Sunday, November 21, 2010

Barkitecture 2010

I have been wanting to write about Barkitecture for a while. Barkitecture is held every year in the fall at the 2nd St. District of Austin. It's the one pet event I never want to miss because it combines two of my favorite things: dogs and houses, and it never disappoints.

There were many tasteful, intelligent and functional designs to be enjoyed by dogs and humans alike this year. No boring old little red houses.

Jonas and I were impressed with the themes and the execution of all of the houses. I loved one with a rainwater collection system and a faux-grass covered ramp and roof. Another crowd favorite was a wooden pear shaped structure. And there was one clever, beautiful and practical table that doubled as a dog lounge designed by Eva Shone of Paper Crane Design. I need to get one of those for my cat Ramses.

And since here in Austin we are trailer-crazy there were two trailer dog houses that were perfect little replicas of the real thing and appeared to be very comfortable for the dogs. The one made by Chelsea Bandy from Chelsea+Remy Design really belongs in a museum. Just "petfect"!

The Agave convertible house was the "Best in Show" winner. It does not surprise me. It had phenomenal features like a movable roof and sides, and was designed with the purpose of providing shelter during both the hot months and the cold ones.

Capybara Love

Last week as we were looking for parking on our way to The Blanton Museum we had the most magical sighting, even better than a unicorn: it was a capybara! Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world and originally from South America. I have been obsessed with them ever since I first saw one at the New Orleans Zoo years ago.

I found out that the name of this particular capybara is Caplin Rous. Mr. Rous lives in Buda, TX and he often hangs out in Austin with his owner Melanie. Caplin was wonderful. He let me pet him and I also walked him (or he pulled me) on his leash for a little while before he left to snack on grass.

As it turns out, Caplin is an international celebrity, apparently the most famous capybara in the world. He's been featured in Animal Planet and his totally devoted owner has written a book about capybaras named Celeste and the Giant Hamster. For more things capybara go to

Photo by Melanie Typaldos