Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Here is Shepherd's Belladonna on the cover of Russian Harpers Bazaar with Naomi Campbell. Hoping to get some of the photos from inside the cover. I think she looks adorable.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bad Weather

 Hurricane Sandy before this door blew in.
Here it comes. 
Next was 10" of snow! 
GC BIS/RIS Shepherd's Bellhop with his big Rosette. 
GC Shepherd's Ladyslipper groomed up.

It has been a very interesting few weeks since the Lebanon show. Much to my surprise jersey wooly buck Shepherd's Bellhop won an open BIS at the Lebanon RBA show. I was told that there were 1,700 rabbits entered. What a nice win for a little 3 lb. bunny with almost every beautiful breed of bunny represented.

Next we had Hurricane Sandy that hit the Jersey shore with so much force and destruction. We lost out power and then when it came back on we were hit with a heavy snow storm that brought down trees and power lines so we lost our power again.
I was so happy to have the power back that the first thing I did was groom bunnies!

I was able to get to the Baltimore and Howard show by sharing a ride and transporting some bunnies home for local owners. It was so nice to see all my bunny friends and that them for the good wishes and prayers that they sent my way.

I am having to cut down on my beloved angoras and woolies. They went to some very loving homes. Very happy for them and their new owners. I will miss them but am very happy to see the smiles on the new owners faces. Now for more clean up as we pick up from Sandy and get ready to put our house up for sale after the holidays. Happy Turkey Day everyone! Gobble, gobble!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Out of Cold Storage

After an eye opening iced coffee, 
GC Shepherds Lady Slipper, lilac tort sr doe and 
Shepherds Delphi, rew jr doe and 
Shepherds Flora, black jr doe come out of cold storage.

Most summers and especially this summer, I try to handle my angoras very little. It is just too hot for them and for me. Lucky for me, they have pretty easy care coats so they can hang out in the AC all summer and not be too worse for the wear. It is finally a little bit cooler, 80*, this morning and 3 ladies came out for a real good grooming. They were not too bad but still need some work on the underneath which gets the most felting and friction.

Shepherds Delphi is the first rew doe that I have produced in a really long time. I was originally looking to add other lines of rew but I am glad that I didn't as Delphi is worth the wait. She is much nicer than anything I could buy and her sister Shepherds Flora, the first black doe in a really long time, is also worth the wait. There are three other sibling from this litter and I will post photos of them as they get groomed. They will be the perfect age to take to Angora Nationals in Reno as seniors.

The iced coffee really did look like it had eyes and was staring back at me this morning! I must have been really tired.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Broken and Hot

GC Shepherds Shimmer

 GC PP's Glacier Ice
Shimmer getting her senior coat 
Broken and Not.

It is good to be back to blogging. I had dropped my camera in June and broke it, so no new photos. The computer also broke with a bad virus that took forever to get fixed. Plus it was too hot to do much of anything but try to stay cool and keep the bunnies cool, a full time job. And I forgot to mention that I am back to work, very exciting news.

Anyway back to bunnies, Shepherds Shimmer won a Best in Specialty Show in June at the show in Massachusetts. Very exciting as she had just turned senior and beat some very nice rabbits plus won over GC RIS Shepherds Bellhop who had won BOB and BOS at the two open Shows and over GC WW Queen Latiffa who won the reverse shows BOB and BOS. I am happy that the next generation is showing some promise as my two bellringers are molting badly right now.

I am looking forward to some fall shows although not as many as in previous years. My angoras have taken a toll this summer with the heat and the younger juniors are looking a little worse for the wear. Keeping them cool with the misters and spray bottles has made their coats somewhat felted. They also don't seem to have popped the wool as in previous years. We need some cooler weather to come along, like now. Well, it is nice to be back and I hope to have some angora photos up in the next few weeks once I work the kinks out.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hot Stuff

 Keeping angoras cool
Very difficult in hot weather.

If you have an angora with any length of coat in hot weather, it is best to keep them in air conditioning. Some owners bring them in during the day and then put them back out at night when it is cooler. Shade and a short haircut is most important with bunnies that are housed outside in hot weather. Fans to move the air, frozen water bottles or frozen ceramic tiles put in each cage are a big help. I spray down the concrete floors with cold water so that it keeps things cool as it evaporates during the day. There is a misting hose that runs around the outside of the rabbitry that sprays cool water and does drop the temps by a few degrees. Ice cubes in the drinking water bottles are a help as well as those frozen blue ice packs in the cage pans where the rabbit can't reach them. A fine mist spray bottle for cooling ears is also helpful as well as keeping the rabbit calm just letting them chill out during the day. Cool treats are also enjoyed, cold baby carrots, cold kale with the rinse water still on it or some chilled apple sclices. Anything that keeps you and your bunny cool and happy is great in heat like this. Keep cool!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


 Smoothing out his coat.

Looking for the Judge 
I'm ready, look at me!

Some show rabbits are just natural posers and some have to be worked with for awhile before they understand what to do on the show table and some are just carpet huggers. It is a joy to see a bunny that loves showing so much that he actually is up on his hind legs trying to get the judges attention. He turns to follow the Best in Show judge so he is makes sure the judge will not to miss his best points.

This is RIS GC Shepherd's Bellhop and he just loves to show. It took him longer to blossom then his sister, RIS GC Shepherd's Ring My Bell, but he has surpassed her with his wins. 8 GC legs, 1 RIS, 8 BOB (unusual for a buck to beat a doe), 1 BOS and 1 BOG. His sister has 5 GC legs, 1 RIS, 2 BOB (one at PASRBA with over 65 woolies entered), 2 BOG and 1st. Junior Doe.

Their other sister, Belladonna, is a scardy cat and becomes one with the carpet at shows. Although she is just as nice, she only has one win under her belt. If only she would struff her fluff, she would do much better at shows. She did try her best to out pose Naomi Campbell at the Harpers Bazaar photo shoot by leaning into the fan every time the assistant moved it in the models direction. Maybe she is just prefers a different type of posing.

Some are naturals, some you can teach and some are just happier staying at home. This poser cracks me up, he is just so comical. Thanks to Anita Picco for these fun photos and love Alyssa Bowlby's beautiful English Angora sitting so nicely on her carpet.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fame and Fortune

Editor Hugo Lindgrin from the NY Times Magazine.

Not a great photo but if you are riding in the back of a New York City taxi and watch the TV monitor you may get a chance to see the Editor of the NY Times Magazine with an English Angora bunny on his head and other places in his office. You can also go to and go to the Innovation section for the magazine to see the video of how 4 bunnies turned into so many more. The video is very funny and my Dad and I had alot of fun with the shoot. The editor was very easy going and even let me put a bunny on his head. Most fun was watching all of the very experienced staff of the magazine on the whole 6th floor go ga-ga over the bunnies. Something that we just take for granted seems to make other people go a little animal crazy. They were taking photos with their phone, knocking on the glass divider walls trying to get the bunnies attention and begging to touch one. Very cute.

So I don't know about fortune but if I get a chance to go for a shoot, I always take it. They pay very well for the time spent working and will also pay for the expenses of traveling there. The bunnies really seem to like the attention and are usually very well mannered. I even had one Jersey Wooly, Belladonna, trying to upstage Naomi Campbell by putting her face towards the fan everytime the assistant moved it in the model's direction. Everyone seems to love them, the jobs help to pay for rabbit food and it puts a very positive spin on bunnies as pets and how well they are treated.

I also get to experience situations that I would never be involved in otherwise. What other chance would I have to meet Naomi Campbell or Italian supermodel Fabrizia? Or interact with child superstars in the making? Or have my rabbits photographed by famous fashion photographers? Or my favorite of all, to get a chance to view row upon row of next seasons designer shoes and boots and try on a huge diamond flower ring from Jacob and Co.?

Ok, back to reality, time to clean the rabbit pans...........but a girl can dream..................

Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's War!

 Blue Jersey Wooly Doe
Broken Tort Jersey Wooly Doe 
Two sisters relaxing together

Well, I have had it with flys. I have never seen it so bad as it is this year. No real freeze this winter must have not killed any of them. So it is war! I have had it with them so I asked around, did some research and this is what I found. I tried my research on half of the rabbitry as an experiment. I cleaned half of the  cages in the rabbitry with white vinegar, washed out all the pans, sprinkled the pans with barn lime, sweet PDZ and pine chips. Washed down all of the concrete floors with the hose, white vinegar and then floor cleaner with a herbal disinfectant. Around the  outside edges of half of the rabbitry, I sprinkled cedar shavings. I put up new fly strips and I put out bait stations with fly bait. I put out cups of apple cider vinegar with a piece of fruit in the bottom. I also ordered fly parasites to place around the rabbitry.

Results are that now I no longer have any flys on one side of the rabbitry. They have now left to live on the other side. When I am done with the other side, I will spray the screen doors with fly spray.Tomorrow the seige continues with the other side until I have no more flys. I will not give up, I will win the war of human against insect. The bunnies don't seem to be bothered but they just drive me crazy so I won't rest until they are all eliminated. And if they are not all eliminated then at least the rabbitry will sure smell good. Oh well......I will let you know if it works. So far, so good.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

English Angora Wins

Shepherd's Laurel 
GC Shepherd's Princess Poppy 
Shepherd's Lady Slipper

As promised, here are the colored english angoras that were shown at the Rhinebeck, NY show. Poppy won two more BOB, Lady Slipper won first junior doe twice while Laurel won 2 BOS awards. He went on to win another BOS award at the Baltimore and Howard show last Saturday against some really tough and handsome competition. Lady Slipper came in second to Alyssa's beautiful junior doe, Eve. Donna's beautiful black sentior doe, Berry Bright won first senior doe and I believe, BOV. An agouti senior buck came in first in the buck class. The BOB award was won by a beautiful rew junior doe owned by Anita. She is a lovely little bunny who we better all watch out for in the future.

The woolies also had some very tough competition at B&H but managed to take home a BOG self with Shepherd's Bellhop, a first self junior buck with LSR Elusive,  and BOG broken with Shepherd's Polka Dot Bikini. The awards were spread through out the wooly exhibitors but BOB and BOS were won by Jenea's beautiful AOV pair. With the Hoto Nationals running along side the open show, everyone was kept hopping. We all had fun, enjoyed seeing everyone and the bunnies enjoyed the cooler weather.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Reserve in Show

GC Shepherd's Bellhop with his BOB Prize. 
 Judge Howard Keller with Bellhop.
Bellhop with his Reserve in Show Prize cage.

Seems like Bellhops showing off sure had a payoff at the Rhinebeck show with his Reserve in Show win and double Best of Breeds. His coat looked really nice and for a white buck, he stays pretty clean. The weather was perfect for a rabbit show, cool, partly cloudy, breezy and no humidity. We had a neat new building, big and open at each end for the nice breezes to blow through so rabbits and exhibitors stayed nice and comfortable. This was a last minute decision to go to Rhinebeck, NY. I love this show but finances are tight so it wasn't really planned for. I think I won some over places in the self classes, pretty sure junior buck in both shows but was so busy watching Bellhop that I lost track of the junior classes.

They had really neat prizes of a clock with you winning BOB rabbit on the face. They made them while you are there so you could take them home with you. Since they had some left over you could buy one for any rabbit or for a BOB win with less then 10 rabbits in the breed. They are really cute! The prize for RIS was a perfect 3 section wooly carrier. Bellhop just loves it.

Judge Howard Keller was the judge for BIS A and I was thrilled that he picked my wooly and gave an honorable mention to EA Poppy. He said he would have picked her but she needs a bit more density. I said it was alright because the Jersey wooly was mine also and either choice would do fine for me. He had a big laugh over that one.

My angoras did better then I thought they would with Poppy winning double BOB and Laurel, colored jr buck, won double BOS, Lady Slipper won double junior doe and junior rew buck (no name yet) won double BOV. I guess they didn't look so bad after all. I will post some photos next blog.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dots Grow Up

Shepherd's Bellhop 
 Brokens grow up
 and get wooly.
Drizzle's litter getting fluffy.

Shepherd's Bellhop, brother to Shepherd's Ring My Bell, has finally come into his own by winning Best of Breed at the Hamburg show B. He is later developing then his sister and his 2 other siblings have yet to finish getting their senior coats, so time will tell. He is turning out to be a very handsome boy and he loves to pose just like his sister did. He kept standing on his hind legs trying to see what the Best in Show Judge was doing. He was really funny to watch, at one point resting his front feet in my hand, as he was getting tired of standing up tall on his own. What a show off!

The broken angoras are getting lots of wool and are getting really big now. They are all so cute, it is hard to know which ones to keep. Most of them will be going at nationals so if anyone is interested, contact me at

GC BISS BL's Drizzle's litter has turned out really cute with lots of wool. I am really happy to have a solid black doe and a broken black otter doe. I have even fallen under the spell of a certain sable marten buck, look at the cheeks on him. There is one siamese sable doe that will be available so let me know if you are interested in her. Looking forward to Angora Nationals but don't think I will have anything in coat with this crazy weather we had this winter, we will see. I can always show my Jersey Woolies, lol.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

There are Tools and..

 New Tools...
 Love the little greyhound comb!
and then there is the $5 bracelet section...

There is a huge flea market somewhat close to me that is open on Thursdays. Since I was delivering a bunny to it's new owner out that way, I thought I would stop in and see what was for sale. There is always a huge booth with pet supplies. While I didn't need any 10" long dog bones, the grooming tools are usually half price. Anyone that grooms gets very excited about new tools or a different type of tool. Anything that will make grooming more fun or easier or seem more exciting and less of a chore. I presonally love to groom. It is my therapy but I do enjoy a new grooming tool now and then. Look what I found! A tiny greyhound comb! I am so excited to try it out. What a good size for cheeks or feet or behind the ears. The other two combs are also very good for grooming English Angoras or Jersey Woolies as the have space between the teeth and will get down into the wool and only take out the loose wool. There is also a stand with dried fruit and peanuts and they have dried papaya which the wool breeds love and I think helps prevent wool block. I cut it up in small bits and put it in their food bowls. It's a nice treat for them with lots of vitamins and they sure seem to enjoy it. And then there is the $5 jewlery section..........enough said.... even I can afford a $5 bracelet or two.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spots Grow Up & N.C.

 Broken Black English Angoras

 Broken Tort and Solid Tort English Angoras
 Talk about a packed Car!
Beautiful Jersey Woolies at Nationals

We decided to take the long drive to North Carolina to go to Jersey Wooly and Fuzzy Lop Nationals. With gas prices climbing and trying to save expenses, we worked on fitting three adults and 21 rabbits plus luggage in my car. On the way back we added 7 more rabbits to deliver back home. It was a puzzle but we somehow got it all to fit by traveling very light. I did my grooming on a fold out chair and a carpet piece. Even with my haphazard grooming table, Princess Poppy won 4 BOB in the 4 shows she was entered in and went on to win a Best in Specialty show judged by Allen Mesick. Not bad for only bringing one angora. My woolies didn't fare as well except for one self junior doe took a first in one of the open shows. A few others were in the top ten in some of the shows but everything went so fast and being at tables for two different breeds, I will have to wait on the show report to see the placements. Very excited to see that Deidre Edder won BOB at the National show with her beautiful REW doe. She was exquisite and is now home making some beautiful babies. It was fun and I sure enjoyed spending time will all the friends from down south.On the way down we filled the empty travel cages with things that would be gone or used up on the way home, like bunny food, some sale items and a donation basket. That way we could fill them with bunnies on the way home and not take up anymore room. I always thought I was good but Lauren is some good packer. It was like a puzzle to get everything back in the way it came out.

It was also nice to meet some new angora breeders down South. Who would have thought there would be about 20 English Angoras entered in a Southern show? The broken English Angora babies are growing up, half are boys and half are girls and only one solid tort in the litter. They are little clowns, just have to love their sweet little faces.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Surprise! A Rainbow

 Rainbow of Babies.
BISS GC BL Drizzle, the Mom. 
The Dad, Riff-Raff with 8 GC legs

Talk about a box of chocolates and you never really know what you are going to get! Jersey Woolies sure can give you a surprise.  Drizzle had a litter of seven for me last time and what a variety of colors she had. Two siamese sables, a sable marten, a broken black otter, two broken siamese sables and a broken sable marten. I repeated the breeding as I loved the body type but the broken I liked had no face markings. Trying again and this time she has four, a beautiful black, a siamese sable and a sable marten plus a very nice broken.  Hard to tell what color yet as the siamese sable and sable marten are born looking blue, which gets me all excited, and then turn dark brown. The broken looks very much like them. Then she gave a special present just for me, a black that looks solid and she had no black the last time around. If they are only half as nice as the two parents, I will be very happy. Congrats to Maddie with Drizzle's broken siamese doe who won BOSG at the York, Pa. show this past weekend! It is so nice to see her babies doing so well.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cutie Patooties

English Angora Sable Pearl brother and sister.
English Angora Sable Pearl brother and Tort brother. 
The Blues Brothers, jersey woolies. 
 The Broken JW Brothers and one sister, maybe.
White English Angora Buck.

It is fun to have baby land again. Nothing is cuter then baby english angoras and baby jersey woolies when they get their fluff on. They are so happy when they frolic around, boinking here and there. Asleep on their Mother's back where it is nice and soft. Excited to see me coming around with the food bucket and even the water hose, because they know I can't resist giving them a pat on the head. They listen when I talk to them and seem to enjoy the discussion but never talk back. I think that could be why I sometimes prefer bunnies over humans. They are sweet, positive and all have their own individual personalities. Bunnies know their name and have certain likes and dislikes. They know the difference between me feeding them and when my husband sometimes will do the feeding, taking full advantage of getting an overflowing bowl from him. There is no such thing as a "dumb bunny" in my opinion and they will pull on my heartstrings for that extra shredded wheat or bundle of hay. Guess we are alike and are all just big softies, after all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Big Girls

 GC Shepherds Iris lounging.
 Iris after grooming.
Iris and Iridescence are sisters. 
That's a whole lot of wool. 
Younger doe, GC Shepherds Poppy. 
Little broken tort doe, Shepherds Imari.

English Angoras have a time limit to their show coats. It has changed over the many years that I have had angoras. 3 to 5 months was long for a buck's coat back 20 years ago and 4 inchs was a long coat. Does could grow to 5 to 6 inches and last about 6 months. Show rabbits these days almost don't molt anymore and can wear their original coats from birth to 12-15 months. When they are in full coat it is a beauty to behold and they are often refered to as "The Big Girls".

That doesn't mean they are pretty at the end of the old coat's life. It is hard to remove a coat that you have cared for during this long time. When they have gone to the extreme length of coat, it will loose density and leave just the guard hair behind. It can still be very long and when groomed will look pretty but it tends to deflate once the blower stops. And sometimes the bunny will make the decision for you. GC Shepherds Iris has decided that she wants babies and started to make a nest with her beautiful long coat even though she has not been bred. I got the hint and will be taking her coat off over the next few days. We are having very warm weather so it will not be such a shock for the bunny.

If it was colder and I would have to remove a coat, I could make a little sweater for the bunny by taking an old sweat shirt sleeve and cut out the front legs and angle it away from the back legs. We use these same little sweaters on our baby goats. Some talented people I know knit little sweaters for their goats out of scrap wool. They look so cute frolicing around the fields in multi-colored outfits. As one group of angoras move from the showroom to retirement and baby bunnies, the next group move forward to try their luck in the showroom. The number one thing I think you need when raising angoras is patience.