Garibaldi Rous

Garibaldi Rous

I don’t know how many of you are thinking that it is too early for me to have another capybara. You’re right. I am not over the loss of Caplin Rous by a long shot. I cry every time I think about him. Your cards, your notes, your comments and your donations to his charity all help but they also remind me of how much I miss him. So when Justin from Kapi’yva Exotics wrote me and said he would move me to the top of his list for a baby capybara, I thanked him for his generous offer but said no, at least not now.

A couple of days later Justin sent me another note, this time about a young capybara in Ohio that was looking for a new home. This capybara, named Gary, was about 10 months old and had been raised as an indoor pet. His owner was a nurse who sometimes had to work long shifts and Gary just wasn’t getting the attention he needed. Justin had been working with Carol to try to rehome Gary but not that many people are prepared to take a half-grown capybara into their house. Justin was thinking he was going to have to take him himself and put him in an outdoor pen which would be a big shock to an animal that was used to being around people and having heating and air-conditioning.

When I heard Gary’s story, I was a little shocked. I never heard of anyone keeping a capy strictly indoors and it didn’t seem like a good idea. I exchanged a few emails with his owner who said he was well-behaved, non-aggressive, got along fine with her four-year-old (I also never recommend capybaras to people with young children), house trained, weighed around 40 lbs and was shy. In the summer he had sometimes been outside in a 12×12 foot pen but was otherwise indoors.

Here was a capybara that seemed to need me. Maybe we two lost souls could connect. I said I would take him.

Getting him down to Texas proved complex. He missed his flight (I don’t blame him) and almost couldn’t pass as a giant guinea pig. Turns out there are more lenient rules for guinea pigs flying than for exotic animals. It also proved that there is no such thing as a free capybara.

Garibaldi was a star even as a baby

Justin sent me the above photo of Gary taken when he was about 10 days old. He was the smallest of his litter and the friendliest. That pretty much sealed the deal.

You can see that we changed Gary’s name to Garibaldi Rous. This is in tribute to Caplin Rous. The Rous part is obvious: Rodent of Unusual Size. Garibaldi is because of his original name and the fish garibaldi. You may not know that a caplin is also a fish.

Climbing on the couch

Garibaldi has his own personality and, once he settles in, I’m sure he’ll start to blog in his own voice. For now let me just say that he is more rambunctious than Caplin ever was and gets into way more trouble. But he is also sweet and affectionate. His previous owner told the truth when she said he is shy. He is also completely untrained so we have an uphill struggle there. After almost two weeks he is still very skittish and won’t even let me put a blanket over him. I think he knows sit now but it is a so hard for him to do it when he can see the lettuce in my hand.

Hiding in the weeds

He has taken surprisingly well to the outdoors, although it’s been too cold for him to go out much. He can’t go in the big pool yet until I know I can hold him to help him get out in case he can’t figure out the ladder. He also can’t go outside the yard until he is harness trained and walks on a leash.

Gari at his food bowl

He eats things that Caplin would never dream of eating like apples, potatoes and carrots. That could just be because he is so ravenous all the time. He acts like he’s never been fed. In fact, I wonder if he might not have always been a little hungry and that’s why he is so much smaller than Caplin was. At 10 months old, Gari is the same weight Caplin was at 7 months. Justin says this is because his parents, Cappy and Scarlet, are small. I’ll be tracking his weight so we’ll see what happens.

By the way, Garibaldi Rous was born March 11, 2010.

You can see videos of Garibaldi Rous on Caplin’s YouTube channel.

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Caplin would NEVER roll all the way over. Never.

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Look how fast he eats!

62 comments to Garibaldi Rous

  • purrxlots

    He’s very cute. Will be looking forward to following his new life.

  • Penny Gore

    Awwww.. . He looks so sweet in a devilish sort of way. I’m sure you will be able to introduce him to many, many things once the weather gets nicer and the swimming hole is open. Hopefully Caplin will whisper in his ear and your’s as you learn about this new friend in your life. Good luck and have fun with him. He’s got a lot of travelling to do to catch up with Caplin, but I’m sure he’s up to the challenge!

  • What a great introduction for the wonderful capy. He is going to be loved more than he has ever known. I am so glad he got the home of love. Thank you Melanie for caring so much

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Caplin Rous, Megumi Miura, Kat McG, garibaldirous, バラリ and others. バラリ said: RT @CaplinROUS: New blog post: Garibaldi Rous […]

  • Michele M

    Melanie, I know how hard it is to lose someone who was not only a pet, but part of your family. I think you may be right when you say that you and Garibaldi are two souls who needed each other and were lucky enough to find each other. I wish you both a wonderful life together.

  • He is so cute. I am glad he could find his forever home with you. He is a lucky capabera and we are all fortunate to be able to follow him in his new life with you. I know you are heartbroken with grief but I’m glad little Garibaldi is with you, and through you, with us. He will not take Caplin’s place in our hearts but he will make his own little capy-shaped place in our hearts.

    How does one ever know whether it is too early or not. Love doesn’t always ask – sometimes it just arrives in a little furry package.

  • michelle denise

    How wonderful,I am certain you both will give each other the love and attention you both certainly need at this time…Caplin would want you to show another all the love and compassion you gave to him.
    I am so pleased for you both and R.I.P.Caplin,you special guy…

  • I think this is SO fantastic! Anyone who says it is too soon for you to adopt another capybara is overlooking the fact that it is not too soon for Garibaldi! I truly mourned the loss of Caplin – I had no idea I could become so attached to an animal online – but I am so glad to meet another capybara via the web. I look forward to showing my students videos of Garibaldi as I did with Caplin. Congratulations.

  • Kim

    Haha, he sounds like trouble! That might be just what you need, though. Best of luck and much love to you and Gari as you navigate this new time in your lives together.

  • Keren Bosse

    Oh, I loved this, Melanie. I feel like I received a genuine introduction to Gari and started getting to know him a bit. You are such a wonderful story teller and convey information with such ease and flair. You’re giving him attention he’s probably never really had, and I’m sure he’s loving it. Warm thoughts to both of you!

  • Petraneferu

    Bless you for taking in this little lost soul, even in the midst of your grief for Caplin. It’s a wonderful legacy, and I’m sure Caplin would be pleased.

  • Jessi

    I don’t always believe in such things, but finding Gari seems like fate to me… your pieces just happen to fit together perfectly. He will never relace Caplin, andnobody expects that, but he will get more love and compassion than most animals can dream of, and opefully a good deal of that will be returned to you.

    -Jessi (and all the animals of the Greatest Show on Earth)


    Thank you so much for sharing Gari’s first days with us !! At the beginning, I couldn’t tell the difference between Dobbye and Caplin. Then, after paying a little more attention to both of them, it was a breeze. Now with Gari, it’s obvious they they are as individual as we humans are. We will never forget Caplin, never, ever….but like someone else said, we will make a capy shaped place in our hearts for Gari 🙂

  • Michelle

    When a friend volunteered to help me go “shopping” to replace 2 beloved guinea pigs I lost to the heat during hurricane Rita evacuation, I told her “No, pigs will find me”. The local animal shelters knew I would take them if they came in, and within a couple months I was blessed(?) with 8 to nurse back to health and find good homes for some. Sounds like Gari was meant to find you, Melanie, and I know you will provide exceptional care.


    PS…..none of us judge you for getting another capy. It’s what makes you feel comfortable Melanie. We do not walk in your shoes my friend. Just because you have Gari, doesnt mean you are over Caplin.

  • rosenatti

    Awww. I’m glad you were able to reach out to this little man in his hour of need. Looking forward to hearing more about his adjustment to life in Chez Rous.

  • Sam

    What a cutie pie, luv him. Capys are deluxe guinea pigs lol.

  • Kristy Ogden

    Welcome to the family, Gari 🙂

  • what a lucky capy!!!! so happy you two crossed paths. must be meant to be!

  • Julia

    OMG, I love him in the little star shirt, how adorable!

  • “It also proved that there is no such thing as a free capybara.”

    Indeed. This seems like a very meaningful aphorism. I’ll have to remember it, though I’m not sure how I’d work it into a conversation.

    Gari looks like a cheeky little so-and-so. Thank you for taking him. I know that he’ll thrive under your loving care and that the two of you will have a wonderful life together.

    After the passing of our beloved guinea pig Mariusz, we debated whether we should get another pig. We saw that our other boy, Saku, was lonely and decided to get a young boar to be his new pal. We are still grieving deeply over the loss of Mariusz, but young Willoughby has proven to be a bright spot in our lives. He’s a lot like Gari — shy, mischievous, and very affectionate. And he eats nonstop. <3


    Dear MELANIE,-
    when I heared it the first time,that you found a new capy,-I really couldn`t believe it.
    It was a clear fact for me,that ONE day you`d take a new capybara. But now so quickly ?
    But I red that your husband had the idea to take a new capy.I suppose he saw you suffering about CAPLIN`s “Take off”,-and wanted to help you.That`s lovely.When I got the info.that the new capy is an nearly adult one,and 1.owner cannot keep him any longer…-I thought ,a capybara .-no any longer wanted…that is very sad for this animal.So it was :A sad woman in Texas + a sad capybara in Ohio !
    You put your both situations in the right explaining words :…”a capybara that seemed to need me..”-
    and the possibility that YOUR both lost souls may connect.
    I think MELANIE,that it was good to decide to help this lonly and sad capybara.Poor little animal,who only was kept indoors.No experience with water+grass outside.
    I`m still sad about CAPLIN`s end.But as long as he lived you have done a lot and as much as you could with+for him. You can`t help him any more practical.
    But you can always remember on him and smile about him.And feel thankfull for him.
    GARIBALDI needs practical help. And he was sad.
    You can make him a happy and lovely capybara .
    Just as you did with CAPLIN Rous.
    Whome we`ll never forget !
    Many good wishes for the best Capy-MOM=you,MELANIE!
    from ANTJE

  • Betawriter

    I loved and looked forward to Caplin’s Twitters every day and cried when he passed on. Gari is already bringing smiles and happiness, and he will carry on with Caplin’s legacy.

  • Steve

    We will never forget Caplin, he was one of a kind,but that Garibaldi is one handsome dude!! I am so happy for you. Received my capycopy and will be giving him to the one I love on Valentine’s Day, thank you.

  • Ann

    Welcome Gari! Thanks for taking in this little guy in. I look forward to hearing about his adventures.

  • valentina

    Go Melanie and Garibaldi Rous!!! Go Go Go!

  • Conni

    He is so cute and congratulations to you! It looks like you will be having lots of fun getting to know each other and I will enjoy watching too. If he rolls over in the little pool, I wonder what he will do in the big pool?? You may have a real show there. 🙂
    I’m curious. Do you have him “fixed”? Does that help calm a male capybara?

    HAVE FUN!!

  • Mansie O'Leary

    Oh Melanie! Thank you for continuing to share your life with us. Your joys, your sorrows, your joys again. Perhaps the emptiness the sadness created was a way to make more room in your heart for each terrific memory of Caplin, and now the joys of your new little one. I know you will cherish each moment of each day. Looking forward to sharing more with you each day. Thank you my friend. PS. I am making something just for you 🙂

  • Lynn Marcotte

    Who can say when was “the right time” to get another Capy, it happened so it was meant to be.
    If it was hard for many of Caplin’s fans to lose him, it has to be a
    quardriple loss for you. I am so looking forward to getting to know Gari, he is very beautiful!
    Thank you Melanie for all the joy you have given!:0

  • Emma

    To anyone English, Garibaldi = a very tasty style of biscuit (cookie) filled with a generous layer of raisins and currants. Slightly old-fashioned these days but very, very delicious. Probably not very suitable as capy food but maybe one day Garibaldi will get to taste a garibaldi biscuit.

  • Katie Starr

    Concats on baby Garibaldi, he sure iz cute an tiny. I can’t wate to see him growing up an lerning abowt da leashes an stuff. He iz rilly pritty an I bet hez nice too!

  • Steve

    I love how they both have their own little personality. :o) As I did with Caplin, I will be following you in your new adventure!!

  • Smalltown Mom

    Welcome, Garibaldi Rous. You did the right thing.

  • Rebekah

    I can tell he is already finding his own voice. He is too cute. I think it’s great you took in a cappy that needed a home rather than waiting for a baby.

  • Kacee Conklin

    He’s a very handsome boy. I think you guys will have a lot of fun together! I look forward to reading about his adventures!

  • Alex

    Melanie, after reading all the comments, there is nothing I can add. Thank you so much for taking care of that poor little creature. You have a big soul.

  • Nic

    I sure thought you would get another capybara. And I wonder how he would look in Caplin’s orange bandana. Can I call Garibaldi Gary for short?

  • Caplin Rous

    We call him Gari for short but it is pronounced just like Gary. Right now he is not well enough trained to put a bandana on him. That is one of the first things I am working on.

  • Caplin Rous

    Caplin was neutered but he had serious issues and almost died. ( There is some possibility that the neutering sickness is what damaged Caplin’s liver and ultimately may have caused his death.

  • Alex

    I have just realized: Gari looks very much like Capyboppy, more so than like Caplin. Maybe that’s because he’s young.

  • Kelli

    I think it’s very brave of you to take on another Capy so soon, but I also think that Caplin would probably want you to take care of another just as well as you took care of him. I definitely think Gari came into your life for a reason, and I think you can both lean on each other and grow through this new chapter of your lives together. New for him, new for you…and while you will never forget or stop loving Caplin, I think it’s grand that you’ve opened your home to another (adorable) Capy.

    I hope you’re doing as well as we can expect from you. My guinea pig and I love our Capycoppy and it’ll always remind us of all the joy Caplin brought us. I look forward to seeing more from you and Gari. <3

  • Yes, a pic of a new, tiny capybara with a blinged out t-shirt would seal the deal for me, too! 🙂

  • Felicity

    I am glad you and Gari found each other. There was a character named Garibaldi on the cult sci-fi series Babylon 5. On of the other characters (Londo, played by Peter Jurasik) had a fabulous way of saying “MIS-ter Gar-i-BAL-di!” when he wanted his attention.

  • Caplin is near and dear to our hearts and will always be. I am glad that you have brought Garibaldi into your life. He obviously needs your love, and as you stated his own personality will form separate of what Caplin’s ever was. Caplin has paved the way for many rodents and Garibaldi is included.

  • francine

    I am crying as I type…I can imagine how you feel having lost beloved animals. Is there ever a “right” time to get another?

    Gari is so obviously different from Caplin! He rolled over and didn’t enter another dimension or anything! He probably thinks he is though, in a whole other world!

    You rescued him, he needed you. Maybe he can rescue you a little, too. It’s not his fault he isn’t Caplin.

  • I like the racing stripe down his back & it’s surprising how much smaller than Caplin he is. I hope he gets over his shyness soon, it’s probably because of the isolated life he’s led until now.
    You’re the perfect person to have rescued him. Your reaction to him & the memories of Caplin remind me of when I lost my 1st guinea pig, Rufus. Dora, my 2nd piggy is so different in looks & personality, but it was so hard to reconcile to Rufus being gone. My heart goes out to you & I hope that the sadness recedes soon. I do think it’s a good sign that you are able to welcome Garibaldi into your home & heart. Looking forward to following his adventures.

  • Lissa

    I agree with so many previous comments, I can’t name every one. I am so happy that even though Gari’s predicament started out as sad situation, that you and he found one another. I think both of you have helped one another and Gari’s previous family out a lot. He’s so cute! I’m sure you will do an excellent job of training him. He’s just a kid now and wants to explore his new territory. If you can get him to eat popsicles, we want a video! LOL

    Hearts are one thing that when you give of yours, yours becomes larger. (((hugs)))

  • Badger

    Quoted from Lynn — How does one ever know whether it is too early or not. Love doesn’t always ask – sometimes it just arrives in a little furry package.

    I’m so happy for Garibaldi – it sounds like he needed you desperately. And I’m happy for you. It’s so incredibly painful to lose a “pet” as treasured and dear as Caplin was to you. And ignore the random comments from people who don’t understand that Garibaldi isn’t replacing Caplin.

    Lynn’s comment reminded me of when my first gerbil died – she was the love of my life. I met my guinea pig just a couple of weeks later. Wasn’t recovered from the loss of the gerbl-ette yet, but the piggyman obviously recognized a hole in my heart that was guinea pig shaped and waiting for him to fill. He just jumped right in, whether I was “ready” or not. And I couldn’t have been more grateful. I’m betting it’s the same for you and Garibaldi – he’ll discover his own place in your heart.

    Thanks more than I can say for sharing all of Caplin’s life with us. I look forward to sharing Garibaldi’s as well. I can’t imagine a better caretaker for his little capybara soul than you!

  • Amber Bollinger

    Garibaldi Rous is SO cute! Welcome to Texas, Gari! :o)


    Just looked at these pics of Gari again and I have to say that he looks a little on the devilish side..sweet, but ornery….kind of like Dobby……..LOLOLOLOL

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