Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fearful of Frog Asphyxiation

As if I do not have enough to worry about, I now have frogs on the brain. We live a block and a half from a pond. I think it was installed with the purpose of doing something with water run-off in our neighbor. I am not sure. The kids and I just call it "the pond." Because we live so close to the pond, our yard is overrun with tiny frogs every summer. This summer, they seem to be especially numerous.

For the last few days, Sophie and Nichols have been obsessed with catching these tiny frogs--most about half as big as my thumb. They have been collecting as many as twenty at a time and setting up a "habitat" for the frogs in their sand table. I make them set the tiny frogs free before they come in the house for the day, lest they be baked in the sun trapped in a sand table. The frogs entertain my kids. They draw the kids away from the television and into the great outdoors. They give them a glimpse of nature and maybe even teach them a little respect for the natural world. All in all, a good thing. Right?

Lately, however, my dog has been noticing the frogs in the yard, as well. They are hopping around everywhere so, despite their tiny size, they are hard to miss. She will chase them. Pounce on them. And to Sophie's great disgust, eat them. Sophie has proven her strength in recent days physically removing our 40-pound muscle-bound boxer from the sand table all by herself. She will scream in revulsion, grab Stella around the neck, and hoist her away from the frog habitat in one fell swoop. That girl is strong when fueled by rage.

This morning, I was laughing and telling a coworker about Stella eating the frogs and Sophie harnessing her inner She-Ra, Princess of Power to deter her. The coworker told me that her dog does the same thing, but warned that I needed to be careful. She said that frogs will sometimes "inflate" themselves when attacked. They will puff up to prevent themselves from being swallowed, thereby catching in the throat of the unsuspecting dog who tries to swallow them whole. What? Is this true?? Is my poor Stella going to meet an untimely death at the hand of our tiny pond frogs? As if I do not have enough to worry about, now I must watch my dog and somehow keep her from swallowing frogs? How do I keep my bouncy boxer from catching frogs when they cover every inch of our back yard? I always thought toads puffed up. Do frogs, as well?

Dammit. Now I am going to have to log some serious Google time trying to figure out if my poor puppy is doomed to meet her demise asphyxiated by a frog.

As if I have time.


Jessica said...

Just make sure she chews them first. ;) Crazy!

Madgew said...

I find the frog story amazing. Why are they leaving the pond area? Is their a predator there? Maybe the dog will scare them away. Post a picture of all of them in your backyard. This would make me nuts.

Just Margaret said...

Those teeny frogs are adorable! We have tree frogs around our yard, and my kids do the same thing: catch them and put them in little habitats. They have to release them before the end of the day (so the frogs can go home to their families!)--our cat is the only pet, and he wants nothing to do with them.

I thought only certain types of frogs puffed up. Please let us know what you learn!

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