Monthly Archives: May 2010

Thank You Caller!

I got a very interesting call today. One that is worth writing of. I can’t remember the name of the caller though (sorry, I am pretty bad with names sometimes). It started out pretty weird because the caller asked, “Is this Tru-Luv Rabbitry?”. Picking up a call like that somewhere outside of where the bunnies are tickles me a little. I always ask at the back of my head, “Hmm, can I say yes to this question?” – LOL!

Not really in the mood for bunny business today, I gave a pretty reluctant, YES and asked how I could be of help. She wanted a female rabbit from me. Before I write on, I would like to assure the caller (if she is reading this) that I am not trying to embarrass her or anything of that sort but this could serve as a very good example of how inquiries are handled.

She said that I was recommended by many reputable breeders and has bought a buck from another breeder. Then I asked her what was her objective for breeding. She said she wanted her family to have a huge Holland Lop family. To be honest I was pretty furious mentally for that answer given. My mind was literally saying, “Didn’t we just read about Pet Ethics the day before yesterday?”. Then I could hear a small voice saying, “Not everyone reads your blog, you moron! You think you’re super star now?”. LOL!

I took a deep breath and I asked, “Have you been to my blog and read some of the postings that I have written because I am pretty sure you are not aware of what I do and how I work with my rabbits”. I almost ended the conversation asking her to just visit my blog and read, read, read and read more!

I felt that would be a little arrogant so I asked her another question, “Do you know that I neuter pets before sending them to pet homes and I also have a no breeding agreement?”

She then asked, “You mean the rabbits are spayed or castrated before their owners get to keep them? Why? Is there a way that I can have an intact doe?”

And that started off my long winding “lecture” on the phone. I told her I get a lot of inquiries like hers and her reason for breeding is just like any other that I have heard and what I dread most. I then asked her a very simple question, “Do you know what is the breed standard for Holland Lop?”

She said yes and have learned of “Champ Breed”. In my heart, I was like “What The HELL?”. I then told her that there is no such term called Champ Breed. I allowed her to finish her explanation and she told me that she has gone to the breeder’s farm to pick out her buck and was taught many things about the Holland Lop. The breeder apparently gave her a little guide book to go with the buck she bought. She was pretty confident and told me that she could recognize between a good/nice rabbit and set them apart from the mix bred. She uses the term “Pure BRED” pretty well.

As far as the breed standard is concerned, she could only tell me that a Holland Lop is judged by its leg muscles and short and broad ears. I told her that was far from the truth.

I then asked her if the breeder (a pretty famous one) that she got her buck from ever gave her a PEDIGREE. She said no, just a little guidebook. I then explained to her that a pedigree is a birth cert with a 4 generation ancestry listing. To a good breeder, the guidebook is good thrash material and the pedigree is utmost important. Through the pedigree we know what line or lines the rabbit in question comes from. And through that little document, we are able to determine how we should move forward breeding it if it is WORTHY of a SHOW QUALITY material.

Let’s stop a moment and think about it. Which is more of a business tactic – to neuter pets or just selling bucks? What about issuance of pedigree? If the rabbits sold are from imported stocks, they must come with 4 generations pedigree. But breeders overseas also practice the non-issuance of pedigrees to PET QUALITIES. Therefore, this lady has bought a pet quality rabbit which is a NO NO for me to be used as a breeding animal. Irresponsible breeders can also use PET QUALITY as a reason or excuse for their MIX BREDs and that is the norm here in Malaysia. For me, No PEDIGREE, NOT PUREBRED! I issue pedigrees for all my animals and because the pets are neutered, there isn’t any issue of giving new owners a copy of the pedigree. At least I am honest to let my “customers” know the ancestry to the rabbits that they own and be proud of them.

I further told her that I would appreciate if someone coming to me knows the basics really well before putting 2 rabbits together to breed. Firstly, a breeder must know his/her line very well and what other lines do they mix well with. Putting a male and female or a buck and doe together is EXTREMELY easy but what they produce do not necessarily make life easy for us.

Secondly, a breeder must know what faults do their rabbits have and how to go about fixing these faults using another rabbit that is complimentary to the one in question.

Ask anyone what quality of rabbits do they prefer and 100% would say SHOW QUALITY. So what happens to the PET QUALITY? Any answer would be correct but the one that I hate most is ABANDONMENT.

It is very challenging to breed Holland Lops but it is not uncommon for them to produce up to 6 in a litter. The question is, do we want 100% pet quality in the litter or at least have 40% of show quality? Even with 40% winning chance, there could still be 60% of abandonment. Either way, check mate aren’t we? In my opinion, we work towards 100% non-abandonment!

So, my suggestion is. We must start off working with good quality so that the PETS would not quite be PET QUALITY. Do you get what I mean? Therefore, you will sometimes see me selling what seemed to be SHOW QUALITY as NEUTERED PETS not because I do not know how to evaluate my Hollands but I strongly believe in a good home for my rabbits. That is definitely not a business tactic for repeat sales!

I then told her that I take breeding as an advanced topic. I also told her as breeders, we must work to improve and not staying at the PET level because we all know what happens to PETS at the end of the day.

I really do hope that I wasn’t being rude and she sounded appreciative of my pointers. I told her and I want to tell everyone reading my blog that I welcome all inquiries. Anyone can feel free to approach me through email for advice and I will try my level best to help all cases. I am willing to guide everyone through.

What made me wrote this is again not to slander or embarrass the caller but I found her applaud-able because I like her attitude. I like the fact that she is very WILLING to share and learn at the same time. I am not claiming that I know everything but I have a vision for a better pet industry for all. We may not get that anywhere near in our lifetime but I really do hope that our younger generations would be able to enjoy healthy and beautiful animals as pets.

So do I end up selling anything? NO! Is that business? NO! Do I even have repeat sales? NO!

Will others be willing to accept my approach to breeding? HOPEFULLY

Did I get the message of RESPONSIBLE BREEDING across to the caller? HOPEFULLY

Did I get another person to understand my objectives and cause? YES, and that is all that MATTERS!

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The 1st TV Interview

I would like to thank the entire crew for Aksi Si Comel segment of the Selamat Pagi Malaysia segment especially Mr. Al, Cik Hasnia and the host En. Hezri for giving us the opportunity to show case and talk about the Holland Lop.

Gearing up for the show

The interview went very well this morning. I was so nervous and out of sync at the beginning . I hope what I have said make sense. LOL! Here is the much awaited video and below is the translation for my friends is USA. It is a pity that Truffles wasn’t in the mood and was extremely nervous so he had to stay in the carrier.

Never ever leave home with rabbits without a LINT ROLLER!

Picture Perfect. Look at how Carmel poses!

It was a good interview but I wasn’t perfect in my answer so I have written some corrections in the translation.

Just before the interview

Host (Hezri): The cute featured pet this week is the Holland Lop. With me to talk more about them today is Adesh and Timothy. How do you do?
Both: Fine, Thank you
Host (Hezri): These doesn’t seemed to be regular rabbits that I normally see. What is so special about these rabbits?
Tim: These are imported rabbits called Holland Lop. Their ears droop and that is where the “Lop” comes from. It has taken breeders more than 20 years to develop this breed.

(Notice the long pause? What I was suppose to say: Holland Lop is 1 of the 47 breeds recognized by ARBA and they are a dwarf breed)

Host (Hezri): This one with Timothy is a little larger than this one with Adesh and seemed more active. What are the differences between them both?
Adesh: This is the younger one. Just turned 4 months and the one with Timothy is 2 years old.
Host (Hezri): How long is the lifespan of these rabbits?
Tim: If well taken care of, on average they can live up to 7 years and some are known to have lived up to 12 years old.
Host (Hezri): Will the fur lengthen according to the age?
Tim: No, they will molt. They will have a major molt once or twice a year. If the molt is bad, they will go bald too (GRIN).
Host (Hezri): Which is male and which is female?
Tim: The one here is a female
Adesh: And this one’s a male
Host (Hezri): The male one seemed to be better?
Adesh: Not necessary, it depends very much on who’s holding (LOL)
Host (Hezri): What do these rabbits eat?
Tim: There has been a lot of misunderstanding. Many people feed rabbits with carrots which are not suitable at all because the sugar content in carrot is high that could cause obesity.
We normally give them hay. The name is Timothy Hay, but it is not mine. The hay is their staple food. And to balance up the diet, we add some pellets. I use Pro Optimum pellets which is also imported from USA by chubbypetsgarden.com. It is now much easier to find their basic neccessity compared to earlier days.
Host (Hezri): What is the contents in the pellet and what is the most important ingredient needed by rabbits?
Tim: Fiber is the most important ingredient in a rabbit’s diet.
Host (Hezri): I see some feeding Kang Kung, is that proper?
Tim: No, Kang Kung is known to cause wind in rabbits. See, how much misunderstanding we have in the basic necessities of rabbits.
Host (Hezri): I agree, when we don’t really understand, we don’t know much about the basic needs. Other than diet, what else is important for rabbits?
Tim: One thing that is important is that I personally found many give up keeping rabbits in a short period of time due to the odor problem emmited from their urine. To solve that problem, No.1, we use a good pellet. And secondly, we use the litter tray. You’ll be surprise how rabbits can be litter trained.
We use the Woody Pet pellets to absorb the urine and to mask the ammonia smell. I hope more people will learn how use the litter tray for their rabbits so there would be less giving up their rabbits.
Host (Hezri): As far as caging and confinement space? What is appropriate?
Adesh: The best is to have space for the rabbits to run. The cage below is too small and should only be used for traveling purposes only. It would be best to have space for them to run and exercise. Else, we can also let them out of their cage at least once a day.

Her reply was superb. And she is such a natural compared to me a nervous freak – LOL! I applaud her for her very good answer. In case you didn’t know, all her rabbits have huge mansion equipped with a big run each!

Host (Hezri): Can we allow the rabbits to run freely in the gardens?
Adesh: It would be best to be under supervision. They can run pretty fast and it would be a problem if they do escape.
Host (Hezri): Roughly how much is needed to maintain or upkeep a rabbit?
Tim: The food itself would be Ringgit Malaysia 50 per month. That is not inclusive of its cage which is up to the owner which type that they prefer.
Host (Hezri): So that is fairly reasonable. I would like to try to hold one of these cuties. Oooh, I am not that good right now. Anyhow, thank you very much Tim and Adesh.
Both: Thank you very much!

It's a WRAP!

Disclaimer: No rabbits were drugged or hurt during this interview.

More photos & videos to come later!

Credits: Photos courtesy of Chestnut Pictures and HLRSC T-Shirt courtesy of Aunt Karen L. Novina!

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29th May Is A Very Good Day!

I would firstly like to thank Ellen Whyte for a superb article entitled Pet Ethics. My wife was joyfully reading the article on our way to the hospital and she loved the way Ellen writes (who doesn’t right?).

There is only one small correction that I need to mention about the article. I was totally my fault for not conveying the message clear enough.

JAPAN and USA. Please allow me to make this correction on everyone’s behalf. Ellen wrote that I sell my rabbits to JAPAN and USA. I must stress here that I HAVE NOT SOLD ANY TO JAPAN and USA. Ellen and I were laughing about this when I pointed it out to her. How JAPAN and USA came about was during my short interview with Ellen, I mentioned that it is amazing how these rabbits has traveled to more places than me. On their way here to Malaysia from USA, they had a stop over at Japan. I must be giving the wrong answer to Ellen’s question. I apologies to Ellen and The Star for that blunder. I better clear this off before I get slandered for nothing.

It is an honor to appear on The Star alongside another ethical breeder, Hun of http://suggiesathome.wordpress.com and super pet rescuer Alicia Ling Horsley of PetEpicure.com on this article.

Remember I mention HOSPITAL?

My wife and I welcome our 2nd daughter today. What a great day it was….FANTASTIC!

Baby Bree

It has been a long day. I hope I’ll do well for the TV1 interview tomorrow morning at 8 am.

Thank you to most of you who have SMS/call me to congratulate me on the newspaper article. I hope it has shed lights to what Ethical breeding is all about!

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Lights, Camera…

Alright, we’re all geared up for the big Sunday morning. I am running through some points on my mind right now and I hope the execution would be flawless. We shall see…

Carrier all set...

Testing 1, 2, 3....

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Filed under Tru-Luv On The Media, Tru-Luv On The News

The Fox & the Bunny Grapes (Politically Correct)

I read a lot thanks to my parents for instilling that trait in me. It was because of them that I can write well enough in English so that most reading will be able to understand. One of my all time favorite book was Aesop’s Fables. I must say that most of the values I practice in life pretty much came from Aesop’s Fables.

As a continuation to yesterday’s rambling, which I was giving much thought as I try to reason out the situation, a fable came to my mind. It is called The Fox & The Grapes. I believe that this is the fable where the English idiom “sour grapes” came from.

I believe strongly that most adults these days did not have the chance to read Aesop’s Fables. Even if they do read it, the unkind world must have drown the good moral values in them. The story is self-explanatory.

Original illustration source unknown but was taken from http://beribiru.net/?p=13. I added a bunch of bunny grapes!

The following is taken from Wikipedia.org with a little “twist” modification :

One hot summer’s day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Bunny Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. “Just the thing to quench my thirst,” quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: “I am sure they are sour.”

It is easy to despise what you cannot get.

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Filed under Bunny Business, Everyday Life, Ramblings, Random Topics

What Would You Do?

Business must be really bad for the other sides. I recently posted an ad with a so called “premier” pet placement portal. Its entire setup shouts “A Loving Home For Every Pet”. I am starting to think otherwise because every tom, dick and harry has an account in it with the mixture of ethical breeders, unethical breeders and a lot of wolves under sheep skins.

Boy did my ad got slandered. One commented that I was arrogant and have no respect for rabbit lovers. I found that amusing coming from the same person that text/sms me one day to buy a rabbit. That is what you get for saying NO!

Another one wrote about how it is the nature of the business of Tru-Luv Rabbitry to gain “repeat sales” by neutering animals so that there would not be competition. How shallow is that right?

Very obvious reason that these people are pet breeders. If it is that hard to ask, come forward and show me some pedigrees as prove that you are working with purebreds and do share with me your objective breeding the rabbits. I will be very much willing to share and improve for the betterment of the breed generally. Let’s talk facts and not cowardice crap talk behind a facade(nickname). No, these breeders will shoot at point blank and it really amazes me.

This person claims to have 25 years experience in raising rabbits and he is 47 years old. Boy do I feel that he missed out a decimal point on his age. He sounded more like a 4.7 years old baby. Alright, enough of personal attacks as I am not going to that level. 25 years of experience raising rabbits but do not even have 1 pedigreed rabbit. That in itself is amazing…

Where shall I begin? Holland Lops, its history traces back more than 20 years ago. Hundreds of breeders worked hard throughout those years to get what we have today. The promise I make to myself (at the least), uphold the purity of the breed and always work towards improving it (health, temperament and overall physical vigor).

Pet breeders, I just don’t know where to start. Alright, comments like “People can enjoy the excitement of new born rabbit, if the rabbit is not neuter or spay” is really self explanatory and I need not explain further. He did not even get his terms right. Neuter is a general term used for both castration(male) and spay(female). To me, regular pet breeders have pretty much the same libido as their pets. Sure, people can enjoy the excitement of anything new born.

Yes, it is a technique not a business tactic cause once again, this is NOT a business. It is a technique to keep my rabbits away from pet breeders who knows close to nothing about what breeding is all about except for making sure 2 rabbits put together is a buck and a doe. Again, I cannot stress enough this is a HOBBY. A hobby that needs to be balanced up well. I am so tired of writing the same thing over and over again. I have lost hope in “new born excitable” people!

For the many things these people have done wrong, I must have at least done something RIGHT. Being appreciated by the media, I must be doing something very RIGHT. Is there anything else that I need to do to justify further?

Nonetheless, their actions are indicators telling me that they are envious, jealous or perhaps feeling the pinch from a more educated public. Their business is indeed bleeding I must say? I challenge them to bleed their business to death by enforcing the neutering policy.

Why blame me? Because I have far more superior stocks? Because I have a different way of sharing my stocks? Because they can’t get nice stocks?

To each his/her own. If you can’t afford it, click on the adopt button, less hassle compared to writing crap comments.

Now you tell me, what would you do?

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Super Good News!

Would like to inform all readers that Tru-Luv Rabbitry will be featured in 2 major medias this weekend.

1. The Star Newspaper
Weekender Section
29th May 2010

Thank you very much Ellen Whyte for the opportunity for me to be part of her much anticipated article on an issue that needs dire attention.

2. RTM 1
Selamat Pagi Malaysia
30th May 2010
8.10 a.m.

Thank you very much the producers in RTM for the opportunity for me to give a proper introduction of the Holland Lops to Malaysia first thing in the morning!

Do pray that all bunnies are well behaved especially during the interview. I am still picking the right rabbits to bring with me. So do tune in to RTM 1 if you want to see them live on air. Truffles will be making an appearance too!

Thank you everyone for your support!

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The Importance Of Friends

I cannot stress enough that friends are really important in this hobby. They are there to keep us all afloat and help give us different perspectives of our directions. There could be things that we might have missed due to our bad judgment sometimes. Come to think about it, friendships last forever. Rabbits come and go in our lives (through death) but friendships really last a lifetime. There are many friends in this hobby that have done a lot of nice things for me and I do not think I will be able to repay in this lifetime.

Today, I had the pleasure of chatting with Ms. Kelly Hansen of Mo’ Bunnies Rabbitry. It started off as a casual bunny chat like the usual and I showed her my rabbits through this weblog. I was taken aback when she pointed out how much she liked Tru-Luv Sibylla. I was in cloud 9 because she is my homegrown and her remarks really flattered me. It is always nice to have good remarks for rabbits that are the products of your own breeding. It gives me the sense of achievement.

I like Sibylla for many good points but Kelly put everything into perspective for me and I am so glad that she could fill up all the blanks for me. I just wasn’t as good as her in putting everything into words as far as conformation is concerned.

Kelly took the time to share some photos of her rabbits and shared a lot more information with me. Thank you so much Kelly for your time and insights. I really appreciate it!

Tru-Luv Sibylla

P.S.: Kelly, the Big Mouth & Itchy Fingers at work. 😛

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Filed under Friends Of Tru-Luv

My Heart Bunny

This will not be a long worded post. I just do not have the words to “pen” down because I am busy chatting on the other side. I have been going back and forth wondering what I’ll do with this little lovely doe. Whatever it is, I just can’t move this wonderful doe along. She is 3 years, 7 months and 24 days old today. No words can explain how sweet this little doe is. She is ever willing to pose with such enthusiasm. She is indeed a perfect little package!

No matter what, it will definitely be “till death do us part”.

Nothing beats having a little run on a sunny day!

Up to no good!

I am not relieving myself mind you. This seemed to be a nice place to hide!

Comfort zone....

A few minutes after this photo was taken, she had 2 paws on top of the side of that litter pan. She looked so darn cute! Too bad I wasn’t able to capture that moment.

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Bone, Bone, Bone

One of my all time favorite hip hop group happens to be Bone Thugs & Harmony. Any other vocal groups that have tight harmonies will never fail to capture my attention. In the Holland Lop world, there is a term/word that you will always hear breeders using – BONE.

The term BONE is used to refer to Hollands with very massive/thick overall look. The best indicator for a rabbit with “BONE” is the 2 front legs. Some of us refer to them as the STUMPS just like how the trunk of an old tree looks like – simply thick and massive.

I am pretty surprised as to how Wilma has changed through time. She is going through her first major molt right now but what I really like about this doe is her BONE. The only thing I would like to improve on her is the length of her ears. Since it is a total outcross, I need to wait a while longer to see if she will grow into those ears. We did see similar situation with Sibylla but now Sibylla has got nice short ears. The slipped crown on Wilma may also be a contributor to her having “longer” ears. I am not too worried if the head do not pop that much because you seldom get does having a buck’s head. That would be a bonus for now.

I did a little sketch of the perfect Holland on my mind somewhere in August 2009. I believe very much that I am almost there with Wilma.

My vision

Any resemblence to my sketch?

I love looking at the stumps!

I can’t wait for her to fully develop and have her big girl fur growing. She will be a stunning Holland. I am indeed very grateful to have good lines to work with and everything clicks well together. That saves a lot of unnecessary breeding to fix faults. I hope the consistency continues.

Here’s a candid shot of Wilma that I like:

Yes?

And I’ll see you at the CROSSROADS?

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