QUESTION: We have two Cavalier King Charles spaniels. We also have 18-month-old twins who now play in the yard every day. I regret not having trained the dogs to eliminate in a specific area. Now the yard has to be carefully searched and cleaned every day. We do not have the time to always physically lead the dogs to a spot. Are there other ways to accomplish this?
Answer: I was in a similar situation years back with multiple dogs to train, and I solved it by fencing in a small area with chain link by the back door and against the house so it was under the eaves and protected from the rain. I covered the ground with driveway gravel. When it was time to let the dogs out, I would lead them to the fenced area it was about 8 feet square put them in there, close the gate and go back in the house. After 20 minutes, the dogs finished what they had to do, and I let them out into the yard to run and play.
After a few weeks of this, the dogs got so used to the routine that I was able to take the gate off and the dogs would go in and out of their "bathroom" of their own choice.
Q: We found a nest of baby rabbits in our yard at the edge of the lawn next to a thick juniper bush. The gardeners blew off the layer of fur and grass that the mother had covered the babies with. We put the fur back over them, but we do not see the mother coming back to them. Should we take them indoors to bottle feed them?
A: Bottle feeding baby rabbits is a huge undertaking that very rarely ends in success unless you have lots of time and experience. Rabbit milk is very rich and the mother rabbits called does do not stay with their babies as dogs and cats do.
Instead, they build that nest you saw and line it with their fur. That is enough to keep the babies warm. Their milk is so rich they do not have to nurse the babies continuously and just visit them a couple of times at night under the cover of darkness to do it.
So the best thing to do here is to just leave them all alone. Do not worry about the mother not caring for the babies because your scent is on the nest that will not happen.
If you truly think that the mother is not caring for the babies, you can determine it for sure by dusting some flour around the area that surrounds the nest before it gets dark. In the morning, if the flour is undisturbed, you can then take them to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.