Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Dog and Toad Poison


Two balmy evenings last week were heavenly before winter arrived once again. Guess what I heard in the pond for the first time in 2008? Then, guess what I did?

Flashlight between my legs, camera to my face…examining toad love.


Toad love is loud. Very loud. Not as loud as it will be in a month or two when I’ll wonder if the neighbors will put notes on my door for disturbing the peace.

Windows were open. The pond is only about forty feet away from Michael’s recliner where he was watching either golf, Forensic Files, History Channel, or something else I’m not interested in when there are spawn machines on the pond. I was so delighted to hear them again!

From the recliner, “Can you close the windows? I can’t hear the TV.”

“What? I can’t hear you!”


Honestly, pond toads will become a nuisance and just another chore soon. Dozens of the little horny amphibians hold onto each other and float into the skimmer. More than once a day, I lift the skimmer lid and find them deliriously in love and attached, swirling and circling inside with the strength of the pump flow pulling them inside, making them too exhausted to swim out. I swoop them out with bare hands to save them.

There is more potential danger. The following photos are terrible because of my efforts to photograph a hard-headed Boston Terrible being disobedient and saving an innocent toad.

I say in my deep but ineffective voice, “Leave it!” Bella always obeys, but Chloe? Never.


Let me taste you.

Again, “Chloe! Leave it!”


Come here, little stinky toad. Let’s play. Let me touch you. Just a little poke on your spongy back.

The girl can’t help it.


I’ll find you, sneaky toad!

She can’t see well in her old age but her nose is in good shape.

I command in a louder voice, “Chloe, LEAVE IT!”

Let’s see how fast you can escape this little grave I’m digging for you.

Front feet become a blur and the dirt flies. Need a tiller? Have a Boston Terrier. They can bury themselves in three minutes flat.


A freshly dug hole in 7 seconds.

Then, with the teeth she has left, she clamped down on the toad who knew exactly what to do!

Damn. Toads taste like sh-t.

Toad was safely back in the pond and I was laughing out loud…


I need a chaser or I’ll die! Please!


Will you stop laughing, go inside and bring me a cookie and a drink?

You think this is funny, woman? Ok, how about if I come over there and lay a few French kisses on you.


beckie said...

Oh Mary! You should write a book about the adventures of Bella and Chloe!! Aren't Bostons the funniest dogs ever? And the looks they can give. I swear you can read their minds. Great pictures as always. I love coming here for a smile(or belly laugh) Thanks.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Dear May,
You and your Girls are better than medicine! Thank you.

Annie in Austin said...

Well, Mary, in my opinion Beckie's book suggestion is pretty good!

It would make a terrific book for parents to read with children but some parents are so uptight about birds 'n' bees they'd might make you take out the toad love, and we'd hate for that to happen.

"Flashlight between my legs, camera to my face"... you're wonderful.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

LauraHinNJ said...

You and your horny toads were just the thing tonight Mary. Thank you!

How do you know they taste so bad, by the way?


TR Ryan said...

Oh you have such a beautiful, comic bent to your posts -- its like instant cheer. You are a divine storyteller - you should write a book! A woman of many talents you are Mary.

Susan Gets Native said...

Take that, you goofy doggie!

You and your horny toads. Only in Blog World.

Anonymous said...

Oh Mary -- that last picture of Chloe is about the most perfect thing in the world! Your caption expresses her opinion of you perfectly! Thank you for a hearty laugh that I truly needed tonight!

Beth said...

Your posts always leave me in stitches. I have seen more frog porn on nature blogs lately than I ever could have imagined existed. I can't wait to go out and see it live--it shouldn't be long, the snow and ice are going fast.

Jayne said...

Yay! It's spring at Mary's house and the toad porn is back!!! LOLOL!
That Chloe!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh Mary, you had me hee hawing at "Can you close the window". I can remember our hard headed lab that insisted on trying to eliminate toads from the garden. He would end up slobbering profusely and gagging for some time. Ick. Reminded me to wash my hands if I picked up one of them. I can just see you with flashlight between the legs and camera in your face. tee hee hee...

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Poor Chloe--Blech!

It's good that your pond is available for them, though--won't it be fun to have toadlets hopping around soon?

Stacey Olson said...

LOL more benadryl please.. Great words today! as always. thanks for the laugh Mary.

Chrissie said...

I have to laugh at your toad love pics. The toads look so grumpy! Perhaps it was because they found themselves in the spot light :-)

Rose said...

Mary, Only you could capture toad love! And I've always thought if there was only some way to get my dog to dig where I wanted him to...

Thanks for starting my day off with a chuckle.

Peg Silloway said...

I'm laughing myself silly this morning, thanks to you and Chloe! Your girls are so lucky to have a spokeswoman who speaks fluent Boston.

Anonymous said...

Toad love... Boston Terribles.....what a hoot! What a grand way to start my day- you are TOOO funny! thanks for the smiles! hugs, gretchen

Kerri Farley said...

Oh Mary....you make me laugh! What a wonderful way to spend a few minutes...reading your blog and laughing :)

Well Done!

PS - I'm all for you writing a book too! I'd buy it!!

KGMom said...

Mary--it's good that Chloe did get all the way to biting said toad, because maybe the unpleasant taste will keep from doing it again? Maybe? Or is she so bent on tasting toads that nothing dissuades her?

Mary said...

Donna, she's been nibbling on toads for almost 12 years. The one she tasted 6 years ago slowed her down but if she sees another one clearly tomorrow, she'll try it again :o/

JeanMac said...

My morning laugh!

The Quacks of Life said...

those dogs have such expressive faces

Cheryl said...

Mary, Have you seriously ever thought about writing. I am not joking, you have such an incredible talent.
There isn't anyone who makes me laugh as much as you.
I thank the day I started blogging and met you.

NatureWoman said...

I can always count on you to show us some great toad sex Mary!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Okay, daily blogging instead of full time job! We need you. Do Google ads..I think they pay very well.
Thank you for toad love.
You are so funny.

Mary said...

I love Bella and Chloe. They are darlings.

Sorry I haven't been over for a while. Things have been hectic. I just loved this post. Thanks for sharing your precious Bostons.


RuthieJ said...

Oh Mare, you crack me up! I loved this post. Poor, silly Chloe...I can tell she disapproves of being laughed at! Her grass-stained chin is especially cute. (BTW, you did get her a cookie, didn't you??)
Thanks for brightening my day!

Anonymous said...

Chloe is just precious, Mary. I can tell by some of their pictures that Bella and Chloe have great personalities!


Alyssa said...

That Chloe! She's her own worst enemy. I've read that toads taste really horrible and you have absolute proof! Those are amazing pictures you got and I'm surprised the toad survived those dog toenails.
Hearing frogs and toads calling in the evenings always reminds me of my childhood. I heard some tonight when we got home from work and was taken back 50 years!

I love toads and am always happy to see them on your blog. They are a sign of a healthy ecosystem.

Rurality said...

Dang! We only hear the toady lovin' -- never see it. I wonder if there's a ppv channel for that? ;)

Appalachian Lady said...

I love the story about the toads--we have them around but not in our little pond. And, my dog (boxer-lab mix) tries to paw them so I have to get her away from them. Great photos! Joan

Donna said...

Oh how funny! Thanks for making me laugh, Mary!

Larry said...

That is some funny schtick! I saw a Boston Terrier in a pet store the other day in a cage with a large group of puppies. It was running back and forth from one side of the giant cage to the other.Each time it reached the edge of the plexiglass cage it would do a little jump onto the side of a cage and bounce back like a bumper car bouncing off a rubber bumper.This hyperactive little dog repeated this dozens of times in a row.-It was very entertaining to say the least.Needless to say, I thought of Chloe and wondered how hyperactive she gets.

dguzman said...

HA ha ha haa!!!!! Oh man... I love your blog!

Cathy said...

Oh my dear Mary! I'm headed over to my husband's side of the couch, yet again!

He was already looking up expectantly when he saw my laptop rocking as you channeled Chloe's inner voices.

Thank you, thank you, thank you:0D

Corey said...

How funny! My wife and I saw Northern Flicker love Sunday afternoon as we were walking in Dilworth . . now that's loud love!