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March 28, 2020
If you have never heard about @manandbunny on Instagram or youtube do yourself a favour and look them up. This account will bring you your daily dose of joy, giggles & smiles.
We wanted share with you this blog as inspiration, a great post to share with any of your friends & family members who may thinking about adopting a rabbit. It's a wonderful insight to how these beautiful creatures can become apart of your family unintentionally or otherwise.
Sean Harrison (Man) found himself as a first time bunny owner in the summer of 2016 after a temporary bun visitor stole his heart and became his very best fur friend, as a bit of fun he documented his interactions with ''King Nutsy''. Little did he know the world enjoyed watching from afar as his new found connection with Nutsy grew stronger. The beautiful Nutsy was given the best of his days with Sean, sadly he grew his angel wings but after time it seems the universe had plans for Sean to meet yet another bunny in need of a best mate. Sean & Chief Brody are a shining light in our day here at Smooshie Face HQ, we look forward to seeing their posts. We hope you enjoy reading Seans words.
We want to thank Sean for taking the time to write this blog -
Cheers Mate! YOU GUYS ROCK ❤
Firstly I never planned to have any type of pet (especially a rabbit!), I'd never had one before in my life and to be honest I was always too immature and selfish to have one!!
It all started with Nutsy in the summer of 2016. He was found abandoned and scared near some woodland (the girl that found him had had rabbits before so knew he was an abandoned pet rather than a wild rabbit but she owned a dog so couldn't look after him), he wouldn't have lasted the night if he was left out there. My girlfriend at the time actually had rabbits (it was her friend who found the bunny) so she couldn't take him in so she asked me to look after him for a few days whilst they figured out where he could live. I was definitely hesitant....in fact I said no!
We set up a hutch for him in the back garden and let him out daily but he wasn't a big fan of humans and was really nervous around us to begin with. As I'd never even stroked a rabbit before I didn't know what to expect but from day one he started to charm me!
A few days turned into a week and after about a month or so, with the weather starting to get colder, he pulled at my heartstrings and I couldn't face letting him live outside by himself so he moved inside with me......sucker! It was when he came inside his personality really came out. I don't think people who have never interacted with a bunny know or can believe each rabbit is an individual with their own traits just like humans....and i loved finding it out for myself!
Unfortunately not long after Nutsy living with me we found out he bad a big problem with his teeth (they were misaligned and he refused to eat hay 🙈!) which was probably why he was dumped. My ex girlfriend then sorted and arranged a costly procedure for Nutsy to see a top vet to try to fix his teeth issues. Not long after the op though he was different rabbit, zooming around and having so much more fun, it was then we understood how much pain he must've been in with his little fangs.
Even though the op was a success it only alleviated his issues fully for a short while and we had to make sure we kept a close eye on him as possible as we were told he would always have these problems. Whilst we knew about his health issues it didn't make it any easier when he did get ill. It was so sudden and I saw first hand how fragile these beautiful little creatures are.
Even though we only spent just over a year together it was an absolute privilege and honour to share part of my life with Nutsy, he opened my eyes to animals and rabbits especially. With him living in the house we bonded (he enjoyed "marking" me when he sat on my lap!) and I'd like to think he trusted me and realised not all humans were bad. If he enjoyed the final year of his all too short little life half as much as I did then it cheers me up when I think about him.
As I'd never had a pet (or shared a life with an animal as I prefer to describe it!) I genuinely didn't realise how close you get to them.....Nutsy passing away was tough and I didn't know if I'd be able to go through again! That said it didn't take long after to figure out that even though it was super hard we felt we had a duty to Nutsy to help another little bunny if we could and that's where Chief Brody came in!!
As I mentioned the passing of Nutsy was hard to take as it was so sudden but as a few weeks passed you remember the happiness and the good things. If it was possible to help another discarded little bunny then we thought that's what Nutsy would want us to do so my girlfriend at the time, Becky (who is the best of friends with Chief!) scoured the unwanted ads and came across a terrified little fella that had been dumped in a cage and pretty much abandoned out in the dark at the back of a retirement home....that terrified little fella was then rescued by Becky and turned up at my house!! He was so small and definitely a lot younger than the 6 months they said he was, I made a little set-up for him in my kitchen (he was an indoor bunny as soon as entered the house!) and you could see how nervous and scared he was. We gave him have a little space to adjust to his new forever home.......and the rest is history!
The Chief adapted to his new home quicker coz he was younger than Nutsy I think. Nutsy and me bonded really strongly and, I'm guessing coz he was poorly treated previously, he was super nervous of everyone aside from me and his other special friend Becky, the Chief however is totally different, he's anyone's if they give him a head rub!!
I just want everyone to know I don't profess to be a rabbit expert, these are just things I have personally learned in the last few years after unexpectedly starting to live with bunnies later in life! Each is different so always ask an expert.
One of the first things that surprised me, as I touched on earlier, was that rabbits have these different personalities. I genuinely, and moreover stupidly, thought rabbits were just animals that people keep in a hutch outside and aside from feeding them you they don't need any interaction.....how wrong was I!!!
Every rabbit I've been in contact with is different to the last and they never cease to amaze me, they're intelligent, intuitive and nosey little critters!
Nutsy and Chief both have / had rascal tendencies and love to play but I have feeling Nutsy was looking to feel loved and be wanted due to his health issues whereas the a few days after Chief Brody moved he made no attempts to hide who was now the boss! Brody loves attention, he can't get enough of it.... especially if there is a lady around!
Don't get me wrong it can be hard looking after any animal and rabbits are certainly no different but it's very rewarding when you finally earn their trust.
As they are prey animals they tend to conceal any illnesses or weakness very well so you have to be very diligent and pick up on any change of habit in their routine, this is something I had to learn very quickly (from a good teacher!). For example the Chief has been to the vets a few times because he has stopped eating (the onset of GI stasis) and this can become deadly in a few hours so I watch closely to make sure he has an appetite. As soon as he stops eating I either have to administer some medicine that I now keep at home to get him eating again or take him to the vets. Don't get me wrong this very daunting for me as I had no experience but if you ask the right people and look in the right place it's surprising how far you can come in a short space of time.
The diet for Chief and any rabbit is really important, basically the more hay you can get them to eat the easier it tends to be. Like humans though some rabbits prefer the treats and vegetables! If you can you rabbit having hay for the major part of their diet that is a great start to keeping them healthy.
Over the last few years more jabs have been become necessary also (this will be dependent on where you are based in the world). For example in the part of the UK where we live there was an outbreak of RHD2 so for the first time the vet instructed me to get Chief immunised for that also. You just need to speak to the vet regularly and keep up to date with what's going on in your area and these diseases can take hold quickly.
Grooming....where do I start?! Nutsy was cool, needed a little bit of grooming now and then but Chief Brody is a four legged ball of fluff! I try to groom Chief at least once a week, more normally in March/ April and October time when his coat is really shedding and changing. It's important he gets groomed regularly and I've learned this helps minimise his tummy issues from ingesting too much of his fur when he grooms himself!! They're clean animals so they enjoy grooming themselves or a buddy, Brody tends to give my hand or leg a groom after I've done him!!
Luckily both the rabbits I have share a house (Nutsy and Chief) with have been pretty good. Neither particularly care for cables etc but both of them love chewing my carpet!! The Chief lives cage free in my kitchen whenever I'm not in the house as there is nothing for him to be able to destroy in there, he's got his little castle and toys so he's normally pretty happy. Soon as I'm in the house I open the gate let him roam free with me, either downstairs or upstairs, that said I always keep an eye on him especially if he goes exploring....I don't trust him that much!
Nutsy however was totally different, he was scared of lots things! He lived in a big cage (if I know what I know now with the experience I've gained I may have done things differently) in the lounge. This was primarily because he was petrified of the kitchen floor!!! He refused to walk on the surface in there unless absolutely necessary so I didn't have many choices....he had a few strange tendencies!
Even though Chief doesn't care for cables too much I'm always vigilant not to leave to much around as they are naturally inquisitive little animals so mischief normally ensues if you don't keep an eye on them!
If anyone would have told me a few years ago that I would be living with a rabbit and have an Instagram page detailing what we get up to I would have thought they were crazy! My mates love giving me stick about it but I think they're just jealous!
It was something I never expected but I'm so glad I stumbled across it. I couldn't imagine not having Chief around or never having had the chance to look after Nutsy. It's given me a different perspective in life and I love getting woken up every morning to Chief throwing his bowl coz he's ready for breakfast or remembering how Nutsy used to "squeak" when he ate a banana coz he was enjoying it so much!!
It can be a lot of work having any pet and it's made me add a lot more structure to my routine but I find it so rewarding. Getting them to relax, trust you and then you begin to see their individual little personalities come out. Hopefully I have number of years left with Chief Brody either nipping at my jeans or bumping his head into my coz he wants a nose rub!