I shared about when Tundra saved the baby bunny in the barnyard, and that story linked to the story about chaos in the barn when he saved another bunny. There is one more Tundra story that involves him saving a baby bunny that I’d like to share. It was actually the first time he protected our livestock.
Before we moved to Willow Creek Farm, we had a little old cabin on a small piece of property where we had chickens and meat rabbits. The cabin had what can only be described as a walk-out crawl space. The back part of the crawl space, (the uphill side) was just like a regular crawls space – dirt and only about 3 feet tall. But because the house was built on a hill, the other end of the crawl space was about 8 feet deep. The previous owners had poured a cement floor in this section and put up partial walls. So it was kind of like a basement storage area that was accessible only from the outside. This is where we kept our meat rabbits. The “barn” cat also lived down there at night and then outside during the day. And because we had been having some bear trouble, Tundra slept there at night as well so his barking could alert us if a bear was trying to get in.
When we first moved in, Tundra found a nest of tiny baby bunnies in the back yard. The house has been vacant, so I am sure the mama bunny thought the fenced yard was a great place for her nest. Unfortunately, he killed a couple of the bunnies and then we got to him and took the last three to a wildlife rehab.
One morning we heard Tundra down in the “basement” alarm barking and then snarling and then alarm barking again. We had bears coming through the property every night, and sometimes during the day, and they occasionally tried to break into the basement area where the rabbits were. We immediately headed outside to see what was going on.
When we got into the basement Tundra was standing there snarling at the barn cat who was hissing in front of him and challenging him. On the floor between his front feet was cradled a tiny, 3-day-old baby bunny that had fallen out of one of the meat rabbit cages. We were new to rabbit breeding and the cage wire was too wide, thus allowing tiny babies to be able to get through. We later fixed that issue.
As soon as we walked in the cat ran away. Tundra leaned down and gently licked the baby and then looked up at us as if to say “Here you go! I saved it for you! I didn’t let that cat eat it.” We picked up the baby bunny and it was alive and well, albeit a little slobbery.
That was the first time we realized that Tundra was so special. He had no training about livestock, and he would kill a wild rabbit, yet somehow he had the ability to know that we cared about these meat rabbits and didn’t want them harmed. He was so smart and watched Mtn Man care for the bunnies each day, and thus made the connection that he needed to help his owner take care of these animals. And he stepped up and helped us to care for them by protecting them from harm. We already loved Tundra, but we were very excited to see he had a special guardian working ability with our small livestock that we didn’t even know was there.