As we mentioned in the last issue of HRJ, education may come to you online or in print. One of the most enjoyable ways for you to educate yourself on bunny care is by attending a class. We have lots of them. Our chapters in many parts of the world offer classes for all levels of experience.
HRS Educators, who spend many years listening to their rabbits, share information with each other online and are well acquainted by e-mail. But we’ve learned from our long history that there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings. We have encouraged travel and hospitality among chapters ever since the HRS veterinary conference in 1997. Chapter representatives met in person at that time and held classes for each other while the veterinarians were in session.
Over the years our chapters have invited members from other areas to attend and speak at their local conferences. This has proven to be an outstanding way to exchange information. And when you mix the observations and discoveries of caregivers from around the continent, you get a much richer exposure to ways of caring for rabbits.
We have followed this model at HRS’s national headquarters, as we have just concluded a 3-part Master Seminar Series. Educators and chapter managers from out of the area came to speak on topics of interest to rabbit people in the Bay Area. Charging appropriate class fees helped pay seminar expenses for materials and plane fares.
Health topics for the first seminar were covered by: Dana Krempels, PhD, of Miami, FL; Joy Gioia of St. Louis, MO; Judith Pierce and Amy Spintman of San Diego, CA. Behavior and how-to topics at the second seminar were shared by: Kit Jagoda and Tracy Martin of Spokane, WA; Nancy LaRoche of Broomfield, CO; Margo DeMello, PhD, of Placitas, NM; and Karen Courtemanche, of Stockton, CA. Expertise in diet, drugs and diagnostics were brought to the third and final seminar by: Susan Smith, PhD, and George Flentke, PhD, of Madison, WI; Dawn Sailer-Fleeger, MS, of Indianapolis, IN; and Kristen Strobel, LVT, of Buffalo, NY. Local volunteers Donna Jensen and Karen Johanson joined various panels during the series. All seminars will be soon be available on DVD.
Regardless of your level of education in Rabbit, there is always more to learn. You can learn from long-time educators and people with not necessarily more, but different experiences than your own. Every passing year answers the question posed by our first HRJ printer, “Aren’t you going to run out of things to say about rabbits?”.
Thanks to everybody who responded to our call for writers and editors. We have new stories, new outlooks on old ideas, and several edited articles waiting in the queue to be published. It will take several issues to get all the material published, depending on which articles are compatible for the same issue.
In addition to response from writers, we have received offers from several illustrators, who are willing to provide artwork for HRJ. We have added them to our list of talented sources for upcoming issues and have already tapped one of them for our front cover. It has been a long-term editorial goal to have more artwork in the Journal.
A health article came our way that describes a bunny who suddenly became limp and unable to move, although a veterinary exam showed strong heartbeat and normal respiration. After being fed by syringe for several days, he eventually recovered. Our health editors would like to collect more information on this condition before running an article in the Journal. If this has happened to your rabbit please contact HRJ@rabbit.org.
By Marinell Harriman
House Rabbit Journal Winter 2011: Volume V, Number 6