Is your precious pup spending an unusual amount of time time hanging around by the pond? Is poochy looking a little green around the gills? Does fido seem a little feeble?
My friend you've got trouble. Trouble with a capital "T".
What's the canine equivalent to catnip?
Yes, your dog might be out sucking toads.
Last year's IgNoble award for biology went to researchers who personally sniffed the peculiar odors of 131 species of frogs to see if the frogs were feeling stressed. (Now that I think about it, I kind of wonder about those researchers).
This week, live from NPR, we learned that one canine friend went a bit farther down the path of amphibian depravation.
In The Dog Who Loved to Suck on Toads, Laura Mirsch describes her family's struggle with toadal addiction.
According to Laura:
"We noticed Lady spending an awful lot of time down by the pond in our backyard," Laura Mirsch recalls.
Lady would wander the area, disoriented and withdrawn, soporific and glassy-eyed.
"Then, late one night after I'd put the dogs out, Lady wouldn't come in," Laura Mirsch says. "She finally staggered over to me from the cattails. She looked up at me, leaned her head over and opened her mouth like she was going to throw up, and out plopped this disgusting toad."
By all means, do go to site and listen to the story yourself, the description of Laura's mother going outside in the dead winter to try and find a toad for Lady the dog is priceless.
Having shoveled a path through through the snow for my cats, so they could chase mice in the garage attic next door, I know how that feels.