Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The challenges of being a bunny momma

Every year a Easter approaches, I cringe just thinking about how many adorable little baby bunnies will be purchased, then abandoned (pet rabbits CANNOT survive outside), or flooding animal shelters.   6 years ago, I was just as impulsive when I decided to take on a pet rabbit.

My in-laws were shopping local yard sales and knowing that Aaron and I were looking to take on a small animal for our apartment at IU, they called us to tell us that someone was giving their rabbit away for free at the yard sale.  Awesome, I know.  We decided to take her, and promptly went to the store to buy her all the  "necessities."

As we started doing our research, we learned we were doing all the wrong things: feeding her food that was a horrible diet (but is very colorful and enticing at the store), providing her bedding that was toxic (which is also very easy to buy at the store), and not giving her enough space for exercise.  Learn from my initial mistakes and check out my tips for responsible rabbit ownership:

1) Rabbits need a diet of 80% hay and the other 20% should be fresh vegetables (ideally leafy greens).  Don't bother buying the colorful trail mix at the pet store - most of it is junk and should not be consumed by rabbits.  To save money per pound, we buy 50 pound boxes of hay from a feed store.

2) Look for a rabbit-savvy vet.  Most of the time, you end up having to go to an exotic vet and paying a premium unless you are lucky to find a vet who has gone out of his or her way to study rabbits.

3) Rabbits need lots of space - our rabbit Mimzy has a 3 ft. x 9 ft. cage, and she is let out every evening for supervised exercise.

4) Be prepared to clean - a lot!  While rabbits are easily litterbox trained, they get their hay EVERYWHERE.  And the hay they eat makes the room where they live smell..... organic.

5) Get your pet rabbit spayed or neutered.  They are EXTREMELY susceptible to reproductive cancer and fixing them prevents these from developing.

6) Most rabbits do not like being picked up and are extremely fragile (they can break their own backs by kicking too hard).  When they bite, it REALLY hurts (trust me, I know - Mimzy is a biter!), so they may not be ideal pets for small children.

7) They can live between 7-10+ years.  Mimzy is 8 years old now!

Aaron and I will undoubtedly adopt another rabbit after Mimzy passes because we've fallen in love with the little creatures, but they are definitely a lot of work!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Embracing the runner in me

A little more than a year ago, I would have never said this.  I would have told you that running caused a lot of pain and frustration.  And it makes you feel like a complete klutz (when I first decided I wanted to run, my gait was less than smooth, and I felt clunky!). 

As strange as it is, I had to practice to get better at running.  At learning how to listen to my body, how to breathe, how to adequately hydrate myself, and how to deal with the disappointment of not performing at the level I desired.

 I am so thankful that I now look forward to my runs and feel like it allows me to see my life from a more positive perspective.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Guinness World Record Challenge: Most Pet Food Donated in One Week

We give away 50 tons of pet food every year -
we can use all the donations we can get!
In a previous post, I mentioned a goal that I am working towards of "global proportions."  I'm finally ready to share my secret: I am organizing an effort to break a Guinness World Record for the Most Pet Food Donated in One Week!

This record of course, will benefit the pet food pantry I manage: The Indianapolis Pet Food Pantry and Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside will take credit for the record.  Our goals are simple:

1) Collect enough food to break the record (a little more than 13,000 pounds - here is the record:

2) Draw attention to FIDO's work.  Even though FIDO is a small non-profit, we have big work to do (help improve the quality of life for Indy's outside dog by getting them adequate shelter and getting them off chains), and more people need to know about what FIDO does so they know how to report abuse and neglect. 

3) Bring in more FIDO supporters.  We can always use more donors and volunteers!

The record attempt will take place September 22nd - 28th

I couldn't be more excited!!!  This is a really fun way to help animals AND attempting to break a world record is on my life's to-do list!  Ahh!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

You should know!

It's good to be back after a blog hiatus (unplanned!)...

Here are a few things you might not know about me:
I love kittehs!
  • I absolutely hate raw tomatoes, but I will go to town on salsa. 
  • I am truly a cat person who just happens to love dogs too.  I think I can relate to cats more in that they are so adventurous and curious. 
  • Even though I'm a cat person, I can think of no better way to spend a rainy afternoon than napping with my two pooches!
  • I have a ridiculously long life goal's list - like, we're talking over 200 goals, folks!
  • I am totally a night person.  I have tried a few times to pretend to like going to bed early and being a go-getter in the morning, but it just ain't happening!  I'm writing this at a quarter til' 1.....
  • Diet coke is a perfectly acceptable morning beverage. 
  • My degree is in economics, and if you'd told me several years ago that I would be working at an animal shelter, I would have laughed at you.
  • Speaking of animal shelters..... Some day, I want to put my business training and background in economics to use and do research for the field.