I’ve been a pretty sheltered capybara most of my life and this has taught me a few things. Firstly, I do not like to travel in cars. Cars go to the vet and the vet is scary. Sometimes cars go nowhere and you end up right back where you started. This is also scary because you don’t know that’s going to happen until a human opens the car door and lets you get out. Secondly, I learned that fear is kind of exciting. I am afraid of new things and new places and yet I crave them. It’s a paradox that I cannot resolve. I want to go outside the yard but I am sure I am going to be eaten by a monster if I do. Melly and Rick are both determined that I become accustomed to both of these things: car rides and the wide world. This morning they decided to give me another lesson in it.
I don’t want to get into the gory details of how hard it is for them to get my harness on me, I’ll just say that the use of the word “gory” was intended to be descriptive. Once the harness is on, there’s still the part about tricking me into getting into the car. They use two things as bait: Rick and treats. Rick is my favorite person in the whole world. I will follow him anywhere (as long as it is someplace I want to go). So I eagerly follow him out the gate. But then he gets in the car and calls to me like I am going to get in that deathtrap.
Even though I don’t mean for it to happen, eventually I find myself in the car, usually on Rick’s lap since Melly is the driver. The world outside the windows starts shifting and blurring. It’s a little bit mesmerizing and a couple of times I think I actually got hypnotized. It is really hard to take your attention off those moving shapes.
Sometimes I wander around the back part of the car. There is no way out back there but it does give me the opportunity to climb on the back of the seat and look over Rick’s shoulder. I think he likes this better than when I climb in his lap. The view out the back windows is just as confusing as the view out of the side windows. I wish I could see out the front like Melly does.
After an indeterminate time, the car stops and we are either at the vet or back at home. Only this time we weren’t! We weren’t at the vet at least, that part was good. I could smell home. Melly got out of the car with me and then Rick and then a weird thing happened and Rick got back in the car and drove away. I was very confused by this. Melly and I were standing alone on a dirt road. (See photo at the top of this post.). What were we supposed to do?
After a while I heard Rick calling me. Rick sounds like safety to me so I started to head toward the sound of his voice, dragging Melly behind me.
I made pretty good time. As I got closer to Rick’s voice, everything started to look and smell more and more like home. By the time I found him, we were at the cattle guard that leads to our driveway. That made me really excited because between the cattle guard and our house is Capybara Creek.
I don’t know why they call it Capybara Creek. I mean, I get the Capybara part but why is it called a creek? From my understanding, a creek has water in it. The only water I’ve ever seen in Capybara Creek comes out of a hose that Melly puts down there. And it’s not that much water at that, just enough for a good roll in the mud. Not that I’m complaining, I love a good roll in the mud.
Oh, the joy of a roll in some nice, fresh, squishy mud! That harness and leash gets in my way a little bit but I can put up with it — I can even put up with the car ride — for a good mud roll.
Do you see how my harness fits me in the above photo? Melly has a thing about that. She insists that the connecting strap be between my legs. I can’t help it if the mud makes me slippery and that strap moves over to one side. I also can’t help it if my paw slips through the collar part of the harness. I’m a streamlined animal and when I’m all greased up with mud, nothing will stick to me.
As soon as Melly sees that the harness is not perfectly in place anymore, she insists that we go back in the yard. I was not ready to go back but the harness was a bit uncomfortable like that so I didn’t put up too much of a struggle.
Messed up harness or not, Melly cannot stop herself from taking photos of me. It is a burden being so cute but I try hard not to show it.
In order to get my harness off, I have to go get in one of my tubs of water. I do not understand this part of the ritual. I just did a wonderful job of covering myself in delectable mud but this clean water washes it right off. I will never understand humans.