Friday, April 19, 2013

Nodrog's Curious Zoo: Part Two

It's not unusual for someone to have a pet rabbit. My daughter's friend had one once. Her parents got it for her on Easter. It lived in a cage in their basement, and when they would open the cage door to feed it, the rabbit would always attempt to escape. Sometimes he bit them trying to get out. When he did manage an escape, he would scurry underneath the clothes dryer, and getting him out was quite an ordeal. I think they kept him for about 3-4 months before they found him a new home at the pet store.

But this isn't the case with all pet rabbits. Nodrog has two rabbits, Peter and Bugs, and they don't live in a cage at all. They roam his house freely. He bought the rabbits at the 2005 State Fair. They were 4 1/2 months old, and won 1st place in their breed for coat. They are black Mini-Rex's. They've had free roam of his house since day one, and never go outside. Their main dietary staple is 3rd cut Timothy hay that he buys every three months from a farm in Washington state for about $40 for a 25 pound bale. They also eat various herbs he grows in his backyard, and a raisin or two as a treat. A bite of a carrot would be considered a treat too because of the sugar content. Carrot tops are fine, though. Mini-rex's are one of about 50 domesticated breeds of rabbit that descended from the wild European rabbit. Most of the time Peter and Bugs hang out in the bedroom, but they hop around anywhere they want. Nodrog has protected all his electrical cords with a metal mesh material called hardware cloth, and the motion sensors on his burglar alarm are tweaked so they don't set it off. Nodrog says he loves his two little fellas, and "they are great companions; aloof, like me, but wise and fascinating". And in case you are wondering...Peter and Bugs use a litter box.

Nodrog also has two backyard turtles that came from a friend's grandmother's farm, in Brandenburg. Her kids found one and then the other, and gave them to him. One of the turtles was pregnant, and two babies hatched in his backyard. This was the same summer he got Peter and Bugs. The little girl named one of the adults Michael, and the other one, Tommy. Nodrog raised the babies, Godzilla and Dave, in his house. They are fairly big now, but not the size of their parents. His privacy fence, along with bricks, keeps the adults safely in the yard, and they occasionally take a wade in his pond, though they are not aquatic turtles, they are tortoises (one is an Eastern Box, and he thinks one is an Ornate). In the winter, the outdoor turtles bury themselves underground. In fact, they just recently emerged from their hibernation. The outdoor turtles fend for themselves when it comes to food. They are omnivores, and eat basically anything, but he does give them veggies occassionally. He believes them to be young, maybe 10-15 years old. They can live to be more than 100. He feeds the indoor turtles veggies and chicken. Nodrog says "they are great fun, and very fast on their feet, and fascinating in a prehistoric dinosaur sort of a way to watch".

I just love hearing stories about these guys, and their adventures. Thank you Nodrog, for sharing the story of your wonderful pets!

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