Archive for the Humor Category

Running Rabbits and the Squirrel Wrestling Foundation.

March 3, 2014

This is our winter entertainment.  Unless you live in the red squirrel’s range, I bet you’ve never seen this before.  Watch till the end to see it in slow mo.

Running Rabbits and the Squirrel Wrestling Foundation from Ellyn @ Rabbit Smarties on Vimeo.

Video credits go to my brother.  No critters were hurt in the making of this video.  Seriously.



News on Rabbit Tattoos

March 10, 2013

baby polish rabbits

There’s a New Rule on Rabbit Tattoos

Let’s start with history:

Back in the old days, nearly everybody used clamp tattooers, right?  You pierce the ear, spread ink in the holes, coat it with petroleum jelly and hope you can still see it in two weeks…remember?  In those days, tattoo combinations were fairly limited.  My clamp came with just ten keys: 0-9.  So my bunnies got crazy tattoos such as 589273 and 41835.  Good luck trying to remember those.

Even if you spent the extra money and bought an A-Z set, you still only had one key of each letter and number.  So tattoos such as ABBY, BOOTS, and R2D2 were out of the question.

Another disadvantage was that you were limited to a certain number of characters.  My clamp tongs had room for six characters, but my 4-H leader’s could only take four.

But those, as I said, were the old days.  Like, when we all had dial-up.  Like, before Lionheads got insanely popular. Those days even dated back to the time when 80% of rabbit judges were men.

Today, in this post-post-post-modern era, it’s different.  Today bunnies get tattoos such as these:

rabbit tattoo

rabbit tattoo

rabbit tattoo

Or even:

rabbit tattoo


Tattoos that were perfectly legitimate in the days of clamps turned from this:

rabbit tattoo

to this:

rabbit tattoo

So what brought the change?

Here’s what: someone had an idea.  And ideas change the world.

Someone decided to take an electric toothbrush, replace the bristles with a cluster of needles, and thus produce a hand-held, battery-operated tattoo pen for rabbit breeders.   Brilliant, isn’t it?

I don’t know exactly when they first came on the market, but as soon as they started to catch on, these battery-operated tattooers spread among rabbit breeders as fast as Holland Lops did in the 1980’s.  Now they are much more common than the old clamps.  Even I, bunny budgeter extraordinaire, bought one of these new tattoo pens.  (Well actually, I traded the owner of some of my books for it…)

Pro’s and Con’s of Hand-held Rabbit Tattoo Pens

Breeders love them, because they don’t seem to hurt the rabbit as much, they take less nerve to use, they produce letters that are solid and small, and they work great for touch-ups.  And, of course, they offer a lot more flexibility.  We rabbit breeders are creative people.  We think it’s fantastic that we can now tattoo our rabbits with:


rabbit tattoo


But many judges and show secretaries are not as thrilled.  Some hand tattoos come out amazing, yes!  Some are much easier to read than clamps, yes!   But some come out looking like my messy handwriting.  Some are so small that judges have trouble reading them.  And the biggest problem with the new tattoos is the very flexibility that we breeders love.  Remember, we live in the post-post-post-modern age…or something like that.   Thus, ARBA registrars and show secretaries use computerized systems to handle their records, and it makes their jobs MUCH easier.  But there’s a catch: how do you enter a tattoo like this into a computer?


rabbit tattoo


And if you were a judge, would you WANT to read a tattoo like that in front of a whole showroom?

I wouldn’t.

Enter a Revised ARBA Show Rule

So the ARBA did something about it.  Just in the last month, the ARBA board approved a change to show rule 26.  According to my district director, the board approved the change unanimously.  And, having been a show secretary myself, I support their decision. It now reads:

SECTION 26. All animals must be permanently and legibly earmarked in the left ear. The tattoo is to only contain numerals 0-9 and/or letters A-Z.  The tattoo is to contain no language of a profane or sexual nature. 

We can do that, right?

By the way, there is still no limit to the number of characters in a rabbit’s tattoo.  However, if you want to be friendly to rabbit software programs, keep it to six or less.

And thus, ARBA has brought us into the post-post-post-post-modern age of rabbit tattoos.   That’s like saying we’re living in the future, isn’t it?


rabbit battery operated handheld tattoo penHey!  While we’re on the subject, check out this new handheld tattoo pen, developed by a tattoo artist with 20 years of experience.  It comes at a good price that includes goodies like All-Natural Bunny Balm to promote healing, and an indispensable ink well holder.  I recommend.

Doreen. Care to know more?

January 14, 2013

by Minnie Ritter.

It’s all my fault, really.  I asked for a sliver rabbit pendant for my birthday.  You know, the kind that dangles from your bracelet and makes you feel ten times sweeter than your classmates?  I told my mom it had to be genuine silver, pure through and through; and she said it was… and had papers to prove it.

You see, my mother is always swayed by a bargain.  Orange clearance stickers draw her like magnets.  She’ll spend $3 in gas to save ten cents in canned peas.  The silver rabbit pendant at the mall was $40.  The pedigreed silver rabbits in the van outside were 15.  Done deal, I got a silver rabbit for my birthday — the snorting, scratching, hungry kind– and she’s such a charm.

Black Silver DoeHer name’s Doreen.  I’ll have you know that I did not choose that name, she came with it.  And I strongly suspect that my mother picked it rather than the breeder, for Mom’s always saying she would have named my little brother Doreen if he had been a girl.  What-evah.  I met Doreen on my thirteenth birthday, and though that was only eight months ago, I feel like I’m at least 22 now: she’s making me age quickly.

I keep Doreen in a big wire cage.  It makes her look like she’s in a prison, and that is my one consolation amidst the trials she brings me.  Problem is, she seems to like her lonely cell.  She resents any intrusion.  I need only to lay my finger on the door, and a deep rumble sounds from the back of the cage like a grizzly bear is growling there.  If I reach my hand toward her, she swats it and runs to the opposite corner of the cage.  If I follow her with my hand, she’ll swat it again run back to where she was before.  Right and left; there and back; we do this for ten minutes twice a week, and I think it’s good for her arteries, because it’s the only form of exercise she gets.

Left to herself, she just sits.  In a lump.  In the corner.  And growls.  I put her on a leash, and she sat.  I put her in a pen, and she just sat.  I put her on the show table and the judge called her “well behaved” — after he assured himself that she wasn’t shot and stuffed.   And she eats.  Eats like my brother on Thanksgiving.  How any living thing can eat so much and move so little, is the greatest mystery I’ve met.  I kissed my allowance g’bye the day I met Doreen.

And nobody wants her.  I gave her to a 4-H’er, and in a week I got her back.  I snuck her on an airplane bound for Australia, and they canceled the flight.  I mixed d-con with her feed and she ate it… and kept on living.  I confess, that scared me so much I won’t try it again.  I let her loose in a sunny glade, full of flowers where I thought she could run free and be happy.  Instead she climbed up my pants.  So I took her home, and put her back in her cage, and gave her more food.  And now I sit sometimes and watch her eat, and dream of those dear bygone days of my youth when I never knew the smell of alfalfa, and “Doreen” only meant my little brother if he was a girl.


by the way– parts of this are fiction.  Only parts.  It’s based on a real Silver named Doreen.

Just a Picture

May 10, 2012

crazy rabbit

I hope it makes you smile, too.

“Never again…”

March 25, 2012

Found this buried in my old website files:

I can’t ever again…
…Say “polish” as in “nail polish”, with a short O sound.  It always comes out Polish with a long o… POWITH!
…Look at a Dwarf Hotot and think “Woah!  Lookit how big that rabbits eyes are!”  Instead its…”yeah that’s a nice width of eyebands, but a little feathered.”
…Hear of someone overpaying for something without thinking “I could buy a 4 hole 18×24 stack with that much $$$”
…Have a non-rabbit screen saver
…Tell you the dates of Fridays in a month.  However, on any given month I can rattle off all the dates of the Saturdays!
…Look at a picture and say “Oh how cute!”  Instead its  (if a crossbred)  “It looks like he’s got some __(blank)__ in him.”  or (if purebred) “I’d love to see him posed!”
…See someone’s pet rabbit without taking it out and listing its faults and DQ’s.
… See a VW Beetle without thinking it looks like a topline with an arch too far forward.

Have any to add?

12 Unlikely Useful Items in the Rabbitry

January 14, 2012

Be sure to keep these items on hand in the rabbitry…just in case you need them.
Dancing bunny graphic1. Marshmallow Creme. Spread on cage door to distract a chronic cage chewer.  Temporary fix.

2. Surveillance Camera in the Barn. Useful when you forget where you last put the toenail trimmers.

3. Extra storage card. For when it feels you just HAVE to take more video of those sweet little babies…even if you never end up watching it.

4. Standard of Perfection. Um.  Uhh…..  Everybody else has one!

5. Super duty triple-action Fort Knox quality combination lock and chain. To wrap around the cage once you realize that you have your first keeper in nine litters.

6. Metal saw. For when you forget the combination to aforementioned lock.

7. A dish of mints on a table.  Bunnies have no more excuse for bad breath.

8. Brick wall. To forcefully apply one’s head against when you realize you just bought a rabbit with buck teeth.

9. Amazing odor neutralizer: turns bunny smells into the scent of daffodils. Sorry, product no longer available due to manufacturer facing charges of false advertising.

10. Wire snips. For when a kit gets its head stuck in the wire and you have to cut it out.  (This one is serious — it has happened to me!)

11. Air conditioning. For when you have an older junior growing hotter by the day.

12. Bottle of Bubbles. For when a bunny’s sneezing, a doe is nesting on the wire, and you just want to go out and pretend you’re seven years old again to relax.

The Rocky Syndrome – btw: Back to Blogging!

January 8, 2012
Show quality Polish rabbit in the woods

Rocky's brother CQ - also had "the syndrome"

I once knew a girl whose AIM screenname was “Always2ndBest.”   Do you ever feel like that?   Yeeeaah…

In rabbits, Tiffany and I call it the Rocky Syndrome.  Those bunnies — usually bucks– that you can rely on placing in the top five in a large class, but never grand.  They rarely, if ever, come home with a win.  They’re always second-best.

Ever had one of those?

Rocky was a broken black Polish buck.  I bred him, but Tiffany showed him his whole career.  I would need to get the exact stats from her, but when Rocky finally retired he had one or two legs and at least 20 2nd or 3rd place finishes, in large classes.

His younger brother Conquistador had the same complex.  When I stopped showing CQ he had chalked up prestigious finishes such as second place at the ARBA convention AND Polish Nationals, but only had one leg to his name.

Why does this happen?  I think it happens to rabbits that are of very good quality, but just not quite great.  There’s nothing that jumps out about them that’s wrong, but they don’t have the flare of a BIS winner either.    Sometimes you can get a rabbit that looks just stunning…if you ignore all the scattered white hairs.  Or has some standout fault but is otherwise fantastic.  That kind of rabbit might win sometimes, and might not even be in the top five: it depends on how much that prominent fault bothers the judge.  Rocky and CQ weren’t like that.   They were all around good Polish rabbits:  short, round, deep, with good coats and a sort of “in the middle” head shape that could appease both the judges who like dwarfy heads and the ones that want longer, more refined heads.  But their patterns were plain, and they just didn’t have that edge.

So I’m curious to hear what you think: would you rather have a buck with the Rocky Syndrome, that doesn’t have any major issues and can rack up sweepstakes points (confess, you do care about sweeps points…), or would you rather have a rabbit that is flashy and almost amazing — but has a single glaring fault.

Polish rabbit body type

Not bad type on CQ

My answer:  Whichever makes better babies.


By the way —  I’m back to blogging!  Going to try to post twice a week.  If you haven’t added your breeders listing to the free directory at the Nature Trail, send me a note and I’ll put up your info!

Next post planned:  12 Unlikely Items to Keep in the Rabbitry in Case of Emergencies.

Whose Nose? Who knows! – Bunny Nose ID

October 6, 2011

Who knows whose noses these are? Just for fun, guess which breed each rabbit is just by looking at the photo of the nose. Click each pic for the answer!












Thanks for playing!

ARBA Educational Contest Winning Silly Poem about Rabbits

July 23, 2011

I entered this in the creative writing division of the ARBA youth educational contests in 2007, where it won a rosette.  If you are a youth member and planning to attend the ARBA convention in Indianapolis, you might enjoy the educational contests.  It’s like the arts and craft division at fair.  You can enter posters, displays, crafts, woodworking, and much more!  You bring your exhibit to convention, but you must pre-enter by September.  Details at

Now, here for the poem.  And though it’s not a true story, it’s one I could easily see happening to me!

Lamentations upon Selling a Certain Junior

…that isn’t a junior anymore.


I walked up to someone I knew

Asked, May I see your buck?

I heard you’ve done real well with him,

(Congrats on your good luck)


I mean the son that last month won

the Polish national show.

I have some young breeders with me

And they would like to know


Crazy Interview with Tiffany

May 18, 2011

My friend Tiffany was bold enough to agree to this month’s crazy interview!  Tiffany McCord is a Polish Rabbit Breeder in Michigan.  You can see her bunnies — among them the BOB at ARBA convention 2010–at the Rustic Rabbitry Website.

Tiffany Mccord on her Barrel Racer Quarter Horse

Tiffany on "Kipp" -- ain't this cool?

Have you ever swam a horse in Lake Superior?
– We usually take the horses swimming in the summer when it’s too hot to ride but I’m not sure if it’s Superior or Huron that we swim in.

How resistant are you to lop breeds?
– Not very!!  I happen to think Hollands are awful cute…

How about wooled breeds?
-I actually like Woolies quite a bit, not real big on Angora’s though.

If you had the opportunity to enter a knitting contest for a $50 prize, what would you do?
– Uh… I have never knitted in my life and don’t aim to start any time soon!

What is your biggest rabbit trophy?
– Either my BOB trophy from MN convention last fall or my APRC 2nd place sweepstakes trophy from 2009.

Have any interest in competitive rabbit hopping?
– No, I have enough trouble training my show horse!

Which is your preferred nickname for your breed: Pollies, Pollocks, The Little Aristocrat, or POWITH!
– Sorry Ellyn!  I know you like Powith but I hardly ever give Polish a nickname.  When I do I would say I call them Pollocks.

Have you ever had a rabbit worth its weight in gold?

DB87  Drew's Chocolate Polish Rabbit Buck

Drew's DB87, chocolate Polish herd buck

– Drew’s 87 (DB87) was worth his weight in gold.


The other day there was a commercial playing in Walmart for — seriously — a motorized bottle of ant spray. All you had to do was turn it on and it would spit out ant spray evenly. It cost about $5.00 more than the regular bottle. Do you consider that a good investment?
– No, it’s just as easy to spray it yourself in my opinion.

What is your favorite rabbit show…in general?
– I love Conventions because it’s 5 days of total rabbit-ness.  But if I had to choose a local show… I love the MSRBA Spring and Fall shows at the MSU Pavilion.

And the bonus: You DO play euchre, don’t you?
– I am pretty sure that I have played that on a track bus at one time or another.

Kelsey Shultz Interview

April 15, 2011
Pointed White Jersey Wooly and Kelsey Shultz

Kelsey with "Shultz's Best Shot"

Thanks to Kelsey Shultz of Royal Dream Rabbitry, Jersey Wooly and French Angora breeder in Michigan, for April’s Silly Interview!

1. Don’t look it up. Would you guess that “foofy” is listed in the English dictionary?
I don’t think so, but it should be! I use that word all the time!

2. Which is more common: people with the name Ralph or rabbits with the name Oreo?
Defiantly Oreo! I don’t ever think I have met a Ralph.

3. As a teen, which caused you more anxiety: waiting to see your score on a math quiz or a showmanship contest?
Showmanship for sure!

4. Have you ever heard of anyone breeding a French Angora with a Jersey Wooly? Why?
Yes I have. They did it for the wool and size. They wanted a Jersey Wooly size rabbit with a wool of a French Angora.

5. Do rabbit photos outnumber people photos on your hard drive?
Actually no. Rabbits come in second. I have a lot of pictures of landscapes, interesting buildings and other things we see when we are going to rabbit shows.

6. What will be the first lionhead color to be accepted?
Either tort or White. Those varieties are the most I see.

7. What is your favorite soup?
Homemade Chicken Noodle

8. Do you like the smell of calf manna?
I do.

9. How strongly do you feel that “woolies” is the correct nickname for your breed, and that “jerseys” is not so hot?
Woolies is easier to say and people will know you raise a wool breed. I do use both, but woolies is used the most.

10. Which editions of the Standard of Perfection do you own????
I own three: the 2011-2015, 2006-2010, and 2001-2005

Thanks Kelsey!  You can see Kelsey’s successful bunnies at the Royal Dream Rabbitry Website.

Easter Bunny Baby Rabbit Photo Gallery

April 9, 2011

Looking for a little springtime?  How about some cute Easter bunny photos of baby rabbits?

chocoalte baby Polish rabbit

These are baby Polish rabbits out on the lawn.

polish rabbit baby broken chocolate
“Do you believe in the Easter Bunny?”