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Ben Hare's Bunny Cart Tips

By Diego Rivera as told to Jodi McLaughlin
Here are some helpful cart tips from me, Diego Rivera, reporting from the Field. Who am I to talk? Well, about 6 months after I was born, I hurt my back. One day I was hanging around the bunny sanctuary when this animal massage lady spotted me. She started visiting and petting me a lot and pretty soon she took me home. Wow, did I ever hit the lottery! She gave me rubs every day and fussed over me like I was at a bunny spa. But then one day, a play box came in the mail. Inside was a funny metal contraption that the lady said was for my "dis-ability". I didn't know I had such a thing.

The metal contraption sat on my floor, in my nose hairs for a few days. I pretended to ignore it. Then my adventure began. Let me tell ya, it was a wild ride, learning to drive my “Doggon Wheels” cart. So I think it’s best I share some tips with you bunny people. Get ya up to speed so to speak.

Ok, first plan on at least a 2-week adjustment period! That funny thing freaked me out for a while. Check to be sure the cart is fitted properly. We bunnies must have adequate room from harness to saddle. I was all squished in so my cart had to be sent back and lengthened. I also needed a tummy strap added to support my belly since I had chewed my chest strap, hee hee. Oh yeah, and I needed little stirrups added to hold my back feet up off the ground. No drag man!

So once everything seems copasetic, er ok..., start off with your bun using just the saddle. Let your buckin’ bunerroo build up front leg and chest strength for about a week. Give daily saddle-strap time so he can pull himself around and get used to the feel of that darn saddle. The lady put me outside in the grass or on carpeting for traction. Be sure the leg holes are big enough too. My leg holes were too tight at first, ouch!

After your bunster is used to the saddle, put on just the harness for a few minutes each day, oh say maybe 2-3 days. Your bun-bun may be like me and chew the chest strap. The lady decided to get rid of that nasty thing. Didn’t need it, eventually everything else kept me in the whole get-up. But I got used to the harness cuz she gave me lots of distractions when I was wearing it. She keeps the harness pretty tight, just under my “arms”. She always puts one finger under the harness to be sure it fits just right.

Now where was I? Oh yeah. Next she put me into both of those contraptions, saddle and harness, and let me run around. This all took a week or more but I settled down. The snacks were yummy and I had some new toys. Alright!

Finally, the lady put me in the whole kit 'n caboodle, I mean cart. I was not happy. I was buckin' and pushin’ myself backwards for a while. At first I was on the table, but safe cuz she was right there holding onto me. Then she put me down on the carpet and braced my backend from going backwards. Took me awhile, I am very stubborn, but I figured out I could go! And then I learned how to take the corners real wide, and that I could lie down and rest. Now I can't get under anything that is too low, like my favorite furniture, but I get to go under the bed sometimes. Whoopee!

I remember back then that the lady would put some Rescue Remedy flower essence on my ears before we practiced and she massaged me tons and cooed at me to keep my eyes from buggin' out like they do sometimes when I am FFFRRRREAKIN' OUT!!!!!!!!  Phew, sorry about that. Those were INTENSE bun times, that’s for sure, but soooo worth it now.

And speaking of now, the lady always has me on a secure table to strap me in. And once the cart is all hooked up, she wraps a “nappy” around the outside frame. She works real quick but I am pretty patient. It's always something around here so I just go along with the routine. She lays down a long trail of rugs all around the room cause I gotta have traction and I love having a racetrack. She calls me "Ben Hare" when I'm in my chariot.

Most days I am in the cart for an hour or two. But never ever unattended and always with my water and hay at the edge of the racetrack. Ya know, ya gotta re-fuel. In the beginning, till everything was all safe and sound, I was only in the cart for 15 minutes. A couple of times I must admit I have put ‘er in reverse too fast and ended up on my rump, the cart is on end and I'm flailing in the air, whiskers a spinnin'. Heck, I can't get myself outa that!! The lady says it happens cuz I don't have a roll bar on the back like doggies do. I get rescued really quick, good thing somebody watches me. I am one crazy bunny in the cart, its just so darn fun. I can really roll, baby.

So take this whole cartin' thing slow and you will love it. I, Diego, promise. Heck, I've been using my “chariot” for 3 years now. It keeps me frisky and gives me a great workout. I sleep like a baby bunny after my cart time. Oh, and what’s really cool, the lady has become MY MOM! This is bunny-cart gospel according to me, Diego Rivera-- I mean Ben Hare. Rock and Roll onward “Diff-Abled” Bunnies of the World!

San Diego House Rabbit Society

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