New New Year’s Resolution

I am sad to see 2010 slip into history since it was a very historic year for me. I am the first individual in all of time to have kept a New Year’s Resolution for an entire year! Yup, I did it!

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Two Guinea Pigs is One Too Many

Sambal and Hello Pineapple

Look at those adorable photos of my two guinea pig co-pets, Sambal (grey and white) and Hello Pineapple (tri-colored). Don’t they have the sweetest faces? Well, they are not the sweetest animals, let me tell you that! My owner made that combined photo with the two piglins facing away from each other for a reason: they are the most bitter of bitter enemies!

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Flower ‘Bara

(This is part one of the two part story of my trip to Dallas)

Me and my owner on the way to Grapevine for the GP Hoedown

Some of you may know that I went to a guinea pig hoedown in Grapevine, Texas on Sunday. A hoedown is a kind-of western party. I hear there is usually a lot of dancing and not many guinea pigs. This hoedown was the opposite, no dancing and lots of piglins. I am pretty sure I like that better. Anyway, Grapevine is north of Dallas and we live south of Austin so it was a long drive up there, too long to make in one day, especially since my owner always takes the scenic route. A two day adventure deserves to be covered in two blog posts and that is what I am going to do. This post will cover the parts of the trip outside of the hoedown itself. In a couple of days, I’ll write another post about what happened at the hoedown. Continue reading “Flower ‘Bara” »

Feeding Frenzy

Owners blog:

Sharks may be better known for their feeding frenzies but that is just because people don’t know Caplin Rous!

To say Caplin has favorite foods is putting it mildly. There are some things he just goes wild for and one of those foods is the hard, crisp, green pears that some people grow here in central Texas.

Squirrel with Pear on our back fence

Squirrel with Pear on our back fence

Normally, Caplin is very gentle when he takes food from my hand. His little lips are soft, downy and sensitive. He lifts each blueberry with delicate ease from the tips of my fingers.

Pears are a different story. They are big enough that he has to bite into them and they are very hard. At least the ones he likes are hard. He doesn’t like the soft, juicy ones from the grocery store. I’ve feed him hundreds of pears these past two years and never had a problem…until yesterday.

I was feeding Caplin a pear as he sat on his pool table and I squatted in the warm water beside him. From that angle, I can see his huge teeth chomp into the crispy fruit and think about how those teeth are constantly chipping to keep their sharp edge. I imagine the pears are a good sharpening tool for them. And so I was watching him eat, shifting the pear in my hand so his teeth could find easier purchase when…OUCH! The tip of my thumb had accidently slid into his mouth. He didn’t actually bite down hard on it, but he did bring some pressure to bear.

14 hours post-injury

14 hours post-injury

The pain was immediate and tremendous. Blood spurted from the wound. I grabbed my thumb with my other hand and pressed the flesh back together as hard as I could tolerate. Caplin looked down at me with an innocent air. I shifted the pear to my fingers and let him have the last couple of bites.

My thumb throbbed as I got out of the pool. I sat on the picnic table, afraid to remove the pressure for fear that a slice of flesh might peal off. Caplin eeped. More treats? No? He got out to graze as I watched him and pondered my options.

Fact is, I don’t want to go to a doctor with a wound like that and say my capybara bit me. I’m a little paranoid. What if they think he might have rabbies? I know he doesn’t. It was a simple accident. What if he gets reported as a dangerous animal. He isn’t.

I waited 20 minutes and then went into the house. When I released the pressure, blood oozed from around the edges of the injury but, aside from the pain, it didn’t seem that bad. I tore off a strip of vet wrap that I always keep around in case of horse emergencies, and wrapped my thumb.

14 hours post-injury

14 hours post-injury

It’s now 24 hours later. The thumb still hurts but not nearly so much. I can even use it to type this post (only the space key of course, and mostly I use my left thumb for that). So it looks like I got off easy. I fed him another pear tonight, being extra careful.

Lesson: Never underestimate the sharpness of rodent teeth.

When capybaras bite

Lots of people ask me if capybaras have big teeth. We do. We have big, dangerous teeth. Another thing people ask about is if I bite. Sadly, I have bitten. I wrote about it on my blog when it first happened. That was on my MySpace blog and I feel that it is important to let people know about it so I’m going to repost it here now. Please don’t judge me too harshly.

My teeth

My teeth

April 5, 2008

Well, I don’t like to admit it but I’ve been a bad capybara. I don’t mean a little bad, like chewing on cords bad. I mean really bad. Since I’m keeping this blog to help others understand what it’s like to live with a capybara, a feel I have to be honest about it, keep you informed, let you draw your own conclusions. So here goes.

As you may know, I attacked my owner and bit her a couple of months ago. You can read my blog about that. It’s part of the reason she decided to neuter me. After the initial biting incident, I tried really hard to be a good capybara and most of the time I succeeded. There were times though when I wasn’t so good. Mostly at night, if my owner came out in the hall to change the water in my poop bowl. Sometimes I’d get all upset and click at her. She took to carrying a pillow around and she’d push it at me and say “No Caplin!” Sometimes I bit the pillow.

After my surgery I was really sick for a while. My owner slept on the floor with me. She hand fed me. She gave me special treats and made me as comfortable as possible. I didn’t click at her at all then, no matter the time of day or night or whatever she was doing.

On Tuesday, my owner and Sheldon took me to my favorite fourth grade class. The kids and I had a great time. I rolled on the floor and they rubbed my belly. They fed me my favorite rye grass. I was the perfect capybara. And then I went to my job as company mascot, where I was also very good. After work, my owner took me to PetsMart where I was a big hit, as always, and very well-behaved if I do say so myself.

Wednesday when my owner got home from work we spent some quality time together. She took me swimming in the pool and I played with my pool toy. Then I went for a graze while she did some stuff around the yard. That’s when things went bad. I don’t know what came over me. I saw my owner filling up my little pool and I raced across the yard to her. I don’t know what I was thinking! When I got to her, I stood up on my hind legs and put my front legs on her back. I never did that before and I’m not sure why I did it then. When she tried to turn around–this is where the really bad stuff happens–I lunged at her and tried to bite her! Oh my gosh! I don’t know why I did that.

My owner kicked me in the head to keep me from biting her. That just made me mad. I circled her, clicking and huffing and looking for an opening. Then I lunged at her again! And she kicked me again. I was enraged! I lunged again, and even though she kicked me, I got past her defenses and I bit her hard on her thigh. She was wearing jeans but I bit right through them and I took out a chunk of flesh the size of a quarter. My owner fell down when her kick didn’t connect with me all the way. She was kicking as hard as she could and wearing boots but…

Anyway, she got up and ran into the house. I followed her and stood outside the glass door huffing and clicking and daring her to come back outside. Eventually she did but now she was carrying this yellow thing that looked like a small tennis racket. She hit me on the nose with it and it sent a spark through the air and bit my nose. I backed off but I was madder than ever. She hit me a bunch of times and finally I backed off enough for her to do what she needed to do. Then she went back in the house and wouldn’t let me in.

After a while Rick came home. I was happy to see him and didn’t feel like huffing or clicking or biting him at all. But when I saw my owner, I went back to my bad behavior. So she started carrying that yellow thing all the time and hitting me with it if I clicked at her. This just made me click even more. I’m not sure why, but I really wanted to bite her.

The next day was the same, every time I saw my owner, I just wanted to attack. But when she left, I wanted to be with her. I’m so confused. She locked me out of the kitchen-family room area and wouldn’t come in where I was. Then she sat next to one of the gates and fed me treats over the top or through the slats. That made me happy. That night, Rick and my owner let me sleep in the bed with them for a couple of hours and we were all happy again. But in the morning, the madness came over me and I clicked and huffed at her.

That’s pretty much where we are now. I’m fine around Rick and Sheldon. I don’t feel like biting them at all. And most of the time I don’t feel like biting my owner either. But sometimes I do and I just can’t control myself. I’m hoping this is what my owner called “teen angst” and I’ll grow out of it. Or maybe my hormones are all messed up from the neutering. Or maybe it’s because it’s spring. I don’t know. I hope it passes quickly though. I don’t like being separated from my owner. I don’t like her being afraid of me. I want her to scratch me and feed me treats and hold me on her lap–all of  which she still does, only now she carries that yellow thing and she acts afraid.


Me on April 10, 2008

Me on April 10, 2008

This is my next blog, which was an update to my biting situation.

April 10, 2008

This has been a hard week for me and my owner. The bite on my owner’s leg still hurts her and she still has to keep it bandaged. And I have been dealing with my own issues with clicking, huffing and circling. I wanted everyone to know that I am getting my emotions under control though.

The past few days I haven’t been feeling like attacking my owner as long as she is sitting down. She’s been plying me with extra treats, which helps, and carrying the yellow snappy thing when she moves around. When I see that thing it makes me mad but I’m afraid of it so I back off. She hasn’t hit me with it in a while so I kind of wonder if it is broken….hopefully I won’t find out.

This morning I was almost my old self. I let my owner walk around freely and didn’t click at her at all. She even picked me up without any incident on either side. And she weighed me. It is my 9-month birthday (3/4 of one year! Yeah!) and I weigh 60.3 lbs. I think it’s all those extra treats.