If you’ve been reading my blog for very long, you know that I do not like car rides. Cars go places, that’s what I don’t like about them. They go places and they take you with them. On April 14, 2012, a car took me all the way up to College Station, to Texas A&M University’s Vet School’s open house.
Apparently Melly had been planning this horrible adventure for almost a year, since the last time I went to A&M, which was quite unpleasant. You can read about that here. Let me tell you, after that, I never wanted to go back. This time was bad too, but not nearly as bad. Melly says you have to make comparisons like that to put things in perspective. I’d like to put things in perspective! In the perspective of a high-powered telescope!
But that’s not to say that some good didn’t come of it. I really advanced my standing as a professional Capybara Ambassador. About 15,000 people attend the open house and it seemed as if they all wanted to see me! I was inside that building there. I didn’t get to see everyone because I only spent half the day there. Melly said I wasn’t up to a full day but I think I probably could have done it.
No point in going to someplace like that without getting on a scale. Turns out I weigh almost 113 lbs! That is much more than Melly thought I weigh. Dr. Hoppes later complemented me on my excellent behavior on so calmly sitting on the scale. I wasn’t exactly calm, I think I was too afraid to move.
This is what my setup at the vet school looked like. I had a nice pool to rest in. I spent most of my time in that. I feel safer in the water. I also had hay, as you can see on the left, grass and guinea pig food in bowls. Plus some corn that you can see on the right. Then I had a couple of my favorite beds and my poop bowl. You can’t see that stuff in this image because it is behind the camera. Behind me you can see there is a gate to keep people away. This gave me room to move around and reduced my stress level.
I guess I should mention that along with me and Melly, Stacy Winnick and Elizabeth Leight came. They helped do all the things you have to do to get through an event like this and Melly and I are so grateful for their help! In the photo above, you can see that Elizabeth is talking to the people and explaining my cuteness. I am just being my normal cute self.
Melly and Stacy spent the whole day before the event working on this great capybara poster. It has three parts, the middle is about the ROUS Foundation, the right panel is about pet capybaras and the left panel is about wild capybaras. Melly & Elizabeth used this poster a lot when they were talking about me.
You can also see that they put a bunch of stuff for sale up there. Sadly, we sold very little. This was mainly because the people were allowed to stay and admire me for only FOUR MINUTES! I felt so sorry for them! They hardly got a chance to appreciate me or to listen to all the wonderful capybara facts Melly and Elizabeth were spewing. Then they had to move on to the next animal.
One of the next animals was Dr. Hoppes showing off her beautiful macaw and cockatoo. There was also a young red-tailed hawk and a baby owl. The cockatoo screamed whenever Dr. Hoppes went more than a few feet away. She said parrots don’t make good pets for many people. That is the same thing Melly says about capybaras.
Another of the near-by animals was this echidna, also called a spiny anteater. They aren’t related to South American anteaters though. They are related to platypuses and they are one of the few types of mammals that lay eggs. Pretty cool, but capys are cuter.
Another near-by animal was this binturong or Asian bear-cat. He looks kind-of sad. The binturong is not a bear or a cat but I don’t think that’s why he is sad.
Stacy didn’t like talking to the people. I think she was as afraid of them as I was. That’s why she hung out with me in the back. Or maybe it was just because she was artistically inspired by my plight, beauty in distress is a common theme in art. Anyway, in the photo above she is drawing me in her journal that she is going to share with a sixth grade class.
Along with the hundreds of new fans I saw at TAMU, I got a chance to meet two of my Facebook stalkers, Kirsten and Wendy. Melly let them come behind the barrier and spend more than four minutes. They drove up from Houston, which is not close. Actually, nothing is close to College Station. I really liked the two of them and I hope they come visit me again.
In the last hour of my four hour stint, I got a little braver and came over to the barrier. I even let a few people pet me. That is why I think I could have done the whole day. On the other hand, I was plenty happy to leave when the time came. I didn’t even mind getting back in the car for the two hour drive home.