In Memory of Cadbury: A TMI Packed Tribute

This morning I had to take one of our pet rabbits (one of three) to be euthanized. Cadbury was no doubt the bitchiest of all of our bunnies, but we went through a lot together, so I was smitten with the old bat despite her faults (e.g. grunting and trying to smack the shit out of you when you feed her food).

A little over two weeks ago, Pete and I noticed Cadbury wasn’t eating as much food as usual. I took her to the vet and after a few xrays, they told me she had gastrointestinal status, which is the worst news for a bunny owner. This is definitely TMI, but basically it slows down intestinal movement until the critter can’t eat or drink anymore since everything is lodged up with…well, poop.

She went from five pounds to under three pounds during this time, so the hardest part was having to syringe-feed her food, water, and antibiotics every 12 hours in an attempt to treat her back to health. Pete was a huge help when we were told to try needle injections (ack) to help get things moving again.

At this point you must think I’m totally a crazy pet fanatic. Watching her turn pale this morning (it still astounds me that bunnies can turn pale) was all I needed this morning to take her to the vet to make sure she wasn’t suffering during her final hours. Although it was awkward when the nurse at the vet had her pre-teen daughter with her for “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” (which was totally yesterday!). Trying not to turn into a blubbery mess in front of an 11-year-old when the vet is starting to cry-talk while talking about the process of euthanasia is not an easy feat. I totally blubbered three tissues worth of tears, but I assured the pre-teen girl that I would not ugly cry in front of her.

In less morose ramblings, we wouldn’t have our bunny Applesauce without Cadbury. When I adopted Cadbury from the PSPCA, the shelter told me she was a male rabbit. I didn’t see any male bits, so I took her to a vet (that apparently wasn’t well-versed in exotic pet knowledge), and they confirmed that she was male. I questioned her manhood a bit during that car ride home, but I figured vets are paid to be smarter than me.

A few weeks later, I woke up in the early hours to the sight of five moving turds on my kitchen floor. Or what I thought were Betty White poops (lord knows she was always pooping inside then since I had recently adopted her from the shelter). Turns out they were baby bunnies, which confirmed that my intuition was correct. Cadbury did, in fact, have a vagina.

Unfortunately she was the worst. mom. ever. and tried to kill the babies, which is also not uncommon for traumatized rabbits that have been bunny-raped at the shelter. She quickly succeeded in injuring one of the five, and the little guy/girl ended up passing away soon after. I was at work during this time and didn’t realize rabbits could become aggressive with their kits due to nerves, so when I came home I put the four remaining babies in their own box and nursed them individually with her from then on. It was an incredibly stressful situation, and my new vet was telling me not to expect the kit to survive since I was handling them so much (not recommended). Luckily, all four grew up to be completely adorable little fluff balls and I ended up keeping the runt of the litter (Applesauce) and finding the rest of them homes.

Cadbury had a lot of health issues over the past year and successfully defeated the onset of head tilt (don’t Google that, I repeat, do not Google that) since she was a pro at taking injectable antibiotics. She also had this neurological thing where her eye wouldn’t close for like a week, but she survived that as well, which is why I thought this would just be another medical condition to add to her growing list.

Alas, it was not, but she lived to be at least 7-years-old (I don’t know how old she was when I adopted her) and she had an enjoyable life filled with lots of veggie treats and hump-filled evenings with her stuffed candy corn toy. I’ll miss you Cadbury, you were the sweetest, most bitchiest bunny ever.

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As Requested: Chinchilla Lovin’

Yesterday I asked my Twitter friends for some requested topics for my blog since I’ve been lacking ideas (apart from wedding related geekiness, which I am sure no one finds particularly interesting except for our moms). Jenn Hall asked for “more chinchillas,” so ask and ye shall receive!

Meet Maude, who I got six years ago during college…she was my top secret, on-campus mascot. Maude had a snuggle buddy named Ethel for four years, but unfortunately she passed away (sad face). Even though Ethel isn’t around anymore, Maude still tries her best to befriend a very terrified Betty White.

A clueless Betty White contemplates whether or not the wind will blow our roof off. *As a side note, I realize I should make the bed more often.

She had no idea Maude was pining for her from afar.

A sneaky Maude tip toes up toward Betty White’s brown feet.

(Still clueless.)

This is her “MOM WTF WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME MAUDE WAS RIGHT NEXT TO ME!” face.

This is her “seriously, this chinchilla needs to get a grip” face.

Not really sure what face this is, but I thought it was cute.

Um, they are totally besties.

Hopefully that’s enough chinchilla love to hold you guys over for a little bit. In case you may have forgotten, we have five pets (yes, we’re those people).

Cadbury is a major beyotch, but I still love her. I rescued her from the SPCA, where they told me she was a he. I also took her to a vet which confirmed she was in fact a he. I was concerned about why her testicles were invisible, but figured the vet knew better than me. Needless to say, I got a new vet when I found five baby bunnies on my kitchen floor. I thought Betty had pooped and that her turds were running across the floor because it was 6am and I was delirious.

I was told by several vets and a handful of message boards not to be surprised if none of the babies made it because Cadbury was incredibly aggressive with them, which meant I had to feed them on my own. One ended up passing away, but the others were healthy and given happy homes.

I kept the runt of the litter, Applesauce. He looks nothing like his mom and if he had a Match.com account, one of his “likes” would be running around his cage with a stuffed apple in his mouth. I heart him, even though he poops at an inconceivable rate.

Here’s Willie Nelson and his boyfriend Eeyore:

Sometimes Willie Nelson likes to do bad things to Eeyore, but I guess you could say he’s just hugging him really hard.

Thanks to Jenn for requesting more chinchilla stuff on the blog, I hope our freckle-eared chinchilla hit the spot! To everyone else out there, I’d love suggestions for topics you’d like me to cover on here! I’ll be sure to write posts covering the ideas my Twitter pals suggested (including a Betty White separation anxiety update and some photography tips).

Foster the Pooches

http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/cbsnews_player_embed.swf

Fostering a dog is something that has been on my mind these past few months during unemployment. Now that winter is soon approaching, it seems only natural to reach out and do some volunteer work since most of my photography work starts to die down as the weather gets more grim. It is really disappointing to think about how pets are mistreated, especially during the holidays, and how people rush to pet stores rather than making the obvious choice to seek a shelter dog as their newest family addition.

The fact that people still buy pet store puppies is a little shocking, especially since a lot of pet owners don’t realize they are supporting puppy mills when they adopt from a local store. This map, organized by the “No pet store puppies” campaign by the ASPCA is particularly eye-opening. Buying anything in pet stores that sell puppy mill dogs supports the industry, so I urge pet owners to buy your supplies from stores that do not sell puppies, or buy your supplies online.

{Carli Davidson Photography}

That being said, there are many dogs waiting for homes in shelters all across the country, so I am anxious to make a trip to the PSPCA soon with Pete and Betty White. If you already have a pooch and want to foster a dog, the two dogs must meet ahead of time. I adopted Betty from the PSPCA, so it will feel good to give back to the organization that gave so much to us over the past five years.

Photographers have an advantage when trying to find adoptive parents for dogs because they are able to capture the animal’s character in creative ways, which inevitably helps in rehoming the pet. I’m going to try to reach out to the Montgomery County SPCA, which is probably a two minute drive away, to see if they would be interested in having me swing by once a week to photograph adoptable animals. I think it would be beneficial to give the pets better exposure since many of the dogs on their site don’t have photos.

If anyone has any experience with fostering dogs or reading materials they’d like to recommend, feel free to comment below!

Family Session: Farmyard Fun

This past weekend I had my first ever family shoot at a private farm in Bucks County, PA. It was a pleasure getting to photograph such a sweet family, in addition to some teeny-tiny goats. I’m only posting the innocent-looking photos of the goats, but between you and me, I did manage to snag a few shots of the wee goat munching on the mom’s hair.

It was a breath of fresh air to be able to photograph adorable kids because they are always striking precious, candid poses without even realizing it.

Did I mention there were goats? SO CUTE.

I hope to be given the opportunity to photograph a family again sometime in the near future. It definitely made me step outside of my comfort zone and experiment with fresh perspectives. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to get to hang out with baby goats again too, they are my new BFFs.

Welcome to our Mini zoo

I realized it’s pretty rude of me to have never introduced you to our mini zoo. You might recognize these guys from the header at the top of my blog. In addition to Betty White the dog, our furry family also includes the critters below.

Meet Maude. When she’s not conquering T-Rex’s, she’s tossing her poop and scritching her nose after a dust bath. She used to be BFFs with Ethel, who sadly passed away over a year ago. Maude hasn’t been the same without her partner-in-crime, but she still manages to stay busy by slaying dinosaurs and the like.

Maudeasaurus was my first pet (apart from the family pets I grew up with of course), who I adopted mid-college. I waited until I had my own room and put the bunk bed to the top setting so her ginormous cage could fit underneath the bed. We weren’t allowed to have pets at on-campus apartments, so I usually blasted the tv when we had room inspections so people couldn’t hear the stirrings of a little white chinchilla. What can I say, I’m totally a rebel. Instead of smoking pot or drinking, I spent my time nuzzling Maude and watching America’s Next Top Model. Any cool cred points I had previously are now lost, but that’s a risk I was willing to take to share the cuteness with you all!

This is Willie Nelson. He was my first ever bunny. He was actually a she for a few months (Willamena Nelson), or at least I thought, until I discovered his Mammoth-sized bunny balls. I got him a few months before graduating college for my birthday when he stole my heart with his loppy cuteness. I was smitten.

99% of the time he can be found humping his boyfriend, Eeyore. At first I felt bad for the little donkey, but he’s been a lot less gloomy since Willie Nelson hopped into his life.

*For my Weddingbee friends, yes that is a candy corn toy in the background (aka Cadbury’s boyfriend).

This is Cadbury (sometimes called Cadbunny). The local SPCA had one of their bunny adoption events at PetSmart, where this chocolate bunny made me flail with delight. He looked like he needed major hugs so I couldn’t resist. I took him to a few vets where they insisted he was male, despite me not seeing any boy bunny bits down there. I couldn’t help but notice he/she was having some behavioral issues. He was very anxious and whenever I fed him—he put all of the hay in his mouth and ran around frantically.

A few days passed and I woke up to be greeted by little dark lumps on the kitchen floor. At first I just assumed Betty White pooped in the middle of the night (this was not a rare occurrence at the time). That is, until I saw the poop moving across the floor. There were five of them and upon further review, it was decided that they were the cutest little freaking baby bunnies I have ever seen. It was also decided that I needed to get a new vet that could actually identify a bunny vajayjay.

Unfortunately Cadbury did not take to motherhood. The SPCA told her she was a dude for a large majority of her life, so who could blame her for being out of sorts. She was very aggressive toward the babies and tried clawing at them and hurting them. One of the five did not make it. It broke my heart to have one of the babies die. I was told by many that it was likely none of the babies would live, given the circumstances of their mother being so aggressive. I refused to believe that. I separated the babies from their mother and brought them into her cage one by one to slowly feed them several times a day. Days turned into weeks and before I knew it, they were all grown up.

The buns were getting to the age where they could start to make babies themselves, so it was time to find them owners before things got incest-y. I found happy homes for all of them, except one. The runt of the litter, who was originally wounded by Cadbury and grew a lot slower than the others because of it.

This little runt’s name is Applesauce, who is the baby of our family. At first I thought he was going to be a lop, since he had helicopter ears, but he is a rex like his mom. I know Cadbury sounds like a total jerk, but it is sadly fairly common for bunny moms to get aggressive toward their litter. Let’s be honest, I’m sure she was still bitter from being bunny raped at the SPCA. When I adopted her, Cadbury had bites on her ears and wounds on her body, which I’m sure is from trying to flee from not-so-romantic bunny love. Anyway, Applesauce forgives Cadbury for being a crap mom and Cadbury forgives Applesauce for his unbelievable cuteness.

I mean, come on.

Willie still thinks he’s the stud of the pack, and I can’t really argue. He’s kind of a show stealer when it comes to the ladies.

Speaking of the ladies, Betty White is so bored by a non-dog related post. She is totally rolling her eyes as I type.

Are there any readers out there who are also pet crazy? How many pets do you have and what are their names? Share, share!