Category Archives: Thoughts

Firecrackers

Year in and year out, the common complain during festives season for rabbit owners in Malaysia is the stress caused by firecrackers.

There has been some incidences of rabbit deaths due to the loud noises. It is not uncommon for such deaths to happen because rabbits can easily be shocked by sudden loud noises.

I for one have been advocating how breeders and owners should raise rabbits accustomed to the environment. Given the multiracial settings of Malaysia, fireworks can be expected at least 3 times a year during the Chinese New Year, Eid and Diwali. If we are not careful, we can lose up to 3 rabbits per year to suddent death caused by loud noises.

Just like how most breeders are not able to get their rabbits into prime condition in our constant warm weather, rabbits should also be “trained” to survive the firecracker seasons.

How I do it?

I use the vacuum cleaner a lot especially where my rabbit is. Since birth, my rabbits are exposed to the loud vacuum cleaner sound on a daily basis. No, I do not mean turning on the vacuum cleaner next to their ears but I go about cleaning the space with it. It works well for me and I have no fear that any of my rabbits going into a fit hearing the loud firecracker noises.

It goes without saying and I cannot emphasize enough how one should have pets that complement his/her lifestyle and not having to go out of the way accommodating them.

Hope my tip can save more unneccesary deaths and of course, reduce the same rantings and grumbles every year.

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Swift Like Kung Fu

January is truly the time when everything is being renewed. I just ordered my membership renewal with the ARBA for another 3 years and that made me realized how fast time has crept up on me. Though the membership does not bring much tangible benefit to me at the moment, I still feel happy making the numbers count. It is nice to be apart of such a huge organization grown out of a wonderful hobby. There are always opportunities to grow further whenever I am ready to venture more into the hobby by ensuring my membership does not lapse. Besides, the Domestic Rabbit magazine do provide a lot of information that helps me keep abreast with the latest developments in the hobby.

Soon it will be Chinese New Year. I remember not too long ago, it was the year of the Rabbit and it was such a busy year for the rabbits and I. We were so busy participating in interviews and photography sessions. This year being the year of the Horse, I believe that horse stables around the country are getting a lot of attention at the moment with journalists trying to write a little more about the animal. Though the rabbit is out from the limelight this year, my father seemed to be at centre stage each year with his captivating paintings. Horse being his favourite painting subject, he painted quite a sizeable collection this year. Please feel free to browse through his works at www.simonchanart.wordpress.com. You will notice a few different painting styles as you go through his “online gallery”.

In the blink of an eye, we are all a year older and so are the rabbits. It scares me to think that they are growing old too quickly and that I might be bidding them farewell.

Murdoch is now over 2 years old and at his “prime” age. As I was going through old photos stored in the computer, I found a photo of him as a little wee bunny. He was so adorable back then and he still is although he is going through quite a major moult right now.

Murdoch

Murdoch in 2012

Murdoch in 2014

Murdoch in 2014

Here wishing all celebrating the Chinese New Year safe travels and Gong Hei Fatt Choy. May the new year brings you prosperity, joy and health!

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When It Is No Longer Fun

image

Happy Sunday to one and all! How fast time flies and we have crossed over to the second half of January.

My thoughts this morning revolves around the word sustainability. Through the years I have noticed that we have to always reinvent ourselves to stay fresh and relevant. Though the source remains unchanged we try to “pimp” things up to add a little spice and attractiveness to otherwise mundane stuff.

Take the mobile phone for instance. Manufacturers only produce a set number of designs but look at all the casing and “skins” one can purchase to give the phones different “personalities” so to speak.

So how do you sustain a hobby like raising bunnies as pets?

We have seen that adding colors, establish friendships with like minded people and even hanging out at shows can help us renew, rejuvenate and keep the “fire” burning.

But when all these have come to pass, what is truly at the very core that sustains us in the hobby?

In my opinion, nothing will ever last. Not even love itself. It takes a little more effort to stay in love. The little effort is waking up every morning deciding to love. A little more and less, it is all about decisions.

So what is making you want to be in love today?

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Thought Process

Why people keep pets?

What makes keeping animals as pets an interesting hobby?

The two questions above was prompted by two things that happened yesterday and today. Yesterday while I was at the mall, I stumbled across a cute little French Bulldog puppy in the pet store. This little puppy was imported from Taiwan and appeared to be cock-eyed – where both pupils are far apart from each other in opposite directions. My first thought was why importing such an inferior quality animal and sold for such a high price. On the tag, it was also stated “Grand Champion Lineage”. The image of the puppy lingered on my mind as I spent time at the mall today. It is interesting to walk around the mall looking at all that are put up for sale. Window shopping sometimes put a lot into perspective between necessity and luxury. Materialism can really get the better of us.

Then it dawned on me that animals are sometimes mistaken as materials or commodities – they sell!

So why do human beings keep pets?

I did a Google search and found some interesting answers.

I have a few takes on this question and would like to break them down as the following:-

The Lover In Us

I would like to believe that most humans are compassionate. There is an altruistic part in us instilled by either our upbringing or religion. We seek to nurture and want to love or care unconditionally. I do hope this is the most of us.

The Dominance In Us

Some may feel good being above others – better or stronger. Knowing that one is far superior than another being can make us feel good and that itself can be used to feed the ego.

The Loner In Us

Humans are also social beings and living in a situation without constant affection by another of the same kind may be a little depressing. Keeping a pet for company is not a bad idea especially one that do not talk back or argue.

The Greed In Us

Those aspired and inspired to seek riches exploits all the above people. They are out to do anything to achieve their goals which is making a sale and get the numbers. “Champion Bloodlines”, “Imported Bloodlines” and many more tags are some of the ways in which one can claim credibility. Credibility as we all know, sells!

Bear in mind, I am just thinking aloud instead of saying it is right or wrong here. No matter what one say, it cannot be that powerful to influence. Everyone can and should make his/her conclusion.

I believe it boils down to principles and what is the cause one chooses to support or fight for.

For me, this brings me back to the French Bulldog puppy. Being a sucker for flat faced pets, I spent a few minutes going through some local classifieds just to see what are available in the market. I was totally shocked by what I found. There is one particular classified that showed a photo of a Frenchie puppy that looked like a teacup Boxer – it was scrawny, thin and in no way resembles a Frenchie. It was from “Grand Champion Lineage”.

I have concluded that if I ever own a dog, it would be a mongrel adopted from reputable rescuers. The main reason for my conclusion is because I am sick and tired of greedy people exploiting something cute and selling them as commodities and materials to the materialistic.

The sad thing is, it is happening in the “Rabbit World”. The same reason why the Holland Lop and the Netherland Dwarf are the two most popular rabbit breeds. A title grants exclusivity and claims superiority.

It all boils down to whether if it is merely a THING or a LIVING THING.

We WANT that THING but LOVE the LIVING.

WANT or LOVE?

Love

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Psst, it’s getting too obvious!

One of the easiest things to do in life is stating the obvious. It takes less effort to enlighten the simple minded most of the time especially those that have the blinding trust and believes in everything that you “say, hear, read or write”.

Don’t believe it when I say that I am merely STATING THE OBVIOUS!

Let’s have a good laugh as 2013 comes to an end…

ShowDrama

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Self-gratification

WARNING: This post contains explicit content. Reader discretion and parent advisory needed!

The Back Scratcher

The Back Scratcher

In case you do not know what this is, this is called a Back-scratcher. Whenever you have an itch at the most bizarre and unreachable locations, this tool can be of great help.

It is one of the tools in this world created for Self-gratification, which the Free Online Dictionary defines as “the act of giving oneself pleasure or of satisfying one’s own desires.”

In the local common lingo, it is called “Syiok Sendiri” and for those who find it hard to understand, another term everyone should understand is called “masturbation”. Do not get me wrong and forgive me for being crude, I must confirm that rabbits do not masturbate. However, I cannot say the same (or guarantee) for rabbit owners though plainly because there is just so many ways rabbit breeders can satisfy their pleasure seeking for victory.

I am sure it is hard to read between the lines on this post but every once in a while, we need the Back-Scratcher.

AhhHHhhhhhhhh………

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Coping With Death

Death is an inevitable event in both humans and animals alike. Throughout the years, I have experienced and felt the sorrow of losing my pet rabbits. Every pet owner will go through it because we usually outlive our beloved pets. The pain is harder to handle especially with those we have bonded for a number of years.

How do I usually cope with bunny death?

It was really hard for me initially but I have found a way to console myself. Many people believe in the Rainbow Bridge – a paradise for dead animals they say. I do believe there is a paradise for animals when they die. I believe that beyond the Rainbow Bridge, is a place where each dead animal finds a forever human companion.

I imagine everyone in heaven have a pet of their own. Every child in heaven have an animal keeping him or her company. It is the most wonderful thing anyone can imagine.

The pet and its human companion is inseparable. It goes wherever the human soul goes even though there are no danger in Heaven. Sometimes, a human soul can have multiple pets. There are no cages or “rabbitry” in Heaven so to speak, and every bunny is free to roam safely.

Each time I lose a bunny, I would console myself knowing that someone up in heaven will be receiving another beautiful companion.

On another (totally unrelated) note, there is a new movie entitled “Frozen” that is being screen in the cinemas. I highly recommend it for both young and young at heart. I am recommending it because I am quite bias in the sense that the words “True Love” were two frequent used words and that is exactly what the movie is all about.

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Passion Shapes Destiny

I am still in awe and disbelief how wonderful life has been since I started this hobby. Counting the years since I befriended so many wonderful people and it has been eight years of friendship for a few. Along the way, there has been times when there were less communication and that could give way for doubts to creep in. Just like in marriages even if couples are close by, lack of communication may result in many issues and what more with friends living far apart from each other.

There has been times when I started doubting and felt that many of friends have drifted away. The trip to the USA proved that I was so wrong. The fact is, rabbits are just one part of our lives and the reality is that we all have other commitments and priorities to attend to. As we grow older, multi-tasking seemed to be a little more difficult and finding time to reach out to one another can be a challenge.

I must admit that we all need to have a recharge once in a while to renew the spark of our friendships and love for each other as friends and family.

“You do not need rabbits to belong”

The depth of our friendships goes beyond the rabbit hobby. The friendships are so deep rooted that even if there is no more rabbits on earth, we are still a close knitted family.

This year at convention, I could clearly pick out the sincere and true friends. I did not visit with as many compared to when I was at Indy 2010. It was strange because to some, I seemed invisible and people I once knew no longer able to recognize me. That was totally fine by me whatever reason it may be. I am just as happy to go about having a great time with those who I truly love and adore. Another strange thing I noticed is how people can be all vocal and friendly on Facebook and when in person, seemed like total stranger. Clearly, epic failure of “social media” in my humblest of opinions. Like why even bother “being friends” when you do not want to talk face-to-face.

As for all the wonderful things that has happened thus far, I attribute it to PASSION. I believe the passion I have for the hobby has shaped or changed my destiny. Every single step I make and at the most unexpected place, a little rabbit would appear. Perhaps I am a little more in tuned of my surroundings and I am happy to have all these little signs that encourage me to take steps moving forward.

A couple of friends approached me and asked if I have stopped raising rabbits. I do not think I will ever quit raising rabbits because I just cannot live without having rabbits in my life. But sometimes, the question that we really need to ask ourselves is whether the rabbits can live without us?

Does a rabbit have aspiration? A future to look forward to?

Does a rabbit have aspiration? A future to look forward to?

Do they yearn freedom in the great outdoors?

Do they yearn freedom in the great outdoors?

To be wild and free?

To be wild and free?

But I am sure as human, we want every bit of that to explore, learn and grow…

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Fuss Over Trance

When trance music exploded into the club/disco scene, practically everyone just went wild and crazy. They just danced away.

I cannot say the same when it comes of the topic of trance in terms of flipping rabbits around so that their belly face up. There are some groups out there advocating that trance is harmful to rabbits.

I for one uses the trance technique whenever I need to groom the fur on my rabbits’ belly or when I need to clip their nails. In a trance position, the rabbits stay completely still and I avoid the risk of clipping their quick.

In my humble opinion, it is much better for a rabbit to stay still when I clip their nails rather than having them trying to escape my clutches which I believe is more stressful. Furthermore, I usually clip nails all by myself without the help from someone to hold my rabbits. No fuss and done in less than 2 minutes per rabbit.

Another thing that people have to know is that, baby rabbits nurse with their belly facing upwards which is also the same as the trance position. And often times when mama bunny is done nursing, the kits can be seen sleeping on their backs. Again, that is trance – naturally. Mama rabbits never lie down for their kits to suckle but stand over them instead. So if lying on their backs is harmful, I could have lost many baby rabbits but in reality, I have not lost one bunny through trancing.

So let your hair down and TRANCE!

TRANCING (Large)

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Purpose 2013

When I first started out in this hobby years ago, I had a purpose – to prove that ethical breeding and responsible pet ownership is possible even in one of the smaller species like the rabbit. Having had seen the spectrum between the best and worst in pedigree dogs, I was excited to embark on a journey to prove to myself and hopefully to people who follow my blog that it is possible to provide rabbits with good standard of living while enjoying them as a past time either as merely pets, as show or breeding animals.

I remember very clearly that it started out as a little pet project of having them as just pets and thus their main objective and purpose of living was to provide me with companionship. And my purpose then was to ensure they are well taken care of. I remember very clearly that in some part of the world, to teach a child the sense of responsibility was to give them an egg and their main purpose is to ensure the egg does not break in their care for a certain amount of time. Likewise, throughout my years of keeping animals as pets, the number one objective is to keep them alive under my care with the basics and the basics soon change into full fledged pampering.

As the years go by, the purpose started to change. I learned about the showing sport and now the rabbits have different purposes because my “requirements” for having them has changed. I started injecting myself into this sport that chases for perfection and the measurement for perfection changes through time. Throughout the years, I met people who have come and gone in this sport and others have come full circle with many degrees of realizations. For those who have since moved on, I am not sure what was their rational behind their decisions but mine is of the dilemma of the entire world producing animals that are exactly identical in physical traits and characteristics without using cloning technology in hoping to garner the title of “best representation of the breed”.

Where I am at the moment and what is my purpose? This seemed to be a question that is constantly being asked no matter which milestone I am at while keeping Holland Lops as pets. It really does not matter where I am but it really matters which phase makes me happiest.

I can confidently say that being involved in “groups” or “clubs” is my least favorite part of the hobby. It distracts me with a lot of unnecessary happenings most of which are personality clashes and human related. It occupies my precious time from what matter most – my rabbits. Without a doubt, if I have to give an advice to new people embarking in the hobby, avoid bothering yourself with human matters unless you have all the time in the world to worry about petty disputes or unless you are a highly focus person that can stay above all the dramas. Most of the time frustrations will come in the form of differences of opinions and objectives/agendas.

Last week, I had the privilege of meeting and having a wonderful meal with a bunny couple. I could not agree more with one of them when he said that chasing after perfection does not really make sense to him when he knows for a fact that his rabbit is perfect. I was in awe by how spot on he was in identifying his needs and wants which helps a lot in identifying his purpose in the hobby. His thoughts further affirmed my beliefs that if we are not strong in our focus of our purpose in anything that we do, we can be easily manipulated and waver in our lives.

Besides from spending time cuddling, grooming and caring for my rabbits, I have enjoyed writing and sharing my thoughts through this weblog. I take pride when someone mentions how much he/she has learned through this blog. It surprises me that someone will mention posts that I least expect people to understand and quoting what they have learned from it. Readers who gets the points put forth really understands them and that in itself is a purpose fulfilled for me.

My observation so far of the rabbit world at large is that there is a broad spectrum in terms of “rabbit communities”. There are the pet people, the in between pet and breeder groups, the hard core breeders and the animal rights activist groups. Each with their own set of distinctive objectives and agendas.

After putting myself in a few roles in this hobby, I still prefer the pet person in me. I find this role to be the most fulfilling for me. I am sure that many people agree with me that some of us just prefer to have a little Holland Lop bunny that looks like a little bulldog as a companion and pet. In many instances, I miss posing my rabbits and taking photographs of them. I am glad that throughout the years, I have amassed a huge collection of beautiful Holland Lop photos.

Coming full circle, what are my purpose and the purpose of my rabbits?

I must say that a purpose to live without requirements, expectations and judgments on the part of my rabbits.

PERIOD.

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