Sunday, December 30, 2012

One Year Ago Today "Old Boo Eyes" Passed Away

Boo, only five years old, died suddenly a year ago today a week after bladder stone surgery. Necropsy results showed that he had had a bad heart, that it had only been a matter of time before he would depart this life.  He was Cinnamon's second husbun and she had been crazy about him.  We will never forget our darling Boo, though we were only blessed with his sweet and happy presence for about two months.                                                                                       

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Have a party - it's Christmas!

Now THIS is a bunny hop!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve, All!

Benjamin Bunny wishes everyone a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Gift That Keeps On Taking

Rabbits have brought me so much joy in my life, that I cannot imagine life without my sweet Benjamin and Cinnamon. And while this Santa may be wise enough to know who is best to receive a rabbit for Christmas, it is better for rabbits as a whole that we humans do not take that action upon ourselves. First, rabbits are not things, they are sentient beings. Second, rabbits require lots of care and as my vet bills this year will attest, they are not cheap to care for. Third, rabbits are a twelve year commitment, at least.  Besides, how do you know the person you are giving a rabbit to is able to care for a bunny?  Yes, bunnies are cute and sweet (as are puppies and kittens) but they would be a gift that would keep on costing someone money, the gift that keeps on taking, if you will. How do you know the person or family you are giving the rabbit to is prepared or willing to foot the bill?  Animals given as gifts more often than not end up at shelters or worse. Please, if you must, give a chocolate rabbit or a stuffed bunny as gifts this year.

The Hoppy Vegan

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Favorite Things 2012

It's almost Christmas time, so this is when I try to put together a favorites things list. (Unlike Oprah, though, I am not giving away any of these things. Sorry!)

Vegan Treats - I missed the DC Veg Fest this year and thus missed the BEST vegan desserts around. This bakery is based out of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Incredible cannolis, among other yummy goodies...

Speaking of cannoli. Candle 79 restaurant in NYC is a new favorite restaurant of mine and their cannolis were soooooo delicious (and you get TWO!!! I could barely finish it.)  Need to get back up there soon for another meal--be sure to make reservations if you ever go! It is always crowded, I am happy to report.

Vegan parmasean cheese (from Galaxy International Foods) - by far, the BEST vegan parmasean cheese ever. Tastes like the real deal. I was introduced to it at John's of Twelfth Street Italian Restaurant in the East Village of NYC. I ordered some recently and now can happily sprinkle my pasta with cheesy flavor and get the same joy as if it were the real thing.

Hpnotiq liqueur--it looks like Romulan ale (see Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan  if you don't get the ref) but it has a lush citrusy soothing taste. As described on the bottle, it is a "refreshing blend  of premium French vodka, exotic fruit juices, and a touch of cognac."

Match brand stuffed vegan pork chops - Yes, they have the same texture of pork chops and they taste especially delicious since no pigs had to die to make my dining experience so pleasurable. 

Zevia sodas - all natural, made from stevia extract verses aspartame and all those other chemicals you find in regular diet sodas. And there are so many flavors. The Ginger Root Beer and the Dr. Zevia (tastes EXACTLY like diet Dr. Pepper) are the best, in this soda lover's opinion.

Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas - This year I am really getting into jazz and this CD, recently purchased, is a gem. There is a song, "The Secret of Christmas" sung by Ella Fitzgerald, which is so lovely--I had never heard this song before. HIGHLY recommend.

Water aerobics - okay this is not a thing, but an activity, but it is one of those things that is becoming one of my favorite things to do AND it makes me feel better when I get down or sad.

My new Washington Nationals Christmas ornament, a round ball with the famous W logo surrounded by candy canes. LOVE IT! How could I not have this for my tree? Can't wait for Opening Day!

Gardein Holiday Roast - Looks like I will never try Tofurkey vegetarian roasts now. Why, when Gardein is now there, with a scrumptious roast perfect for holiday gatherings? My only quibble is its claim to feed 8 people. Try 4.

Pet Rabbit - My bunnies are going to go crazy when they see the special big toy I got them for Christmas this year.  This on-line store offers some very unique toys ideal for keeping your rabbit interested and playful.  Check them out at

Hope you and yours get all that you wish this Christmas season!

The Hoppy Vegan

Monday, December 10, 2012

We Are All About the Presents!

The sleigh is a nice start (bought from The Busy Bunny) but I suspect these two furry imps are wanting more.  Fortunately Santa will find that they have both been very good rabbits this year.  Cinnamon goes crazy over this sleigh. It looks a lot worse now than it was when I took this photo.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Naughty or nice?

"Santa" Cinnamon knows all about naughty--and nice, too. Here she is, being a good sport about wearing a Santa hat clearly designed for a cat. She got into it by chewing on the tail! That's my girl.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Main Course for a Rabbit's Thanksgiving

Don't be alarmed--the wine was for me, not Benjamin and Cinnamon (it was a nice pomegranate wine from Horton's Winery in Virginia, though.) As you can see, the Hoppy Vegan is a frustrated chef. Rabbits generally care little for presentation. Ten minutes after serving this, here is what the plate looked like-

Cinnamon decided to eat her share within her timothy bungalow.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What is wrong with this picture?

Why is Woodstock so happy about a fellow bird slaughtered to feed that blockhead Charlie Brown and his dog? Good grief!

That first Thanksgiving after I went vegetarian, I noticed for the first time that at the end of the classic "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving", when Woodstock and Snoopy are having their traditional Thanksgiving meal, that here is a bird chowing down on another bird! Avian cannabalism!

This scene  strikes me now as rather gruesome and yet all those years growing up, I never saw the strangeness in this idea of a bird happy about chowing down on a bird.  (yes, I know there are birds who are predators and eat meat, the owl, for instance, being the mortal enemy of my beloved rabbits). This is just more proof in how difficult it is to change one's perceptions of animals and how amazingly easy it is, once you do go vegetarian, to see little things like Woodstock's devouring turkey in a different light.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What I Am Thankful For

This was taken after Cinnamon came home from her emergency
vet stay last month, You can see how much Benjamin missed her.

These two beloved animal companions are my world since my human family are in Massachusetts. They get me through my saddest days and provide company when I need it most. I pray that I have both these lovely rabbits for a long time to come.

Of course I am so very grateful for my mom, who is my best friend and has seen me through some very sad and angry days these past two years.  She is my rock, the one person I know I can always count on 120% percent of the time.

I am grateful for my health, which has its quirks but my issues are either aging-related or the results of self-inflicted overeating.  Compared to thousands of others, I am very very lucky.

I am grateful for my wonderful condo. I live surrounded by trees and squirrels, for its peaceful oasis it provides me. I am grateful that I live in a progressive area where the environment means something and people strive to protect and preserve it.

I am grateful for friendships, classical music, jazz, New York City, Boston, all creatures great and small, Gardein products, sunrises and sunsets, wine, Daiya faux cheese,  the Boston Red Sox, the Washington Nationals, my local community center, the ability to laugh even when everything around me seems to be falling to crap (thank you, Reduced Shakespeare Company for that!)

Most of all, I am grateful for being alive. For still standing despite a broken (but healing!) heart. I give thanks for every breath I get.

So...what are you giving thanks for, this Thanksgiving?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Special Anniversary

The first glance
A year ago this weekend, my widowed bunny Cinnamon met and fell head over heels over her second husbun, a sweet white lop-eared five year old boy named Boo, whose previous owner had passed away and who was living at BunnyLu rescue at the time these two bunnies met at the autumn open house.

As you all know, this darling blue-eyed bun was not destined to live with us long, passing away two months later, the day before New Year's Eve. Though Cinnamon has since found another true love in her grey rexy boy Benjamin, I still grieve and will always grieve for this beautiful bunny who helped this new divorcee get through some terrible months, especially the holidays.

I will always miss you, my darling Boo, or "ole Boo Eyes" as I used to call you. Though our time together was all too brief, you meant the world to me and got me up on many mornings when I just didn't want to function at all.  In many ways, you saved my life. I only wish I could have saved yours in return. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rest in peace, Madison

Madison went to the Bridge on 27 October 2012
There are rabbits and then there are rabbits. Madison was a very special bun, a double amputee who nevertheless lived her life with gusto with her beloved human, Randy Koga, who is a devoted rabbit rescuer in California who has saved so many rabbits at great expense and sacrifice to himself. Madison, though, was clearly his heart bunny, and the photos of her that he sent out to the world on social media won the hearts of hundreds of rabbit lovers around the country. We will all miss seeing you, sweet Madison, and no one will miss you more than your dad, Randy. But now you can be at peace, healthy, a whole bunny again, free to bink through heaven's grasses and frolic with all the rabbits we have loved and who have gone on before us. Rest in peace, sweet girl, and know that your life, your courage has inspired so many.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Giving Thanks for Gardein This Holiday Season

IT'S HERE!!!!!

This is Gardein's answer to the Tofurkey holiday meals that up till now was the only option for vegans to buy a ready-made vegan meal to set down on their cruelty-free holiday tables. Right now it is already on backorder from Vegan, but I put my order in anyway.

If you have read my holiday blogs in the past, you know I have been putting off trying Tofurkey's Thanksgiving feasts in fear of spending all that money for something I wasn't sure I would like. Oh, I love Tofurkey sausages and bratwursts (and their pizzas!) but their deli meats? Let's just say in the past I have not had pleasant culinary experiences with them.

Gardein products, however, are another world altogether. To date, they make THE best faux meats on the market, in this vegan's opinion. Their faux chicken tastes like chicken, their beefless tips have everything but the moo in them (and they make an awesome stew!). So how can this new roast be any different? I expect it will be just like eating turkey! I will review this of course for my blog after the holidays. Way to go, Gardein, for doing so much to make life and holidays so much easier for vegans and vegetarians in the world!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cinnamon Is Not Amused

I don't care if I am sick, take it off. And stop laughing and taking pictures!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Seeking Prayers for My Cinnamon

My eight year old bunny Cinnamon is at the Pender Emergency Clinic in Fairfax at least through tomorrow, suffering from severe GI stasis, the cause of which is yet to be determined. Had to rush her in last night when she did not respond to any meds or stasis protocol, in fact she fought me on everything, would not even take more than 10 ccs of Critical Care. Though I had her in a heating pad, her temp dropped and I caught her at one point straining to pee and saw white residue in her litter box. Xrays showed no bladder sludge, though, and no stones.  Blood work also does not show anything to indicate cause.

Please say a prayer my sweetie gets through this. Vet said she can't yet rule out a lower GI tract obstruction and that would NOT be good news at all.  Benjamin had to come home with me and he is missing her alot. Hope she gets through and comes home ASAP! We miss you, Princess Cinnamon Bunn.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Baseball and Bunnies in October

Cinnamon is a real Nationals fan. But she does not appreciate it when I cheer because I end up scaring the heck out of her!

GO NATIONALS, the Eastern Division Champions (so far).

 Benjamin Bunny,  baseball fan and Nationals devotee.                        

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rabbits On A Lazy Sunday Afternoon

 "He's MINE so don't even THINK about coming in here to pet him."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Blame Game in AfterMath of Rabbit Hoarding Case

You see the headlines every day about hoarding situations. Usually all you get are the more gruesome details and photos because that is, of course, the media's bread and butter. Get your attention, horrify you, stir up your emotions, then drop you without any background information to give the reader the ENTIRE story. In many ways, this was the case of Bunny Magic, a legal not for profit 501c3 organzation in Lusby, Maryland,  whose owner was recently brought up on charges of animal cruelty after an undercover PETA investigation revealed 200 plus rabbits were being kept in some very sorry situations. The rabbits are now at a shelter, completely overwhelmed by not only the sheer number of rabbits, but by the lack of experience in caring for them. Groups like RabbitWise are stepping in to get money for supplies to assist the shelter; RabbitWise has even offered to train the shelter people. Right now the rabbits, all of whom will need homes once released, are not accessible by anyone but shelter staff due to the impending legal case. Unlike the hoarding situations where people become animal collectors, Bunny Magic was a legitimately run rabbit rescue whose resources were limited and whose owner became overwhelmed with lack of volunteers and who suffered from the simple inability to say no when someone else had a rabbit to dump at her doorstep.

Whatever you may think of PETA, or how this case came about, if you knew Carole Van Wie and are in sympathy with her situation (let's face it, people, it can happen to any of us--the urge to save these rabbits' or any animal's lives is a powerful one), the bottom line is we need to focus our emotions on these rabbits and getting them into a better situation. And rather than berating PETA or the media for false impressions or insufficent reporting, we who love rabbits need to direct our anger at the reasons why places like Bunny Magic have to exist. Bunny Magic exists because of irresponsible profit-driven breeders who sell rabbits through pet stores, tractor supply companies, county fairs, etc. and the ignorant parents who buy cute little bunny rabbits for their very young children without bothering to do any research into the kind of animal they are bringing home to their kids. Really, think about it, brilliant idea, isn't it, to procure for a little child a PREY animal who fears every other living being on the planet?  We who care and love our rabbits need to get out there more and advocate for them by fighting the forces that perpetuate these situations. Whether it is through political action or education, all of us need to get the word out there that the people responsible for the tragic stories like Carole Van Wie's are those who buy animals instead of adopting them then dump them into strained shelters or groups or worse, just abandon them in the wild.  When I read some of the callous responses of people commenting on the Bunny Magic story, I wonder how many of these judgemental people (most of whom do not have all the facts)  could have done something rather than pass judgment. The same can be said for those rabbit companion lovers who would rather waste time whining about PETA and the media, what should and shouldn't have happened in this investigation (one could argue something should have been done years ago, but wasn't. Who is to blame for that? Why did PETA have to step in in the first place, if so many people had been aware of the grim conditions at Bunny Magic at the first place? Think about that.) 

Let's all stop now, step back, take some deep breaths, and reflect. Let's rethink our battle strategies. We need to focus on making places like Bunny Magic irrelevant. If we do that, then so many more rescue-hoarding situations can be prevented. Let's work to ACT so we don't have to REACT later. And if we must indulge in the blame game, let us put it where it really lies--with the animal-buying and animal-dumping public.

The story this blog refers to can be read here at

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Summer Treat for Two Furry Sweets

     Rabbits just don't get the whole concept of using an actual plate. SIGH.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rabbit on the Menu

Does this photo anger you? It should. It angers me. It angers me that rabbits are showing up on more and more dinner menus these days. It saddens me to think that some chefs are so clueless to what these animals mean to so many people that they must concoct an eight course menu, with the theme "Duelling Rabbits" to see how many ways they can serve up our companion animals to their hungry clients (a San Diego restaurant did this very thing a week or so ago, despite the many calls and letters of protest that ensued once RabbitWise got the word out about this.)

There is no question that human beings are a gluttonous species. Is it any wonder the majority in this country are obese and suffering from so many ailments? We tell ourselves we are on top of the food chain so that gives us the right to eat anything and anyone we choose. We are so devoted to satisfying the growling of our stomachs that we refuse to see that what we are putting on our plates are the remains of fellow beings who have every right to a full life on this planet as we do.  I wish every person could spend a day--just one day--with a rabbit and really engage with this animal. To deepen and strengthen our own humanity, we must be willing to reach out to other beings and to really see them for who they are, not WHAT we think they are. We don't have to see animals as food or a byproduct just as most people today do not look upon African Americans as slaves. We can change our perceptions and act accordingly. For the sake of the future of our species in an overpopulated world whose resources every year get scarcer and scarcer, we must do this.

The Hoppy Vegan

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Letter to Woodstock

Dear Woody,
It was one year ago today that we let you go to the Rainbow Bridge after your valiant fight first with crippling spondylosis and then cancer. I still cannot think of you or talk about you without crying. You were and always will be my heart bunny. I can smile now in remembering you but always,
always through tears. I still laugh when I recall the day you ripped open the bag of Care Fresh and spread it all over our basement carpet in protest of our spending too much time at the computer and not with you. You stood there so proud as “Dad” and I laughed and took your picture.

And how sweet were you when Cinnamon, so young when she came to us that she could not yet be spayed, kept trying to mount you, and you patiently endured it, occasionally giving her big kisses on her head to calm her down?

So much has happened since that very sad day when we said goodbye. Your “dad” and I are divorced. I live in a new place and never see Dad or the other rabbits now. Cinnamon is still with me. She has had a tough year too. She lost her second friend Boo only two months after they met and fell in love. Now she shares her home with a handsome and sweet grey rex named Benjamin, who was saved from certain death at a kill shelter by Lori Sundberg of Friends of Rabbits. You would like him, Woody—he is very very sweet though sometimes a little clueless when it comes to Cinnamon. He needs to kiss her a little more. It is so funny how he gives me this puzzled look when Cinnamon nips him in the butt out of frustration. Still, she adores him and gives him so much love just as she had loved you. Cinnamon took such good care of you. I tell Benjamin he must never take her for granted, when she loves another bunny, she really loves that bunny. Benjamin is a very lucky rabbit in so many ways.

I only wish he would react to Cinnamon the same way he reacts to a slice of watermelon! Women of any species do not appreciate coming in second after food!

It is so strange to be in a place where there are no memories of you ready to spring up and haunt me. In a way this should be comforting, starting a new life for both Cinnamon and me in a place that will not conjure up sadness and loss. And yet I wish your presence was here somewhere. I even miss those hard days during those last months when we had to bathe you every night. I might have been tired and exhausted after a long day at work, but it was a privilege to be able to care for you and give you as much good quality of life as we could as those days grew to a close. I still smile when I think how you enjoyed your spa treatment in the foot spa converted to a hydrotherapy pool. How it drove Dad crazy when I sang “Happy Talk” to you at bathtime. He so hated South Pacific, that song in particular. But it made you happy. And how you loved your treats, even up to the day you died, you just loved those sugar free cookies Dad used to eat. To this day, I cannot look at those cookies in the store anymore without wanting to cry.
I hope the day will come when I can talk freely and often of you without crying. As I look back on this year, I know that day is not here yet. I weep even as I write this letter. I hope somehow the feelings behind these words are reaching you somehow. I do believe in my heart that one day we will all be together again. Call it Heaven, Rainbow Bridge, whatever. I look forward to seeing you run to me, a whole bunny once more, and leap in my arms just like you did two weeks after we brought you into our home, when you showed me that despite how badly you were treated in your first home, you still trusted human beings enough to know I would catch you when you jumped. I miss you, Woody and will love you forever, as I am sure in her heart, Cinnamon will too.
Love, your mom

Monday, July 16, 2012

Christmas 2009 with Woodstock

He and Cinnamon used to live in our basement. They loved it when we used to light a fire in the fireplace. It was so cozy. I miss those times -- and that fireplace!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Remembering Woodstock Week (Rabbit Not the Concert)

A sad anniversary is coming up later this week (for which I will post an appropriate tribute on Thursday). My Woodstock died a year ago and as many of you know, he was a special boy. I want to celebrate him by posting some photos this week of this very special rabbit.

The early days (you can tell, see how small Cinnamon is--she is the one on the left)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rabbit Sighting

On the way to work this morning, I spotted at the side of the road a young wild rabbit poised just outside the brush, facing the two lane road my bus was traveling on. There was no mistaking his/her ears, high, facing forward, furry brown-furred body poised for flight. Inwardly I prayed he/she would turn and go back to the brush. I don't know what predator may await this rabbit there--fox, raccoon--but surely the road only brought certain death. I wonder now as the day wanes and I get ready to feed my own rabbits the feast of greens in my refrigerator, what choice did this little rabbit make? Imagine how one's fate can change in mere seconds by one simple choice. How many of us have made such decisions that in the end have changed our lives forever? Something to ponder on this otherwise dull Tuesday afternoon.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

High Praises for Local PetSitting Service Company

They say a good auto mechanic is worth his/her weight in gold. I would add petsitter to that as well. And I can honestly say that I have been so blessed to find one who not only knows rabbits but goes the extra mile for her clients.

Divine's Pet Care ( is a mother-daughter business which operates out of Dulles, Virginia. They handle dog and cat boarding and grooming, as well as rabbits.  As we all know, most petsitting services have plenty of canine and feline experience, but finding anyone familiar with our lagomorph friends is another story.  I was highly recommended this service by a fellow rabbit lover who urged me over and over to call Divine's, that I would be so pleased.  Well, happily, I finally listened. Indeed, I have thus far used Divine's services twice now (and plan to use them forever, frankly!). The first time was in an emergency situation, when I had to go back to my hometown due to a death in the family.  My family and I knew this death was coming days even hours away but when was uncertain. Divine's assured me that whenever I had to get on that plane, they would be there to watch my Cinnamon and Benjamin, and sure enough, they were.

The second instance ended up becoming another emergency situation of sorts, though the week I had booked with Divine's was a preplanned vacation. What we hadn't planned for was the devastating derecho storm that swept through the mid-Atlantic area the night before my scheduled flight to Boston. Power was lost to, as it turns out, millions of people, including myself. As I lay in bed that night, praying the coolness in my condo would last a long time, I wondered frantically--did my petsitter have power? What was I to do about Benjamin and Cinnamon? I certainly couldn't leave them behind in a condo with no air conditioning to go to the airport.  In the morning, as my house got increasingly warmer, I frantically called Divine's but couldn't reach them. Then I tried calling friends, but their phones were out too. What was I to do?

Hurrah!! Finally, after calling probably a dozen times, I reached Divine's owner, who must have wondered, geesh, lady, get a grip, calm down, all will be well. Thankfully, she did have power and she came over that morning to whisk my bunny kids back to her place, where they enjoyed a week's vacation themselves outside my stuffy condo.) Divine's concern for their clients is outstanding too.  One reason my rabbits stayed the week (my power had come back on that Sunday night, so they could have technically been brought back to my place that Monday) was that Cinnamon, going through a terrible shedding phase, exhibited signs of a possible blockage. Divine's monitored and treated Cinnamon for this, in addition to a sore front paw that we decided was a result of "stubbing" and not anything more serious. 

Finally, when I returned from my vacation today, my rabbits were already here, waiting for me, and greens which Divine's had left over from the week were in my fridge, sparing me a trip through 100+ degree heat to the supermarket to get them their salads for the next couple of days.

What is also wonderful about Divine's is (for additional fees of course) they will get your mail and papers for you while you are away, water plants if necessary, etc.  I was also very touched that Divine's owner sent me a text that first night I was away from my guys, to update me on how they were and on whatever antics my rascally rabbits got into that day. I was able to at last relax and feel at ease, knowing my furkids were being cared for so well.

I think it is so fitting that this pet setting service is called Divine's.  I know I found its services to be a major blessing. If you live in Loudoun or parts of Fairfax County, Virginia  (her coverage area is limited, as it is a small family run operation), give Divine's a call for your next boarding or grooming needs, especially if you have rabbits you are loathe to leave when you go away.  I cannot recommend this petsitting service enough.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bunny Yoga

Sorry but I simply can't see my rolypoly mini-rex Cinnamon doing these poses! However, perhaps this will inspire the Hoppy Vegan to get back to her yoga and get her all-too-tight muscles flexible again.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Princess and I

This is the best of several half-assed camera shots I tried to take with my digital camera. (No, I do not have a tripod, and I THINK I have a timer on my camera, but who wants to bother with such tedious details and lots of setup time, when all I want to do is take a darn photo!!)You can see how thrilled Cinnamon was with the whole idea.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Separation Anxiety - Mine!

You always see articles about pet separation anxiety (usually about dogs--why always dogs!?) and how owners must deal with animals who get slightly neurotic, to put it mildly, when their humans must go about their business and go to work. What do I never see? Articles for the human companions who get separation anxiety when they get called away or must for sanity's sake take an actual vacation. And let's face it. We all get it, especially when the animals are new in our lives and we are not certain how they will react when the day arrives and their usual human isn't there or they are whisked off to a kennel or a rescue who boards animals for fundraising purposes. I used to fear that my rabbits would think they were being abandoned the first few times I left them with a rescue group. Over time, though, I realized, that with each trip, each return, the rabbits themselves recognized that they were returning to their usual routine and all was right with the world. Still, that first trip for the new pet leaves me anxious. This is in part due to the fact I hate--absolutely HATE--having to leave them, even if the trip is necessary or even if it is a vacation. I miss them dearly when I go away though I confess I do like the break from the cleaning, grooming, etc. I confess too that I anthromorphize in assuming that my rabbits really give a damn if I am away or not. I assume that they are pining for me when I am in Boston or elsewhere--in truth, they are probably more upset that the bunnysitter isn't as well trained as I am and he or she is not giving them the treats at the proper time. I will be facing a trip sooner than the one I originally had planned for July. My mother's sister is in failing health and it is very touch and go at the moment. Indeed, I may get that dreaded phone call at any time. Whenever this happens, this will be the first time I go away and leave my sweetie pie bunny Benjamin. (Cinnamon, of course, is an old pro--in her eight years, she has become quite used to the comings and goings of her human keeper). I am so grateful I was able to hire a pet sitter who does in-home care, as I was at a loss how I could get my rabbits to a rescue. Still, I will travel wondering what Benjamin is thinking. Will he feel abandoned, wonder where his human mama left? And of course there are the usual worries--what if they get sick or something goes wrong? In the film, Peter's Friends, there is a funny yet sad scene in which Emma Thompson's character is giving instructions to her cat sitter before embarking on her trip to visit old friends. Around her flat she has posted Polaroid pictures of herself to make her cat feel as if somehow she is still there and won't miss her as much. Michael the cat leaps off her lap to go elsewhere, and Emma's character laments, "poor darling. Putting on a brave face..." I have NOT reached this point just yet (in any case, my rabbits would just chew the photos anyway.) But it would be nice to get some assurance to allay my separation anxiety before I leave for the airport.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

When Rabbits Get Bored

"So what else do you expect us to do when you're at work?"

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Melancholy Mother's Day

There is nothing sadder than not being able to see some of your rabbits that were kept by your ex-spouse on Mother's Day. I miss you so much, Ruby and Cocoa, Willow and Ghirardelli. I hope you know that none of this was my choice or my doing. Most importantly, I hope you all know that I love you very much, even if I'm not allowed to play any part in your lives anymore.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hay Hay Hay

Just a quick reminder about what is most important for a rabbit's diet. (And the operative word here is healthy. You will find many rabbit treats sold in stores are made of pure junk.) I must confess, though, I tend to spoil my guys with greens--two salads a day, but of course, all the hay they can stand as well. And with today's joyous venture to the town farmer's market, which just started up again today, I brought home a FEAST of yummy fresh greens for all of us to devour -- anyone ever hear of red butter leaf lettuce? I have a head of this twice the size of my own head in the fridge. Gotta love--and support--those local farmer's markets.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

L'Amour des Lapins

"Oh, great, she caught us necking again. Humans are such voyeurs!"

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day

It is raining in my area on this Earth Day but I still look out at my world and wonder how the birds, rabbits, squirrels, deer and foxes, are spending this day. I am lucky enough to live in a community that is very conscientious about maintaining a safe and eco-friendly environment. I am surrounded by trees and every day when I go and come home from work, I am serenaded by sweet bird calls. If only all communities could be so kind to the earth and try to live in harmony with our fellow creatures and treat our earth with respect. We only have one Earth and we need to do a better job to care and for preserve it. As I saw recently on a campaign poster against Monsanto, there IS no planet B.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom

Nothing like a nice tub of baby food squash to wet the ole whistle!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Vegans Are Running from Dunkins

I recently learned that a Dunkin Donuts is going to open in my neighborhood. There was a time I would have danced a jig at the news, having grown up in New England on Dunkins coffee (you can't spit in Boston without hitting one of their thousands of franchises.) But as a vegan, I am conflicted emotionally about this news. You see, other than coffee, Dunkins offers absolutely NOTHING for vegans. They are too cheap, in fact, to even offer soymilk as Starbucks does. No, all we can take away from DD is a cup of black coffee. Unacceptable.

While I understand DD prefers catering to the millions of overweight Americans who love to stuff their faces with their delicious but highly fatteningdoughnuts, it is clear that in other ways they have recognized certain trends in the culinary market. They offer cappucino and espresso now--when they first offered these items, I thought, these have no PLACE in the Dunkin Donuts I grew up in. I maintain that if I want a frothy drink, I'll go to Starbucks. But they saw how much people liked these drinks so they offered them to challenge the competition. Why can't they bring that same business acumen to the table when it comes to offering something for the millions of us who have gone vegan, for whatever reason, health, ethics, etc.? According to the latest polls taken the Vegetarian Research Group, five percent of the people polled consider themselves vegetarian, and half of them call themselves vegan. Same poll also illustrates that 33 percent people polled "eat mostly veg." Those are big numbers--why does Dunkin Donuts insist on ignoring this demographic?

I am not arguing for vegan products on any moral grounds, though I certainly could when it comes to animal rights, of which I am an ardent supporter. No, I am making a consumer's case, that if you want to increase your profits, if you want to be ahead of the game in the marketplace, you need to address how to win over a segment of the population you could be making more money from. That is the bottom line, isn't it? $$$? I can only buy black coffee from Dunkins. Imagine if DD started selling vegan doughnuts or pastries? Chances are I would buy them--who doesn't want something with their coffee? And to have soy milk available would bring this New Englander great joy. I miss being able to order a "regular" (for those of you unfamiliar with that term, in New England, it means "with milk and sugar".)

At the end of the day, places like Dunkin Donuts are there to serve what the public wants. Shouldn't this company strive to serve the ENTIRE public? Is that too much to ask? Until they see reason and start paying attention, this new Dunkin Donuts won't see much of me. I'll keep ducking into the Safeway where a Starbucks stall stands to get my soy latte.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

May you and yours have a lovely Easter or Passover, whatever you celebrate. And if you celebrate none of the religious holidays, rejoice in another spring, the season of new beginnings, fresh starts, starting all over...All very very good things.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Remembering Polly

Has it really been four years tomorrow that you departed this life? You are still so deeply missed and always, always, always will be loved, my little Sweetpea.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Remembering a Rabbit Named Dori

I wish I could say this is an April Fool's joke but sadly it isn't. Yesterday I learned from a rabbit rescuer in Friends of Rabbits that an individual who had just adopted a rabbit from this group had to slam on the brakes while transporting this newly adopted rabbit home. The carrier the rabbit was in was not secured properly and the carrier slammed into the back of the front seat and flipped over, resulting in the rabbit breaking her spine. Unfortunately Dori, the rabbit, had to be euthanized. It is hard even to imagine the grief and horror the adopter is feeling. Needless to say, the folks at FOR are heartbroken beyond the power of words.

When such tragic incidents happen, it is human nature to act in a way that makes the deaths of those involved not be in vain. To do nothing or to learn nothing from such a sad incident would make this senseless death even more absurd and incomprehensible. I think we need to take Dori's sudden death as a wake-up call to how we transport ourselves and our animals. Face it, we have all done it--we get into our cars. Just going to the store a mile away, why bother with the seat belt? This despite the fact that statistics have shown that most car accidents happen close to home--why don't we ever seem to get this? We always think we will be just fine; true, in most cases we are. But when that one horrible day comes when we are NOT fine, look at the cost. We must be more vigilant with our own lives and certainly must do the same for the animals entrusted into our care. This is one of those things that you would assume common sense would make plain to all; but I think it is best if we are all more vigilant in rescue to remind anyone adopting an animal of the basic safety measures they should take to protect their animals during transport.

Godspeed, little Dori, to the Rainbow Bridge. May you live in peace among all the rabbits who have gone on before you.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bunnies and Daffodils

It doesn't say spring more clearly than this! I have since stuffed two vases full of fresh cut daffodils which my local Safeway has been selling for weeks now. I will be sad when the daffodils are gone--they are exquisitely lovely and my favorite flower. The rabbit dish was a special Christmas gift from my mom. I cherish it. Ironically I usually serve up carrot dishes in it!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Review: The Easter Bunny That Grew Up

When Gretta Parker lost her beloved rabbit Flopsy this past December, she did what many of us rabbit moms want to do but somehow never have the time, courage, or emotional will to do--turn his life into a call to help all rabbits who need a home and are facing almost certain euthanasia in shelters. Gretta was doing this before Flopsy died, of course. Her brilliant photography skills enabled her to put his sweet face on creative and eye-catching posters promoting rabbit adoptions and responsible rabbit care. I myself have Flopsy pajamas (visit her CafePress store) and Flopsy's face peers out at me every morning from my fridge on the "Carrot Thug 4 Life" image. She also founded a nonprofit group, Baskets for Bunnies, which donates toys to rabbits awaiting homes in shelters and rescue groups (you can get to it via a link on this blog, in the upper right corner.)

Then December 28, 2011 came and the world lost all too soon its spokesbun for all rabbitdom. I,like so many of Flopsy's followers on Facebook, was heartbroken. (I myself would keenly feel Gretta's pain two days later when my beloved Boo died very unexpectedly.) He was so special, this lionhead bun whose face had truly become representative of all rabbits--truly he was the first bun to become a celebrity for his kind.

The book THE EASTER BUNNY THAT GREW UP (published by AuthorHouse) is not only Flopsy's story, as charmingly written by Gretta Parker herself, but it is perhaps the story of most rabbits these days who are given up by people who adopt these animals but who never had a clue or took the time to provide their rabbit their care and love they require. Complete with moving illustrations by Maya Tolliver and photos of Flopsy, the story is told from Flopsy's point of view (a perspective, I would argue, more people need to take into consideration before they bring a rabbit into their home). The story follows Flopsy when, as a bunny named Marshmallow, he is given up by a family and left at a shelter, only to be found by Gretta, who gives him a new home (and a lovely companion named Bella). Gretta takes his story up to the sad day when he leaves for the Rainbow Bridge, and it is hard not to cry when reading this. But look at Flopsy's legacy - in so many ways, this is a happy story because more people now have a better understanding of rabbits. I urge everyone--if you know anyone who is contemplating adopting a rabbit or getting one for their children, if you know any children who are clamoring for a bunny, PLEASE PLEASE get them this book, and consider the message Gretta's book imparts. The greatest tribute to Flopsy would be for people to make wise sensible decisions in adopting a rabbit AND for the right people to seek out and make a lifelong commitment to that special furry companion waiting for a family at a rescue or shelter.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Springtime

The Springtime
By Denise Levertov (1923–1997)

The red eyes of rabbits
aren't sad. No one passes
the sad golden village in a barge
any more. The sunset
will leave it alone. If the
curtains hang askew
it is no one's fault.
Around and around and around
everywhere the same sound
of wheels going, and things
growing older, growing
silent. If the dogs
bark to each other
all night, and their eyes
flash red, that's
nobody's business. They have
a great space of dark to
bark across. The rabbits
will bare their teeth at
the spring moon.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Even Rabbits Are Irish On St. Patrick's Day

"You're not going to make me wear that stupid green hat, I hope?"

Friday, March 16, 2012

Just Rabbits

I have yet to understand why people lean toward ridicule and sick jokes when it comes to situations or incidents involving rabbits.

This week, during the setting up for a press conference to introduce to the German public their latest zoo acquisition--a "rare" earless rabbit--a cameraman accidentally stepped on this bunny and killed him/her. The obvious questions aside--why was this rabbit on the floor, why put a rabbit in a zoo in the first place-what really deepened the sadness of this incident was the appalling responses many in the public made regarding this poor rabbit. Go on any news site reporting this story; you will find some cruel reactions out there. Here are a few gems from the MSN.NBC site:

"Kill the rabbit, kill the rabbit."
" Easter cancelled?"
"That reminds me, I need bunny slippers."
"I am horrified and laughing my head off at the same time."

Somehow i suspect that had this been a puppy or a kitten the reactions would have been much more sympathetic. This was "just" a rabbit, right? Why should people care?

Even more galling was the zoo director's reaction. As if this was a comforting thought, he assured us that Til, the 17 day old rabbit, died instantly, that "it was a direct hit." Yeah, I feel much better hearing that. The latest news is this poor rabbit has been frozen--so eager for a new exhibit, the Germans plan to stuff Til and put him on display. What kind of perverseness is this?! Incidentally this rabbit, claimed by some to be rare, in fact simply had a birth defect. There is no special earless breed of lagomorphs; in fact, some rabbits being born near Fukushima power plant in Japan are coming into the world earless. This is a deformity and apparently the Germans thought that would bring in the crowds---an animal freak show. Sadly they may be right--we are a very sick species in that way.

I am so tired that rabbits get so little respect in this world. Such gentle loving creatures deserve so much better. Certainly the tragic fate of this baby bunny deserves better than sick jokes. He surely deserves better than to be a taxidermist's pet project.

Rest in peace, little Til. In so many ways, you are better off than living in a world with such a cruel, heartless species like humankind.

Monday, March 12, 2012

She Who Must Be Obeyed

So what are YOU lookin' at?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Love Lagomorph Style

How I envy my beloved Cinnamon and Benjamin...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nuts About Squirrels

Coming home from work one cold overcast afternoon, I heard the soft mournful barking of a squirrel high in a tree. As I approached my condo, I looked up and could see one solitary squirrel tucked into the crook of a barren leafless tree. There were no other creatures about, just him, and his cry struck a chord with me. I felt the loneliness, the solitariness in that sound, as if I had made it myself. Where I live now, squirrels thrive; with all the trees around, one can only imagine the plethora of nuts they find and bury and thrive on. When I walk around my condo neighborhood, I feel their companionship, listening to the soft sounds of the rustling leaves as they scatter about seeking out food. Some days I feel they are the only friends I have, in addition to the rabbits I share my home with. One thing is certain--Nature is a constant friend, always there, can always be depended on. We are all a part of the natural world--that, if nothing else, is consolation for one as myself who lives a solitary life these days.

I used to feed the squirrels when I lived with my husband. We had a deck and a birdfeeder, which inevitably meant squirrel invaders. Initially--so many years ago now--I had fought a long, losing war in an effort to defeat these gray,bushy tailed rodents from stealing food meant for birds, trying everything from cayenne pepper to moth balls. In the end, I never could keep them from eating my crocus bulbs or finding a new way into the newest bird feeder we had purchased for the deck. Anyway, what was wrong with feeding the squirrels too? They belong to this earth as much as human beings and robins do. If they could only learn to share, leave something for the birds, instead of consuming everything in sight. Our feathered friends need to live just as they do. When you think about it, there might be a lesson in that for human beings too.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Product Review: Amande

I have never been a yogurt person. Even when I consumed dairy products, yogurt was one of those foods like cottage cheese I felt I SHOULD eat but yet could never like it enough to sustain the habit. If I had the money back from all the cups of yogurt, soy or otherwise, that I had purchased with the best of intentions only to toss them in the trash ten days after the expiration date, I could retire comfortably.

Things may change now with this new product on the market, Amande, flavored yogurts made from cultured almond milk (and yes all those live cultures so beneficial for us that is found in dairy and soy yogurts are all here too.) Thus far I have sampled the cherry and blueberry flavors, both fruity and sweet and not at all cloying, like I find most yogurts to be. In fact, I felt like I was eating a dessert, rather than a "you-really-should-eat-this-for-breakfast-because-it-is-good for-you" food. Other flavors available: coconut, strawberry, peach, raspberry, and plain. They are also gluten-free and rather than sugar, Amande uses fruit juices to sweeten their yogurts. Amande products can be found at Whole Foods. (Visit their website have a store finder link to help you to the closest supermarket that carries their line.) Ask your local grocer to order this wonderful yogurt, especially if you are concerned about eating too much soy.