September 2007 - January 2020

Our beautiful bunny Fern

We have a new bunny

Baby bunny, Fern peeking out of her cageWho can live in a home without bunnies? Obviously not us and a gorgeous little bunny called Fern has joined our family.

We had decided to get another bunny a few weeks before Fern joined our family. Our intention was to adopt a full size bunny from a rehoming centre, who would live as a house rabbit and be spoiled rotten. We no longer had the run or cages we had for our previous bunnies, so we had to buy a new cage. We headed off to our local pet store, where we found a lovely big cage. There was only one problem, it was so big we couldn’t fit it in our car!

There was another problem as well. The pet store we visited had started an adoption centre where they housed and rehomed peoples unwanted pets. They had a beautiful two year old Dutch bunny, called Lucy. She was just what we were looking for, but unfortunately we didn’t have a cage for her so we couldn’t bring her home with us.

At home I found an online pet store that sold the cage we wanted, so we had it delivered. We went back to get Lucy, but she had been lucky enough to find a new home and Fern had taken her place. I wasn’t sure because we had planned to adopt a full size rabbit, and Fern is definitely not a big bunny, but she is agouti (wild bunny coloured). If there is one thing Derek can’t resist it is agouti bunnies, and so Fern joined our family.

Indoor bunny cage

Fern is ten weeks old and she is small like a dwarf bunny, but she has the biggest ears I have ever seen on any rabbit and what seems like a personality to match. At ten weeks we don’t know how much more Fern is going to grow, or if she will ever grow into those ears.

Fern out and about

Fern out and about

Derek's made Fern a bunny ramp

Our little Fern has been having trouble jumping in and out of her cage and she keeps getting her toes caught in the open doorway. Rather than wait for Fern to hurt herself Derek has made her a fancy wooden ramp, so Fern can hop in and out of her cage whenever she wants.

Fern demonstrating her new cage ramp

Fern demonstrating her new cage ramp

Of course, Fern helped throughout the process. Keeping an eye on what we were doing and even trying to pinch one of the legs and a screw driver. She is a very bossy bunny.

A small bunny with a big personality

Our bunny messing about in a beanbagFern may be a little bunny but she really is a handful.

I have no idea if it’s because she is a female bunny, we’ve never had a girl bunny before, or whether she is just bonkers, but we don’t know what to do with our little rabbit. So far she has been jumping on our bed, trying to dig in the duvet, jumping on the furniture, digging in plant pots and eating the houseplants.

Her latest bit of naughtiness is in the evening. We always let her out at bedtime, while we lie in bed and read, but she has started jumping on the bed and tugging Derek’s magazine off him, demanding his attention. Not very relaxing, but it is cute :-). Don’t get me wrong we love her to bits and think she’s great, but goodness me she’s still only a baby I dread to think what she is going to get into next.

I have read that this is an adolescent phase that some bunnies go through, that should last about a year. If we survive it, Fern will end up this wonderful little bunny and it will have all been worth it. I am hoping this phase Fern is going through is like a test and the more we put up with from her the more affectionate, sweeter and well behaved she will be by the end.

One thing is for sure, we haven’t even had Fern a month, and we don’t know how we are going to survive the next year! But we do love her.

Spot the rabbit

Spot the rabbit

Fern doesn't want to be a house bunny

'Oh yummy'

'Oh yummy'

We had planned to let Fern out in the garden next summer, when the weather warmed up, but Fern had other ideas. Being a house bunny wasn’t exciting enough for her. It started off with her climbing on our bed, then progressed to climbing on the furniture in our bedroom where she discovered our house plants and started digging them up.

So we have given in and bought Fern an outdoor run. We had really wanted to build her something ourselves, but the weather was too cold and Fern obviously was not going to wait. Our chosen bunny run is actually a chicken coop, but it works just as well for a bunny home. It is not as big as we would have liked, but it does have an all important bunny door, so Fern can run free around our garden and hopefully burn off some of her energy.

Depending on the temperature Fern spends at least two hours a day in the garden. We always sit with her when she is out of her run, so she can charge around the garden safely and of course so she’s not lonely. Most of the plants are loosing their leaves, making the garden look very drab, not that Fern is bothered.

Fern's new bunny cottage

Fern's new bunny cottage

She learned really quickly to go back into her run when we clap to let her know it’s time to be put away and sometimes she even goes in and sits there looking at us, as if saying ‘come on shut the door.’ Looking at Fern outside having fun, it’s hard to believe we ever thought she could be a house rabbit.

Ooops, Fern's had a little accident

Our bunny Fern with her injured noseFern is obviously a bunny who can’t help sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. A week ago she managed to pull a bit of fur out just above her nose. It was nothing serious and was only noticeable when we were close to her.

Fern is a very active little bunny and she does like to throughly explore the garden. While we weren’t worried about Fern’s injury, we were keeping an eye out for any places she could have hurt herself to stop her doing it again. Unfortunately Fern managed to hurt her nose again, before we found where she had done it. This time her injury is more serious. Not only has she managed to pull out more fur, but she’s lost some skin too and has a very nasty looking scab. We think she has hurt herself by going up the side of the house and sticking her nose under the gate. She cannot get out of the garden this way, but obviously being such an active and inquisitive bunny she is trying to get as good a look as she can at the world outside our garden.

We have blocked off the side of the house completely, so she can’t get down there at all. Lets hope Fern doesn’t find anywhere else to stick her nose.

Fern has customised her bunny run

The bunny run we bought Fern had, what we considered, a useful ramp up to the bed box. Obviously Fern did not agree with our assessment because she has removed it.

We went out to see her one afternoon and it was laying flat on the floor. Foolishly we thought it was an accident, assuming it had accidentally come loose somehow we stuck it back up. The ramp is attached with two screws and a metal plate so we screwed it all back together and thought our work was done. Fern had other ideas.

Obviously not impressed with our handiwork, Fern pulled it down again. I guess we are a bit daft, because we kept putting it back up and were trying to think of away to secure it permanently. Then we saw Fern actually lift it up and pull it down, not happy with her act of remodelling she flipped it over and started chewing on it. We finally got the message, so Fern’s bunny run no longer has a ramp.

Fern is looking very pleased with herself and happily jumps up into the bed box without the annoyance of a ramp in the way.

Fern's handiwork: with her ramp and without

Fern's handiwork: with her ramp and without

We have a lot to learn about our headstrong little bunny.

Now Fern is jumping on our knees

Derek and Fern

Derek and Fern

I’m not sure if Fern actually realises she is a bunny. Climbing on the furniture in the house was odd, but she is obviously a bunny who likes adventure, which is why she now lives in the garden where things are far more exciting, and tasty. Now she has started jumping on us, we really don’t know what to think. It is not anything I remember the bunny books we read ever warning us about

When we let her out of her outdoor bunny run, we always like to stay out with her, even when its cold. Our main reason is to keep her safe, but we also just like being with her. Fern is a member of our family and it’s fun to spend as much time as we can with her, plus as a lone bunny it is very important to make sure Fern isn’t lonely.

We have two folding garden chairs to sit on and we go out with her twice a day, come rain, snow or shine. Obviously our presence is appreciated by Fern as she has started jumping up onto our knees and sitting there, like its the most natural thing in the world. We were really shocked the first time she jumped up and thought it was a one off, but no. If anything Fern is getting more confident sitting on our knees and climbing up us. Sometimes if she jumps up on Derek’s lap she’ll then hop over to me for a bit, before running of and kicking her legs and wiggling her ears as she goes.

Fern really is fantastic, if a little intimidating!

Fern's new obsession

We have always known Fern is full of life, mischief and adventure, and we love her for it. She is great fun tearing around the garden getting into all sorts of trouble, climbing on everything she can find – including us. Now spring is here Fern has been gripped by a new bunny obsession – digging.

It started with the odd scrabble here and there, nothing serious. The ground was quite wet so digging wasn’t much fun, but now the weather has brightened she’s gone berserk!

We don’t mind her digging – she is a bunny after all, but we are worried that she may dig her way out of the garden, so we’ll have to come up with a way to stop her digging too near to the fence. Fortunately her favourite place to dig is along a brick wall where she has no chance of digging under, though I’m not sure how the plants that grow there are going to survive.

"Go away I'm busy'

"Go away I'm busy'

We fill her tunnels in every now and again, so she has to start again. Fern actually gets really excited when we start moving the soil around and plays with our feet and tries to stop us. She growls at us too, but it is all in fun. We know that if we ever made Fern mad she’d make sure we knew it.

Fern is such a bossy bunny!

Fern's escape bid

The tunnel our bunny, Fern dug in her runAbout a week ago Fern had a little go at digging while she was tucked up in her run, it was nothing serious, but we thought we should make sure she didn’t do it again.

It was a nice sunny morning so we headed out to buy some wire to line the bottom of Fern’s run. When we got back we were already to late, Fern had dug a tunnel in her run!

To top if off It’s the biggest tunnel she has dug so far. If she had put her mind to it I don’t think it would have taken much effort for her to have got out of her run. Fortunately, when we got home she was sitting waiting for us, looking very proud of herself – if a little tired.

It took me ages to put all the soil back down the hole and the lawn still doesn’t feel very stable to stand on. We are going to have to reseed the lawn where Fern completely destroyed it. Not that we mind, Fern’s safety is always going to be our priority.

While I was filling in Fern’s handiwork Derek secured the underside of Fern’s run with wire. We hate to stop her being able to dig, but we have to keep her safe while we’re not there to watch her and its made a bit of a mess of the lawn too.

The devastation caused by one sweet little bunny

The devastation caused by one sweet little bunny

There is no stopping Fern...

Fern hard at work

Fern hard at work

Our full of life little bunny is digging one serious tunnel. She is not digging near the edge of the garden, or about to dig under any plants, so we can’t see any reason to stop her fun. Although we will probably have to stop her when we can no longer see, or reach, the end. We have already filled in the tunnel a couple of times, to slow her down, but it’s no effort for Fern to empty it all out again.

The weather is really hot at the moment so Fern has to keep stopping for a lie down in the shade and we can see her panting from the exertion of her work. After a quick rest she is straight back to work.

She really is amazing to watch. Nothing is going to stop her in her mission, not even rocks. Our garden has plenty of stones and rocks and Fern is coming across her fair share while tunneling, but they don’t hold her back. She will bite them and pull them out with her teeth. Fern just doesn’t seem to care, not even when her mouth is full of soil. If she comes and sits beside us we can often hear her crunching soil between her teeth. It is pretty disgusting.

When not digging, Fern is...

Behind you!!

Behind you!!

Terrorizing the cats.

We have two cats, Treacle & Custard, and when not digging in her tunnel, or taking a break in the shade, Fern is harassing our cats.

The poor things are ten now, which is fairly old for a cat and they just want to laze around in the sunshine and be left in peace. Fern is far too young and curious to respect this wish and so our poor cats have to put up with being harassed by an over friendly bunny.

Fern doesn’t seem to understand, or care, that the cats could really hurt her if they wanted to. She often runs up behind them and startles the poor old things, then when they run off she chases them like its a game.

Treacle & Custard are both used to rabbits and with their age I don’t think they can be bothered to hurt Fern, but I do wish she wouldn’t harass them quite so much

The rain has spoiled Fern's tunnelling fun

Look for Fern's footprints

Look for Fern's footprints

Fern’s busyness has been brought to an abrupt halt by the rain. It poured it down last night and has filled the tunnel Fern was digging with water. By the time she came out to play the water had drained away, but it was still pretty muddy down there. Fern took one look and was not impressed. I guess mud doesn’t make for good digging conditions.

Not to worry though, Fern went back to eating the plants and finding other troublesome things to do. I’m sure once things have dried out she will be back to work. Though I do hope she gets tired of digging soon, or we are going to have to find away to stop her. At the rate she’s going she’ll have dug such a long tunnel we won’t be able to see where it goes or get her back out of it!

It’s difficult finding a balance between letting Fern enjoy herself and trying to keep her safe at the same time. Plus the garden looks a bit of a mess at the moment with all he displaced soil Fern keeps pushing around. We understand she is a very active little girl and really want encourage that, and it is amazing to see what she can achieve in such a small amount of time. Nothing can stop her, not even rocks that she encounters they just get thrown out with the soil. Still if she doesn’t stop soon we’ll have to think up something before she tunnels her way out of the garden!

Fern reaches new heights!

Our little bunny is obviously not going to stop amazing us or finding new ways to get into mischief. At the end of our garden we have a picnic table, which is meant to be a nice place for Derek and me to sit and enjoy our garden. Thanks to Fern it ended up being a place to put potted plants to keep them out of her way and stop her eating them. While Fern had climbed on the picnic table a couple of times when she was younger, she never looked very happy, and we had thought the plants were safe there.

Fern the explorer

Fern the explorer

Because its winter and the garden is looking quite damp and drab and not a very exciting place for an adventurous bunny. Fern has rekindled her interest in the picnic table. No longer is she afraid of being so high up and vulnerable, if anything she seems to love it and has even gone up on the table and chased our cat down. Of course she has also discovered the plants that we’d put up there and is able to chomp them at will. Who knows what she is going to do next.

A new lawn for Fern

Ever since we moved into our house, about 4 years ago, the lawn has been in a sorry state. We’ve tried a few things to make it healthier and greener, but the moss was winning. Now Fern’s living on it and we walk on it everyday, it has been getting worse.

So, we decided to treat Fern and ourselves and get some nice new grass. The lad we picked to do the work was very sweet. In fact his girlfriend works as a veterinary nurse at our vets, so not only was he sympathetic to our concerns about how the work would affect Fern, he also knew about our other critters. Some of the other people we had out for quotes weren’t very good with Fern and some actually lent on her run to make notes, which she was not happy about.

Fern and her best friend Treacle

Fern and her best friend Treacle

As Fern would never tolerate being kept in the house, not even for one day, we had to put her out in her run while the work was being carried out. We moved her run to a patio down the bottom of the garden, as far away from the work as possible, but still giving her a good view of what was going on and I’m pleased to say she was fine. Our garden is fairly small, so the work only took a day, which was really good as it meant Fern was hardly disrupted at all.

She was a little nervous of the new grass at first, she wasn’t even sure about stepping on it, but that didn’t last very long and then the fun started. It didn’t take Fern long to realise we couldn’t walk on the new grass, but she could. The little madam would sit out in the middle of the lawn when it was time to go back in her run and stare at us like we were daft, then when she’d had enough of the game she would kick her bottom in the air and hop into her run. She will be in for a shock in a few weeks when we can walk on the grass again.

Fern's old lawn on the left and her nice healthy new lawn on the right

Fern's old lawn on the left and her nice healthy new lawn on the right

Fern's Snow Adventures

Fern's not very impressed with the snow

Fern's not very impressed with the snow

The story ‘First Snow‘ was inspired by Fern and her first encounter with snow, although the snowfall Fern experienced at the time was only a very light dusting and nothing at all like the snowfall that Fifi encountered in the story. All that changed this past week when Fern really did get to find out what snow is like.

The part of England we live in gets very little snow, usually only a light covering which may last a day and then quickly melts. This year was very different and we got 8 inches of snow falling in one night and it lasted the whole week, although by Christmas Day the snow was more packed-down ice than snow.

Fern is usually a very brave bunny, getting into all kinds of bunny mischief and when we woke up to a wonderful white blanket of snow last Friday morning; we thought Fern would be very excited and ready for an adventure. We were wrong!

As always, Fern spent the night in the house and Derek put her outside in her run she seemed happy enough, but when he opened the door to let her come out and play she was not impressed. The snow had been slightly trampled down outside her bunny door, by the door opening and Derek standing on it, even so Fern was not convinced. Derek was standing at the side of Fern’s run, sorting out a plant that had been damaged by the weight of the snow, but Fern would not even look out of her bunny door. Instead she sat in a corner looking a little shocked at all the whiteness around her.

All that day Fern would not leave her run, even though we were sitting outside with her, as we always do come rain or shine. I admit I was a bit worried by her reaction, as Fern can be a bit of a handful and I wasn’t sure how she’d cope with not running around every day. I needn’t have worried.

Fern eating a wild cherry that the snow knocked out of our cherry tree

Fern eating a wild cherry that the snow knocked out of our cherry tree

The next morning Derek took Fern out again and opened her bunny door for her. This time she hopped out of her run, looked at the snow and hopped straight back in! Not a great reaction, but it was an improvement. Luckily, later that morning when we went out to see her she was obviously feeling a little more adventurous and came hopping out of her run across the lawn, although she did stay in the tracks Derek had made getting to her run.

Fern’s confidence with the deep snow continued to grow, until she was bouncing around in the snow, doing bunny binkies and laps around the garden. It was lovely to watch her, though we were a bit cold standing around in the back garden.

Unfortunately the down side to Fern’s new love of the snow was the plants in our garden suffered. Fern didn’t seem to appreciate that the snow had raised the ground level and weighed the plants down, so they were in her way. Our sweet little bunny Fern went on a chomping spree, lopping off whole branches of shrubs and then trampling them into the snow. Even though she can be a very naughty bunny it is hard to be cross with her.

A new friend

Fern always loved our previous cats, Treacle and Custard. As they got older both of our boys started to spend more time in the garden, and Fern thought it was wonderful. She loved nothing more than sneaking up on them while they enjoyed a snooze in the garden, or following them around when they did move. Sadly it’s been three months since our gorgeous boys passed away, leaving our mischievous bunny without any feline company. Even though we got a new kitten she hasn’t been allowed outside – until now.

Introducing our new kitten to our bunny Fern

Having no idea how Fern would react to the young, bouncy and rather naughty little cat, we took the first introductions very carefully, with me holding onto Inkie so Fern could get a good look at her. Inkie is only a small cat, not much bigger than Fern, but she does have a wonderful kitty habit of swiping us as we pass. While Fern is more than capable of putting all of us in our place, we didn’t want anything negative to happen between the two before they had made friends. I’m pleased to say though that once Fern had got over her curiosity of the newcomer she went back to her bunny business and Inkie being new to the outside world, had exploring to do.

Best buddies

At the beginning of the month we finally persuaded our cat, Cubbie to leave the house. He’s a shy boy, and is very nervous about doing anything new. There was no graceful way to introduce Fern to our new cat, he’s a big boy and there is no holding him. The important thing is we knew he’d never hurt her, he’s not that kind of cat, so it would be a case of letting them work it out. At first Fern was not impressed with the new arrival, being such a shy boy Cubbie kind of skulked around the garden. While we knew his behaviour was due to his nervous disposition, Fern was a little upset by his presence, as to her it looked like he was hunting or even reacting to a real danger. This would cause Fern to stamp her feet and get quite tense whenever Cubbie was near by.

I’m delighted to say that with a little time and reassurance for Fern, the two of them have worked it out and they are now best buddies. Cubbie chooses to spend his days sitting in the garden, which means he is always there for Fern to play with and she loves it.

New garden furniture

Our bunny is as full of adventure as ever and climbing on our picnic table is one of her favourite hobbies, unfortunately we’re not so keen on it. Its not that we don’t want her to climb and explore, its just with two cats in the garden and other things to startle our bunny, we’re just not sure her being so high up is safe. Not even snow and ice will stop Fern scaling the table, if anything it seems to be ‘the slippier the better’.

Fern enjoying our snow covered picnic table

Recently a neighbours dog barked and startled Fern into jumping off the top table without planning. She landed okay, but we started to worry she was going to get hurt. As well as that, the picnic table is old and getting rather wobbly so we thought we’d all benefit from some new garden furniture. We have gone for a nice garden bench, it’s not as high as the picnic table, is sturdier and provides Fern with a stable place to climb and play – well that was the plan anyway…

Our bunny Fern sitting on a snow covered bench

"You can't stop me!"

She's at it again

Doesn't she look pleased with herself?

Doesn't she look pleased with herself?

Digging that is. Oh goodness me, will Fern ever stop?

Our cute little bunny is seven now, and I admit she has calmed down a lot, but will she ever stop destroying the garden? We have always believed bunnies need the freedom to run free, be that in the house or garden and this has never been more true for Fern. I don’t even mind her digging tunnels, its just where she does it. This time she has been digging under our two pyracantha plants, which she also loves to eat, and shredding some nice ground covering plants in the process. Not to do things by halves, Fern is also having a good go at chomping her way through an old bit of tree trunk above her tunnel. When not digging she is stripping the bark off that for good measure. Who knows where our little bunny thinks she is going.

After a few days of letting her destroy, I mean dig, I had to put a stop to her fun. Filling in her tunnel with what soil I could salvage, before topping it off with fallen leaves. My handy work seems to have done the trick and Fern has moved on to other endeavours. Fingers crossed that’s the end of her digging for this year.

Wilderness Bunny

We have two bird feeders in the garden, which hold fat balls. The birds love them and so, it seems, does Fern.

We’d noticed her hanging around underneath the bird feeders foraging around and eating something. With the time of year we thought maybe it was leaves, but no Fern is eating the bits of food the birds drop. It’s not clear exactly what she is eating, whether its the fat itself or bits of seed that get dropped, but there is definitely something yummy, as Fern is spending a lot of time underneath both feeders having a good nosh.

Fern has always been a very healthy bunny, choosing to eat fresh grass and hay over her bunny nuggets and other treats, so we guess she knows what is good for her. It’s hard to believe she’s over seven now, as she is still so full of energy and personality, doing her own thing and playing with our cats.

Even after all these years Fern is still surprising us with her antics, and we never know what she is going to do next.

Dancing with Fern

It is hard to believe our beautiful bunny has been with us for almost 8 years. While she is a little more laid back than she was as a youngster, she is still full of energy and life. We never know what kind of mood she is going to be in from calm and agreeable to energetic and in your face! Putting Fern away after a run in the garden is also an unpredictable business, if you leave her out to long she can be evasive and cross, but put her away too soon and she’ll be incredibly stubborn and lead us a right merry dance. Get Fern at just the right time though and she is an absolute delight.

Here is our happy bunny on one such occasion.

Bunny in a plant pot

Fern certainly likes to enjoy the whole garden :-)

Poorly bunny

Our bunny, Fern, relaxing on the lawnOh my goodness our sweet, and sometimes bossy, bunny has given us a terrible fright. Only the other day I posted a video of her sitting in a plant pot chomping its contents with not a care in the world.

Then on Tuesday afternoon, only two days later, she’d been out playing as normal and I saw her hop onto the lawn and she just didn’t look quite right. At first I thought she’d had a scare, sometimes the cats do something silly and it bothers Fern. So, I ushered her into her cottage and shut her in safe. She still didn’t look happy so I kept a close eye on her.

Fern’s condition did not improve and as soon as Derek got home, she was panting and looking distressed. I told him what had happened and as we were standing in the kitchen watching Fern through the window, she jumped up into the bed box of her cottage and missed, tumbling back to the floor and looking very confused. It was terrible to see, Fern is normally so agile and the jump to her bed box is nothing compared to the other things she jumps on in the garden. Her cottage had originally come with a ramp to the bed box, which Fern had pulled down when she was younger, so we put that back in place for her in an attempt to help her and made an appointment to see the vet.

Yesterday morning Fern was looking a lot better, although still not her usual self. This was even more evident when she let me pick her up and put her in her travel box, last time I tired to catch her she bit me. Fern is Derek’s bunny and she makes sure I know it.

After examining Fern, the vet wanted to keep Fern in for a urine sample, so she could see what was going on with our sweet bunny. As Fern is such a fussy little rabbit and only likes to use the toilet outside, she rarely uses her litter tray when she is brought in for the night, she ended up staying at the vets overnight. It was terrible being without our bunny, especially with her being so poorly. She has never been away from home before, and we could only imagine how scared she was. It was a relief to find out they had finally got the sample from Fern at midday, and I was straight round to collect our little bunny.

Fern was thrilled to be home and back out in her garden and I sent Derek this little video of Fern to let him know she was home safe.

The test results for Ferns urine sample were inconclusive. She had gotten so stressed being kept at the vets it had upset her levels, but our vet thought it was either an infection or diabetes, and she explained Fern is a little on the chubby side.

We have set about changing Fern’s diet with some low fat bunny food, in case she is diabetic. Plus I have to do something about the bird food Fern likes to eat. I put fat balls out for the birds, they are high up in feeders, but the birds do make a mess dropping bits on the floor and Fern likes to munch on it. She has also been given some medicine in case it is an infection, it’s not going to be easy convincing Fern to take her medicine, even though she is obviously poorly she is still very strong minded and uncooperative. Still we are going to do everything we can to get our little bunny through this illness.

A clean bill of bunny health

Oh my I am very relieved to report Fern has ben given a clean bill of health. Her course of medicine lasted ten days, and during that time her condition and energy levels improved daily. It was wonderful to watch and we were feeling very positive she was going to make a full recovery, but it wasn’t until I gave the vet a sample of Fern’s urine that I knew she was 100% better.

I took the sample this morning. Collecting it involved keeping Fern in the house for 24 hours until she finally gave in and used the loo. It wasn’t easy and she looked very cross and frustrated, but it was better than leaving her at the vets until she provided one, so I stuck with it and dealt with he angry looks Fern was giving me.

Her illness was caused by a infection and we are very relieved. There was no sign of diabetes in Fern’s urine, although we will still be keeping her on her new healthier diet. In that sense this whole incident has been an eye opener as we didn’t realise Fern was overweight. Her activity level are very high, running around the garden everyday, she eats lots of fresh grass and hay, and she doesn’t eat a lot of rabbit nuggets. I’m guessing it is the bird food combined with her not being quite as active as she was when she was younger. Things have changed so gradually as Fern has aged, but we have learnt a valuable lesson to keep a better eye on her.

Our bunny, Fern, out on the lawn

Fern is all back to her bossy self, though she has mellowed slightly in that she has let us keep the ramp in her cottage. When she was younger she would just pull it down, over and over again. Derek would fix it back up and Fern would pull it down, until we finally got the message. Now though she is leaving it alone and actually using it.

Our bunny has been tough as old boots in the eight years have known her so it was quite a shock to see her so poorly, but now with the extra special care we are taking of our bun, we hope to enjoy many more years of our crazy, bossy bunny.

More digging

The tunnel our bunny, Fern has excavated Just when you think it’s safe to trust Fern, she starts digging again! Fern is heading towards her ninth birthday and after being so poorly just a few months ago we were hoping for a quiet summer with our bunny. No, Fern had other ideas and when I assumed she was snoozing the afternoon away somewhere nice and shady she was actually digging a tunnel, a very long tunnel. I caught a very tired and dirty bunny emerging from her creation and put her back in her cottage for a much needed rest.

To make matters worse Fern made it quite clear she was not going to give up on her tunnel, so Derek and to intervene and fill it back in and cover it with sticks.

We don’t really mind Fern digging, she is a bunny after all, its just where she digs. Her current excavation is in her favourite spot along a wall, which seems fine, but she destroys roots as she goes and we quite like our garden the way it is. Plus she was heading towards a fence and who knows where she’d end up if we let her keep going. After one incident where our neighbours bunny was digging its way into our garden, we did not want to return the favour!

Once Derek had blocked off Fern’s handiwork she did go back to chilling in the garden and harassing the cats. Still it is a lesson learned, and we will have to keep a close eye on Fern, who knows what she’ll get up to next.

Now Fern is...

Digging up Cubbie’s toilet!

Our cat Cubbie spends most of his day in our garden, we’re convinced he never leaves. This means Cubbie has several outdoor toilet spots in the garden, which I keep clean for him. I just happened to clean one of Cubbie’s loo spots the other day, which means it’s full of nice freshly sieved soil, easy work for a troublesome bunny.

Derek has already filled the area back in twice and Fern just digs it out. The worst bit is we can’t cover it in case Cubbie wants to use it. Goodness knows I wish he would it might deter Fern!

Oh what a crazy, naughty bunny we have.

Its not getting any better!

Fern taking a break

Fern taking a break

Oh my goodness, Fern is still at it. Our only consolation is she has moved on from digging up Cubbie’s loo and is now undermining our rubbish bins!

I was in charge of our wayward little rabbit when this happened. I naively thought she was sleeping or chomping the afternoon away in the garden. But no, when I went out to throw some rubbish away I was confronted by this, and a very tired little rabbit.

The mess had to wait until Derek got home from work. It may have taken one bunny to make, but filling the hole back in and separating the gravel from the soil was a two-person job.

We are strangely proud of Fern, not that we’ll tell her. But the level of destruction she is achieving at the grand age of 9, and after being so poorly earlier this year, is very impressive.

Oh Fern we do love you, but can you please give it rest.

The mess our bunny made digging underneath our rubbish bins

An unexpected visitor

We had a surprise visit from our neighbours rabbit today, she had tunnelled her way underneath the fence and when I spotted her, was chasing a very flustered looking Fern around the garden. Though there was no fighting going on, I could see Fern was not happy.

I’m sure it all looked rather comical, me trying to catch the rabbit and it alternating between chasing our two cats and Fern. It was not funny at the time though, as Fern was getting quite upset and both the cats had gone in the house, leaving Fern to face the brunt of the overexcitable droopy eared rabbit. After many laps of the garden, I think our visitor was getting hungry and I was able to tempt her into a pet carrier with hay in it. I couldn’t imagine Fern ever being so agreeable, but this bunny hopped right in. As our neighbours weren’t in at the time, I had no choice but to shove the rabbit back under the fence the way it had come and after blocking off the hole, peace returned to the garden.

Up close with Fern

Our beautiful, and sometimes bossy, bunny is turning 10 this year. She is still as full of life and adventure as always, but we get to enjoy a few more quiet times with her now.

Another one?

Fern is still going strong and ruling her garden with an iron paw. All new visitors to the garden must be introduced to our bunny, and we followed this strict rule when our new cat, Jessie ventured outside. Being slightly more mature in years, Fern isn’t quite so interested in our new cat and we think Jessie will be spared being chased by a playful bunny.

Our bunny Fern and new kitten Jessie in the garden

She may not be chasing the cats, but Fern is still digging up the garden.

Somethings will never change.

Long hot summer

Oh my goodness we are having a bit of a heatwave and Fern is not impressed. Normally during summer, Fern is happy to hide away in the garden to avoid the midday sun, but this year it is really hot and the ground is just scorched. We have resorted to putting our gazebo up over her run to keep the sun off it, and fortunately even though the temperature is still very high, it is creating some relief for our bunny. We are still keeping a very close eye on Fern, and if it does get any hotter we will have to think about bringing her inside, not that she would appreciate that. Fern is a very stubborn and bossy bunny and she makes it very clear she is a wild, outdoors bunny. Fingers crossed this intense heat won’t last, this is the UK after all!

Our bunny run being protected from the sun by a gazebo, during a heatwave

We survived the drought

Phew, the heatwave passed and I’m very happy to say we all survived. Our garden sprang back to life, with some much needed summer rain.

Our green garden all recovered after the summer drought

Fern has been busy enjoying the spoils of our lovely little garden and is back to sleeping under shrubs and other hard to find her places. Here she is enjoying some pyracantha berries. She turns into even more of a crazy bunny when she gets these, wanting more and more, so we have to watch how many we give her.

Springtime bunny

I’m very happy to report our rather bossy bunny is still going strong. Fern is making the most of the warm, dry Spring we are having. She is spending most of her days soaking up as much sunshine as possible, when she’s not eating new shoots off her favourite plants.

We keep our garden quite natural, lots of fallen leaves and sticks for a bunny to snuggle down in, and Fern loves it. There are times she won’t budge at all and we have to leave her loose in the garden while we go out. Its not something we like to do, but there is a reason we call Fern bossy. We love her very much and are thrilled that she is so strong and healthy.

Our beautiful bunny enjoying the sunshine

Our senior bunny

We are finally facing the fact our super bossy bunny, Fern, is now a senior rabbit. At twelve years old our vet officially declared Fern’s status at her annual check up. Over the past few years we have seen Fern slow down, not in the amount she gets up to just the speed. She is still as bossy as ever, making sure we know when she’s ready to go in and challenging our authority when we try and get her to do something. There are still many times we have to leave her out in the garden while we leave the house because she just won’t budge or be found.

One thing we have noticed this year is weakness in Fern’s front legs. Again nothing to stop her getting about, but you can see signs of weakness when she gets up from a good rest. As arthritis is common in rabbits, we have started her on Metacam to help with any pain she may be experiencing. While at her check up, our vet took some blood just to make sure Fern is otherwise healthy as Metacam can cause problems with kidney function. There was no need to worry though and her results came back impressively healthy for both kidney and liver function. So, we know she is fine to have a daily dose of Metacam, which will hopefully make her feel a bit more comfortable.

Fern and her best friend Inkie, relaxing

Fern and her best friend Inkie, relaxing

Fern’s teeth are still looking nice and healthy, she has a few spurs but nothing to worry about. Obviously her love of chomping sticks and twigs has done her well over the years. Derek and I can’t really take much credit for Fern’s diet as she eats whatever she wants in the garden. Obviously we do our best not to introduce any plants to the garden that would be harmful to Fern, but other than that she eats everything and anything. Including our beautiful wild flowers that she ate to extinction!

To ensure Fern’s continued good health, we are getting the new rabbit haemorrhagic disease type 2 vaccine for our little bunny. I admit I was quite shocked to hear there was a new strain. We chose to have Fern’s routine vaccinations first, which were due, rather than get her started on the new vaccination. Though we will get her vaccinated as soon as we are able, as there is a two week wait between jabs.

We are also experiencing a spike in heat here in the UK and temperatures are pushing 30 degrees Celsius. As we have recently had air-conditioning installed in our home we are able to bring Fern in during the middle of the day to giver her some relief from the heat. Surprisingly she seems to appreciate it.

We are still enjoying our crazy rabbit’s company and we hope this journey carries on for a long time to come.

Farewell to Fern

Our sweet bunny FernI’m very sad to say that after twelve wonderful years together our rather bossy and adventurous little bunny, Fern has left us. We had a wonderful and quiet Christmas with our family and got to spend lots of time with Fern. It was over this time we started to notice a real change in her, Fern was getting very tired while out in the garden. We moved her indoor night-time cage out of the dining room, which she shared with our two degus, to upstairs where we could bring her in earlier at night, without impacting our degus night-time routine. Fern was happy to spend all this extra time indoors, which was not like her at all, she has always been an outdoor bunny. Even with this change Fern’s her energy levels continued to drop and we could see she was having difficulty getting around the garden.

Our little rabbit has always been very independent, and rather bossy, which made it very difficult to see her struggle and have to rely on us. As much as we loved having Fern in our lives we never wanted to see her lose her independence, and having reached the grand bunny age of twelve we knew there was nothing we could do to improve her quality of life.

It was a very painful day, making the decision to say goodbye to Fern, but we did know it was the right time to let her go. Our vet was very kind and sympathetic to our decision and we stayed with her until she slipped away.

Of course we brought our bunny home with us, so we could burry her in the garden she loved, and ruled, so very much. Our home feels incredibly empty without Fern in our lives. We spent every day of the last twelve years keeping a very close eye on what our bunny was doing in the garden and which plants she was chomping. There have been many bunny tunnels that needed filling in and kept away from the fences. Things are definitely going to be very quiet without her. Even as she got older, Fern was still very much full of adventure and discovery. She loved our cats and made sure to keep a very close eye on us whenever we were in her garden.

Our little bunny, Fern and Inkie the cat sleeping in the garden

Fern and Inkie

Even through all our sadness we know how blessed we were to have shared twelve wonderful years with our bunny, especially one as amazing as Fern. Words and photos will never express just how much we loved her, or what a huge hole her passing has left in our hearts, but we will never forget her and will always be thankful that she shared our lives as long as she did.