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Reader Profiles

Every now and then I hear from readers that have a wonderful story to tell or have achieved amazing things with their rabbits.

The stories below will build up over time as more of you come forward and are brave enough to share ;-)

These lovely insights into how others express their love and passion for rabbits will inspire anyone with pet bunnies and even those of you that are thinking about getting rabbits!

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Some stories are happy, some are inspirational, some are sad and some are little bit crazy.

Are you a Just Rabbits reader?
Share your story below!

If you have a lovely story to tell, be it sad, shocking, happy or strange - please share it here, we're always looking for amazing people like you and wonderful bunny adventure tales!

Just Rabbits Reader Stories

Best Breeder in Bluffdale

Last month I received a lovely, and very complimentary email about the Just Rabbits website, to which I responded in kind and a conversation ensued.

Giovana Willits is a Holland Lop rabbit breeder in Bluffdale, Utah, with a little bit of uniqueness about her. The love and passion she has for her bunnies radiates from her and from the from the emails I was getting! Every time I finished reading one of her messages, I always finished up with a smile on my face and a warm feeling inside.

Holland Lop breeder

Gio's passion for Holland Lops is clear and her breeding methods are more akin to raising pet rabbits than raising them quickly, on a budget and for profit.

She has always used spacious wooden homes rather than cruel wire cages, (something nearby rabbit breeders have criticized her for) also all her bunnies have garden access and outdoor runs so they can run and hop about, just as nature intended.

Gio also insists on holding her rabbits at least once a day so when they go to new homes they are used to being handled and enjoy the attention of people.

Gio Willits family

Gio explained her determination to not use wire cages as so many other American rabbit breeders do. We both agreed that it was cruel and a rather 'lazy' way to breed - all poop and wee is collected underneath the cages as it falls through the wire bottom. However, these cages are not only too small but they cause no end of problems for bunny feet, not to mention their bones as they can't move about properly.

"My daughters and I potty trained our bunnies and we wash their litters, it's so easy".

Gio explained that spending a short amount of time potty training her bunnies at a young age meant that cleaning time was easy and just as quick as having cages.

Blue Eyed White Holland Lop

All the rabbits are allowed to forage and exercise in their safe , very large run and play area. Her bunnies also get fresh organic greens daily and baby kits enjoy a wonderful natural selection of food.

All Gio's breeding does have a high fibre, hay & grass diet with lots of organic greens, so the kits are weaned on lots of vitamin and mineral compounds too, which sets them up for a healthy, disease-free life.

Holland lop playground

Gio's last email had even more energy and excitement than usual;

"Hi Kerry,
Just wanted to show you my playground for my bunnies, now they can have 2-3 hours each daily!!! I'm so happy.

Yep, they certainly are lucky lops!

I was so impressed with the way Gio interacts and help her readers, followers and customers, that I added her as a Holland Lop approved breeder. (You can see her Facebook page here).

Thanks for getting in touch Gio, and for letting me tell your beautiful story. You have restored my faith in rabbit breeders!

Are you a Just Rabbits reader?
Share your story below!

If you have a lovely story to tell, be it sad, shocking, happy or strange - please share it here, we're always looking for amazing people like you and wonderful bunny adventure tales!

A Lonely Star

This story is from a lovely lady called Shanell and I'm sorry to say it isn't as cheerful as Gio's tale, but it does have a happy ending, so please read on.

Back in November 2013, in Surrey, England, a lovely lady called Shanell got in touch with me with very sad news indeed...

Shanell had lost two precious bunnies within weeks of each other and was very worried for the health and happiness of the third bunny that was left behind. She wanted to know when would be a good time to introduce a companion to the lonely remaining bunny, 'Star'.

Star - A truly beautiful bunny

I wanted to tell Shanell's story as it is an important and common one. As rabbit owners, we all have to deal with the eventual death of our beloved pets, and the loss of a bunny can be devastating.

Shanell had three female rabbits, all spayed and all sisters, Jersey, Coco and Star. They had all lived together happily for four years, until disaster struck their happy little rabbit house.

Jersey was having treatment at the vets for a genetic illness and due to complications with her gut she unfortunately didn't come home. She died while she was there to the absolute heartache of Shanell.

Jersey - Shanell's rabbit

While still morning the loss of her precious Jersey, Shanell was struck with another tragedy. Coco, also suffering with the same genetic illness, started to get very poorly, very quickly and had to be put to rest by the vet as she was in an enormous amount of pain.

Coco - Shanell's rabbit

The Rabbit Digestive System

Plenty of exercise really helps a rabbit's digestive system. Rabbits must be able to run and jump about with access to a large run or secure garden for at least two hours a day. (An hour early morning and an hour late evening is good.)

Harness training is recommended if access to outdoor space is not available. It's good to let a rabbit forage for themselves in safe, suitable vegetation and shrubbery and to let them jump around and stretch.

If a rabbit suffers with digestive problems, food intake (portion sizes) should be regulated along with sweet treats - these include carrots, apples fruit and sweet veg - see the rabbit's diet page for some great tips for a good rabbit diet.

After Coco died, the vets examined her for the cause of death, at Shanell's request, and found it to be due to a hardening of the intestines causing the digestive system to shut down. A very serious, but common problem, with domestic rabbits.

Worried for Star's safety and happiness, Shanell did everything in her power to ensure her loving bunny was not too upset or stressed. However, loosing her two bunny companions made Star increasingly depressed, sitting alone in her hutch outside and not eating and drinking as much as she used to.

Shanell was distraught, thinking she was going to loose another precious pet when she was encouraged, seeing glimmers of alertness when Shanell or the family spent time with her, which they were doing much more often, to keep her spirits up.

Star, an English Lop, Lionhead cross, started grooming herself and eating and drinking again, and Shanell put her on a course of probiotics to help with the good bacteria in her gut.

Knowing how important it is for rabbits to have the company of other rabbits, Shanell contacted Just Rabbits to ask for some advice about getting her a companion. The introduction of a male neutered rabbit (a mature one over 4 years old), would be an ideal way for Star to move forward and would encourage her to eat and drink more.

Grieving Process
In fact it was strange that Shanell got in touch with me at the time she did as I was grieving for the loss of my beloved Cuddles, (the brown lop you see in the image at the top of the website - A nasty stoat got him very early one morning - they bite and gnaw and squeeze into the tiniest holes) so I was hopeful we could help each other through the grieving process.

Cuddles and Kisses

Burial Ceremony
Cuddles and Kisses were devoted to each other, and I to them. They were the inspiration for me starting this website. When Cuddles died I was utterly heartbroken. A part of me died inside. My son and I had a burial ceremony and said some remembrance words as we said our goodbyes. I found it really helped with the grieving process.

I shared this with Shanell and some other thoughts too. Here's some of the email I sent to her:

"...most rabbits that are healthy and well looked after live in to double figures now days (apart from the larger breeds). So fortunately, with Star only being 4 years old, she has many more happy days with you - But she will definitely need a companion.

I don’t know which bun was the more dominant when they were together and yours was quite an unusual situation as you had 3 females living together so there’s really no telling how Star will take to bonding with another rabbit.

If she’s only ever been in the company of females, she may not know what to do in the company of a male rabbit, but that’s not to say she wouldn’t like it. In fact, it could be just ‘what the Doctor ordered’, to help her move on to a new and different phase in her life.

I recommend you read the rabbit bonding page in full and prepare yourself completely before you go through this process. You could be lucky, and Star will take to her new companion straight away, but sometimes it can take weeks, even months.

But however long it takes, it’s well worth it, and very important to Star."

Pets Need to Say Goodbye
When Cuddles died I left his body right where he died for Kisses to say her 'goodbyes' also. Some people write this process off as not important and most vets will have never heard of it, but I think it is as valuable a process for animals as it is for humans. She sat near his body all day. Not moving even when it rained. When I moved Cuddles later that evening, Kisses was sad, you could tell, but she did eat and drink, if only a little. The next day she was fine, getting on with her normal routines and eating and drinking properly again.

From experience I know rabbits tend to go back to their normal routines once they know what has happened. Star didn't get to see her companions in their last moments, so she may have felt confused and shocked as to where they had gone.

Good News
Later that week, Shanell got back to me with good news - The vet checked Star's stomach and said that it was nice and soft and there was no sign of the hardness that her sisters had. Coco and Jersey had the same Mother but a different Dad so the genes had obviously not been in Mum.

Why Foraging is Fab
Natural foraging (in the garden), is great exercise as well as being good for a rabbit's digestion.

The gut is stimulated by movement and giving rabbits access to garden plants such as strawberry leaves, raspberry leaves, and blackberry leaves (Brambles), are all excellent natural bloat regulators.

Shanell had completely changed Star's diet with a supplement of Oxbow Critical Care, and had started giving her much more Readigrass and Timothy Hay. She'd also increased the natural mixed greens such as romaine leaf lettuce, collards, kale & Swiss chard and herbs such as parsley and cilantro, which are very good for the gut.

I'd also recommended the odd piece of pineapple to keep the 'fur-balls' in the gut at bay too. Star was still been syringe fed and was still on special medication to help her digestive system but she was pooping and urinating much better.

Things were looking good!

Bunny Adoption
The general tone of the emails had become 'brighter' and more optimistic. Shanell had booked an appointment with the RSPCA Cobham, Surrey (UK) to look at possible mates for Star.

She got back to me with hopeful and cheery news - she'd found three possible new companions for Star and was making a final decision soon.

I could tell the process of looking for a new companion for Star was also good therapy for Shanell. (I know it was good for me too when I started looking for a new mate for Kisses. When I found 'Smudge', my outlook much improved and my sense of loss was much diminished).

Great news followed and I was really pleased to see this wonderful photo in my inbox a few days later:

Shanell chose a gorgeous buck by the name of 'Squash' to be Star's new companion. The bonding process went really well and like all good story endings, they all lived happily ever after.

With a caring, loving owner like Shanell, I'm really not surprised. So my thanks go to her for letting us share this lovely story. It's nice to know that all is twinkling bright and well in Star's little universe right now!

Share Your Story

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Anyone who has or loves rabbits also loves reading about them, so please share and don't forget to upload your photos.

If your bun has passed over the rainbow bridge, it's a lovely way to remember them too ;-)

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Get the Revolutionary iRabbit READY System...

Get the Complete iRabbit Ready System right now...

Your bunnies deserve it!

Get all the Steps, Guides, Bonuses & Infographics together!

Find out more about the amazing iRabbit READY System...