We came home with 2 (the breeder swore they were girls) rabbits. Rufus the rascally rabbit and Punkin an orange mutt rabbit. Rufus was a love but Punkin was the star at being held like a baby and took it all in stride. They were absolutely adorable, fluffy and messy, but oh well. The dogs didn't seem to care one way or the other as they shared part of the backyard with the hutched rabbits. But when the bunnies came out to play, Annabelle wanted to herd them so that she could pretend they were her puppies and Prissy wanted to be at someone else's house so they wouldn't go near her. Yikes little things.
As stated in the last post, we had an eight foot fence around our back yard. A third of the backyard was a raised bed garden. It was fun to see the rabbits run like crazy through the veggies and take their portion of the greenery. They actually looked happy, almost joyful.
And I considered them to be in a safe environment until one night when I heard the most hellacious noise coming from the back yard. Up until that moment I had no idea that rabbit's could make a sound. The rabbits have many songs they sing, happy, hungry, angry and mourning (the later is the most pitious sound in the world). An idiot German Pointer dog had jumped the fence, knocked over the hutch and there was blood everywhere. I thought OMG the bunnies have been attacked. NOOOOOOOOOO. The doggie girls made a bee line for the corner and snarling ensued. They cornered the other dog between the telephone pole and the wall (about a ten inch square, I don't know how the GS dog fit in there but he did). He was the one who was bleeding when we got it all sorted out. Not from anything that the "girls" had done to him but rather Rufus. He was one bad ass rabbit. Back legs had done some damage to the poor dog. And Rufus was flaring his nostrils and charging the dog as we tried to clean the dog off to see how badly scratched he was. We had to put the rabbits and our dogs inside, in order to keep the stupid fence climbing dog safe. What an experience. I had no idea how attuned to survival rabbits were, but that isn't what I wanted to share.
Obviously we couldn't put the rabbits anywhere except the house for the night. Belle was in mommy dog heaven and the rabbits seemed to appreciate the affection she gave them. She cleaned both of the rabbits, nestled them into her belly and there they slept all night. Prissy slept with us, in our bed, under the covers and I swear I heard her say...."I should have paid the dog more to assasinate those pesky rabbits."
The rabbits did so well inside that I decided to keep them in for awhile. Litter box trained them and all was going well until they decided to dine on Sweet Man's stereo system....rabbits like wires to nibble on. So we built another hutch and Prissy was born again as a none neurotic beast.
Another scaredy dog story is when we would take the "girls" camping. Belle was always up for being the lead dog on hikes and Prissy told everyone she had to stay with me because I needed her really bad, honest. We loved camping in the Jemez Mountains about 90 minutes from here in a pine forest area. Shelley and Joe would build entire cities out of pine stuff and the next week, when we came back, the wild turkeys would have deconstructed most of it. It was a lovely forest area with a small mountain stream running through. At night we would listen to the coyotes call from one side of the mountain side to the other. On one particular evening, the coyotes must have tracked the dogs scent back into our camp ground and we heard the calls getting closer and closer. Belle got up quietly and went to lay herself across Shelley's sleeping bag, always the protector. Prissy scurried into our sleeping bag between Joe and I and shook like the dickens. After the coyotes had finished their sniffing expedition, Belle took her ease and Prissy snored between us until morning, ever the chicken dog.
The only real issue I ever had with taking the dogs camping was the every afternoon rain shower. Two giant dogs that are dirty are bad enough on a 90 minute ride home but the odor of wet giant dogs that are muddy is well, memorable to say the least. More than once we were flooded out of our camping area, so wet dog it was.....welll wet everything really.
And the real kicker in this is that I transported camping gear, small child and the "girls" in a small Vega station wagon. If they shook, as dogs are prone to do when wet, the whole car looked like it was shaking to get the water off too. More than one time I had people point and shake their heads at me as I headed down the highway with the wall to wall "girls" in the back. They were probably thinking ......OMG doesn't she have any good sense? Well no, but good enough to have lasted this long......so far.