In Memoriam: Dobby Winnick (Part 2)

Life in the fast lane

This post is a continuation of memories of the most unique Dobby Winnick, Feb 14, 2009 – July 9, 2018.

Stacy, Dobby’s nominal owner, loved the photoshoped image of Dobby driving a convertible BMW (I think). But Dobby wasn’t really the capy-about-town that the image suggests. In fact, Dobby was loath to live his safe and comfy home sweet home.

Home is where the grass is

And why would any capybara want to leave home when the grass looks like this! Every afternoon Stacy would throw a harness on Dobby — well, not exactly throw, there was a strict protocol to follow — and the two of them would go to the front yard for a couple of hours of grazing and exploration.

The view from the top

Dobby liked to climb the stairs to the balcony outside the master bedroom. The door was never open, but from there he could see the whole delicious yard.

Descending the front steps

Off to eat the tasty grass since that darned front door would never open either! Dobby never gave up on it though. It was worth checking at least once per day. Stacy claims that he knew that his favorite chair was in there just waiting for him. Ah, the taste of leather! Even if the door didn’t open, he sometimes found other items of interest, potted plants, rubber boots, buckets of who-knows-what.

Two down, two to go

Dobby was subjected to many weighings over the course of his life. This helped the ROUS Foundation  in our quest to document capybara weight, but it also helped Stacy keep track of Dobby’s health.

Dobby on the scale

Luckily, Stacy got a shot of the weight for Dobby in June of 2015. This is the highest weight he ever recorded and pretty much the same weight Skipper is now.

By May of 2016, Dobby had started losing weight. Stacy knew something was wrong. when she saw he’d lost 10 pounds. Taking him to the vet turned out to be not such a great idea. There was some sort of accident at the vet’s and Dobby broke off both of his front teeth. Luckily, capybara teeth grow back very quickly, but it didn’t help his weight problem.

Dobby never regained that weight. He slowly lost weight over the rest of his life. Despite Stacy’s constant and varied efforts, she could not put a stop to his weight loss.

Dobby’s door

On to more pleasant memories. Let’s look at Dobby’s life in the back yard.

Dobby had his own door from the kitchen into his yard. See how the door has a big human doorknob and below it a small capybara doorknob? Dobby knew how to use that knob to open the door. There’s no need to mention what the plastic on the lower part of the door is for.

Corn on the back porch

It’s possible that the Winnick house does not have the neatest back porch and yard. That’s totally understandable if all you have is one capybara, especially Dobby who was not known for his cleanliness. But Stacy also runs a rescue and has 50 other animals. She does an amazing job considering that.

Corn with the geese

Here’s Dobby eating some corn out by the aviary where Stacy keeps the rescue poultry.

Capybaras get along with everyone

Two cats, the only predators on the property (other than the humans) are counted among the Funny Farm fauna. True to the capybara meme, Dobby got along with everyone.

A muddy wading pool

Even on a cold, rainy day, Dobby enjoyed the water and the mud. No point restricting mud to the ground, it also belongs in the pool. The disheveled “Farm Manager” stands in the background ready to add more hot water as required.

King of the Straw

Dobby had straw bales making a staircase to enter and exit his big pool. He sometimes looked regal, sometimes clumsy or even comical climbing those stairs.

I’m closing this post now. I could go on forever. Dobby’s life was so full of love and fun that it is impossible to capture it. I am going to post one more blog on Dobby, but it will be more of an actual eulogy and less of an excuse for cute photos of a handsome guy.


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