|Mia with friend Melanie Typaldos|
I was at the 2014 BlogPaws conference, the premiere event for pet enthusiasts who support pets via social media. BlogPaws offers educational workshops (on, for example, the importance of a catchy title), brands and sponsors who hand out free pet food, toys, and accoutrements and—oh yes—special animal guests.
Meeting a capybara, the world's largest rodent, was on my bucket list. I sat on the floor and stroked Mia's short, wiry hair. I marveled at her delicately rounded ears, sloping snout, and stubby legs. In short, I was over the moon.
And then . . . Miss Mia took a whiff of my brand spanking new cream oxfords and that was all she wrote. She plunged her oversized nose into the leather buffet. It didn't hurt, but as she snurfled I kept thinking of the $117 I paid for the shoes.
Mia was a babe in arms, just 6 months old and less than 40 pounds. Despite that, her sturdy body packed a punch. Pushing her substantial neck was like pushing a fire hydrant. "Sweetheart, no, no," I murmured. Mia shook her head with joy over her new, show chew toy. I looked to Mia's handler for help, but she was talking to an enthralled audience.
I'm not one to make a fuss. "Oh dear, she's eating my shoe," I said casually, hoping an onlooker would come to my aid. No such luck. All I could hear was cameras clicking, and the Oohs and Ahhs of the crowd. Finally someone pried Mia away to her next meet-and-greet. (Don't miss Mia's post about her experience at BlogPaws.)
As for those shoes, I'll wear them proudly at the BlogPaws 2015 conference. But you'll have to look very, very carefully to see where Mia the capybara ate my shoe.
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Find your own adventure at BlogPaws 2015, to be held May 28–30, in Nashville, Tennessee. A miniature pig is scheduled to attend. If you're lucky, maybe she'll eat your shoe!