My little girl has Gonads!!!!!
Thumper is a little boy.
I thought I would switch tactics seeing Thumps is doing crazy things every day and write in the present while going back every now and then to things I can remember while we had him in the first few days.
One thing about hares – they are after all wild and very different to the domestic Bunny. They are incredibly curious and they seem to like to know exactly what the parameters of their cage, room, house, field…whatever it might be, they go from corner to corner, along all sides and ones the thorough investigation is complete, they settle down.
Thumps was the same. When we put him in his little make shift box, he was very young and not very brave but within a couple of days, he has investigated that and his smaller box where he could go and snuggle in my scarf and he seemed quite happy. Every morning, lunchtime and dinner, when Ted was safely asleep upstairs behind the bed, I would feed Thumps his 4 or 5 syringes of milk and then put him down on the floor. Tass of course, was in her element, following him, licking him and just sitting watching him as he explored. And explore he did. Every…Single… Centimeter.
When the circuit was complete. He would take a wobbly run and jump on his long and very unsteady legs which, together with his odd shape, made him look like a flea in a camouflage of fluffy grasses. For some reason, I think he thought Tass was his mom, he would charge after Tass and if she was sitting and didn’t see him, he would gently try and find a spot to snuggle in somewhere. That was a complete no-no for our independent Tass and she would move away and give him a dirty look.
So I became his mom. He would reach up, scratch quickly on my jeans or dressing gown which I got to realize meant he wanted a lift up. if he was sitting on my lap drinking his milk, when he was full, he would stop, wash his face, stretch his long legs out and then scratch quickly on my jersey. I would open the buttons and in he would go for a snooze.
He was always secreted somewhere about my person during that first week. Either in the pocket of my coat if I was outside in the chateau grounds, or tucked into a scarf inside my shirt if I was in the chateau tidying up. He was quite content.
I enjoy painting and I love card making and any paper craft. Every now and again, as you can see from the photograph, on my very small little desk in our little cottage, I have a new crafting companion!
He got stronger day by day putting on weight quite quickly (this morning he weighed 545 grams!) and one day, he was charging around the house and he came and saw me sitting on the couch. Usually, he would reach up and scratch on my leg but not this time.
He discovered his legs…but not his aim!
He didn’t jump like a dog or cat or even a frog where you see them stretch out to reach their destination – front legs stretch, back legs stretch and they …well…jump.
Not a hare, not Thumps. One minute he was sitting on the floor and like a flea – he just shot up! But as he was still in ‘practice’ mode, he just shot straight up and landed with a surprised look on his face exactly in the same spot on the floor where he started.
He looked at the couch, at his destination for a while and tried again. The same way – no stretching, no reaching out, in a split-second he was on the seat next to me. I don’t know who was more shocked, him or me.
Now I walk through from the kitchen to check to see where he is, and find him sitting on the couch as if it’s a natural thing for me to come in and see a hare sitting there.
Now you may be wondering to yourself…does he pee or leave droppings everywhere?
Like any puppy or baby, I would have to say his bladder control was very minimal.
He would drink copious quantities of milk and within a minute, copious quantities of milk would come out. I mentioned earlier that we started feeding him in a hurry on the only thing we had which was cow’s milk. Well! When he pee’d on me for the first time – through my jersey, t-shirt, jeans and panties – the smell was unbelievable! The Not-So-Dear-One sitting next to me thought it was the funniest thing out when I unceremoniously plonked poor old Thumps on his lap and looking like I was performing a madman’s version of the Highland Fling, I stripped on my way to the kitchen, stuffed everything into the washing machine, switched it on and charged upstairs into the shower.
The next evening, Thumps pee’d on him.
Revenge was sweet.
The moment we changed to goat’s milk, the smell disappeared, in fact there was no smell at all – but being pee’d on every evening – even through a thickly folded towel, soon began to wear thin and having so many showers was making me feel like the cubicle was becoming my new home, so I decided some ‘house training’ was in order.
I found a plastic seed tray in the garden shed – a cheerfully bright lime green – lined it with paper towel and because I had read the hare like to chew on straw or grass while they pee, I filled it with straw,and patted it flat.
Every time Thumps had finished his milk, we put him into the tray. It took about 4 days and he would wait until he was in the tray to go. Even when he was charging around the house, I would make sure he had seen the tray (always put in the same spot in the kitchen) and he would neatly jump into it, chew some grass and..voila! Every now and then he wouldn’t realise that he had got a little bigger and his butt was hanging out of the tray and half would go in and half out but on the whole, he is now fully ‘house trained’ in that department. Not so much with his little round poops but to be honest, they are always very dry, very inoffensive and can be very quickly swept up. That will take a bit longer to get right I think.
As the Beloved keeps the chateau grounds and gardens very neatly cut, I now find myself having to go further afield to find greens for Thumps but in order to find the right ones, I bought him a harness and lead and let him forage for himself in the fields and hedges.
After taking careful note of what he goes for, I can make sure I bring him what he would naturally eat and I often find myself head first in the hedgerows or crawling around in search of certain treats to bring home to him.
He is a ‘time wasterer’ (if there is such a word), the house is full of bits of grass, straw and little round deposits, I worry about him and at times I wonder how I got to this point but when I read that to raise a hare is notoriously difficult and few succeed and when I see him charging round the house or lying stretched out in my arms, my heart melts for this little life and I acknowledge how privileged I am to play a part in this gentle creatures world.
Till next time,
disappearing round the corner
looking through the doggie door
fast asleep..happy hare