Category Archives: Thoughts

Time

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We know for a fact that there are only 24 hours in a day but have you ever wonder what that means to a rabbit? How does a rabbit perceive time? Do they know or remember the past or even yearn for the future? How long does a minute feels like being a rabbit?

I believe that pain is the only feeling an animal can feel and depends on which species, some are known to feel pleasure while others do not.

Do rabbits feel lonely when left alone? Perhaps if we know for sure that rabbits can perceive time, we might be able to also conclude that rabbits can feel loneliness. That is because loneliness increases over time as in being alone for a long period of time brings about the feeling of insufficient interaction with another living thing.

Just imagine living life without the constraint of time – no year, month, week, day, hour, minute or second. I believe most animals are built like that because unlike humans with very well developed intelligence, they have no knowledge of time.

I spent a little time searching the internet regarding this topic and found an interesting article. For those interested, you can read it here.
Like the white rabbit, I must say “oh my furry whiskers  I’m late I’m late I’m late”.

And I have to add that I am late for bed. Good night everyone and have a wonderful week ahead!

P/S: How can a rabbit hold a pocket watch when it cannot perceive time?

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Let’s Joke About Rabbit Penis

DISCLAIMER: This post is intended for good laughs.

Much has been written about show rabbits stricken by the split penis phenomenon. At this point, nothing that happens around “selective” bred animals will ever surprise me any more. It is not surprising to me that pet animals that are “made” suffer from a wide range of diseases, conditions and probably possess supernatural powers.

Whenever someone tells me about split penis, the image of a fork appears on my mind. Just imagine it right now a dick that splits two ways. How interesting, right? Still cannot get a clear image? What about thinking of a snake sticking out its tongue like this one….

And then there is the receiving end of the penis – the vagina followed by the uterus. For the benefit of those who do not know, does (female rabbits) have a fork uterus like this one…

So imagine the snake’s head fitting perfectly at the “Vaginal end” and then it starts to stick out its fork tongue before unloading all the “swimmers” into both branches of the forked uterus. That way, you will definitely get a doe fully filled up and in no time, your rabbit venture’s profit will shoot up the roof!

Don’t you feel stupid “culling” all the bucks with split penis?

Did you just get the revelation as to why your Hollands are not producing at all?

Perhaps you are culling the wrong bucks and with just one strong intact penis, it can only inseminate one part of the uterus or none at all.

What if split penis is the actual desired trait in rabbits?

The correct answers my friend, lies only within the boundaries of your imagination….

If you ask me, I think I might have written an entire load of rubbish to entertain myself and patronizing the wandering mind. I am on the hunt for a buck with a penis that splits (like a fork) just like the snake’s tongue above to help me increase the number of kits.

And my advice for you, is to find out how an actual split penis looks like and I do not mean in your pants….

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The Most Humane Post

First and foremost, I would like to wish all Muslim readers a blessed Eid and safe travels for all.

I reckon that this will be the least animal related post I have written in almost 8 years of blogging. The only part of this post that is closest to be related to animals would be to share this article that was shared by a fellow bunny friend this morning entitled “The Rescue Religion“. I must also mention that I received a distress call about a bunny going off feed while I was out of town yesterday and it troubled me not being able to help. The good news is, another bunny friend rendered help and I last heard the bunny is now doing fine.

And then throughout today I was bombarded with many articles, videos and discussion about various issues – slavery, war, apostasy and martyrdom. I can safely conclude that humanity is in dire need of help and rescue.

We prefer to turn a blind eye on issues nearest to home most of the time. We have grown to be very self-centered and selfish. We have lost hope in humans is what we tend to tell ourselves. Humans are distrustful and manipulative, I rather spend my entire life dedicated to animals. A dog will love me unconditionally and will always obey my commands. It will always greet me with happiness whenever I come home from work. For companionship, I can never find fault with a dog (except for those in the show ring for non-conformance of “breed standards”).

The reality is, we tend to shift our focus from issues and we “run” away.

We run away from the homeless….

And we are unaware of what we do not see on the surface….

So often we ask ourselves – Why am I not born into riches?

You see, there is more to it than material things that satisfy our ever hungry pleasures. Over time we have exploited our wants rather than needs to become very selfish beings. The root of all these traces back to nothing but greed and for greed we are willing to sacrifice lives. We are so engrossed into pouring our every ounce of energy to arrive at our wayward goals so much so that the steps taken become religion-like. It becomes an obsession.

Like everything else in this world be it war, slavery, fanaticism and bigotry, all these can be avoided if only we can put together a pinch of acceptance with a fair amount of moderation. Perhaps, our purpose in life is not to say or do what is politically correct but say, do and stand by what is right. How does all these affect me? Seeing and reading about all the unfortunately lives, I cannot help but to feel grateful that I am not born into anything less than what I have at this point in time.

And how does it relate to rabbits?

Let’s bring ourselves back to the past when the only rabbits we see and know of are those white ones with ruby (or red) coloured eyes. We did not have much choices when it comes to raising a pet rabbit. Let’s relive the moment we first set eyes on the Holland Lop rabbit. It was new, it was fresh and most importantly it was cute!

Likewise, if all a child have been exposed to is only the sound of war, violence, cruelty, abuse and ridicule, how would he or she know the taste and meaning of peace? Is peace even a choice? Truly, what we are unaware of, might be the life we might have lost.

We are called to be childlike – always trusting and comforted but not childish to always want everything we desire. To be grateful is knowing that it could have been worse and if you are able to read this, most probably in the comfort of your desk, consider yourself lucky and blessed!

IMG_2231 (Small)

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Temperament

Breeding for sound temperament should always be one of the objectives any breeder should strive for. Temperament is not only imprinted genetically but can also be achieved through proper handling and interaction with your pet rabbits.

So here’s joining the bandwagon for this week’s hottest/trending incident. I dedicate this one to Uncle Sim – kudos for keeping your cool!

SoundQuality

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The Dwarf Problem

If you have done enough research about dwarf rabbits, you will understand that it is all about the combination of a normal gene and a dwarf gene. If you are a breeder of dwarf rabbits, you might have produced “peanuts” throughout the years. I stumbled across a video about Stress Management tonight and for those of you who might be interested, you can watch it here:

I thought it was a very interesting talk and what made it more interesting is when she spoke about the stress hormone called Oxytocin. There was this invisible light bulb that suddenly brightened up on top of my head and went DING!

It made perfect sense when you put the pieces together. Just let me explain the pieces and you should be able to put the puzzle together after my explanation. Throughout the years I understood that breeding a true dwarf (half normal and half dwarf) to a true dwarf (half normal and half dwarf) will often produce a FULL dwarf (half dwarf and half dwarf). Some call the the deadly double dwarf genes a.k.a. peanut. Peanuts usually suckle but their growth are extremely stunted and to a point they just fade/waste away.

The reason that peanuts are extremely stunted is because of damaged or abnormal pituitary gland. You may want to read up on pituitary dwarfism and its effect on the affected organism.

The speaker Kelly mentioned that Oxytocin is produced by the pituitary gland. Over the years I have also seen does with retained kits and other breeding problems. Today, I have reasons to believe that the dwarf gene could be the cause of these problems. Perhaps the pituitary gland is not efficient enough to produce enough Oxytocin for the doe to go into labor thus causing retained kits?

I hope by now you should be able to understand the relation between the desire for dwarfism and the effect of the gene that may cause damage to the most crucial organ that produces a very important stress hormone. And the difficult challenge for dwarf rabbit breeders is to ensure rabbits used for breeding have healthy pituitary gland and I believe some are already successful since they have no problem breeding a true dwarf to a true dwarf while keeping a healthy birth rate. Another way to increase the chances would be to breed a true dwarf buck to a normal doe which has been the desired breeding practice.

I found it amazing that the video has nothing to do with rabbits but still I am able to come to the conclusion in terms of rabbit breeding. That shows how much of my brain is made up of rabbits…

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Eugenics versus Biodiversity

Though I never thought I had to write any disclaimer as the opening of my post but I had to because of how “sensitive” whatever I write on my own space had become. In fact, expressing my thoughts on my own blog is something I really enjoy and I hope my readers do too. So before you read on, please know that this post entry is written for all the like minded people who take life and the rabbit hobby a little less seriously. It is not for weak hearts or one with extra sensitive emotional sensory.

If you have done any science experiment, you should know that there are a few sections on an experiment journal namely – objective/introduction, materials & methods, hypothesis (what you think will happen), result and a conclusion. Raising and breeding rabbits for the last seven year is nothing short of a long term experiment. There has been so many lessons and I continue to learn.

If I would to write a science journal in its simplest form, it will look a little similar to the following:

1. Objective/Introduction

To produce a rabbit according to the “Standard of Perfection”.

2. Materials & Methods

Materials:

a) Constant supply of Rabbit Feed

b) Vegetables & Fruits

c) Hay

d) Water

e) Two (2) rabbits – a buck & a doe

Methods:

Feed, Water, Breed and Repeat

3. Hypothesis

A herd of rabbits that look exactly the same and in essence resembles the physical traits as describe in writing, the Standard of Perfection.

4. Results

a) None of the rabbit look like the other

b) When two rabbits look almost similar, they behave differently

c) Some are born dead, some peanuts, some runts and some normal

d) Some live longer while some shorter lives

e) Some “perfect” while some have impairments

f) Various colours

and the list goes on…

5. Conclusion

The Standard of Perfection is nothing but perfect.

And what follows in this blog entry can be taken as my explanation of the Conclusion.

To truly understand this blog post, one should read on the topic of Eugenics and Biodiversity. In short Eugenics is a belief and practice that supposedly will improve the genetic composition of a particular species. It has been practised on humans and more largely on other species. I believe Eugenics gave birth to words like “Selective Breeding” and “Cloning”. Dolly the sheep was the outcome of cloning which I believe was the fruit of the experiment to produce an exact carbon copy of a sheep. The hope for cloning is to produce a living being that is “perfect” and can be free from all diseases. The entire practice of Eugenics is to produce something so strong and perfect that will make the world “perfect”. But take a look at what the world is still what it is today. We still have AIDS, cancer and all the viruses mutating into different strains – H1N1 is one of them.

Esther Inglis-Arkell has written something that made perfect sense in her article Why Eugenics Will Always Fail.

The fact is more than obvious. This world is made for diversity and no two living beings are the same. I have grown up being in the midst of identical twins throughout my life and to be honest, even though they are identical twins, I can easily recognize each one. They are just different!

It is a “no brainer” that a living being is made up of so many different categories of traits – physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual and environmental. Some of these are relevant to animals while others are not but it still boils down to diversity.

And while nature is teeming and bursting with diversity, the question is whether or not we are closing the doors and limiting nature by slapping it with the “Standard of Perfection”?

Are we kidding ourselves with an idea or ideal?

Or are we shaping our minds to accept the unrealistic expectations?

Or we are simply following blindly without reasoning our actions?

Or it all boils down to wanting to belong, to fulfil our longing for affirmation and seeking to fit in the crowd?

Keep asking questions and seeking answers because that is how we learn and grow in life…

In all seriousness though, I hope someone can help teach me to recognize the “rat” gene in certain people so that I will be able to identify those with the more desirable and lovable “hamster” gene. :P

AmberStand

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Love Your Soul

I have to admit that in many occasions, I have been tempted to give up on a lot of things in my life just to accommodate the busy schedule. I believe it is a natural reaction to simplify life or to “de-clutter” when we lose clarity in life. Giving up something that you are passionate about can be very difficult. Passion is what feeds the soul and to give up only means that there will be a dent on your soul.

We can sure be overwhelmed by other commitments and priorities but just like any other feelings, what you are feeling it is temporary and will go away after some time.

As a dear friend puts it, “never make rash decisions that you will regret later and that will ultimately hurt your soul”.

So, whenever you are feeling bogged down and need some revitalizing, take a step back, relax and breath in all the cuteness your pet have to offer…

Luv Me

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More Than Meets The Eye

The statement “More Than Meets The Eye” is made famous by the Transformers cartoon which made its debut in the 1980s. Vehicles turning into robots seemed to have captivated children and adults throughout the world. I believe it all boils down to expectations. No one expected the possibility of a little yellow Volkswagen Beetle to turn into a cute robot and that brings me to the subject of today’s post – expectations.

There are a few occasions throughout the 7 years being in the hobby that I have encountered people who have obtained rabbits from me after being captivated by the photos of cute and cuddly rabbits that I have posted on this weblog. Some of the rabbits lived up to their full lifespan in their new homes but other did not. One reason stood out among the many reasons that these rabbits were returned to me and it was that “he/she is nothing like how you describe rabbits in your blog”.

I guess we all have expectations of our pets. Our judgement may sometimes be clouded by cuteness just like how it was when we first started dating our wife/husband. We can only see all the goodness until we start living together after marriage. When the breeder go through all the necessities, all the eager owners have in their minds is to bring bunny home and miss out on all the important points – that they need to be litter trained, given food that helps reduce odours and the correct way of handling their new pet. It is not surprising that after a couple of days that I should receive distress calls telling me that bunny is urinating all over the place and hates being handled.

Expectations.

A rabbit will never behave like how you want a dog or cat to behave. If you want to have an animal behaving like a dog or a cat, get a dog or a cat but I must say that rabbits do have their own personalities that differs from individual to individual. You just have to “tune in” and get in sync or be vigilant by observing their body language to gauge what he/she is trying to tell you. Rabbits definitely communicate very differently from your regular dog and cat.

While we are at this subject, I cannot help but to also ponder on the question of sustainability. I recently read a post in one of the facebook groups asking why there are many rabbits being put up for adoption – whether it is because of the Easter season or otherwise. In this region I believe that rabbits for adoption is not seasonal as compared to the western countries. When we see that there are rabbits up for adoption, we will always question the reason behind them. I can understand the many reasons and some may make sense while others not. I have come to the conclusion that as long as there is a pet industry, we will never be able to escape from the issues of abandoned and unwanted animals. Crude, but that is reality and it takes everyone to just be the responsible person and do what is right if animal welfare is what we are after.

Expectations.

As pet people, first and foremost our intention and expectation from our pets is companionship. We may want to fulfil our sense of responsibility over another living being. Perhaps keeping something alive is treated as a personal achievement and that gives us joy to see our beloved pet thrive in our hands. Maybe and just maybe, we have the desire to go through the different phases or levels of difficulties in raising animals as pets. For example, Level One is keeping some fishes, Level Two – a hamster, Level Three – a rabbit and slowly graduating to let say – a Tiger?

Whatever the reason, I believe it is all about the expectations we have from our pets.

As for me, I have always been an animal lover and rabbits have always been a part of my life. I find great joy to know that they are happy under my care and they grow and remain beautiful until their last breath. Most of the time, it is the vow I make for each and every rabbit that I own. It is a simple vow that they will live a good life whether under my care or someone else’s I have chosen for them. For those that I have decided to import from the USA, I always make a silent vow and wish in my heart before they are being sent over to me. It is only fair to treat them well because these rabbits go through the long journey and they will have to endure the change of climate which is the toughest element that they will have to get used to.

Through my observation, the rabbit hobby can be quite monotonous in general and having friends can help motivate and keep us interested. Most friends that I know were able to stay in the hobby for a very long time because they spend a lot of time competing in shows and also being involved in helping out in the clubs. More often than not, they enjoy the company of friends.

Very often you will find yourself looking for other activities to complement or supplement the hobby. My advice based on experience is that you should not deviate too far from the focus on your pet as it can get out of hand sometimes. For example, most of us like to purchase a nice skin or cover for our mobile phones and if not careful, you will end up with many that are redundant and not being used.

Besides the usual bunny chores, there are only two other activities that I enjoy doing that is related back to the rabbits – photographing the rabbits and writing on this weblog. I am really happy to have many photographs of my rabbits throughout the year. I had previously made plans to consolidate and produce a photobook for this weblog’s 5th year Anniversary but it did not happen.

This year being the 7th year in the hobby, I finally had the time to order a photobook to commemorate and celebrate the best rabbits that I have owned throughout the years and also friends I have made in the hobby.

PhotoBook

 

May you also find a reason to stay in the hobby.

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Rabbit Savvy Vets: The Catch 22 Situation

For the vast majority of us raising pets, these animals tend to be “infused” into our lives and they become a part of the family. We as pet owners care for them and want the best for them. The slightest sign of sickness would throw our day’s routine upside down and our hearts/minds become burdened and worrisome until we know for sure our beloved pets are well on the way to recovery.

Up until today, throughout the world, rabbit owners are still struggling to find rabbit “savvy” veterinarians. Rabbit savvy veterinarians are very rare due to the nature of veterinarian practice and how much opportunities they are given or exposed to. I have written about the main reason why not many vets are well-versed with rabbits and it still remains the same today. The main reason most people do not send their sick rabbits to vets is because the cost of treatment can be higher than replacing the sick rabbits. Sadly, that is the attitude of many pet owners in general. But that has changed over time. We now have rabbit owners that are willing to seek the best healthcare for their rabbit but unfortunately, we do not have many vets who are good with rabbits which are considered as exotic animals.

Because of how precious our pet rabbits are to us, it is impossible for us to subject them as experimental or learning subjects for vets that are willing to “try” treat them. At the same time, without practice, they will never learn and we will never have vets that can treat rabbits. A catch 22 situation.

We all know how vulnerable rabbits are and being animal of prey, the moment they show signs of sickness like curling up at the corner of the cage or have stopped eating, most of the time it could mean that they are in dire need to medical attention. More often than not we are down to a 50:50 chance battle.

I often think about emergency situations while raising Holland Lops for the past 7 years and to be very honest, I found that there are not many choices. Treatments are usually either invasive or non-invasive. Invasive may be in the form of surgery and placing a sick rabbit under surgery would be similar to euthanasia. Most of the time it would be non-invasive and treatment with careful doses of drugs. We depend a lot on the expertise of veterinarians to diagnose and prescribe the best combination of drugs.

Again, we might only have about 50% chance to bring bunny back to recovery mode. What if we are faced with the other 50% and lose our bunny after giving our best shot?

While mourning the death of a beloved pet, it is only normal that we question how and why, the should and could haves will play constantly on our minds. But I must say that there are many variables that can cause death in animals under treatment. Like humans, it also depends on how the body reacts to treatment. There is also the element of the type of drug used. The potency of the drug down to the chemical content of the drug. It is very difficult to pin point the real reason unless a post-mortem is done. What good is a post-mortem when our beloved pet has already passed on? Unless we want to learn so that we can avoid a repetition of such situation, a post-mortem would be a reasonable decision.

I felt that veterinarians have taken a lot of blame under many different circumstances. Not only here in Malaysia but many places throughout the world especially with Internet and how much information is on our fingertips. Then there are the forums as well. We really have to understand that a cry for help on cyberspace will most probably be responded by numerous advices from a vast number of different experiences, each unique to a its own scenario (variable). We have to analyse all the responses very carefully before concluding which should be the best solution. A vet on the other hand, have to face a situation real-time and react the best he/she can not under a virtual environment but real life scenario. The reason why they do what they do as vets is because they are trained under such circumstances and we as pet owners must trust their decision which is made with their vast experiences and knowledge.

If a treatment fails and we lose our beloved pet, I believe that as pet owners, it is our responsibility to be open and share our thoughts with the veterinarian who have treated our pet. I feel that it is very important firstly for our closure of losing a pet and secondly, there will be something that everyone can learn from our experience. By sharing with the vet openly and honestly, it will help the vet understand the situation better, and if it was a mistake, to learn from it and be a better vet. Most often than not, we tend to shun our vets and the only thing they will learn is that they are getting less customers coming to their practice after words of their (one) alleged mistake spread in cyberspace. I believe that is very unfair and counter productive. We should seek clarification to dispel our own assumptions. We should also respect vets who are willing to learn, admit their mistake and never afraid to face any situation head on. The least we can do is tell them of our concerns and hope they will be receive them in good faith. I always believe that there is an opportunity to learn from every situation and unless we share the knowledge, we will never grow. I might lose a pet under certain circumstances today, but if I share the situation and learn from it together with my vet, somewhere down the road, the knowledge can be used to save more lives.

Let us not keep our grieves to ourselves but turn it into something positive while we find closure for losing our beloved pets.

I am not asking you to volunteer your pet rabbit as an experimental subject for vets but if you have chosen a good vet for your pet, please follow through and have an open communication policy with them. A good vet will and should always be open to discussion and willing to clear any doubts that you have.

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Which Do You Prefer, Dead Or Alive?

If asked to pick one from the following, which will you choose?

Picture taken from gas2.org/

Picture taken from gas2.org

Picture taken from zastavki.com

Picture taken from zastavki.com

Both are mustangs in different forms and both are magnificently gorgeous!

I don’t know why but for some reasons, I tend to choose to have the real horse because since from a very young age, I am always drawn to animals. While growing up, most of my friends in high school were into cars and down to the very technical details. As for me, I spent most of my time raising dogs, cats, green iguanas, hamsters, fishes, sugar gliders, hedgehogs and everything in between – rabbits of course!

My rationale, it is better to spend money on something alive than dead!

I like taking the responsibility to keep pets alive and ensuring that they not only thrive but live very long and healthy lives. It gives me a great sense of achievement to have companion animals live through their full lifespan. On the contrary, I totally hate spending money maintaining a car, have it breakdown, burst a tyre and feeding it expensive fuel throughout its lifespan.

We live in a very digitized and materialized world. We move in such a high paced world and have no time to pause for another living being. Most of the time, our jobs tend to take so much time from us that our lives seemed to be drained from all the stresses. We have become people that shun responsibilities and inconveniences. Picking up our pets’ poop seemed to be an inconvenience though we can make a choice to get them litter trained (initial time investment). It is due to convenience that we saw the birth of the Tamagotchi (if you remember), Furby and the many toys that mimics pet animals. They all come with less hassle and just consume little battery power.

As I was walking around the toy store over the weekend, I saw something that reminded me about this simple choice in life.

Between the very much alive and the mechanically alive, which will you choose?

Dead Or Alive?

Dead Or Alive?

On the left is what I saw at the toy store and on the right is one of my daughter’s pet hamsters.

That goes to show that until today, I still choose and prefer LIFE!

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