Although the South American guinea pig is not a popular pet, the American couple Melanie – Richard still decided to take Gary home to take care of him and consider him as a member of the family.
Not keeping pets like dogs or cats in the house, the middle-aged American couple chose to be friends with a cute, chubby South American guinea pig (capybara).
Gary is the name of this lovely South American guinea pig, weighing nearly 51kg. Gary lives with his host family in Buda City, Hays County, Texas, USA. Gary was adopted by the owners, Mr. Richard Loveman, 54, and Mrs. Melanie Typaldos, 57, after the previous owner could no longer maintain him. This aquatic animal captured the couple’s hearts at first sight.
Despite being one of the largest rodents in the world, the hairy creature is so special to Melanie Typaldos and her husband Richard they even let it sleep in their bed. The eight-stone herbivore behaves similarly like a dog, following them on vehicle excursions and lounging on the sofa while the family watches television. They’ve even trained him how to do a variety of stunts.
The South American guinea pig is believed to be the world’s biggest rodent, weighing up to 90 kilograms. Guinea pigs from South America may live in both terrestrial and aquatic habitats, although they prefer to be submerged in water. Of course, Gary is no exception, he loves to swim. Gary loves to splash around in the water with his owner’s daughter.
The couple not only created a big swimming pool in the backyard for Gary to swim in, but they also set aside a spot on the sofa for Gary to lie down. Gary is treated as if he were a member of their family.
Melanie, 57, explained: “Although some people might find it strange, it’s really no different than having a dog or a cat.
“Gary is really very smart and he’s very affectionate. He comes when he’s called and he likes to sleep with me.”
In addition, Gary learns quickly, even faster than an ordinary dog. With other animals in his family such as dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, turtles, Gary always has a sociable attitude, but he still likes to play catch with rabbits the most.
Gary is also a big hit with their other animals, which include a cat, a horse, dogs, and rabbits. But while the South American native is happy to cuddle up with their pet cat, he’s not as friendly with the little reptiles they own.
The docile pet is often taken into local schools to educate them about the natural world. But Melanie warns they do come with risks.
She said: “Capybaras can be quite aggressive sometimes and their teeth are very, very sharp.
“Gary is not at all aggressive, but a capybara bite can be pretty serious.
She added: “He gives you that same sort of companionship and affection that other animals do and I can’t imagine life without him.”