This will probably be a long post, but these little bunnies have consumed our life this weekend so they're pretty important to me!
It all started Friday around 7pm. Cooper starts barking and whining in a way that I've come to know means "Hey, there's something living in my backyard, let me out to go chase it!!!!!" I look outside and see a bunny sitting in some ivy under a tree, no biggie there, that's a pretty regular sight around here. But it stays there for a good 5 minutes and isn't scared away by Cooper barking. At the time I realized that wasn't normal, but didn't think too much of it. At about 11pm I let the dogs out for the last time at night, it was pitch black due to lots of clouds and absolutely pouring. Usually Cooper will just stick his nose outside, feel the first drop of rain, and decide he'd rather hold it until the morning, but Friday night he bolted outside. A few minutes later Trapper comes in and Cooper is still no where to be found. I look out the windows and see him under the tree, then I see he's jumping around and pawing at the ground. I send my sweetie out in the rain to see what it is cause at this point I know Cooper's caught something. He goes out and said it looked like the ivy was alive. He thought at first we were infested with rats, but then I told him there was a bunny there earlier in the day and so it's probably baby bunnies. Since it was pitch black and pouring, there was no much we could do without risking stepping on lots of little guys.
We wake up and go outside to assess the damage. Cooper had dug up a nest of bunnies just like we thought. 2 were a couple feet from the nest and didn't survive the night in the cold and rain. One was safe and sound in the nest. We searched the ivy and found one a few inches from the nest. My sweetie picked it up and it didn't look like it was breathing and it was cold, but it didn't look as bad as the ones we knew didn't make it. He held it while we looked for more and then he jumped cause he started kicking. We decided to bring this one inside to warm it up them we'd bring it back out with the others. As we went to go inside my sweetie almost stepped on a second bunny. This one was about a foot from the nest, but had more cover than the other one. It started moving a little as soon as I picked it up, but it was very cold. So we brought that one in too. We put them in a shoe box with fiberfill to try to keep them warm and put them in a closet away from the dogs, who never knew they were in the house!
We also put some fiberfill around the bunny in the nest since it was now all by itself and we couldn't built the nest back up because everything was soaking wet. My sweetie grabbed a handful of leaves and spread them out on the concrete so they would dry and we could use it to cover the nest later.
The bunnies in the closet seemed to be doing better and responded to being touched and were moving all over the box, although still laying on their sides and not sitting up like the one in the nest. We decided it was time to put them back with their brother. We went outside and removed the fiberfill from the nest, put the 2 bunnies back, and covered the nest with the now dry leaves. We also put 2 twigs across the nest in an X. We read that the mother bunny will only come at night and only stays for 5 minutes at a time, so to see if a nest is abandoned you need to put 2 sticks across it and see if they're disturbed the next day.
We go outside to see if mama bunny came to visit them during the night and the sticks were exactly as we left them! We didn't know what to do and we were expecting another day of rain. We felt horrible about leaving them out there knowing they hadn't eaten anything in 2 days. I called the local wildlife rehabilitation clinic and left a message, but no one got back to me. We figured the best thing to do would be to leave them out another day and hope the mama came back. If there was no activity by Monday morning we would take them into the clinic. My sweetie went out and built the nest up a little more knowing we were expecting some pretty heavy rain during the day and we hoped for the best.
Around 6:30pm Cooper starts going crazy again!!! I run to the window and see mama bunny sitting on her nest. She was there for about 10 minutes she seemed to be sitting still and feeding them for a while and then she started rebuilding the nest. She came back again at 8pm and hopefully a few times during the night. Hopefully this means the bunnies will make it. There's only one down side to them, I can't let the dogs in the yard until they leave the nest. Back to walking them in the front yard on the leash. They're very confused by this and keep whining at the back door. I'll get a picture of the bunnies in the nest if the sun ever comes out again.
On the non-bunny front. . . My sweetie left this morning for China. He'll be there for the week for work. I'm hoping to get lots of knitting done while he's gone! I've been working on his sweater non-stop for the past few days and have managed to get 16" done on the front. I need to do 17.5" of stockinette before I get to start shaping and using my brain again. Hopefully it won't take too long to finish and then I have one more sleeve and the collar. I'm so excited to get this thing of the needles and see if it actually fits him!!