Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Art of Rabbit Grooming: Licks

Grooming is a very critical part of a bun's life. They shed twice a year (or in our case, constantly), get matted fur that needs to be taken care of, poop sometimes gets, um...stuck, and fur just need to look perty for the other buns.

Some buns are better at it than others. Connie is an expert and I will always find him cleaning, grooming, or making sure his white fur is spotless. He NEVER has any stains on his feet, makes very certain to eat his cecotropes so delicately, we have yet to see them or their existence. This white little bunny is always clean. Wayne is the same, aside from his partially still grey feet, he is very clean. Most bunnies are....well, with the exception of Wiggles. 

This bun's bum is always in rough shape. I can't tell if its a combination of her being overweight or lazy or the lack of know how, but I've given this bun more baths than I can count. Once 3 in a weekend. And if you have ever given a disgruntled rabbit a bath, you know its a 3 hour ordeal with bitten fingers and scratch marks in unfortunate locations you then must explain to your doctor during your yearly physical. "Is my crazy rabbit, I swear. She ate the glue end of the phone book and pooped everywhere..." 

So I began to wonder, perhaps Wiggles never really learned how.  

I don't think Wiggles has ever seen another rabbit before meeting Connor when she was 5 (Can you image living in a world like that) Its why I think she grunts and behaves more like a dog than a rabbit sometimes. Well, needless to say, Connie, our loving and patient bun, has taught her a few things, in this case, mutual grooming. 

One thing all rabbits love is being petted on the head. Often Wiggles, Connor and Wayne will grind their teeth in contentment when they are being petted. This, however, is nowhere near the level of blissfulness a good ol' rabbit grooming does. Its where one rabbit licks another. 

Here we have a rare yet increasingly less so moment when Wiggles is grooming Connie. (You can see her leeeetle tongue in the shadow). 

Connie has always been very patient, loving and gentle with Wiggles, but I can't say that it was mutual. Once they started getting along, that is to say that Wiggles remained still enough for Connie to be around him, he started grooming her. I think thats when she fell in love. I don't think this poor rabbit, aside from when she was a wee little baby, was ever groomed. 

Now when Connie grooms Wiggles, its a delicate procedure of cute little licks around her face. I have been fortunate enough to receive these little loving gestures after petting Mr. Connie. He is so delicate.

Wiggles on the other hand is a bit more, into it, for a lack of a better word. When she grooms Connie, she does it with might, force and a little umph. You can see Connies head moving back and forth with each lick. 

I love that Wiggles is starting to become more rabbit like. And she is learning this from Connor. My only  hope is that they will start to groom Wayne as well. But by the looks of the territorial "THIS IS MY SPOT" poops around them, we still have some ways to go.

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