This post is the third in the series of Capy Diablogs. The Diablogs feature conversations (or dialogs) between two capybaras, Garibaldi Rous and Dobbye Winnick. Most of you probably already know Dobbye from his blog,Dobbye the Capybara. Dobby is actually Caplin Rous’ full younger brother, but he has become like a big brother to Garibaldi. A version of this post also exists on Dobbye’s blog.
Help, Gari! Everybody is asking me questions and I can’t answer them all by myself!
They are even asking questions about FOOD again! Everyone knows that corn-on-the-cob is my favorite, right after milk, of course! I think it’s fair for people to ask again, though because I change my mind all the time. I still eat potatoes, but right now I am really eating a lot of oats, and I’m also starting to eat more of my Equine Senior, which is a mixed pelleted grain that lots of capybaras eat.
Do you still eat the same stuff, Gari, or do you eat new things once in a while? I think I heard that you ate a loaf of bread for a midnight snack recently!
I did eat a loaf of bread for a midnight snack once! Climbed up on the dining room table and helped myself. Is it my fault if Melly doesn’t give me enough to eat? At least this time I didn’t eat the plastic bag too. Did anyone ask about that? I love plastic but Melly says it’s not good for me.
Melly has these weird ideas about what I should eat. She thinks I should graze and eat mainly grass like the wild capys do. That’s crazy. I don’t see any of the special “capybara grass” in my yard like they have in Venezuela. And, while I love my pond, it doesn’t have the diversity of vegetation that would give a wild capybara a nice selection of foodstuffs. I hear that wilders will eat mango and banana. I’m okay with an occasional banana peel, but who would eat a mango?
Someone asked if we can be “house trained” or if we “go” wherever the need strikes us. I guess we’ll both have to answer that one! A bit embarrassing for you though.
I am a very refined and gentile capybara who always uses his toilet bowl, conveniently placed in the human bathroom next to the human toilet. My toilet bowl is a rubber horse feed bowl. I use it for both urination and defecation. I always use it. If I’m outside, I come inside. If I’m in the pool, I get out and come back into the house. Then Melly dumps my dirty water into the toilet and fills my bowl with fresh water. I actually have two bowls because I never want to have to use one that’s dirty and Melly is not 100% reliable.
Another person asked if our poop smells. Honestly, I’m not sure humans can smell anything, they sure don’t act like it! But I think this is a better question for you. Since I poop in the water, that kind of masks the smell.
I know what you mean about the wild food. Today I had to BEG to go to the front yard again because I really, really needed to eat some bamboo! I sat in front of the hedge with my face in the foliage and just chomped away! Bamboo has lots of good fiber like wild capy food and the next day I produce lots and lots and lots of really superfine doodoo! Bamboo leaves seem to be important for my digestion. But the variety is important, too. I need to be able to pick and choose among many foodstuffs to find the right combination for fiber and nutrients. We do have a very delicate digestive system.
I’m not sure I agree that there is anything embarrassing about my toilet habits. Like many mature capybaras, I don’t poop in a miniature bowl of water. I live in a cool climate, so the water here is often chilly. When my wading pools warm up, I sometimes poop in them, just for laughs. Mostly, though, my poop is my mark: a serious statement made to reinforce my status in the herd. Almost all of my pooping is done in my pen, to mark my territory. I often mark the deck outside the kitchen to let the ducks, chickens, and geese know whose territory that really is. They get very lackadaisical about my areas because I let them share my corn. When Stacy is naughty, like if she LEAVES THE HOUSE, I will mark in the kitchen. She hates that, but she still refuses to stay home sometimes.
I know she takes my poop seriously, because she built me a bathroom in the back yard. My poop goes down that toilet, and nobody else’s does! I once head-butted her for scooping up some goose poop along with my precious poop! She never made that mistake again! My favorite game is our Poop Game, though. She puts the Dobbye Dustpan under my butt, and I poop directly into it! Nothing makes me pouffier than that!
I suppose the only embarrassing issue is whether capybara poop stinks. Well, it does have a slight odor, but we are vegetarians, so it is pretty subtle. It really doesn’t compare at all to dog or cat or hedgehog or ferret. Now THAT is some nasty smelling sh*t! We’re like guinea pigs or rabbits and the poop is just not too smelly. Like a guinea pig or rabbit, though, our urine has the stronger odor. Interestingly, our sweat smells exactly like our urine, so don’t tell anybody, but that sweating you do in the car on the way to the vet smells like capybara peepee!
Enough bathroom talk. We have a LOT of questions to answer! So, I think my fur feels like a coconut. There isn’t any undercoat, and we’re not birds, so there’s no chance for down. We’ve just got tough, leathery skin and some very stiff hairs, like raccoon guard hairs. Maybe we just have whiskers all over! How would you describe our fur, Gari?
That was quite some answer! I can see that poop really is your favorite topic.
On the hair front, I would say that we look like a coconut and we feel like one too! Or, as Melly often says, petting me is like petting a broom. I am softer in the water though. I keep my fur nice and–let’s just leave it as nice—by taking frequent mud baths. There’s nothing like mud to cleanse the pores and bring out the luster in your hair, wouldn’t you say Dobbye?
Let’s talk a little about water. I’ll bet I spend a lot more time in the water than you do, at least in the summer. My pool gets very warm and I will sometimes lounge in it for hours, especially if Melly is in there with me. I am great at swimming underwater! I hardly ever swim on the surface. According to internet documentation, we capys can stay submerged for up to five minutes. I don’t think I’ve ever done more than four but I’ll bet I could do six if I were hiding from a jaguar!
Of course, we capys can close off our nose and ears when we are underwater. I close my ears by laying them flat against my head. I close my nose by pushing the skin on the top of my nose forward. This makes a very cute little ridge so it is easy to tell when I am doing it. I don’t close my eyes underwater, of course, or how would I see? And we don’t have nictitating membranes on our eyes like some animals.
A couple of interesting water facts are that we can make our noises underwater. Sometimes when I surface, Melly can hear just the tail end of an eep. The very low frequency thrumming noise we can make can also be felt by humans in the water, you can even see the ripples it makes in the surface. The other interesting thing is that we can eat underwater! Of course this is very useful for semi-aquatic herbivores. I don’t do it much though.
Hey Harry Gari bara,
I do love mud baths and swimming, but the water here is chilly in winter, leaving pooping as the only guaranteed year ‘round activity! I don’t swim as much as you do, but I love swimming so much I will even swim in water before the ice has completely melted! The water in my pool never quite reaches 70 degrees (21c), but my serious swimming season gets going as soon as it warms up to around 50 (10c). It’s a lot more fun to swim when my fish are out of hibernation.
Besides goldfish, I have a lot of toys in my swimming pool. My favorites are the styrofoam noodles. I climb on them and make them pop right out of the pool! I also like to bite them, but I don’t eat the pieces. My second favorites are some hula hoops that I like to swim through and stand on. I also have a bunch of balls to chase and bark at. A lot of the swimming I do is actually just walking on the bottom with my head out of the water, even though I know that is cheating. I don’t twirl in the water like you do, but my specialty is quietly ducking into the water so fast I leave barely any ripple! Now you see me, now you don’t! When I do swim under water, sometimes you can hear me bumping into the sides of the pool. I know Stacy thinks I am pushing off with my feet, but I am actually butting my head into the pool wall with my teeth, just in case a secret cave opens up down there.
The only noise I make in the pool is barking and sometimes a little eeping when Stacy watches me. Out of the pool I make a trill, kind of like a disgruntled guinea pig. When I trill, it is a contented conversational noise and Stacy talks back to me or sings a little song, like we are cows in a meadow, just keeping in touch. I also bray like a donkey, but that’s mostly when I really miss Stacy and need her attention badly. The other noise is clicking. It is an unmistakable warning, usually starting slowly and working up to a really loud clicking and stomping! It’s a great way to scare cats!
Gotta go bark at a cat!
Dobby the polarbara
I want to answer two fun questions and then we should probably wrap this up.
The first one is from Damien N Sally Chan. They want to know which of us is bigger. I think we are about the same size. I weighed 117 lbs at my last vet visit and I think Dobbye was about 110, but he claims he has put on some weight since then. Stacy Winnick is very negligent about getting Dobbye’s weight.
The second question is from Tiffany Young. She wants to know what kind of tree I would like to be if I had to be a tree. My first thought was that I’d like to be a Christmas tree! They get to stay in the house when it’s cold and people gather around and admire them. Then I remembered that they have to wear all those stupid ornaments and holiday trappings. Yuck! Then I remembered that they are dying a slow death just so that humans can do whatever it is they do.
So if I’m not going to be a Christmas tree, I think I’d like to be a mesquite. We have a lot of those around here. They have great big thorns on them that keep people and other animals away, even me. Come to think of it, with our coarse fur, we are kind of the mesquite of the animal kingdom.
Your BFF on the internet,