Monday, December 13, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

So Lazy...

Sorry that I haven't updated this blog for so long. Like Hoppy in this picture, I've been quite lazy. Actually, I've been quite busy the past few weeks. But I do need to do a better job of making time for blog-writing.

Everything is going reasonably well here. Hoppy is now nine months old. It looks like we are going to leave him unneutered; we could not agree on having him neutered, so we are going to, uh, leave things as they are.

Of course, that means Hoppy is quite aggressive nowadays, and quite territorial, especially against me. Lately he has taken a liking to our sofa, which comfortably seats two people but has some room for a rabbit as well. He likes it so much that he leaves what looks like hundreds of daily droppings, and the occasional pee. (Luckily our sofa has removable, washable covers.)

I have every reason to believe that those territorial markings are aimed at ME. If he is on the sofa, and I come and sit down to watch some TV, Hoppy will, at best, walk over to my side and softly nip me in the leg, meaning "You're in my space." At worst, he will lunge, attack, and attempt to bite me. But if my wife sits on the sofa, he will come over to her and ask for a head rub, or sit next to her.

It's much worse when I actually try to clean up those droppings. We have small brooms and dustpans for that task. If he sees me sweeping up his pooh-pooh, he will immediately run at me with his aggressive grunt that I've never heard of any other rabbit doing. I have to use my quickest reflexes to avoid losing a bit of my skin... seriously. I can show you scars on my hands that are a result of me being too slow to get out of the way. But that's not all. For several minutes after that, he will literally follow me around the house, making sure that I am not sweeping up any more of his showpieces.

However, if my wife is the one cleaning up his pooh, all is well. Hoppy will even sit next to her, peacefully watching her sweep up his territorial droppings. Unbelievable.

To get more proof that he hates me in particular, when my mother-in-law came over recently, we had her, a relative stranger, sweep up some of his droppings. And all was well! So basically, Hoppy has some sort of vendetta against me in particular.

My solution to this has been to just give Hoppy more space away from me. I hardly sit on the sofa any more. I let my wife clean up all droppings, and basically handle all Hoppy matters except discipline, which my wife gladly leaves to me. This approach has probably saved me a few dollars on plastic surgery fees for my hands, but more importantly, according to advice I've researched on the Internet, giving him space may help Hoppy to see that I'm not after him or his territory, and this may lead to him being nicer to me. We will see.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hoppy and Pal

Hoppy with a newfound friend. Does he look happy or what?

On a side note, this strangely seems similar to a news story making the rounds on Japanese news shows the past few days (in case you're wondering, yes, we took the picture before that news story broke).
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Carrots On the Couch

Mmmm... nothing like eating some vegetables while sitting on top of the world, baby!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 27, 2010

One Man's Neutering Is Another Man's... Uh... This Title Is Not Working

A few weeks ago I wrote about how Hoppy was behaving violently lately, mainly towards me.  Some people commented that we should consider having Hoppy neutered to solve some of the problems.  My wife and I were against it before, but we decided that we better take another look at the option.

After doing some research, my wife and I now have opposing opinions about neutering.  And it seems to be due to cultural differences in thinking.

I mentioned the nice people that suggested neutering.  In addition, I did some research on the Internet, browsing mainly American web sites that talk about the benefits of neutering, and how it is better for the owner and the rabbit (it helps prevent some cancers, etc.).

My wife also did some research of her own.  She consulted a lot of people she's made acquaintances with through her own rabbit blog (she does hers in Japanese).  Many of them are longtime rabbit lovers and owners, and they seem to be unanimous in their opinion about neutering: don't do it.  They say the surgery is highly risky for the rabbit and is just not worth it.

Talk about cultural differences.

I wonder why there is such a dichotomy between American/Western and Japanese rabbit owners on the subject of neutering.  I can't prove it, but I have a theory as to why there is such a difference.  Perhaps the medical technology is different between Japan and my country of birth, the United States.

I had a co-worker that had to have her appendix taken out when she was visiting her home in the U.S.  The American doctor did some kind of procedure where he took the appendix out of a small incision in her belly button, leaving minimal scars.  Shortly afterward, she did a follow-up checkup in Japan.  The Japanese doctor stared at her small scar in amazement.  "I've never heard of an appendix being taken out this way before!" He said.  It seems that the new and improved way of removing appendices hasn't yet caught on yet here.

Maybe it's the same with having a rabbit neutered.  Maybe in the U.S., neutering a rabbit has become less risky and a more viable option, while here in Japan it is still risky for the rabbit.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Sorry for the blurry picture; this is the best that we could do with our small point-and-shoot digital camera. This is a picture of what looks like a red sore the size of a penny on the bottom of Hoppy's back foot. It looks like very bad carpet burn or something.

We didn't know that it was there until we went to the vet yesterday. My wife was worried about Hoppy because he didn't eat his grass on Friday and early Saturday morning. We went to the vet, and during his checkup he pulled back the hair on Hoppy's foot and discovered what in Japanese is called a soahokku. I have no idea what the translation is; I looked it up in all the Japanese-English dictionaries I have access to, but to no avail.

According to my wife (I was in the waiting room during the checkup), the vet said that soahokku happens when a rabbit spends too much time on a flat floor. The vet said that he needs to spend more time on floors with ridges, something uneven that the rabbit can grip. We have a large rug in the living room, and our computer room is covered with carpet, but otherwise our condo has smooth, wooden floors. I don't know if the wooden floors may have given him soahokku, but it sounded like the vet was suggesting a radical change in our condominium. Floors with ridges? What does that mean? Are we supposed to replace our wooden floors? Does the vet know how much that costs? It's all confusing to me.

But that's beside the point. Poor Hoppy has a bad sore on his foot. For his part, it doesn't seem to bother him; he hops around like usual. He shows no pain, which goes along with what I've heard about rabbits, that they hide their pain. But I hope he gets better soon.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Relax Time

Finally... after a hard day of hopping around and eating grass, I'm giving myself some Me time!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Can't We (Both) Just Get Along?

I'm sorry I haven't written much here the last week or so.  To be honest, Hoppy and I haven't been on the best of terms lately.  Need evidence?  Here it is.

Yep... that's a rabbit bite on my hand.  Yeah, it's not bad.  It'll heal properly.  But when a rabbit draws blood, there's something going on, in my opinion.

This bite was placed on my hand last night.  Hoppy was on the couch with my wife, who was watching TV.  Being a "teenager" (he's six months old, which is around 16-17 years old in human years), he's become quite territorial, and he wants to claim the couch as his own.  How does he do that?  He leaves a pile of poop on the couch.  Of course, rabbit poop is small and hard, like Cocoa Puffs, and it can be cleaned up very easily.  That is what I proceeded to do as I grabbed our hand broom and dustpan and made my way to the mess. 

What I didn't notice at the time was that Hoppy was busy courting my wife.  Lately Hoppy has had... uh... a big crush on her... and I'm in the way.  Usually when he's courting, and I come around, he'll stare at me like, "Get away, man."  He thinks I'm trying to "steal his girl".  If I try to pet him, he'll nip my hand a little, just to tell me he's busy and please leave him alone.  But he never attacked me before like he did last night.

Anyway, back to the story.  I went over to the couch to clean up his droppings, and Hoppy was right next to his mess, courting my wife.  Not paying any attention to him, I tried to sweep up his poop, and suddenly he lunged forward at me and bit my hand with such might that when I pulled my hand back in surprise, I actually took Hoppy with me!  He was hanging in the air, his teeth still firmly placed in the base of my thumb.  Luckily he wasn't hurt.

* * * * *

Last night was the result of a buildup of distrust, I think, over the last month or two, since he hit puberty.  This is probably because of two reasons:
1)  I'm "competing" with him for my wife, as I mentioned above, and
2)  I'm the "strict parent."  I'm the one that punishes him when he does something wrong.  For example, he likes to pick and dig at our carpet.  It used to be just the edges, but we hid those.  Then he moved to the middle of the room and began to pick there, pulling up strings and sometimes leaving small holes in the process.  We tried the positive approach, trying to give him toys and other things he can dig and pick at.  But that didn't work.  So we had to start punishing him.  Of course, you can't scold a rabbit like you can a dog or a cat, and you definitely cannot hit a rabbit.  What you have to do is find something humane that he doesn't like, and do it when he does something wrong.  For example, some people use a spray bottle and spray water at their rabbit.  As for me, I pick Hoppy up and hold him in my arms.  Hoppy hates to be picked up.  Perfect, I thought.  So that's what I do.  And usually it works.  But I think Hoppy hates me now because of that.

Whatever the reasons, we are going to have to find a way to coexist together in this house, because neither one of us are going away.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hey Hey, I'm Walking!

Not totally sure why, but Hoppy likes to go for a walk on our 6th floor hallway early in the morning, and my wife enjoys taking him everyday. I suggested going to one of the tiny parks down the street instead, since the hallway is basically bare, with seemingly nothing to interest a rabbit except grime from nearby factories and dead cicadas. She basically told me I was crazy, noting that some websites warn of some poisonous grasses or other plants that bunnies should stay away from. So that's that.

As for Hoppy, he doesn't mind one bit. It's hard to tell from these pictures, but the little dude flies up and down the hallway... and sometimes up or down the stairs to other floors!

Heh. I guess this is one thing about the hallway that would interest a rabbit. Even animals enjoy looking at the dawn sky, huh?
Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pyong! (Or, Boing in English)

Hoppy having a bit of fun and exercise in our living room this week.
Posted by Picasa