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Nibbler's History




Nibbler

age:   5
birthday: February 1, 2004
breed: New Zealand White
sex: male (neutered)
height: can reach about 30 inches high when standing on back legs,  about 10 inches at shoulder when on all 4 feet
weight: 8 3/4 lbs
diet:  Nibbler currently eats about 1/2 cup of  Oxbow Bunny Basics T, with is a timothy-based pellet, per day.   He gets about a cereal bowl full of chopped up vegetables every morning around dawn and every evening around dusk.  He is given unlimited hay to munch on during the day.  Currently, his highness will only eat orchard grass, so that's the only kind of hay I'm giving him.  His favorite treats are banana and  papaya.  He gets a couple of small pieces of papaya per day because it contains an enzyme which is thought to aid in the break down of hairballs.
litter:  We use Yesterday's News brand litter.  This is a pellet-formed litter made of recycled newspapers.  This litter is made by Purina.  You can buy Yesterday's News in a bag marked "specially for Rabbits" but if you can't find that, the stuff in the bags marked "Unscented Original for Cats" is the same thing.  As long as you get the unscented variety, you can use the "softer texture for cats" version - the only difference is the pellets are smaller (which makes some bunnies track them around).  All Yesterday's News is 99.7% dust free, which is VITAL for bunnies, who frequently develop respiratory problems from inhaling dust, scents, and other small particles.

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In high school, in addition to many other pets, I had a pet bunny named Skunk.  He was a tiny little dwarf.  I don't think he ever weighed over 2 pounds.  He was very calm and passive and loved being petted and cuddled. 

Starting six months before we got Nibbler, my boyfriend and I debated getting a pet.  He wanted a cat, I wanted a dog.  He hates birds, I wanted an African Grey Parrot.  He thinks little animals like hamsters are disgusting rodents.  I think he's crazy.  Basically, many differences of opinion.  We finally decided on a rabbit. 

So, foolishly, I went looking for a bunny just like Skunk.  I wanted a very small rabbit who would lay next to me while I read and be petted.  We found Nibbler.  Over the phone, the people we got Nibbler from told me he was a mini-lop.  When I went to see him, he was definitely NOT a lop - lops have very distinctive, floppy ears.  They then told me he was a dwarf.  He didn't look like a dwarf, and at 2 months, he was the same size as the dwarf I used to have.   But I didn't want to argue with them.  The first time I held him, I knew he was the one for me.  If they had told me I couldn't have him, I would have had no choice but to just run off with him.

It just amazes me how much I love him.  Just the thought of something happening to him brings tears to my eyes.  Before we got Nibbler, part of me was afraid to get a pet.  In recent years, I've had several friends and family members die, and even pets of friends.  I felt like I couldn't handle one more loss, so I didn't want to get attached to an animal that would die.  I don't know what I'll do when NIbbler dies.  All I can do is take the best possible care of him and try to enjoy him and stop worrying about him!  I just love him so much and feel he has added so much to my life!

Although they didn't know anything about rabbits, the people I got him from were not neglectful or cruel to him.  They kept him an cedar bedding, which is bad for bunnies.  They didn't feed him any hay or fresh vegetables, which are a MUST for bunnies.  But he was healthy when we got him.  He wasn't afraid of people or excessively shy.  In fact, within 24 hours of living with us, he was exploring, dancing, playing with us and grooming us (sometimes painfully - bunnies try to chew off anything they think doesn't belong on their fellow bunnies.  If you have a mole they will try to remove it.  Nibbler tried to trim my fingernails and in the process bent them backwards.  I now keep them very short.  He thinks my pony tale holders are big burs in my fur and tries to rip them out.  And he really wants to give his people haircuts.  Since I have waist-length hair, it's hard to keep it out of his reach.  He decided to cut me some bangs one day while I was sleeping.)  He also discovered the joy of sitting on my shoulder.  It's kinda sad that he's now too big for that.

When we got Nibbler he was 1 and 3/4 pounds.  He is now about 10 lbs and more or less fully grown.   He is the most beautiful bunny.  His coat is thick and shiny.  He has the perfect bunny face and long ears.  He has a tiny notch taken out of the tip of his right ear - probably from a tussle with one of his litter mates.  He always smells wonderful - like baby powder and love! :)

When we got him, we thought he was a girl.  Baby bunnies are sometimes hard to sex, up until they are around 4 months.  I thought he acted like a boy - he's been circling my feet when I walk since day one.  He also sprays.  But we had my vet and my vet's assistant both check and they thought he was a girl.  It wasn't until he was 6 months old and ready for spaying did we find the truth.

Nibbler is definitely not a passive bunny who just lays around getting petted.  He's very active - he spends about half his time dancing around and making circuits through the apartment.  He loves being petted, but only when HE wants to be petted.  He loves having his forehead and cheeks rubbed, and having his ears *gently* tugged on and massaged.  Bunnies purr by clicking their teeth together, and when he's getting petted and cuddled he purrs like crazy.  He likes to snuggle next to my legs when I sleep - he does the cutest little wiggle to get a close as possible, and I swear, he sighs.  He doesn't like to be carried around.  When we first got him, he liked to be carried if he was going to a place he'd never been before.  Once he looked around the area and started to feel safe, he wants to be let down to explore, and FAST.

We've gradually increased his "free range" time since we got him.  At first, he spent only a few hours a day outside his cage.  Now, he's only locked in the cage when I'm cleaning or when we go out (we telecommute so this is usually less than a couple of hours a day).  His cage is open when he's out of it, so he can go in it when he feels like, to get a drink or new toy or whatever.  He sleeps in his cage about 1/2 the time, and the other half of his sleep time he just spends flopped in one of his favorite places, such as under my desk, by our Linux server, or on my bed.

He loves to play with toys - anything that can be chewed on or threw around.  If it is noisy, that's a big bonus.  He has a fluffy cat toy attached to a stick by a string, and I can just prop that against something and he'll chase it in circles forever.  

He also loves to play tricks on me.  One of his favorite tricks was to pretend he "lost" his treat.  I'd give him a piece of a baby carrot or something and he'd drop it in his hay.  He'd then sniff around like he couldn't find it.  I'd give him another one.  He'd drop it.  I'd give him another one.  He'd eat it, then eat the first couple of pieces he "lost".  I didn't catch on until my boyfriend pointed it out to me what he was doing.  Nibbler never pulled this trick on my boyfriend.  I guess he realized I am much more of a gullible push-over.

I love watching bunnies grab stuff and running off with it. They just get such a kick out of "stealing". Nibbler does a serious dance of joy every time he manages to grab something. I try to get him to "steal" his toys, but so far, he has not been fooled :)   He's usually very polite when I'm eating - he looks at my plate but doesn't try to take anything. He freaks out if I'm eating meat, though - he runs off with a horrified look on his face - "OMG, there are dead bunnies on that plate!"  One thing he will steal from me and try eat is a whole-wheat bagel. I don't know why he wants them so much, but i think he would take a piece right out of my mouth if I let him.  He just cannot be convinced that bread is not good for bunnies!

He has a very creative view of what is edible.  If he can fit it in his mouth (and he seems to have a detachable jaw like a snake) it's fair game for eating. 

Bizarre things he's tried to eat:
CD (fortunately, he only damaged outside of the burn area so I was able to copy it to another CD)
There isn't a book on any of my lower bookshelves that hasn't been tasted
he eats the fringe off my cotton blankets. 
he tries to eat through any plastic bags he finds
he ate part of the cover of my Palm M500
he tries to eat my laptop (especially by removing keys)
The spine of a redhat 5.1 case
dvd/video boxes
plastic tubing used to protect the power cables from his little teeth
medic alert bracelet (right off my wrist!)
he loves Velcro, tape, and anything with a sticky part
the strap of my digital camera
my recumbent bike
the leather seat of a stool, and leather coasters
wrapped chocolate - he stole it from the trash and ate part of the tin foil it was wrapped in. I guess he didn't read the literature about chocolate being bad for bunnies!
He almost gave my boyfriend a stroke when he ate part of the receipt required for us to submit a $150 rebate
He made a big hole in the bunny gate we used to use to keep him out of the living room
He made a big hole in my dust ruffle


How Nibbler got his name:

1)  I love Lord Nibbler from Futurama
2)  Nibbler nibbles!
3)  I've always wanted a dog named Chewy (short for Chewbacca) and I think Nibbler and Chewy sound good together.

Things my Nibbler has in common with Futurama's Nibbler
They are both adorable!
They are both smart!
They both nibble!
They both eat a massive volume - far more than should be able to fit in their little bodies.
They are both celebrated poopers.

Nicknames:
Nibbler Puff (because of the way he sometimes sleeps, puffed up in a ball)
Nibbily Bun
Nibbles
Nibblet

Insulting Nicknames:
Fluffernutter - 'cause he's fluffy and he's a nutter
silly rodent - rabbits aren't rodents so they get very annoyed when you call them one!
dumbo-eared rat
Hasenfeffer



Songs:

I have a compulsion to sing to Nibbler.  So far, my repertoire includes:

(sung to tune of Jiggly Puff's song from Pokemon)
Nibbily puff, nibbily puff
(continue)

(sung to tune of  "lollipop" from the Chordettes)
Nibbler puff, nibbler puff, do wah la nibbler puff
Nibbler puff, nibbler puff, do wah la nibbler puff
Nibbler puff, nibbler puff, do wah la nibbler puff
Bu-Bun-Bun-Bun

(sung to tune of "shortnin' bread")
Mamma's little baby is a nibbler, nibbler
mamma's little baby is a nibbler head
mamma's little baby is a nibbler, nibbler
so fed that baby some 'nana bread

mamma's little baby is a nibbler, nibbler
mamma's little baby is a nibbler pie
manna's little baby is a nibbler, nibbler
so feed that baby some pumpkin pie

mamma's little baby is a nibbler, nibbler
mamma's little baby is a nibbler  cake
mamma's little baby is a nibbler, nibbler
so feed that baby some carrot cake

(Sung to the tune of Soul Coughing's "Super Bon Bon" - this song is for when he files through the air like SuperBunny)
Super BunBun, Super BunBun
Super BunBun, Super BunBun
Super BunBun, Super BunBun
(continue)

And many random, nonsense songs I make up on the spot

My little bunny is growing so fast!


Nibbler at 2 months
Nibbler at 2 months

Nibbler at 3 months
Nibbler at 3 months


Nibbler at 6 months


Nibbler at 10 months


Look at these big feets!


I'm a tiger, stalking my prey!

Nibbler is just the most wonderful bunny.  He has the greatest personality.  He's very high-spirited and exuberant, yet he's also very sweet and affectionate.  My boyfriend says he's naughty, but Nibbler is just like a three-year old child.  He's curious about everything and he likes to test the rules.  He's very playful, mischievous, and creative.  I think he sometimes gets frustrated when he can't tell his people what he wants and that leads to some of his "naughty" behavior, but overall he is a very good, smart bunny.

He's very gentle with his people - he doesn't bite or scratch, although he does not like to be carried and if you have bare skin exposed while carrying him he may accidentally scratch you.  He's very affectionate.  If I cry, he licks my tears away and gives me kisses all over my face.  If I have a cut or injury he tries to give me first aid :).  He likes to sleep cuddled up to me and sit behind me when I watch TV.  He loves being petted and will lay for hours and get his head rubbed.  I don't know if anyone has ever made me feel more loved.  He's always SO happy to see me, and he doesn't like to let me out of his sight.  If I go from room to room, he almost always follows me, even jumping up from a dead sleep to do so.  He frequently sleeps on the second floor of his cage where he can see me while I'm in bed.  He takes care of me when I'm sick, cuddling with me or guarding me by chasing my boyfriend away from my bed.  Me and my boyfriend both get lots of bunny kisses.  He'll run by one of us at full speed but stop and kiss us.  It's hilarious when he does this! 

Anyway, Nibbler is just the greatest bunny and I love him more than I thought was possible.

Nibbler's First Halloween


Some toys from bunnybytes.com - a Frankenstein doll, ring w/ ghosts, black cats
and pumpkins, and spoooooky rattles


His wizard costume.  Normally, I wouldn't put a costume on an animal 'cause generally it drives them nuts, but Nibber doesn't even notice.  He was too busy bouncing around and playing for me to get a non-blurry shot of him.


Nibbler's Clockwork Orange costume

Nibbler's First Christmas


Some of Nibbler's Christmas toys and decorations


His cage decorated for Christmas - a wreath on his front door, edible
ornaments on his top two doors, and a wooden bell on the top floor. 
Some of his Halloween toys, such as his shrunken head and wooden pumpkin
are still hanging around on his second floor.


Nibbler didn't mind Halloween hats, but he declined to wear the Christmas hats we bought him, so we put them on some of his stuffed animals instead


Nibbler cuddles with leopard Santa and tiger Reindeer





Nibbler kisses leopard Santa