PandaBara’s Not-Homeless Shelter

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PandaBara’s Not-Homeless Shelter

Our senior rescue capybara, PandaBara, is thriving in his new home. Unfortunately, this is winter, and the Texas winters have become challenging. His new caretaker is very experienced and put together a nifty shelter for him. Now that the weather is behaving, so is Panda, and he even allowed some petting and got pouffy!

When PandaBara first arrived at Melanie’s Retirement Ranch, she had already set up two housing alternatives: a playhouse capybara scaled barn, and a hay bale hideout. He liked them both.

This hideout is edible.

Like all weather everywhere, Texas weather has become an unfamiliar wild thing, too hot or too cold. It was January, so too cold was the most inconvenient. The Too Cold was coming on fast.

PandaBara is still eating. He likes bamboo.

If your pet capybara was raised indoors, you simply open the door and they prance on in, happy to be warm and cozy. If your capybara is an elderly rescue, never been indoors, just met you last week, he’s not going inside, no way, no how. Capybaras are wild animals, you can’t trick them to go inside and wait for them to calm down and realize how cozy and warm they are. They will panic and rampage and destroy things until you get them back outside or until somebody gets hurt and then you have to decide who goes to the emergency room first, you or the capybara. My money is on the capybara.

The hay bales to the left form an ell so that Panda can crawl back in and get completely out of the wind. Melanie topped the hay with a couple folding tables, a tarp and a small rug on top to dampen the sound of the storm. Then a bedspread over that for warmth after the rain stopped. Then a couple canvas toppers for warmth and insulation, tarp back on top, of course.

Dobby had several of these. They are indestructible but they only last a couple years if they are on 24/7.

It kept getting colder, so Melanie tucked a heated mat way back into the ell, and closed off that side with more hay bales. She added one more heavy bedspread under the tarp.  A couple rugs went at the front to make a porch and an even better windbreak. All the while, Panda went in and out, supervising the work, checking things off his list, filling out the proper forms.

Is it a work of art? That depends upon your perspective. Did it do the job? Was it inexpensive? Can it go away gracefully when it is no longer pretty? Maybe that last one depends upon PandaBara. He seemed to feel safe and stayed in during the coldest weather, only peeking out to grab some food. I think he’s going to want to keep the hay maze part. I would.

Not quite ready to come indoors.

PandaBara is one tough old dude! He even stood up for a horse cookie! He’s adjusting nicely but let’s hope for some nice warm weather for a change!

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