Thursday, August 26, 2004

dog ventures

The dogs found a toad last night. Midnight, when I get home from work, I let them into our small back yard so they can check out the night life. Phoebe frolics; Camus snuffles. The tree-high critters are mostly invisible, tucked into wherever it is they sleep so it's the ground-bound things that are mostly on the prowl and thus prone to be discovered by the snufflejowls of Camus. Usually it's a gecko or large insect, but last night amphibian was the main attraction. When Camus can't be coaxed back into an air conditioned house for a milkbone I'm certain he's found something much more interesting. His nose jabbed constantly, focused on one area, in this case three or four terra cotta pots filled with spearmint and such. He suddenly jumped back a foot as if his nose had been electrified but immediately leapt forward toward the same spot. At this point, Phoebe, waiting on the steps impatiently for her buddy to join her for midnite snax, became alerted to the same movements I had seen and she ran to join the party. Camus grabbed the unlucky creature in his mouth but lost his grip. Too bad for him but good luck for the critter. In the dim area it looked like it could be a small rat. It had gone behind the air conditioner compressor and Camus raced around the compressor from one side to the other, unable to catch the thing. Phoebe "helped" by crowding in for a closer view. My night vision not being so acute as theirs I was forced to fetch a flashlight from under the kitchen sink to see for myself what it was. A Big Toad! A rare site the last few years and the first I've seen this summer. Camus was forced to forego his lovely toad and came reluctantly inside for his milkbone, drooling more than usual, and still looking toward the back door as if he were getting a carrot instead of steak.

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