Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Texas Transport Needed

One of the drawbacks to flying is transporting the two rabbits I plan on getting there back home.  It costs $125 per rabbit to take them in cabin on the flight home plus buying airport approved carriers, which adds to the cost of purchasing them (already a bit of a splurge).  Is this pretty standard - it seems high?  Or do most people just drive to convention?  This may be too late, but does anyone know of someone from Texas (around Houston area?) going to convention that would be willing to transport two extra rabbits back with them?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Last Minute Change of Plans

Initially, this was going to be a very different sort of post.  The reality of driving 32 hours in a 3-day weekend was really beginning to sink in and last minute, inflated, flight costs would have put the trip well over budget.  I seriously considered calling it off.  Then Continental opened up some new nonstop flights for a great answer to prayer.  What a blessing!  So, it's back on and I'm so excited!!!  Not only because it's my first ARBA convention, but because one of my very favorite things to do is to go to a expo...even a seminar.  Gather a large group of people together for a common purpose and I'm in!  Add sweet, fuzzy bunnies to the mix and it makes the whole event that much more appealing.  So, needless to say, my happiness meter is off the charts right now!!
Photo courtesy of:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cuddly Goodness

Such a sweet boy.  I love how he presses his head against the door of his cage when I walk in the room.  He seems to have such simple joys in life:

-putting his head halfway in his dish when I'm feeding him, not to eat, but to get an extra head rub

-hopping...sudden binky...quick stop/pivot ...repeat

-playing with full abandon, then collapsing in a bunny flop, exhausted

Rabbits have a quiet, subtle way of getting you to stop and enjoy the moment.  Love that about them.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Road Trip!

I didn't think I was going to make it to convention.  It's over a thousand miles from where I live.  It takes over 5 hours just to get out of Texas.  I imagine that for some, the trip is much further.  But, I'm just getting my feet wet in the rabbit world.  I had planned to go next year.  It's almost half the distance to Wichita.  But, things have changed.  I'm looking for a nice doe and buck to show and I hear that the convention is the place to find them.  In fact, I have seen some nice prospects online.  The drive is still daunting, but the anticipation of walking into the convention with rows and rows of beautiful rabbits from all over the country seems worth it. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A sea of orange... front of this beautiful old church.  I just love fall!  We finally get a reprieve from the blistering heat (at least intermittently).  I do remember a few Halloweens, as a kid, where my plastic costume mask was glued to my face with sweat.  But for the most part, the weather is starting to get nice and blustery.  Just happened upon this pumpkin patch after the show in Seguin on Saturday.  October is my absolutely favorite time of year.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Walk of Shame

If I never experience the roller coaster of euphoria (first time to show) and then embarassment (at placing dead LAST) it will be too soon.  OK, the euphoric part wasn't so bad.  Honestly, I didn't expect to do that well.  The person that sold Judge to me pointed out some of his faults and said that while he was show quality, he probably would make a better brood buck.  Out of 14 solid senior bucks, I was somewhat surprised, though, that he came in last.  I was hoping to be somewhere towards the lower middle.  Another beautiful buck was disqualified because of his toenails (it placed in the top 5 in the next show...go figure!).  As my butterflies got the better of me, I must admit that I just kept repeating to myself, "please don't DQ him, please don't DQ him."  After the DQ'd buck and another little buck, it was his turn to be placed.  OK, not great, but at least not last.  Unfortunately, this was a no comment card show, so I strained my ears to listen to a fairly quiet judge that mumbled quite a bit (just as the people began to cheer, or holler really, for another breed being judged close by).  I heard very little.  

My expectations were more realistic at the next show - the show that he came in last.  The judge put a coin behind him and some of the others next to him.  Hmmm, I thought, maybe this judge sees something that the other judge didn't.  He did, he saw more flaws!  So after he goes over all of the rabbits, he comes back to judge, Judge (at times like this, his name is confusing - I was studying the Old Testament book of Judges when I named him).  He lists all of his flaws including his poorly conditioned coat (which evidently every rabbit had except for the winning buck).  Heard him loud and clear...great...can I have the quieter, mumbling judge back?!  Then, he waits for about half an hour before going on.  Please just continue already!  It would have been easier, somehow, if he had gone on to list some of the flaws of the next worse bucks (misery loves company).  So, here's where I get to do the walk of shame.  With all eyes on me from a hushed crowd (seriously, the quietest moment of the whole show), I lifted my sweet little bunny out.  I gave him a "you're a winner in my book" squeeze and waited for the judging to commence.  

Think he's trying to escape the shame to come, LOL

The silver lining...I've learned a lot.  It was definitely an experience in humility.  Those are always hard at the time and maybe even for a while afterwards, but they usually bring unexpected blessings and strength of character later.  As for Judge, his show career has been a short-lived one.  I don't plan to use him as a brood buck either.  Granted, I have no experience in breeding rabbits.  But, IMO, while there are some faults in one rabbit you can try to overcome with the strengths of another and vice versa, I don't think he has enough good traits to warrant them being passed on.  That is, except for his sweet, but inquisitive nature (no points given there though(-: ) and the judge did throw him a bone with "he has good ears."  But then, it seems, that almost all of them had good ears.  Good ears and poor coats.  Back to the drawing board.  Life goes on.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Smells piney fresh

Recently switched from CareFRESH® Natural™ bedding to pine horse pellets.  Seems to work better to absorb liquid and odor and the pine reminds me of the fresh smell of a new house. Like Manna Pro, it would be nice if it came in smaller quantities though.  The 40 lb. bag is no fun to lift or to store! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall SARBA Show

The SARBA show is in Seguin on Saturday.  According to the e-mail I received, Judge is entered in both shows.  Hmmm, didn't realize I was entering more than one.  Now that I look back at the show flyer, though, it does say Open & Youth Double All Breed Show.  Thought the double was referring to open and youth, but guess it means that there are two open shows?  It may be a longer day than I planned on.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Packing for the Show

1942 McCall Homemaking Cover

My first rabbit show (as a participant) is coming up this weekend, yay!  As I think about what I will need to pack for the show, I'm sure that I will forget quite a few items. 

Fuzzy Patch's Bunny Blog has had some great posts on "What goes to a show" and "My show box" that I'm finding immensely helpful in deciding what to take.  Some things I may have to just make do with and add as I go (i.e. rolling cart to transport everything).  I do have a grooming table though.     

This vintage photo of a very put-together woman packing her stylish suitcases made me laugh.  Whatever I end up taking, I'm pretty sure it won't look anything like this coordinated packing venture ;o) 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bunny Photography 101

Subject isn't exactly centered in frame
Caught the cute cottony tail at least
Cleansing regimen waits for no one
Blurry foot...awesome :-/


I'm finding that taking good pictures of Judge is even more challenging that getting a good snapshot of my friends' toddlers or my dog, who is often described as a "wiggle-butt".    

My young bunny is a mover and a shaker, it seems.  Perhaps once he settles in more, it’ll get easier. Everything probably still seems new and worthy of exploration to him.  Here are some shots that didn't turn out exactly as planned.  Maybe I should try the 'sports mode', lol.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Trick question?

As I sit down to fill out my first ARBA show entry form, I notice that most of it is pretty self-explanatory.  Then I get to the question, "Do you desire ribbons, if applicable?"  Is this a trick question?  It seems pretty straight forward...simply check yes or no.  But then I wonder, is there something I'm missing?  Why wouldn't I want ribbons?  Will my answer illustrate that I don't have a clue what I'm doing?  This is probably a moot point anyway as a first-timer in the competitive Holland Lop category, but if I did win something, I think I would want the ribbon as proof

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Go Big or Go Home...

Again, I'm disappointed in Houston's rabbit supplies.  The Tractor Supply in Cleburne had a separate room devoted just to feed and they were fully stocked.  I found everything I needed in a few minutes including smaller bags of Manna Pro.  But, since I didn't have a lot of room left for the trip home, I decided to wait to get it.  Why didn't I just put it on the back of the truck?!

The seller had my little lop on Manna Pro - Pro formula and I wanted to try to keep him on it.  My local Tractor Supply only has 50 lb. bags and other feed stores don't seem to carry this brand.  I'm pretty sure that most of it would be expired by the time Judge gets around to eating it.  The closest stores that carry the 25 lb. bags are an hour away (and even that seems like too much food).  Guess I'll just have to do what the less-than-helpful manager at Tractor Supply recommended...and get more rabbits:o)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Amazon Fills the Bill

What a glorious day!  72 degrees and sunny.  The high is only supposed to get to 87 - no more triple digits!!  The perfect weather for bunny cage building.  Building may be overstating it a bit - assembling is more like it.  After unsuccessfully looking all over the big city of Houston for a simple rabbit cage for Judge, I finally found  Thank heavens for Amazon.  A little large, perhaps, for a little 3 pound dwarf rabbit, but he seems happy with the selection and the price was right at only $38 (no tax, no shipping, delivery in 2 days).