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Pool Cleaning

This is the way I like the water.

This is the way I like the water.

My owner cleaned my pool this weekend. This is always stressful for me. It involves one or two days when I cannot go swimming and I hate that. In fact, I do not know why she insists on doing it. I like my water thick. What’s the problem? But she said she won’t swim with me once it gets too green so I guess it has to be done.

I'm not commenting on why the water is brown.

I'm not commenting on why the water is brown.

While my pool was empty, I had to make due with a little wading pool. Seriously, does this look appropriate for a 100 lb capybara?

Standing on my pool table in the newly cleaned pool.

Standing on my pool table in the newly cleaned pool.

Afterward the pool was crystal clear. Apparently that is good for photography. But look, you can hardly even tell that my paws are underwater in this photo.

The whole event reminds me of a rather embarrassing incident that happened a long time ago.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Current mood:  embarrassed

I was going to post this earlier but, well, I was a bit ashamed. I’m almost a full-grown capybara but sometimes I still act like a baby. That’s what happened last weekend when my owner decided to clean out my pool.

My pool had been getting dirtier and dirtier over time. That was fine by me. I like dirt. I like my water with a little texture and color to it. But my owner and Rick don’t. They think the water should be crystal clear. Since I stopped pooping in it a few weeks ago, they think they can keep it clean. So I guess I set the whole thing in motion for my own embarrassment.

Last Saturday I took my usual morning swim. Then my owner and Sheldon took me for a short visit to the vet. I’ve been having some swelling in the area formerly occupied by my testicles and my owner was worried. I was hopeful that I was re-growing a new testicle, which would have been nice. Neither one of us was right, it turned out to be just a fatty deposit and nothing to either worry or get excited about.

While I was at the vet, Rick drained my pool! When I got home, there was no pool to swim in at all. The stack of hay that normally leads up to the edge of the pool had turned into a stairway to nowhere since the side of the pool pulled several feet away as it lost the pressure of the water against it. When my owner saw that Rick hadn’t taken down the haystack, she went over and knocked off the top bale of hay. Rick said she didn’t have to do it because there was no way I could jump into the pool across the big gap. My owner said it was better safe than sorry so she did it anyway.

After that my owner started spending a lot of time in my pool getting the last of the water out and scrubbing the walls. I mostly grazed around the outside but two things bothered me: why couldn’t I go swimming and why couldn’t I be with my owner? I didn’t like it. Sometimes I climbed on the hay and eeped at her. She’d come and lean over to give me a treat and scratch my nose. It wasn’t enough, I wanted more.

On Sunday when I realized my owner was going to spend hours in the pool without me AGAIN, I decided to do something about it. I waited until she was scrunched down at the bottom of the pool and not watching me. Then I climbed up the hay and looked across the gap. It was about two feet up, three or four feet over, and then four feet down to bottom of the pool and I would be reunited with my owner. I took a deep breath, gathered myself up and made the spring of a lifetime.

Some of you may not know this but capybaras are champion jumpers. I don’t think my owner knew it either. You should have seen her face when she saw me flying through the air! Ha! I was as graceful as a swan, at least at first. Then I hit the ground and bumped my nose, then rolled across the floor of the pool. Ouch! I hit my head. But I got on my feet quickly and started running around. All the water was gone, just a small puddle in one corner.

We had another problem. I didn’t really like being in the empty pool. I started running around and eeping. But I couldn’t get out! There was no water and they’d taken my steps out anyway. Eep! Eep! It was scary in there. My owner said she couldn’t pick me up because I’m too heavy now. She traded places with Rick but he couldn’t pick me up either. Finally they had to throw some bales of hay into the pool and I climbed up those and got out. My owner grabbed me and helped me down so I didn’t land too hard.

I guess we all learned an important lesson…capybaras can jump!

Dartmore Zoo has baby capys

Today is a very newsy day for us capybaras. I just found out that the Dartmore Zoo has two absolutely adorable baby capybaras, now one week old. Can’t say much for their names though.

Capybara Celebration in Edmonton

Wow! Who knew that we capybaras have our own celebration, not that we don’t deserve it. I just found this article that the Valley Zoo is having this wonderful festival TODAY! Hope some of you go see it and send me photos. Anyone up for a guest blog?

Here’s the link: Capybara Carnival: A celebration of South American animals.

National Zoo Malaysia Capys

My FaceBook friend AJ Allens sent me these cool photos of capybaras at the National Zoo in Malaysia. Looks like they have a pretty nice enclosure. And I love the way you can see into the water to watch their graceful swimming. Thanks AJ!

Baby capybara at the Malaysian National Zoo

Baby capybara at the Malaysian National Zoo

Too bad the capys are behind glass.

Too bad the capys are behind glass.

AJ Allens at the capybara enclosure at the National Zoo of Malaysia

AJ Allens at the capybara enclosure at the National Zoo of Malaysia

Up close and personal!

Up close and personal!

A First for Capybara-dom!

Me interacting with fans at the Buda Library

Me interacting with fans at the Buda Library

I heard on the news today (boring but my owner watches it for some reason) that Judge Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina supreme court justice in US history. She and I have something in common: I made a first for capybaras today. I was the first capybara in all of history, probably anywhere on the planet to attend a book reading at a public library.

We had a whole entourage to go to the library. First there was me. The event was actually billed as a book reading / capybara encounter which wouldn’t be anything but a book reading without the capybara would it? My owner also came because she had to do the reading part and she also serves as my chauffeur. Then my friend Clarissa, who is 13, came to be a “capybara handler.” I think she was really more crowd control. And Elizabeth, Clarissa’s mom, came to take photos. Lastly, Rick, my male human came to do the video. Wow, that was a lot of us. I was a bit worried that there were going to be more of us then them.

We got to the library and almost immediately ran into some people who had come for the book reading. That was a good sign. We got set up in our room off to the side of the main library. The floor in there was slick but my owner brought one of my beds for me to lie on and they pulled a couple of mats in from outside so I could walk more easily. Still, I felt uncomfortable in there so I dragged my owner back outside where we ran into more and more people coming to see me. I put on my best face. The sun sparkled off the sequins in my harness about which I got many, many compliments. Thanks to Mansy OLeary who decorated my harness for me I really feel like a star when I wear it.

Some of my fans at the book reading

Some of my fans at the book reading

The official capybara encountered started when we went back inside. My owner gave all of the kids blueberries and let them come up to pet and feed me. That was a good part because I love blueberries. Then she told them all about me, capybaras, and rodents in general. Mostly that part went well. The kids and adults asked a lot of good questions and I think my owner answered them all truthfully.

I listened carefully and I don't think she messed up much

I listened carefully and I don't think she messed up much

For the reading, my owner started at the part when Celeste the Cat meets up with little calico Ruby and ended where Tiger gets knocked off the back of the capybara. Doesn’t that just make you want it to figure out what happened in between? I think most of the kids were pretty interested too but a lot of them were really too young for the book. And the room was PACKED, spilling out the back door and into the library proper. I have to say, there was some childish restlessness. Being a little restless myself, I stood up and put my paws on my owner’s lap and then I licked her face. People loved that.

I look bigger when I stand up

I look bigger when I stand up

Me giving my owner a kiss during the book reading

Me giving my owner a kiss during the book reading

At the end the library people served lemonaid and brownies and everyone poured outside where there was more room. A long line formed of people who wanted to pet me or get their photo taken with me. I would only stand still for a treat. I think everyone got to pet me and feed me and I am sure everyone came away thinking that we capybaras are wonderful animals.

If you would like me to appear at your school or library and you live in the Austin/Buda area, use the contact button to send me an email. I had a great time and I’m sure I can drag my owner to at least a couple more of these things.