Friday, 30 November 2012


Rabbits enjoy chewing. This fact was first demonstrated to me when I adopted a Himalayan bunny who I named Gideon. Since rabbits don't understand punishment, I tried distraction instead.

My friends on the rabbit lists helped me with the chewing problem when they told me about cardboard box houses and how much rabbits enjoyed chewing them. In my When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living with Bunnies) memoir, I wrote about how I invented a chewing game for Gideon. Here's how it happened.


One November afternoon, while shopping at Dickensfield Mall, I found a cardboard box with hand holes and no lid. I took it home and decided to play another prank on Gideon.

I placed the box over him and waited to see what he’d do. Would my bunny bro try to chew his way out?

At first, he pawed at the holes. When that didn't work, he started nibbling at the bottom edge of one of them. My bunny buddy made steady progress and the hand hole grew larger. He tried several times to hop through it, but broke off the leap at the last minute.

His whiskers must have told him it was still too small.

Finally, he leapt through the new opening and took his bearings. That silly rabbit seemed to be having so much fun chewing the box and ripping it up that he almost forgot he was escaping it. He hopped in and out of his former prison, rejoicing in the novelty of his newfound freedom.


When a Man Loves a Rabbit contains many more vignettes of my life with house bunnies. Please check it out by clicking on the Bruce Atchison's books link on this page.

Meanwhile, check out my newly-published How I Was Razed memoir on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Virtual Bookworm pages. Type "How I Was Razed" into the search box to find it.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012


Which pet store toys did you buy for your fur or feathered friend but he or she ignored them? I've once purchased chew sticks for my rabbits but none of them bothered to give them more than an exploritory nibble.

I've found that home made toys work much better, plus they're free. Additionally, products completely unrelated to pets can work to entertain them. One of those was a cardboard tube used for making concrete pillars. Here's an example from my When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Rabbits) paperback that demonstrates this.


Harry tried hopping through his, but the tube kept rolling from side to side. That ruined some of the fun, so I put the cardboard tunnel under the table and propped two water bottles against it. That worked great and Harry loved playing in that tube. It must have reminded him of being in a warren and it possibly gave him a sense of comfort.

Neutrino also loved his new toy. He even slept inside it. I moved the litter box, which he wasn’t using anymore, and placed the tube next to the fireplace.

I stashed Gideon’s tube under my bed and it took him a while to find it. When he did, he had just as much fun as the other two. I forget what I paid for the cardboard concrete tubes, but the joy I saw in my fur-clad lads repaid me a thousand times.


When a Man Loves a Rabbit contains many helpful hints for rabbit care. Additionally, it is filled with many vignettes of life with these fascinating creatures. Please click the Bruce Atchison's books link at the top left of this page to learn more about this book and Deliverance from Jericho.

I've recently published How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Use the search box at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm to learn more about this testamony of God's providence.

Friday, 23 November 2012


Have you noticed that some of your pets are afraid of cleaning equipment while others become inquisitive? I've had this happen with many of my rabbits. As I describe in the following excerpt from When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies), My long-eared friends had widely divergent reactions to me tidying up their areas.


Though Gideon was fascinated with the carpet sweeper and Neutrino kept a respectful distance, Harry attacked it every time I tidied up his droppings in my studio. As the blue beast gobbled up his calling cards, he lunged at the intruder and growled as fiercely as he could.

I couldn’t help but laugh at Harry’s determination to vanquish that invader and drive it from his favourite spots. His attacks and my sidesplitting laughter made the chore take twice as long. Rabbits sure can get protective of their areas.

The bunnies also reacted comically to the vacuum. Gideon was fascinated with it and hoovered every inch of the machine, while Harry tackled it. On the other end of the reaction scale, Zacchaeus and Neutrino just took evasive action whenever the machine zoomed by. Esther never saw the vacuum, since I didn’t feel like lugging it downstairs, and though the carpet sweeper interested her, she never attacked it.


When a Man Loves a Rabbit contains many vignettes such as this one. Please click on the Bruce Atchison's books link to learn more about it and my Deliverance from Jericho memoir.

I've recently published How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Use the search box at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm to learn more about this testamony of God's providence.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


One mistake that most owners of rabbits make is to use cages with wire-bottom floors. They don't realize that these are hard on the poor animals' feet. Bunnies also become uncomfortable with the noise and feel of the metal grid underfoot.

I should have remembered that lesson in 2004 when I reluctantly caged my house bunny. From my When a Man Loves a Rabbit memoir, here is an excerpt showing how rabbits despise wire flooring.


While looking in his hutch one day, it suddenly occurred to me why Gideon stayed in his bedroom most of the time. The wire flooring in the main part of the hutch bothered his feet and made distressingly loud noises. And it probably felt strange because of its flexibility.

I had lots of cardboard pieces gathering dust, so I put one next to Gideon’s bedroom door. He sniffed it suspiciously at first. Perhaps my little prince had forgotten how nice it was to sit on cardboard.

When I checked him later, he was not only loafing on it, but also ripping shreds off one corner. I’d given him someplace to sit and something to do. That made me happy and I apologized to Gideon for not realizing what he was trying to tell me.

Sometimes we humans can be so obtuse.


When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies) is my debut memoir of my life living with rabbits. Please click on the Bruce Atchison's books link to learn more about it and my Deliverance from Jericho book.

I've recently published How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Use the search box at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm to learn more about this testimony of God's providence.

Friday, 16 November 2012


How sad that a small number of people inevitably spoil the enjoyment of the rest. In 1969, I learned how to ride a bicycle. I had fun until the bully spoiled my joy one afternoon.

From Deliverance from Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School), here is what happened.


The administrators delightfully surprised us again when they purchased bicycles that November. As I had never ridden one before, I felt skeptical that I could balance on only two wheels.

The entire intermediate dorm gathered in the parking lot one Saturday afternoon to take turns riding the bikes. For those who had never ridden before, Mr. Moiarty walked next to each rider as we coasted down the slope. I had trouble at first with my balance but eventually I found it became easier to remain upright once I gained speed.

We rode those bikes as often as we could after school and after supper, doubtless making pests of ourselves to drivers on Jericho's roads. In fact, several of us were reprimanded by our supervisors for riding down the hills at breakneck speed and worrying motorists.

Not all of my rides were enjoyable however. Mr. Thynne supervised one of our cycling activities after school. When I began peddling, the bike wobbled all over the place and was hard to steer. This baffled me but I stubbornly refused to surrender my turn. I doggedly circled the junior dorms and blind children's classrooms as our supervisor instructed.

Charlie was next and I, fearing I would be blamed for the problem, let him use it without saying anything. He turned around after a few yards and said to Mr. Thynne, "Bruce broke this bike. It won't steer right."

"It was that way when I got it," I protested. Charlie continued to insist it was my fault and that I should be punished.

Mr. Thynne squeezed the front tire and said, "Here's your problem. This tire is flat." After a few minutes with the tire pump, our supervisor had the bike's tire filled and we continued riding around the building.


Deliverance from Jericho contains many vignettes of life in Canada's infamous institution. It was closed down in 1992 after 350 deaf students launched a sexual abuse class action suit.

I've recently published How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Use the search box at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm to learn more about this testimony of God's providence.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012


I'm ashamed to admit that I fell for the belief that a person could teleport anywhere if he or she had enough faith. Reality doesn't work that way. In fact, miracles rarely happen. That's why miracles are so miraculous. In my new book, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity, here is an excerpt that shows how gullible I was forty years ago.


Soon after that meeting, I decided to put Brother Herald's teaching to the test. Sister Eileen failed to pick me up for Sunday school one evening. Since I couldn't afford a telephone and I knew of no pay phone nearby, I had no easy way to discover why she hadn't come to drive me to Terry's. Even if I knew which busses to take, I would arrive long after the lesson ended.

As I paced and fumed in my room, an idea struck me. "Hey," I said with a grin. "Why don't I teleport there?" I closed my eyes, raised my arms above my head, and commanded, "In Jesus' name, teleport me to Sunday school." Concentrating hard and silencing every doubt, I visualized the basement where the children waited.

When I opened my eyes a minute later, I still stood in my room. I tried to teleport again but I remained where I stood. "Jesus," I prayed, "why didn't it work? I need to help Sister Eileen at Sunday school. I tried hard to believe and I silenced all my doubts. Why didn't you help me?"

"It was a good thing you didn't teleport over last Sunday," Sister Eileen said the following Wednesday when I described what happened. "We canceled Sunday school because Terry's kids had the flu. You would have had to take the bus or walk home if Jesus let you travel there."


I've recently published How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Use the search box at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm to learn more about this testimony of God's providence.

Friday, 9 November 2012


Have you ever believed something could be done when it defied physics? I unfortunately believed many ridiculous notions when I was a new Christian in a cultic house church. One of their doctrines claimed that we could teleport to anywhere if we had enough faith. From my newly-published How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity memoir, here is an excerpt that shows how badly duped I was by that pseudo-teacher.


Though our outreach failed, the fantastic doctrines Brother Herald taught continually excited me. On a Wednesday evening at the end of November, 1972, Brother Herald taught us about teleportation. "Open your Bibles to Acts, chapter eight, verses thirty-nine and forty," he began. Then he read, "And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea."

Brother Herald fixed each of us with his gaze and preached, "Most mainline Christians think Philip went into some sort of ecstasy. This is absolutely false! All members of Homochristus, those who are new creatures in Christ with sufficient faith, can teleport themselves to wherever they are needed by God."

"You mean I could go anywhere just by willing myself there?" I blurted.

Brother Herald gave me a withering look. "This is not for frivolous usage, Bruce. It is to be used only in the service of God. You may have seen envelopes with 'ON HER MAJESTY'S SERVICE' printed on them. Those are used only for communications from the government. What they contain is of prime importance to those who receive them and must be respected. The power of God is only to be used for his service and the furtherance of the gospel."

While he answered more questions, my mind filled with images of how I would teleport to far away places where I could demonstrate the power and reality of God to everybody.


I've recently published How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Use the search box at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm to learn more about this testimony of God's providence..

Please also click on the Bruce Atchison's books link and read about my previous paperbacks.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Understanding Your Rabbit’s Habits By Tamsin Stone.

Why is the third most popular pet in America and Canada so misunderstood by people? Perhaps it's because they never learned the proper way to look after them. Worse yet, many of the books about bunnies are filled with bad advice.

One book that isn't filled with mistaken ideas regarding the nature of rabbits is Tamsin Stone's concise compendium, Understanding Your Rabbit's Habits. Illustrated with helpful drawings, it explains many physical and psychological reasons for the behaviour of pet bunnies and their wild European cousins.

From extensive research and observations of her rabbit, Scamp, Stone has put together a guide that is sure to help novice bunny owners. Even long-time "rabbit people" will enjoy and appreciate this book.

Being unlike dogs and cats, these animals react to situations differently. For example, they hate being picked up since it's like being caught by a predator. They want to keep all four paws on the floor and receive petting on their terms. Bunnies also love loafing under couches and beds because they feel protected there. Such places are like the warrens or ground cover of their ancestors.

Being herbivores, these animals instinctively chew on things. Since the teeth of rabbits continue to grow, they must eat plenty of hay to wear them down. Without cardboard boxes to chew on and newspaper to shred, indoor bunnies tend to destroy carpets and electrical wires. By rabbit-proofing rooms and making, cardboard box houses with a doorway on opposite sides, these natural-but-problematic behaviours can be redirected from dangerous or valued household objects.

Rabbits have a high degree of intelligence, a fact unknown to many people. Their wild cousins also have complex social hierarchies. Pet rabbits retain the same instincts and emotions, something to keep in mind when keeping them indoors. Otherwise they might seem aggressive, skittish, or naughty to their human caretakers.

Stone runs a rabbit rescue organization called The Rabbit House in the UK and she also blogs at about bunny-related topics. Her book can be ordered from the The Rabbit Hous/ page. A Kindle version can be purchased through the www.Amazon UK site. It would make a wonderful gift for any rabbit-loving friend or family member.

Friday, 2 November 2012


I suppose I should have written about this subject before Halloween but I didn't think of it in time. Firecrackers were one of the most memerable aspects of the holiday for me and my generation. We could easily find them for sale in corner grocery stores back then.

One of the incidents that I left out of my Deliverance from Jericho memoir was the evening one of the supervisors, who I referred to as Mr. Thynne, took us down to the school's playground to light the firecrackers we purchased. Since the totally blind kids couldn't see the end of the fuse, Mr. Thynne helped light it. Then he told the boy to throw it.

I asked Mr. Thynne if I could put mine inside of the pipe that the teatertotters rested on. When the firecracker exploded, it made a hollow sound. I expected that it would shoot out of the pipe but it didn't.

Another supervisor showed us how an exploding firecracker could make a can jump off the floor. He led us down the dorm's stairs and into the breezway. Then he lit a firecracker and placed the can over it. We all cheered when the can lept off the cement. Pleasing us even more, he let us each have a turn placing the can over our lit firecrackers.

We had fun with our firecrackers without the supervisor's help as well. The local store sold bundles of tiny firecrackers for a dime each. I felt that lighting the end of the fuse and having the whole bundle go off in rapid succession was a waste of my precious allowance money. We only received fifty cents a week. If we blew it, we couldn't beg or borrow any extra money until the next allowance payment. This taught us to be thrifty.

During one recess, I unwound the fusess from the main fuse. Lighting individual firecrackers made the experience last longer.

Since the can experiment worked so well, I put firecrackers inside bullet shells. A friend had given me a handful of them when we went to a rifle range one Saturday. The force of the explosions sent the shellsabout fifteen feet away. Not only was I pleased with the discovery but no teacher stopped me and confiscated my firecrackers.

Deliverance from Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) describes what life was like in Canada's infamous institution, closed down in 1992 due to rampant sexual abuse of deaf students.

I've recently published How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Use the search box at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm to learn more about it.