my 2nd bun Thumper was the same too they both hated the vets and going in a carrier,both would try to claw their way out and both hated a harness believe me I did try but they just wouldn’t have it so I never forced the issue with them.But with Speedy you could tell he was different when we first saw him you could see he was relaxed and unafraid,and when I picked him up he got comfy in my arms and started tooth puring…he was happy and relaxed.and when we put him in the carrier he just looked curious and nosy,and when we got in the car with him in the carrier Speedy just flopped down all relaxed ,not scared at all.Speedy has always been like that.Not scared just relaxed and even excited to try new things and new places to explore. Speedy even likes going to the Vets!He is a very Special rabbit!
I shall do a post covering the do’s and don’ts on harnesses and handling on rabbits in a later post but for now thank you for letting me ramble on…Rachel Speedy’s Mum