Ward totally hates me. Remember when I said he was a little friendlier than June? Yeah, not so much. A rabbit book I have says something like feeding time is check up time, so I want them to get comfortable with me handling them. I tried to give them some time to adjust to me and their new digs by just petting them daily rather than grabbing them out of the cage. During the fleeting moments when I haven’t had to wear a head lamp to see them, I’ve picked them up and just held them for a bit. But I haven’t been able to do that much.
Every time I go to pick up Ward it’s a battle. I’ve learned you have to be confident and deliberate when reaching in a cage for a rabbit and it’s good to wear long sleeves. I’ve also learned that I can contort my shoulders in such a way that I can fit both arms in the small cage opening, which allows me to pick him up in a way that won’t hurt him, with both hands â€“ one hand under and in front of him, to support his two front paws, and the other hand to scoop him up under his rump.
When I finally got the little bugger out of the cage on Saturday, I did a little once over and found a small cut on his back near his neck. Naturally, it was Ward that was injured, the ornery one. I cleaned it with a cotton ball soaked with hydrogen peroxide and gently dabbed on some antibiotic ointment. Of course on Sunday, I had to repeat the process, which Ward detested. Holding him close to my body so he’d feel more secure, I felt like I could see the fear in his eyes like I was the predator and he was my prey. It was awful.Â Honestly, at this point, the thought of clipping their toe nails probably gives me as much anxiety as it would Ward, but that’s just one reason why we need to get this dialed in.
The only thing that made the whole experience better was the fact that when I reached in for June, she didn’t make a mad dash to get away from me. She certainly didn’t come hopping into my arms, but she was calm and still when I picked her up. That has not always been the case. To anthropomorphize like I love to do, it was almost as if she did it on purpose to encourage me to keep trying. Like she was saying, “Don’t worry about him. He’ll come around.” If this weekend proved anything it was that the rabbit whisperer I am not.