In Memoriam : Chico Wren

Chico Capybara was a gentle giant

Chico Capybara was a gentle giant

A Melanie’s Mondays post

Losing a pet is always difficult. Losing a capybara is devastating, especially one as sweet and loving as Chico Wren. At three years old, Chico had already captured the hearts of people around the world. His recent appearance on Inside Edition testifies to his ability to enchant an audience. Continue reading “In Memoriam : Chico Wren” »

Caplin Rous 07/10/2007 – 01/04/2011

Caplin on Dec. 31, 2010

Sometimes things happen that there is just no way to prepare yourself for. Sometimes it seems like your world has fallen apart. That is how I feel now. Caplin Rous was the glue that held my life together. You might think you can see that from his presence on the web and on TV but that doesn’t capture it. The first thing I heard every morning when I got up was his cute little happy Geiger counter noise and it was the last sound I heard at night, at least until he eeped to wake me  for a midnight snack.

I’m going to let this blog speak for Caplin’s life, what a wonderful, cute and unique animal he was, his tremendous personality and his gentle nature. I can’t add significantly to that in a single post.

I’d like to thank everyone who has sent notes on Facebook or twitter or posted comments on this blog or any of his accounts or sent me personal emails. I have literally received  thousands of messages of condolence and it makes me cry to think how many people’s lives he touched and how many people will miss him. Thank you. It helps to know this. I wish I could respond to all of you individually but, to be honest, I haven’t responded to anyone because I just don’t feel up to it.

We still don’t know what happened to Caplin. He had been irritable for a couple of days but nothing serious. When I left for work Monday morning, he seemed fine. By the time I got home, he could hardly walk. I got his harness on him and was able to lead him to the car but I had to help him get in. I rushed him to Texas A&M University small animal hospital because they were the only ones I thought might have the expertise to help. It was the longest 140 miles of my life. By the time we got there, Caplin could hardly move.

An hour or so after we arrived at A&M, Caplin had a seizure and the vet had to give him a sedative to bring him out of it. After that, he was never really conscious again. He died the next afternoon from another seizure right after completing a head MRI. A full necropsy is being done but preliminary findings indicate chronic liver disease that at the end manifested as encephalopathy. Apparently Caplin had been sick for a long time but never shown any outward signs of it.

I will write a new post when we have the final results of the necropsy.

If you would like to help with Caplin’s medical expenses, please consider purchasing a Capycoppy plush animal from We expect to set up a charity in his name and will use excess funds to seed that. When we have that in place, I will post about it on this blog.

Rolling in a dry Capybara Creek 12/11/2010

In Memoriam: Penelope Capybara

Penelope really knew how to accessorize

Penelope really knew how to accessorize

There aren’t many of us pet capybaras in the world, at least not ones that live in the house and the yard with our owners. But for those humans who have experienced the love of a capybara, there is nothing like it. And that is why it is especially sad when one of us dies. So many hearts are broken. Especially if the capybara is as cute, as sweet and as loving as Penelope Capybara.

I never had the opportunity to meet Penelope personally although we were related. I believe she was my half-first-cousin-once-removed, or something like that. But I followed her life from a distance via email and FaceBook and so I know just how special she was.

Penelope was the runt of her litter, so tiny that her breeders, Mary Lee and Amos Stropes, didn’t think she should go home with anyone until they were more sure of her health. But when Lisa and Anthony came to pick out a baby capybara, they couldn’t leave with anyone but Penelope. There was no way Mary Lee could convince them to take home a different ‘bara. And Penelope loved them right back. She’d never been handled and yet she immediately found warmth, love and comfort in Lisa and Anthony’s arms.

This is what love looks like (when it involves a capybara)

This is what love looks like (when it involves a capybara)

Penelope settled into her new home and immediately molded it to her liking. Like the famous Capyboppy, Penelope loved a shower. Lisa was shocked at first by how a motivated Penelope could jump high enough to get into the shower with her, but soon it became a common occurrence.

And Penelope loved Anthony too, listening to him play his electric guitar, she’d poof up to show her contentment. Apparently folk/rock agreed with her.

But her winning ways didn’t stop there. Penelope was also the favorite of Delilah, an 8-year-old rabbit with an attitude. Before Penelope, Delilah didn’t get along with any of her co-pets. She chased and bit at the guinea pigs and other bunnies. But Penelope changed all that. She used Delilah as a pillow and the rabbit even shared her food bowl with the young capybara.

Penelope and Deliliah-Pillow

Penelope and Deliliah-Pillow

Not that Penelope couldn’t be a pest. It’s hard to do anything when a little capybara insists on following you everywhere, sitting or standing between your feet, looking up with those big dark eyes and wiggling ears and eeping to be held. Especially if the capy’s face is covered with yogurt (she got that from my side of the family!).

Penelope’s life was much too short. She died suddenly and without a long illness, probably due a congenital problem that stunted her growth. She will be missed terribly but she brought love, beauty and comedy to many, many lives. And for all her five months, she knew she was loved by her humans and her best friend co-pet Delilah, and by a wide network of people who cannot own their own capybara but dream of one just like Penelope.

The scrathes were worth the humiliation.

The scrathes were worth the humiliation.

Please leave a comment for Lisa and Anthony.