Late last night–well, technically, very early this morning–Cooper had an emergency. His belly is so off most of the time that this isn’t a rare occurrence. We keep him baby-gated in our room because if he has free rein instead of waking us up when he’s having an emergency, he sneaks off and goes. With the gate up, he paces around until we get up and rush him outside.
And rush him outside I did! Well, sort of…
First, I had to get a flashlight and check the yard for these guys:
Poor Cooper. He waited (im)patiently while I checked, then dashed out as soon as he got the all-clear.
It started a couple weeks ago when I was working in the garden and noticed an odd pile of dog-toy-stuffing-fuzz and grass clumped together between the Swiss chard and romaine lettuce. John reached to clear it from the garden and OOPS! A pile of ping-pong-ball bunnies wriggled around underneath. We put the nest material back in place and watched. Several days later, some bunny ears poked out, and the pile of grass bopped around as the bunnies pushed and shoved each other around in the soon-to-be-too-small nest.
We put up a small garden fence, not enough to truly keep the dogs out if they were motivated, but enough to create a psychological barrier. The mama bunny came by on and off throughout the day–a definite helicopter mama!
So, for the past couple weeks, we’ve been on BUNNYGATE… watching for the little ones to emerge and start doing their “test hops” and exploring. We’ve been checking for them or for the mama every single time the dogs have had to go out. Not super convenient for a wee hours bathroom emergency. We’ve been checking their growth and progress several times a day. They are tiny, and they totally blend in with their surroundings.
Plus, some bugs have been attacking our veggies. We whipped up our homemade pet-friendly insecticide and sprayed the other two gardens but didn’t want to spray this one, our greens garden, for fear that the mama wouldn’t return because of the smell or something. So, our kale is a goner… Anyway, over the last few days, they’ve been hopping around, making me increasingly anxious! I called a wildlife rehabilitation center to ask if, now that they’re mobile, I could move them outside the fence, but they said that wasn’t a good idea, that they would hop away for good on their own once they were ready. So, we’re still checking for them every time the dogs need to go out.
Unfortunately, one of the five bunnies inexplicably perished. We found him under our hose reel, and though he was completely intact–as in, not snagged by any sort of predator–he was gone. Not sure what happened. The other four are very mobile and hopping on their own, so I’m hoping that they’re ready to fly the coop, so to speak, this week. Once they’re gone for good, we’re going to wrap chicken wire along the base of our fence so that this doesn’t happen again. It’s been very stressful monitoring this dog/bunny situation!
Between the bunnies and the robin’s babies hatching on our front porch, we’re practically running our own little wildlife center.