Sunday, March 15, 2009

magic bunny

Hello everyone... To the few of you who read this, sorry I've been MIA for so long! :-( No dramatic, tragic things have occurred, I just have not blogged. Sure, life has been "busy," but it always is. It's more a matter of what I decide to prioritize. Lately, work has been the major priority, and it's amazing how much time one can spend working!

One of the things I've been learning (relearning?) in this season of extreme work is that some of the smallest things have the biggest importance. I've spoken before about cleaning. That's one of them. Still haven't gotten that entirely rooted in my brain yet. Another one is taking care of what one's been given -- and for me right now that includes a) my body (giving it enough rest, quality food, showers, visits to the doctor, etc.) and b) my rabbit, Joelle.

The other night I had some gal friends over for a "tea party" (we...sat around the table and drank tea. Not exactly a party, but it was good) and towards the end we somehow got to talking about Joelle and grooming her. I mentioned that it's possible to put rabbits in a "trance" to work on their bellies when grooming them, and then of course they wanted to see this amazing phenomenon. So I scooped up Joelle and laid her on her back and rubbed her nose, and sure enough her head lolled to the side and she was passed out.

In the midst of this all I realized that she's a big, huge mess. I know she's been matted for a while, but she hates being groomed and I don't like doing it, so we agree to just not do the grooming thing most of the time. But at this was really bad. So after the tea party I spent a good couple hours working away at her major problem areas.

Angora rabbits typically shed their coats several times a year. If one doesn't brush them regularly - especially during the shedding period - the shed hair just gets incorporated into mats. It makes it sort of fun to brush out mats, because if you put a mat rake to a mat made out of hair that's already been shed, huge chunks of hair start just falling out as the mat is destroyed. I find it rather satisfying.

Another aspect of this shed is that if one were to actually groom the rabbit at the appropriate times, they could easily harvest all of that hair that's being shed because it just pulls out. I have never really done this with Joelle for various reasons -- usually I just cut her hair short every now and then. I actually didn't realize quite what this "harvest" meant until lately when I visited this website.

But, on this fateful night, it just so happened that Joelle was shedding, and as I brushed out the tangles behind her ears, her hair just kept falling out and falling out. It was like magic! So, I thought...this would be a prime time to see just what happens when I harvest in the "right" way.

Joelle wasn't a huge fan of this, and we'd already been in grooming mode for at least 1.5 hours -- producing this fine mess... I didn't get far. can see the results: